Another day, another city, another girl and another rape. Why does it not shock me? Or maybe it does, but I am beyond any sensation. It worries me that my child is growing up in a world that doesn’t learn from its mistakes. It worries me to see that the world my son is growing up is increasingly antagonistic towards women. It worries me to see the commodification of women. It worries that I may have to tell him that a man must protect a woman. I must tell him that the world is an unsafe and hostile place for women. I worry that I will have to make him a custodian for a woman’s honour and safety.
It worries me that I have a son. It worries me that I have the gigantic responsibility of answering the questions he may have about violence against women. As he grows up to songs like ‘Fevicol Se’, hear politicians say that his colleague is a ‘tunch maal’, or a society that judges a woman for what she wears and who she goes out with; I worry, that I have a lot of answering to do for him.
I worry that I have will have to watch him closely, give him the right lessons, monitor his actions all his life. I worry that my son’s view of women is a reflection of how I have brought him up. The way my son behaves now and when he grows up will be a judgement of me.
This was the Rakshabandhan week. A prominent festival on the calendar, we had a very curious theory about it when we were in school. Some guys liked sporting a handful of rakhis. Some girls went about tying rakhis to a mass of boys. While some others joked that how so and so will not tie one to so and so; and sometimes it also became a matter of heart break when someone approached you to tie a rakhi when you were hoping she would be a girlfriend! Were heart breaks so uncommon then? I don’t think so. But not every spurned lover turned murderous and landed up with an axe in class.
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