It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals.
~ Emma Watson
I’m joining the blog challenge at Live Your Legend, as I want to become a better blog writer. One of the writing prompts was “What really makes you angry about the world?” This post is a result of that prompt.
I’m generally a peaceful person, I don’t get angry or agitated easily. But after I read this article about the interview with one of the Delhi rapist, I feel anger.
I didn’t really follow the case when it happened back in 2012, only hearing it a bit on the news. Overview of the case: a 23 year-old woman and a male friend boarded a bus at 8:30 pm after watching a movie. On the moving bus a group of men beat the friend, gang-raped and assaulted the woman, and then drop them off the street. She suffered so much injuries from the assault she died a few days later. This incident triggered massive protests and demonstrations from men and women demanding better protection for women against violence.
So the article I read is about the interview of the rapist by a film maker who’s making a documentary about this rape case, titled India’s Daughter. What triggered anger in me is what he said, something like this “She shouldn’t have fought back, she should’ve just took it silently and she might have still lived”. I couldn’t get over it. How they thought it’s their right to “teach the girl a lesson and rape her” and put the blame back on her “It took two hands to clap. A decent girl wouldn’t roam around at night”. And how they’re not feeling any guilt or remorse of what they did. “A girl is far more responsible in a rape than a boy.”
This documentary, released last week, was banned in India and has since caused more controversy. I haven’t seen it myself.
This rape case is an extreme example of how female is considered less than male, of gender inequality. Other examples abound – baby girls given up or left to die, domestic violence on women, workplace female discrimination, and many more. The society is conditioned to value male more than female. Even small things like this seemingly innocent comment “The driver must be a woman” when we’re driving behind a slow car, implies this mindset.
This mindset is not exclusive to certain countries, or cultures, or economic level. It’s almost everywhere with different degrees manifestation. It could be more obviously seen and felt in Asian countries, but it is everywhere all over the world.
I’m reminded of this #LikeAGirl ad campaign. The phrase “like a girl” is used to mean something bad, and that is profoundly disempowering to girls. “Run like a girl” or “throw like a girl” – When adults in both gender were asked to do it, they demonstrated what perceived as ‘girly’ weak ineffective movement – hands and legs all over the place, giggling face. Interestingly, when 10 year old girls were asked to “run like a girl”, “throw like a girl”, they did it seriously, with all their might, because to them like a girl means like themselves, and they didn’t find anything wrong with being a girl. Often girls lose their confidence as they go through the changes during the puberty phase. This campaign is about making “like a girl” means awesome, aligning the expression “like a girl” with the meaning of strength, confidence and empowerment. (Behind the campaign is Always, producer of feminine products.)
8 March is International Women’s Day. It’s been observed since 1900s, and we had came a long way since then – now women can vote, drive her own car, have a career and become CEO, start own business, etc. But the discrimination, gender inequality is still there. I wonder how did it start? Why female, feminine, became less valued, considered inferior, than male, masculine? Aren’t they used to be equal and complementary, like yin and yang, shiva and shakti. What happened? Why the world now become so patriarch, so yang, so male oriented?
A friend shared this beautiful quote with me:
I offer salutations to the God & Goddess, the infinite parents of the world.
The lover, out of boundless love, has become the beloved.
Because of Her, He exists.
And without Him, She would not be.
~ Jnaneshwar Maharaj
Image credit: Speak to Me the Language of Love by Evan Leeson