Despite claiming to be in a modern, civilized world, one can find patriarchy in any nook and corner. Yet, many choose to stay oblivious to it or pretend it does not exist. We see too many women being treated as childbearing machines, sometimes even as property. It is depressing that such an ignorant and brutal mindset prevails, even preached by other women. Is it nature or nurture? Do some human beings have a radio in their head insisting men are the superior gender and women are mere cogs? I do not claim all men feel or behave so. Some men believe and fight for both equity and equality. But the fact is, an alarming number of men treat other genders with nothing short of contempt, mockery, and condescension. It is normal to hear, ‘you are behaving like a girl’ or ‘he is a guy, so it is okay.’ It is baffling that this behavior provides an ego boost. What one can or cannot do is not gender-determinant! A specific gender is not by default stupid, silly, dramatic, crazy, bossy, or possessive. We are different beings with our strengths and weaknesses, and none superior – Barrack Obama, Demi Lovato, Giorgio Armani, Elliot Page, Jessica Alba, you, and I. All alike yet different. None of us deserve to get subjected to discrimination.
There is a misconception about feminism. A word that sounds female-centric is anything but that. A feminist is an equalist – as simple as that. They fight for the equality of all, irrespective of sex, age, gender identity, nationality, caste, or creed. Do not attack feminism when a woman mistreats someone. Do not categorize an individual shitty behavior to the whole gender. And instead of defending their gender, men must analyze why women feel unsafe around them, empathize, and do their part to improve the situation. A handful of men fear being around women. Ask the women in your life; they feel safe only around a handful of men. That says a lot, and it is not irrational. Every woman I know has been subject to unprovoked sexual acts –a touch, words, look, and worse. So do not say, ‘but not all men are the same’ as a defense. Enough men do, for the rest to be accountable to a certain degree – do not indulge in sexist comments and stand up against bigots.
Something is deeply wrong with those who blame victims of rape – their clothes or places visited or being alone somewhere or similar things. It is casually said in the name of advice, proving that words like freedom, individuality, and consent belong only in the dictionary. Someone is quick to say, ‘even men get raped or sexually assaulted.’ Nobody denies that. The issue is the rape, not the gender of the victim or abuser. Everyone deserves justice when violated. Pretending or contending this is untrue is turning a blind eye. Those who provide supposed solutions (with an audacity) that women should stay home, be domesticated, get back home at an appropriate time, or dress up fully covered – such people are the infection in our society. Sexual exploitation knows no time, place, relationship, or age. Everyone deserves to be anything, anywhere, without having to worry about being violated. Creating a safe and happy world does not include issuing women a lifetime sentence.
Do not claim we have come a long way, and things are not as bad now. We have moved past some horrendous acts, but other despicableness has replaced them. Is it progress if a cannibal uses a fork? Humanity has been tainted by something so poisonous that even Lucifer cannot imagine it.
People who deny or disagree with this basic humanity should have an internal conversation about what went wrong in their lives to become so appalling and address this blind ridicule. Why can we not coexist as equals? Find peace within, and maybe then you will hope for peace to be endowed onto others. There is no world approach – it takes one person at a time for betterment. And those who do understand this, be proud of yourself. Walk ahead with self-confidence, unrestrained by clichés. Break free from the chains and constraints of society. I wish you safety and happiness!