- Why us?
- Why only women?
- Why aren’t we important?
- Why can’t we be equal?
- Why take it out on us?
- Why should our gender make a difference?
- Why does it have to be this way?
- Why should it mean that we’re weaker than others?
- Why can’t we have a society that’s safe for us?
We need change. Our society needs change. Every time there’s a heinous crime against women, there are new restrictions thrust upon us. “Don’t be out late.” “Come home on time.” These always come when we’re coming home late, for those who are working, and those who are having a good time out late.
And when we finally decide to leave from wherever we are, “Who are you traveling with?” “Take so and so route only, others aren’t safe.”
There’s some more when we’re deciding how to dress. “You’re going by train, don’t wear those shorts.” “That t-shirt isn’t opaque, wear something else.” “Carry a scarf or a jacket.”
Should it matter though? How we travel, or how we dress, or who we travel with? Should it matter that women’s compartments in trains aren’t fully cut off from the general compartments? Should it be so hard to pick up the newspaper every morning, in anxiety that there’s only bad news there?
The freedom India got on 15th August, 1947 was for her people too. And freedom means no restrictions. And restrictions are driven by crimes. So I guess if there’s no crime, we might just be able to achieve freedom. The same freedom that we, rightfully deserve.
Other countries I’ve visited, I’ve noticed, don’t have a separate women’s compartment in their trains. It doesn’t matter that women have to share compartments with their male counterparts. Also, they wear what they like to, without receiving lewd glances from random passersby, without having men whistle at you, or sing songs as you walk past them.
Women must be respected. Not treated as items of entertainment, toys you can use as and when you like. Crimes against women should be punished to the victim’s heart’s content. Our legal system exists for a reason. And mockery shouldn’t be made out of equality.
We need to be more open-minded. We need to be better fighters. But most importantly, we need to change. For the betterment of women, for the betterment of society, and for the betterment of our country.