Someone says women shouldn’t wear skirts, another says woman at home and men at work was the right social order that shouldn’t have been disturbed. Another moron walks by and blames Biharis. It also causes Bihar Vs Delhi, Delhi Vs Bombay, North Vs South arguments. People ask to ban Honey Singh, Twitter is all agog. Facebook, more so. Fake pictures do the rounds, feminists rattle off, liberated men also do their bit of status updates, online petitions, and liking Facebook pages. The country takes to the streets. Some of them say they are there because Dabbang 2 was housefull second weekend in a row. Candles burn out.
Everyone knows what needs to change. Which is pretty much everything. Men, women, parents, brothers, neighbours, citizens, bus drivers, public transportation, everything. Just a month ago, you went on and on about a lot of what people see about India on TV isn’t really true. Then your foreigner friends share all the news of what is going on India on Facebook and you don’t have anything to say except to feebly agree that it was “truly horrendous”.
You spend days reading the news, you feel the kind of sadness that you’ve not felt in years. At some level, you thank God you got out of your days of mostly traveling alone, unraped. You worry for your sister because she lives in Delhi. You let yourself become a victim of all the cliches. Online outrage, stereotyping. Knowing at some level that most of it comes out of helplessness. What else can you possibly do?
I am probably being cynical when I say that nothing will change. Definitely not by stopping our daughters and sisters from living their lives and experiencing everything that life has to offer. There is so much that needs to change – sexual repression, education, the kind of respect for women that starts at home, one that is not just about not raping.
But this change will not happen overnight. I am not sure if it ever will. Until then, the only hope we have is to teach our daughters to be full of spirit, fiesty, and most importantly, smart. Women who can protect themselves. Or die trying. That seems to be the safest bet right now.
I am done.