That was our topic for last COC (Chatting Over Coffee) on 24.7.09, Friday. This topic was chosen in connection with the three day programme ‘Daughters of Fire’ conducted by Vimochana in collaboration with CSA.
Through this discussion, we, a group of CSA volunteers and other students ventured into this horrifying reality. We discussed about violence in terms of rape, molestation, verbal abuse, eve teasing and so on. Are women responsible at some level, for being raped? Is it the dressing style of women that lead to them being raped or is it the male hormones at play? A law in Saudi Arabia holds women solely responsible for being raped.
Looking down to everyday eve teasing that every women experiences, is there much one can do to stop it? Every woman is subject to at least one comment a day while walking or traveling by bus or at workplace, anywhere. Raising one’s voice against these comments, in most cases hurts the ego of the man and the woman is at risk of an acid attack or a gang rape in the next few days. Is being bold, then, an option? Is it, however, alright to let being commented on??
Does media have an upper hand in this whole issue? Can the media help reduce any of this to any extent? Commercializing of women, women being looked at as sex objects, women being thought of as having only an attractive biological make up- can the media not bring about a change, however small or big? Isn’t there more to a woman than just the physique?
In spite of knowing and being aware of most of these issues, at the end of the discussion, we were all awakened. Awakened to realities that, in a way, had faded into the background, realities that had being considered as ‘given’. We are not helpless, at times, we feel helpless, but there is something we can do about it. There is always a solution, the simplest one being sensitizing others. Change, not big not small but change nevertheless.