Monday, December 31, 2012

My New Year Resolution: to speak out against misogyny, everytime.

To the Delhi Braveheart. To the girl who was the sunshine of her family, who lived, laughed, cried, dreamt, hoped just like any of us, to the girl who dreamt about her upcoming wedding, to the girl who wanted to live – I am sorry we did this to you.

Note: When I say misogyny here I mean everything from objectification of women to sexual crimes to general androcentrism. 

This New Year, I resolve

to speak out against misogyny

to encourage men, like my husband, who are not misogynistic to speak out

to speak out about my experiences of sexual harassment including the common incidents in public spaces and about incidents of being molested as a kid. I think it is time to speak out. I know every woman out there reading this has been a victim too. I vow to speak out about how misogynistic our society is and what it means to be a girl in India.

And the most important, to discuss and fight for a strictly gender equal family environment with all close friends and relatives.
To encourage people like my sister, my friends and even my maid, who subscribe to that.
To discourage those who believe otherwise: I have a set of relatives who sent their daughters to government schools and son to a CBSE English medium school – not because he was the brighter kid – because he was a boy. I vow to speak out against such inequality.
And to discuss and fight even when I might not be heard.

to raise a son like a daughter and not the other way around. I vow to raise the son that I might sometime have to empathise, to care, to cry, to cook, to clean, to speak his feelings - just like I will raise the daughter I might have. And that son(and ofcourse the daughter) will also learn right from his childhood that sex is a mutually enjoyable consensual experience,and not something that is taken by force from somebody (thx Vandy for this line).
to like and comment on posts against misogyny
There are so many men out there who are starting to speak. So many guys I would have thought to be misogynistic coming out in support of the Delhi Braveheart and seeing things the right way – and without blaming the victim. There are cousins, friends, uncles, aunts and even workplace acquaintances surprising me here. There is hope after-all. Then there are those guys that I always knew cared. I vow to fight the cause you believe in - atleast with my words.

to speak out against trolls – When a socially aware person posts a genuine status on FB, like for example expressing anger or concern for the Delhi Braveheart – then some trolls come and post “There are other problems in our country”, “Tony Grieg died too”, “Why don’t you talk about the XYZ rape victim also”, “it is because of short skirts”, “how can a teenage go to pub, what were her parents thinking”, “Indian culture is good and respects women so this is because of western influence”. I take a pledge to speak out against it – ALWAYS.

I know, speaking out is one thing, and actual lasting change is yet another thing. Maybe my new year resolution will change nothing. It doesn't matter. I just know I have to do this.