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They know. We don't.

October 11 was designated as the International Day of the Girl Child. But just around the day marked for the event, girls all over the world went through troubling times. 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot. A 14-year-old Indonesian girl was detained and raped for a week by Sex Traffickers who found her on Facebook. The girl was then thrown out of school for being a factor that tarnished the school’s image. More recently, a 21 year-old-girl was raped at Law School, Bangalore, India. Still more recently, a teenage girl was gang-raped and then set on fire in Bengal.

It’s perhaps easily the truest thing to say that we live in a world that is a thriving hotbed of shameless impunity and abject disregard for women. The global struggle for gender equality is still such a climb uphill – and still remains one of the biggest moral fights in the world today – much on the lines of the fight against slavery and colonialism.

But here’s the true deal: While the Taliban, these rapists, these oppressive masses understand something, we are conspicuously lacking in our understanding of this: That an educated and equal woman is truly a force to reckon with. So they go about oppressing women, so they can break society, so they can keep their dominance alive. And we? We support them through our rhetoric: “Silly girl! Who asked her to write about Education when she knew the Taliban could wipe her off?” “She dressed provocatively, so they raped her. Good girls don’t do that.” “Oh she? She stayed out long with her boyfriend. No wonder she got raped.”

This mindset – this very notion – that a girl “deserved” what she got, though everyone knows it is WRONG, is what needs changing. As a people, as a society, as this “intelligentsia” that we love calling ourselves, we’ve failed to understand that this culture of impunity thrives because of our tacit consent: through our “she-deserved-it” speeches and tsk-tsks.

So yes: The Taliban, The Human Traffickers, The Rapists, The Oppressors: They’ve realized the significance of an educated, employed and empowered woman. They’ve realized that these women can obliterate their hard-line thinking and action. But we? We think that they are “powerful” because of their brute force. We think that we are nothing against them because they can use violence to silence us. We think that our girls deserve to be oppressed, so we do nothing about it.
And that’s why, our girls suffer.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring an end to gender-based violence. The EVAW Campaign elicits powerful content from women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as vocal grassroots leaders, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »

Comments

Wendyiscalm's picture

Excellent point

Excellent, honest, open comment that needs saying.

I admire your courage.

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together)

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

kirthijay's picture

Thank You!

Thank you, Wendy!

Ubuntu, indeed!

Sharontina's picture

A way of escapism

Dear Kirthijay,

A plain and honest truth you have put on stage. Thanks for shedding light on the raw status of women in connection to the key issues and a heartless bypassing the society does with a mere hypothesis - "she deserved it". I very much condemn this mindset and also raise my voice against the masks each face carry in the name of ignorance as they may call it. What would they do if this happens to any of their dear ones is my question ? Let them come out of the shell finding reasons to escape from the scenario.

I appreciate your thoughts dear.

Keep up the good work for the good cause.

Merlin Sharontina

kirthijay's picture

Thank you, Sharontina! Your

Thank you, Sharontina! Your words encourage me, and make me want to write more.

Kirthi

Corine Milano's picture

A powerful testament to the

A powerful testament to the power of women. Thank you, Kirthijay, for sharing this with the community. Please continue to write and share here.

Best,
Corine

kmwelch's picture

Welcome

Dear kirthijay,

Thank you for joining and becoming involved with the inspirational PulseWire online community as well as sharing your perspective with us. I look forward to reading more.

Warmly,

Katie

kirthijay's picture

Thank You!

Thank you, Corine, and Katie. I am grateful to you for reading my maiden post and for being so encouraging!

Greengirl's picture

Well Voiced, Kirthijay

Your article is deep and thought provoking.

Thank you for sharing.

Olanike

kirthijay's picture

Thank you Olanike!

Thank you Olanike!

Lylinaguas's picture

Great article!

Great article Kirthi! It's so frustrating to see that women always have to struggle to be recognized for their true worth and be respected. It's so sad and tragic that violence becomes the weapon in attempting to suppress and take away their dignity.

Thanks for sharing.:)

Lylin

kirthijay's picture

Absolutely! Thank you Lylin!

Absolutely!

Thank you Lylin! Thank you for reading!

Noriah Ismail's picture

Good Article

Your article is thought provoking, I think you did quite well for this fourth assignment.

It would be better if you could also suggest some active and effective measures that can be undertaken for instance by

women organizations (Govenment or Non Government) as well as women leaders in these oppressed societies.

If they unite they can put serious pressure which can bring about some positive impacts.

Keep writing!

Dr.Noriah Ismail
Senior Lecturer
Academy of Language Studies
UiTM Segamat Johor
Malaysia

kirthijay's picture

Thank you

Thank you, Noriah! I will work on a few ideas and put them up :)

susa's picture

My stomach churns.....

Dear Noriah,
My stomach churns when I read your list of all the atrocities against young women in such a short span of time -- and that these are only the ones that make the news! Only in the strength of the women who fight against injustice, and in the comrades that come to their aid, will we combat these horrible deeds and the beliefs and mindsets that excuse them. No one "deserves it" ever! I agree with you that women who say "she deserved it, she invited it, silly girl, shameless wench" are the first ones whose mindset needs changing. But it is possible. Voices are coming together, and slowly (too slowly) we are being heard. You are doing a valuable service by getting the message out through the World Pulse community. Keep spreading the word!
Susa

kirthijay's picture

Hi Susa! Thank you for your

Hi Susa!
Thank you for your kind comment. I noticed you mentioned Noriah - Noriah had also commented on this article :)
I completely agree with you that it is possible to change these mindsets! Many thanks for your kind faith in me <3

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Magnificent Honesty

Dear Kirthijay,

Your "testimony" is breathtakingly strong, eloquent and magnificently honest. Thank you, thank you. I had heard about the Bengali girl who was raped repeatedly and then burned - a heartbreaking incident of total disregard for her life on all fronts. I am glad to hear some anger in your voice, albeit highly constructive anger, and appreciate your suggestions for starting at the very roots of the desperately antiquated views and treatment of women worldwide. (There is a hotbed of sex trafficking not too far from where I live in Florida, in the United States, which I found out about through my participation in this EVAW campaign as a listener.)
Kirthijay, please continue writing and speaking out. Your brave voice is crucial to change in our world.

With Respect and Gratitude,

Rev. Sarah

kirthijay's picture

Hi Rev. Sarah! Thank you for

Hi Rev. Sarah!
Thank you for being so kind with your time and effort - in reading and commenting on my post. I completely agree with you on the fact that we need to be constructively angry - and that's what makes us one in this whole fight against ostracism of women. Thank you for your appreciative words - I hope someday, to make a tangible difference and fight hard for women.

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