To the women of the world

It feels strange to be writing this, but perhaps every man on earth should say this at least once in their lifetime. To all the women in the world, "Thank you"!

Thank you for sticking around with us, thank you for keeping us sane and for keeping us from killing each other. One fine morning, if a spaceship appeared on the horizon and you had the option of leaving all men behind for even a day, I am certain we'll probably go extinct as a species. If you decide to stick around, however, it will be your greatness, and just sheer dumb luck on our part.

I stand horrified at all of the things that my brethren have meted out to you over the years. Incidents that happen day in and day out that are no less than medieval torture. The ones we get to know are few: be it the rape of the young student in Delhi past December, or the cut up body of the rape victim that was recently returned in Bengal. What were the last few hours like, of those victims who had so much to see and enjoy in the world? Even then, the ones we do not get to know every day are equally devastating. Be it the little brush of skin on a crowded bus, or the domestic violence and beatings that are so common the media hardly ever reports it. I can only think about how they rob you of your dignity, how the value of one's self and one's life is sliced away inch by inch every single time you have to ignore and walk steadily past wolf-whistles and taunts. I feel sad that I can only imagine what it must feel like, to possess your beauty, your vivacity and life; and yet live under the constant threat of rape and violence every time you have to cross a dimly lit street. I shudder to think what it means, and feel incoherent rage at the perpetrators of these acts.

Therefore, I wish to thank you. Thank you for sticking around and still being with us. For nurturing us and cheering us up either as mothers, sisters, friends or wives. And most importantly, for not taking that spaceship and leaving us if the time comes. Like I said, it is just sheer dumb luck on our part that we receive such undeserved love and compassion from you.

Comments

  1. I neither agree with violence against women nor the excessive glorification of women as a whole.

    I also disagree with lumping all crimes against women together under one umbrella and equating all of them. I also disagree with lumping issues of gender equality with crimes against women because they are different issues.

    When crimes are committed by women, we don't refer to them as "crimes by women" do we? I think as a whole we need more gender neutral sex offences laws to protect both men and women, particularly children. Actually the way things are now, a false complaint of rape by a woman can ruin a man's reputation and career.

    I also think that laws relating to consensual sex before marriage need to be looked at seriously to avoid criminalizing acts of sex before marriage when both parties consent to the act. In my opinion, it cannot be termed rape when the woman is a willing party to the act even though there might be promise of marriage because the consent was given knowing full well the implications of sexual intercourse before marriage. There could be a civil liability involved in the above, but not criminal liability. That is a far different situation than raping by force or physical subjugation. I think Parliament needs to step in with a clear law on this.

    I think overall, we need more perspective on this issue and a little less emotion. Society as a whole cannot evolve until we get over these issues.

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    1. Hari, you are right, the post is more emotional than something filled with a concrete call to action.

      However, I doubt if I am glorifying women as a whole in the post, nor am I addressing "crimes by women against women" as you put it. They merit their own discussion, but I have talked about just "crimes by men against women". False complaints of rape by women against men are not unheard of, but look at the statistics of the number or actual rape victims reporting it vs. false accounts.

      Your point about civil vs criminal trials of consensual sex before marriage with an implicit promise of marriage is valid, but does not apply in the present context of my post. Surely you believe that the accounts of rape and brutalization in Delhi or Kolkata (my two examples above) are not consensual?

      I believe we need more perspective, a stricter (and a less corrupt) justice system and a healthy dose of emotion as well. If the jury or the judge cannot feel the pain of the victim or the outrage of the falsely accused, then justice cannot be served.

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    2. Sudipta, thanks for the clarification. I think there is no doubt that rape is a horrendous crime that deserves severe punishment but my post was not aimed at your blog post but at the media in general which tries to get people to react emotionally.

      On the other hand, I don't think the legal system should allow for any emotion. I think the punishment must fit the crime, but then if the judges get emotionally manipulated in a criminal trial, justice may NOT be done. There is already too much pressure by media to convict in certain cases. Conviction in criminal cases must be based on actual evidence.

      My point was, in your post you apologize for men as a whole, when I think such apology is not necessary. Men in general are not some evil, bad, sadistic, lustful creatures. A few men may be, but I think a lot of decent honest men like you and me are made to feel guilt for the actions of a few criminals in society, which is not necessary. Thus my response for not being too emotional about it.

      Some people might think I am anti-women - but really I'm not. But today's society expects men to be self-deprecating and apologetic - otherwise we're seen as mysogynist or chauvinistic. What a sad state of affairs it is, when we cannot debate an issue rationally and without colouring it with emotion!!

      I wouldn't have commented initially on this, but then I realized that you are smart enough to see my point.

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  4. To the Anonymous comment above (which I will delete). I understand what you are trying to say, but the language you use to convey those thoughts is not welcome. Please come back and rephrase your comment and I will be happy to reply to it. Hari - deleting your follow-up comment as well.

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  5. Despite all this violence against women, there are good men who would never touch you, no matter how angry they are.Unfortunately, the good man is not given the respect that he deserves. Many times, a girl will choose a bad guy over a good guy. She will dump the good guy for no reason or a stupid reason such as “he is boring”. In other words, women are indirectly telling us that we should be bad guys to be attractive.

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    1. An underlying assumption in your comment is that good men necessarily need to be boring etc. Why so? I believe women are attracted to men who believe in themselves. Whether by character you are good or bad is an orthogonal question.

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  6. Rape is a crime that is commonly commited by men, if proven guilty. Of course you cannot group rape as just 'rape' as the word does not convey the severe different severities of rape and maybe this should definitely be considered as with the girl in Delhi.Women should not have to fear being raped!.

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  7. I agree with Rebecca. Rape should be classified or graded acording to its severity. Lets start taking it seriously and give harsher sentences.

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  8. so nice words. I really loved it. thank for sharing. Thumbs UP for you.

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    1. Thank you, dear free online dating site :)

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  9. Sudipta, you are so very right. I suppose that we should just face the facts (high-sigh). Being a woman is a THANKLESS job. Thank goodness for websites such as yours where we can build one another up and support. A THANK YOU to every woman who reads this post. Thanks for being YOU.

    For Reals, and Love you the most,
    Madi Brown

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    Replies
    1. Aww - you are very kind. Happy (belated) Womens' Day to you!

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