A goon in Delhi thrashed a 17-year-old girl in a mobile store, for rejecting his marriage proposal. In the CCTV footage shown as per a report by Mirror Now, one can see how the brute unleashes his wrath on the defenceless girl. The local ruffian is in custody now and has been charged under the POCSO Act.
This is not the first case where a girl had to face violence for refusing a man’s advances. Women in our country face sexual assault, acid attacks and physical violence at hands of suitors and stalkers who are too egoistic to take no for an answer. They are not spurred or jilted lovers because more often than not, the so-called love stories are one-sided. For them, a woman is an object which they must acquire. Unfortunately, in our country women still don’t have the right to reject marriage proposals.
Right To Reject
Be it the entitled Romeos or their own peers, rejecting a marriage proposal often comes with harsh consequences for women in India.
The woman’s opinion doesn’t matter in one of the most critical decisions of their lives. Patriarchy has long stifled their voices, under the pride of the family’s men. And the egos of their persuaders have always been on a higher pedestal than these women’s wills.
- A video of a goon beating a minor girl mercilessly for rejecting his marriage proposal has come to light.
- Male entitlement prevents men from accepting such rejection.
- Be it proposals from uncouth men or their own peers, why do men expect women to accept matrimonial proposals so meekly?
- If we want to discourage male entitlement, then it must start at home. No boy must grow up thinking that a woman is bound to obey every wish and order from.
Also, in cases where the proposals come from unwanted admirers, the matter is not that of love or obsession, it is that of gendered entitlement. It becomes a matter of ego when the girl in question does not reciprocate to aggressive advances or proposals. How dare she say no? She must obey their orders and comply with their wishes without any resistance.
Today, a teen has to bear the cost of our cultural and social leniency towards this male aggression and entitlement. Despite being wrong, the man assumed he is entitled to such a reaction. The goon may be in jail for the time being, but boys in our country will continue to grow up believing women to be sub-human being. We need that to change.
Unless men are taught to value and respect a woman’s decision in every aspect of her life, from career choices to matrimony to sexual relationship, not much will change.
But why this change must start at home?
It is because when a boy grows up watching women resign to their fate of being inferior, what does he learn? When he watches his sisters have no say in their matrimonial alliances, what impression does it leave on his mind? He learns that an ideal Indian woman has no voice. That men are right in beating women into submission if she dares oppose them. That she must be punished for raising her voice because she is forbidden by our society to have one.
So, if we want to save our girls and women from violent male aggression, then give the right to say “no” at home first. No boy must learn that Indian women are duty bound to say yes to everything that men desire from them. It is their right to reject love, marriage proposal and sexual advances as per their will.
Picture credit: dnaindia.com
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.