Every time rape happens, first question is about the woman’s character. Does a loose character woman (Whatever that is supposed to mean) have no rights??? Have no self-respect?? Have lost all the rights to her body ?? Have no dignity ?? Have lost all the say in the matters regarding herself??
What defines a woman’s character??
Is it the clothes she wears???
Is it her friends, she hangs around with??
Is it her profession, which at times may require her to spend crazy hours at office?
Is it her idea of having fun??? She might want to dance and drink at times??
Is it her free spirit?? She likes interacting with new people, she is an extrovert?
Is it her determination to put her career first??
Is it her strong determination to find her identity in the world?
What defines it?? And who defines it??
A woman can be any of character, but she still has a say, nobody can accost her without her will.
Bad character, loose character are definitions designed by patriarchal society to keep woman in control, in limitations. It is the way of dominating.
Rape is beyond physical exploitation, it’s a way of asserting power, superiority. It is way of telling woman that they are lesser being and can be controlled, manipulated, exploited physically and mentally. And this will continue to happen till the time society changes its attitude towards girls.
When girls are seen at par with boys, things will start changing.
When girl’s education is given equal importance, things will start changing.
When girls are trained mentally and physically to take care of themselves, things will start changing.
When girls are seen as financial strength rather than burden on the family, things will start changing.
When girls stand up for their rights, things will start changing.
When girls starts supporting their family, things will start changing.
The problem lies with every single family in our country. It has to be addressed at very micro level. Attitude towards girls need to change. They have to be accepted in the society for what they are and have to be given respect. It’s not something which can be handled by government alone, laws can be made to punish the culprit but that’s only after much damage would have happened to somebody.
The government can punish the culprit but it’s the people who are creating them. And it’s happening in most of the families, knowingly or unknowingly.
Change will come, when people change. You and I change, and force people around us to change!