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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

You're Not A Man Unless You Know How To Treat A Woman

The title up there is self-explanatory. Debates, arguments, social norms be damned - if you don't know how to treat a woman, your or someone else's, you're not a man...not a chance!

The numbers are out and once again, with our heads bowed down in shame, bow your's down lower and deeper into the ground if you're a man - India stands amongst one of the top most unsafe countries for women - and we're not even talking of any particular city out here, India as an entire nation is unsafe for women..And it's true!

Whether it's the Indian male's obsession and fascination for 'gori' chamri, or whether it's about atrocities committed on our own fair, brown, dark or wheatish women, the Indian man has a long way to go before he can call himself a civilised being that can be easily and safely be let loose in society.

I have been born and brought up in Delhi, and if you've ever lived in the city, especially if you're a girl, you'll know what it is to be a woman in Delhi. From outright lewd stares that won't spare a minute's thought before checking you out from top to bottom to centre to middle and front and back, to catcalls and straight-out comments asking you to go with them or even something as 'what's your rate', you'll be surprised at how openly the Delhi man does this in full public view and broad daylight. But this is just the commenting and staring. And if you're thinking this is unbelievable, wait till you get groped on a Delhi road in broad daylight, in a busy place, even a market place or right outside your home in the street. Nothing's unbelievable in Delhi, if you're a girl, be prepared to get touched, groped, pinched, stared at, comments passed at and much much more.

It's much the same in most, or say all, parts of North-India, not just Delhi - in fact some cities in North India are much more brutal to women, only the cases and incidents aren't reported or talked about.

The picture may not be as barbaric in other parts of the city but it's definitely there. I now live in Mumbai, have been living here for 7 years now, and though initially I was quite surprised when I would walk out of the airport and there wouldn't be any outright stares and derogatory remarks, I can now see that the 'lack of disrespect' that was earlier there has now kind of given way to incidents of attack and assault on women. There are many many cases of women being molested, some being reported, many being shoved down the covers. Most of the cases involve men who were known to the women, young friends, colleagues, neighbours, helpers, husbands, boyfriends, relatives and others. Men who are close, men whom you trust, men who you would never associate with such downright degradation of the mind and the down-there...But it happens.......

Another city that I have roamed around on my own in India is Kolkata. And sadly, though it's been quite rare there, I've definitely come across cases of eve-teasing. Though I haven't faced anything too serious there (I'm laughing at my own sentence right now, isn't passing an offensive comment or giving a stare-over not serious enough??!!!) I have come across incidents that have made me feel uncomfortable and unsafe. And that too while it was daylight.....and the 'boys' were way younger than me....Talk about age and all that!

Have you ever been molested in your life? I have, yes, and Im not ashamed to accept it. I wasn't at fault. The guy who did it was. And if he can walk around with his head held high, I can at least talk about it and say that yes, India is an unsafe place for a woman, and there's no place, whether on the streets, on a bus, inside an auto or taxi, or even your own home, that is a 100% safe for a woman in India.
Lighting a candle for Nirbhaya, making a hue and cry for molesters to be arrested and asking your government to make India safer for women won't result in a miracle. No fairy is going to fly down with a wand to grant you a wish, no little star is twinkling up there to make India a magically safe place for women.....

The magic that you're looking for is's within you, it's who you are. If your parents weren't able to imbibe that basic human idea in you, or if they were and as you grew up you turned into a dick-ball instead of a mature male, it's time you understood that being a man is not about being rude or forcible on a woman. That it's not manly to stare down a woman, to give her the X-ray eye-scan, to try and grab her on the street, to whistle at her or to dull her senses and make her do things to you while she can't understand what's going on. None of this is going to make you look like a hero, or make you more of a man. If you can spare a moment and get the strength within you to understand and respect women, that's when you can truly deserve to call yourself a man.....Otherwise don't even bother.

And till the time you learn, dobaaraa apni ma, behen, biwi, girlfriend, colleague ya friend ko Happy Women's Day wish nahi karna!

- Debolina Raja Gupta

And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

- Debolina Raja Gupta