The Pink Tinge of Hope

I am a 20-year old girl. I wear whatever I want to, whatever I am comfortable in. I am not against the idea of drinking. Staying out of home beyond 7 pm doesn’t scare me. I am not at all opposed to the idea of pre-marital sex. I am one of those women who pick careers over kids and I can assure you I won’t feel even a tiny sliver of remorse or regret when I do.

Does this mean I have no character or am I in any way asking to be sexually assaulted?

No.

Nor were the thousands of women who were in fact assaulted. Nor were Meenal, Falak or Andrea.

 

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Source: Wikipedia

Pink is a story of three working girls in Delhi who go to a rock concert and end up with a court case. An action taken in self-defence is considered as assault while actual assault is not and the whole case against them is on the fact that these girls drink, party and have sexual relations ie they are not ‘decent’. Retired lawyer Deepak Sehgal steps back into the court to fight this case by waging a war against sexism.

I spent the first half of the movie crying. The incident happens. Meenal bashes Rajveer’s head with a glass bottle as he repeatedly tries to sexually assault her. The three girls, terrified of legal action, run away from the scene. Rajveer along with some dear friends insists on an apology and on being refused, starts to harass them. Anonymous phonecalls, threatening messages, kidnapping and molestation- all of this without any guilt. In fact they consider it their right to instil fear into the three women who dared to fight back.

Meenal, Falak and Andrea are strong independent women who earn for themselves and are generally okay with living away from home. They are fearless in their own way until they aren’t. This kind of harassment and mental torture can break apart the strongest person. It’s terrifying to see the women you hope to become so helpless in the face of such an adverse situation.

It’s terrifying that they received minimal support from the police who nicely pointed out that they shouldn’t have ventured outdoors after dark in the same place.

It’s terrifying how even their parents, close friends, boyfriends and neighbours chose to believe that the three of them were prostitutes over the fact that they were victims/survivors of assault.

It’s terrifying how Rajveer’s lawyer felt okay to wash all their dirty laundry in court without any warning.

It’s terrifying how helpless they were despite being strong and independent.

The thing that terrifies me the most though is the fact that it could be me. I could be the one asked if I had taken any money for the sex. I could be the one whose character would be written off as indecent due to the fact that I wear jeans or the fact I venture out when it gets dark or even because I hug my guy friends. It could be my neighbours talking about how I had it coming. I am actually terrified of my family not supporting me although they are pretty modern and all for equal rights.

It could be me. It could be my sister, my mother, my little cousin, my grandmother, my bestfriend-it literally could be anyone and the society will point fingers at the girl’s morality over the guy’s inability to control his id impulses.

If that is not crazy, I don’t know what is.

And the preparation for this kind of shaming begins even before any kind of assault. It feels like people wait with bated breaths for something untoward to happen to the girl wearing a crop top or shorts. Sometimes not even that; sometimes the mere fact of her being female is enough as a source of shame.

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I shared this post on my facebook timeline yesterday.

Hey, if people can make fashion trends shameful, then why the hell not everything else? I mean, it is a choker. It is slutty. Wearing a certain kind of necklace can lead girls to being judged, mocked and branded as hos.

Numero uno

What in the world is wrong with being a sex worker? I mean, it’s easier to forgive someone for being a thief, a murder or a rapist (Yes, Brock. I’m looking at you) than for using your own body to earn an income?

But here’s a thought. Don’t we use our bodies for any damn profession?

Numero dos

Can’t we be allowed to enjoy any thing without being judged for it?

This whole system is frustrating and almost hopeless. Almost. What gives me hope? This-

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There were so many girls in my friend-list who did not hesitate in calling out this stupid attempt to belittle women for following a harmless trend.

Deepak Sehgal, the lawyer from Pink so beautifully defended Meenal in the trial. He managed to kick sexism in the nuts this one time. It was so satisfying.

So long as there are people who are unafraid to call bullshit just that, there is yet hope that the society’s mindset will eventually change. We have come this far; we can go further still.

 

 

 

A Love Letter to Myself

Dearest Mia,
I am writing this letter to you, love, so that we remember. The past one year has not been kind to us. Why, you demand. Because we stopped being kind to ourselves. Something shattered and the shards remained buried deep within us; corrupting us, killing us.

We have been so sad. Medication barely helped. After a point, it was easier to give in than to fight. But, remember this, remember this always, depression is not your friend. Depression is a vile, beautiful woman than seduces you into her smothering embrace. She manages to be both the most wonderful and the most horrible thing to happen to you. Wonderful because she persuades you to stop trying, to give into the pain. Her embrace is so easy to get lost into and who doesn’t like easy?

But easy and good are not the same and we failed to understand that.

Depression makes you hate. It makes you hurt; it makes you want to hurt others. It is manipulative and masochistic. You take a knife and cut yourself believing that you are doing yourself and the world a favour. That’s depression.

But, love, you are not doing anyone a favour. You are giving in to hatred and when hating others stops being enough, you turn to yourself. You turn on yourself.

We know each other the best, don’t we? We know where it hurts the most. We know what hurts the most. And we attack relentlessly. The worst part is that we believe that we deserve this cruelty.

Love, I want you to remember that you are human and you are one of the good ones. People love you because of the bits they get to see. We see the entire, completed puzzle and yet we don’t love ourselves.

It’s high time we learn how. I am trying to learn how, you should too.

We have to remember to be kind to ourselves. Kiss that smooth palm, caress that soft cheek, indulge, be affectionate. Forgive.

We must learn to look into the mirror without feeling the bile rise.

We have to stop apologising for looking ugly when we don’t and when we do. There is a certain beauty in ugly that we should learn to notice.

We have to stop apologising for wanting, for needing, for craving.

We must stop apologising for existing.

You, darling, are not a waste of space. If you can convince so many others, why can’t you fucking convince yourself?

You are not the evil incarnate. I’m sure being the evil incarnate takes a lot more than mere jealousy.

Remember, you are worthy of kindness, of compassion, of concern and care. You are worthy of love. You won’t destroy every heart you touch. You won’t hurt every person you talk to. Good things can come out of being associated with you. And your mother sure as hell doesn’t wish you were never born. Even if you do, at times.

Believe me. You are worthy of love, of friendship, of puppies, of birthdays, of a kind smile, of miracles, of luck and of life. You are worthy.

Please believe me.

Love,
Mia.

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