Friday, August 23, 2013

Never cease to amaze

Right on the heels of the viral CNN iReport story, came another news, of yet another gangrape in yet another metropolitan city of India. Will all the India defenders please stand up? I'm speaking to you, Mr Senior Rightwing journalist, who said the report comprised gross exaggerations. What do you have to say now that this has happened to one of our own? I'm speaking to you, guardians of morality and dispensers of wisdom. Kindly point out to me the error of my ways now, tell me how I can avoid meeting a similar fate by scaling down my ambition, by putting safety before my job, by not tempting fate, by widening my definition of unsafe urban spaces.

When we step out of the house, we do so at our own risk. When we speak about harassment, we are told to conduct ourselves better. When a leading actress requests media to refrain from printing pictures snapped of her without her permission, she is gently told to stop whining, because a picture clicked in a public space is fair game. I must really thank "FP staff" for bringing this to my notice, so I'd know better than to ever appear in beachwear anywhere in the world, because then anybody clicking my pictures without my permission would be fair game. Sure, Indian media houses won't be falling over each other to publish those pictures, but I'd better not complain if pictures of me clicked without my knowledge ever pops up somewhere I'd least expect (or wish) them to. Because if I'm in a public space, my picture, and by extension I am fair game. Oh, and do you know how I stumbled upon that article? It was linked right below this one talking about the Mumbai gangrape. Bravo Firstpost.

We are a screwed up society. We don't know the lines between curiosity, voyeurism, invasion of privacy, abuse and molestation. We have still not recognized that the only factor differentiating different levels of invasion, or containing the damage up to a certain level is opportunity. We don't take 'minor' offenses seriously, because we don't realize that the guy who can stroke a woman's thigh in a bus can rape her in an alley.

We don't take one white woman's account seriously. Then it happens to one of us.

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