“The Day after Everyday” & violence against women
I followed the link shared by one of my ex-colleagues and ended up watching this brilliant short film: The Day after Everyday.
It’s brilliant because it has correctly shown what a woman’s day is like, at home and outside. At the very beginning of the film, we have a man telling the woman to hurry up and make his tea, while he is sitting in another room lecturing her in a loud voice about how women should be seen, not heard and she should not be protesting against eve-teasing because it will only make it worse. He did not think that it was his responsibility to accompany her for her safety or to support her ambition in her own career. No, his solution, to hide his own impotence, was to instead advise her to stay home, within the four walls. Instead of strengthening her voice, he was trying to silence hers. And at the very end, after all is said and done, he tells her that she’s done good and that he had been thinking of doing the same the previous day. “Thinking”… he was in the crowd but he hadn’t done anything and while Men may ‘think’ that he was being supportive and that was enough, it is NOT.
I get advise like that … A LOT. Advise from well-meaning men who tell me to tone down, to not protest, to not speak my mind. Men who tell me that it is for my own good that they feel compelled to give these advice. Men whose impotence prevents them confronting the perpetrators of their own gender. The one who is violated is wronged, but the mass who stand around and say nothing are equally guilty. If we don’t speak up now, then when? If we don’t ensure the safety of our women folk now, then who will? What kind of world do we want to leave for our mother’s, our sisters, our daughters?
In a country where half of the population still lives in or under the poverty line, we have whole generations of men who are madrassa educated because it is cheaper and far more easily accessible. Instead of giving them an education that will allow these men to be absorbed in the mainstream of the job market, they are provided with sub-par archaic education with an emphasis on memorizing the holy book in a language they do not understand and translations and explanations which instead of promoting morality, rights and respect, promotes the subjugation and exploitation of women. The recent spate of misogynist comments of Allama Shafi, the spiritual leader of Hefajat-e-Islam, has brought these home for many of us. In case you were hibernating and missed it, below is the link to his infamous speeches:
Violence against women is a world-wide phenomenon, it is not limited to madrasa educated men in countries like Bangladesh or Pakistan. Many Asian’s hold the perception that it doesn’t happen in the western world or the developed world. The statistics prove otherwise. Women are soft targets, the gender whose rights can be violated without any fear of persecution. Politicians seems to forget that half of any constituency is women. Half of the this world’s population is women. Yet men like these are many… men who use religion, cultural practices, their mis-guided sense of entitlement and their own impotence to violate the rights of the other half.
The improvement that has taken place did not happen overnight or on its own. It happened because MANY stood up and said that enough is enough. This is not acceptable. We will not tolerate this anymore.
As women, I admit it is scary to stand up against people in your own family or those who trample over our rights outside. But if we don’t stand up for ourselves, we will not gain a single inch of space or right to be ourselves. “Darr ke age jeet hai” … stand up and use your voice, stand up and fight for your right. As a woman, I beg other women, please do not hold back others when they stand up for their right to education, to living without violence, to their right to respect and dignity. If you cannot join the fight, then at least step out-of-the-way of the others who are fighting for themselves. And to the well-meaning men who were and are ‘thinking’ about this… the time to act is NOW.
- Poster Campaign on Violence Against Women (artkismet.wordpress.com)
- Violence against women (minderuption.wordpress.com)
- Global protests vs violence on women to intensify in 2014 – Monique Wilson (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- Violence against Women; How Far Have We Come? (lifestylekenyamagazine.wordpress.com)
- U.N. Director: Social Media Can End Violence Against Women (mashable.com)
- Women flowers, not tamarinds (thedailystar.net)
- Gender in Development : A Case Study of Bangladesh (calltohumanity.com)
- Violence against women starts with school stereotypes (newstatesman.com)
Posted on November 4, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged Bangladesh, Darr, media, Pakistan, People, Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, short film, The day after Everyday, Violence against women, Women, Women's rights. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.