The feminine angst(or not)
Recently, one of my friends decided to hold me accountable for sharing the boislockerroom post on Instagram. Rather censoriously he said "don’t you think you should have waited a little while before supporting a story that has since been proven baseless?’’, it made me very uncomfortable or maybe even a little insecure. So I lashed out and told him that he had absolutely no right to question what I can or cannot post.
Disclaimer: Personal opinions ahead, individuals that tend to experience allergic reactions to basic rights are advised to stay away!
Why was I so uncomfortable with his question?
Let's start with why I shared that post. The most gruesome details in the boislockerroom chats(at that time) was of young men planning a rape, circulating lewd morphed images of underage girls without permission and so on. At this point let me also acknowledge that the whole issue was eventually, as my friend rightly put across, proven baseless.
Now, however lacking in purpose or potency, discussing the modus operandi of rape is a clear and present threat of criminal nature. How many of us have been catcalled, stared at, groped, questionably brushed past, verbally or physically abused, molested or been treated far worse? How many of us feel grateful that we haven't had to experience 'far worse' ,yet?
For me, the whole world stood back for one second and agreed that talking about women like they are objects, planning to rape them or doing so without any plans, violating her privacy, so on and so forth are to be frowned up on. No grey areas, just black or white. For once everyone seemed to be in agreement that what's wrong is wrong. And if the violence was against a man it would still be violence, what is wrong would always be wrong irrespective of gender.
Amartya Sen compared the birth sex ratio in Europe (106) and United States (105) with Asia (107+) and argued that the imbalance may be due to excessive female mortality. This implies a female shortfall of 11%, or over 100 million women missing from the 3 billion in Asia.
India has one of the highest female infanticide incidents in the world. India's last census conducted in 2011 revealed that the female child population in India declined from 78 million(in 2001) to 75 million(in 2011) and the child sex ratio declined from 945 to 914. . India ranks 108th out of 144 nations on global gender gap index, 112th in educational attainment and 141st in health and survival of women; while the pay gap in India is a whopping 25%. The number of dowry deaths are 8083.
Further, 45% women are slapped, kicked or beaten and 55% women perceive violence as a normal part of their marriages. Nearly 30% of children between the ages of 14 to 17 are sexually victimized; for one out of every 20 boys, one out of every 5 girls endure childhood sexual abuse. As per the NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) 2016, 4 rapes occur every hour.
We live in the land of Nirbhaya, who was gang raped and left to die, the perpetrators included a minor who caused the injuries that eventually cost her life. In the BBC documentary on the Delhi rape case,that was taken off Youtube with undue haste, the main accused casually stated that women must just allow themselves to be raped if they were to ever find themselves in these kind of situations. Take note women, an expert advise from our very own rapist-murderer. Another man, a lawyer, said that if this had happened to his own daughter he would set her on fire. At this point in the documentary, I am mentally evaluating my options and they were looking quite grim.
Laxmi Agarwal, then a 16 year old, was attacked by Naeem Khan(in his thirties) because she shot down his romantic advances, he threw acid on her face and mutilated her because his ego could not handle the rejection. Asifa an 8 year old was kidnapped, drugged, held in captivity, gang-raped multiple times and killed by 6 to 7 men including a temple priest and police officers. On November 28th of 2019, a veterinarian in Hyderabad was gang raped and killed. Just a week later, a woman from Unnao in UP was set ablaze on her way to the court for the hearing of her rape case. She sustained 90% burns and died a day later.These are but a few of the numerous we have heard of.
…the unfortunate ones who were dealt with the ‘far worse’
So yes, I hit the share button as soon as I was made aware of the boislockerroom. I did that neither because I am feminist nor because I wish to wave a flag. I am merely doing what I must…a shout out to the rest of the girls to stay safe. And maybe some young gentleman would think twice before making certain comments or acting a certain way.
To the curators of social media posts and self proclaimed advocates of justice,this is my world,burdened with centuries of patriarchy where my parents tell me to be careful when I step out and I ask my loved ones to track my Ola\Uber rides, equipped with pepper sprays and escape routes, just to ensure that we don't see 'far worse'. And when you are busy shoving your opinions down my throat, in the pretext of having a conversation, understand that you are being the misogynist that you claim not to be. So reserve your judgement, don't patronize me,you have no right to question what I can or cannot do. I am not accountable to you!
Thanks and Regards,