Gauhar Khan was publically hit on the face by a man who claims to be the best muslim man on earth probably which is why he thought that he had the right to ‘slap’ a woman because her dressing is not ‘ISLAMIC’.
Objectification and sexualisation of women in the media around the world is an issue which needs a lot of debate and social change but harassing women in public is absolutely NOT the answer.
In general, Muslims feel that women like Sania Mirza or Gauhar Khan who gain fame and celebrity status are public property who they can make comments on. On this news, millions of muslims, many I know personally were happy and said that it was a good thing because these women are ‘out of line’. According to them, this is not how ‘a muslim woman must behave’.
On this I wonder,
Muslim men police around Muslim women to NOT wear skimpy outfits. But it is OK for Muslim men to watch non Muslim women wear skimpy outfits and become objects of their pleasure? What sort of Islam is that?
Women are considered a (public or private ) property of men who they can:
- control- don’t go out, don’t see a man
- harass- go out in a typical Muslim locality like Aminabad and you would know what I mean
- objectify- they dance like hell on songs like Sheela ki jawani because women are like objects of desire for them
- use- go make me tea, give me leg massage, go make me lunch
- violate- rape, stalk or beat up women as and when they like
NOW CONSIDER THIS—-
Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan are Muslim actors too. Shahrukh married a non-muslim woman while Salman is well known for drunk driving. Other Muslims like Fardeen Khan and his dad Feroz Khan have stripped women off in their movies. But you will never see a Muslim ‘SLAP’ these men in public because ‘they do not act the way a Muslim should’.
The problem in India with both Muslims and Hindus is that due to strong patriarchal beliefs, men tend to think that they are the ‘GUARDIANS’ of religion. They think they have the right to police others and preach religion and culture to women of their faith. Recently an incident at Lucknow Uinversity had the same outcome where some women were speaking about women empowerment and were harassed publically by ABVP guys claiming to be the guardians of Indian culture. BULL SHIT!!!
What I fail to understand is that why people don’t see this as VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN?
Why is it OK to publically harass a woman in the name of religious policing but somehow heroic for a man?
Why don’t people see that this is part of the same rape culture that blames the victim for the crime?
In this chaos, some people go as far as to claim that the actress did this for TRP! (seriously, no comments!)
Men in India believe that it is OK for men to whore around and beat up women in public. Not surprisingly, many women breathing under the same patriarchal darkness believe the same.
Keeping religious policing aside for a minute, India is the largest democracy in the world, as we know it. But in reality, I fail to see how INDIA can ever claim to be a democratic nation other than in papers.
The true meaning of a democracy means equality and freedom at the core. I fail to see the equality and freedom in Indian culture at large where women are disgraced in public for their choices.
Why do men feel priviledged enough to act like GOD in order to preach values?
Why can’t women chose for themselves?
Why aren’t other men not pointed, blamed or harassed when they do not conform to the religious or cultural values?
Harassment and violence is not what a progressive democratic society must use in any ways.
However, when harassment also reflects INEQUALITY, its time to feel ashamed of the way we think and react to events like this.
Thus, let me define DEMOCRACY for those of you who thought Gauhar Khan deserved the slap:
If Shahrukh married a non muslim woman, it is absolutely within his rights to choose whoever he wanted to marry.
If Salman wants to drink it is absolutely within his legal rights to do so as long as he doesn’t drive and kill.
If Fardeen wants to dance around in whatever movie he wants, it is upto the censorship to decide whether it must be allowed in cinema or not.
If Gauhar wants to wear whatever she likes, it is absolutely within her legal rights. It is her body, her life, her choice. If Muslim men don’t like it, shut your eyes and change the channel.