Any woman living in the 21st century India can answer these questions.
How disgusting does it feel when she catches a driver staring at her breasts in the rearview mirror?
How filthy does it make her feel when a driver adjusts his mirrors with the deliberate intent to catch an intimate sight of her?
How obnoxious is it when he trash talks with her?
Every now and then, a news headline pops up; about how a cab driver has either molested, raped or kidnapped a woman. When I read these horror stories, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and my stomach clenches in that all-too-familiar manner. A chill passes down my spine. I can’t help but play out all these terrifying situations that could actually happen to me, in my head.
I ask myself the same questions…
Fear is an emotion we females have to live with all day, all night. We’re alarmed and conscious all the time. We fear walking down the streets of our own cities because someone could pass lewd comments or grab our ass. We fear traveling alone because there is always a chance of getting molested or harassed.
All this makes me question; what kind of culture are we trying to promote?
The apparent irony is that we are all very well aware of the possible realities, yet we close our eyes, sit back and wait for something frantic and substantial to happen and shake us awake. Then we’ll carry out candle marches and protest rallies with all kinds of slogans. We take to social media to curse the existing system.
Why can’t we change our outlook before we enter the blame game?
Is the wavering testosterone levels of our community members – so vulnerable that it can be triggered by a single peak of cleavage?
Will Durant once contemplated, “When liberty becomes license, dictatorship is near!” and the “now” society is giving us hints that this contemplation is fast becoming our reality.
The situations are becoming alarming. Now is the time. Before placing the onus on anyone else, consider your own actions and reactions.
We need to understand that manhood is not a license and curves aren’t an excuse. We need to acknowledge bodily integrity and show zero tolerance to any irresponsible or absurd behavior.
To love, peace and respect!