Nirbhaya tore us apart. We agitated, we raised our voices and we came on the streets. But still we dwell in the fear of being raped. ‘Rape’ haunts us all the while. It takes up a small place in our brains ALWAYS. So how is the rape culture in India affecting the millions of women out there? Let’s talk about it!
The movie Pink released a few months ago, depicted this very culture so lucidly. Women who drink are loose charactered, women who wear short skirts are asking for it, women who themselves go to the guy’s room want it. Notions and misconceptions which has built up this culture in our country. But have you ever thought, how these deeply rooted thinking mechanisms affect the women? Think about it and Take Action.
Walking in Dark Alleys Alone with the Fear of Rape
Ask any woman around you, how she feels walking in a dark alley while coming back from work to home. Majority of the women will answer, “Scared”. May it be a major city or a village, this is how we women feel while being alone in the dark. We keep on looking back to ensure no one is following us. We fidget with our wrist watches, mobiles, bags and pray incessantly that the darkness fades off soon. If at all there is someone behind us, God help the heart racing and the mind numbing.
Do we deserve this constant fear?
The Gnawing Insecurity
It does not matter where you are or with whom you are when it comes to feeling secure. India is a free country. But are the women here really free? Do they share the true essence of freedom? The answer is a big NO. We are never secure unless we reach home before the ‘late’ standards of the society. The reason for being late is irrelevant, the company with whom we are is unimportant…women always have this insecure feeling when they are out there during late nights. We cannot take the late night flights unless someone is coming to pick us up at the airport. We cannot use rickshaws beyond a certain time alone. The insecurity stays with us ALWAYS. Age does not matter here, we are ALWAYS insecure.
Dealing with Societal Judgement
We as women bear the brunt of the society. Our every action is judged. When statements are made in public like – “Women in short skirts ask for it”, it impacts our lifestyle immensely. Women are getting bold and trying to break the shackles. But every time a woman wears a short dress, she hesitates for a moment whether she should be wearing it. When she thinks about putting that red lipstick, she wonders if she will be labelled as a ‘slut’. Do men go through these menaces? Apparently, NO. The eyes of the society are always on the women, ready to pounce at the next opportunity.
The Woman at Fault Syndrome
Since childhood, we are brought up with these notions and it creates a deep dig in us. We keep on thinking that it might have been my fault since the society advised me against it. Maybe I am responsible for what has happened to me. Maybe I should have listened to them all. These thoughts do cross our minds, when someone follows us on the streets or we are eve teased or someone touches us in the local transport. We feel guilty for no fault of ours and go even more inside our shell.
The good men out there will not understand our constant insecurity and the bad men will exploit the situation. It is difficult to be FREE and lead a CAREFREE LIFE in the persisting rape culture in our country. It will take a while till we attain that freedom.
In the next article we’ll look at steps which we can take to make that happen!
If you have a similar story to share with us, please feel free to drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s speak out and create awareness!