Be a virus to fight for women
This video of Kiron Kher speaking at the Indian Parliament is so powerful. And this is in response to the documentary, India's Daughter, that has raged across the internet today, causing waves of rage, pain, disgust and helplessness to wash through us all. Helplessness because the film shows us the depths of this mindset and the breadth of how far it can reach, it's shown us how every segment of our society is affected in some way, it's shown us that this monstrous mentality permeates our own government to the extent that they feel ashamed to allow it to be aired. Helplessness because we all feel we are too small to make a difference to such a massive problem.
When the whole tree, from the lowest branches to the highest, has been infected with such a perverse sickness, one has to start healing it from the roots.
And the grass-roots are where we must begin. We need sex education, gender equality and counselling sessions for children from a very young age, to show them why they must treat women, and each other, with equal respect and compassion. No one is lower or higher in stature, in society, no matter what who says.
I'm starting to sound like a broken record, I know, but is there is a point.
There are things you can do
If you hear people saying misogynistic or sexist things, don't be afraid to counter them and discuss what they think and why they think it. It's very easy to get angry with such people, and they probably deserve it, but it doesn't accomplish anything. Keep calm and use reason to understand why they think the way they do. And even if you can't change their minds, maybe you got an onlooker thinking. That goes a long way.
Walk the talk
If you're a person who feels marches and protests are a good way to accomplish your goals, go ahead and do it. It rallies people together for a cause, starts conversations and builds bonds. Do try and publicise it as much as possible over social media and videos on Youtube, and get your friends in the media to talk about you on their respective platforms if you can. Try to brand to protest with a wide enough scope to be inclusive of a wide range of ideas including your own. A rally of this sort should be big and grow. Keep that in mind.
Donate and volunteer at NGOs
There are lots of NGOs out there working hard for just these goals. Join them or just support through donations. It all helps towards the big picture. Trust me.
These are only a couple of ideas. Come up with your own. The possibilities are endless. The point is, we are the crowd and each of us bringing change in our lives can bring change to the entire population. Think of this movement as a virus. Each tiny organism spreads through the body by altering the structure of each cell it encounters in such a way that the cells generate more viruses. So each time you change the thought of a person, they could go on to change many others.
So if you like blogging, talking, posting, doing performance poetry or just poetry, acting in plays or writing them, playing music, or anything else, use it to further your purpose. Speak to your children about gender equality and make sure you practice it at home at all times.But first, question your own ideas. What are the sexist behaviours you were brought up with and have taken for granted? Are there any? I'm sure there are.
Changing mindsets must start with our own.If you have any more suggestions on short term things we can do to bring gender equality into our society, please put them in the comments.