Indian women have had enough of the cotton wool, bubble wrapped lifestyle that people, especially male politicians are wrapping them in. Now more than ever, they are speaking out against the injustices that are happening in their country and providing a platform for change.
This comes after an Indian woman was harassed by two men when she was driving home after midnight. Chasing her in their vehicle and trying to corner her, she eventually escaped but not after being completely shaken and terrified.
Ramveer Bhatti, the area vice president of a local political party said that the incident would not have taken place if she had not been out so late. The outpouring of tweets that came after this statement was widespread, with the hashtag #aintnocinderella trending on Twitter. Women were using the hashtag to fight back against the idea of being damsels in distress, with one Twitter user fittingly posting, “we women believe in breaking glass ceilings not fitting into glass slippers.”
The politician in question demonstrated a blatant case of victim blaming, instead of identifying and prosecuting the attackers he brings it back to the antiquated and traditionalist view of women not being allowed out after dark. Simply being out after midnight does not give anyone the invitation for inappropriate behaviour. This regressive attitude does nothing for the victims, it only incites more anger and more motivation to fight for justice. The question is, why should women be punished for something that is out of our control and why should we live our lives in constant fear when these men are still roaming the streets looking for their next victim.
Sexual violence is a horribly frequent occurrence in India, with 31,446 cases of crimes against women reported just in the capital city of Delhi. This doesn’t even take into consideration the amount of cases that go unreported.
Mahatma Gandhi himself said that, “the day a woman can walk freely on the roads at night, is the day we can say that India has achieved independence.” To enforce such stricter laws and rules to help achieve peace will be tough, but surely with more widespread social media trends such as #aintnocinderella hopefully more politicians will stand up and take notice. By speaking out and letting their voices be heard throughout their country and across the world, these women will continue to smash barriers.
By Emily Facoory
She Society is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.