Default Culprits

Saima Bhat

In any conflict zone, killings, torture, disappearances, rapes are common. But in Kashmir, a conflict zone too, such things have become a norm. Within this ‘normal’ like situation, what sets us apart is how we treat our women.

Even if she has been the victim of this war-like situation, still she is the culprit. Even if she has been raped, still she is the culprit.

On April 12, when an alleged bid of molestation on a teenager was reported from Handwara, it was the girl who was culprit. Why not? Didn’t you see how boldly she talks! It was disgusting when a colleague sent a text, “I just confirmed that this girl is a smoker and was dating someone as well. You see she has confidence. She can’t have good character.”

Even if she was caught doing something ‘immoral’ with that army man, still law says it is a ‘statutory rape’, where you cannot blame the girl, considering her age.

Why a girl is an easy target in Kashmir, I fail to understand. Then I console myself by the fact that it took us two decades to understand the pain of Kunan rape victims. They still face stigma.

We have such conflicting notions that for us, a girl holding a higher position at workplace, is for sure ‘characterless’.

Why? Because there is nothing else against her! If she talks humbly, then she is for sure interested in you. But what if she talks nicely to everybody? Is she interested in all of them!

If she has a better opinion than you, then she is not a good girl at all. Common how can she be good. She doesn’t know language. She hasn’t read many books, then how can she have an opinion. My dear male chauvinists; come out of your euphoric world, we are doing better in every field, home or work place.

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