A lesson taught differently

Once in a while, there comes in front of you an image that rattles you, makes you pause whatever it was that you were doing or thinking and THINK. Think hard, at that. I came across one such thought provoking image today and I couldn’t help but relate to the sentiment. I don’t know who has written it but whoever has should see my head bent in respect in front of her (I am almost praying it’s a him!). I don’t own the copyright for this image but I want so strongly to share it!

A lesson taught different


I saw it and it just was stuck in my head! I know people will tell me, these are facts of life, we can’t be idealists, we have to live with how world is etc etc. And I want them to know that I don’t care for their ‘acceptance’ of ‘reality’, the way it is right now. If this reality has been created, it sure can be destroyed too, and a new reality can be created.

Picture this: A man looking all strong is captured by a woman and made to do slavish labour simply because he looked strong! She makes him do so much that he passes out and she doesn’t give him any food or water. She waits for him to come around, and forces him to slave labour again. And after that, she makes him to go to all her friends’ houses and work hard there too.

I can sense the ‘human rights’ thoughts forming in people’s heads and sympathizing with the man. I too sympathize. All I intend to do is to draw a parallel with the idea of rape. It is a violation of human rights, of one’s personal freedom, one’s personal space. And our Society, instead of teaching that one shouldn’t invade someone’s personal space, teaches us that one should work hard on making one’s personal space so inconspicuous that no one notices.

This image reminded me of all the warnings I have received from various quarters at various points in life:

1. Don’t stay out after dark, it’s not safe (SO, my day SHOULD come to an end as the sun sets!). If this was so in Sweden, my “day” out would be a few hours long in winter!

Can we teach a man the other aspect of the same warning? Don’t stay out after dark, you may see an attractive girl and you may feel like eve-teasing, molesting and even raping? Me thinks not!

2. Dress appropriately, don’t attract unwanted attention (and statistics will tell you that the most women who get raped are NOT the ones who are skimpily clad!)

Can we teach a man the other side of the coin? Don’t look at a girl with bare legs, you may feel like eve-teasing, molesting and even raping her? Me thinks not!

What surprises me is the meek acceptance of the male aggression and instead of addressing it, directing the lesson towards women. The males are going to be aggressive, now YOU step back.

I honestly don’t see anything wrong with a a person approaching another person (a guy or a girl is irrelevant) and initiating a conversation, to lead to whatever in Future. There is nothing wrong with appreciating someone good-looking either but forcing oneself on anyone is not DONE! And as a Society, it’s time we taught our boys to be respectful towards girls. Time to teach, “Don’t rape” instead of “Don’t get raped”…….



  1. November 21, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Agreed. Off late, I have learnt a new aspect of this whole business of molestation due to the recent case where 2 men in Mumbai were killed for trying to prevent some men from eve-teasing. You have also mentioned it above. The fact is, molestation is about the instinct in a man to see a woman helpless under the condition of being treated with disrespect. It doesn’t have so much to do with beauty, or exposure of body. It’s about inducing fear, about asserting dominance. How to prevent it? Telling a woman to do anything about it is ridiculous, because she can’t do anything to encourage or stop it. Again, in isolated cases, it has to done by force. But to assume that we’ll always have the force to prevent it could be unrealistic and dangerous. In the long term, boys should be grown educated with the law that fellow people deserve respect and the fact that women are fellow people. Like many other social problems, I see a solution only in better education. But I know, I am too moderate.

    I run out of words to say on this distressing topic!

  2. Adinda said,

    November 21, 2011 at 11:59 am

    One simple line, with a strong message.

  3. November 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I think ‘SlutWalk’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SlutWalk) is also trying to dispel these notions but seems to me they are going overboard …

  4. Pushpa said,

    November 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    All parents should teach their sons to be respectful and considerate towards all women. At the same time, all parents should also be aware of all those boys who are not taught the same, and hence tell their daughters to be tough and also to not attract undue attention. But then, I agree with Sujit Kumar, it has nothing to do with a girl being provocative or not, it is to do with the boys having those urges to terrorize and subdue a woman. The girls attire or behaviour only adds to the attraction.

  5. geetha said,

    November 22, 2011 at 5:13 am

    The one thing I want to add is that the WOMEN in our country think that it’s the girl’s fault if she gets raped/ molested/ eve teased. I see no empathy, no feeling of collective guilt and shame when such a thing happens. All I hear is ” yeah, she must have provoked the man”. It’s just unbelievable! In a country where the ‘fairer’ sex cannot respect each other, we have a long way to go before the men start thinking of women with respect!

  6. November 22, 2011 at 5:20 am

    I agree with Geetha. But I wish to add that the education that people deserve to be treated with respect has to be imparted equally and simultaneously to all, men and women. We mustn’t go with the idea that men can afford to wait to be enlightened with basic piece of wisdom until when the whole of womankind has learned it. I feel, we all must learn it together. Like many other other social problems, we all are perpetrators, and the problem hurts us all. Women get hurt directly. But men too get hurt as fathers, husbands, brothers and friends. Disrespectful treatment of women is a major problem for us all.

  7. Pritesh said,

    November 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Such thoughtful inputs from all! I sure think that there is definite change (albeit slow) required to handle this deficit of respect that women are at the receiving end of!

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