By Citizen Journalist Amaya
Why is it that despite hearing and then frowning upon hearing rape and molestation cases, we still don’t see anything changing? I have been told by many that Jammu is safer than many other cities where chances are that you might get raped and nobody would even get to know. I even agreed first. People are less barbaric here may be, could be respectful or who knows, just afraid and fearful of getting caught? Whatever the reason be, people refuse to believe when I say that I have been a victim of sexual harassment more here than anywhere else.
I travel in matadors every day. Some lucky days I am able to get one in time, that too, a less crowded one and the next 40 minutes of my travel would pass then without any attempt of Toucherism. But, unfortunately, every day is not a lucky day. Today, was one of those. Sitting next to almost a 60 year old man, I wasn’t much worried of getting touched here or there. But right after I got up from the seat to get down, the gray haired, wise-looking man got up after me. While I was standing at the door, in a span of just 10 seconds he didn’t leave any chance to feel me up. I was silently seething inside but more than that I was shocked, so much so that I couldn’t even look at him, let alone react. Stepping down, still in silent fury, shock, sorrow and somewhat killed inside, I turned around- A man, probably older than my dad, maintaining the coldest guilt free expression on his face with no trace of remorse or even fear, did HE just try to grab my breasts? He wasn’t looking at me. He got down, crossed the road and left. I, on the other hand was still there, thinking, “he must be having a daughter as old as me, how could he?” He seemed the kind who would vigorously participate and yell against rapists in any discussion, preaching about our liberty and blabbing about women’s rights and how they should step up and beat the shit out of the bastards who leer at them.
I still fail to understand this frigid hypocrisy. When a rape happens, they all become the saviors, unshackling their patriarchal chains or may be just making them briefly invisible for us to see and when we women, believing in their support and counting our new existence on these people, feel free to step out on roads without fear, they throw us back in the shell making us regret our very foolish thought of being free in the world that is ruled to the core by these patriarchs and has barely any place for a free woman.
The pair of breasts we own- what keeps the world going, the symbol of motherhood, womanhood, existence and civilization becomes a regret some days. How are we even supposed to measure our worth in this world? In terms of these assault attempts? Being a victim is not okay for anybody but even that realization doesn’t leave me strengthened enough. Some days I would be encouraged enough to fight back but some days are more disappointing than the rest, you feel hopeless, accepting the things you shouldn’t. Sometimes leaving me to wonder, if that is all they need us for, to grab us, to crush and crumble our dignity just for the sake of feeding their endless pride and power. And our silence? just an assurance of their own existence and vanity?