We go around talking about how those kids in that group ‘Bois Locker Room’ were wrong and how the police getting involved is a big step towards change. To break your bubble, the kids who are going to face these circumstances don’t even believe that they are at fault. Hence, their basis of differentiating between right and wrong itself is flawed. They’re probably still going to be proud about what they are and what they did.
Then, what’s the point?
We’re all going to mention them on social media handles, make them viral for a bit and then move on with our damn lives because we tend to forget easily. We hide behind laptop screens and talk about respect, patriarchy, filth and upbringing. That’s the problem.
Let’s get to the root. Patriarchy is real, don’t deny it but why does it still exist in the 21st century?
Simple, it’s because we as women, let it exist. More than men dominating the world, it’s the women against women that prove patriarchy right every single time.
We’ve all read this quote, “Don’t teach your girls how to dress, teach your boys how to behave”. Tell me, how exactly are we teaching them anything at all? We are only imposing ideologies about women empowerment, equality and respect while setting contradictory examples. Don’t believe me? Read on…
- Why do you look at your daughter to go fetch the guests’ water and not at your son? Mind it, your son is looking at you looking at your daughter. It all starts with a glass of water.
- Why did you not let your daughter attend the same party as your son did last night? Mind it, your son just made mental notes about this incident.
- Why did you as an aunt lecture your niece about why she shouldn’t be wearing that dress? Mind it, your niece is going to talk about the same thing to her niece.
- Why did you never bring up the subject about sex education? Mind it, your kids already have access to sensitive content, one click away and are free to make any presumptions.
So ask yourself, what examples are we setting? Is it right? Does it matter? Literally, these are the tiniest things we do at home without realising their potential impact.
What those kids have done is all kinds of wrong and there is no justification to it. The debate is endless, moreover pointless. What I want to focus on is the ‘why’ part. Why did they do what they did? They did it because they felt entitled to do so. They don’t think it was morally wrong because they have developed values from flawed examples at home and as much as they are at fault, so are we.
I think that more than the men being men, women are letting the men be men by not letting the women be women.
It’s like the women are on this auto pilot mode, with their instincts directing them to put others beyond themselves. It takes years and years of conscious effort to shake off this conditioning and somewhere, someone needs to start!
So, start talking about this issue because whether or not you agree, we are all a part of this problem! And here’s what you can do:
- Practice before you preach.
- Discuss it, talk to your kids, this implies to both girls and boys about having a basic sense of respect towards all humans.
- Bring about sex education. Talk to them about consent, protection, safety, choices and coercion.
- Tell them about cyber crimes and cyber bullying. Ensure that they know, they can rely on you if they’re in any trouble. (Talk to the girls about sharing their private pictures online and why they should avoid it, irrespective of the fact that whether they trust their partner, or not because there is nothing that is private on the internet. Worse come worse, what if the phone gets hacked? And talk to the boys about manipulating their partners into sending such sensitive pictures and why they need to take ‘no’ for an answer.)
- Teach your children about self defense, alertness when they are out alone, emergency contacts, a few basic tips to tackle any situation, empathy, understanding towards others, modesty, pride, violence, mental health and depression. There is loads of content on the internet about all of this.
Restricting the girls or bad mouthing the boys is not going to make this situation any better. If we need to bring about this change on a higher scale, teaching them good values to live by, despite the threats this world possesses, is one big step in the process of eliminating such instances in the future.
It all begins at home!
I’m trying to make a difference, 800 words at a time; do help me out by sharing this article.