This is not about gender equality. It is about people. But about people with breasts and a vagina. Forgive my crudeness. So then, it does become about the whole 'redundant' gender topic now, doesnt it?
" Its not like someone is raping you, is it? Wonder why women make such a hullabaloo about it."
Well let me tell you why. It breeds a feeling of self disgust. "It is the girl's fault, of course." The whole psychology of taking responsibility for everything, being a martyr. So girls, women, ladies- stop blaming yourselves and ask the moral police to find a new job.
I remember this particular incident(out of the very many). I was 11 years old taking swimming lessons during summer. I was quite independent and used to get back home in ~6 in the evening after classes in a rickshaw. Quite a popular mode of transport in Bangalore. So I got into one of those as usual, with a chatty driver. In the first few minutes, I knew something was wrong. Well, no it wasnt because of the infamous woman intuition but just that I had a normal olfactory system. The guy had been drinking.
"So you go swimming eh? All little girls running around in swimsuits", said the rickshaw driver.
"Are you in a hurry to go home? We could go somewhere else" and turns the auto in another direction.
I bolted out of a running rickshaw. I did!! I ran to a nearby bus stop and sat there. Thankfully, there were many people. I was trying hard not to cry in public. The driver followed me...trying hard to walk. The rickshaw guy was saying lewd things. There was a man sitting next to me at the bus stop who didnt budge and looked away. We dont see evil like the Gandhian monkey right?A woman spoke up. She yelled at the guy and asked him to leave the place. She consoled me and asked me to take another rickshaw back home. No more rickshaws for me that evening, thank you very much. She said she was going in the same direction and told me that I could take the bus with her. I reached home and burst into tears. Sobbed out the whole story to my mom and didnt dare breathe a word to my dad. Wonder why now.
After that incident, I am always on guard. Paranoid even.
At one of the girl 'pyjama parties', I was shocked to hear so many stories from my friends..being molested by relatives when they were kids! Apparently, it is not that uncommon. People just dont talk about it. And most girls blames themselves.
Women's day doesnt mean anything to me. But if people are going to become more aware of the world they live in because of one day 'dedicated' to women, so be it. That doesnt hurt or annoy. Unlike the lewd comments, stares, arse pinching, verbal absuses...oh the list is endless.
I just hope more women find the strength first.... in order to find their voices.
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