We have been failed by people who are supposed to protect us many a times. Be it the inability of your parents to act towards that Uncle who molested you; be it the lack of interest shown by your boyfriend when you talk about your stalker who has increased his threats with a huge dose of maliciousness; be it that person whom you see walking on the road and not helping you when you are screaming for help; be it that women constable who has questioned your dress code much more than the motive of the person assaulting you; be it that cop who has refused to take down a complain of sexual assault because it is an everyday thing.
We are perpetually ignored.
The voice that they want us to have, all lies in the ideas and philosophies but never in its existence. They all us to have a voice, a voice that yells NO but is accepted as YES. Yes, that is the voice of a woman, a mistaken voice, a misinterpreted voice and many a times, a shushed voice.
A post of a girl went viral on social media recently, wherein she found a drunk man who entered her rented-flat, without any invitation or consent. This man came with the motive of raping her, undoubtedly, as he was found penis-naked by the girl in trouble. Her quick wits thwarted such a harassment, and she managed to lock him out of her room. He kept knocking at her gate, and obviously without a response he felt turned-off and decided to crash in some other room. The girl called her landowner for help, who initially advised her to not follow the legal pursuit. Claiming him to be a bacha, he decided against police pursuit as it would have tarnished the reputation of the rented-accommodation, and also because he has seen the kid growing up.
Later during the same night, the girls’ roommate came back and saw the mess created by the predator, and decided to call police for help. The cops came and all hell broke loose. The supposed protector of citizens, asked the girls not to go forth with the complaint, as being girls why should they hassle with court-kacheri. Also, he was clearly acting under the influence of alcohol, thus somehow diminishing the authenticity of his crime.
We are surrounded by such moral cannibals, who would do anything to thwart justice and just relish in the occurrence of such a crime, because of course, fretting over it would mean nothing.
Are we supposed to draw out the predator till his extreme heinous acts, before finally acting against him? How easy is it to shush a case of harassment, wherein the danger lies in the motive and not yet in the act?
Let us all realize that ogling, showing sexual content without consent, masturbating, passing lewd comments, singing songs, breaking and entering, groping, are all different layers of harassment. They all are punishable by law and should be considered as crimes by all of us, without any apprehension. Just because they lack in ‘severity’ as opposed to murder, rape or an acid attack, doesn’t mean they don’t impact an individual or doesn’t inhibit their sense of security. These things matter and have far greater consequences upon the one reeling under this, contrary to popular beliefs. Let us not focus on its constancy and normalization more than its horror and cruelty.
Just because we are attuned to the idea of its regular and constant occurrence, doesn’t mean that it is okay. It will never be okay to feel threatened, or to be touched without consent, or to be ogled at, or to be groped in public spaces, or to be jerked off against.
It will NEVER be okay. Period.