“When I ask for equal rights why must you assume I want to be treated like a man?”
Because, well, I don’t want to be treated like a man. And, no, that’s not ‘preference’ as some think. I don’t want you to treat me like a different gender because I am female. I have breasts, I can bare a child and I get a period once a month. All I want is for my fundamental rights to be executed.
Did you know that the average women will lose $420,000 over her life because of the wage gap between genders? On average, for every one dollar a man earns, a woman earns 78 cents (The White House, 2015). This is the issue heavily publicised as being the biggest issue women face in life. There is, however, a much larger, taboo one that goes almost unspoken and left to whispers.
Women’s Equality Day is in place to raise awareness for this. There are always going to be the ‘meninists’ and bad feminists who complain, begging the question “why do women want a day just for them? That’s not equal” or “Women already have equal rights”. It is the everyday sexisms and ignorantly educated individuals that fuel the feminist arguments. The blaming of women for their own rape is that taboo other issue.
Allow me to give some perspective. It took me an hour to write this piece. In that time, 3 women were reported to have been raped in India. Only 3 reported, how many more were left unreported, ashamed and vulnerable after an attack on their innocence and purity?
It came to my attention after watching the documentary india’s daughter, that in India, the gang rape culture is prevalent. Yes, rape can happen anywhere at any time, but in this country, the sheer violence and cowardliness that is conducted towards women in such pitiful act is seen more ubiquitous than anywhere else on the globe. As I have been born and raised in a western country, I was quite confronted by what I saw, heard and later researched on the topic.
In 2012, a violent gang rape was carried out in Delhi against a girl on a bus travelling home from the cinema with a male companion. Six other males were on the bus, including the driver, and all proceeded to rape the girl so violently that her intestines were being pulled out of her by
two of the other assailants carrying out the violent attack on the girl. If that doesn’t paint a picture of the hideousness that was carried out, I honestly do not know what would. She attempted to bite the abusers, to fight back against it and after the ordeal was over, she was thrown off the bus, which the bus driver then attempted to drive over her, but she was pulled aside by her male companion. This all after he had
woken from being knocked out.
In the documentary, immoral and explicit quotes are found strewn from both sides of the argument, highlighting the harsh reality of the crime. And these? They’re not exaggerations. These quotes were said:
“You can’t clap with one hand, it takes two hands. A decent girl won’t roam around at 9′ o clock at night.”
“A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy.”
“If my daughter or sister engaged in pre-marital activities and disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face and character by doing such things, I would most certainly take this sort of sister or daughter to my farmhouse, and in front of my family, I would put petrol on her and set her alight.’
But this isn’t exempt from all cultures. In the United Kingdom, Scotland Yard reported that in 2004, 71 cases of gang rape were reported and this increased in 2009 when a further data collection arose at a sum of 93. In the United States, 85,000 rapes occur each year. It is also said that in the USA, 1 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetimes.
These are 5 girls I know. Name 5 of your own girlfriends. In America, 1 in 5 of them are likely be raped at some point in their lives.
That is concerning.
1 in 5.
A vile perspective of a rather vile action, yet it is more common than one thinks. In a poll asking ‘is what girls wear responsible from their rape’ 18% said yes. Albeit, majority disagreed with the poll, there is still a select group of people that believe that the victim is responsible for the event. As aforementioned, this stance is still taken, regardless of how many disagree.
If find it morbid that in the 21st century, with the technology available to us, some use these platforms to state disgusting statements along the lines of “It is the girls fault for wearing revealing clothes” “She was asking for it” “Don’t dress like slurrys”. Really?
Nobody asks to be raped. To be violated. To be abused.
No, if a girl wears hot pants, a strapless shirt or a mini skirt, she is not asking to be violated. She is not asking for anything. Do not blame your inability to control your urges on a girls dress sense.
Before the ‘meninists’ out there begin to speak up, I have not forgotten to mention rape against males. In the USA, 10% of victims are reported to be male. No, they are not exempt. But, there is 90% more of rapes being carried out on females. But, are you isolated and blamed for your own rape because your shirt was too tight or your legs being revealed?
It is from incidents and perspectives like this that a day dedicated to women’s rights is allotted. It is because of the attacks, the blaming and the shame you’re made to feel from being born this gender that this day exists. It is from the Malala Yousafzais, the Hillary Clintons, the Angela Merkels and the Amal Clooneys that powerful and influential women can seek inspiration and action. I do not know what it is like to be a boy, all I can report on is from my own gender; but, I think women, over centuries, have earned the right to one day where the world stops to reassess the condition women’s rights are in.
Don’t tell me women have equal rights until a woman can walk down the street at any time of day or night and feel just as safe as a man would doing the same.