I’am afraid to walk in the dark alone
i can’t wear the trendy clothes i own
I can’t work, i can’t party
i’am scared by my own shadow.
In my purse i now carry,
not glosses or makeup but pepper spray.
I’am a 21st century woman.
Every lonely road is my enemy,
every dark corner my foe,
all unknown men a threat;
but am i safe from the ones i know?
As a woman can i trust no one?
What will it be next?
A mother being raped by her own son?
Be it the lecherous stares in the daylight
the groping hands when i board a bus,
the wolf whistles as i walk on the road
the leery smiles when i stand,
the raucous laughter when i run.
Never seen a woman in your life?
Or are you men so governed by lust?
I now find it hard to trust a man
I hate my womanhood sometimes.
I’am disgusted,i’am ashamed
after all,these men too were born to women.
I’am terrified at the thought of being alone,
i can’t live life, i can’t be me,
and I am a 21st century woman.
A 21st Century Indian woman.
The heinous rape case of 16th December, 2012 sent shock waves of disgust, fear and horror across our nation. On 9th September, 2013 the courts finally convicted all four accused. The country still awaits their punishment.
Nine months for the implementation of justice. These nine months have served as a buffer, as a cushion that has absorbed the shock our society suffered. What happens now? The public consciousness is like a sleeping dragon. Poke it, it shall breathe fire, gently stroke it and it goes back to sleep. The initial wave of support and radical change vanishes with the passage of time. Why do we, as a society react only to a major catalyst? Do we need the death of an innocent to awaken our sleeping conscience? Can we not make an attempt to actually redeem our status us a woman loving nation?
As an educated woman I feel helpless. Join an NGO, protest, raise your voice, yes, but to what extent? Does that change the filthy mentality of a majority of Indian men? Does that empower a woman? No. It does not.
Lets talk about every day routine events. I have observed that when troubled, women are more comfortable in getting off a bus/metro rather than giving a piece of their minds to the man causing them discomfort. We are shy of creating a scene or drawing unwarranted attention to ourselves. Why? Because no matter how appropriately dressed we are, no matter how well behaved and demure we may be, we feel responsible for those lecherous hands and roving eyes.
I am not here to offer radical reforms. I am merely a blip in this ocean. But as an educated woman it rankles me that society attempts a change only when it is provided with a reason. The fact that this verdict will just end up being a headline and the topic of news shows for a couple of days is deeply disturbing.
Is being born a girl a crime?