New Delhi: Tough laws. Firm rules. Fresh guidelines. Sensitisation programmes. Awareness campaigns. With none of these really being effective in preventing rapes and sexual harassment in this country, a women’s advocacy group, with a yen for radical thinking, feels it has hit upon a practical solution to what has been a vexatious problem.
The essentially simple, but unequivocally workable strategy, is to be born a man.
‘In our experience, laws have never really helped to stop rape of women. Work rules don’t deter determined sexual harassers. Awareness programmes never actually put off the deviant minds. The hard inescapable reality is men will be men as long as women are women, if you get our drift,’ a spokesperson of WOMB (Women Or Men, Baby), the women’s organisation in question said.
‘In the event, what is most likely to stop the complaints of sexual harassment and rape from women is to be born as a man,’ the spokesperson added. ‘At any rate, at this moment, it seems the only way left for us’.
The WOMB spokesperson explained that whole idea emerged out of some practical and honest introspection. “How long are we going to cry ourselves hoarse asking men to change? At some point, we had to realise that best way to engender change is to, well, be the change we want to see’.
‘When some of us women looked at the mirror and asked ourselves the elementary question, why does a man want to sexually harass or rape us, is it because some of us seem to wear what are deemed provocative clothes, is it because some of us happen to be caught in a lonely street on a dark night, is it because some of us are in jobs where our bosses are men with, is it because some of us we are from socially disadvantaged caste or class? The answer, if we are truthful about the whole thing, is none of the above. These are peripheral issues. We are targets because we are women.’
And that is why we feel we should stop being born as women. ‘But in a country like India, where it is impossible to stop being born, our practical alternative could only be to born as men,’ the spokesperson explained.
Asked how can anyone choose to be born as a man, the WOMB spokesperson shot back, ‘yes, it is a difficult process. At the moment it might look daunting. But we all know impossibility is only a state of mind, not the state of one’s gender organs’.
If everyone is born a man, won’t the human race as we know it come to an end then? The WOMB spokesperson smiled enigmatically and answered: ‘that is a small price to pay to stop the rapes. In any case, do remember this is the country where one of the well thought out responses to prevent looting in ATMs is to close all the ATMs’.
Meanwhile, as we were going to print, yet another case of rape in the capital has come to light where a twenty-something girl was raped by her boss when she had gone to his room to give a complaint that she had been molested by another male colleague in the same office.
The boss, however, without denying the incident in question, said that since she was discussing sex, molestation and erotic innuendoes, he might have been misled into misjudgment in that ‘air-conditioned air of sex and suggestion.’
The company, in a press release, asserted that its women staffer’s allegation would be looked into, as per Vishaka Guidelines for workplace, by an internal committee headed by another senior staffer working under the same boss who is under scanner now.
Considering the sensitivity of the issue we in the media have refrained from giving the name of the rape victim. But, for the sake of bringing out the truth, we will give every other possible detail connected with her, her house address, her private emails, her work details and also — again for the purpose of nailing the criminal — possibly the colour of her undergarments.