Today’s news:

Girl gang-raped by 8 men, dumped near Agra highway

Rebuked, watchman kills young law graduate in Mumbai

My thought process stays the same:

1. What kind of a society are we living in?

2. There is something fundamentally wrong with the way we think about women. It’s not like other issues where the older generation will eventually die with their outdated views. I wonder how long it is going to take us to become a civilized–and not necessarily crime-free–society.

3. How do girls I know and girls living in India react to such news?

4. Aren’t they scared to live in such a society? Well they don’t appear scared, so either they live without fear but knowing such a thing can occur anytime to them, or they have stopped caring.

5. This must surely make them angry. But anger in this case doesn’t translate to solutions because I can’t imagine a solution exists: only a decades-long cultural shift.

6. I hope they’ll be fine. And I hope I don’t have to read about such heinous crimes every day.

Tomorrow comes along with news of fresh crimes.

***

I’d wager that more of you clicked on the second link to read details. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It is the People Like Us syndrome. The second incident could happen around us. It could happen to us. It is closer to us. The first, less likely so. That’s our assumption.

***

I have been following Indian news sources closely for about 5 years now. Over time, I started glossing over stories of molestation, rape, sexual assault, murder, honour killings (with the exception of People Like Us stories). When I realized this was happening, I almost felt guilty and complicit with those criminals with medieval mindsets. We cannot let them fool us into thinking that such things happen.

Now I read every story I come across of crime against women. Even if I have to read the same old story a hundred times over. Even if it ruins my day. Even if I end up having to talk to someone, play music or pen a post for catharsis.

***

One side-effect of reading all these stories is that I invariably come across articles written by militant feminists. I don’t know what else to call them. They’re feminists, but they take things to the other extreme. I have to clarify: The other extreme as I see it. I can see where they’re coming from. I almost can’t blame them for it. But I’m also well within my right to be repelled by what they write or think.

My take is that just like we can’t let medieval men make us accept the widespread reality of crimes against women, we can’t let militant feminists keep us from fighting for equality–in our own small ways.

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