As girls we grew up hearing, ‘There is safety in numbers’.

We started believing it when we were whistled at, or followed, or deliberately brushed against, or had filmy songs sung loudly for us as we walked the streets alone.

We protested, we raged, we swore to change things when one of our ilk was molested or abused. But we were told to shut up and live with it.

By our mothers, sisters, aunts, friends and other women. And we did.

We cringed inside, carried compasses or safety pins on public transport, discussed it, were angered by it, and learnt to live with it. Incidents of rapes angered us, drove us to protests, inspired candle-lit silent marches, and a primetime slot in news channels for a day or three, and soon became a memory. We blamed the Government, the Male species, the lack of empathy, and raged and ranted. And then we were silent.

The degradation of a woman’s honor continued, as did our rants.

When will we realize that no one will do a thing. Not the government, nor the media, nor the protestors.

No one, except us.

As a woman, it’s time to stop looking outside for help.  It’s time to start reaching out with a helping hand instead. When you see a deliberate brushing past, a grope, a leer, which brings fear into a Sisters eye, stand beside her and watch that fear become a fearsome look. Any action or word that violates a woman’s safety and honor, come together as one and help bring about a change. Be a silent supporter, and a violent one if need be.

Believe, reassure and be there for a Sister who has been through it. Teach your Daughters to be brave, to take care of themselves, to hold their head high, and lash out fearlessly. Be there for your Sisters so no one can get away with scarring her with a horrible memory.
Not because we are weak, but because we must.

After all didn’t we all grow up hearing, ‘There is safety in numbers’.

8 thoughts on “Sisters

  1. Very true. As kids we were also told to keep shut and forget about it and now when I see same things happening around ..I feel sad, scared and angry for our own kids. We can teach our daughters to be brave and strong but first of all our sons need to learn to respect a girl.

  2. Well said Mayuri. It’s sad that one has to do this but it seems the only way. I would like to say every sensible human – man or woman – should stand up for others in a situation like this. However, I am not sure men can even begin to comprehend what it is like to be on your guard ALL. THE. TIME. The looks, the leers, the deliberate brushing past – can a man understand how that feels? I wonder. A sister would know. She’s been there herself.

  3. Parents have a daunting task while raising either a girl or a boy. A daughter should be taught confidence and strength to stand up against any injustice. And a son has to be taught about consent, support and being responsible for their actions.

  4. Daughters need to be taught how to fight back, how to defend themselves… because that’s the need of the hour. And unless women fight back, there’s no way this situation will improve. Very well said Mayuri.

  5. It saddens me so much to read this. But I know what you are saying is true. But at times what can parents do? They just want their child to be safe. Unfortunately when it comes to being a parent it is always “Better safe than sorry”.

  6. That’s how grim the reality is. Sad indeed, but yes we are told to shut up for our own sake. Agree with u.. as a mom of two girls the responsibility is on me to teach them to speak up. Not to put up with any form of abuse or harrassment.

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