Saturday, April 6, 2013

Soldiers wanted - Men who can let women be !!

I am sure all of us have seen and loved the Gillette adverts which promote the "Soldier for Women" campaign. Although its a sad thing that it has come down to this. That the whole of mankind and the womankind is sweating it out to save women all over the country from certain animal like men.
And so when I had to write about the special man in my life, I knew it had to be H.

For all the years that I have known him, I always liked the fact that he respected all women in general, and would not make any disparaging comments about any women in a way of objectification, something that I have heard most male friends/colleagues/acquaintances do. They may say that its all harmless fun but excuse me, I beg to disagree. I find it quite down market and cheap.

But there was always one area of this whole issue about women safety and eve teasing that H and I never agreed on. He always said that women should make a hue and cry about if anyone acts fresh with them. I said it was no use, since nobody comes forward even if you shout (not true now that the whole country is in a state of high alert about women safety). He said most eve teasers would get scared/feel embarrassed if shouted at in public, and might not repeat the act in future. I thought they might develop a silent grudge in their heart and become a stalker or one one of those acid-throwers. He said there was no point in being insulted and getting used to it, and then cry about it later. I always said that it was easier said than done. He probably didn't understand a girls' apprehension of drawing unnecessary attention towards her. And so we had our differences.

After the recent gang-rape and murder stories doing the rounds, I was asked to be at high alert at all times. I drive with my car windows all rolled up and locked, carry a pepper spray in my bag at all times, and majorly try to avoid any desolate places all by myself. And the old debate also resumed, since many a times, strange men pass some lewd comments on the road, and if I tell H about it, he doesn't take very kindly too it. A couple of weeks back, we both were in Connaught place (C.P., New Delhi) for some work. After finishing work, we were just taking a stroll through the inner circle when a harmless looking guy crossed us. Before I could even realize what was happening, I felt a sharp pain and a moment later I realized that I had been groped. I turned back, and he was walking down the road as nonchalantly as ever. As expected of me, I just cursed and ,mouthed some expletives under my breath. H sensing something amiss questioned me and I told him what had just happened.

And the next thing was straight out a movie scene from Bollywood. H ran after that guy and pushed him on the road. He cursed him with all his expletive strength acquired in 28 years, kicked him with all his might, landed blows on his back and even slapped him. I was shivering meanwhile (And this was kind of pay back time for all the time I have been mean to the ladies who have played the damsel in distress :-P )
Anyway, during all this chaos, some 10-15 people had gathered and everybody started cursing the guy and somebody suggested he be handed over to the police. The accused guy by now had started crying and his statement had meanwhile changed from "galti se ho gya (happened by mistake)" to "sorry, aage se nahi karoonga" (sorry, will not repeat this in future)

And that day I realized that my hero did walk the talk. Someone who believes in doing the right thing. And standing up for it. I even joked about it saying that if he had done this before we were married, I might have thought he was doing this to pataao me :-P ;-) (Ain't I mean?)

I, for worse, cringed at the blatancy of it all. That a girl, in a crowded area, at 7 in the evening, walking alongside a 6 ft tall guy, and still some guy has the b***s to feel that he can get away with his monkey business. But, for the better of it, I learnt a lesson for life. Silence might be golden, but sometimes golden is not the need of the hour. Speaking out is essential. Speak up ladies. Meanwhile, let the men be the soldiers of the country who can stand up for the women with courage and integrity.

13 comments:

  1. Good on H.

    As long as we appreciate crappy Bollywood item songs, drool at IPL cheerleaders, etc, the candlelight vigils and pretense of being soldiers for women are nothing but hypocrisy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It seems sexist advertisement for me. Chivalry is chauvinism isn't it? Then why women are encouraging men to be chauvinists? Women are independent and not abla-naris and can do everything that a man can do, in fact better than them? Isn't it? Then why women need men to be soldier to protect them? Even after doing all these men are nothing but rapist, molesters, sexual-harassers. Then why to do that? It is high time that women stop using men as unpaid bodyguards and let them live their life peacefully. (In your case, he is your husbands so, it's fine. Here, I am talking about general scenario).

    ReplyDelete
  3. 'Galti se ho gaya'! The nerve of that asshole. What atrocious times do we live in? Despicable!
    But I am glad that you have folks like H in your life.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  5. H- a big salute to you and utmost respect ! But like you said it's time we speak up and fight our battles.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kudos to H!

    And yes, I share the opinion that we must shout and scream and make a big scene. Eve teasers hate attention. In a way, women are to blame for eve teasing becoming as big a menace as it has today. If we hadn't kept quiet right from the very beginning, the culprits would know it was unacceptable behaviour and wouldn't act all cocky thinking they could do as they please because they wouldn't be held accountable and could get away with it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This reminded me of the famous, Be-the-change-you-want-to-see!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Respect for H!
    And as usual you had a wonderful way with words :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I posted the earlier comment here. I have been following your blog for some time, and I admire the fact that you treat dissenting opinions fairly.

    Something that has been really bothering me is this. I still find a lot of women silently enduring lewd comments, groping, harassment and various other forms of abuse. This majority, it appears, is only slowly finding their voice and are often fearful of doing so. Walking into a police station is still stigmatic.

    At the opposite spectrum are a small minority of unscrupulous women who are abusing laws designed to protect these women and make innocent men's lives hell, get their parents arrested on false charges, etc with the aid of a corrupt police force.

    This is leading to a lot of jingoistic men's rights and women's rights "activists" who are constantly at each other's throats. In the meanwhile, abuse of women continues, and so does arrest of innocent men and their families on false charges. Senior citizen parents and children are caught in this crossfire.

    At the same time, our own pop culture is geared towards soft-p*** with Bollywood, newspaper sleaze, IPL etc being deemed "family entertainment" and something you might consume right after tsk-tsk-ing a news report about minor rape. Standing up against this trash mainstream media juggernaut that objectifies women is something that is essential, but our collective hypocrisy even prevents us from recognizing it as a problem.

    The Gilette campaign you mention is a case in point. If you visit their FB page, you will find a promo for Dabangg2, which, if reviews are to be believed, is a crappy movie that denigrates women on many levels. It seems strange that very few people get this cognitive dissonance.

    ReplyDelete
  10. H is a hero, isn't he? :)

    I'm lucky to have a protective husband too..

    ReplyDelete
  11. Respect for H..salute..:)
    do visit my post regarding the recent rapes..
    http://navanidhiren.blogspot.com/2013/04/introspect-india.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. totally agree to the point where you have talked about the apprehensions a female has about raising voice... i too had those apprehension but once i remember i did protested the intentional touch of a guy and realised it is much better to speak up rather than compromising....
    you are awesome with words and draw an imaginable picture for readers...
    keep up the good job :)

    ReplyDelete

  13. like always..!!! ur H is great!!! i learn a lesson too here...:)

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear back from you :)