Thursday, May 04, 2006

You are only a woman

Blurt was pretty but a very blank girl. Seventeen about turn eighteen, Blurt loved all the attention she got from men. She was exactly the kind of girl men loved to love and women loved too. She was aware of the fact that she was pretty, very aware of it. She would spend hours spent in front of the mirror, part in admiration, part in consternation over a blemish that only she could see on her white, flawless skin. Blurt was pretty high on the looks quotient, but very low on the intelligence quotient. Not that women who look good arent also bright or women who are bright are not stunning looking.They are. Wouldn't want to reinforce stereotypes, but this is Blurt's story. Blurt who was so taken with her own beauty, her face, her body, her clothes that she never paid too much attention to the rest of the world, which was a bad thing because if she had paid a little more attention she would not have died the way she did. She was coming back from school on one hot summer day in May, yes, Blurt was still only in school when she died, when she took a ride from a classmate. Rich boy he was too. His daddy had given him a big car all his own that he would drive all over town. So on that fateful day when Blurt escaped the heat in the airconditioned car, rich boy "proposed" to Blurt. "Would she be his girlfriend?" Blurt laughed. She should not have. She should have agreed and gotten off the car, gone home and told her parents. You don't laugh at rich little boys. Oh no, you dont. And if you do, you have to pay the price. So rich boy whose father was a politician was offended. He did the next best thing to salvage his honour. He dint drop Blurt home. Took her to his farmhouse. Called his friends, five of them. They all got drunk and took turns to rape Blurt hour after hour while her parents sat at home and worried about their daughter. And then when they were done, they took her unconscious, battered body and threw it like a piece of rag on the side of some dusty, deserted road where she bled to death. They found her body the next day. Ghastly little rich boy's daddy packed him off to the US where he spent the next four years using date rape drugs, getting drunk and eventually never mustering a degree. Daddy had taught him that women were good for only one thing and that they should be used and discarded once you are done with them. As for Blurt's parents, they did not pursue the case. The cops told them about how powerful the politician was. Blurt's parents had two more children to look after--two sons. They did not want to take on a powerful politician, least of all for a girl and surely not when they had sons who needed looking after.

Written for the Blank Noise Project.
There is no moral or even a point to the above story. It is not even much of a story except that if you live in India and are a woman you had better get used to the fact that for a majority of the population you are a burden, have no right to live, and if you are alive you had better get used to being stared at, groped or raped. It does not matter what you wear or what you do. If men stare of pass comments as you walk down the road, it is your fault. You have to have solicited it, sent some signal you know. If you get groped, it is definitely your fault. What were you wearing? Was it too tight? Why do you walk down that road? Surely you should know better. You are a woman, you know. These things happen. Live with it. And if you can't, either stop going out of the house without a male escort or at least stop fussing about it. You are a woman, live with it. You are weak, you need protection. Just don't become one of those wretched feminists, who are so passe, making issues out of non-issues. Oof, spare me you your diatribes. It is all in your head. This does not happen. And if it does, you have asked for it. Ensnared some poor unsuspecting male to lech, grope or rape you, just so that you could get some attention. So just shut up and keep quiet about it already.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Nitu said...

Ironic that this country worships women deities and treats women like dirt. One keeps hoping things will change but I guess somethings never do.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Payal said...

This country is willing to worship women only as long as women conform to the male-defined stereotype of womanhood!

(Oh, was there a Blanknoise deadline? I seem to have missed it if so.)

3:29 AM  
Blogger Arnie said...

Hi Alpana
How are you? I've linked ur blog from mine. Could I request you to be so kind as to reciprocate?
Cheers...and looking forward to your next post...

10:18 AM  
Anonymous shilpa said...

you reminded me about the way i *used* to dress, behave and walk when i was in delhi... to keep the big, bad wolves away!! damn them.

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Payal said...

UPDATE!!!

4:26 PM  
Anonymous hathirpithi said...

Nitu, Payal: couldn't have said it better
Arnab: Will do
Shilpa: Good things have changed for you. Alas, delhi remains the same.

12:57 PM  
Blogger MellowDrama said...

That is one city I was glad to get out of. Why is only Delhi so awfully unsafe...well among the metros at least. Mumbai is the best...no one gives a shit and I have travelled on locals in the wee hours of the morning along - without any hassles.

Even Vizag is comparitively safer and people treat women with respect. And hey it is not an Indian phenomena...it is pretty much everywhere and the only parallel I can draw where women are treated as shabbily is Japan. Hmm which explains their low birth rate.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous hathirpithi said...

Hey Rama, it is true that Delhi is especially bad. Japan, too, huh? I think China would be bad too--they seem to have a thing against the girl child too

3:42 AM  
Anonymous shilpa said...

UPDATE!!!!!!!!

9:29 PM  
Blogger MellowDrama said...

Hey gimme ur email id again...first things first BELATED BDAY GREETINGS, I remembered on D-Day but subsequently forget to um...email you ;P

1:53 PM  
Blogger Meghna said...

ditto to what payal and nitu said. It is amazing the way the blame gets dispensed because of the man with the roving eye is not at fault because the girl has given him cause to see - this does send me back in time - people have given a whole spiel on how hyderabad is such a great place to be and how much they miss it but am not so sure. I went back and of course got stared at all over again - it never stops. This is one thing i do not miss where I am today and no other girl ever will either.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Prashanth said...

Your story is brutal, but true. My latest post is a story - hinting at a similar subtext, set in Indian context. :) Just 2 readers yet, one Indian and the other non. But they agree with me.

Women are caught in a vicious circle in our country, and almost the world, barring a few scattered, hidden, ancient 'heathen' tribes, where women enjoy supremacy and respect. Which only means, half of our race on earth is abused, maltreated. Sad.

2:43 PM  

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