Posted by Agnivo Niyogi
[I had a blog Aagan Says previously. But in a moment of emotional foolery i deleted the blog without taking backup, and posts between May-August were lost. I am going to REPOST those again. Today i post an article i had written in response to the debate on Slutwalk in Delhi].
However shocking the headline of this post may seem to you, several Indian males (and I daresay, women too) feel this way. Girls bring upon them the ignominy of rape. Men are only driven to the extent of humiliating members of the fairer sex, because girls challenge their manhood by flashing provocative outfits.
Reads like rants of a man smitten by mad cow disease? Welcome to India. Here girls are forbidden to be out of the house at night by themselves, lest they return home with a pregnancy! Here even Burqa clad women would be blamed for their dress if lecherous eyes devour them, here travelling in public transport is like a battle call to “safeguard honour”. Even the safe confines of the bedroom might earn women the “love” of their husband, even when they are least demanding it. But being a woman in India is being an epitome of struggle, and all misdemeanors have to be bourne with a smile and carry on with life like nothing happened.
For how long?
The recent clamour against Slut Walk just conforms to the misogynist mindset the society has. From the tea stall owner to elite intellectuals on social media, everyone unequivocally agreed slut walk perpetuated the problem instead of offering a cure. While majority reflect the view dressing like sluts only attracts (and accentuates) male libido, another class of people view it as a deflection of the main issue – violence against women. And another few regard slut walk as an “elite time pass”, a form of militant feminism.
Started as a protest after a remark by a police officer in Canada, Slut walk has slowly become the Pride Walk for women. It has brought in a change in societal perceptions of women and helped women assert themselves in a rapidly shrinking space in the society. “Sluts” have rights too. A dress can never be the pretext to hurt the freedom of choice. The problem lies not with the provocative dress but with the mind that gets provocated. Slutwalk simply sends out the message.
Slutwalk, in short is the demand for the right to be a woman.
P.S. You might also be interested in reading – Being Woman in India
Posted by Agnivo Niyogi
Every year 8 March renews the zeal in the otherwise indifferent males to display their recessive love for women. It has become an annual ritual to flood mail boxes/inbox with “wishes” for the “pious occasion”. The pious ignorance of people on matters of the “fairer sex” is just glossed over by their over zealous endeavours to make the ladies feel special.
Being woman can either be eulogised or be celebrated. While events like 8 March fall in the first category, the celebration of the feminine starts with a simple mark of respect in our own homes. No matter how much we tax our vocal chords over feminism, in the sweet confines of our homes we all let our chauvinist traits a free run (albeit in varying degrees).
While the success of the rich and settled urban women can be reiterated every year on this day. They deserve credit for their achievements and inspire us all, but making an example of the exceptions does not make a good mathematician, or for that matter a human being.
The unsung heroes of the world bury the tales of inequality in their bosoms while the emancipated crave for fair treatment. Being a woman in India chronicles a saga of sacrifices. As a daughter, as a sister, as a wife, as a mother, a woman is expected to live up to the expectations. Expectations built upon the grave of identity, social justice and individualism. Day in and day out dreams are sacrificed in the altar of education, equality, modesty, culture, respect and survival.
Bharat Mata by MF Hussain
Women they say represent the divine. Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Kali – facets of the phenomenon called feminity – have been eclipsed by the great Indian housewife, who exist for the sake of existence. Since birth a woman is taught she is inferior (compared to her male siblings), denied her basic right to education, forced to marry even before the legal age for marriage, pressurised into having intercourse within (and out) of marriage, early maternity, forced servitude in the form of rearing the new born, torment for not being able to conceive the coveted XY gene, thankless chores at home which go unnoticed more often than not.
It is the woman who runs a home, manages the budget, spreads the warmth of emotions, yet it is the man who craves for domination, always eager to call the shots, by virtue of that Y chromosome (which coincidentally also bears many sex linked diseases). And even if the husband “allows” his wife to work, she has to “spare more attention to home”, “earn less than her partner”. “work at office, come back, prepare dinner, tutor her kids”. Even Durga with her 10 hands would hoist the white flag of surrender.
The tale of the Indian woman is an eulogy. A satire celebrating veiled sexism. And most of the times blatant chauvinism. Being woman is akin to a struggle. Struggle for her rightful place, deserving dignity, rightful freedom. And above all being woman is a woman’s biggest identity.