Congratulations! It is a Boy

Every human body, irrespective of gender contains some level of both estrogen and testosterone. During reproduction there is an equal chance of an x-chromosome combining with an x-chromosome to produce a girl child and an equal chance of a combination of an x,y chromosome to produce a male child. Men and women have both excelled in every field possible, thinkable, discoverable and inventable . Then what is the reason for this indiscriminate discrimination against a woman that she has to face from the moment of her birth, in fact even before that? Well I know this problem exists, and not only in my country but worldwide, but the root cause of this problem I have never been able to figure.

Whenever I have seeked those who firmly believe in this practice I have either been asked to shut up or brushed aside with puny and tamed answers. I am not at all implying that it is only the men who typify women as the weaker section of the society as I have come across many men who understand and are sensitive to the needs and wants of a woman and many women who are unrelenting and rather sadistic. It is clearly a problem within the society and not just with the men.

The problem is so epidemical and deep rooted that the I assure you that if you sit and listen to the story of even a single distressed woman and a victim of social norms you will be shaken to the core. I have read several articles and watched many debates on the empowerment of women and all of them follow the same pattern of being preachy in the beginning and end in no concrete conclusion. There are more and more people working towards the cause, there is more awareness, there is more exposure and opportunity but there is still no relief for the poor, illiterate and helpless women. The condition of a woman is more or less the same in our society as it was pre-democracy, pre-urbanisation, pre-globalisation.

The majority of the world’s poor are women. The rise in price and inflation has reduced the meal of an average poor woman from one to nil! 2/3rd of the world’s illiterate are again females. Females are the most exploited form of labour in terms of physical, mental and sexual exploitation which is why HIV AIDS has gone on to become a woman’s disease. In India the sex ratio has decreased from 927F:1000M to 914F:1000M and this has been the trend since 1961 as shown in the government census. Taking advantage of their melancholic and gruesome situation they are trafficked and forced into the beds of strange men. This may sound dramatic and like a scene from the hindi movies in the 90s where Amrish Puri’s drool is all over the camera but this is very real and nothing like a movies of the 90s.

This is a story though and of heros like Sunitha Krishnan and Anuradha Koirala who have devoted themselves to save the lives of females who are shaken by the ordeals they face on a daily basis. They have saved upto 3000 and 12000 females respectively. They tell shocking stories of girls as small as 3 years old and women as old as 40 who are mercilessly sold in the market like mere vegetables. Coercion is used on these females to sell their organs, become camel jockeys and enter prostitution. One of their uneventful days would include a diet of two biscuits and water, chilli powder being shoved into their vaginas, bodies burnt with cigarettes and whipped by those men who pay to sleep with them. These women are made to serve 35 men daily on an average. Women trafficking has become the 3rd largest organised crime in the world and is a $10 million industry.

One may be compelled to think that in the age of liberalization and globalisation why do women have to resort to such formidable and dreadful professions? Only for cheap thrills and easy money? Well, of course not, noone aspires to become a prostitute and majority of them are forced into it, their bones beaten to pulp till the time they either end up in bed with a groggy client or end up in the grave. However, not every distressed female is dying of hunger, lives in utter poverty and ends up being a prostitute. Females are physically and sexually abused in the distinguished high class fabulous urban society we proudly live in as well. It might be a shocking revelation but in India, eight out of every ten females have been sexually harassed at some point of time in their life. I am reminded of MF Husain here, who was threatened and thrown out of the country for drawing naked paintings of women. The bitter truth is that those depictions showcase the actual condition of the woman. Miranda (from Sex and the City) very rightly said that the men around the world just want women to eat fries from behind the veil, they don’t want us to voice and at the end of the day we are mere naked figures of pleasure.

I don’t want to preach as I personally find it very exhausting but I do have a message and not for those who prefer us behind the veil but for those who think staying behind it is the easy way out. We live with and around those hypocritical men who step outside their houses roam around like wolves drenched in their lustful drools and the moment they take the same steps inside their house the game changes, the rules are reversed and women are provided with a set of rules that they must live by. Not only do the women outside their houses fall prey to their mental disposition but also the ones who live with them, suffering in their own silence. The vow of silence needs to be broken ladies. Those incorrigible men not only think that it’s ok to take advantage of the opposite sex, but have turned it into some kind of trend and unless those of us who identify them, unmask them they will continue on their inglorious path. So please remove the self imposed tape from across your mouth and stand up for those across whose mouth tapes are being put and hurt like barb wires.

Himanshi Chaudhary