A small news item made for the perfect start of the day, incidentally, the Women’s Day!
A dude from Delhi reached his baraat pitch drunk. The girl lost it, refused to marry and her dad, instead of imploring her or putting his pagdi in front of his jamai or drinking poison, locked up the baratis and the groom. The cops came and made the pati parmeshwar return the engagement gifts worth 2.5 Lacs.
So, this would be the girl whose marriage broke at the last moment and this would be the guy who was chased out of his wedding party by the bride!
That’s awesome progress, no doubt. The “doli goes, arthi comes out” brand of dedication to one’s husband is not so distant past (possibly, not yet past in several areas even now). Hell, even today, we Indians are such misogynists, the simple technological tool of prenatal sex determination becomes a deadly weapon in our hands. I mean, I can convince the government to let me keep a gun but not to know if my baby is going to be a boy or girl – something trivial in most of the countries of the world. Government of course, is helpless. Generalization yes, but we Indians can’t handle it if we are going to father (or even mother) a girl.
24X7 media and social media has forced everyone to take a more politically correct turn. So, instead of saying, “I have the right to rape a woman when I want”, people say, “Well, why didn’t she dress conservatively?”. And then, the other bullshit, “Rise and shine, but don’t ape men. You are beautiful in your own way. Don’t become a consumption commodity”, which essentially means, “Take your freedom and baby rattle it as much as you want but you’ll forever stay men’s sexual belognings”.
Look closely and you’ll find that every form of discrimination against women can be traced back to the idea of women’s sexuality being owned by men in the family. Dad’s famous shoulders droop the moment daughter becomes adolescent not because he is worried about unwanted pregnancy or STDs but the shame of not having been man enough to protect her future groom’s “secure deposit”. We need sons because they will protect instead of needing protection. Women must get married because what is a secure deposit without a certified owner!
What women need is to reclaim their sexuality from their husbands, fathers, brothers and whoever takes it upon himself to protect the “khuli tijori”. The right to one’s body is the most fundamental right and that should be taken back by women absolutely unambiguously. This means the right to dress as one wants. This also means the right to be sexually promiscuous without being judged (irony, I know, ‘promiscuous’ and “don’t judge” in the same sentence!).
The thesis is that nothing short of a sexual revolution enabling women to own their sexuality will bring about equal status.
(Image courtesy: Global fund for women)