A Girl Can Do Anything

I watched the BBC documentary, and now I put into words what I am feeling, what I’ve felt in the past when I read about another attack on a woman in the newspaper.

I’m scared. And I’m angry. But more than that, I am worried about myself, my safety and those of every woman living here in India.

Dear Government,

I don’t know how to say this without angering you, without getting scared that someone will come to my house and rape me or do something to my family members, and isn’t that enough said about the country you run?

An eighteen year old educated woman is afraid to talk about what she feels.

It’s not the first time someone has been raped. It is not even the very first crime on women. But this case, Nirbhaya’s, I’m sorry, Jyothi Singh’s case has managed to do what scores of other rape cases and attacks against women couldn’t.

It terrified all the women.

Please, please tell me it is safe, very safe for me to go out of my house after 6.30, 7.30 or 8.30 with my assorted mix of family members. Tell me I’m a flower, who needs to be protected from the thorn that is a man. Tell me I am not one of those 20% of women who are good because they stay within the confines of their house. Do light me on fire when I have pre-marital relations at your farmhouse.

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Tell me it is my fault when I get raped, why don’t you?

How are we a developing country when the leaders we elected decide what a certain gender can wear, what time they can go out and who they can be with?  When did it become more important to ban stuff rather than solving or hell, stopping the millions of rape cases over the years?

Is my safety; is the slaughter of a woman, of her mental and physical strength not equal to the slaughter of an animal? How then, are we supposed to trust you? You promise, you will make this a safer place for me to live in, but I am scared to go out, what if someone decides they want to teach me a lesson? What if someone decides she shouldn’t be studying, let’s go to her house and rape her?

When the mind-set of the people heading country is backwards, how are we to move forward? The defence lawyers managed to make me cringe with shame every single time they opened their mouth to speak. Is it not scary, that the educated men of our country also do not condemn this heinous act?

To the police, when you say my city is as safe as any other city, why do you have to compare it? Why can’t you make it safe for me? Why can’t you make it safe for all the women who swear it isn’t safe? Why do you not listen to our cries?

To the people who say he was young, when I was seventeen and six months, I didn’t decide they guy who leered at me must be beaten to death or raped to be taught a lesson? To the people who say that they came from underprivileged situations, that is no excuse. What do you say for the rich ones that rape then?

Please stop making excuses and start realizing that the country which worships women as fearless goddess on one side, rapes and humiliates them on the other. Why don’t you understand it is never, and will never be the woman’s fault? She didn’t ask for it, you don’t have to teach her your valuable lesson.

So what if I want to go out at night, unless the law (which I am slowly losing faith in) prohibits it, you are not allowed to stop me and rape me. You are not allowed to rape or leer at me in any situation. I am never asking for it.

How do you explain the tears of the mother who understood what her daughter went through, her father who saw her blood? How do you tell them, we have avenged your daughter’s death, she has helped in making the city safer for women, when you haven’t done a thing? Please do not proudly claim you solved and found the rapists in such a short period of time when you should have been making sure there wasn’t a rape happening at all.

If this offends you in anyway, that’s good. After all, I am teaching you a valuable lesson.

A girl can do ANYTHING.

And maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t forget that too soon.

If you have access to BBC’s documentary, please do watch it.

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