One news item in today's newspaper caught my attention and has set me thinking. It was an announcement in connection with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women observed on November 25th.
While appreciating the magnanimous purpose for observing such a day I could hear a feeble voice from the group of hen-pecked husbands and "jilted" lovers requesting a day be set aside for elimination of violence against men. I could not help recalling the evergreen favorite comedy scenes in TV channels of Kovai Sarala thrashing Vadivelu.
But my random ruminations led me finally to certain discoveries.
On a serious note, I remembered those gallant knights of Sir Arthur's Round Table. The dearth of such GENTLEMEN is acutely felt today, there is no doubt about it. How lucky were those "damsels in distress" of those bygone days! Today ghastly molestations can take place in public places right in front of an audience.
Why is such violence prevalent against women? Let us leave alone the primitive races living in the deep jungles of Africa. But in today's global context of many enlightened races interacting electronically how do we account for its presence everywhere?
This is a deep subject for research and reparation. Why are women subjected to acts of violence? And by whom? It is not at all fair that the "fair sex" should suffer in the hands of unfair men, unfairly thought of as the stronger sex.
Ever since the days of creation Eve has been thought of as Adam's toy. The Adam kid has never grown up. He is becoming more and more wicked. The cunning male tires not improvising methods of harassing the hapless female. Is it a fault of the hormones?
Male domination provided way for chauvinistic practices keeping women as second-grade citizens down the ages. In the early stages of civilization societal customs were rather crude. Refinement came with the passage of time. Gross injustices to women were rectified. Sati was abolished. Child marriages were made illegal. Social stigma attached to widowhood was removed. Widows found the climate changing in favor of their remarriage. Domestic violence and eve-teasing became punishable crimes. The ignominious dowry system came under the stern scrutiny of law. Yet, violence against women continues.
The free globe-trotting modern woman is educated, enlightened and self-supporting. Still the respect that is her due is eluding. Why? How many men support the women achievers ungrudgingly? How is it the male ego just refuses to accept the fact of gender equality?
In such a scenario I strongly believe the Media plays the villain. It corrodes the good values that are necessary for happy, healthy human interaction. Instead of arriving at higher levels of regard and respect for man's complementary part i.e. woman, man gropes in his short-sighted vision of woman as an entity of mere flesh and blood, stripped of intelligence and integrity.
His predicament is highly aggravated by the Mammonaic Media. The treacherous Media throws too many baits in front of woman's vanity, its cunning guiles seek to shroud her in veils of obscenity. She has succumbed, an unsuspecting prey forgetting her native sensitivity and propriety. Mistaken goals have paved the way to her pain and loss.
If she must overcome violence against her she must find her moorings, meaningful ambitions and undying values. She must outwit the vicious, multi-headed Media demon and prove her worth. Awake woman! Awake!