Girls, ladies, women. They are our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, wives, daughters, friends, educators and they play integral roles in our lives.
In Hinduism, Goddesses are worshiped. Shakthi is said to be complementing the male counterpart, Shiva.
Goddesses idols are revered and priests go through elaborate lengths in order to glorify the deities' manifestation as an unbridled power without which the world will cease to exist.
Is that the case in real life? Are women revered? Are women protected? Are women empowered?
I am sure that by now all of you would have known about the gang rape and brutalizing of a 23 years old medical student in a moving bus in New Delhi. Later, after enduring the savage assault, she was stripped down and thrown out of the bus and was left to die on one of the busiest roads in the capital. A male friend who was escorting her and who had thwarted the harassment from the 6 men was also beaten badly and thrown off the bus as well.
That is the bitter truth, the grim reality. Women are seen as objects, not as a human being made from skin, flesh and blood.
Ask any woman who has taken the public bus here whether she has been groped at her privates and see her indisposition to open up.
Yes, we suffer in silence. Heavens knows how many times I've been 'pinched', 'elbowed', 'hit' and 'touched' at my intimate parts in crowded public buses while travelling to school, library and home.
I always tried to avoid crowded buses but sometimes, I had no choice. I had to take crowded buses in order to be punctual to the places I go.
I would just close my eyes and will the disgust, anger and shame away as my modesty got outraged. At first, I felt my honor and chastity crumble away but later, I accepted it as one of the inconvenience of taking public transport.
This type of condoning only licence men to do whatever they want to women. No More!! If you feel a dickhead caressing your derriere, slipper him! If some guy rub himself on you, kick him in the groin! Sometimes, humiliation is the biggest and impacting punishment.
And, there is a buck passed to women, men saying that the way they dress turn them on and women actually ask for it. Lame pretext to justify perversion.
Men should not think if a girl wears miniskirt, she is a slut and it is an invitation to rape. And then there are paedophiles. Calling them diabolic satans is an euphemism.
What is worse, there seems to be tacit approval from society that this is a norm, an inescapable part of life. This reasoning must change. Nobody really talks about this. This subject evokes malaise but women who are sexually harassed suffer needless trauma.
There is no safety for a lone woman to be out at night. A fear that they are easy prey for sexual offenders and muggers is always inherent. It is a necessitated insecurity fueled and encouraged by gross impunity and ignorance. It shouldn't be the case.
It is only recently where women are slowly venturing out of the confines of a incarcerating homes and patriarchy system with the desire to achieve something in their lives and give back to society. To stand shoulder to shoulder with men. These kind of people will send back women back into the kitchen.
The drilling of giving women respect must begin at home. Teach boys that girls are their equal and subjugating female is a sordid practice.
I am waiting for the day where a woman can feel safe walking alone at night. That is the true liberation for women.
Legal penalties for sexual harassment must be made stringent. Penalties should be so harsh that an erection can chicken out.
This is the punishment for rapists in Iran. This model should be adopted by all countries' legal authority to fight crimes against women.