The skin around the Vag.

I am a regular S.B.S.T.C bus traveller and I shuffle to and fro between two places, twice or more in a week. A lot of people have depended their livelihoods on these buses. 54 people, with a sleepy journey ahead of them are often more liable to purchase newspapers and magazines, amchur and whatnot. There are dozens of children who beg and mothers who cry. The stand is dirty, with a strong stench of urine and is laden with fruit leftovers, cigarette butts, strewn papers and every other kind of waste that the human kind has invented.

Anyway, what irked me enough, out of all of the above, on this fine day is this: an old man, possibly in his 50s, is a regular newspaper peddler in this area. He is the only one who sells all the English dailies, apart from the regular vernaculars. I never read newspapers on the bus (or elsewhere, unless something catches my fancy), call it the smart phone blessing in disguise. I merely know the man by face and his typical shout out to his buyers.
The man sitting behind me, in the bus today, purchased some newspaper. So, the paperwallah rested his huge stash of mewspapers on the seat beside me, which then, was vacant. As a reflex, I read the headlines in some bengali newspaper. He saw my interest and in order to sell me something the question he asked me was ridiculous.
Should I hand over a Femina to you? Or maybe interest you in a Stardust or Filmfare?”

I was infuriated. Moments ago he sold newspapaers to men and asked them if the want magazines like TechTalk or something.

Why? Does my face remind you of the cover of Femina or is it because I’m a girl? Can I also not be interested in the news? Non-gender centric news?”

I don’t blame him for this prejudice. We have created this belief system. Girls are the ones who are conscious of their looks and boys will play sports. Our ancestors have made the difference between the pinks and the blues. What is the old man to do, if majority of his female buyers ask for Beauty Magazines? I am educated, hence I know better. I am not condoning the women who read such magazines, they’re very informative. I, for one, read, Cosmo long ago but that’s a whole other blog-post. What we have to make men like him realise, is that, the world has progressed. A woman who reads a Femina can also be the CEO of a company and shake men to the core. There has to be a balance. There has to be a scale by which the balance will be measured. I felt immensely sad.

What is the skin around the vagina called, you ask me? Why, rest of the body!

The change begins with you being comfortable reading the word Vagina and penis as any other ordinary word..


Misandry, much?

Fuck me, I have a vagina.

Have you ever been so angry that you felt tears sting your eyes? So angry, that your lips shivered and your fists tightened into a pale white? So angry that your heart beat quickened and you could feel blood gush to your head? I have.
I am. I am that angry. I am that angry because I refuse to understand any justification given by the administration and government for the lathi charge and water cannon firing by the police on innocent protesters. They weren’t agitators who needed to be shooed away, they were regular people of the city who felt so moved by a singular event (of a gang rape) that they all stepped out unanimously and asked for a solution to a problem that has been tainting the reputation of not just the city and the country but that of the men as well.

Treating the symptom instead of the the disease is the solution the Delhi Police chose. When the young girls of the capital city of India reached the gates of the authorities at the Rashtriya Pati bhavan, no-one stepped out, not one authority and instead the people of the nation were hit, mistreated and manhandled. I find it funny, to believe, that the girls protesting against a gang rape were themselves hurt and bruised by the Police.

Switch on your television sets. See what is happening to those who protest. Instead of feeling scared, feel angered and step out. There is a peaceful march on 25th of December at Park street. Make this Christmas of yours count. Show up with a candle and walk.

In a country where women are given the position of goddesses, I don’t feel safe in a room full of men, my mother doesn’t let me travel alone post sundown and my father is worried about my well being solely because I have ovaries instead or testicles.
Do I really want to be known as ‘Sweta, the one from the country of rapes and no action against the rapists’? I had been to Thailand, BKK to be more precise, in October and in a country like theirs where prostitution is open and hormones run amuck, I felt safer than I do in India. No-one felt me up even in Walking Street. No-one uttered one lewd comment while I wore a low neck cleavage showing dress. No-one even noticed that I was there, wearing minimal clothes, why? Because everyone knows how to behave and because everyone is comfortable with seeing skin.

Our country, India, has a long way to go in accepting this visual display of skin and hell, even affection. But before this acceptance kicks in, the tolerance against those who cannot keep it in their pants needs to be reduced. Zero tolerance is what is required. What is my fault to have been born with two X chromosomes? Just because your mother couldn’t get through your thick skull and teach you manners, just because your father couldn’t make you behave in front of your girl cousins, just because you are a man, you can not rape me. And unfortunately, this certainty of not being raped will not get into our heads either until there is a zero tolerance that is developed towards those who commit any sort of crime against women.

No, this is not feminism. This is not me, demanding for special laws for women. This is a girl,  demanding for simple laws for a human being. The scenario has reached a stage where women are special human beings, where men are the only ones enjoing the benefits of human laws and women, are outcast. Or else, why would a rape victim be forced to prove herself of being raped? Why else would the authorities dilly dally in hanging the ones who have so openly raped a girl in a moving bus? Why else would the government let a man shoot Jessica and get away with it for so many years? Why does justice take a such a long time to get served?

The outrageous number of rapes that happen in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata combined make me shudder with fear sometimes. Make the streets calm. And make the police shove their lathis up their you-know-where.

Section 144 is not the answer to ending the protest. The only way to end these processions demanding justice, is very simple. Provide justice. Barricading the area an protecting the President will not serve its purpose because India is a huge country with an even larger population. If all of us decide to come together, no amount of force will be able to stop us. They couldn’t stop us 7 decades ago when the British were here and they wouldn’t be able to stop us now.

What men need to do and how they need to behave as been enough emphasised on and I will not write about it. All I am going to say is make his country a safer place. Make it a place where people, especially women, from other nations feel safe. Make it a destination where girls can travel when they want and not get raped. Change the people or change the laws. Or both, if possible.
And men, be the change you want to see. The next time you compliment a girl, make sure it sounds like one. And girls, fight. Fight with all your might and make India a better place.

It isn’t a crime to protest. This is not a case of one girl suffering in the ICU. (She is currently better but has a respiratory tract infection and will have to live on intravenous nutrition for the rest of her life if her intestine isn’t transplanted..and even that has its side effects.). This is a protest against all crimes towards women. This is a fight of every women. The question do you feel safe should be answered with I AM NOT SAFE.

-make the world look down upon India for this day so that we are forced to look down with shame and by we, I mean the government. Make the world change India.