Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Molestation of a Woman - You are your Weapon!

Image: Genderacrossborders.com

Have you ever thought of pepper spray? Has it ever occurred to you that your kitchen knife may prove another useful purpose away from home? Have you given a simple piece of blade, a good, hard look?

What would you do when you decide to walk through a jungle, leaving the safety of a Safari ride, out in the open? Well, that is a question that should follow a decision to walk through the jungle in the first place. After all, when you are on a Safari to watch the wild in its home turf, why would you leave the comfort and the protection behind and put yourself in harm's way?

Reality, however, was never designed to be safe. The society that we live in is a jungle, where the laws of the land are only a farce. The rule of the jungle prevails, and the rulebooks are nothing but an academic pursuit.

It was hardly a couple of months back that a girl was molested in Assam. The incident was caught on camera and it was good fodder for the news bugs for a while - and the culprits were caught. But, how many cameras could present themselves at every such juncture? How many such incidents get reported as and when they happen? What justice do girls like Ritika Rupali have when they decide to walk into the wild, unprotected, ill-equipped, and caught completely off-guard? How many of the girls who get molested in the so-called civilised society would dare to come out in the open like she has? And how would you, your sister, your mother, your wife, your daughter, your girlfriend or your friend react when they find themselves being groped and raped in public by unknown beasts who know they can get away? 

You are part of this society - and you are not insured against risks. You do have a choice to make, however. You can hide away from the dark and pretend to be safe, or you could afford to stray into the wild, armed and protected.

Being forewarned is being forearmed. If you lived in an illusionary world that made you believe that all was well, do a reality check. The world is bad. Period. It's good to be optimistic, but it is wise to be realistic. And it is even better to have your armoury ready, for you would never know when you may need it badly.

You do not get into a battlefield without protective gear. Even sportsmen do not enter the arena unless they are covered for their risks. How covered are you when you walk through lecherous arms and lustful eyes?

Have you ever thought of pepper spray? Has it ever occurred to you that your kitchen knife may prove another useful purpose away from home? Have you given a simple piece of blade a good, hard look?

What could you do with these when you get caught in a crowded train as the girl was caught in? Well, pierce the skin of the hand that touches you. Wield your knife to cause a little friction when dirty arms look for a smooth pass. Spray some pepper in the air to show them there are bad things in life even for bad souls. Let there be some blood!

Yes, you would hurt the wrong guy too when you use your weapons indiscriminately in a crowded place. But that's the cost the society has to bear. That's the lesson that the society has to learn. Why should the victim bear all the cost? Why should the loopholes loom larger than the laws themselves? 

Girls, be gentle and kind to those who understand your language. For those who would listen only to action, do not waste your words. You do not have to scream your lungs off or beg for mercy. Swear words have no meaning for those who know they deserve them. Go on the offensive, and you would have space around you. 

And walk away. Do not stay on to confront those whom you have just fought. This is a jungle - and your safety is never secured unless you are out of it. If it were you on the train, you ought to have wielded your weapon, demanded your space, and walked away at the next opportunity when the doors opened, through the space that your armoury created. Let the beasts fend for themselves after they realise what hit them.

But then, you cannot fight to perfection unless you have thought over it. You cannot win unless your mind has prepared for the battle. When you step out of your comfort, realise that you are never too far from danger. You cannot have the system protect you wherever you go. There is no Super Hero out there waiting to launch himself into action, take on the villain and protect the vulnerable. 

You are your Weapon!

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