Women's Day In the Era of #MeToo
In the era of #MeToo and Time’s Up, yet another women's day passed. We celebrate women's day in a country where 80 percent of our women cannot afford sanitary napkins because the government has imposed a 12 percent GST on this essential commodity. Almost 23 percent of India's school-going girls stop attending school on menarche. To a surprise, that sanitary napkins are taxable unlike 'sindoor' and 'mangalsutras' which directly indicates that a girl is rewarded in marriage but not in her health in India.
We do read reports on how she has been torn apart in public by the perverts who think that her very presence outside the four walls of her house as a sigh to fulfil their lust. Women had to face eve-teasing, catcalls and obscene gestures, even rape in a country where Goddess Durga is worshipped at the same time they're being treated with lecherously through both verbally and non-verbally.
When women want to fight back against patriarchy and violence, society teaches her not to raise her voice, not to shout, not to scream even if she is being harassed by others. We have 'brilliantly' taught them the art of being silent and once they've started to uprear, the society has entitled her with names like 'sluts, characterless, arrogant and what not'.
At every point in their life, they will be fighting some or the other battle, for the right to private and public agency, right to inheritance, property and personal finance, right to work without sexual harassment, right to sexual agency including consent and sexuality, rights to guardianship, right to equality, right to dignity, or the right to divorce.
Depressingly, women have been born into a country that espouses the values of Satyamev Jayate and Stree Shakti, but also tells a woman that every time she has the courage to talk about her marital rape, or her physical abuse, or her sexual assault, she is lying. For centuries we have told our daughters to stay silent in the face of violence. Neither state machinery, nor the legal system, nor the next-door neighbour will help them when they're in need. She has raised from the ashes like a phoenix, and she had that fire in her. Let us not confine and shackle her. If she can bring lives to this world, she can conquer anything!!!