It does seem that more of us are acknowledging that India needs to stop telling Indian women how to mould their lives to prevent rapes by ensuring they stay as invisible as possible. (For example, by not doing anything every other woman is not doing.)
We are also being more honest about how putting the responsibility of prevention of sexual crimes on the victims emboldens criminals, and prevents a real understanding of sexual crimes.
Unlike in the past, misogynists are finding it less easy to get away with Rape Culture promoting comments. We are hearing more voices that are trying to understand that It was not just the driver who raped her.
Sharing an email. I see this as a positive.
(English Translation by KM Ramki)
A humble word, to all my fellow men.
… I don’t know what’s there (to feel pride). You say we can grow a moustache… is that a superior quality?
I want to speak as an ordinary man, about what we usually do, how it can create a better environment. That’s what this podcast is about.
We, men, say we are modern thinking, we are youth, etc. Though we praise ourselves so much, but it is deeply rooted belief even among us, that a woman has to cook for me, press my clothes, etc. Even if both of them work, go to sleep after 11.30 in the night, the woman is expected to wake up at 5 in the morning, make coffee, cook and then go to work…
We have impressed on them that it’s their way of living.
Do guys boldly say “I work at home, I cook at home, and I see no shame in it. She and I both work”?
If we go to a corporate space, and see four women smoking, what comments do we pass about those smoking women? If we see a girl in a pub at night, we know what comments we make about her. Isn’t it all quite shameful?
What’s so ‘manly’ or ‘womanly’ about these things?
We claim to be very modern. If a girl comes to the pub with us, she is good, but if she goes with others, she is bad?
Smoking or drinking is going to affect everyone’s body and health. If you take a stand, that smoking or drinking is wrong, whoever does it, there is some fairness to it. But you claim guys can do it, but women should not. If I point [the hypocrisy] out, you challenge me, that I don’t know Indian culture and mores.
It’s in this country with these vaunted culture and mores, that we are having all these rapes.
The most important thing is for us to reflect on what thoughts we hold about women. To this day, husbands tease their wives if they skip cooking one day.
There is this claim that all these are happening because women dress the way they do. What a shameful thought! A minister or some politician has said that we should ban skirts that schoolgirls wear. This is crazy. A three year old girl and a sixty year old grandmother have also been raped. Were they also dressed for rape?
This is not about the few rapists. This is about you and me. When we were young adults, how many times have we made jokes or passed comments based on the clothes women are wearing, or their physical parts?
We always say women are elegant, graceful and beautiful. I don’t know when these tags and adjectives are going to change. Are women nothing beyond these?
Who are we to be moral police, to decide how they can dress, and what their dress says about the sort of a character they are? You and I have no right to to blame them, or tag them…
People ask why that girl was in a bus at 10 pm. Why shouldn’t she be in a bus at that time? Who are we to ask that question?
They say things happened because that girl went to a pub at midnight. No, it did not happen because she went to a pub at midnight. It happened because your thoughts are perverted.
… every woman is expected to fear and be submissive to a guy. It’s become the norm. If a guy does the chores at home, fears his wife, we make fun of him, and make him a comedy piece in our movies. What is wrong with that? What is shameful in that?
The other day, when I said this on Twitter, some guy replied, “Men should be men, women should be women. That will solve all the problems.” What does it mean, “women should be women”? Why should we define what women should be, how they should be? Who are we to do that?
When my son grows up, he will not have the thought that women are beneath him, that they should serve him, that only his mother should get him ready for school. I wash my son’s butt. I get him ready for school. I feed him. So, my son, when he grows up, won’t have such [discriminatory] thoughts, and I am responsible for that, as his father.
This is not preaching or advising. I cannot watch my TRP for everything. …
I wanted to talk to more people. Lots more men. Change is something that has to start with the individual, in every household.
Using the Internet, Twitter and Facebook alone does not make me a modern man. I become a real modern man …When I don’t define what their (women’s) role is …. And I have no shame in doing the chores, beginning with cleaning the toilet. After all, I am cleaning the toilet in MY house.
This is just what I think. It has not been scripted.
I wish you a happy new year.
This post is also available in: தமிழ் (Tamil)