My honour does not lie in my vagina or my virginity. My izzat, is not something you can choose to destroy with your toxic masculinity.
Over the last week, four heinous instances of sexual violence seem to have shook the "indian consciousness". Four is just a number, countless others have gone unreported, unnoticed, as always.
We've established that rape is so much more than just a sex crime. It is time we start focusing on the language we use. Terms like "Izzat lootna", "ghar ki laaj", "girl's honour" and the likes, put the burden of shame on the woman. They tend to propagate the idea that a woman's honour and being lies in her gender and genitals, which then can be easily ravaged to whatever end a man chooses. We need to start rejecting this patriarchal language, reclaim these words.
At the risk of sounding preachy and prudish, point out/attack sexism, however casual or ostensibly harmless. It never is harmless; not in family whatsapp groups, not in insidious rape jokes, not in any setup, contextual or not.
Language influences the way we think. The way we think, clearly needs to change.
Photo: Bombay, 2018
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