Gender-based violence isn’t a big deal. Sexism is prevalent; girls are the root of all evil. It is scientifically proven that coronavirus is God’s way of cursing humankind, because girls wear shirts and jeans these days. They need to be brought to the path of modesty, by any means possible. Doesn’t matter if a man’s own modesty is lost in the process and he descends to the vilest forms of bestiality. Let’s all unanimously point our fingers at what a girl wears, where she goes, whom she goes with, how long she’s out. Feminism is bullshit.
I’m about to spit some facts that might burn your skin right now, so turn away if your pansy self can’t take it.
When I was a young girl, I was dressed up like a boy when we visited a lot of places. Sure, there are one or two pictures of me in a saree clumsily trying to totter with my little feet, but too less to count. And once I grew up and my dad realised it is actually a daughter and not a son, he basically didn’t know how to deal with me anymore. I had puberty like any normal girl—blossoming chest, monthly menses, and addiction to love stories of knights in shining armours. When I accidentally stained the sheets, his awkwardness was otherworldly, and I had to apologise, saying it’ll never happen again. We floated farther apart emotionally. I was not daddy’s little darling anymore; rather an adolescent girl—obnoxious and disgusting. How dare I be attracted to boys?
So it didn’t come as a surprise when they caught me dating and beat the lights out of me. I was more confused than hurt. Aren’t girls supposed to like boys? Aren’t I supposed to want some cheesy romance?
Good girls don’t date.
But good boys do? What about the girls that they date? It is almost never the boy’s fault. She charmed him. She bewitched him with her wiles and curves and coos. And boys will be boys. They can get naughty sometimes, but how dare a girl give in?
It doesn’t matter which financial status a girl comes from—spoilt rich or miserably destitute. They’re preyed upon, in the majority of cases, by men. And yet, somehow I manage to piss off some of you when I say, “Yes, all men.” By that, I don’t mean literally all men, but enough men for women to be repelled, afraid, traumatised, caged. The chances of dying because Zeus threw a lightning bolt at you is 1 in 161,856. And approximately 15 million adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19) worldwide have experienced forced sex at some point in their life. The rape statistics are skyrocketing. There are thirteen rape cases on average every day in Bangladesh and the real number is far higher. But being afraid of a lightning strike is a more valid fear than being afraid of men.
Girls in western clothes get sexually abused and so do burqa-clad women. Girls roaming outside are violated as are girls in the “safety” of their homes. Strangers or rejected lovers are nabbing women and assaulting them, as are boyfriends and uncles. Women are raped in schools, colleges, buses, streets, bushes, and even their home. Where is the line? I demand an answer to this question: where is the line? Tell me a place I can stay and feel safe from prying eyes and filthy paws. Tell me which clothes to wear and how to cover my body so that a gang of rowdy boys won’t ambush me and feel me up.
Even after all this, the mass simply refuses the simple truth even if I spoon-feed them. It’s not about the clothes or the shady location or the companion. It never was. Rapes only and only happen because rapists choose to rape. Their fantasy isn’t to fulfill their sexual desire only. It’s to fulfill it by forcing it on someone else. Consent isn’t sexy. However, moaning “No, don’t do it” is guaranteed to turn them on.
All these incidents you hear about—you might think that women can’t fight back or they’re too weak to defend themselves. You might find it pathetic the way they keep beseeching their perpetrators to please, for God’s sake, let them go. Let me debunk that part for you, okay?
When a stranger suddenly touches you inappropriately and/or gropes your private parts, you, whether you are a man or a woman, will be paralysed. At that moment of humiliation, you simply do not know what to do. All the self-defense moves you learnt from the internet, all the pushups you did, the tough pretence you put up all the time. Every bit of it disappears. Your brain sounds a panic alarm and you feel like blacking out. It’s not happening to me. It’s not happening to me. Why is this happening to me? What do I do? And this is in a country where most people don’t know the most basic self-defense skills.
And the worst part is, when it’s over—if it’s ever over—that state of paralysis you were in, haunts you forever. You trudge painfully through every single day knowing you were not strong when you should’ve been, you had beastly hands glide over the very skin you cannot peel off.
That trauma entangles itself in every fibre of the being. It doesn’t matter if a guy is sweeter than anyone you’ve ever come across. You simply can’t feel safe around him anymore. You can’t expect him not to grope you.
This is far worse in the poorer communities. Almost every woman in the slums has been raped, be it by a random man or her own husband. But no matter how petrifying it is, she doesn’t find it abnormal. Why? Because she has seen her mother, her sister, her aunt go through the same thing, and they also told her that boys will be boys. She imparts the same lesson to her daughter, her niece, her cousin. “If a man forces himself on you, don’t whine. Just submit and wait for it to be over.”
Women are expected to seek their safety and shelter in the company of the male breadwinner—her father or brother or husband. But what does she do if they’re sexual predators as well?
When a woman gets preyed on, who can she turn to? Her husband, who might be considerate for a couple of weeks and then get annoyed because she’s too traumatised to have sex again? Her parents, who will blame the entire matter on her? The law, which has more loopholes than I have sweat pores? The entire darned society which desperately refuses to acknowledge the simplest fact that it was, under no circumstances, her fault. Because if they did, their whole ultra-misogynistic lifestyle will fall apart.
What literally makes me laugh are the women themselves who show the middle finger at feminism. Congratulations, you have unlocked the super-secret achievement to be picked by the most depraved of men. Hooray, girl!
Society, you have triggered women to suffer from panic attacks, anxiety, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), phobias, insecurity, and endless mental health issues.
The writer, a cynic, is a part of TDA Editorial Team.