Letter to Man
Few months back, I had watched a video that was shared on facebook. It included a few children: a girl and some boys. The boys were first asked to watch the girl, then smile at her, embrace her. They did all those with giggles and some were blushing. Then suddenly, they were asked to slap her. Unlike other instructions, they were reluctant to obey. A boy said, ‘Real Men should respect her, love her, not beat her.’But, recalling most of the heinous and spine-chilling incidences that have been occurring every now and then in our society has developed a sense on fear on me. What if I am raped?? What if somebody pours acid on my face? What if this, what if that?????So, I want to convey my voice to 3 most important categories men of my life; My Father and My Brother and My Male friends. To Fathers:
I vividly remember when I was crawling towards you and those stout hands held me so that I won’t fall. Baba, you are the one who taught me how to deal with this world, and still teaching!!! You have been for me as a strong anchorage that I can completely rely on. We have been friends forever and you have never ever made me realize that I am a fragile woman who has to depend on men for survival. You have taught me to create my own boundaries.
The most impressive thing you have done is how you made mom to continue her studies, sent her another city for higher studies, and decided to take care of 3 young children all by yourself. I have rarely seen any such men in my society. You have been my mother, my friend, my teacher and every other form I can imagine. While our society wants woman to be demure, you wanted me to be dauntless, you wanted me to be independent, and you wanted me to explore the world. And being the child of this revolutionary father, I have always been revolutionary. You have always inspired me to work harder and follow my passion. I would say, you introduced me to myself and what I am capable of.
Despite all these, you have also made me aware that the society is not composed of goodness; it has lots of darker sides. You have made me able to identify the negativities around us so that I can be cautious, to understand the fact ‘everything that glitters is not gold’. You have instilled the concept that we need to learn to protect ourselves in every situation rather than looking for any other person to come and save us from our plight. We sensed no discrimination between my brother and me. We both were treated equally not a pinch of differences.
So, isn’t it true that every daughter is, her father’s princess??
How can you molest a young girl aged like your daughter? How can you pinch her in the breasts taking advantage of a thickly populated bus? What makes you think that she like it? Did her dressing sense evoke you?? If so, how would you control when your daughter is in the similar attire? How would she become characterless if she comes home late by working all day and I am still a disciplined and exemplary even when I don’t get to come home for months during my field works with all men counterparts?? If my first salary makes you feel proud, how can you defame somebody else’s daughter when she is doing job and earning for her family?
The day when I held you for the first time was one of the most beautiful moments in my life. To have a brother like you is having a dream come true. The way you hold me and wept for hours when mom had gone for pursuing further studies, I was your caretaker, your mom for those three years. You have tolerated all my stupidities, my crankiness, my PMS, my blabbering, my ridiculous jokes with a sweet smile. You were first audience to hear my poetry and clap me with encouragement; you were the first one to taste my salt-overdosed curry before I served it to others. I still remember when you helped an elderly woman trying to cross the road, led her through the path and pacified her panic holding her tight. You have been my bestest friend with whom I have shared all my secrets, my happiness, my sorrows, my crime partner, my game partner. You were the one to wait for me and carry my heavy luggage every time I return from my field works; the person whom I can blackmail emotionally every now and then to complete my practical drawings or the remaining dishes to be washed. I never felt there was any difference between you and me.
So, aren’t all those girls, sisters of somebody else????
How can you dare to misbehave with her taking the advantage of the dark streets? How can you dare to tear her clothes, brutalize her and rape her? How can enjoy seeing her shattered and withered? You once said that you like me the most when I smile and on the contrary how can smash those smiling faces? Don’t you remember me every time you do that?
To male friends:
I just can’t pen down any specific person or any specific moments which wouldn’t have been so wonderful without you guys. Like, seriously, I would say I have been blessed to have amazing male friends who have constantly supported me, encouraged and even appreciated me for my achievement. We have partied hard in the nights, danced like crazy beasts, and chattered all day, shared lots of laughter and even sadness together. I never felt insecure or have to worry when I am with you all. I was never misbehaved or treated with disrespect. Despite, you guys were quite concern about my and other female friends’ safety every time we are on a tour or some visits. This was the main reason I never had such negative impressions and had stronger bonds with you guys.
Wouldn’t she have male friends?????
Then how can you disrespect any other girl walking on the streets at night? How can you pour acid on her face just because you liked???? How can you bully her with your bunch of hooligans claiming you’re the Man??? How can you be so inhumane? Does it hurt your self esteem if she discards your proposal? Does it make your feel weaker? How can boys get seduced so easily only seeing a girl, no matter what she wears; sari, kurta, jeans, shorts, bikini or veil?
Besides these, there are men in different forms; husband, son, boyfriends etc. How come you can act so selfish?
What amuses me is, this dual character of man: protector as well destroyer!!! Domestic violence, rape, acid attacks and many other forms of acts is ultimate avatar of male chauvinism, patriarchal mindset and disgrace to mankind.
Stop blaming women for every crime you do. It happened because she evoked me. Had she not fought back, I wouldn’t have killed her. If she was my daughter, I would have burnt her alive. Women are like flowers and hence should me in the appropriate place. A girl from decent family doesn’t go out at night. We have many Sangita, Puja and Nirbhaya in our socities and we want no more!!
Enough is enough!!!!! What do you think we are; puppets???? You can say anything you want, do whatever you want? We have no value without you??? What irks me the most is women are still regarded as nothing, we don’t have any importance, not even as the creature crawling on the ground. To be true, I know no feminism, I am just fighting for human rights. It’s quite ironical, belonging to the majority of the population; I am still striving to enjoy my rights.
As Socrates said, ‘No society can progress until both men and women aren’t developed equally.’ And I can clearly vision where my country is leading!!!