Author Archives: Celin Thomas

Living in denial

When a crime happens particularly of the sexually offending nature, there is always shock and dismay but later something happens which is worse then all that- DENIAL. Especially when the sexual offence is committed by someone you know. Someone who commands respect, trust, somebody whom you look up to. So you struggle to accept that somebody like that could stoop so low and inflict upon you such trauma.

A sexual offence is a breach of trust, it sends shock waves not just to the victim or survivor but also it damages their family and does irreparable abrasion to the society. Living in denial that something untoward happened and shrugging it off as an one time incident is not a way to live with it and moving on; it is living in denial.

Knowing something gravely wrong has happened or being administered and doing nothing about it and discouraging somebody from making it matter of concern and deliberation; is again living in denial.

Blaming the actions to alcohol or substance abuse or age of the accused or clothing of the abused; is living in denial. Assuming that the police wont support the victim/survivor of sexual abuse; is living in denial. Thinking and getting discouraged that the judicial battle is a long haul and you may not live to see justice; is living in denial.

Funny, isn’t it. How we follow a pattern that over the years and eons has systematically encouraged, supported and perpetrated sexual violence. Only because we are all LIVING IN DENIAL. So how long do you plan to live in denial.

Even fame cannot protect a woman

Yes, even being famous cannot protect woman from being humiliated and scarred. I’m writing about an established actress in the Malayalam film industry. Incidentally, there is news that there is a gang of such men who have been sexually abusing famous women. They film them in duress while being sexually exploited and then they threaten them and extort money.The actress in news, was the only one who bravely exposed them since she didn’t want to encourage them any further after what they did to her. There have been others who have been manipulated by these people in the past.

Funnily the news channels- print and broadcast have gone berserk over the news of the famous South Indian Actress being abducted and sexually assaulted in broad daylight. Sadly the actress, her picture and all that happened to her is all out in the newspaper. And I don’t think that this will help her or her family find any solace.

It is this disturbing news that brings me to think about the perpetrators, five of them identified. She knew them, since one of them was her driver. Scary isn’t it. Now we cant even trust the drivers, chauffeurs, top servants, delivery boys and I don’t know who else. I wonder, if this incident will also be examined and debated by people in the media like the Nirbhaya tragedy.

Here is a woman who is happy, positive, assertive and successful and this is something some people simply cannot handle. And in this case, they felt that by abusing her and recording it and threatening her with exposing the film would pressurise her to release money so that she wouldn’t want to be publicly shamed.

Even today perpetrators think that women are deterred by fear of law, fear of shaming themselves and their families. But I appreciate the courage of this lady to come out and shaming these criminals instead of falling in the trappings of fear and ostracisation from the society.

 

 

An Easy Target

I always wondered what makes women and children an easy target for any kind of bullying and violence. Is it because the society  always assumes that women and children are invariably defenseless; that they wont fight back?

Bullying and domination is a common thing in every society. But I guess we as active or passive members of society have adjusted around the idea of its existence. And or we have failed to address it at its inception or when it needs to be addressed the most. Later when the sheer volume of crimes increase we start making laws which actually puts the victims/ survivors to relive their ordeal once again.

Whether the mass molestation that happened in Bengaluru during New Year’s eve on 31st December 2016 or the cyber bullying of Zaira Wasim (of Dangal movie Fame). Its all attacking women in one way or the other. Its sending a clear message to women folks that well this society doesn’t appreciate you as a successful, happy woman who wears what she likes and hangs out wherever and whenever she likes and also takes her own decisions while being unapologetic about it.

People and society has a skewed perception about the female gender. Our roles and obligations are defined by them and we are to adhere to them. Funnily; we are also judged by those who may have or may not have borne those responsibilities with or without panache or any success.

I at least hope and pray that we women start changing our perception towards each other, rather than looking at these attacks to further push back the emancipation of women. Because like it or not it’ll also have an impact on you later on.

Women need to be emancipated from the current and age old perceptions about their gender, sexuality and stereotyped roles. I think we are tax payers, care givers and care takers, leaders, celebrities, influential, voters, thinkers, politicians, writers, motivators and many more such things. Which makes us important and worthy people and contributors to the society in every way. It is this significance that we need to capitalise on to be emancipated from the shackles of stereotypical gender biases and thinking.

Here again, I urge women to participate in supporting and encouraging each other. No more back stabbing or back biting and or being bitchy. For all those women who are looking to do something about their emancipation, follow this link below.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/iwillgoout/events/?ref=page_internal

Wherever you are join the movement on Saturday 21st January between 5PM-8PM. Join the movement #IWillGoOut. Contact us at: iwillgoout2017@gmail.com