Two days back one of my friends visited me after a long gap accompanied by her 3 year old girl. The three year old immediately started exploring my house and jumping and running around. Finally, she got tired and jumped onto a chair and tucked her feet on the edge of the chair. I heard my friend admonishing her and saying ‘chaddi dikhayechhe, tu seedhi baith’ means ‘Your underwear is showing, sit straight’. It was a bit of a shock for me as I do not have girls and I do not really worry about such things. But, then I realised that the times we now live in, every bit of cautiousness is needed. Making a three year old understand that someone will look at you with as a sex object is horrifying.
But what else can we do except being vigilant and then a bit more vigilant. What is there to be done but hoping nothing happens to our children when we read about the Kathua and Unnao cases? Then we hear about a son who raped the mother not in the wildlands of a society living in obscurity, but in a 100% literate state like Kerala. Instead of being shocked and ashamed, there was a whatsapp video of a guy explaining to us that we shouldn’t be shocked, this is a one off case and not the norm. But how much longer since the one-off will become normal.
People are quick to blame that it is the fault in the way we are bringing up our sons. As a mother of sons, let me tell you, that is not the case. We have to be equally careful about our boys. My younger son is 12. My husband has forbidden me to send him to shops in the evenings. I get worried if my elder, 18 year old gets friendly with a girl. What if the family of the girl is ultra conservative and attack my son for being friendly with the girl? I worry more if the girl is from a different caste. We are atheists when it comes to caste or religion. We believe in God but everyone is free to choose their own God. The boys do not understand caste or religion.
During my childhood, me and my friends would play day in and day out in and around our societies. If my parents went out, they would ask the neighbour, or an elder child or even the watchman to keep an eye on us. And we grew up just fine with not a thought in our heads. But, can we do the same now? Though my sons are older now and are pretty independent, I do not think I will trust them with a watchman, or a neighbour or even some elderly folks. Have we denigrated so much, that we are worse than animals now? Is this the evolution man has achieved with his superior intelligence?
Can we put up cameras everywhere and monitor the children? Why cannot we teach our children at home and in school about sexual education? It is the need of the hour. Children are curious and they source all the information they want from the internet and we know the dubious information there. It is highly and urgently important to provide sex education in school. The people who object worry about our children being sexually active before their age. I believe that is really not a problem if we teach them to make the right and correct choices. It is like teaching kids about fire safety. They need to know what can cause fire and if there is a fire how he can reach safety. Only awareness can get us through this rape crisis.
What do you think?
I am not linking to any news reports for the cases mentioned above. But they are all true.