Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gender Issues

The other day a friend and I were talking about pressure of writing.

This post has another pressure behind it. Actually its a pressure of an altogether another kind, a social obligation-( but am I really socially responsible?- this question comes to mind instantly too!). Then I realise that each one of us is as responsible as we are vulnerable.

The issue is crime against women. Although everyone is talking about it, yet the more it is talked about the better it is. As a friend mentioned sustaining the momentum is vital. It is stringent that the it remains alive.

Getting back to the point, its about the beastly behaviour of fellow human beings towards women which hasn't slackened even after violent protests and world wide condemnation of the Delhi gang rape incident. The heinous crimes continue and news columns are filled with reports of sexual abuse, rape, flesh trade and domestic abuse.Its appalling that men of all ages, class, social status indulge in such torture and humiliation of women.

The question is WHY? Why do they do it? Why does their conscience not tug at their hearts when they get down to such behaviour. My mind says that they do it because they are afraid of their own weaknesses and the only sphere a modern woman still remains helpless is the sexual/physical sphere. Its the only soft target left for the "stronger" sex. They enjoy their sheer physical power over women.

In the course of evolution the men became the hunter gatherers so they needed the strength which they developed and women who gave birth were obliged to look after essentially the children and home-hearth. This was simple, logical division of labour and evolution. Why has this gone to their heads? The men think they can dominate and subjugate women but they don't realise that its their minds which are small. A women can rise up again like a phoenix from any point of being destructed. Can a man do that? 

What is more disturbing is the involvement of many women in this never ending cycle of female infanticide, foeticide, rape, molestation, sexual abuse and dowry killings. Women are directly and indirectly involved in perpetrating the torture as well as tolerating it in their homes and surroundings. We have to rise for ourselves first and amend our own thinking and break the stereotypes we live with. We have to put our foot down...indeed stamp it heavily and  protest against dowry trading, girl child abuse and infanticide. Unless we stand for ourselves why should the men bother??

Secondly, the above issues are open and direct but we have to change the mindset of the society. We as mothers can do it very effectively. We can begin by teaching our sons to respect the women in their world. We should instil in them the fact that men and women are equal. That they have no right to question any woman's morality or character by the way of her dress or behaviour. That they have no right to even touch a woman unless with her absolute and explicit compliance. That nothing is understood by her clothes, smile or look- its only their interpretation. She is as free as they are.   We do teach them that but we should set an example with our own behaviour and not just didactic teachings.

More importantly we should teach our daughters to respect themselves. They should be in a position to demand respect, privacy and independence. As mothers it is our duty to empower our daughters-to enable them to have a platform from where they emerge as confident, independent and self-defence ready- mentally and physically to face all the challenges in life.

Woman is the creator and nurturer of this race on earth...she has to regain her position as the equal sex; the ying and the yang are complimentary forces not opposing. There is no stronger or weaker sex. The sooner we all realise this - irrespective of our genders - the better it will be for our social well being.

Finally as Vivekananda said, "“The best thermometer to the progress of a nation is its treatment of its women.” I guess we still have a long way to go.