“All men are not bad, girl, stop being such a cynic” this is the haughty retort I receive every time I make one of my infamous malebashing dialogues. This article which I am going to write is an attempt to clear my point or my stand on the unfair sex and explain myself as one who has been constantly tagged and ragged as the male-basher, man-hater, man-eater etc. etc. First of all let me say “I DON’T THINK ALL MEN ARE BAD”, don’t get too relieved or surprised, this comment doesn’t relax in anyway my angst towards them.
I still can recall clearly my first encounter with the cheaper sex when I was molested by few college students in an auto one night while returning from tution, I was barely 14 then. I don’t think I could describe in words what I had felt, I just remember coming home and shutting the door of my study and crying my heart out inside a pillow.I was too small and naïve to understand their behavior and why I was feeling so terribly wounded. That was my first brush(literally) with men since prior to that I was always accompanied by my mama wherever I went so the guys didn’t quite get the opportunity to feel my body.
After that once I stepped into my teens and coming home late was an everyday matter there was no dearth of men closing up on me on crowded buses or in autos. I remember everytime I used to get on a bus I used to mentally prepare myself for this experience. By the time I was 17 I had got used to it. You must be thinking why I didn’t complain, complain against who and to whom??? In a crowded bus where you can barely move It’s really not that difficult to do one’s dirty work and slip inside the crowd specially if one is a practiced performer(and by their tact it seemed that they are). What could I possibly do barely hanging from one of the rods???
When I allude to these incidents and tell ‘men are sick’ to the girls since they are also not new to these kind of experience neither is to the worst of my belief any girl out on the streets of India at night,they agree with me but then they inexplicably revert back to their previous reply(“all men are not bad”) as if that’s a relief, as if that had made the slightest difference to them or to me.
Well allow me to recount another story ,trust me this time I will make it short—It was 8:00 pm and the bus was fully packed. A man was standing right behind me rather I should say he had glued himself to me, I ignored it knowing fully well that he would say “It’s such a crowded bus I have no place to move” if I tell him to move. But when he started thrusting his pelvis into my back, I had had enough and I turned back at him and shouted “ what do you think you are doing, behave yourself”, he made an innocent face and looked at others and said, it was just an accident, others also nodded and looked at me as if I am being stupid enough not to understand the obvious(an accident!!!) and some others remained totally passive, only few women sitting in from of me grunted in low tones. That was the first time I totally lost belief in our society and it’s people.
Previously I was under the illusion that it was my fault that I didn’t protest, if I did people will come forward and the man will be rebuked for his disgusting act but what happened crushed me completely. All men don’t do such pathetic acts it’s true but did it matter? did it make the slightest difference , the other men weren’t actively participating in outraging my modesty but they weren’t doing anything at all. Are they any less criminal, by keeping silent they have wounded me in ways deeper than that one man has. Its not just about the men on that crowded bus ,it’s the nature of the people of our society , ’play safe’ is the new dictum as opposed to what our society was famous for once upon a time (to be precise 63 years ago)— stand up against what’s wrong.
There is no dearth of ‘dharnas’ , strikes, violent mass protests over the slightest issues but when it comes to standing beside a woman they don’t want to get into trouble .The few bad men(as claimed by everyone) wouldn’t have dared to commit such repulsive acts in public if the rest would have come forward but the perverts know they can easily get away with it because the rest so called good men won’t even bother so they carry on their dirty work at ease.
Another quite recent incident which increased my levels of bitterness and hopelessness towards the people of our society happened quite recently on a Sunday afternoon when two of my friends and I were returning home. We were rudely accosted by two drunken men on bicycles who verbally abused us and when we protested they got even more violent and started addressing us as whores and sluts. But not a single person from the surrounding houses came forward to help. If even two or three people would have come out and confronted them then we wouldn’t have had to face this harassment.
Now let me shift the discussion away from me to the rest of the women of our country and the incidence of crimes committed against them.
• In India 10 million female fetuses were aborted in the last 20 years .So every year on an average 0.5 milion fetuses are aborted (http://www.ifes.org/publication/a8524e55a7d6c2fad0187772a374a5df/SinghMohan.pdf). According to the Government of India’s first periodic report to the UN Committee on the rights of the Child, 2001, “every year, 12 million girls are born – three million of whom do not survive to see their 15th birthday. About one-third of these deaths occur in the first year of life and it is estimated that every sixth female death is directly due to gender discrimination”.
• The number of rape cases registered per year is around 19000 (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/its-official-india-3rd-worst-offender-in-ra/396269/) and the shocking part is that according to NCRB most of the cases of sexual harassment goes unreported due to social stigma,fear of threat or further harassment or lack of faith in the judiciary.
• One in every three women in India is subjected to domestic violence in one way or the other(http://in.reuters.com/article/idINIndia-40149420090608).
So by now you must have guessed what percentage of Indian woman spends a life without facing some form of bias or abuse, but I haven’t reached the end of the story yet, haven’t even mentioned molestation, dowry deaths, female infanticide and so many other crimes plaguing our lives. So people who are still under the illusion of a few bad men kindly grow out of it. Recently another one has been added to our endless misery list in the name of ‘honour killing’ where the father ,mother, brother, cousin every relative of the girl is bent upon securing the honour of the family by brutally murdering their daughter(that’s supposed to be honourable ,people harbour such skewed ideas!!!).
And I don’t see any good men standing up against this. Remaining passive to a crime and not directly participating in it doesn’t make anyone good, it just makes him comparable to a worm ,harmless and backboneless. What amazes me is the complete impunity with which they commit these crimes . You would agree that the majority of criminals are male and so is the majority of police person and don’t you think if the policemen who are supposed to be the protectors/good men would have efficiently done their duty these crimes could have been successfully checked but the police officials are equally corrupted and has crippled the law and order system from inside and have turned it into some sort of a hoax, they are nothing but their accomplices in uniform.
The statistics clearly suggest that it’s the bad men who are shaping our society ,our lives and the the rest are remaining mere spectators .So those girls who are consoling themselves with the fact that ‘all men are not bad’, there is hardly anything to feel relieved because the bold and brave men are merely ‘fairy-tale’ creations.
The only difference between bad men and good men are that bad men realize what good men only fantasize about but that doesn’t make them guiltless because their sexual fantasies also cost many innocent girls their lives and childhood (unfortunately pornography which has destroyed the lives of so many girls is a thriving muti-billion dollar industry catering to millions of men worldwide). The so-called gentlemen in most cases it’s just a mask which they put on to fool the society(I think we all have heard enough stories of doctors, principal, teachers aka the respectable class of our society sexually abusing girls).Most of the so-called gentlemen might not be raping a female passer-by but under the cover of night who knows if they are visiting the brothel and paying money to rape a woman(some maynot agree but to me pushing a girl at the age of 10 or 11 into sex trade and making her satisfy men is RAPE in a much more repulsive form)???So what’s the definition of good men and where are these still-invisible good men which my friends and relatives claim exist ? I don’t have the answers to these questions and whatever it might be the predominance of bad men over good men by a large scale is obvious. I think I should stop here because if I continue stating examples of the amazing deeds done by men then it’ll turn in to the scariest and longest horror story ever.I would like to conclude saying that men I see around are just a hollow sphere on a stick (and by stick I definitely don’t mean the backbone) .