Have you ever noticed when someone tells you “I was bitten by a dog once and now I’m afraid of them and am wary of them”, that person has your sympathy, you tell them how you understand, and try to console them in every way possible; in fact, in order to make sure nobody else gets hurt by the dog, the dog is put down.
But when a woman says she’s been raped and abused by men in the past and is now scared of them, she gets told that she’s paranoid and that she needs to get over it. Not only the victim gets further traumatized by this act of yours but the perpetrator also remains unpunished, he gets encouraged to do the act again; because, well, it’s not like anything’s going to happen to him.
We need to understand that when a woman tells you she has been raped/abused/harassed she has;
- Attempted to share the trauma with you and has trusted you with the fact that you would do anything in your power to help her in any way possible.
- Has disregarded what the society might think about her and her character and tried raising her voice so that no one else has to go through what she has had too.
- Has taken a step forward to help and eradicate this cancer from the society.
So before you tell her to get over herself, think for a moment, would you want the same thing happening with your mother, your sister, your wife? If the answer is no, convince her to take a step forward, encourage her to raise her voice, help her file a lawsuit against that animal, so that no bint-e-hawa has to face more atrocities at the hand of that animal.
In a world where almost every women has at some point and time in her life, faced harassment in a number of its forms, we still inflate our little egos for the sake of that supposed “purity” we have associated with our women and tell them to keep silent. We tell them to suffer in silence and walk out of it like nothing happened and that too only to ground them to the confinement of the four walls and our small brains. Reduce their mobility and access to basic rights, to maintain the upper hand and to retain that superiority complex. We need to understand the damage we are inflicting not just upon her, but also upon other women, upon ourselves, upon our society as a whole. Let’s stop it now because we honestly have had enough, let’s raise our voice, let’s live like humans, for once, let’s put the dog down!