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Monday, 23 January 2017

Not all men are same: They all abuse very differently

I was “10”, when I was subjected to bad touch. I was used to buying chocolates and other items from him. One fine day, as part of my usual sanity routine, I went to his shop and he touched my hand with lust evident in his eyes. I felt uncomfortable, and ran away to my home. From then on, I stopped visiting his shop. I was afraid to tell my parents about it, so I told the shopkeeper’s wife who said she was sorry and this won’t happen again.

Then she added, “Not all men are same”.

I was “14”, when for the first time I got to know what is “quid pro quo harassment” a type of harassment where you get something in return if you fulfil a person’s sexual desire.

I was asked to give a kiss to my Computer Sir. When I refused he threatened me of giving me low grades.

I complained to my principal who scolded my Computer Sir and requested me to keep mum and said, “Not all men are same”.

I was “17”, when I first realised that men can see you in bad light even when you are playing sports. I was playing volleyball when a guy commented on my thighs. Though he didn’t shout I was able to hear what he was saying. He compared my leg with an animal’s leg. I complained to my teacher who said to keep mum and “Not all men are same”.

I was “19”, when someone proposed to me but, I rejected. He drew a pathetic image on the college wall with my name on it. He passed cheap comments about me to everyone in college because of which people stopped talking to me. I told my friend this, she said that I should have accepted his proposal and advised me to apologise to him and said don’t lose faith in love just because of him because “Not all men are same”.

I was “23”, when I joined my first job where I realized what gender discrimination is. My colleague who did the same work as I did was paid more than me just because he was a “Male”. I asked my boss why, who said he was a male and did more work so he was being paid more. When I discussed about this with my friend, she said some people are like that what to do? But, “Not all men are same”.

I was “25”, when I got to know what molestation is. I was walking on a road that wasn’t dark or empty. Two men riding on a bike, groped me and rode past me before I could even react. I told my neighbour friend this who said that it happens, not a big deal, and “Not all men are same”.

I was “26”, when I got to know what “marital rape” was.

My parents liked a boy and fixed my marriage. I suppressed my desire to travel. He was good-looking, earned well, had his own house and was planning to fly abroad soon. He demanded a dowry to which my parents didn’t say no and got me married. At the night of my marriage I wasn’t ready for a physical intercourse and told him directly. But he had other ideas and forced himself upon me. I told this to his sister, she said this happens in a marriage and a girl should satisfy her husband’s sexual desires and said he was “Not like all men” and decent.

I was “28”, when I realised that women can also show gender discrimination.

I gave birth to a girl who was marked as my biggest mistake.

Everyone blamed me, without knowing that the gender of a baby depends on the father. No one even picked my baby. I cried in front of the nurse who was sitting close to, she showed sympathy and said, the same happened with her and her husband left her and I was lucky that my husband didn’t leave me and “Not all men are same”.

I was “30”, when I got to know about Physical abuse. I was cooking and by mistake I gave my husband a burnt roti, which he threw on the floor and slapped me hard. That was the first time that someone had slapped me. Day by day my husband got more aggressive towards me and started abusing me both verbally and physically. I complained about this to my in-laws and they said that the mistake must be mine and he was a calm person. My mother in-law said that what you read in newspapers about physical abuse is not always true and “Not all men are same”.

I was “32”, when I got to know about my husband’s drinking habits. When I questioned him about it, he said he drinks occasionally. I stopped asking and one day he came home drunk and when I asked him about it, he kicked me saying I shouldn’t question him since he was the man of the house and he can do whatever he wants. I got a serious injury that day. When I complained about this to my parents, they said it was common in every house and I should adjust for the sake of the honour of my family, my child. And even worse things happened around the world and so, “Not all men are same”.

I was “35” when I walked out of my marriage with my daughter, my support, my reason for living. I was a single mother then. People around me started saying that I had an extramarital affair because of which my husband gave me a divorce.

I wondered why I never knew about my affair?

I finally realised that I had to do something for myself and so I left everything behind. Started my new life in my new house. Everyone asked me to re-marry and what I would say to my daughter about my husband when she grows up. I know what to tell her. I will give her the freedom, wings to fly, which I didn’t have.

Teach her about the society, will tell her, “Not all men are same” because they all abuse in very different ways.

I will let her follow her dreams; give her the freedom she needs, the space she needs. Let the abuse end with me. I won’t let someone abuse her, neither physically nor mentally.

(Source: Akkarbakkar)

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