By “A Dented and Painted” girl

I am an Indian girl.Oh yes,and that too a ‘painted’and ‘dented’ one.So probably,my opinion is not worth having,because afterall who am I ?Just one of those fancily clad women,who wear lipstick on occassion (the horror!), who go to and bars and work in an office, at par with and sometimes superior to male colleagues.

A girl died almost a year back and while a great hue and cry was raised over her death at that time,everyone seems to have forgotten about her now.She was a victim of a sexual crime of a nature that was so violent, that the Delhi police, those insensitive fatalist brutish “protectors”, were shaken. Last night I watched a television show where a popular news anchor was ranting and raving about the responses made by various politicians. A member of Parliament (a woman to boot, who I believe wears lipstick) says of another rape victim that it wasn’t a matter of rape, it was only a misunderstanding between a lady and her clients. Our politicians, who make the laws, and the police, who are meant to uphold them, make light of crimes against women. They believe they are in the right to make judgment calls against them because of the way a girl is dressed, who she speaks to, what she does.

We are not to make judgment on criminal corrupt politicians or negligent cops. Our voices are silenced because we are painted and dented women. What do we know of the realities of this world? We know nothing. We are objects after all and not human. We should get accustomed to the society’s piercing gaze crawling up and down our bodies,no matter what we do,no matter where we go.I should be happy that nothing worse has happened to me. Whatever atrocities are committed, female foeticide, sexual violence or plain unfair treatment that is meted out to women happen because none of these issues are grave enough and because women are not perceived as being significant enough to warrant any kind of rights on their own footing. Even when a girl is raped or molested, people want this quieted down because it means a loss of honour. Honour not of the girl, but that of the family, the prevailing patriarchical set up. In many cases this is explicit, in some case it is inconspicious and insidiuous.

But then who cares about me or other girls of today.All we ‘painted’ones know about is clothes and make up. Some of us don’t even know how to cook! (so spoiled and/or unwomanly).All we know is about ‘painting’ and ‘denting’ and so we should get used to being treated like dirt,gazed at ,groped and assaulted whenever the opportunity presents itself. So let me just go and put up some final touch-ups of make-up to my already very much ‘painted’ face.Maybe that will make it less ‘dented’.

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