It has been exactly 54 days since one of the Malayalam actresses was kidnapped and harassed by her driver and the gang. It did create an uproar both in social media and in daily lives. The culprit was arrested and the Police were in search of his mobile phone for video clip and call details.The police have been searching in the dark for quite a few weeks for the mobile phone and now, the case has reached nowhere. I am hoping that the culprits are punished and this case will not end up like the Soumya murder case and the Jisha murder case.
During the week when the incident had happened, there were a lot of discussions and debate happening online and offline. I remember during the Nirbhaya gang rape, victim shaming soared high and it was heartbreaking to see people known to me made jokes out of the incident, made misogynistic comments without any shame and blamed the girl for her misery.
But, things were different this time.
Yes, of course, there were people who wrote articles and opinions for their sadistic pleasure, but they were a minority this time. Ordinary people reacted in amazing ways that, finally, people understood what misogyny is. Earlier, the most difficult task for me was to make people understand what misogyny is.They never understood it.They blamed me that it was my problem because I see things through a feminist’s eyes.
I am not being blind-eyed to various other heinous incidents happening around us, especially the child molestation cases which are roaring high in Kerala.But, there is hope in front of me because
- The actress showed the courage to file a complaint.
- People were ready to accept that there have been misogyny in our daily conversations, the jokes we share, the movies we make and the way we were brought up.
- People are lashing out when they witness sexism around them.
- More cases are being filed recently and people are raising their voices against abuse.
Let’s talk further about sexism. Is raising our voice the solution? Will it beat sexism?Will it curb abuse? Will it help us in creating a generation which has a positive outlook on gender equality?
It starts young. It starts at home and school. It starts from that
Pre-school teacher who shouts,”Why can’t you give the toy to him?You are a girl.Don’t be so adamant”.(It gives a feeling to the girl that she doesn’t have the right to fight/argue.)
Custom of making a boy as captain/class leader and a girl as vice captain/assistant class leader irrespective of the leadership skills.(It gives a feeling to the boy that because of his gender, he can always enjoy certain positions even if he doesn’t possess the required skills.)
Grandparents/parents who tell that it’s good if the boy learns the driving and the girl learns cooking.(It gives a feeling to the kids that there are certain skills associated with the gender.)
Parents who tell their daughter that there is nothing wrong in giving up a fight/quarrel/game with her brother.(It gives a feeling to the boy that he is superior to girls and expects them to accept the defeat every time.)
Society which teaches that moral shaming is the easiest way to silence a girl.
Parents who lament that they don’t have a son to protect their daughters.(It gives a feeling to the boy that he is a protector or somebody who has more decisive power in the family.)
Teachers/parents who silence the girls when an abuse happens at school.(It gives a feeling to the boys that they can always escape after doing a mistake because girls will not complain.It is a big encouragement for the boys to repeat the abuse.)
Schools which run counseling sessions for girls and not for boys.(It gives a feeling to the girls that the harm is always on the girls irrespective of who did the mistake.It gives a feeling to the boys that they can do anything and it is the responsibility of the girls to take care of themselves.)
Society which conveniently defends saying boys will be boys. (It gives a feeling to the boys that their gender gives them certain privileges to do certain mistakes.)
Society which preaches that boys are the strongest of the genders.(Boys grow up with more confidence than the girls.)
This is not an exhaustive list and if we look deep, we will be able to find strong misogyny in the silliest matters we have been doing and talking in our lives.Now that people have been welcoming gender equality,let’s continue spreading the message of equality,let’s continue raising our voice against sexism and let’s continue the mission of creating a better society to live in.
We, the current generation parents, can bring a massive change in our society if we raise our kids right.I am hopeful about a brighter, happier and healthier generation which will appreciate and practice gender equality.I hope to see a day when feminism is not a bad word anymore.
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