As a girl, the one thing I fail to understand about our society is the incessant need to blame the victim for the perpetrator's actions. It really makes me wonder if we seriously don't know the difference between the two!
Living in a society with orthodox views, along with a world full of conservatives, isn't easy.
A few days ago, I went through a shocking incident that has left me with intolerable anger.
Here's what happened:
Like an excited 16-year-old, I went lehenga shopping for a cousin's wedding at Lajpat Nagar with my mom and maasi.
In order to see how it looked on me, my mother asked one of the bhaiyas to help me try it on.
He then took advantage by rolling up my T-shirt, that I was wearing already, to hide behind the blouse and tried to feel up my breasts. He did this with such fluidity and speed, I didn't have the ability to stop it.
Honestly, it seemed as if he had practiced it or something.
Instinctively, I forced his hand away and shouted at him. My mom, sitting nearby, had noticed what had happened but didn't say anything at that point of time.
To my surprise, my mom, who I'd like to believe is a very liberal, 'cool' parent, started to shout and place all the blame on me. So did my maasi.
They said, "You should've known better."
"I told you not to wear such a tight top."
"Aise hi hota hai. Sab ladke aise hote hain. Uski thodi na galti hai."
My first lesson in sexual harassment came from my very own mom but all it taught me was that it was my fault.
This sick mentality is what needs to be changed otherwise all women will be stuck in shackles of fear and never have the freedom they deserve, and all men will think they have the right to sexually harass anyone and get away with it.
Why do you think almost 93 women are being raped in India every day?
I wish I could've slapped him, but that is where the underlying problem is. If I really wanted to take action, I could have filed a complaint but I didn't.
Before this incident, I'd always thought that if someone ever tried acting inappropriately with me, I would do this, and I would do that. But did I actually do anything? No.
But then when something like this happens, why is our first instinct always to place the blame on the victim? Why is it not to take action or even sympathise?
I'll tell you why. Because even the most educated of us can have detrimental views, which shows that someone's education level is not what really matters. It is, in fact, our mindset, our morals, and our thought process.
Take the incident regarding the Azan tweet by the actress, Suchitra, as an example. She was abused and called a whore just for expressing her opinion on Twitter.
Look at these perverts! Feel sorry for my India -with this kind of attitude towards women its no wonder we've become rape capital of d world pic.twitter.com/Hteg0IXRM8— Suchitra (@suchitrak) 25 July 2017
We need to stand up for ourselves and raise our voices to help eliminate the people of the world that think that they can get away with outraging the modesty of women. And give the women who think all men are the same a huge lecture on how that is completely and utterly wrong.
Until people's mentalities don't change, nothing ever will.