Thursday, January 3, 2013

Of New Year and persistent violations

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Happy New Year everyone!

By that I mean that I wish you a ton of happiness more than last year.

Happiness that comes from dispelling clouds within, thoughts that form the toughest rope ladders anchored to the sturdiest posts of beliefs that drag us out of the abyss. The abyss that unfortunate people seemed to have fallen into last year, and unable to do any better, dragged a whole bunch of people down under with them.

Other than Mini-baby's birth and the joy around his babyhood, 2012 was a year best left behind. For me. I can't allow myself to feel that extent of helplessness ever again and go about like nothing is wrong with the world.

After that last shooting, I went online to look into mental illness. There seems to be a ton of frightening research that actually questions some very basic treatment approaches. Nothing simple will answer necessary questions. There is so much that is culturally ingrained that to "make it all right", one has to decimate entire belief systems. Most other solutions that we will be compelled to adopt will be half measures. Never enough, but a bandaid nonetheless.

Then there was that unfortunate soul in India who was violated in every way possible. It does come to mind that that level of cruelty is commonplace in many countries, and in varied situations ranging from wars to late night walks. None of the incidents should have been allowed to happen.

Who allows them then? The perpetrators of course. Then comes the very difficult "why"? The wastrels involved in the crime in India actually said that they wanted to "teach the girl a lesson." Judging by the progression of events, it appears that they took offense to her being out at night, with a male friend. There is everything wrong with this scenario. Everything.

They believed that she didn't deserve to be out. If she had been working that late, likely they would have wanted to "impart lessons" then too.

The very foundation of society is shaky. Built on belief systems that are in constant flux. A woman's place is still regulated by uncontrollable urges in a man and tragically, her own physical vulnerability.

I thought about the protests, articles, and the pervasive outrage. Yes, women should be able to do what they want. Yes, they must be able to wear what they want and be where they want to be. Truly, it is the same for every species in the planet. One does not see a tigress or a jilly goat run and cover her femininity. Or refuse to hunt to graze because there are other tigers and billy goats in the vicinity. It's for women that these rules are made. By society. By other women and men. Because they may be helpless while doing something as mundane as walking under starry skies.

We are now hoping for strict laws and the eventual civilization of the entire human species to ensure that women can live with the same sense of safety and well being as men.

There must be laws, for they are the sole deterrent. While there will always be men who rely on coercion and the chance that they won't get caught, still others will keep their privates and dirty minds in check.

credit - freedigitalphotos.net
What's to be done about the civilization bit though? What does one do about rapes that happen during wartime? Simple shows of strength in closed quarters? Economically backward men who think that there is just one way to get even and avenge their lot in life? Still others who use religion and some form of superiority as tools against the weak?

We're roaring forward in many ways. Breaking barriers, testing limits and redefining ourselves every minute of every day. And then, there is a vast population of the earth, that is still left behind, waiting, watching in awe and fear. They have their belief systems, completely out of sync with the rest of the modern world. It struck me when I read that the men wanted to "teach her a lesson." My extreme interpretation of that is that they didn't believe she had a right to her own body.

The people in this instance happened to be from an economic class for whom laws meant little. They made their own laws apparently. That's the majority of the world's population.

There are still others who have more, dress better and don't think twice about violating a body.

This was about a woman. There are children who go through this too.

When one breaks things down, completely, without the props of a civilized life and the facade of normal that we wear on a daily basis, it does come down to an assertion of physical strength.

The light of civilization, it seems, has not lit every dark corner. There are still spaces that remain hidden and out of reach. I suppose this is where violators go to indulge...some manner of understanding known only to them that makes this alright.

It appears that I have no right to expect anything of anyone. Simply because I will never know how many unlit corners another human might possess. I will never know how many lies someone is telling themselves while they imagine their right to my person.

I'm completely hurt and enraged by it all.

We can rely on laws only and our own sense of self preservation to combat danger. There is always the question of, "What if it isn't enough?" A viable question considering the victim in the gruesome rape absolutely tried to defend herself. What could she do against six thugs? She had a male companion too. Apparently that went against them both.

One can't stop living. And it's time to stop referring to women like victims even before they can be hurt. It must certainly contribute to the sense of power a potential rapist feels.

Cavemen dragged women away as and when they pleased. I think that women have evolved a great deal. The men haven't caught up. Not all of them. The caveman lurks. And they want to make the rules. In whole countries no less.

Heaven help.

credit : Image courtesy of worradmu / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"