Can't Walk These treets
Can't walk these streets
Imagine walking down a street, fully covered in clothes that don’t reveal any skin apart from that on your hands, neck and face. Now imagine, being whistled at, called names and stalked. Is this your idea of what it should be like to walk down the street, a woman?
Many a time I sit down to ponder on what life would be like after a simple change in the mindset of men who think that women are breathing bags of meat. Their ego, their dominance and how they think they have the right to do whatever they wish to just because we don’t react with a punch to their face disgusts me. Is that what we need? Fear? There are countless instances where I have come across comments that state the cause of this mindset to be a woman’s clothes, the way she walks, talks or looks around but it’s none of the things that I’ve stated, its one thing and one thing only – the absence of fear of a consequence. This absence of fear leads them to think they can do anything without having to bear any consequences which to women, becomes an issue, a problem they have to live with. In India, we have the third largest population in the world and the legislation of each individual is impossible. It becomes hard to control the public and its actions which leads to higher crime rates, in this case, crimes against women of sexual assault, of rape.
As a young girl living in the metropolitan hub of India and its capital city, New Delhi, I have access to the internet, to all the amenities comparable to any developed city but the one thing that I don’t get to experience much of its freedom. Freedom to wear what I want, walk on the streets, use public transport or to go out alone without the fear of something going wrong. Before leaving the house, I have to consider multiple factors in order to feel comfortable once I’m out and to reduce the number of stares I’d get. This is not the way I’d imagine the future generation for young girls living, these men are not what I wish for the next generation of young boys to become and grow into. It would be rather idealistic of me to imagine such gender utopia but is it not justifiable for us, as women, to ask for freedom? Is it not our birth right? Then why is it that we are granted freedom by law but have to stay imprisoned mentally and thus experience partial freedom of expression?
To dress how I wish to, to walk how I wish to and where I wish to, that is all I’m asking for and it’s something that shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be that we can’t even walk the streets.
Radhika Sharma is a junior at high school in New Delhi, India. She plans on doing a double major in Communications & Marketing at college. Radhika writes a blog, The Confetti Girlalongside working on her own magazine being launched this year, The Ink Insight; and writing for magazines such as Miss Heard, On the Line Report, I AM THAT GIRL and Girl Zone. She is also a member of the Her Campus High School Ambassadors Program and the Editor In-Chief for the school magazine, Aaina. In her spare time, Radhika enjoys dancing, reading books, watching movies and baking. She has also previously been a district level swimmer. She hopes to become a fashion journalist, exploring and supporting women, artistic self-expression and obviously, fashion alongside opening up that bakery in sunny Santorini, Greece – her dream destination.