A question for every woman reading this.
Have you ever taken a longer route to reach somewhere just cause it was safer? Have you ever made a fake phone call when in trouble? Have you ever thought twice before wearing something that shows too much skin? Have you ever kept looking over your shoulder just to check if someone is following you?
So have I.
And now I ask men.
Do you go through the same? I don’t think so. I sometimes wonder how it would be to live without constant fear. How it would be to not think before heading out alone late at night. How it would feel to wear whatever, whenever, wherever. How it would feel to be at peace.
We live in a hypocritical world
Society accepts skin show when we wear saris. In the earlier time, women wore saris sans blouses. And that was what was considered normal. Right now dare you wear a crop top or a strap dress…everyone’s piercing gaze will make your insides squirm however much you hold your head high. While reading an article I came across a statement which in layman term stated the reason why sari is not seen as an immodest garment; because everyone wears it. I was flabbergasted when my eyes grazed this piece of information, and all I saw was red. If that’s the basis of a judgement then why aren’t we all sporting what is casually called ‘provocative’ dresses. If done by all, if done for long, who knows, society might just come to terms with it.
Are women subconsciously scared?
Of course we are. No shit about that. We are always scared and the worse part is not our fear, but the fact that it has become so embedded into our system, we don’t even realise it. Our subconscious has taught us to always be cautious, always be mindful of the surrounding, always be on the lookout. The moment we see a man staring, we immediately check to see if our cleavage or bra strap is visible.
Fear is imposed on women
Since childhood, girls are taught to be more cautious. Fear is imposed on us. But that wasn’t the case with Carolina Paul, author of the book The Gutsy Girl : Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure and a former firefighter. Carolina, since young age fancied adventures. She was taught to not fear danger and so she faced danger everyday as one of the first woman firefighter in the San Francisco fire department. But she very rightly said, she is an exception to our society; not a rule.
We need to make this a rule. Parents need to stop being over protective of their daughters. Fear starts from home. A study that was published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology states that both set of parents react differently when it comes to the risk-taking and injury vulnerability by boys and girls. Instead, teach your daughter to be brave, teach her to protect herself, teach her self defense, make her strong enough to fight and then let her go fend for herself.
While heading out, mom says be careful,
I see red.
Walking alone in an alley, a headlight drawing closer to me,
I see red.
Sitting in a bar alone, scared to keep the drink unattended
I see red.
Riding an Uber, driver stares from the rear-view mirror,
I see red.
Fear has taken over my life,
And all I see is RED.
But this ends with me. I am going to make sure my daughter becomes an exception, and if situations improve, then who knows, maybe a rule.
But one thing is for sure, she won’t see with her little eyes….anything red.
Photography : Tanayesh Talukdar
Write to me here : firstname.lastname@example.org