What begets non-violence?
Not a week goes by we don’t get reminded that we live in the men’s world. Look around you and you’ll notice the unapologetically fledging boys clubs everywhere. Ridiculously archaic notions like “Men built this world” or “Women are better off inside the walls” can be clearly heard. Yes, change is in the air and we’re recording a slow but steady progress in attaining gender parity in different centers of life. However, at the official level, the world would remain divided into societies willing to let women occupy their place and societies grinding their teeth against the fairer sex’s ascent.
Several factors contribute here but none come close to the influence enjoyed by religion. It’d be lazy to suggest that religion hinders women’s progress because religion as an entity doesn’t exist. Men do. This has been said before and should be said a million times again: Religious men impede women for their narrow, selfish reasons. Of course, this is the reality of 2017. Not very long ago, even scientists propagated theories that ensured women stayed at home. So much so, the oft-noted phrase ‘biological clock’ was coined by science-friendly folks under the garb of groundbreaking studies. If one pauses and peers in, the obvious conclusion is nobody likes competition. Something one can gauge from the systemic efforts undertaken by powerful men to keep womenfolk at bay.
In an egalitarian setting, people — irrespective of where they come from or where they intend to go — ought to be given a fair chance. That is, within the ambit of capitalism because economy doesn’t care which gender it is as long as the greens are rolling in. In related news, myopic sexism somehow creeps in and sucks the air out of the liberal room. One of the most common refrains being “Why do women have to pretend to be men to prove themselves?” or “Aren’t women naturally better than men?” and so on and so forth. Well, welcome to the 21st century. It’s a rat race whether the rats desire to win or not. Who are you to dictate terms for others?
Anyway, i digressed.
One of the main factors responsible for the cringeworthy status quo is the tolerance of violence by women. Not to put the blame on them as they are not at fault. After all, there are more than enough theories establishing women are no less violent than men. Violence is a humane thing, not a masculine patent. Nonetheless, in civil societies, violence plays a key role in determining who gets to hold the staff. Women are trained to be subdued. There’s a system in place if you care to notice. No, no, this is not a call for out-and-out violence but there is a need to check pacifism which is working against one’s interest. If misbehaving/misanthropic men genuinely believe that this world belongs to them, it’s a not-so-gentle reminder of bare facts; they built this world by taking up weapons and not by expecting others to be chivalrous. You can’t expect a wild creature to attune his intentions or atone for his actions. No matter how strong the law is (and we already know how strong laws are in our country).
Yes, expressions like ‘yass kween’ and ‘slay kween’ are endearing but in the offline world, things are much bleaker. No amount of listening to go-girl songs or goddess-mode shlokas would change the prevailing circumstances. Every time an attempt at rape is successfully averted by a woman’s quick thinking and physical reaction, it gives hope to thousands, if not millions, of women, who might know what to do in a similar situation. Going by the stats, more than 100 women are raped everyday in India. That’s not even counting the myriad other ways in which they are harassed in public as well as private spheres. What’s common to all these cases is the unabashed violence involved. Until the day we address it for what it is — a pure manifestation of physical domination by one gender over another—we won’t be able to move the needle towards a day we’ll see a drop in such occurrences. Violence has to be nullified with violence. Or else, we’ll continue marching on with our faux vigilante pickets that does nothing other than making us feel better about our passive selves.