The idea of dominance and submission is prevalent in our society from long centuries ago – The idea of dominance of one sex over the other and looking the submissive sex with scorn and contempt. Women are taught from birth, to serve mankind is a duty they are adhering to.
Mary Wollstonecraft in her essay ‘From A Vindication of the Rights of woman’ rightly perceives that from infancy we are taught by the examples of our mothers, that a little knowledge of human weakness, softness of temper, outward obedience will obtain us the protection of man; and if a woman is beautiful, everything else is needless, for, at least, twenty years of their lives.
The society places men in a position of power and allows them to comment, gaze, and objectify women. Every woman in her life falls prey to the male gaze who looks at her as a commodity. Men slay women giving it a tag of their masculinity and believe that they are men’s property.
Everyday rape cases are popping up in India and we get to hear stunning statements by our ‘intellectual’ political leaders:
“You are safe. Why do you worry?” – Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister, UP.
“Boys make mistakes, why hang them? We will change such laws.” – Mulayam Singh Yadav, Former Chief Minister, UP.
“Women who were raped should also be punished.” –Abu Azmi, Samajwadi Party State Chief.
A round of applause to such people who are gifted with such mindset. Rather than telling women to dress appropriately, we need to change our perspective. Short skirt! Tight jeans! Makeup! High heels! All of them are not accessories to rape; instead of men who need to control their sensual gratification, society is blaming women that they’re provocative by wearing such stuff.
“Women have a very important role to play in the society. A change is needed in society’s outlook towards women. They need to be provided with a safe and favorable environment in which they can nurture their talents and contribute towards nation-building” –Pranab Mukherjee, President, India.
A country where religion is everything and culture and beliefs are the utmost priority, on one-hand a man worships Goddess Durga and on the other hand he rapes a woman. A country where six inches between a saree and a blouse is cultured, but two inches between a jeans and a top is uncultured.
A change is obligatory in our mindset. Many feminist writers have brought forth their arguments for women’s empowerment but only reading them will not help, every citizen in their daily life needs to practice them.
But, can India change? The social norms and long practiced myths practiced have shrunk the minds of people so much that a change is obligatory. Rather than pointing at anyone else, you need to first ask yourself, can you change?