#Personal Stories

Men Will Be Men, Women Need to Ignore : How My Mother Raised me to Ignore Injustice

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It was 2014. The year when I had to clear my first board exams. It was not easy for me to open up to my mother about the sexual misconduct of the tuition teacher she hired to improve my maths in boards. But all my efforts were in vain because my mother’s reaction shocked me and left me with unresolved childhood traumas.

She said men are men; women need to ignore, adjust and be quiet to be safe and secure. I am sure I am not alone in this saga of asking every woman to ignore the partiality and injustice happening around them. But is it fair? Must women ignore and be silent on injustices? Will ignoring make the situation better or worse?

In our society women are raised with the indoctrination that silence is a virtue and speaking up is an unwomanly trait. They are imparted with the idea that being a woman they will have to come across injustices in life. But rather than speaking up women are asked to pull their ghoonghat and ignore.

Men Will Be Men, Women Need to Ignore?

Not only families, but our leaders too expect women to change and adjust themselves while addressing the increasing crime against them. For example, in a case of gang rape of middle-aged woman going to the temple alone, a member of NCW said that women must be accompanied by someone in the odd hours like evening. Moreover, during the Hathras gangrape case, a leader suggested that parents must impart sanskaar in their daughters to avoid the increasing crime against women.

But can ignoring injustice change the fact that it exists? Will remaining silent will deny the fact that every woman is at the risk of being the next one to be oppressed?

Asking women to ignore the crime and injustice happening around them is equivalent to ignoring their existence. Because if a woman ignores injustice, she encourages the perpetrator to commit the injustice further. If a woman ignores a man who gropes her in a public area, she might end up encouraging a fearless rapist in him. If a woman ignores violence of husband then her daughters too will grow up into internalising the violence. One woman’s ignorance towards crime against women can put 10 others at the risk of it.

Why don’t we understand that it is high time for women to speak up and stand against injustice? Why don’t we understand that we’ve been quiet for so long and now it is time to take action? Silence on injustice has been imposed on us. It is time for us to break the imposition and fight for our rights. I am not saying that every woman should be violent but at least they need to be free enough to raise voices against injustice.

Views expressed are author’s own.