April 18, 2012 § 5 Comments
Read IIT Madras’ new safety plan. This adds to what has been happening in the country- various authorities suggesting that the only to ensure safety of women is to lock them up.
As a guy this offends me. Because my mother taught me to respect women. My school taught me to see girls as my equal. The measures suggest that as an individual I have no self-control. That I cannot but be a pervert. That I cannot respect another individual’s rights. That I have no propriety. That I am a camel, waiting to be let loose on the streets. It puts me on par with rapists. It equates my morality with people of baser stuff. It says that I cannot be trusted to let people walk on streets without molesting them. It suggests that people should hide from me, should run away because I could molest them, I could rape them and no one can do anything about it but run away.
I grew up among a lot of strong women- aunts, grand mothers, great grandmothers even- all strong in their own respect. I know women who are strong, who have borne the brunt of a prosaic, imposing and inhibiting culture and yet are successful today. These rules disregard years of struggle which they have gone through to seek nothing more than to claim what is their natural right(and the letters of law.) It undermines and seeks to impose a morality of an earlier time. It seeks to undo the work of those social reformers and their work. It also equates men to monsters, not deserving rights and responsibilities.
And to even suggest, my sister cannot walk on the roads, in her own neighbourhood, in her own city, in her own country because apparently men can’t think of anything else but rape, is shocking. While parents telling a girl to stay at home at least has some grounds, organizations and governments which are responsible for making this world a better place adopting such a stance, is demeaning not only the law but also to us as humans. It tries to validate an act, which shows not just the person but the society as something without respect, as a jungle without law.
This is not just about empowering women but emancipating our society from the thought that men are rapists. But by imposing dubious rules, we are in effect against a civilized society. The institutions which impose these rules, show a lack of backbone. They are trying to validate a stand that men are rapists.
All of us are not rapists. Stop making us feel like monsters. How about locking up those who men who give us a bad name? How about teaching them to respect women?
I feel offended. Yes, this might not be about me, but it affects me. Because you are calling me a potential rapist.