I seem to do some of my most outraged and/or sarcastic and/or uninhibited writing on IHM’s blog. Here’s one about street sexual harassment. Let’s just call it my own copy.
I think it’s desperation coupled with a strongly patriarchal society that provides such a fertile environment for abuse in India.
Imagine, the average male grows up in an environment where he is taught that men are superior to women in every way. He learns from movies and other media that any girl will fall for a guy, no matter what he really is like, as long as he pursues her ardently enough. He’s taught that the girl’s izzat is hers to protect and none of his business. He’s taught that it’s ok for boys to “have fun” before marriage and also that any “available” female is fair game. He learns from movies that any man may “punish” any woman for acting “shamelessly”. And most importantly, he’s taught that as a man he can do nothing wrong and mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, and all women, only exist to make his life comfortable.
On the other hand, girls are taught from a young age that it’s their fault they have breasts. They’re taught to feel ashamed of their bodies and guard their honour with their lives (and die rather than be deflowered). They’re taught that “men are like that only” and that a woman’s job is to serve and obey all the men in her life. And most importantly, that the entire honour of the family depends on the women’s virginity/chastity and anything that happens to threaten it (and this could mean anything) is the woman’s fault.
Is it any surprise that they are the way they are?