This is the common story of a number of families across India, quite a common practice with unfortunate outcomes. We, as humans and Indians, aim to bring a change by acting upon it and bring gender equality to create sustainable societies.
Chapter 1: A Male Breathes
As soon as the long desired son is born in a family, the whole scenario changes. There are celebrations as the heir has taken birth and the family’s name will be taken forward with pride. He is given all the possible love, along with facilities and an upper hand being a male. The boy is allowed to play outside, have fun and is given no serious responsibility of the homely chores. His mistakes are often forgiven and ignored, for he is a male and it is fine for him to be careless. The mother hides his petty acts and just like any other common Indian family, father plays the least role in sculpting the boy’s personality. The father is more often the figure with whom the rest of family is scared, so instead of discussing things with him about different aspects, the family stays silent and follows what he orders.
Chapter 2: The First Class
As the boy grows, he is provided with formal education so that he may learn and become successful in his life further. While his family has never stood against his acts till now, the boy slowly starts becoming arrogant and eventually a bully to others. He believes his acts to be right and fun to do, as he has been doing since childhood and the elders never said anything about them. His mischievous nature gets more support as when teachers complain and the parents fight with them instead. Gradually he passes the school and moves to college, where his activities grow into fights and eve teasing. The misbehaviour of his father towards mother created an image of how to deal with women. This attitude makes him hateful against the women and their acts, where the outcome is misbehaviour, eve teasing, and whatnot.
Chapter 3: The Act of Hate
Across his life, this man has seen the objectification of women through the Indian cinema, songs and daily soaps. He starts to believe the same that women are merely objects of fun and nothing more. They are meant to be used and abandoned later. He starts following girls around and soon enough, starts liking one. As what he has learnt from movies, all he needs to do is to pester her till she accepts him. He knows nothing about the concept of consent as nobody ever told him about it. She keeps on denying and he, being a dominant and arrogant male, keeps on pestering her. One day, agitated by his actions, she insults him in front of the people. This act makes him go mad with anger and he wants to take revenge for the insult. One evening, he finds her walking alone, where he forcefully drags her into his car and rapes her in return to the insult she did.
He believes it is a justified act and she deserved it. He doesn’t stop there and starts beating her as she resists. One thing leads to another, this resistance leads to strangulation and a couple of minutes later, he finds the lifeless body of the girl in his arms. He is scared and confused as what to do! He is running out of ideas, so he spills kerosene on her and sets the body on fire.
Chapter 4: A Female Breathes
As soon as the least desired daughter is born in the family, the whole scenario changes. They mourn as if someone has died in the family, as if the catastrophes of the world all came down at once. She is given all the possible discrimination, along with hate and title of a burden, being a female. The girl is not allowed to play outside or have fun, but given all the responsibility of the homely chores. Her mistakes are never forgiven and ignored, for she is a female and it is her duty to be responsible since childhood. The mother abuses and beats for her petty acts and just like any other common Indian family, father is only concerned about getting her married. The daughter and her father seldomly talk, as it is not required or necessary to listen to the opinion of females of the house.
Chapter 5: The First Class
As the girl grows, she is provided with the training for all the homely chores, cooking, dancing and singing, so that she may get an ideal groom. While her family has never stood in her favor till now, the girl slowly starts becoming diffident, lacks vision and submissive in nature. She believes her family’s acts to be right, as this is what has been going around the neighbours and across. Her submissive nature gets more and more complex as even her mother and only friends are dealt the same way, on a daily basis. Gradually she passes her teenage without or with the least education, as it is not necessary for her to study. She just has to cook food and run the house later on for her family.
Chapter 6: The Act of Hate
This submissive young girl now gets teased by boys around and she cannot say a word, as she is nothing, but sacred. The misbehaviour of men towards her and friends makes her more and more depressed. For every friend of hers, there are a few guys behind, tailing and pestering them, wherever they go. Some give up and accept the proposals, while a few do not, scared of this first of a kind interaction with men.
One angry young man is tailing her as well, teasing, hooting, sharing letters and trying to send gifts as well. She is scared that her father will not tolerate it, so one day she musters all the courage and yells at this guy in front of everyone. He leaves, but only to come back a few days later. She is returning home from somewhere, as he finds her walking alone. The girl is dragged into his car. It seems the guy is infuriated for the insult he faced a few days back and tries to take revenge by raping her. She resists, he forces, she resists more, he tries to catch a hold of her, she gasps for air, his hold grows stronger, she tries to set herself free, he exerts all his force. Moments later, she is lying lifeless in his arms. The story ends here.
Chapter 7: The Solution We Need
If this piece does not make us cringe and think about how gender equality is much needed in society, then we are failing as humans.
If we try to understand the actual culprit here, the debate will never end, as for each of the person, it will vary. In different aspects, everyone is somehow a culprit and a victim in his or her own sense. But, if this continues, the world will end soon enough.
The change begins at home, it begins with us, our family and then goes out for better. As a male takes birth, he is required to be provided with proper moral education about different aspects, whether about respecting others regardless of their gender, age or religion, or about the concept of consent. It becomes the duty of the mother and father way before the teachers, to train their son in a manner that he turns out as a responsible human later in life.
As a female takes birth, she is required the same moral education, along with formal education. She needs education not only for her career and future, but for raising responsible generations later in life. The girl is required to be given training to defend herself from eve teasers and uncultured society. Females are not a burden, but the building blocks of society, hence needed to be treated equally as males.
Following these, we may build a sustainable society that respects and cares for each of its members in an equal manner. I request you to share your valuable views as well in the comment section below.