Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No Country For Women

After reading and listening to umpteen incidences of rape and sexual abuse, the mothers were angry, scared, disappointed, and felt hopeless.

The feminist told her daughter to be fearless and live the way she wants. She taught her self defence and encouraged her to wear whatever she wanted, go wherever she pleased. She wanted her to be the way she was - outgoing, extrovert, bubbly, trusting - she wanted her to party if she wished, stay late if she wanted... basically live her life on her own terms. She taught her to question and stand up for what is right. She instilled her to believe in herself and never let anyone put her down. She wanted her daughter to stand out from the crowd, to reach her true potential - uninhibited and strong. Knowingly, she gave her wings. She did everything that she thought was best for her.

The realist taught her daughter to be aloof and reserved. She turned her into an introvert, distrusting of strangers and relatives, of everyone and everything. She encouraged her to not meddle in other's affairs. She made her see the reality of the world and forced her to dress in a certain way, not stay out late, and always come home before sunset. She instilled in her a fear of authority, of going against the system. She taught her to go with the flow, to accept wordlessly the injustices of the society and adjust accordingly. She wanted her daughter to be just another face in the crowd, undetected and unremarkable. Unknowingly, she clipped her wings. She did everything she thought was best for her.

A decade passed... shrouded in a veil of fear.

One day both the daughters came home... their bodies battered and bruised, their clothes tattered, their souls shattered.

The feminist's daughter had been gang-raped while trying to stand up for what she believed to be right. Her self defence training was no match for the horde of crazed maniacal males who attacked her and ripped apart her dignity, thread by thread.

The realist's daughter was raped while she was walking back from school where she was a teacher. The afternoon sun, her shy nature, her Salwar-Kameez, her dupatta covered head bent low... nothing deterred the crazed maniacal males who forced her into a moving van and proceeded to break her, piece by piece.

The feminist and the realist sat down with their respective heads in their hands....where did they go wrong?

P.S. : I use the term 'realist' very loosely... for a lack of better term. If you would like to offer a substitute, please go ahead and mention it in the comments.

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