Stranded on road? You just qualified to be a prostitute!
Long preached norms and myths about how and what a woman should be would all feel shy after acknowledging this particular mentality of men. One incident on a public platform and the complete notion of women subjugation faces trauma after ages. What are we feminists fighting for if not the liberty to make our own choices, gathering strength against the corrupted patriarchal mindset? It is true, we believe, that men like parasites won’t leave sucking our blood till the time their breath is rooted out of their lungs. No rules, no norms, neither right nor wrong can save us from being weakened by the continuous harassment. One public incident and the society will stop harping on their construction of a “Woman”. A 19-year old college student, is waiting at a bus stand in the mid of a crowd, on a look for her uncle’s car to pick her up. It’s a pretty sunny day and she’s drenched in sweat. She’s glad that her full sleeved free flowing salwaar kameez won’t get her a tan even though it’s too hot and suffocating. Her hair is all tied up into neat braids. She has her handbag stuck to herself, looking at her watch, checking the phone once in a while, and waiting at the crowded bus stand on the flyover. Nothing “wrong” till now, right? She’s decent; she’s safe…so far. A car passes across the bus stand. Well, since it’s a flyover, nobody notices, so does she. From hundreds of cars passing by, who could tell that the same car passed again? Anyway it was 2:00pm in the afternoon, who would care about anything other than wiping their sweats and drinking cold water? That is exactly why nobody but she felt the need to notice that very car stopping by her side. So she took a few paces towards the crowd casually getting away from the way, paying no heed to the glare of the driver. In no time, a dark man with long hair got out and leaned to the side of the car. The driver opened the door of the seat beside him. They waited. She waited. The public cared no more. In the end, she saw it. The long hair was flowing; the driver was smirking; the eyes were hungry; the tanned hands, were calling her. None there out of those three people could sense what was really going on. Now, a question for us feminists, “What could she have done?” A question to those men, “Are woman only a property to be used?” A question to the society, “What is a society worth if it cannot protect its women?” Finally, questions to the old-sensible-experienced-mature constructors of the norms: “What went wrong?” followed by “Who was at fault – the girl who followed your every word or the uncle who couldn’t be on time?” In any case, where is the respect for women? Also, if every woman stranded on the road is a prostitute, what would you call a man who is hungry for her? Note: There’s nothing wrong with selling your body with your will, of course. But women who work in the sex industry (prostitutes) are mostly ‘victims’.
————— About the Author: This article is contributed by Ananya Pal, our intern.