SlutWalk : Mission accomplished?

The SlutWalk/Besharmi Morcha in India inspired by the SlutWalk in Toronto was a walk as protest against sexual harassment of women.Apparently a police officer stated that the rise in the number of rape cases was due to women dressing up as ‘sluts’. Little did he know that this statement would give rise to widespread aggression resulting in a public movement.

As I mentioned, India was “inspired” and did not completely trace along the lines of Toronto. In Toronto, 3000women dressed in provocative clothes ( fishnets,shortskirts,tube tops to be more specific). In India , it was decided to tone down things a little bit. God bless the soul who suggested that the country’s traditions and customs were to be kept in mind. I’d rather not think of the innumerable looped consequences that would follow if Indian participants of the slut walk wore such attire. Participants of the slut walk carried placards saying “ I have got nothing to be ashamed of” and “ My short skirt has nothing to do of you” to hint the public of the cause they stood by. The Slutwalk did take place in places like Delhi and Bhopal but the plight and cry echoes from throughout the country.

From personal experience and otherwise , I have noticed that “unsafe”,”dangerous” and words on the same line often follow suit of the mention “Delhi”. If not immediately , then eventually and If not in general , in the case of girls and women. Delhi proudly bears some of the top names in education and the corporate world but at the same time carries the burden of 21,467 cases of rape in the year 2008. I wouldn’t blame young women if they dint give a second thought to these institutions and companies keeping in mind their own safety and security.

Thinking about the government being the savior of damsels in distress?Think again.30 personnel from the Assistant commissioner to the commissioner themselves have been charged for sexual harassment in the past 3 years.

If it was the police offer’s comment in Canada, what was the fuel to the fire in India? Blatant comments made by politicians like Sheila Dixit stating “ Women should not be adventurous” and advice from the police asking you to take your brother or father along everywhere.

Reviewing the entire phenomenon I wouldn’t say the slut walk was an outright success but I wouldn’t say it was futile either.

If not effect , the slutwalk did manage to create a lot of awareness among the masses. It was a shocking revelation to how insecure the women are to walk about in their own city and how in some places cases of sexual harassment have become as common as robberies! Not to mention , it clearly highlighted the existence of a patriarchal society where the women were asked to control their every move and action so as to ensure their protection and even seek aid from men .They also brought light to the fact that how they dress might provoke but is not the sole reason for molestation and rape.Most of the cases of sexual harassment have occurred when the woman was clad in a normal kurta and jeans.Infact the ones more modestly dressed are specially targeted because they are considered naïve.

Why I think the slutwalk failed to revolutionize? Because this problem revolves around the sexual offenders and women walking in protest  doesn’t  stir them up into being saints. On the contrary,a bunch of women together might just attract more ogles and stares.It dint pose as a threat to any of them. Following this walk  , neither was there a decrease in the number of rape cases nor was their effective government action.

One of the most commendable aspects of the Slutwalk was a street play staged in Delhi  right before the walk. The girl ie-victim shrieked and screamed as she ran from a man towards the Jantar Mantar but was eventually caught and raped. It was shocking to see how the public dint choose to react and how some even stared shamelessly at the girl’s misery. At the end of the play the public’s inhumanity  was questioned and as expected no one had an answer..

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