Happy women’s day ladies! Here’s to celebrating one day the world has assigned to respect and empower women; celebrate it now, because it’s doubtful you’ll get to do it in the years to come. Let alone celebrate, be thankful if at least you get some peace of mind this day just because it’s women’s day! Newspapers filled with news of sexual assaults, television coverages of irrational moral policing, trending YouTube videos with sexist and dirty comments you’d never wish upon any woman, television channels with a stream of MCP movies on loop, objectified women, what else do you need for a perfect women’s day? Yes, a very happy women’s day people. Everytime I fix my mind on writing a positive blog post, I just can’t. Such are the incidents I’ve come across in the past few days.
Just today, there was this news on TV… about moral policing. Everything is tolerable only up to a saturation point, until it crosses the limit. Right on women’s day, some so-called supporters of Shiv Sena showed some real support for women! Please sirs, don’t empower us so much, we’re honored, really. They lashed and showered canes on every boy and girl standing together at Marine Drive, suggesting it is immoral and against Indian Culture. I was shocked to hear that in a highly modern and metropolitan city like Cochin, such an irrational act took place, right in front of the police, and what did they do? Turned a deaf ear and a blind eye. No, no, not a blind eye. In fact, they were the closest possible spectators, audiences of the show. Is this how you protect and empower women? By curbing their rights and freedom, by putting meaningless restrictions on them? The vigilantes said they’d put an end to “Romance under the Umbrella”. First of all, who are you and why are you interfering with people’s personal matters? Anybody loving or not loving shouldn’t be an issue to you as long as it doesn’t affect you. Love is a wonderful feeling and people express it in small ways when they need to, be it in a public place. Why should it concern you as long as it isn’t unlawful? These vigilantes, they say these are things against Indian Culture, things influenced by the West. Really? You didn’t have problems accepting so many habits of the west, but not this one. Why? Don’t tell me each one of you uses an Indian style toilet. Why don’t you spend your energy and time on bringing justice and happiness to women’s lives instead of behave like real MCPs. Because you know what? Nobody gives a damn about you. Everybody will die one day, you too. Use your time for brightening up people’s lives.
Just two days back, I saw a youtube video of a very famous Malayali female anchor and compere. Just to know the people’s opinion of the issue at hand, I scrolled down to the comments section. There was this one guy saying “You all know, she is a bitch!”. There were others dirtier and nastier than that, ones I don’t think are fit to mention here. This is not the first instance she’s been abused and called names for being broadminded and for speaking her mind out. People have judged her by her accent and the clothes she wears. What’s wrong in wearing what one likes? Why should anyone be criticised for their natural accent or the one they prefer to use? And trolling them with such dirty comments! You wouldn’t like it if someone did that to your daughter, would you? Respect her choices, accept that every person has a different life and hence, different opinions.
It’s like people are asking, what happened now Kerala? Did your literacy rates not help in stopping any of these? Everyday the newspaper articles like the Yazidi girl escaping ISIS and famous women are overshadowed and outnumbered by the number of sexual assault reports. It is such a shame that a state with such educated people, a state with a strong police force is in the light for all the wrong reasons. In fact, the capital, Trivandrum accounts for the largest number of crimes against women in Kerala. But I’m not here to blame any political party for it. They can only handle the aftermath. When people themselves have narrow-minded and hypocritic misogynist mentalities, nothing much can be done by the administrators alone.
There was a trending youtube video just one or two days back. The video is actually a small part cut from another social experiment video in which a girl asks random pedestrians about where she could get a condom. A channel (very ironically) called Apna India (a very bad bad bad channel indeed) re-uploaded the small part with a title refering to the girl as a shameless one. And boy, do I even need to tell you about the majority of the comments under the video?! It is to eradicate such taboos that social experiment videos are made, but people have learnt to take it in a completely different sense.
Today, on women’s day, the television channels were filled with many misogynist movies, in which the lead male character tells the female character how women should or should not be, how they’re supposed to be one step behind men, how thye shouldn’t wear this or that and how at last, the female character becomes a good desirable woman. Oh, how can I forget, there was this very famous Malayalam movie by a very famous director with a dialogue that goes: “After a specific age, women should be careful about their dressing. Otherwise men will get provoked. It is when they get provoked that rapes and sexual assaults happen”. Wow, cheers to that! Please see that he was saying that to a fully and decently clothed girl. A very MCP movie, really.
I can go on and on about the many more incidents of this same week, but I don’t want to drag this post any longer. Yes, there were videos and programmes about women empowerment, but most of them did not reach the actual target audiences. What reached them were these misogynist and meaningless, good-for-nothing programmes. Nevermind.
We keep saying about women empowerment, we keep making associations and organizations for that. But how much is really seeping through? Please don’t wish us a hollow “happy women’s day”. We won’t say make it happy for us; because, we know how to make it happy for ourselves. Just try not to put your heads into it and ruin the happiness.
Happy….. No. For now,…. Women’s Day ladies.