“It’s extremely awful to read the news these days. Every morning I come across a string of threads reporting rapes of adolescents, infants, young girls and women. It terrifies me to an extent where I become numb. Initially, when I used to read these articles it used to make me angry. But it is not anger and angst anymore. It is the sadder realization of the fact that as a society we are hitting a new low every single day. As a man, I feel ashamed, that there exist men who think and behave like these culprits. The recent rape-murder case in Hyderabad is extremely shocking and the fact that such cases are happening every day and by the hour is alarming. Honestly, sometimes I am just terrified at the thought of something like this. I can barely even imagine what that woman must’ve gone through, what her family must be going through at this point in time. I think the most important thing to note here is that it’s not just about hanging or punishing the culprits. Of course, the law will deal with that and they will provide a remedy. But, what is important here is that the larger issue is how we are going to stop this and prevent this from happening again. I think the root cause of incidents like this, lies in the mentality of people which needs to change. It has to be a monumental shift. We need to look around ourselves now and ask, ‘Are we doing enough to shatter the misogyny that is around us?’ We need to call it out. It may be your closest friend or a family member, but you need to call them out and say “Hey, what you are thinking and doing is wrong.” That is the starting point. Moreover when you talk about mentality. It is built over time. We inculcate believes, patterns at a very young age. It is at this young age that we need to sensitize boys, girls and everyone.
It starts at home to inculcate such thoughts and opinions that will help the child adopt beliefs that are not detrimental to the interest of society. Education is even more important. Our education system needs to have courses, have subjects where both men and women are sensitized about these issues. We need to tell about women’s periods, their bodies, their voices and consent while men need to learn how to take a no. That is where we lack today. Even in workplaces, ensuring that actions be taken immediately once a harassment complaint is filed, is absolutely necessary. At the workplaces today, cases are being reported. That is a change, a step. But, It is painful to know that such cases are still happening. It should become a policy to adopt a culture where the employees are sensitized about these issues. I haven’t come across a situation like this where I really had to help someone out from such a situation. Some point in time all women have faced this issue whether it is catcalling or something on a larger extent, rape. The fact that every woman can relate to something like this is very sad and makes me think that we as a society have a lot of learning that we need to do. We need to think about women and we respect their choices. It’s imperative that we understand the gravity of the situation, act upon it and bring about the change that has been long due.”
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