Posts Tagged ‘boys’


Lying on the roadside …near the garbage heap,

Covered in your mother’s blood …

Your barely formed head…covered with sparse hair….wet…

Your eyes are clenched closed ……and pointed chin touches your barely moving chest…

Fists closed …arms crossed across your unformed breasts…

Your knees are drawn up tightly across your tiny caved in stomach…

The placenta torn and sneaking through them and lying …like a withered snake …unsure…

Your thin legs are crossed at the tiny delicate ankles…pink toes speckled with blood…

I see you my daughter…

 

 I see you my daughter…

Lying on the roadside …near the garbage heap,

Covered in your own blood …

Your head covered with sticky mottled hair …lying bedraggled across your bare shoulders…

Your eyes are clenched closed ……and pointed chin touches your barely moving chest…

Fists closed …arms crossed across your beautiful bare breasts with burn marks …

Your knees are drawn up tightly across your curved stomach…

The womanhood torn and sneaking through them and lying …like a withered snake …unsure…

Your bare long legs are crossed at the ankles…red coloured toes speckled with blood…

I see you my daughter…

 A journey of a million smiles ….a million blessings…so many tiny dancing steps…so many birthday gifts…a zillion words…so many classes and teachers… beautiful dreams …a journey of a million tears…

…to end from your mother’s blood in your own …from death to death …

 © Dr. Anita Hada Sangwan

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This is a guest post by a guy who wants to put across a very strong point. Let NO mean NO, and not “try harder”. A must read for all girls-

No means No

First, let me tell you about myself.

I am your average guy. I come from a middle class family. I worked hard to clear my exams. I have a well paying job. I have travelled to Europe on many occasions. I love gadgets. I love cars. I love movies. I love girls.

I am decent looking. I am charming. I have had many girlfriends.

I am also a rapist.

Now that I have your attention, please read through the entire blog post before you judge me.

All this talk about rape being the fault of the victim has gotten me thinking. Who in their right mind can make a disgusting claim like that? Will we eventually start hearing people say that the victims of 26/11 were at fault for the massacre? Will earthquake victims of Bhuj be blamed for the earthquake?

Bottom line: I think whoever puts even an iota of the blame of a rape on the victim is plain stupid.

But.

But…

And this is a very sensitive “but” – and I completely understand the implications of what I am about to say, hence the double disclaimer – I also think there are things girls can do to avoid such incidents.

I know feminists will want to hunt me down and castrate me just for suggesting this, but please read the entire post before you judge me.

Personally, I believe that every individual has a duty towards self-preservation, so discussing these ideas is not counter-productive to getting the debate going forward on how men should change their mindset. The menace of sexual assault is so disturbing that we need to find solutions across multiple dimensions. Getting men to re-wire their brain is one such dimension. Getting women to be careful is another dimension. They are not mutually exclusive.

Enough has been written about what girls can do (or should not do) to avoid putting themselves in such dangerous situations. I am not going to repeat any of that here. What I do want to touch upon is something that I have never seen mentioned anywhere.

Maintaining the sanctity of the word NO.

This is where I must digress to my personal experience. I have dated a lot of women. I have slept with a lot of them too. I am not trying to brag, please understand that I am trying to make a point here. Having been that intimate with many women, I have what many of you would call data-points. That would not be my first choice of words, I don’t treat women as objects or numbers, but I am trying to make a point here. So please keep up.

Women that I have known for a long time, that I have even been intimate with, who have even confessed they love those moments of passion with me, tend to play a very dangerous game of “hard-to-get” with me. This is where they pretend they are not interested in sex, or make me work hard to “get” them. I say pretend because they readily accept later that they did want to get intimate with me just as much as I did, but the “game” is either an “adaa” of theirs, or a moral defense mechanism to avoid guilt later, or a way to show they are not really the “fast” kind. Either ways, if it has happened with me, I can assure you it has happened with many people out there.

I call this game dangerous because of the kind of precedent is sets. It essentially says that all that “NO” was a big farce. It tells a guy that NO does not really mean NO. That it just means you need to try harder. (You see where I am going with this?)

I look back at my experience with girls, and this shocking trend emerges. I see self made sex movies on the Internet of people and this trend becomes stronger. You may remember there was a sex scandal on the JNU campus that broke. Everyone talked about it. Many actually watched it. What no one pointed out in that video was that for the first 3 minutes or so, the girl (apparently already in a physical relationship with the guy) kept pushing the guy away. She vehemently keeps saying no. She ends up using all her physical strength to defend herself. So much so, that the guy had to eventually get violent just to “get” the girl. Shockingly, once the guy “gets” her, the girl is seeing enjoying the experience, even encouraging him to go further, almost as if the NO meant absolutely nothing. This is very similar to many home made sex videos you will find on the Internet. This sadly, must even be very true of what happens in many bedrooms across our country. In each of these situations, guys are being given the wrong message and the sanctity of NO being systematically destroyed.

Western civilizations take such NO very seriously. As a guest in a westerners home, if you say NO to another helping of their delicious pasta, you can be sure you won’t be asked again. Contrast that with India, where saying NO is probably the first response by default. Here, the host is expected to “fight through” your NO to come across as being genuinely hospitable. Combine that basic sense of “manners” with the dangerous “game” some women play and you have the beginnings of rape – specifically date rape.

This leads me to the point I am trying to make in this post. Of the many things we’re trying to do to reduce the incidents of rape, somewhere we need to start educating women to uphold the sanctity of NO. Let guys not be confused even in the slightest way about what the NO really means. It has always, and should always, mean JUST  NO.

Let women make this promise to their partners, they will say NO only when they really mean it. Let guys be clear with their partners, even a subtle NO will make them step back so their partners should be very clear about what message they send out.

Sure the timeless “adaa” of playing hard to get suffers, but atleast we get to see some real results on the ground. A fairly large percentage of date rape cases (sorry I don’t have numbers, I am just sharing my experience here) are attributed to an assumption that the girl didn’t seriously mean to say NO, she just said it because that is what she usually says in such situations. If even a fraction of those rapes can be avoided, I say it’s okay to wipe our hands clean of that “adaa” in the larger interest.

Sure there will many cases of rape where the animal inside just takes over, and these kinds of precautions won’t be of any use. But the one in a billion case of date rape that can be avoided because of this mindset change merits that kind of attention.

I for one have decided to change my moral bearings now. If a woman says NO even playfully, I will stop.


Guest post by Anushree Kejriwal:

 

Amidst the simmering anger I try writing this post hoping that the flame won’t extinguish. So the rapes continue to happen, candle light marches, silent protests (the entire concept is a farce in my opinion though), blogs and demand for castration for the rapists. I totally second the latter though. It has happened and the enormity of the situation has probably ensured that the government wakes up.

Indeed it has. Politicians are flocking in to meet the lady, open letters are being written but introspection level is zero.

I don’t intend to blame anyone; I feel I am responsible for myself. Like me there are many others who are staying away from their loved ones in order to make a career for themselves. Our parents are constantly nagging us by commanding do this do that, in short do everything to protect yourself.

What we need is public support. Small incidents (according to the administration) like ‘eve teasing’ should be dealt with stronger steps. I do not mean that the police should necessarily be involved.

If someone is stalking or teasing you, create a scene. God has blessed you with a tongue, use it. He has given you two hands, use it. Shout in public. The public is a conglomerate of a variety of people: few are deaf, few are ignorant and a few are genuinely helpful. Let’s just ignore the two former cases and try harnessing the latter category.

Many women use the Metro for daily commuting, and prefer travelling in ladies’ coach than the general one. The myth that it’s safe is well just a myth. I often see men acting like bees, pushing themselves into the coach trying to catch a glimpse of the flowers for some honey. No one stops them because everybody is too busy with earphones plugged into their ears. That’s where we give a hint that we are weak.

The moment you raise your voice and protest, you will see the opposite sex simmering down. If someone is trying to “feel you”, be bold enough to make sure that the soles of your sandal feel his head. I repeat, harness the public’s energy. Mao said that revolution without bloodshed is impossible. Times have changed so we don’t need to shed blood, but we need to shed the cloak around us. Raise your voice once and see the difference. You will feel stronger and make the opposite sex feel weaker.

We are girls and not mules. No incident is small, even a simple case of “eve-teasing” should be dealt with harsh usage of words and sandals.

What happened to the Delhi gang rape survivor [and millions like her] was unfortunate and cannot be reversed but what may happen in the future can very well be prevented. Be responsible for your own self and see to how others acknowledge your importance. Whenever required shout, abuse and use your hands and sandals judiciously.


Shilpa ChaudharyGuest post by Shilpa Chaudhary, student at University of Delhi “who seeks the answer as to why misogyny has not been subverted yet.”
The recent rise in rate of crime against women especially in the form of rape and molestation forces one to think as to where we are heading with all this? Is the 21st century India, technology savvy of which we are so proud of, an apt replacement for its hypocrisy, stagnation and retention of the so-called Indian ‘sanskriti’?

These are the questions which do not come to my mind as I walk out of my house in the crime capital of India-Delhi. Instead I join my hands in front of the divine idol my mother has placed in my room and pray dutifully that my day goes peacefully. Basically implying, I leave everything to chance.

The chance of me getting groped in public transport is as high is as the chance of me getting raped in my college. Is this what my father would have wanted for his daughter when he cradled her in his arms for the first time? I think not. What is it that forces men to make them act in the hideous manner that they do when they participate in such shameless and rash actions? Why do they fail to realise that the karma that their mothers preach of can cause their female family members to be in the very same position some day as well? And let me tell you that no amount of parsad can prevent it. Beneath the chant of ethics, values and moral duties lay the horror of corruption and tyranny. Institutionalized sexuality and institutionalized religiosity are combined.

When Kamla Bhasin in a recent debate on CNN-IBN was asked to voice her opinion on the unfortunate incident of a father being shot while trying to protect his daughter from a molester in Punjab she rightfully decided to take the issue up from a larger perspective. The writer and activist referred to the ‘epidemic’ state as a kind of ‘brutalisation and dehumanization that is taking place in the society.’ Revealing her stats of rape in India which has increased by 870% she campaigns for a ‘cultural tsunami’, whereby the hegemonistic notions which treat women as objects are to be drowned. Rape is not to be seen as a violation of personal space which A does so of B, but a man on a woman in this case. It is to be viewed as the psyche of man versus woman.

During some research studies I came to draw an analogy between the crimes which aim to deteriorate the fairer sex and Ann Garry’s ‘Sex, Lies and Pornography’.  Advocating a non-sexist form of pornography Ann miserably thus concludes that at the end of the day there is nothing to prevent men who really enjoy degrading women from undermining the most well-intentioned plot from the vision of a powerful feminist movie maker. The effect would be that even though the content would be morally acceptable and the intention of showing it is morally flawless, women would still be degraded by those sections of men to mere body parts devoid of any individuality. However, the fact that good intentions and content are insufficient does not imply that the feminist’s efforts will go in vain. There is no denying that anyone who tries to change an institution from within faces serious difficulties. This is particularly evident when one is trying to change pornography and its attitudes concerning gender roles and sex. It is rather beneficial and courageous to change pornography instead of closing one’s eyes to it, in the hope that it will go away. For it is realistic to expect that pornography is here to stay.

When B.R. Ambedkar referred to caste as a notion, and not a physical barrier which prevents classes from interacting he perhaps did not realise the magnanimous importance of this statement of his.

‘Caste is a notion, a state of the mind. The destruction of caste therefore does not mean the destruction of a physical barrier. It means a notional change.’

The patriarchal mind-set needs to wake up to the threatening alarm. As Kamla Bhasin put it, ‘How we bring up our boys? How we treat our girls?’

Enough is enough is the motto of the ‘One Billion Rising’ on Valentine’s Day, 14th February, a global movement which aims to put end to violence against women and girls. Love, not war should be the ideal for which each sane mind and noble heart strives for.

If our leviathans fail to guarantee our security then we must take the cause as our responsibility and abide by it till it converts into a pure devotional belief in the most harmonious manner possible.

A country where reactions are post-facto the only solution is to learn to rise above one’s stereotypical identities. As J.S.Mill puts it, ‘a distinguishing feature of the new age is the fact that human beings are no longer born to their places in life..but are free to employ their faculties to achieve what may appear to them most desirable’.


Zena CostaGuest post by Zena Costa, independent sports mgmt professor and writer.

Zahra Baker

I have been following the story of this little girl in the news since 2010 and as a result did a couple of reports & features to help. Checking with friends in the US I learnt today that it’s been two years and “investigation” is still ongoing. I decided to share because I do not want Zahra Baker to have lost her life without something positive coming out of it.

It is a senseless, horrific, heartbreaking tragedy. This child got the worst hand dealt to her by life, and I can’t make sense of it all, no matter how hard I try. All I can do now is trying to prevent it from happening to even one child in my community. And none of us should rest until we all do the same.

Do not assume that a male child is safe. In india, 33,000 female and 20,000 boys are abused every minute. Yes, every one minute. And what about the unreported millions?

We all feel helpless when we hear of these stories. And in some cases—either because of our geographic location or circumstances we are. But, if more people in every community started to take action, to get involved in organizations that prevent and aid in child abuse cases, it would make a difference, to the world your own child steps out to.

I did as a former journo report on cases in Goa via CHILDLINE 1098 and the impact it made on my life was significant. I know that my involvement was crucial in at least four cases that involved a child being removed from a dangerous home situation and I hold that memory dear to my heart. The real impact that experience had on me though was the stacks and stacks of folders of abuse in 2003. I was shocked to learn of the sheer number of cases, and over half of them as serious and horrific as the Zahra Baker case.

So many don’t make it into the media, which is why we all, understandably so think these are isolated cases. Abuse seems to happen “somewhere else” in another neighborhood.

But in fact, it happens every day, in every socio-economic situation. In the worst neighborhoods, and in the best. From people you would expect, and people you would never have dreamt could cause harm to a child.

So, here’s my call to action for everyone reading this, everyone I know, Zahra is gone, but the least you can do is protect your own child. Be vigilant, even at your own house, you’d be astounded to realize how many vultures are out there to gnaw at the life of your precious child. That’s the brutal truth. DO SOMETHING. Writing a cheque to an organization, however helpful, is not enough. We need to do much more.

SIMPLE WAYS TO AWARENESS AND ACTION:

First and foremost, pay attention to the children around you – children in your child’s school, children in your church, your co-worker’s children etc.

We should not be a paranoid society, accusing innocent people of wrong doing. But children give out signals. And most of us know, we get that gut feeling when something is wrong.

If you get these signals, get involved, find out what’s going on and if need be report it. Yes, it is drastic. Yes, it is a HUGE decision not to be taken lightly or for any other reason than the safety and well-being of a child. Remember you could be changing a life, saving a life.

Severe abuse is not always physical. There aren’t always bruises and broken bones. The worst abuse is sometimes emotional and is easy for the abuser (and the victim) to hide. Again, listen to your gut. Does the child seem sad, depressed, timid, or excessively anxious or worried? Do things just seem ‘not right’?

More often than not, your gut is telling you something is wrong because of a series of factors. You know one or both parents and are questioning their actions or lifestyle and more importantly, the children seem to be struggling.

Cases of abuse are not always an obviously evil abusive parent or family member. Unfortunately, the parents or family members are often sick themselves—either fighting addiction or mental illness and in some of these cases they truly can’t see the harm they are doing. But no matter who has what trouble, no matter how tough it all is—children need to be put first. Their safety and well-being is all that matters.

The emotional scars from all kinds of abuse take years , sometimes lifetimes to heal.

Another action we can all take is to get involved with organizations that do good work, hands-on work in the fight against child abuse and neglect.

As parents, we inspire and encourage certain kinds of behavior in our kids; they idolize us, look up to us and turn to us on a dark night for a hug. We are not here to say ”all will be okay ,” I don’t say that anymore , that’s mythic. All can not be okay till you take an action against all that is wrong in your as well as your kid’s life.

What adults-mothers, fathers, relatives, friends do to these kids in abusive households makes me both furious and helpless. It often makes me cry at night.

It is too late for Zahra. But it is not too late for countless other children out there who are enduring the very same abuse and neglect in their homes. Unfortunately, I can almost guarantee you that within your county, your state, your city, even your locality there are several children just like Zahra that need you. NOW. Please do something. Save the Children. They’re the future. Don’t let their present mar the rest of their life.

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