Friday, January 28, 2011

On blaming the victims and feminism being an f word

Much has been said about these two fascinating phenomena and I am no closer to understanding either than I was a year ago. Lets start with the first-

We shifted to Dhaula Kuan recently and a lovely mother daughter couple made a house call to welcome us into the cold draughty fold of DK Is houses. They were both great fun to talk to and at one point, the ‘sation turned to the need for mace in these here parts. I made the appropriate gasping noises and asked why they said I should venture out only with a knife and a ready punch. The answer- recent rapes in the neighbourhood. The shocker- the lovely aunty wondering aloud “who asked that girl to come back late in a bus, usse call centre cab leni chahiye thi na”
I hate having to ask my guy friends to drop me home or having my parents waiting anxiously outside till I meet them; I hate having to live in fear and inconveniencing people because the men in this city are depraved and under policed. And I know that if I step out of these boundaries, the way I’d like to, I’ll be blamed if I am raped.
How is it that a woman who is brutalized is blamed for taking a bus instead of a cab? THAT is what you have to say to the RAPE of a young, innocent woman? That is the first thing that comes to your head? Not that that man was crazy and sick, but that this woman shouldn’t have tried to use a cheap and environmentally friendly means of mass transport to get home? Look at me, trying to glorify her choice. She could’ve been a hooker, high on cocaine, and even then, the first thing that ought to have been said was that that man was off his mind, not that this woman was asking for it.

This city, this country, we’re all crazy for letting this attitude prevail.

And what is with educated, privileged, low cut blouse wearing women trying their best to distance themselves from feminism? Yes, there are crazy feminists, yes I used to hate pink, yes some of us hate men, yes some of us are off our rockers. But this is an inclusive, vague, massively varied movement. You get to decide what feminism means for you. You get to make it sane, you get to make it inclusive and non prescriptive. Be a part of the movement that has given you the options you cherish and wouldn’t dream of living without. Stop free loading.

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