Whose Life Is It Anyway?
Jitted Lover Sets Kerala Girl On Fire Attempts Suicide In Medical College Campus - I came across this news. And, I want to advise all my young female colleagues, my daughter and her friends to carry small fire extinguishers, acid proof suits and bullet proof jackets in addition to the pepper spray they carry in their bags. Even if I caution them on not getting into any romantic tangles or dating anyone of the opposite sex, they can still attract extreme reactions from obsessive stalkers who are worse than jilted lovers.Maybe investing in a burqa is a good idea or better still we can go and confine all women to their homes.Maybe then, they won’t need to protest against being stared at, molested and groped or reject romantic advances that can get them killed and of course they will not get into any threatening relationship, either.
Sadly ,they can still get burnt, stabbed, shot or raped.And terribly hurt.Women who are not safe on the streets are not safe in their own homes either.What happens in society has its genesis in the attitudes we birth, foster, accept or tacitly ignore within our homes.
Women have to please, gratify, serve and second the opinions of men within the family, without insisting on their own.If she is secondary within the family, how can she have a primary role outside of the family? If she cannot make her own choices unless these are vetted or indulgently allowed to her, how can she be given the power of consent or the right to protest against or deny a man? The fragile male ego cannot be expected to live a dual life - the private dominant and controlling one and the public one dealing with rejection and dismissal .This dichotomy can only cause a downward spiral that spins out of control in the form of extreme violence.
It has got nothing to do with love, lust or romantic inclinations.It is a brutal assertion of power and control with the underlying threat - stay within limits.
Today we see this pattern of behaviour even in educated boroughs that have sanitised sex ratios and have had their brush with matriarchal traditions.It seems even they cannot escape the way patriarchal intimidation has colored everything from popular cinema to mass media and come to roost firmly in our psyche.The images are replete with the same underlying message of power and control.
What plays out in the mind and the home is what plays out in society.What is scary is the way each incident of public violence against a woman seems to feed more such instances. Like a licence to slash, burn, mutilate, injure and kill a woman who dares to say no. Does every assertion by a female that does not meet male approval, have to be viewed as a personal humiliation? Can you not understand that it is not a power struggle but just a right to have the same choices as men? Whose life is it anyway? Mine and despite the intimidation, threats and fear, I choose to have the same rights as you.