I might have missed this news if Best Friend hadn’t told me about it. I was horrified. I knew her when she was still a starry-eyed teenager. She was one of those tall, slender girls who carry themselves straight-backed and everyone else thinks they’re being snooty. But she wasn’t. She was easy to like and talk to. We didn’t have a lot in common but I remember our conversations well enough. I always thought of her as a little girl with big dreams.
We lost touch at some point of time but I heard she’d gotten engaged, married, shifted to Russia and had a baby. And then Alesia Raut passed out of my consciousness except for a brief wondering thought on what happened to the little girl’s dreams. I assumed that they had turned into goals and ambitions just as she had turned adult. Just like the rest of us.
And then now this. I’m shell-shocked. Of course I’ve talked about abuse before here but it isn’t something you get used to hearing about. Not the least of all, when it happens to someone you know.
I actually started a post about it and then it just passed into my Drafts folder and I figured the world was just getting on by itself. Then this morning, I chanced upon this article as well. And I knew I just had to say something.
Are men getting more abusive? I don’t think so. Crimes against women are just getting more coverage. Womenpower is fashionable whether you like it or not. Women are putting up with less, we are better informed of our rights and the options open to us.
Are men keeping up with it? Well, every single day the newspaper carries stories of violence against women. In the past few weeks I’ve read of men murdering their wives under suspicion of adultry, harassment at work, dowry deaths, lovers’ tiffs ending in homicide.
Even if it isn’t tangible physical violence, there’s emotional bruising. Trying to force-fit a human being into your image of what you think perfect is, isn’t just impossible, it’s wrong, it’s unfair, it is deeply traumatic to the person you’re doing it to. And finally punishing them for failing..is unpardonable. I’m not even sorry that the women in such situations over-correct and go out on a male-bashing rampage. Nature corrects itself.
I told my mother last night that women today may not be great but the men weren’t even keeping up with the times. We certainly are harder, more ruthless than our earlier counterparts. Enough said about trauma and the un-healable scars. Let me just end by saying no woman is born a bitch. But growing up in a world full of dogs and wolves waiting to tear our dreams apart…we just learn to survive.
A little girl starts off with big dreams that get kicked all over the place. She buries them in order to live the life she’s been told, of being a lady, of pleasing men. Then one day, tired of being kicked around, she decides that no one treats a lady this way so she doesn’t need to be a lady anymore.
So she starts off again, armed with her big dreams. Innocence lost, there’s nothing sweet about her, there’s only ruthlessness born of painful disappointement. No wonder the world fears a feminist.