“Women are more than what they wear”, “Women shouldn’t be judged by her clothes”… Yes, these phrases have been on for a while now and they come up whenever there is talk about sexual abuse/harassment against women. By now I hope most, if not all, of us have come to accept the largely debated fact that women’s clothing shouldn’t be blamed for any unwanted sexual advance towards them.
All that is very good. But shall we take another look at it, please? Should we only talk about how outrageous and heinous those acts are and how stupid the statements are? Those criminals are worse than animals. In fact, using the word ‘animals’ to describe them is an injustice to other animals. We just have no bad enough words for them. So, while we all agree on that, what about us?
What about the could-be victims, every vulnerable female beings? We, too, have our own responsibilities. Now, this isn’t blaming the victim in anyway, let’s be clear of that before we go further.
Everyone (man/woman) is free to wear what one wants or do whatever, go wherever for that matter. That’s right, let’s dress up, dress down, try this, experiment that, be fashionable/trendy/cool/sexy, whatever given we adhere to… lets’s not say society’s norm and rules because there are those of us who feel our society’s system isn’t really the best, so we will say CONSCIOUSNESS.
We are sane human beings, aren’t we? We know what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s appropriate where and when and what is not. Condemning and trying to correct the society’s wretched mindset is one thing. Another equally important thing is taking care of ourselves.
We already know what kind of place we are in, we know exactly what kind of people surrounds us. Why wear shorts in a place where people aren’t accustomed to short/revealing clothes? Then the whole “clothes shouldn’t be blamed” thing comes up. But we are just trying to be prudent here. Can’t we be smarter and put on the less revealing one for our own safety’s sake? Of course, there are places where we can freely walk around in whatever clothes we want; sadly its not the same everywhere.
Also, let’s not forget that we are so much easier to spot when we are the odd ones out. Why take the 25-minute walk to a friend’s/relative’s place alone after midnight in a place like Delhi for no important reason? Yup, things like that happen for real and that’s just one example. Bravery is great but then again, “Bravery doesn’t forgive stupidity”. It’s better not to put ourselves into vulnerable situation(s).
While a better and safer world for women is still forming, we have no choice but to be wary of all the vile creatures out there. Ladies, we have to be wise in our lifestyle. It’s a scary place we are in.