dear men of india
india was, in and will essentially remain a country blinded by patriarchal sentiments. men here, have been brought up to believe that they are the more powerful sex, while women have been led to believe ideals of freedom, security and independence, just for the sake of calming down minds that are capable of protesting. of course, you don’t want to answer questions. you’d rather let us play with fire, burn ourselves and then retreat.
every man out there, has for once, made fun of a woman being a woman. every man out there, has tried to force himself on a woman, physically or emotionally and gotten away with it. well, because he can. and every woman, has had to deal with the men and in cases, even love them. right about now, every man who reads this, has an eyebrow up. of course, you are the educated, elite, erudite ones.
and of course:
never have you taken her for granted.
never have you cracked a sexist joke.
never have you made a crack about her breasts or her ass.
never have you dissed her behind her back.
never have you insulted her about things she is inferior at.
never have you told her about your pay, knowing well that she earns less than you.
never have you felt insulted by her when you have realized she makes far more than you do.
never have you shied away from a fair battle, where her skills matter as much as yours.
never have you sneered at someone at your workplace, because the person in question is a woman.
never have you intentionally hurt her. knowing that you will obviously get away with it.
never have you threatened to leave.
never have you not wandered.
never have you dumped a pair of breasts for a pair of bigger ones.
never have you wanted to grab an ass as it walked by you in a mall.
never have you wanted to get frisky with a woman while you hold hands with another.
never have you not called her a slut when she wandered.
never have you texted her endlessly, hoping to get her to agree to go out with you. till she gave up and agreed.
never have you been snide to her because she didn’t agree.
never have you been bitter because she wanted to leave.
never have you been boasting when she begged you to stay.
never have you seen her as a pair of tits, a firm ass and cunt you would like to pound.
never have you thought of what you have been doing wrong all these years. simply because you have never realized that you have been wrong. every time you have indulged in any thought or act that disrespects a woman, you have promptly been forgiven by several others. they have laughed at your undeniable wit and wicked sense of humour.
and today, you, are enraged because hapless souls are getting raped. and what do you do? you post endlessly about it. you are enraged. yet, you fail to treat a woman the same way you would treat a man. you learn your life lessons from countries of the fair and the blue eyed. but yet you are incapable of ignoring a woman in a swimsuit. and god help you, if it’s a woman in a bikini.
all of you, essentially love that one woman you can take home. the woman who is fully covered. both mind and body. the different ones scare you. of course, there is a sense of thrill that comes with that fear. you want her. but you will never keep her. she is like your dirtiest little fantasy. all conquered with the satisfying little spurt of semen.
i have never been much of a misandrist ever. it is not in me to be one.
perhaps, because i have realized the importance of having a man around to make me feel safe while i walk down an empty road at night. and the roads, i have wanted to walk. the wish to have this much necessary walk of solitude that has forever remained unfulfilled. much like the concept of an orgasm to most women.
i do not hate men. on the contrary, i quite love them. i have come across some rather impressive ones and in fact, fallen in love as well. but i am enraged. how could men, the men we love, we look up to, respect, find solace, comfort and security in and even sacrifice our all for treat us in this derogatory way? do you, for once, not realize we see through the facade? do you not notice that some of us, actually realize WHY we have been allowed to staple on a pair of pseudo wings and take off on something that is merely a pathetic excuse for a flight?
why can you not, for once, let go of your self-obsession and ego and do something for those who really need you. of course we need you. without you fathers, brothers, cousins, boyfriends, best friends, we would all be found in some dark alley, trying to shield ourselves from an onslaught on our dignity. and anything forced, unless it’s a kinky role-play, with a safe word to scream out when you need to, is not welcome.
why can’t you do something for those beings who do not look at you as a sex stick. beings who respect you. love you. you will never hear them gloat about how much they do for you. so why must they bear the brunt for being there for you. even when they don’t need to? why must you allow an unknown woman to fear you, since all they see in you and your gender is a threat she cannot fight? why don’t you, for once, thank yourselves about being alive every morning, when all it takes is nothing to wind up raped and dead. and realize the fear that plagues a perfectly working mind and do something to keep it sane?
so for once, be the man we all want to be proud of. let us walk down the streets in the dead of the night knowing that we will be safe. let us wear that pair of shorts and walk into a bar and not get groped. let us get drunk and not be taken advantage of (unless we want to of course). let us not face the trauma of abuse that others refuse to even acknowledge, let alone empathise with. let us not feel any different from you. let us feel safe. we deserve it.
Photo and Essay by Sreejita Biswas, Co-founder, StripTease-The Magazine.