I was contemplating starting off this blog entry with a disclaimer and then decided against it. What follows is OPINION. Something I am entitled to have and this is my blog. MM's post sparked this post and needless to say I will rant till I go hoarse on this topic!
What were you doing on New Years Eve 2007-08? It is not an unlikely scenario that you might have returned from overseas to India (your native land) to spend NY with friends and family and it is equally likely that you were out in Mumbai with friends/partners eating at a fine restaurant (after all you earn in dollars!) and decided to join in the India Gate festivities shortly after that. You are there with your partners, men, and therefore you are safe. This is a scenario that I might very well find myself facing. Heck, it is not too far from what my friends and I have done on NY's eve in NZ! Read this and the term 'safety in numbers' takes on a whole new and horrific meaning, so does the term 'mob mentality'.
I first read about this incident on Mad Momma's blog and didn't get around to finding out facts about it. This morning I have spent a half hour reading about the details of this morbid and downright disgusting display of 'machoism' by Indian men and it convinces me of one thing and one thing only - I'll just bite the bullet and say it - Indian men are b**tard coated b**tards with b**tard filling unless proven otherwise. I'm sure this 'recipe' is not far from the case for men of other nationalities too but since I can, I will comment on my 'country cousins'.
I felt sick to the stomach reading about what happened and sicker still from reading about men and other women who thought that they 'asked for it'. This whole 'asked for it' justificiation really grinds my gears HOWEVER as MM has said on her post there is a fine line between 'asking for it' and 'being stupid'. I have seen my Indian counterparts shed their clothes and inhibitions like snake skin upon migration and then they seem shocked that they get groped by and Indian guy. Desis will be desis will be desis. Would these same girls be comfortable showing this much skin in India? Hell no! But for some inexplicable reason the Indian man that moves overseas should become a decent individual and suddenly sprout a brain and a conscience that controls his urges - I think not!
Stupidity has its consequences. If you are stupid about your finances you will be broke, if you are a stupid driver you will crash and if you are stupid about what you wear you will be groped. This is not to say that these things don't happen to a vast majority of people even without being stupid about it. But you would not go to a war-zone unarmed would you?
I don't think it is right to lecture people on their attire. Wearing, or not wearing in some instances, clothes is a right and people are free to choose. However choices have consequences. Women today have the right to knowledge, education and information. Knowledge about the culture of another country you are visiting (how many of you know that when you visit the churches in the Vatican in Rome you must cover your arms and legs?!), information about the effects of alcohol on the female body, sex-education, self-defense. Read it, learn it and never forget it!
While authorities and civilians work towards educating the male species about consequences of their vile actions, I think women too need to take responsibility and get out of this overwhelming victim mindset. For Godsakes if a guy is inappropriate with you, have the guts to smack the living daylights out of him. I've done it, very recently, and a girl that saw me do it came up to me and said 'Wow man (!!) I wish I could do something like that!" - You can! You have arms and a brain and something that gets ticked off inside when a guy misbehaves.
One of the best things I learned while taking the Women's Self Defense class was to 'do something'. Anything. Yell, scream, shout, pull hair and gouge out eyes if you have to! It could save your dignity and your life. Don't stand there and take it if you can help it. That requires a certain amount of training and Self Defense programs are designed to help women overcome that initial shock and horror and get the brain to react.
This post might well sound like I support the 'asked for it' argument but read better and you will realise that I don't. I support intelligent behaviour. There is a difference between a one year old and a 25 year old and that difference is (in most cases) cerebral development. You have a brain -use it! No one ever asks for it - but we are still getting it, so what do we do?
My heart bleeds and I feel knots in my stomach and my brain fills with rage everytime I hear or read about molestation, sexual harassment and crimes against women. For no apparent reason at all apart from the fact that they are female! At the same time I am filled with a sense of pride and empowerment when I hear about women beating the heck out of a molester or assaulter.
No one asks for it! No one.