For those of you who aren’t from where I belong, my country n in recent times, my state has been in the news for attack on women. Sexual attacks on women. Rape. I am a mother of a girl child and things like this shake me up very very badly. When things like this happen in places you are familiar with, you just look up and thank god that its not happened to people you know or love. Thats our problem too. We dont act up until it happens to one of us and from where I come from, even if things do happen to one of us, the ones close to us will just blame it on fate! Fate, my !@@$. So what do we do?
I dont want to start a post on going into the mind of a rapist. I am just going to say they dont have a mind even, forget heart. How can I make sure my girl grows up to be a strong, independent woman, capable of defending n protecting herself if n when the need arises. Asking her to cover herself fully isnt going to do the trick-WHAT IF HE IS LISTING LOOKING AT HER EYES? Asking her not to be smart and bold may not work either – WHAT IF HE IS LOOKING FOR A SOFTSPOKEN, GENTLE WOMAN AS HIS NEXT VICTIM? Asking her not to reveal her religious identity even may not come handy – WHAT IF HE IS AN AETHIST? I even thought of home schooling my daughter and never letting her out of my sight-but again, what if he is just around the corner, waiting to come into my house to hurt my child or the people I care about or myself!
A regional movie I happen to see recently had one dialogue in particular that made me think. It goes somethin on the lines of if you are a small girl and someone tells you that you are a nice, obedient, softspoken girl, dont pay heed to it. Do not grow up thinking that you are the above mentioned. Its a trap. It is told to you so that you convince yourself and grow up to actually be a poor, softspoken, naive girl who will never have the guts to stand up to an eve teaser, a letcher or an abuser. You will be that person who silently suffers all the abuse and torture met out to you and cry when nobody is watching. You will always be abused by one or the other and you will silently bear the brunt of it all. Thats the problem, isn’t it? Most of us keep quiet if a man intentionally touches us inside when we use public transport, if a man letches looking at us, we bear the abuse in a marriage all the while thinking that we are to blame. Why should we keep mum n suffer the pain n trauma.
Everytime you keep quiet, you are encouraging the abuser in him. He thinks that girls will silently take it all in, no matter how much damage he does n so he commits rape too. He starts with the ‘bad touch’ and slowly n stealthily moves to being a serial abuser n finally to rape. He kills the girls who fight back because he is only used to the girls silently taking the torture. So am going to bring up my girl by asking her to speak out. To speak out no matter who is listening and without thinkin what people will say. She will speak her mind and be gutsy. She will hit the man on his face if he misbehaves.She will stand up n shout if she needs to be heard but she will not surrender n sit silently. The next time someone says how naive and innocent she is, I’ll make sure they take back what they said.
Let us, mothers, help make a world safe for our girls. Lets make our daughters empower themselves. Lets make sure they trust us enough to speak to us about anything small or big n let’s ensure that they trust the power they hold.
Women of strength,
Lets know them
Lets raise them
Lets be them.
For you, my ami.