Men cannot define what a woman can be

Tabish Khair
Tabish KhairApr 28, 2016 | 11:17

Men cannot define what a woman can be

Even though the media seems less concerned about it these days, women, alas, are still being raped in India and, what is just as bad, getting threatened with rape and similar dreadful things if they enter a particular out-of-bound temple.

I won't say anything about dargahs, etc: when I last ascertained in my hometown, women were not being allowed to enter even some (or all?) Muslim graveyards, a truly a "new" tradition in India.


Then, of course, there is the brigade - or is it legion? - that jumps up and defends women because "they are our mothers, wives and sisters." As if that is a defence! Note, for instance, that women end up being defined only in their relationship to men - mothers, wives and sisters of men.

Women end up being defined only in their relationship to men. 

It makes men central again - and that is of course the core of the sickness of the rapist, who feels that he is entitled to have his way with a woman, no matter what she feels, thinks, says or does. It is exactly the kind of male mind that cannot stop feeling that the world revolves around it!

But this "defence" is even worse than it appears because it is also based on the assumption that it is men who decide what a woman should be - she has to conform to their idea of a mother, wife or sister.

So the moment a woman fails to fit a man's idea of a mother, wife or sister, she becomes vulnerable. She becomes a target. Hence, the rapes; hence, the threat of rape.


It is time to face this fact squarely. Men cannot - and should not - define what a woman can be.

It is every woman's own decision whether she wants to smoke or not, wear a sari or a skirt, go to a bar or stay in the kitchen.

Until men can learn to accept this, it will be impossible to control the sad incidence of rapes in the country.

(Courtesy of Mail Today.)

Last updated: April 28, 2016 | 11:17
Please log in
I agree with DailyO's privacy policy