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Updated: February 4, 2013 19:50 IST

Step out, speak out

A. VARSHA RAO
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A. Varsha Rao
A. Varsha Rao

Women should fight against the system which tries to subjugate and harass them

Beware of the prowlers. No, I am not talking about the increasing number of attacks by leopards which have been straying into residential areas. I am referring to the people who prowl deserted alleys and streets to pounce on hapless females. Yes, I am talking about the men who tease, mock, grope and molest innocent girls.

Every single day, as fresh molestation and eve-teasing cases make the headlines, we are left fuming over the increasing vulnerability of women.

Relentless

Be it molestation when you are returning from work or the eve-teasing during your regular grocery shopping, the horrific crimes just don’t stop. What’s the reason behind these incidents?

If you ask around, the most common answer you get would be that girls are at fault. You do not dress “properly”, you do not come back home in time, you must have encouraged them and so on.

But if you put some actual thought into this issue, you will realise that there is only one reason for such happenings: the sick mentality of people who view women and girls as mere objects of lust and desire.

Confused

Is there a definition for molestation? Is it a simple hug? Or is it a simple touch? When do I start calling a certain gesture by a guy as wrong? Many girls are confused about this, to the extent that they do not know how to react when faced with such situations.

When I step outside, I am subjected to lustful gazes, cheeky comments, whistles and sometimes live renditions of cheap songs. What do I do? Ignore. Because that’s what I have been taught.

What if they hurt you in any way? Aren’t wolf-whistles hurting you? Isn’t passing cheap comments hurting you and encroaching on your private space?

Is it a crime?

Why is it such a crime to be born as a girl? Is it our mistake that we want to wear dresses we like? Is it a crime that we want to enjoy our life? Why are all the restrictions being imposed on us? What about the molesters? Why doesn’t any khap panchayat ask guys to wear scarves and burkhas when they step out?

It’s really ironic that people who bow their heads and join their hands in reverence before female goddesses are the ones who bring shame to society by indulging in such horrendous acts. I feel ashamed and sorry that in a country where we soar high in all the fields, our wings are cut off brutally.

The answer to this malady is not in ignorance. It’s in our voice. If every girl subjected to such a torture raises her voice, I am sure we will all put our heads up and walk the streets of life with pride. A girl or a woman’s life should not circulate within the shadow of a scarf. Let her out and let her fly.

(The author is in final B.E - Computer Science, Vemana Institute of Technology)

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