If you are following the news in India, you will be aware of the recent events of crimes against women. The number of incidences of rape, police apathy and mob justice and crimes against women has increased. This caused a renewed concern for the safety of women and women’s rights in society. As bad as it is to hear about the cases of women being brutalised, killed and raped, it is worse when we hear the comments of people. Some say that women are weak and that is why such things happen to them. Labelling women as weak and wrapping them in cotton wool does not reduce the chance of crimes against them. Such labels only strangle their chances to fight back against injustice. Now they will be restricted even more from chasing their dreams. Would it be a wrong time to raise the debate of women’s rights now?

At the cost of sounding insensitive, I would like to point out that rape, assault against women are as grievous as the assault against men, racist crimes, hate crime etc. Every crime done against another human being is just as bad as the others. They should al be punished just as severely as the other.

I believe in equal rights for men and women, although I am not a feminist. It appears that since I do not believe in ‘women first’, I cannot be a feminist. However, there is no field of study, work, research, or society that should be barred for women or for men. Both women and men should be praised, applauded, tried, tested and punished equally. Both genders should be given equal opportunity to greatness and stupidity, justice and crime, prosperity and destruction, virtue and vice etc. Everyone should be treated equitably, hence all crimes against everyone should be treated uniformly. However, I agree that this is an idealistic view.

Women should not be treated like porcelain dolls that are unable to withstand rough conditions. At the same time, when hard work and labour is required, women should not back down. I do not mean offence, but I have seen women use their gender as an excuse. They try to escape certain work with this reason. To be fair to women, most times we are not assigned some work, though we are ready to take on the challenge. We should stop expecting men to open doors for us, let us enter first or wait on us in the name of chivalry. We cannot ask for equal rights and special treatment at the same time.

Time and again, women have proven that they are as strong as men, both physically and mentally. From armed forces to scientific research, from arts to business, from sports to politics, women have proven their mettle in every field. When we can work shoulder to shoulder with men, we should not expect them to pave the way for women or protect us from crimes.

Disclaimer: I have sourced the image from Google images. I do not own the image.