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First of all, I must accede that in the past I have been pretty vocal about the female flaws, openly mocking their ability to drive or their sense of direction. And, fascinatingly, it has led to me being branded as a “misogynist”, a “chauvinist”, and above all a “sexist”. I take this opportunity to reiterate that I am anything but a sexist. In fact, I respect women too much to hold a bias against them, let alone in favor of a male community that is often needlessly high on testosterone in search for some pretentious machismo.
Ever since my childhood, I have been an admirer of what the female side represents- Beauty, Innocence, Fragility (my favorite attributes) and yet, I have never thrown my weight behind sensitive issues such as Women Empowerment. Why, you ask? Because, I am a man of logic, a man of reason. And, I did not see reason in it, for I believed that preferential treatment was not the answer, awareness in women for their rights was. I believed this awareness would in turn ensure that they fight against the entire system and eventually find their rightful place- right beside man- in this patriarchal society.
That is, until this past winter, that is until I saw the reality from my very own eyes. It was the month of February, and the fest season was in full flow. Like any other amongst numerous college students, I was attending an event at a popular DU college. The crowd was overwhelming to say the least; in fact, it was beyond anything I had ever witnessed or imagined. I stood there amidst the sea of bodies, moving back and forth involuntarily with the flow of the crowd. It was then that I noticed her, the girl in red, standing motionless a couple of steps ahead of me. She seemed lost, looking around hopelessly; perhaps she was searching for some friend in the ruckus, I thought.
Suddenly, all hell broke loose. There was some confusion on the other side, and the entire crowd started retreating onto us. I found myself caught in no man’s land, with swarms of people colliding into each other from all sides. Amidst all the cacophony, I raised my head and searched for the girl. I noticed that she was buried underneath a pile of bodies, pushing and jostling with whatever strength she had left. She clutched the air around her helplessly, gasping heavily for breath. She lost her footing and fell down to the ground. Again, the crowd retreated and bodies collapsed onto her. It struck me that if something wasn’t done soon enough, she could very well suffocate to death. I could not bear with the sight, so I moved ahead against the colossal resistance with all the force I could summon. I reached her after what seemed like an eternity. Quickly, I shoved the people around her, making room for her to breathe fresh air easily. I grabbed her hand, and trudged through the crowd and into the open.
It was then that I realized that the male fraternity is too dominant, too assertive to naturally allow women their rightful place in the society. It made me realize that although sati and female infanticide may be a thing of past, women still cannot survive in this country without extra support, for India may be a democratic country but it is still a very hostile environment for radical changes. I say, give them the reservations they deserve, but before that give them the recognition they deserve. Inflict the harshest of punishments onto the perpetrators of women oppression, such that they dare not even think about a woman soul as long as they live. To strike a balance in today’s world, one must do everything in his/her capabilities to reinforce the fairer sex’s position. I can only hope that one day, the word opposite to “misogynist” (don’t even know what that is) can become just as popular!
PS: Don’t ignore if you are a male, for it takes tremendous guts and valor to acknowledge this fact, and even more to do something about it. Also, to the entire male population reading this, here’s my appeal – Do not consider women as trophies, respect them! To the female population – Do not let yourself be treated as trophies, respect yourselves!