We are all familiar with the use of tinted glasses in cars and house windows to maintain secrecy and privacy. But, do you realize our society as a whole, also uses tinted glasses, whilst dealing with sensitive social issues?
Have you ever tried to look through a glass? Of course you have... Infact, we all have tried doing that at some point of time or the other. What is it that comes to your mind when we talk of looking through a glass? Perhaps you thought of transparency, clarity and your ability to look through things with a clear vision because thats what Glass does- makes things transparent and clear.
Now, let us talk about Tinted Glasses. What is it that strikes your mind now? Probably the translucent nature of the tinted glass is what came first to your mind when you read the word Tinted Glasses and its absolutely justified because the translucent nature of the tinted glass is what makes it different from the plain glass. From its one side, you can clearly see through the glass whatever is on its other side, whereas, from the other side you cannot see through to what lies on the other side of the glass.
Tinted glasses are used by the VIPs in their cars so that while they are able to look out of their windows and see whatever is going outside, they can perfectly hide themselves from the eyes of the people outside. Basically, they use it to avoid unwanted attention.
But tinted glasses are not just used by the VIPs. They are also used by other people, like you, me and our society as a whole. However, we don’t just use it in our cars. We use these tinted glasses to deal with various social issues. Sad but true, our society has found this “applaudable” way of dealing with sensitive issues whereby they plant this invisible tinted glass between themselves and the sensitive issues and those experiencing or going through those sensitive issues.
One such ‘placed behind the tinted glass’ issue is that of womanhood and several other issues concerning womanhood- like female foeticide, female infanticide, paedophile, eve-teasing, rapes, slut-shaming, domestic violence and the list is endless! When it comes to issues like these, society places the women on the see-through side of the tinted glass, while keeping itself on the other side. They form their own social opinion about all these topics that the women can see from their side of the mirror, but the society being on the other side of the glass cannot see the adverse effect its opinions are casting upon the women.
Let us just go through a few of these issues and try analyzing the two sides of the tinted glass mirror.
Female Foeticide and Infanticide
Foeticide and Female Infanticide are two social stigmas that continue to sustain and stain the society and yet no one is doing anything about it. Little baby girls are killed while they are still cocooned in their mother’s womb or as soon as they take their first breath in this big bad world, for the simple reason that they belong to the female gender and their murderers believe that these little cherubs should be killed because they would be nothing but burdens on their families once they grow up. The society unabashedly creates this gender bias that a boy child is the symbol of family’s prosperity and increased fame, while a girl child is the symbol of family’s doom. This gender bias leads them into killing the baby girls. However, placed behind the tinted glasses, most of the mothers of these little baby girls see their daughters being throttled to death, crying silent tears of agony and yet they can do nothing about it, because the society, that is on the other side of the tinted glass, is oblivious to what these mothers are going through.
Talking about Gender Biases that the girls have to face living in this male-dominated society, the girls who are lucky enough to escape the dreadful death in their mothers' womb or when they step first into the world, turn out to be unfortunate enough to continue facing taunts, harassments and abuses in various forms for being born as a girl into their families. They have to put-up with the allegations of being burdens on their families.
Huh! How ironic! Born from the womb of a girl who transformed into a life-giving woman, and these certain male chauvinists have the audacity to call the girl children of their families a burden! Again, its as if they have placed a tinted glass in front of their eyes, trying to deliberately ignore the importance of girls/women in their life as the life givers, while the girls/women stand on the other side of the tinted glass seeing them ignore their existence and importance.
Moving further, we are all aware of the social stigma of paedophile brewing in our society. Although, young boys, too, are targets and victims of paedophile, it turns out that the victims of paedophile turn out to be girls in most of the cases. Girls as young as 4 months old are being sexually abused by people with paedophilic tendencies. What does a 4 month old, a 4 year old or even a 10 year old girl know about sexual tendencies of people to be able to deliberately arouse sexual tension in someone’s body? NOTHING! NOTHING AT ALL!
An episode of MTV Big F raised the issue of child abuse. The episode showed a girl in her early teens, studying in a boarding school, being apprehensive about visiting her home during holidays for the fear of meeting her uncle who had been sexually molesting her since her early childhood. Nevertheless, when the schools close for the holidays, she is left with no choice but to go back to her home. At home, she meets her uncle and all her fears come true, when her uncle yet again molests her in the absence of the other family members. Her cries, wails and pleadings to be left fall on his deaf ears as he continues to assault her. She, however, keeps her mouth shut and refrains from telling anyone about what her uncle did to her because of the simple reason that she realises that no one would believe her words against her uncle, but, instead, all the blame and accusations will be inflicted on her. It is only when her teacher extends her a helping hand that she breaks down and tells him about all sexual abuse she has been enduring since her early childhood. Her teacher then helps her fight her ghosts and demons and makes sure that she gets her due justice.
This is exactly what happens in real life, too, with all the little girls who are sexually abused; the only difference being that not all of them find a rescuer, like that teacher, who could help them fight and win the battle against their demons and get justice. These girls have little to minimum knowledge about the abuse they are undergoing. And when they finally start understanding it all, the knowledge of the society blaming the girls in any case, too, comes with the understanding of the abuse inflicted on them. And so they keep mum! They keep mum, knowing it’s no use telling their families or anyone else that they are being assaulted sexually because, after all, the society would try finding faults in her and blame her and not the pedophile for her condition.
These young little girls are innocent and yet the society blames it all on these baby girls for being sexually abused by some paedophile, unabashedly and ashamedly stating that it was the little girl who “deliberately” aroused sexual tension in the abuser’s body! They have, as if, placed between themselves, their thinking and the victims of paedophile a tinted glass that debar themselves from seeing the sufferings of these girl victims, thereby, blindly accusing them for becoming the victims; while, being on the other side of this tinted glass those little girl victims continue seeing the people accuse them and treat them with intolerable indifference.
What do you call a man who roams around with more than one or two girls? A stud, a women’s man, and so on!
And what is a woman who roams around with more than one man remarked as? A SLUT! But is that what she becomes if she is roaming around and talking with more than one boy at a time.
The misogynist section of the society creates a gender biases here, too. They never care to look through the emotions of a girl for the boys she is talking to and directly label her a slut. Maybe, the boys she is talking to are just her friends or acquaintances or maybe they are the brother-like figures in her life! How can one jump on conclusions about the girl being a slut, when actually being completely oblivious about her relationship status with the boys she is talking to.
These male chauvinists, also, presume that any girl roaming around in markets alone or with certain boys after the clock strikes 6 or 7 in the evening is a slut. Ironically, they don't apply the same norms for the boys who roam around late nights, because they belong to the MALE section of the society and are, thus, free to roam around late nights doing whatever may please them( even if thats lawfully or ethically wrong).
Another instance, when the society labels a girl as a slut is when she wears clothes too tight or too small, when on the other hand, the society praises and admires a ‘shirtless’ hero on screen showing off his abs and his well-built body!
BIASED! Thats what our society becomes in situations like these. The number of boys a girl talks to or the measurements of her clothes are the most vague parameters to define her as a SLUT and yet people Slut-shame girls on these bases. It is as if, they have planted this huge tinted glass between themselves and the girls they label as "sluts" that debars them from analysing the real nature of a girl that is not based on the grounds of her clothes’ measurements or her male contacts or the timings of her staying out of the threshold of her house. Through this tinted glass, they are unable to see the depth of her relationship with the boys she talks to and her emotions and feelings for those boys. It is as if they have this huge tinted glass planted in their mind with logic and reality on one side and their vague imaginations on the other side, whereby they judge a girl based on the length or tightness of her clothes, presuming that any girl who wears short or tight clothes, etc in public becomes a slut.
Yet another atrocity inflicted on women these days is that of eve-teasing. Every day an infinite number of women suffer from eve-teasing.
While walking on the roads, waiting for bus at a bus-stop, in offices, schools and almost everywhere there are people that don’t hesitate even for a split second before throwing inappropriate sexual comments or sexual innuendoes at the women, thereby, disrespecting them and also abusing them. And all that a woman is left to do is ignore these comments thrown at her because even if she voices them out, people would blame her for inciting such comments from those people.
Visit any Girls' College or school or institution and you'd be surprised, rather shocked, to see the number of boys in cars, bikes or even on foot, roaming around the area of that institution. They roam around these Girls' institutions waiting for the girls to come out of their college, so they can stalk them and flirt with them or pass inappropriate comments at them.
While these notorious social elements continue eve-teasing the girls, the people around them make no advances to stop these notorious ones from their inappropriate activities. The people, instead, blame the girl being teased for bewitching and tempting the teasing men, probably by some activity of hers.
It is, again, as if placed behind a tinted glass are the eve-teased girls left to shout and scream about being eve-teased, while the society on the other side of the tinted is just looking at them being eve-teased and blames it all on those girls for alluring the men into teasing her.
Talking about sexual abuse, the biggest form of sexual abuse is rape. Every few minutes, in our country, some girl is raped in some part of the country or the other.
Just a few years back “Nirbhaya” was raped by six men and left to death on a road side all naked and bleeding from her various body parts, including her private parts. So ruthlessly was she abused and raped, that her rapists even went ahead to the level of putting iron rod into her private parts and pulling out her intestines. Unfortunately, Nirbhaya succumbed to all the injuries caused to her during rape. She was a victim and millions stood up for her, wanting justice for her. However, even after so many people stood up for her, there were a handful of people who degraded her and blamed her for being raped. Even after knowing it very well that she was the victim, Nirbhaya was presented as the culprit by some obnoxious people, who blamed it all on her that she was raped by those six men. They pointed out that her roaming around the Delhi roads at midnight with a boy (who happened to be her trustworthy friend) was her ‘mistake’ for which she was ‘punished’ by being raped by those six men.
That was just one Nirbhaya. There are several others like her who become the victims of brutal rape and yet they are held the culprits by the society because of their ‘inappropriate way of dressing, talking or behaving’!
The rape victims who succumb to death after being raped, leave behind them a family who has to hear it all throughout their life about how their daughter was raped because of her inappropriateness. And the maximum rape victims who manage to survive, are like walking dead souls who, along with their families, have to bear the brunt of the society as they blame her for being raped.
The society does not take into account the inappropriateness and sin of the ones who raped the girl. The society plants that invisible tinted glass here, too, between itself and the rape victims- deliberately shunning out their vision and voice of the screaming victims’ shouting out loud and pleading to be accepted as innocents, while, standing on the other side of the tinted glass, it( the society) continues to blame and accuse those victims, outrightly denying them their due justice. Shameful on the part of society, but, nevertheless, the bitter truth!
Another atrocity inflicted on women is Domestic Violence. Many married women are ill-treated by their husbands and their families. The husbands and the families of these domestic violated women beat these women, cause them severe injuries and some times even kill them. Marital rape is, too, a form of domestic violence in my opinion. And the prime reasons for these atrocities inflicted on the women is either because they failed to bring along with themselves the desired amount of dowry at the time of wedding; or because, they failed to give birth to the male heir of the family; or to just show the male-dominance and assert the patriarchal control on the women of the house.
Some of these women, too, silently accept this treatment meted out to them as their fate because they accept the male superiority and patriarchal control on their lives.
Whats more saddening is that, the society sees these women becoming victims to domestic-violence and yet takes no effective steps to stop this practice.
It is, as if, placed on the see-through side of the tinted glass, these women can see and feel the atrocities inflicted on them, while they silently lament yet accept their fate; while on the other hand the society continues to believe that the males have dominance over the women and they can do anything with them as they deem fit, without noticing the damage they are causing to these women.
Breaking The Tinted Glasses
Saddening about all these situations is that in most of the cases, its not just the society that places these tinted glasses between themselves and the suffering women, but it is also these suffering women who place the same kind of tinted glasses between themselves and their sufferings on one side, and, their mind and heart on the other. They suppress their cry of lament at their sufferings because they take it to be their doomed fate of being born a girl. They believe that it is better to suffer silently than revolt because, afterall, they are the ‘weaker section’ of the society whose existence is based on the sole principle of keeping silent and enduring whatever is thrown their way. And thats where these women make the real mistake. If only these women show the courage of break this tinted glass that they have planted within themselves and voice out the atrocities inflicted on them and demanding justice, it is only then that they could ensure a better position for themselves in the society.
Also, the society needs to break and shatter these tinted glasses that they have planted between themselves and the suffering women and their sufferances- whether its female foeticide or rape or domestic violence.
Once the society breaks these glasses, everyone would be able to see and feel clearly what the women are undergoing and enduring. Maybe then, when they clearly see and listen to the screams of these suffering women, that the society will feel the guilt of inflicting barbarity in various forms on the women. And, maybe then, out of guilt, they would stop this business of subjecting these atrocities on women!
And I Sum Up The Article By Saying
It’s time to think! Its time to break the tinted glasses! And its time to stop inflicting barbarous acts on women and causing them excruciating pain and suffering! Let us all join hands and break these tinted glasses and take a step forward towards raising the position of women in society by liberating her from all the pain that they suffer because of these hideous acts done towards them! Let us begin our Movement of Breaking the Tinted Glasses!