Women's Day Special

Be careful with a woman like me

Niha Masih for BeyondHeadlines

I woke up this morning tagged in an interesting post by a friend on Facebook. It was called “Be careful with a woman like me” by Brooke Axtel. An hour later, I get requested on the same forum (FB chat) to write a piece on the occasion of International Women’s Day (does my red bra strap has anything to do with it, I wonder?). Another couple of hours pass when I read a shared post by another friend again on Facebook tantalizingly titled “Indian men lead in sexual violence, worst on gender equality” (The Times of India).
It is interesting to see the titles of both posts – in conjunction. “Be careful with a woman like me” – “Indian men lead in sexual violence, worst on gender equality” or maybe “Indian men lead to sexual violence, worst on gender equality” – “Be careful with a woman like me.”

Sonam kapoor in Delhi 6

Is one symptomatic of the other or feeding off one another mutually? The questions are disturbing as these are dangerous consequences one way or another. Any report on the sexual violence against women in India is followed by a treatise on how sexual repression in the society at large leads to it. The other is of course the patriarchal nature of the society. No doubt, it does but is that all? Or perhaps, there is a larger problem all of us are over looking? I do not know the right answer, but I do think that if there was more respect and less contempt, the world would be a slightly less evil world.

While tomorrow’s newspapers will be full of celebratory articles on the modern woman and the pathbreaking ground she has covered, somewhere some girl will be getting raped, some woman being beaten up and some unborn female foetus being killed.

Frankly, the gory headline of The Times of India did not make me shudder much. Didn’t we already know that? After 6 years in Delhi, I could have vouched for it without any survey.

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