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Friday, October 31, 2014

Walking through life as a woman...

Earlier today...

A Hindu Mahasabha made its usual noises about how women should dress, and someone posted it n FB.  I read it and scrolling through the comments I saw some guy (who otherwise sounded sane) said they only had good intentions and wanted to reduce rapes and there was nothing wrong with what they said.  Now that got my goat!  I expect extremist people to be extremist, communal people to be communal etc, but it annoys me when someone who sounds sane and 'normal' sides with something I think is irrational. I expressed my dislike for his comment, he asked why and I explained that though I was willing to believe he had good intentions I was unwilling to explain since I can't explain something like 'personal liberty'.

People either understand concepts like 'personal liberty' and 'choice' or they don't.  Personal liberty is something that is taken for granted, or aspired to, in advanced civilizations, but it is a luxury that cannot be understood by many. People who are capable of understanding, already do.

Just as I would not try to explain the concept of avoiding bad food to a starving African child, in the same way I would never bother explaining these concepts to anyone who doesn't get it. It would take too much time and effort and the child would look at you as if you are crazy.  To someone who is about to die for lack of food, the idea of unhealthy food is ridiculous.

To people who are struggling to build fires at night for light, the idea of electricity probably seems heretical.

And to people who believe that society comes before the individual - and for whom society consists of depraved and lustful men waiting to pounce on any female form - the idea that a woman might wear a pretty skirt just for the pleasure of feeling good about herself is probably ridiculous and threatening.

This video I saw shortly after my comment, reinforces that being advanced or enlightened is a state of mind rather than a geographical location.

For the many men who don't understand how a hello from a stranger can be harassment - I can't explain - there are subtle cues of behaviour which should tell you which women just want to be left alone.  Brush up on your intuition, go for sensitivity classes, or just take my word for it.  Women can even tell the difference between a blank stare and a lecherous one.




Lastly, there are many men out there who understand and stand up for the rights of women... If you are one of them - I can only say Thank You...

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