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It’s time for Delhi to walk the Slutwalk!

By Ridhima Mangal | Last Updated: Monday, July 4, 2011 - 15:38
 
Ridhima Mangal
Retro Scientist
 

<b> Ridhima Mangal </b>

The city of Delhi is seen as the rape capital of India. The brutal rape cases that make the headline every now and only go on to emphasize the need for women to claim their right of safety. Delhi being the capital of India and a metropolitan city where women from different parts of the country come, live and work needs to become a lot safer at protecting the feminine gender.

Slutwalk as the name suggests is an attempt to reclaim the word ‘SLUT’. Slutwalk Delhi is an initiative to remove the shame and replace the pride associated with the word.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines slut as ‘a woman who has more than one sexual partner’. At this point note that the word slut does not mean ‘prostitute’.

Women can’t be called sluts and assumed as whores just because they wear their choice of clothes- skimpy or low cuts, or that they date endless men or if they drink, smoke and party. Women have the right to exercise their right of freedom and choose what they like to do without being judged or interpreted as prostitutes.

‘Slutwalk’ started in Toronto, Canada, when a police man addressing students of York University, made a statement that “women should avoid dressing up as sluts in order to not be victimized”. But it is not just the one comment that has sparked off this movement, causing millions of women across the globe to take to the streets, participating in Slut walks. Although the concept has originated from the West, it holds a lot of relevance in our country, in our city, what with the rampant modernisation that comes with an ever widening gap in mindset.

With the number of rapes happening in our city and the extent to which they are normalised, adding to the humiliation of the victim the trauma of being branded possibly a slut; something needs to be done.

In our society, rape is touted as an act of sex and sexual attraction. It isn’t. It’s a heinous crime of violence. It is a threat to every woman who dares to make her own choice at dressing up and living her life her way.

An attempt of rape is a crime that cannot be justified by saying the woman invited it. Rape is not just forced act of sex but it is also an act of violence.

Rape is the complete refusal to give a woman the choice to her own body. Rape is a patriarchal tool designed to ensure that women are kept in check, that they always remain the ‘second sex’. It seeks to reiterate that women are supposed to remain at the mercy of men. I repeat, rape is NOT just about sex or lust.

In the closed mindsets we continue to live in and in the country where a rape case is publicized by media and politicians to gains TRPs and limelight, we ignore to attend to the fact this is a paradox of hypocrisy that exists in us. We need to cure in order to ensure this city or for that matter this world is a safe place for women to live in and they are not merely sex objects.

When a rape occurs it is always the woman who eventually gets blamed and made responsible for being the one to have invited trouble.

What was she doing alone late at night?! Why was she wearing such clothes?! Why did she not have a man with her?! How could her parents allow her to stay out and alone? Doesn’t she have brother or father?! Why was she driving alone?!

There are a million reasons to say the woman invited it, but what about the man who committed the crime. The men are never at fault. The men are only serving justice on a platter. She asked for it!! THAT seems to be their convenient defence.
By dressing up the way she likes, going out late or alone at night -No woman ever means to ask for rape. NO woman! Be whatever she wears, however she thinks, whoever she sleeps with, EVER asks for rape.

They will get by with crimes of violence targeted at women, because the implication will be that the woman asked for it.
This hypocritical thinking and shifting of blame on the victim from the perpetrator of crime shows the rising levels of intolerance that the culture has towards women.

It does not end here. A rape is a fear that hounds every woman living in the modern world. It’s about the terrible psychological burden we women are forced to carry.

It’s about living with fear in a rape culture. Every single day. All of us live with the knowledge that it could be us next. What sort of a civil society are we talking about if it makes half of its citizen feel unsafe and vulnerable?

The mindset needs to undergo a change. The society needs to give up being jingoist and male chauvinistic!

Slutwalk is the initiative and a movement against perpetrators of sexual crimes, against the mindset that looks down upon us for being independent and expressive. This is why we are walking, walking with pride. Yes we are sluts, and we are proud of it! Join us! Wear whatever you want, say what you want!
The Slutwalk takes place in Delhi in the end of July, let every women walk the daring walk to re-claim their right and freedom!
Stand up and fight for yourself and this time wear what you like, talk what you like…Bring it on, girls!

First Published: Monday, July 4, 2011 - 15:38

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