Who are we fooling?

It is sad, isn’t it, how we (by *we* I speak for us women) allow certain things to become a part of our life no matter how disgusting it is? Why do we do this? Why do we allow it to happen? Because from very early on we are made to believe, like gospel, that they are bound to be there and it’s in our hands to keep ourselves away from those things. We and solely we are responsible for ourselves. Those things aren’t in the wrong place. They are bound to be there you see! It’s us who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. And if something untoward is to happens to us, we have noone but ourselves to blame. Because they are bound to be there, you see! So we aren’t supposed to bring ourselves to a situation where they would just get attracted like ants would to sugar!

And time and again we are told this. Blamed for this. So we just ignore and move on and thereby allow those sickening behaviors to move along with us too.

Grope, molest, abuse..these are terms we have grown up listening to, and experiencing even. I think we’d be lying if we say that none of us have gone through it at some point in our lives. We have. Sometimes subtly and a lot of times in a pretty obvious and crude manner.

I have been reading on social media platforms lot of stories of abuse and molesting from fellow women. A lot of them have poured out in angst, many of them recounting their own brush with sexual harassment. Believe me, they brought some gory memories of my own rolling back.

I was 12 or 13 when this fellow, with a big shawl draped around him, walked towards me every morning on my way to school, and flashed at me every time we crossed paths! I was in my school uniform, and not some highly revealing clothes for that sicko to behave in such a manner. I hadn’t asked for it in any way. He had flashed, repeatedly at that for days, out of his own dirty will.

On another occassion, while walking to a friend’s place, a biker zoomed past me squeezing my breast! All I could manage to let out was a screech which I am pretty sure he didnt even care to hear.

Then there was a man, who kept groping me from behind my seat in a bus. I couldn’t raise an alarm because I wasn’t courageous enough. I kept kicking him with my elbow till the time I heard a yelp out of him. I had hurt him back.

Then, once a neighbour, in his 60s, came over to my house at a time when he was fully aware that my parents weren’t home and started giving me sex education!

Another time, on my way back from work, a man kept touching himself while looking at me in a DTC bus. I felt naked and utterly disgusted to say the least!

I’ve lost count of the number of times a hand out of nowhere has brushed against my body in the most inappropriate manner. Now before anyone comes in defense saying it could be unintentional, let me tell you that we women know the difference. We do! So lets cut it out.

Much worse than any of the above incidents is one that stands out in my memory much as I have tried to erase it..

I had my first brush with abuse when I was 5. I have never shared it here. I think now is an apt time to do so. An uncle of mine, who used to stay with us, used to sexually abuse me in the most unassuming manner. Now I say unassuming because I never realized that I was being abused. I don’t even remember resisting or fighting. I was under some kind of spell where I didn’t know what was happening. Hell, I was 5, how was I to know!

Back then sadly, small kids weren’t ever educated about good touch & bad touch, so it never really struck my parents to tell me about it either. Moreover they obviously didn’t know that their trust was being crushed by this man they considered family. And it wasn’t such a common topic to talk at home either. Let’s face it..it was still taboo to talk about your private parts and stuff out in the open.

Anyway over the years I built a wall to put a cover to the gory episode. Fortunately or unfortunately I learned to push it to the back of my mind. Never completely erase it but. It took me years to break that wall and confide in my husband and parents.

When I became a parent and sensed that this man and so many like him could potentially sneak his dirty hands into my daughter’s space as well, I vowed never to let her make this mindset a part of her life.

Now all these incidents and more make me reiterate to myself and realize how rampant it is.

Yet we have come to treat it all as part of our lives because we are told or made to believe that ‘not all men’ are like this, so we better not make a big deal out of it, right? We are muzzled again. And again.

Fact is that there are scores n scores of men out there with their lascivious intentions in every nook and corner, in every walk of a girl’s life to make her cringe, disgust her, scar her, affect her far more than we’d like to believe. So let’s not fool ourselves and brush this fact under a convenient rug and say #notallmen are like that.

Maybe not all men. But all women go/have gone through abuse, molesting, groping in some form or the other. It’s high time we stopped treating this as “part of our lives”

The sooner we realize this the better for us and our children.

I am an idiot to have hoped for a safer tomorrow…

I have given up. I do not have any hope  to see a safer world around. Not even a sliver of hope left now for the humankind. I am an idiot to have believed that the promises made to respect and be more sensitive towards women and children were genuine. They were all false promises, we didnt mean a thing we promised.

I feel duped by those petitions I signed to bring about more stringent law and order, to bring about fairer and faster justice. I realize now that those petitions were nothing but an eyewash. Our governing authorities never had any intention to acknowledge our petitions or pleas in the first place, much less read them!

I feel guilty when I watch my 6 year old excitedly run around with her friends, roam around the locality with her trust in people, in the world around her intact..I feel guilty because that is when I realize there is a 5 year old girl, some miles away, battling for her life with her trust in the whole mankind completely shaken and battered. And right then I feel blessed to have my child cocooned well in my care right beside me, away from such brutal surrounding. Gosh, what a terrible feeling, so mixed with blessing and guilt!

We are living in a sick, pathetic world that is beyond repair. Where are we headed? Arent we abusing our own conscience by resorting to such uncouth, immoral methods. I say ‘we’ because the man who tortured the little girl, has the same standing in my eyes as the man-in-uniform who offered to bribe the girl’s father to hush up case, as the man who slapped one of the protesters. And they all live in the same society, as one amongst us.

And we…we remain where we are, mum as spectators letting those savages breed in our community, letting them invade our girls, our children. So we arent any different, are we? We are just as devoid of our conscience as those barbarians.

Frankly I have stopped watching news for any update on the little girl. I hope and pray she recovers soon- her body, mind and soul. And she never ever has to go through what she has again. Hope no girl does.

However I would really really want the media and the ‘leaders running our country’ to shift the focus on the abuser(s) and give us a close up shot of the person(s). I want to see all those perpetrator’s faces on the screen and feel the rage boil inside me even stronger.

I dont know if the law permits to show the criminal’s face out in the open for everyone to see. Frankly I dont care if it permits or not. What I do care about is the look of fear of punishment- death or castration- on his face. That is the look I care to see.

Is it possible for the media or the authorities to pull that cover off his face and show him to us?

I didnt think so..

I have never felt so dejected..

Smart ways to make our kids aware!

This is such a fantastic way to educate our children about the good touch and bad touch. I wish not just parents, but every school, every teacher were to ensure of ways to make their pupils aware of this very serious issue and encourage them to speak up and raise an alarm. This so CANNOT be brushed aside.



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