I Am Her

She goes to the bus stop to get to work. A group of men whistle to get her attention. One of them decides to take the liberty to sing an obscene song. Surprised at his own bravado, he flaunts how ‘cool’ he can be. He follows her, throws her way a vulgar glance and waits for her reaction. Her blood seethes with anger. She knows she must retort or the girl behind her would be next. Ironically all she ever does is walks on without reacting. He wins this one! Rounds of high fives are passed between his friends. I am her.

Society looks up to her as she is the woman of tomorrow. She is as educated as her brother is and earns as much as her husband does. She travels to work in a crowded bus in Delhi. There is hardly any space to breathe and she can feel hands on her breasts and body. She gets molested. She cannot make out if the grope is conscious. She does not react, she dare not. Will she be trivialized if she yells to protect herself from her offenders? She knows she will be thrown out of the bus herself. She is the ‘woman of tomorrow’, financially independent but with sexual freedoms at stake. I am her.

She is a twenty something studying in Bangalore. Her parents want a better life, better than they ever had. She gets raped among eleven men on Christmas Eve. Does she have the courage to fight against her rapists? Will she get any Justice? Her rapists will be on bail the very next day. And her rape case would go on for years. In the end, her family would neither have money nor the energy to carry on. A complaint filed and her life will be forever marred. I am her.

I live in a country that dubs itself as spiritual and religious by god fearing men. Yet I am raped, eve teased or molested, everyday by the same.

I burn with hatred when the Police refuse to protect me. They say I am raped because I dress in a provocative manner.

The incidents involving me are animatedly discussed over tea in small towns and in posh coffee houses by NRI wives in cities. It provides fodder for debates on news channels and kicks a huge uproar in social media sites.

In the end, my protection meets the same fate as those tea debates. Everybody eventually gets back to their life silently thanking god that they were not me i.e.; till I am raped or burned for dowry again. I am her. I am put to death as a baby, I am put to shame everyday and I am an Indian Woman.

Fight Gender Discrimination! Fight Sexual Abuse! Fight Female Genocide!

You can visit and support Gender Bytes, a campaign that supports women and female genocides, here http://genderbytes.wordpress.com/
Author: Ankita Mishra
Editor: Ajith Alex Jacob

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