Never never never give up

wspd
Yesterday was World Suicide prevention Day 2013 and at Write Tribe Corinne had invited bloggers to use their blog to spread the awareness.

Staying in Dubai, I often read cases of expat suicide. Financial crisis and loneliness play main villains in expat suicides. When I read the suicide cases like this , I used to think how could someone kill himself for such a thing. But now I have realized that the reasons seems silly to an outsider, but for that person it was everything.

Amit’s post was an eye-opener.  Shilpa’s post on the warning signs  is informative and thought provoking and she rightly says that Suicide can be prevented if the “stigma towards mental illnesses is confronted and challenged”.

Rekha’s brave post on how she decided to never quit reminded me of  this song from Thomas and friends . I keep playing it in my head now. You may have heard this before, but I wanted to post it here so that I can come back to this whenever I feel low. And I really hope these lyrics would cheer up others too.

If you climb the highest mountain,

Cross the river deep,

Maybe you’ll find it’s never as easy

As it first appears, as it first appears

Just remember not to worry,

Or get down at heart

Never lose faith in positive thinking

You’ll be amazed when you achieve

All the things you start,

all the things you start. So,

Never, never, never give up even though the going’s tough

Don’t stop trying, when you’re tiring, and you’re out of puff

No, never, never, never give up even though you’re feeling rough

If at first you don’t succeed, never, never, never give up

If at first you don’t succeed, Then try and try again

Nothing in life is ever as easy

But you get there in the end, get there in the end

So blow your cares and woes behind you

Start a brand new day

Nothing can stop you reaching your goal

If you’re determined, you can do it

You will find a way, you will find a way. So,

Some things seem impossible, answers hard to find

No matter how improbable, you won’t know until you try

You can do whatever you choose it just takes a little luck

So remember never, never, never give up

Never, never, never give up!

And most often the suicide could have been prevented if the person had someone to speak his/her heart out.

Husband’s property

This happened today, at my office.

My male colleague E, “Seena madam, you have become stylish nowadays”

I, with a smile “aanno? ” (Is it so?)

E, “new dresses, hair style, glasses and all. Suits you well.”

Another male colleague RS, “Hey, what is this man. She is a married lady. You are talking nonsense to a family girl. What will her husband think if he hears that, he might slap you”

Excuse me! Am I my husband’s property? A male colleague cannot compliment a female colleague if she is married ? Does he have to take the husband’s permission for that?

I was irritated and gave him a piece of my mind.

Actually he has been getting a piece of my mind every now and then.

When I was pregnant, the same RS had told me that he had prayed in the temple, for me to conceive, as I have been married for more than 2 years and it is because of him that I got pregnant ! 😯

Excuse me! Who are you (or anyone else for that matter) to decide when should I get pregnant.  It is something I and my husband should decide together. If we have decided not to have kids until we are ready to take the responsibility, why should anyone else be bothered about it. When I have never discussed or even remotely mentioned to  you or any of my colleagues on my plans to have or not to have a child, who gave you the right to assume that I badly wanted a child and pray for me in the temple ?

Even after getting an earful from me that day, he did not hesitate to tell me, when I was about to go on maternity leave, that he had prayed at the temple for me, to have a baby boy.

What the …. ! Who is he to decide I  should have a boy or a girl ? Why should he interfere in my personal affairs ? Why the preference for boy?

Now, who deserves the slap from my husband?

RS, believes that a colleague with whom I am friendly with should not pass compliments to a married family lady without the husband’s permission . At the same time a colleague, with whom I don’t even share a cordial relation and never ever discuss my personal affairs, can pray for me to conceive and then have a baby boy. He not only feels there is nothing wrong in it but also feels proud of it to brag about it.

Why ? Obviously, the social conditioning he has got from the patriarchic society he was brought up in. The social conditioning that did not tone down even after being educated, holding both a BE and an MBA degree and working in a professional environment as an Engineer for nearly ten years.

A social conditioning that teaches that a woman and her beauty is only husband’s property. A social conditioning that teaches that a woman’s duty is to get married and within a year give birth to a boy. Any other male complementing the woman is violating the husband’s property rights. Any other male praying for the woman to conceive and giving birth to a male child is being a well wisher to the couple.

It  was just after the above incident that I read this at IHM’s blog.  Isn’t the same social conditioning, mentioned above, the reason for an woman’s honor  to be linked with her status of being married. Rape becomes nothing to do with the woman’s mental and physical trauma, but everything to do with losing  honor and becoming unfit for marriage. Marriage becomes nothing about love and mutual respect but everything about the woman’s honor and status in the society.

Absolutely agree with each and every word  Lauren Nelson has written.

From the facebook comments image she has posted, we can understand the society we live in :

  • 16 year old girl is expected to be mature enough to not get drunk.
  • 16/17 year old boys are expected to get drunk.
  • 16 year old girl is expected to protect her ‘modesty’ even while she is heavily drunk and unconscious.
  • 16/17 year old boys when heavily drunk are expected to rape the drunk girl.
  • 16 year old girl is a slut when she gets raped when she was drunk and unconscious.
  • 16/17 year old boys are poor victims of fate when they are charged for raping the girl.
  • 16 year old girl getting drunk shows degradation of social/moral values.
  • 16/17 year boys getting drunk, raping, joking about the rape, posting the photos in social network are innocent.
  • 16 year old girl should be charged for underage drinking.
  • 16/17 year boys involved in underage drinking and rape are wrongly charged and convicted.
  • 16 year old girl who got drunk and passed out, in no position to object, was asking for it, is responsible for her rape, is a slut/whore, got what she asked for and did not lose anything.
  • 16/17 year old boys who got drunk, did only what most people in their position would have done, are not responsible for what they did, were just stupid to post it in social network , are innocent and wrongfully got their promising career ruined due to biased law.

Also read : Teens who witnessed the crimes used their phones to snap pictures and photos – never to call 911

Rethink the Rant

TRIGGER WARNING:

The following includes descriptions, photos, and video that may serve as a trigger for victims of sexual violence.
Please be advised. 

Someone asked me today, “What is ‘rape culture’ anyway? I’m tired of hearing about it.”

Yeah, I hear ya. I’m tired of talking about it. But I’m going to keep talking about it because people like you keep asking that question.

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, no one says, “Stop.”

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, they can’t get anyone to come forward.

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and adults are informed of it, but no consequences are doled out because the boys “said nothing happened.”

Rape culture is when a group…

View original post 1,115 more words

The blame game continues..

Today morning the first news I heard was about the death of the Delhi rape victim. I feel so terrible. But she wanted to live, even after being so brutally tortured and organs removed, even after knowing she would have to live with medical support throughout, she wanted to live, that just says how much will power she had and how much she loved her life, didn’t she deserve to live?

But along with the grief, I am also raged, raged at the attitude of men and women in our society.

Along with the news, the channel was asking views of public on the same.

A young man (around 25 yr old)said “I am deeply moved by the news. I sympathise with the victim. But our girls in Delhi are taking more freedom, that is the reason rape is increasing “.

A grandmother ( above 50 ) said, “ I am afraid for my daughter and grand daughters. Where is this generation going? The rape and molestation is increasing so much because of the movies, internet, mobile phones and lack of social values in the youth, following western culture.”

It is not the first time I heard these comments. These are not just the individuals who have these views. The above mentioned man and woman voice the opinion of a large chunk of our population and to say precisely the opinion of rapist. Yes, you read it right, the opinion of the rapist.

GN

Every time a girl is molested, not just in Delhi, not just in India but any part of the world, people pray for the victim and condemn the rapists publicly, few others are insensitive enough to blame the victim (and what is more horrible is these few others who blame the victim are those who are entrusted the responsibility to voice for the victim).

But even those who do not directly blame the victim and sympathizes with the Victim  and say they feel the pain of the victim, end up giving suggestions to the victim how she could have avoided getting molested than how the molestation should be prevented.

I ask the young man, really? you think rape happens because girls take more freedom? In that case we should be hearing these news

“ a 25 year old man was gangraped by six dented and painted girls in a Disco in Delhi”

“a 6 year old boy was molested by his mother, sister and aunties”

“ a 90 year old  man was sexually harassed by a teenage girl”

You did not mean such ‘extreme ‘ freedom, you meant freedom about dressing and being out in the night etc., Alright, then why I don’t hear this news

“ a 23 year old drunk girl in Bikini was raped in the pub at midnight”

Why do I hear the news of rape of a 23 year old girl with her friend in a bus at 9.00 pm, of  a six year old being raped in her home by her father, brother and uncle, of an 80 year old granny being raped at her home..

And to the grandmother who blames the new generation.

“ because of the movies, internet, mobile phones and lack of social values in the youth, following western culture”

I beg to differ.

As mentioned in my earlier post when I was groped first nearly 20 yrs ago there was no sheela ki jawani, no internet, no you tube, mobile phone was limited to the upper-upper class. And those men did not even eat chowmeins then .

They see chikni chameli, munni or Sheila in an item song and think all the women asks for it, but haven’t they seen the heroines in the movies saying no to it. How does a man see chikni chameli or munni in a 2 yr old girl? At 2 yrs you cannot even distinguish a girl and boy until you take off their dress, which of her exposed assets reminded you of Sheila and told you she wanted it? Well, my husband enjoyed watching munni badnam, he did not go about raping the girl next door, he did not even think of forced sex with his wife ?

And you think they rape and molest because they feel the girl/women asked for it? No. They rape/molest because they feel the girl/women do NOT ask for it. How dare they say NO to you when you want to satisfy the basic huMAN need, your sexual desire, which is much above  roti-kapda-makan?

The more she is covered up, the more they want to tear off her dress, the more she says NO to them, the more they want to molest her, the more she fights back, the more they want to rape her. And then you blame her dress and freedom?

Where is this generation going?”

First of all, rapes/molestation have not increased in this generation, but are increasingly reported. They have moved from the a small column in the last pages to the Headlines in the front page. Because of the internet, TV, mobile phones, more people come to know about it. The girls have started raising their voice and reporting the crime. More importantly, this generation sees rape as a crime rather than a loss of honour which should be hushed.

It is not this generation you should blame. It is your generation who brought up this generation of girls under restrictions, grooming her to remain silent, shaming her when she is tortured, asking her to have modesty, associating the honour of your kandan to her.

It is your generation who bought up your boys like kings, boosting his male ego, not asking him to even lift a finger at home, making mother, sister and wives his slaves, teaching him that he can get away with his wrong doings because of the horn in his pants, his mistakes does not bring shame to the family, teaching him that girls should be thought a lesson, teaching him that no girl has a right to say NO to him.

It is your generation who made sex a taboo, instead of giving right education on sex.

It is you my dear grandmother (mentioned above) who bought up the young man (mentioned above) to say Girls in Delhi get more freedom, so get raped.

And now you blame the generation, the technology and westerners ? How convenient for you !

Kya yeh sab Teek Hai ?

I would have been around 10 yrs old when I was groped in a bus for the first time. I still remember how he was rubbing his foot against mine. I kept trying to move towards the front part of the bus, but in the packed bus how much can you move? And then his hands groped my breasts. Breasts? Remember, I was ten then, there were no breasts. But he was moving his hands over my chest. I shoved him with my elbow at least 10 times by the time I reached my Bus stop. This was in Kannur, Kerala.

groping-korea-sexual-harassment

Many such incidents kept happening in the bus during my school and college days. I started arming myself with a safety pin. Whenever a stray arm groped me, my pin made a hole in those arms.

Once, I was traveling back from my office, in Bangalore. I was sitting on the aisle seat next to a lady. All ladies were seated and few men were standing in the bus. Though the bus was not crowded, the standing men were crowding towards the front part of the bus towards the ladies’ seats. A middle aged man positioned himself next to me and started rubbing his thing against my shoulder. At first I thought he was accidentally falling as the bus was jolting through the Bangalore roads. But after it repeated I realized he was doing it intentionally. I moved a little front and pressed myself to the lady sitting next to me. But he too moved and repeated, I moved again. The lady sensed something was wrong and looked up. She squeezed herself to allow me to shift little more. But again he continued. I looked up many times to scold him. I called out to him to stop. But he was busy looking out. Not even once he looked at me. All the time I stared at him, he was looking out and just the second I moved my eyes, he was back rubbing. I knew people around could see it but no one reacted, not even the lady next to me. I finally stood up, stamped hard on his foot and got out in the next bus stop (3 bus stops ahead of my destination) and walked the remaining distance.

dry-bones-bus

Another time, I was standing just next to the bus door .The bus was crowded. No way I could go in side the bus. A lad, about 16 yrs old, got into the bus from a stop and stood on the steps. The bus was moving; Suddenly he grabbed my breasts and before I could react he was off the bus (the running bus!) and ran away into the dark. I was left staring at him, tears filling my eyes. I sensed people looking at me, no one reacted, no one even calmed me down or enquired if I was OK. Once I got down and started walking towards my home I broke down crying. I called my best friend and told her what happened and she comforted me while I cried away. I felt so terrible.

To this day I haven’t told these incidents to anyone at home. Why? Because I knew telling them would only worry them and the result would be restrictions on me. They would not be able to do anything to those men, but I would not be allowed to go out. I know it is out of love and they are anxious about my safety. But I have suffered and then I am punished again?

And now why am I telling all this publicly? The Delhi rape incident has raged me. I do not want to give examples of any XYZ who has been molested or raped and which the media has celebrated. I do not want to show any of the statistics. I wanted to share few of the incidents that happened to me and that happens to a common girl/woman, every day, in any part of the world, which goes unnoticed, un-reported.

bus

Why none, including myself, reacted in the above cases? We try to avoid getting molested but never react against it. We move away, run away, hide but do not voice against this. That’s what the society teaches us girls, avoid the circumstances where you get molested but never react when being molested. That’s what unfortunately my parents, with all their love, expect me to do. That what the society ask us to do, our politicians ask us to do, the police asks us to do, women welfare organizations in India ask us to do.

“What if you react and then they come to take revenge with knives and acid bottles? We  neither have the strength or money to deal with them. We are common middle class people” says a middle class mom. Mr. PM  and Mr. HM , do you really think your three daughters are in the same danger as the  daughters of a common man?

The first incident, I was in school uniform and it was around 8.00 am in a public bus. I wasn’t wearing bikini, didn’t have any assets then to expose, it wasn’t midnight and it wasn’t an empty bus with tinted glass. Both the Bangalore incidents, happened around 07.00 pm. First time it was an almost empty bus and the second time a heavily packed bus. I was wearing Salwar Kameez.

So tell me Mr. Neta  what I should have done to avoid getting molested? I should have stopped going to school? I should have quit the 9.00 to 6.00 job? I should have born a Burqa and hid in my home. Do you dare say that I asked for it? At least I can say I would be safe at home, unlike my less fortunate sisters , for which I have no words to say.

I see the protests in Delhi. I am happy, at least now, there is a reaction. But I do have a question too. Does the rape has to be so gruesome to gain the attention of the public, to make them react?

Kya yeh sab Teek Hai ?