Such wise words:
Seriously, HOW ARE THESE IDIOTS ALLOWED TO BE PART OF OUR SOCIETY?
How do these attitudes prevail in a country that has had far more female national elected officials than the United States and has a very robust affirmative action policies that help poor women access education and middle class women higher-quality employment? India is also home to some of the most active, committed, and leading feminists in the world. This movement ranges from academic Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak– who began bringing the voices of the Indian subaltern into broader feminist theory -to the Gulabi gang of women in Uttar Pradesh, India, who wield bamboo sticks and punish oppressive husbands, brothers, and fathers as part of addressing any human rights abuses inflicted on the weak.
I suppose it should hardly be surprising why Indian women still struggle to find freedom. However there is a point to be made here. This isn’t an issue exclusive to just developing countries. This is a worldwide issue that shouldn’t be labelled a “women’s issue” because it affects all of us. Both India and the modern Western world exhibit a fundamental state and cultural ownership of women’s bodies. The brutality inflicted on the young woman on that New Delhi bus is not an India-only phenomenon but rather a reflection of the systemic violence women are faced with everywhere.
This case should serve as a sad, sobering, and fierce reminder that we are all complicit in a global culture of violence against women and that the universal denial of women’s sovereignty over their own bodies is a burden we all carry and a fight we all share. We all share the deeper, worldwide historical and political context that has and continues to oppress women in various manifestations from our hypersexualization in the media to female infanticide.
It is simply not enough to say that this violence against women happens everywhere, but to move from this place of universal acknowledgement into a shared analysis and shared struggle. This means doing our part to call it out when we see it anywhere and hold decision-makers accountable for their policies on all forms of violence against women. We need to bring it down. The only way we can hope to do so is by standing in solidarity, rather than in contempt, for those everywhere who continue to fight for the ability of women to claim ownership of their bodies and be protected from all forms of violence wherever they are.