Ananya Birla

The Blame Game of the Indian Society

The Blame Game of the Indian Society

A picture of Shah Rukh Khan, in a Don poster, smoking a cigar quietly in his luxe room, with a spectacular view, and a smoking hot girl (probably half his age) next to him; could make anybody admire him all the more. Ironically, imagining the same, with Kareena Kapoor Khan, with a cigar on her lips, and a gorgeous guy, half her age next to her, would give many the creeps. This is the extent of sexism in our minds.

Be it women, or men, both put the ‘blame’ of being shameless and uncultured, on the girl.

Society has become such, that girls are always under pressure, even if they are conducting their daily tasks. Whether one is walking through the markets, or going for a run on the road, experiencing people who stare, follow and tease has become a common affair. Either it’s the attire, or the conduct of a woman, that comes to one’s mind in this patriarchal society. It is normal to see, parents restricting their children, to wear what they want to, husbands not allowing wives to drive alone in the evenings, and married women being discouraged to talk to men apart from the ones in her family or her husband.

Women always win this one, the blame game.

A concept called victim blaming, has become viral in our society. This gives the offender, an escape route by avoiding accountability for the offence. It is the way our society is shaped that actually reinforces what the perpetrator is trying to say. We prohibit our daughters to wear what they want to, we restrict them, to work late hours, we prohibit them from going out late nights; we must know that indirectly, we are thoroughly supporting the perpetrators. In the devastating Nirbhaya case, where in Mukesh, the bus driver, proudly states his reasons as to why his friends raped Jyoti. “Usko sabak sikhana tha. Agar wo nehi chillati, uska dost thappar nehi marta, toh hum rape nai karte.” The four men in the bus, raped the young medical student, because she had dared to fight back, and speak up against them. She had dared to do, what so many other women are daring to do, to speak up against this unjust treatment, and as a result, there is one of us, getting raped every twenty minutes in this country.

And we have no one else to blame, but ourselves?

Women, living in metropolitan cities, well educated and working, are assumed to have escaped the wrath of the “blame game”. The reality is the following situation that is hypothetically portrayed after taking a survey of a few working women in Delhi & Mumbai.

If a female colleague is seen talking to her male colleague (especially a senior or a client), for long hours, maybe because she has to convey a work related issue to him, or it is important for her to maintain a good relationship with him, to be able to work; She shouldn’t be surprised to soon hear, unexpectedly, narrow minded rumours about herself. Maybe she was flirting, so what?  Don’t men do that all the time?

Ironically, a newly wed, who is taught to adjust to her new environment, and in turn, who subdues to inferior treatment given to her by her husband, or new parents (in laws), is actually envied and respected by all!

When it comes to an Indian working woman, discussing her issues about her child, or work life balance, at work, it is assumed that she isn’t that work oriented. But if a man is discussing the same, we find all his colleagues “blaming” his wife for the same. No one will dare to say that the man is incapable of having a good work life balance. The society has failed to understand, that women are NOT like men. Women are far more sensitive, and expressive. And that is basically how mars and venus differ.

So even if a female colleague is upset at work due to some problem at home, it is but natural! But it doesn’t mean she doesn’t love her work, or is incapable of managing both.

Like cleanliness is next to godliness, in India, divorcee women, are next to immoral women. Post a divorce, 5 out of 10 men get remarried, and the statistics are 1 out of 10 for the women. In fact a lot of men, don’t consider it important to even mention that they are divorcees, whereas women are expected to give explanations about their sexual history before getting remarried.

In a marriage, where a woman is divorced, she has to deal with immense suspicion throughout her life. Is this justified?

Motherhood is respected at most in India. We worship Goddesses, assuming them to be our mother. We consider our fertile land as a mother, that produces food for us. In motherhood, a lady is respected and loved by all, even people in her family who have probably disliked her at some point of time.

And soon times change; when a child commits the first mistake, the mother is put to question: Is this what you have taught your child?

This current state of sexism, is terrorising for women in our country. Where in we believe that mostly rural women are culprits of crime and subjugation, the reality is, that well educated people living in metro cities, also have ingrained sexist minds. In an era where, a 6 year old, and a 71 year old (nun!) can get raped, it’s really difficult to say wether, explicit clothing incites rape, or just basic mentality of the people. The society has just assumed women to be at fault.

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