Respect and save women

When former French Health Minister Simone Veil and her sister managed to survive Hitler's Nazi death camp, anti-Semitic Frenchmen made disparaging, gender-denigrating, judgmental remarks like, "How did they come back? It proves that it was not that bad." Is it fair to victimise women victims with excoriating mental torture over and over?

On Indian TV, a woman was protesting to local politicians about her neighbour being raped. When they went to the police station, the policeman demanded the raped woman's character certificate from the Municipal Commissioner before filing the case. Similarly, in Kolkata, a woman politician said the 38-year-old mother of two who was gang-raped last February by fellow Park Street night-clubbers was "a misunderstanding between a lady and her client". Even after the Assistant Police Commissioner's probe proved the case to be gang rape, the victim continues to await justice. Society so despises her that she can't get an apartment to rent. Recently, a member of Parliament belittled the women protesting the gang rape in Delhi as "highly dented-painted women giving interviews on TV." Every citizen should demand destruction of this attitude.

Anywhere in the world, a rape is a disgraceful criminal act, irrespective of whether the woman is a wife, sex worker or daughter of the man. Yes, several such perversions of fathers raping daughters have come to light in India and other countries. Actually rape is just one crime against women. The several other outrageous discriminations in India are: killing the girl child either before or after birth, giving dowry, dowry deaths, forced marriage, honour killing, purdah, sati, widow seclusion, molestation and caste-related bigotry opposing women's lawful rights. Not even a sex worker can be raped as she represents the dignity of women in society.

Very often people debate that women invite rape by titillating men with revealing dresses. In the 21st century, such insensitive comments have no place. According to the occasion, women, and not a third party, should exercise their own discretion to dress appropriately as per their choice. When people blame women victims, simultaneously defending men's natural sexual urges, they reveal prejudices and utter disrespect for half the world's population. Women are not the prey for men's sexual enjoyment.

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