T/W: Rape, Assault, Violence
Truth be told it’s been a really hard year for everyone. A month ago, the whole nation witnessed a treacherous incident that shook our core and left us traumatized. A mother was raped by two men on the motorway in front of her kids. Fortunately the criminals are behind bars now but not because our police system was vigilant to catch them instead one of the main suspects surrendered himself.
This incident has not occurred in a vacuum. This act of barbarity has instigated from a system which is deeply rooted in misogyny and hatred for women. Rape and sexual assault is an act of violence. According to the Child protection NGO Sahil latest report, in just first half of 2020, At least 173 children were gang-raped, whereas there were 227 reports of attempted sexual assault. Moreover, 38 children were killed after they were sexually abused.
These are not mere numbers which can be ignored. We have to confront the reality of society which is specifically designed to benefit a few.
Despite of high ration of violence in our country we still face (ethical) problems to under the slogan like “Mera jism, meri marzi” (my body, my choice)
This iconic slogan made every man uncomfortable in homes, offices, seminaries, universities, and parliament.
So what exactly it means: My body, my choice as it indicates means one thing. I own my body and I have the autonomy to take decisions about life. Simple right? In an elaborative sense, it means State, landlords, mullahs, fathers, brothers, neighbors, partners cannot and will not make decisions about my life and my body. Women’s bodies have been used as an asset by patriarchs to produce labor, kin and pleasure. This idea has restricted women to certain roles too.
But why it bothers some people: We live in a beautifully designed patriarchal society in which ownership plays a crucial part of manhood. This concept expands from land to human beings as well. The idea that women can make decisions regarding their life and specifically about their body, threatens the whole patriarchal narrative. It weakens the concept of ownership.
But why it is important: From birth till death the one thing which remains human’s possession is their body. Your money, property or caste, creed, religion and political standing is not purely yours, either you received it objectively or indoctrinated through vigorous orientation respectively. Your body solely belongs to you and you should be the one making decisions about it.
How can you help (if your a men): Some men consider themselves as allies of the feminist cause and are confused about their role in this struggle, to them I say , even if you are not a problematic person yourself, your still a beneficiary of this system. Acknowledge your privileges, call out boys/locker room talks, and believe women. It takes an ample amount of courage to share and speak out about traumatic experiences. In the end, we, the survivors, have only one advice for you: listen patiently and give space to others to grow.