It’s sad that the world today has had to compel its females to turn themselves into this over cautious, on the edge species. Because irrespective of whether one is on the streets or at a party, there is always the need to look out for oneself. And that is perhaps ironically what many of us need to spell out a little better for ourselves.
Caution doesn’t mean the absence of a fun, exciting life. It also doesn’t mean disillusionment with the world or lack of faith especially in the opposite gender. We can’t stop going where we need to, we can’t change our lives or confine ourselves to our study rooms. But as girls, there is certain responsibility that we bear by virtue of being who we are in the kind of societies that we live in. Before we come to strangers and assailants, there is the need to make a few things clear even to people we know. We all hang out in groups, which comprise both males and females. It’s important that we don’t take for granted our safety and well being within these groups, especially when we’re out in public places. We must draw the line for ourselves, by which I definitely don’t mean to offend or even make a comment on individual definitions of what is fun and exciting.
It’s a choice we must make for ourselves, depending on exactly what and how much of it we’re comfortable with. You could be okay with just going out, another person might be fine with physical intimacy, yet another with sharing a few drinks. But these are things we must be clear about. In the very context of women’s safety and the role they themselves play in it, these are things we must decide, depending on our tastes and capacities.
A guy doesn’t come wearing a T-shirt that says he’s going to have his way with you. He also doesn’t come to tell you that you should never trust or drop your guard for anyone. And a lot of the times, a guy might not necessarily be taking advantage of you, he might just presume you’re okay with something because you’re out with him at a certain hour.
Even in our peer groups, we can’t expect others to take care of us or to read our minds. We could be completely inebriated, but we still might be distinctly uncomfortable with things. And it’s important that we make them clear. If I have a friend who goes out for the night, my only advice to her would be to choose her own drinks and make sure she gets back safely. How we spend our time and what our idea of fun is, is completely up to us. It’s something we’ve fought for, for generations. But like the independence that we celebrated only last week, there is the proverbial need for responsibility and rationality.
We’re all for stricter police patrolling and better helpline facilities. But it is to these small things that we should now pay attention. Our peer groups do much for us in terms of confidence building and personality development. But the fact remains that they are as good or bad as other mortals of this world. If we’re old enough to go out with them, we’re also old enough to take care of ourselves. That again is something a lot of us have fought for.
About the Author
Lata Jha is currently a student of journalism at Columbia University. She has written for numerous web platforms on a wide range of issues as both volunteer and intern. She aspires to pursue a career primarily in film journalism, though she is equally vocal about issues in other spheres of life that she may feel strongly for.