Through the years

Krithika Karthikyan
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

So, this year is 2020. We’ve come a long way since rubbing stones to make fire and running away from fire. Technological advancements are boosting up day by day as new institutions exhibit their ideas to the world. Some of history’s age old practices are finally avoided by people as we slowly come into our senses about what’s wrong as what’s not. Sometimes. Sometimes, I just like to think the modern world as nothing but Early Civilization with Mobile Phones.

Long, long ago, there was a Greek war god named Ares, and a Greek water god named Poseidon. Basically, Poseidon had a son named Halirrhothius (good luck pronouncing that) and Ares had a daughter named Alcippe. Mr. Long Name stalked Alcippe for a very long time, until once, when he cornered her and tried harassing her. She yelled for help, but the creep didn’t look like he was going to stop, so Alcippe called her dad, Ares. Ares, being the ferocious war god that he was, murdered Long Name in cold blood. Just like that. He was stabbed and killed until Poseidon intervened, and Zeus, the lord of the sky, sensed that the fight wasn’t about to end wisely. So, he called both Ares and Poseidon on a trial to Olympus (gods’ home) and demanded the reason for their civil war. Ares explained to Zeus what Poseidon had done, but Zeus didn’t see that as a threat, so he let both of them off the hook.

A few years ago, a woman was harassed by her boss, who claimed ‘authority’ over her since he was her mentor. Realizing this, the court judge and the jury took the case up as a trial and asked the reason why both sides were aggressive. The woman lodged her complaint, but the man’s attorney strongly disagreed with the facts. The judge and jury, after some studying of the case, let both of them off the hook.

I honestly don’t know what I should be feeling right now.

Yes, every minute is a technological breakthrough in the tech industry, but if matters like this are breezed through, what is the point of advancements in today’s world? What is the pride in yelling ‘This defect in this car we launched last year is solved!’, when this defect, running since the start of civilization isn’t solved?

Allow me to state a few examples.

1. The year 1975
It was a time in the United States when people were just starting to see women in their workplaces. This one iron mine in the state of Minnesota had a few female workers. Breakthrough? Not so much. These women were harassed by the other workers who were victims of the stay-at-home-women stereotype. At first, they were afraid to speak up, but as their fear grew, so did the harassment rate. They filed a case in 1984 against these men, and it was in 1998 that these men were charged against harassment. That’s right. I haven’t been the greatest at math, but I think that’s a whopping 14 years these women fought for their rights. I’m betting these women had great visions of how the future will treat them as equal.

2. The year 1988
An IAS officer filed a case in 1988 accusing Punjab director general of police of harassment. Again, it took the court till 1996 to convict him, but he didn’t get any jail time. The pre-planned idea that the accused will walk away free is what fuels these cases in the first place.

3. The year 2012
Nirbhaya. Do I need to elaborate? I don’t think so. This case was like a hammer on the head for women, who started to realize that the world isn’t as equal as they think. Lots of people started standing up for her, irrespective of barriers, and this year, the group was hanged. And that’s a whole of 8 years her soul didn’t rest in peace. Wow. And some people think feminism is a thing of the past.

I would like to quote actress/UN Feminist speaker Emma Watson here, “We think that we live in a post-feminist society, and we do not. We’re told we don’t need feminism anymore, that we have the vote, that we’re all good. And I think that’s incredibly disconcerting, because then, when young women move into the world and they realize, Oh, why am I not being paid the same, why am I being treated differently? And they start blaming themselves, because they don’t understand that they’re part of a historic pattern, they’re part of a much larger system”

She didn’t become a UN speaker for nothing.

This is a century long problem. And it isn’t over. It’s become slightly better, with the vote and all, but it’s nowhere behind us. And it won’t mend itself. It’s up to us girls and women to push it to the limit, then demand more. Yes, narrow minded community members will call you ‘outside-cultured girl’ or ‘doesn’t know what she’s doing girl’, but notice how I said narrow minded community people. Is their word really that important?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl. If you feel inequality anywhere, you have all the rights to point it out. A small spark can turn into a raging fire, remember that. Example? The #MeToo movement. It has helped so much harassed women come out of their PTSD. Some old stereotypes are eradicated today. It has been done, and it can be done again. We just need the right people. And equality will not become our reality if each and every one of us doesn’t puts our efforts into it. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be seen as superheroes too.

Female equality before flying cars.

Thank you.

Krithika Karthikeyan
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