Women

Fun Fearless Female

3:22 PM

This is "Cosmopolitan" motto, a magazine that helped me cope with living in India the first few years.

But that put aside, I don't see that many "fearless" women around here. The impression Indian girls and women left on me for quite sometime now is a feeling of constantly carrying the burden of a male dominated society, constantly bringing themselves down and using their womanhood as disability not to be able to do certain things.

As a girl who was born and raised in Geneva Switzerland, I never have been told things such as "This is not safe for ladies", or "Girls can't do that", or anything clearly meant to make me feel inferior. So when I tell some of my female friends and neighbours around here about my life in Switzerland I see a lot of eye popping, especially on the "living alone" part, many wondered how I dealt with it, some asked "Was it safe" and when I add that I was going to pubs for a girl's night out, driving a car at night, or even taking the late night bus home they find it crazy.

The older generation women I know would disapprove, because a good Indian girl do not go out at night like this, and if possible live with parents until her wedding day at which point she generally moves in her husband family. I'm quite conscious this must be quite a cultural clash here.

But for the young generation? What about them? I saw quite a lot of girls around wearing western wear, embracing western culture, but when it really comes down to believing in themselves the cookie seem to crumble under the weight of superstitions, and traditions. And too often the same old motto "I can't do this, I'm a woman" seem to come out. More paradoxical is that contrary to Europe being a woman scientist or a woman engineer is more common and accepted in India, but yet taking the bus in the evening, or going out solo seem to be beyond their reach.

I had a few women telling me "Oh but Europe is so safe" and I can just beg to differ, Geneva isn't a safe city, crime is rampant, street deserted after 9, rapists are on the look out for a prey in pretty much the same way as in any other place. The only difference I see is that a European woman do not put herself in the victim's shoes as easily as her Indian counterpart, and will not let a "XX" chromosome come in the way when it comes to having a life. Most of the Indian women I met tend to restrain their way of life in order to avoid being caught in a conflict or be attacked in the street. While most girls in Europe have basics of self defense taught to them in school in order to simply be prepared should a problem arise, in no case are they told "Don't be out at night it is not safe for ladies" instead we are told "Do carry a sharp object in your pocket to use it against an aggressor, make sure you don't listen to your ipod on a deserted street so you remain alert at all time and ready to strike should the need arise"

It seem to me that women worldwide should learn to respect themselves and stop making excuses for falling prey to a sick guy. No girl it wasn't the way you dressed, it was his not being in control, no you aren't weak and should avoid certain situation just on the account of you being a woman, women are strong, women can defend themselves, women have the same rights as men, women should not let anybody make them feel inferior, because if you let anybody do that to you, you are bringing yourself down and living a lie.

Chin up lady, you are worth every bit of what you want to be worth in the first place.

2 comments

  1. As always, it's good to read your blog. And on the issue of sexual harassment, have you joined up yet with www.blanknoise.org ? They are a citizens' action group against sexual harassment. They had a Bangalore event recently and they have an email sign up too. I don't live in India anymore, but they seem to doing good work in consciousness-raising. I hope they succeed and don't just fade away.

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  2. I heard of blank noise but didn't know they had a blog, and I remember reading a couple of articles about the 8th march campaign in Bangalore, I think they do one every year on the occasion of International women's day.

    Thanks for the link :-)

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