Since, it's Women's Day, I've been thinking about how far we've come and how far we still have to go. I thought I'd do a little rant about something that continues to make me angry. Very angry. I know that even in 2015 there are a lot of issues women still have to deal with on a daily basis, but I'm going to focus on one that really gets on my nerves.

 As many of you all did, I watched this documentary recently about the gang rape case of Nirbhaya. The mindset of the rapists and more shockingly the lawyers who defended them blew my mind. Here are some of their quotes:

Lawyer 1

1. A female is just like a flower. It gives good looking…very softness performance, pleasant. But on the other hand, a man is like a thorn. Strong, tough enough. The flower always need protection. If you put that flower in a gutter, it is spoilt. If you put that flower in a temple, it will be worshipped. 
2. In our society we never allow our girls to come out from the house after 6:30 or 7:30 or 8:30 in the evening with any unknown person.
3. They left our Indian culture. They were under the imagination of the film culture, in which they can do anything.
4. She should not be put on the streets just like food.  The ‘lady’, on the other hand, you can say the ‘girl’ or ‘woman’, are more precious than a gem, than a diamond. It is up to you how you want to keep that diamond in your hand. If you put your diamond on the street, certainly the dog will take it out. You can’t stop it.
5. You are talking about man and woman as friends. Sorry, that does not have any place in our society. A woman means, I immediately put the sex in his eyes.
6. We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman.

Lawyer 2
1. That girl was with some unknown boy who took her on a date.
2. If very important…very necessary... She should go outside. But she should go with their family members like uncle, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, etc. etc. She should not go in night hours with her boyfriend.
3. Singh is shown saying: If my daughter or sister engaged in pre-marital activities and disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face and character by doing such things, I would most certainly take this sort of sister or daughter to my farmhouse, and in front of my entire family, I would put petrol on her and set her alight.” When asked at a later point in the film if he stands by those comments, he replies that he does. 

I'm sorry what? And it's not just Indian society. Here is how a popular Mufti explains why women are valued.
You Keep Your Money Hidden Away In Wallets,Banks And Safes
You Keep It Covered Up.
Why Don't You Display It In Public If It's A Beautiful Thing ?
You Keep Your Money Hidden Because It Is So Valuable.
We Value The True Worth Of Women Far,
Far More.
Therefore, These Precious Jewels Are Not On Display To One And All. They Are Kept In Honor And Dignity

Say what? Why are you comparing us to objects and possessions? Food, really? A flower? You say we are like a diamond as if it's a compliment and we should be grateful. And I've seen even many liberal minded women in agreement with horseshit like this. Just because they use pretty words like 'flower' or 'diamond' doesn't mean it's a good thing. They are basically saying you are objects with no feelings or emotion. You're gems and money that need to be locked up in the vault. Whether you agree or not is irrelevant because possessions don't have opinions or feelings. 

Also these 'men' need to realize that they are insulting their own gender. What they are saying is that basically men have zero will-power. Men are animals and will attack and there is no stopping it or taking responsibility for their own actions. You are saying a man can't view a woman as anything but a sex object. Well I have enough amazing men in my life to know that that is wrong.

Why do women have to live in fear? Why are we taught not to get raped instead of not to rape?  We have the right to walk alone or with anyone we want and go anywhere we like at any time of the day as we see fit without our hearts thudding in fear always. It doesn't matter what a woman is wearing, she can be naked for all you want but as long as she does not invite you to do so, you have NO right to touch her. 

You can't stop rape by covering up, not going out or making women live like hermits. The only way to stop rape is BY NOT RAPING. 

So dear misogynists and women who enable them. Please stop comparing us to objects. 
 Women are human beings, not food to be eaten, not flowers to be plucked or diamonds to be stolen. We are not goods.

Happy Women's day to all the incredible women out there. 

P.S: Shout out to all the wonderful men out there who don't dismiss our history of struggle, supports us through current ones and makes way for a better future for us.


Anonymous said…
I think unnecessary gender segregation plays a huge role in the objectification of women. For instance, boys and girls in Maldivian schools are segregated just as they hit puberty and they are starting to develop their worldviews and personalities. Gender segregation of this sort usually extend beyond schools due to cultural norms. I believe this causes an unhealthy disconnect between the sexes which manifests itself as sexism, misogyny and, in extreme cases, violence.

Of course this is not the only factor, but I'm willing to bet it's one of them.
Nora Nazeer said…
@canofworms: I agree with you. If boys and girls were allowed to mix at that crucial age they would probably grow up being more empathetic towards each other. Also thanks for commenting. I did not think there was anyone else out there in the Maldivian blogging world anymore.

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