The recent death of a young Delhi girl who was brutally gangraped and battered by six barbarians has left most of us reeling in shock.
Now, what angers me even more than incidents like this is the attitude of our general public towards victims of sex crimes. I've heard people say she's better off dead, because "she'd never be able to live a normal life after this".
Able? No. She wouldn't have been allowed, by a judgmental society which asks questions and makes statements like these: "Who will want to marry her now? How will she live a normal married life? People will always question her character. She will be shunned by society. Her life is ruined. She is reduced to a 'zinda laash'. Her family will have to bear this shame forever. How will she show her face in public?"
But we have it all wrong! By compelling rape survivors to hide behind silhouettes, we're making a HUGE mistake - we are validating that being raped implies 'loss of honour', and fulfilling the rapists objective of looting 'izzat'.
No one thinks of hiding the identities of victims of robbery or murder, do they? A rape survivor is however compelled to cover her face and beg for privacy, because people erroneously link anything related to sex with morality and honour ('izzat').
Until we stop regarding sex as 'immoral' & linking sex crimes to 'loss of izzat', potential rapists will continue to employ rape as a tool to 'punish' women.
Until we stop treating the survivor as though her life is ruined and expecting her to live like a pariah, can we ever hope for fairness or justice?
If anyone should lose 'izzat', its the perpetrator, NOT the victim.
We, yes WE, need to let survivors of sex crimes live normal lives. They have not done anything wrong. A fundamental change is needed in the way we think. The day we stop linking anything sexual to 'morals' and 'honour' is the day things will change for the better. Here's where the West scores over us.
Change will not come overnight, possibly not in our lifetime. It will take a few generations for this flawed thinking to pass. From the extent of these protests, it is evident that there are many good men and women who have already started spearheading the movement for fairness and justice. I appeal to our present generation to start working towards this change. 'Nuff said, begin today.
Ø Stop moral policing with IMMEDIATE effect. Counsel those who indulge in it.
Ø DON'T teach your children that sex is immoral or shameful; but DO educate them about the possible risks involved.
Ø DON'T pass on warped notions of honour and morality to your kids; but DO teach them to be good human beings who respect all life equally.
Ø Under NO circumstance should you teach your sons (and daughters) that women are inferior and are born to serve men's needs.
Ø And please, STOP the sexism; bring them up without instilling gender stereotypes or biases in their minds.
Text © 2012 http://e-pinion.blogspot.in
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