Fight for yourself, girl

Praharsha Anand
Published on: 4th Anniversary (20 Nov '15)
I recall a distinct memory from the winter of 2014. I actually lived the word “freedom” with a great ardor and enthusiasm. I realized this is what happens when you are an I-want-to-be-independent freak. I had always wanted to take decisions for myself, devoid of filters like ifs and buts and every word that seems like a hurdle. It was the first time I was staying away from my family. Young and free that I was, my excitement had no dimensions.

Despite all the fun that I was having, I did experience on and off sessions of insecurity which I believe roots back to me being a girl. I could never feel totally safe. I strongly think that in a country like India, a girl or a woman is never all safe even when she is with a man. An unforgettable evening before new year brought me to this conclusion. It was the best new year celebration of my life. I was hanging out with a good friend of mine. He had come with his friends and together we were a group of seven, me being the only girl. This did not deter a stranger who misbehaved with me that night. It felt really awful.
Fight for yourself, girl
If you are a girl, and you had experienced a similar disgust, I feel you. What makes me sadder is that I did nothing to fight back. This is perhaps the case with the majority of the women. I guess this happens due to the fact that we are caught in a stupor when somebody approaches without consent. To recover from a psychological distress that follows after every horrible experience is a challenge in itself. But this has to change, we have to change. It is time we shatter our society’s insensitive outlook towards mistreated women. And if we commit ourselves to bring this change with much seriousness, I believe we can make this happen. It takes less time and effort to infuse a change in the society than passing a bill in the parliament. The Indian government’s attempt to ban porn in the country does little to change minds. There are unheard stories of many “Nirbhayas”, as we still continue to think it was just one big tragedy. Yes, we only think when it’s too late to act. It is never too late to take the first step though. Little boys should be taught why women are to be respected more than how. And little girls must be taught how to react to situations however odd it makes the parent and child feel. It’s a no-brainer thing to just sit back and wait to learn from a tragic experience or experiences I must say. We cannot fall prey to horrible memories which have the potential to haunt us for the rest of our lives! Why do we suffer in silence and how long? It is important that young girls are raised to stand up for themselves, to be fearless and strong. A girl will surely benefit from a “how to be fearless” story rather than “a fearful story” (one that flashes in the breaking news). Isn’t it disturbing to see young girls who undergo therapy to come out of trauma? Here is what you can do, your part which sums up to the greater sum. Add another resolution to your list for the new year. Let no injustice happen to a girl even if she is not your sister, mother etc. Have no second thoughts when you see a girl in trouble. Brave your emotions and promise yourself that you will fight for yourself, too. Raise your voice, loud. We may not eliminate terrorism, poverty, corruption and all the other problems in the country but, we can and we must redefine the clichéd meaning of feminism for us. Let stories of successful and inspiring women transcend stories of assaulted and humiliated women we read in newspapers and magazines. Let us for once walk, run and fly without fear. Let nothing ground you and hold you back. Do not sell your dreams in return for antiquated ideas rooting from a stereotypical society. Puncture that insecurity balloon you carry! Dare to dream big and different. Try a new dress, hairstyle, and profession, anything you want to do! Stand tall in your own eyes before anybody else. Face criticism and rejection with confidence. A submissive woman rarely makes history as we know. We strive for a remarkable change together. We can stop when the idea of a woman working at night seems less scary than today. We can really stop when every woman in the nation takes pride in being a female.
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