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.

 

 

 

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I love being a woman

I really love being a woman. Yeah, now I can be considered a ‘woman’ and not a ‘girl’. Well, I have turned 18 ie achieved physical maturity. The mental or psychological maturity? I’m getting there.

But, my point is that I love being a part of the female half of the human species.

Why is that such a big deal?

Because I’m from a country like India which has for most part a misogynistic society. You’ll know if you have seen the BBC Four documentary on the Nirbhaya Rape Case. If literate men  proclaim that women are inferior to them, what should we expect from the other 36% of the of the population?

I am not in a position to crib though. I was lucky enough to be born in a family that actually wanted a girl child. I was fortunate to not be one of the millions of souls silenced even before they could enter this world. Nor am I denied the basic human rights and freedoms I deserve because my worth is not chained to household work and childbearing.

Don’t get me wrong. Homemakers are superwomen too. But not working should be their own choice and every woman and man should get educated. After all “One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen, can change the world.” (Malala Yousafzai).

The crimes against women are rampant in India. Not a day goes by without reading of a girl/woman being raped or attacked. And there is variety in ways they are attacked. There is the use of acids or the use of brute force. Words are used sometimes- cruel words that savagely kills the light in her eyes, the spring in her step and all the self-esteem she has.

These are just the extreme cases. Sexism is obvious in even the most normal matters of the everyday life.

Gender role conditioning begins right at birth. Girls get pink. Boys get blue.

What if the girl grows up to love blue and the boy grows up to love pink? Is there something wrong with that?

Then they grow up a bit and are given toys to play with. The girl is given dolls and kitchen sets while the boy is given cars and action figures.

What if he grows up to be a chef and she becomes an auto-mechanic? Nothing’s wrong with that.

Then comes teenage and oh God, it is one of the worst period to be a girl. There’s periods which is just plain horrible.

Then there’s the whole boobation thing. It’s awkward.

Finally, there’s the whole behavior thing. Sit in a proper way, behave like a girl, be docile and blah blah blah. I really don’t get why I cannot sit with my feet propped up against a wall in my very own home. And why are we even stereotyping girls by deciding parameters according to which they are supposed to act?

Another thing I really hate is that girls are expected to cook. Whenever I enter the kitchen, my family starts acting as if I just got my first period. Every potato I cut or every slice of bread that I butter is revered. That’s the height of my cooking expertise. I did make brownies once but my friend mostly did all the work. I hate cooking. I just do, there’s no explanation as to why. But I am expected to cook. That’s what sells in the marriage market. A girl who cooks.

There is sexism at work. There is sexism at home. There is sexism in school. There is sexism at travel. There is sexism everywhere.

Inspite of this, I love being a woman.

Women are just so awesome. They are beautiful in their resilience, their wisdom and their love. I personally believe that a woman can love in a way that is truly infinite. They can forgive and they can heal. They can also mess up your life big time if you get in their bad books. Just sayin’

I have been surrounded by so many amazing women all my life. Right from my mum, to my grandmum, my aunts, teachers, friends, my lil diva of a sister-everyone.

There is a beauty in the silent strength that they have displayed time and again. There is a beauty in every outburst that is hurled at you with a hurricane-like fury. There is a beauty in every tear that makes its way down her soft cheek and adds salinity to her sucrée lips.

A woman can be delicate sunshine or the wrath of the storm. She can be the loving touch of a mother or she can be the embodiment of Goddess Kali.

We worship so many Goddesses. Kali, Parvati, Saraswati, Lakshmi and millions of others. Kali is the goddess of Power. Parvati is the goddess of love. Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and learning. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. All these qualities are found in women.

So yeah, you dudes who think women are inferior to y’all, you couldn’t be any more wrong. Women are goddesses.

 

I love being a woman because my smile is as powerful as my hugs which are in turn as powerful as the sharp wit of my tongue.

I love being a woman because I have a greater choice in the type of clothes I can wear.

I love being a woman because I am soft and cuddly.

I love being a woman because I can bleed for a week and stay alive (credits -Utsavi)

I love being a women because I can cook and be a terrific mum.

I love being a woman because empathy comes naturally to me.

I love being a woman because I can touch unicorns.

I love being a woman because I can have sparkly nails.

I love being a woman because I am awesome.

I love being a woman because I come in all shapes and sizes.

I love being a woman because I come in many colors-all gorgeous.

I love being a woman because another person lives inside of me for nine whole months.

I love being a woman because I can eat an entire carton of chocolate chip ice cream all by myself.

I love being a woman because I cry, freely.

I love being a woman because I have awesome hair, be it straight or be it curly.

I love being a woman.

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