Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Woman, You Are Not Safe!

By Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, December 17, 2014

“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.”
– Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

She loved the desolate streets.

She believed her thoughts thrived while walking through the isolated, stark dark streets.

Today was different. She was ecstatic. She sold her first story.

I sold my first story, I sold my first story, I sold my first story,” she repeated these lines to herself, grinning widely from one ear to another. What would delight a writer more than that?

Being delusional was one of her occupational hazards, because she totally assumed she was safe to go home. Alone!

As she walked in those streets, she realized that someone was following her, because she could hear footsteps behind her. Vaguely, but certainly!

What she did not realize was that he would try to harm her. She also did not realize she would use her pepper spray on him. Practically, it was lying around in her bag since two years, but she never had to use it anyone. Following that incident, she did not realize she would entirely abandon the desolate streets she once loved, look at the men around her in suspicion though they meant no absolute harm. She was safe, but she could not get that incident out of her head.

No surprises there, she did not stay in that quagmire for longer than she intended to. She let go of it, because it was not even worth a thought, if you know what I mean?

This is my story. This is your story. Oh wait, this is the story of your best friend too. I am sure her sister too has a similar story. In a  nutshell, this is the story of every woman I meet, and I cannot even put it in numbers on how many such stories I hear time and again.

“WOMAN! You are not safe,” my family utters every time I decide to go out.

Maybe they are right. Maybe they know if anything ever happens to me, all I would get is a candle march.

I will get nothing else. Zilch. Nada.

However, that would not stop me from doing what I got to do. Actually, it shouldn’t.

This is my two cents to every woman out there:

You are not safe.

If you are assuming you are a sleeping beauty, or some damsel in distress who will be rescued by a man, you are mistaken.

If you are secretly hoping the government would come to your help, you are totally hallucinating.

If you are imagining the women who see you going through the mess come to deal with your mess, you are demented.

They will be sorry, but that is all they will do.

Instead, let us accept that you are not safe. Because that is what makes our lives simpler!

Carry two cans of pepper spray cans if you must, but do not go anywhere without it. Keep your phones charged all the time. Let people know where you are.

Download SOS-Stay Safe application to your smartphone. And if you think your parents are stopping you from having fun, let me tell you this - You are not safe!

No matter where you are, do not get worked up. You will need to deal with the situation all by yourself. Your love for yourself must protect you even during the most awful situations because only you can take care of yourself.

Just to get things straight, let me repeat it again for you. You are not safe because you live in a country where people worship Goddesses yet prey on the same fraternity. You are not safe because more than half the population actually consider you as an object of pleasure. You are not safe because the law of your country seems to work against your best interests. Not intentionally, however, not unintentionally either.

But you know you are entitled to be safe. 

Because you deserve more than just a godforsaken candle march.


Pankti Mehta on 17 Dec 2014, 04:00:00 said...

Totally agree with you. Loved your last line.

Sunaina Patnaik on 17 Dec 2014, 04:07:00 said...

@Pankti Mehta: Thank you.

Namrata on 17 Dec 2014, 07:26:00 said...

Yeah...from the bosom they are fed from, they don't even think once before tearing it apart. How can anyone be so animalistic!

Sunaina Patnaik on 17 Dec 2014, 08:17:00 said...

@Namrata: Yes.

Aparajita on 17 Dec 2014, 08:55:00 said...

Every time I read your posts there is thumbs up!
This one is extremely applaudable.
We deserve to be safe.

monica malik on 17 Dec 2014, 20:43:00 said...

it's a shame to be living like this, but there is no choice. we got to be cautious 'coz as you said, there wont be a hero appearing to save us, it's in our own hands. But I wish that these were different time, that we could walk out on the street carefree...seems like it's not happening anytime soon.
nice post.

Sunaina Patnaik on 18 Dec 2014, 03:29:00 said...

@Monica: I agree you with you. :) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Very well written.. Respect!

Sunaina Patnaik on 25 Dec 2014, 07:36:00 said...

Thank you.


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