If you are living in India, I am sure you have heard of the Delhi Gang Rape incident that shook the entire nation. You haven't? REALLY?!?!? Common! Wake up! So, the poor girl succumbed to her internal injuries ,infection and the agitation continues. This has happened so many times in Delhi (after all our national capital is nicknamed the Rape Capital of India ), however the attention that this case has got makes me hopeful that some change will occur , not with the law & order but with the society's mindset - but my husband says "this too shall pass". And deep within me, I fear he might be right.
There are enough and more sites following this particular rape case and part of the reason why I have not blogged about it is because I did not want to be one more ! However , there are some comments that I need to address here and give my two cents as this year comes to a close tonight!
Ever since I was in high school, I was also the girl the guys would come and share their stories to. I have laughed along with the guys who would narrate Eve-teasing stories to me, silently thanking God that I wasn't "that girl they teased", nodding wisely that I was a better person when they spoke about "that girl who slept around " not once questioning wht authority these boys had for trashing another girl's character. After all,these are nice guys who would nudge at girls on the walkway on the Beach and come back and claim that these were achievements. what can I say, we were young and stupid. Truthfully, I have been upset that no boy nudged my shoulder when I was in my teens.
These were also the same nice boys who sat in the last row of my class and would throw chalk-pieces to girls they liked. No boy liked me enough to throw chalk-piece on me. Today, I would tell my 15 year old self that I am lucky I was spared but back then I have shed my share of tears for realizing that I spent college with no chalk-piece hitting me. .I was always that girl who passed the love-letter chits to other girls in class. I was that girl that guys would come to and ask for help to match-make with the other girl they liked, the other girl they wanted to kiss.
Today, do I regret not making out at age fifteen. No. But back then I wanted to be that popular girl. Ask my parents. They know how many tears I have shed. In college, a Goan guy who was in "love" with my best friend, sent me Goan sweets so I would pass the box to her and convey his love. She rejected him and his box of sweets and I took that box of sweets home.
Where am I going with all this?
My friend Cynthia from Cyn's Adventures In India talks about raising her daughter to be strong and proud of herself in India . I wasn't raised that way.
And my story resembles several of my gal-pals in Middle Class India.... When I took that box of sweets home, my mom refused to believe that the Goan friend liked my friend and not me and he had given me sweets to "help him in his love story and I was not the heroine :D". Instead, I was warned against Goan guys who were "smooth" and I needed to be careful and not be friends with such guys.
If I were to go to the beach on the weekends, I had a curfew to return home from Beach by 7pm. I have early memories of not being allowed to go on trips arranged by Summer Camp people "for my own safety". I was constantly told to learn to do household tasks using my right-hand inspite of being left-handed because I am a girl who needs to go one day into my in-laws place and they might take "offense" that I served them food prepared by my left-hand (and I have met more than my share of people who DO GET OFFENDED so do not tell me my mom had uncalled for fears ).
My brother who is also left-handed has never been questioned as to why he "eats with left-hand". He did not have a "curfew" growing up. No one bothered about his "safety" in summer camps. Because , he is a guy.
I really do not blame my parents here. It is the way they feel this society works. If working late hours, going in a cab, watching a late-night movie etc. results in "rape". They want their daughter to return home at a decent hour, use public transport (ironic considering that the latest crime happened in a bus), and watch morning/afternoon shows in theatres.
I believe we are a generation that has seen a lot of changes happen in India. The era in which we grew up way before the Internet and IT industry took India by storm, and the era that we live in now. Today, most of us girls believe we are equals in our personal relationships with our partners and some of us girls perform way better than our male colleagues at work, but let's face the fact that most men have not really caught up or want to even acknowledge this fact.
All things aside, if I can predict one resolution for the government next year , then instead of banning skirts thinking it can result in fewer rapes , the government should ban item songs! Maybe then, the actresses will be respected and remembered for their ACTING and not their song-dances and men will think of women as individuals and not "objects of desire" !
There! My two cents!