Happy Women’s Day

Here’s our guest blogger Shravani, from https://filmcoast.in/ with her poem. She rants that she is tired of the one-day ritual that “Women’s Day” has come to be. Of celebrities and politicians who will milk this to no end. She says everyday is a women’s day. It’s her day.

She is limitless, how can a “day” be enough to define her?
Source: Pexels

“It’s Her Day”

It’s that day of the year again

When noises will crawl
Through the air,
Calling her names,
And wrapping her with tags
She is too tired to wear!
Empowered, strong,
Beautiful, and bold
Are the only hand-picked cherries,
She is allowed to hold.

Free cocktails, glittery make-up,
and apparel discounts,
Internet quotes parroted
And tucked in a gold mount,
Stories of moms and sisters
And friends who beat the odds,
Are fed to her year after year
Because,
This is the day, they say
She can rub shoulders with the gods.

Forgotten are her cracked soles,
Playing even dad’s innings
Day after day,
That’s a mother’s job, they whisper
“So suck it up and play anyway.”

Suppressed, lay her dreams
Her wings tethered to a world
Of their design,
She just topped her school, alright,
But it’s her brother touring
greener pastures, and she is “fine.”

Cubicles, hospitals, schools
Boardrooms and more
Her cries of equal pay
Burn incessantly, till they are cast
Aside on the shore.

She asks for a little rest,
They give her none,
She wants to stop sharpening
Her claws everyday,
And have one less battle hard-won.

She is tired and grumpy
Angry and moody,
Hardly glossy and perfect
As they forever paint her,
She simply exists as in
Many shades as they do,
But branding her bossy, stubborn
Loud and slutty
is all they can do to taint her.

And so, when This Day rolls
Over to the next morn,
She will don her armour, as always
And prepare to be reborn.
The flowers they sent her
Will wilt away in patriarchy’s din
As she drapes herself for the day,
Over toughened bones and skin.
Readying herself for the next climb,
Yet,
Cool enough to pat herself
For the last one conquered.
She will shrug her shoulders
And sip some wine,
And prop her feet up
Over the imaginary “line”

Any day of the year she chooses
Because everyday is Her Day.

Happy EVERYDAY to us ladies!

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Need for Criminalising Marital Rape

While we applaud Supreme court’s landmark judgement in case of Triple Talaq, it is disheartening to know that, in our country, something as heinous as Marital rape is brushed under the carpet. It isn’t even considered an offence. A rape is a rape irrespective of age, gender or marital status. Intercourse with consent is sex and without consent is Rape.

Last month, a 25 year old school teacher tried killing herself after she was brutally raped by her husband. In 2015, a woman was hospitalized due to severe injuries but her husband was not prosecuted because unfortunately the law does not consider Marital Rape an offence. These are just a few cases which hit the newspapers. Most of them do not even get reported. Does Marraige give a man permanent license to have sex with his wife, without her CONSENT? Should the wife always be willing to establish physical relationship on any day or time, just because he wants to? Among 106 countries, 32 consider Marital Rape as a Special Criminal Offence while the remaining include it in general Rape provision. There are only 36 countries where it is not even considered a crime and sadly, India is one among them .The mental agony and trauma that a woman faces after being Raped is Unbearable. Just imagine, she has to live with the rapist forever with NO Laws to protect her. Marital Rape is monstrous, humiliating and leaves an everlasting scar.

Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code states an exception to the definition of Rape,”Intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife (the wife not being under 15) is not rape”. This was recently modified as according to POSCO (Protection of children from sexual offences), the age of consent is 18. That means if a married woman is above 18 years of age and is raped by her husband, it won’t be considered a Rape. Does that mean laws are only meant to protect minors ? What if a woman above 18 is raped? The male is liable to be prosecuted for Rape even if two individuals below 18 have consensual sex, but if the wife is above 18 and the man forces himself on her without her consent, it’s NOT a crime according to the Law !

The Justice Verma Committee in 2013, suggested the removal of the exception under Section 375 and to make Marital Rape an offence regardless of wife’s age but the committee’s recommendation was not accepted. Though the law was modified and the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013 raised the age to 18 but Marital rape is still not considered a crime. According to National Family Health survey, 31% of women are subjected to emotional or sexual abuse by their spouse . Whenever we raise this issue, it is brushed aside by the government, as they feel criminalising marital rape will destabilise the institution of marriage. Why are we not ready to accept Marital Rape as a crime? Is it because we believe that it will destroy the sanctity of arranged marriages? Well, the so called sanctity is destroyed the moment the man forces himself on his wife. Marraige is based on trust and mutual respect. Neither the wife “belongs” to her husband, nor is she a “commodity” .

If you are wondering, when we have laws for domestic violence, then why is another needed for Marital Rape? Well, the Domestic Violence Act 2005 is inadequate for a crime as monstrous as Marital Rape. If someone rapes you, don’t you want him to be punished?Dont you want him to be held responsible for the trauma that you have undergone? Whether the abuser is one’s husband or a stranger makes no difference because the only thing that differentiates Sex from Rape is CONSENT.

I remember a few years back, one of my friend confided in me regarding feeling violated. Her husband used to violate her when she was asleep and she used to wake up feeling abused. Despite her refusal, he continued. Here the man is not a stranger. He is not thrashing her or holding a knife. Is this marital rape?Unfortunately, YES, it is, though it’s not what we think of normally as rape. Being married doesn’t change the fact that consent is crucial. If a woman is asleep or intoxicated, obviously she can’t give consent. Despite telling him innumerable times that she felt violated, he still continued because according to him, he wasn’t doing anything wrong as her body belonged to him. Well, a wife isn’t a commodity purchased by her husband, Her decision needs to be respected. There is a need to create awareness and educate men that CONSENT is CRUCIAL for sex.

Marital rape should be recognized as an offence and the punishment should be similar to that of rape. If you are wondering how can it be proved, Timely medical examination, forensic evidence and sexual abuse history can help. Just because a crime is difficult to prove, it cannot be brushed off. Moreover, the argument that law can be misused is absurd. We cannot NOT implement a law just because we are scared that some vengeful woman in future may falsely accuse her innocent husband someday. Laws do get misused but that doesn’t mean we don’t recognize a crime as a crime. Let’s have some checks and measures in place.

It’s high time we come forward and fight for our rights. Agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Drop in your comments.

ITS MY CHOICE!!

Finally have started my blog after a lot of contemplation and if you are anything like me, Confused and Indecisive, you would have also pondered a lot regarding what your first post should be. Well, a chance encounter of 20-20 biscuit advertisement in TV the other day, gave me enough fodder to contemplate and the impetus I needed. A girl was trying out a few dresses in a mall when her father asks, “Isn’t it a little short” and the mother exclaims , “Dress choti nahi Hoti, soch Hoti hai”.

No dress is indecent. Wearing clothes is a personal choice. Stop shaming our body and clothing choices. Why should people assume “Short dress= girl wants men to stare at her” ? The length of my dress is NOT a measure of my consent to have sex with you or even want you to ogle at me.

How am I responsible for the action of some “potential creep” who is going to stare at me for wearing a short dress? Please DO NOT teach your daughters to wear “Decent” clothes. When you tell us to cover ourselves and dress decently, you are damaging us and a million other girls by SHAMING us.

Instead of teaching your daughters to not wear short dresses, please teach your sons to not objectify women. Why are we constantly asked to “Cover” ourselves?

Instead, teach us that CLOTHES are NOT RESPONSIBLE for Rape, molestation and other abuse. Anyone can be sexually assaulted under any circumstances irrespective of wearing a saree or a bikini.

I remember an incident in school , when my friend’s mother was called regarding uniform’s length. The teacher tried justifying her irrational demand by stating she wanted to protect her from “Unwanted attention”. Instead of teaching boys to not view girls as sexual objects, my friend was shamed and “taught” to wear a long skirt to prevent men from staring at her. Moral Policing young girls and women has become a norm in our society! People say “Men will be men” and it’s upto us to protect ourselves by dressing “decently”. All I can say is , such regressive thinking is ingrained in our society which strips our freedom to dress as we please.

So Dear Family, Society, Well wishers , Moral Police Brigade and other Interfering busy bodies,

Next time if you tell me to dress up “Decently”, I am going to ask you to shove your Moral Policing up your **** !

Till then Goodbye friends,
Adios Amigos