What's the most important entity and identity for a girl living in India according to the society?
Education? Financial success ? Independence? Talent and skill?
It's her Honour.
Honour and virginity are perhaps the most hyped ideas that the nation lives by. One of the chief reasons a rape victim is looked down upon is because she's 'impure'. Most people don't seem to think that it's a violation of her right, that it's the very helplessness that she's left with; that a man can take undue advantage of her proving his so-called masculinity in the most cruel way possible that hurt her more than the act of rape itself. But no, a woman has been raped and the society goes clicking its tongue on the fact that the most important image of the woman has been snatched upon by a wayward fox. It's not her Freedom and right but her virginity and honour.
The importance the society attaches to sex is wholly on a negative side unless it is post-marriage. Everyone is happy when there is an heir in the making in the family. Did that baby magically happen? Did an angel bring the child from the sky and drop it within the woman's womb or at the hospital like the little girl in The Cosby Show believes? Of course not. We are all adults and yet we fail to acknowledge what is the most natural path of life. So, why is it that a woman post marriage is lauded for her baby-making abilities but shunned and scorned upon if she is a person involved in a relationship involving premarital sex or is a rape victim? How is the very same baby impure or unchaste? Fertility and motherhood are two factors that should never be contained within the realms of pseudo-morality.
Sexuality and virginity has long been confused with morality. We have enough and more Indian movies that prove that point. Heroines who commit suicide because they are no longer 'pure' post rape or thrown out of the village limits for having lost their virginity before marriage are the front-running examples. A woman who is open about her sexuality is demoralized and called characterless while the shy, goody-goody woman clothed from top to bottom is the ideal image of an Indian girl.
I love Superstar Rajinikanth beyond words but to merely hear him depict how a woman needs to be in the movie Padayappa still makes me cringe. Media, TV serials depict the ideal bahu as the woman contained within the house, producing the family heir while the woman who is open to her sexuality, who wears modern clothes or consumes alcohol, wears heavy make-up is generally the villain to the otherwise mellifluous life of the lead woman in the soap opera.Sexist portrayals of women are far too many to count, starting from small advertisements to statements made by famous personalities. Many of our 'leaders' believe that chowmein, tight clothes, mobile phones, staying out after 7.00PM causes rape. 'Boys will be boys and make mistakes' is the most recent one that flashed by in the news. I can't even begin to explain how disgusting it all sounds.
Women are being judged for every single choice of theirs. We still live in a country where white bed sheets are laid out for the wedding night in many a households to check the purity of the bride newly welcomed into the groom's house just the day before. The 'modesty' and the character of a woman is measured by her virginity, her number of boyfriends etc.
I have boy-friends who have told me that they will ogle all that they want at busty actresses clad in half-nudity but they themselves only want 'homely' girls for wives. Though it is a matter of opinion, aren't we all at the end of the day looking at women as prized objects to be safeguarded? Women are always being looked upon as property being handed over from one family to the other. If she is open about her sexuality, a woman who is too much into literature or talks too much, she might not be the right fit for the family.
As an Indian girl I don't have the luxury of taking a walk down the road to the beach at 2.00 AM, unaccompanied, well.. because it'll be my 'loss' at the end of the day. If in the process of enjoying a good walk at the wee hours of the morning someone does get raped, even the girl's family and extended relatives will chide the girl. 'Why did you "allow" her to go out at that time?', they will ask. Who allowed your son to go clubbing at 1:00AM in the morning? That is never a question that's asked, sadly.
Forgive my digression. It's just that there are too many things that we women are being unwillingly attached to that it takes a while to understand them all. It is no secret how many goddesses we have in India. Every single one of them are celebrated upon and worshiped, yet the woman is abused and called a slut and a whore for her choices. Why? Even today menstruating women are considered impure in many households. It's a sickening picture. A sign of fertility has been tossed upon to be looked at as disgusting. Bravo! Hypocrisy knows no bounds here.
The instances, incidents and happenings are innumerable.It's high time we learn not to judge a woman open about her choices. It's high time we didn't assume that the highest quality in a woman is her virginity. It is not. When a woman weeps when raped it is not because she's been penetrated but because she was rendered helpless at the point. Rape is an act of power and not sex. A woman is to be understood and approached on her skills, her abilities, her talents and independence and not her sexual choices. And just because someone has slept with another once doesn't mean she's welcoming all of the multitudes of men out there. This judgmental attitude is the biggest malice this nation has.
If a woman engages in premarital sex, it's her choice. Leave choices as choices and not as foundations to build your useless hypocritical opinions and slut-shaming name-callings. Live your life and not someone else's.
|Image from the internet. It doesn't belong to me.|