Here’s How You Can Challenge To Change Things This Women’s Day
Join Us To Be The Change, Join This Challenge
A 19-year old woman was brutally raped by four men in Hathras, UP. She later died in the hospital.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) registered an increase of at least 2.5 times in domestic violence complaints during the nationwide lockdown during the COVID-19 outbreak. Considering that only 15% of the cases are reported, this data is alarming.
An online chat group — Bois Locker Room — was discovered, in wherein some schoolboys, mostly teenagers, shared messages about gang-raping their classmates and morphing their photographs.
Women working in a government office with no toilet in Tamil Nadu went to relieve herself in an under-construction building, slipped, fell into the septic tank, and died
Scotland’s decision to make all period products free set us thinking when India will acknowledge that these are not luxury items, but essentials.
These are some of the news that gathered our attention last year – news that showed how women are considered as the weaker sex, how women are discriminated against, how women’s health and hygiene are still not given priority. We come across gender bias, inequality, injustice on a regular basis in our lives – some in a brazen manner, some rather subdued. It is time we decide to stand up and decide to call out the discrimination and say – I Challenge to Change
Being considered lesser than my partner because I am a woman
Being judged for the clothes I wear
Being treated differently during my periods
Being constantly reminded that I am incomplete without a man
Being denied basic rights and freedom
Raise your hand high to show your support in bringing a change
Proudly take a picture in the hand-held-high pose.
Post the picture on Instagram with the hashtags #IChallengetoChange and #Infano.care
Tag at least 3 your friends and help spread the word.
Each one of us has our own struggle to overcome, our own war to win, and along the way we hope to change our society into a more inclusive, gender-equal one. Let’s strongly say –
Infano is a platform that aims to impact every facet of a woman's life - health, career, motherhood, lifestyle, and much more. We are a team of like-minded individuals who wish to be a support to women from all walks of life and in everything they do. Our aim, through our posts and articles, is to bring to light the issues and problems that women face in their day-to-day life, to try and make their life a little easier and a little better, provide the latest news updates of women around the world, and to highlight their big and small achievements. We celebrate womanhood each and every day.
I-Tutorial 101: What Is ‘Flashing’? Is That A Real Crime?
It’s been more eight months since the lockdown, and we are pretty much getting into the new normal — but something that remained unchanged is the sexual abuse of most women by male abusers.
On November 08, when a Bengaluru based writer asked, “is flashing an offence in India?”, half of the Instagrammers got into a debate!
But what left me startled were the comments made by multiple people on the social media platforms — which showed me their instant disdain towards not only the womenfolk but also the fact that how many people are unaware of the basic form of sexual harassments and how, knowingly or unknowingly, they kept normalising a lot of them all this while.
This incident which was first covered by us was later given limelight by a lot of digital media platforms, but the one thing that kept anguishing me was the constant contemptation by these men which eventually made me write this.
What is ‘flashing’?
First and foremost, for people asking, ‘yeh flashing kya hota hai’, here’s something you need to understand:
Flashing is a term coined for the act of showing/ revealing your ‘private parts’ to another person; this is something that’s done intentionally, and yes, this is an offence.
The Indian law doesn’t particularly cover the offensive, harassing and sexually abusive act of flashing or cyber-flashing but over time, the law authorities have shared their opinion and concern over this, and though the law doesn’t count it under a crime, there have been enough incidents where the offender have been punished or jailed for the same.
Since the reported cases of such incidents are relatively low in our country, there hasn’t been enough legal developments, but the chances of meeting someone, especially a woman, who would have encountered such an incident at least once would be quite common.
And as if this wasn’t enough, ask any girl/ woman and most of them would probably have got a cyber-flashing story to tell — with social media users growing more than ever, several male users have been found sending unsolicited pictures of their genitalia, pornography or other sorts of visual sexually offensive images into women’s inboxes.
And oh, let me clear the fact that cyber flashing amounts to cyber sexual harassment!!
Is flashing a real crime?
Coming back to the objective of my writing; yes, flashing is an offence. “Such behaviour is a form of exhibitionism which derives pleasure from shocking and intimidating the other party,” says Pulkit Sharma, a clinical psychologist. “When they flash their private parts to someone, the expression of disgust and fear is turn on for these people. In India, girls are taught to hide their private parts, but men aren’t. By flashing, they give the message that they are not at all vulnerable, and the woman in the situation is!”
In the cases reported before, the offenders have been put behind bars for a minimum of six months to upto two years. And though it leaves a lifelong traumatic impression on the victim, not everyone is convinced about the seriousness of the issue.
When singer and activist Chinmayi Sripaada had asked her female Twitter/ Instagram followers to share their experiences of being flashed, she was sent more than 600 responses in only a few days.
Speaking of victims, school going, or teenage girls are often flashed. “School-going girls are less sexually experienced, and their reactions are way more pronounced than older women. So they are not only easy targets but also most targeted,” says the middle school counsellor Vandana Nangya.
In fact, auto drivers flashing outside schools or on the routes to working women’s hostels is also very common. A lot of women faces these experiences on buses and trains too, which makes it more difficult for them to commute. Eventually, they either change their routes or jobs.
The outcasted response
Half of the janta doesn’t even know what ‘flashing’ means, and this shows the clear lack of awareness about the basic forms of harassments too.
And these comments made by so many men would give you a clear idea of how lightly the society we live in take these issues.
Is this because they have been raised this way or because they weren’t taught about the disgust, the fear and the trauma it brings?
And those arguing that women should also be punished for flashing themselves lack a clear sense of understanding. The victim could be of any gender and so can be the offender — what one must be concerned about is the offence. The psychology behind flashing is not just limited to the exposure of obscenity but also to the fact that the offender knows that he/ she could potentially get off it easily and safely — that’s how less it matters!
Our nation soon should come up with specific laws regarding flashing — in clear terms. And it won’t happen until the adequate amount of awareness is spread awareness among the masses about such forms of sexual harassment.
Until then, do not back out to report such cases — because every time you choose silence, someone else suffers!
PS: All the comments were screengrabbed within 12 hours of posting on the social media!
A 'non-9-5 desk job' ambivert geek who chooses her own audience, Sonali loves sharing stories and finding the corners where humanity still exists! She believes that every individual's story is unique and special. She loves writing about the untouched and unspoken segments of society. When not writing, you can find her listening to someone's stories or playing with dogs. Sonali values mental health and encourages people to speak their heart out! Check her thoughts at www.theobstinategirl.com