A letter to all ladies/girls – a brave new voice by Jennifer Shaheen Hussain

Dear ladies/girls,

I know we are all scared. Even I was for most of my life until now…
I’m not scared anymore because I do not have a father to drop me to college/work.

He’s too ill to do that.
Not because I don’t have a brother, I’m the only child.
And certainly not because I have male relatives and male friends or a driver.

I have two legs to walk myself to any place I want to and there’s even public transport and the same goes for you girls and women.

I will not carry pepper spray, chilli powder and knives nor will I learn Martial Arts for the sake of rescuing myself during an assault/rape.
I will come home late if needed.
I will wear whatever and whenever I want to.

Girls/Ladies the more we succumb to fear, the more we indulge in self pity, the more we keep quiet, the more we are submissive the more we get attacked.

Do you think if you or I when attacked by six men in a lonely road any of our defence mechanisms will work? No.

This is not the way you or I want to live our lives, right?
At the back of our minds we always have this fear what if I’m the next victim. What if the men walking behind me tries to…

But when I kept reading about so many incidents about rape I said to myself…this is not leading anywhere?

I being scared won’t stop me from getting assaulted or raped. All I saw myself as a coward driven maniac. I felt bad about myself.

One day I decided to stop! I chose to fight and I’m still fighting. I don’t know if someday my assertiveness and my courage will push me to the death hole by getting raped or murdered and people will call me stupid!

But I have decided to die fighting and die living the life I always wanted to rather than being scared with the question which goes I guess in every girl’s mind ‘ WHAT IF I’M NEXT? ’

Ladies I will not write suggestions here on how youcan escape a rape. ‘Cause girl it’s not our fault it’s a man who should know that ‘ if we are alone we are not available !’ ‘ My dress is not a yes for you! ’ ‘‘ And my ‘NO’ is a ‘NO’! So BACK-OFF !’’

But yes Ladies this is the time to stand for our rights. Stand for our right for freedom. I don’t know why it took so many years to stand together to fight for this shameful act that has been prevailing since centuries but now that we have taken a stand let’s not back down .
Now is the time and we cannot afford to let it go. We shouldn’t even stop after a victim gets justice.

Every 29 minutes a woman is raped in India. If we want a safer place for ourselves we have to fight for it all along. Yes, it will take time to stop but it is not impossible. And it’s not that we women are alone.

There are few but yet there are responsible ‘real’ men who are fighting with us, for us.
Let us all be a part of this movement. It is not necessary that you all have to come out on the streets but you can start doing it by feeling good about yourself and by trying to change minute details of your own lives and of the people who exist in your lives.

I know it’s difficult but before cleaning the society, we need to clean our own homes. We just can’t take our angst on the criminals and the government.

Just giving them death sentences is not a solution or just yelling at the politicians and the government won’t help.

A larger part of the society too is responsible for it. Our mothers and elderly ladies too are responsible for it. Ask them to tell the men instead of telling you what you should be wearing, how to sit, how to walk, how to stand, where to go, when to come back home, that only you should keep your room clean, make your bed, organise your books, you should learn how to cook,…

Teach those ladies if you gave a birth to a girl it’sher son’s biological fault not yours…tell them to teach her sons, nephews, brothers and husbands the same and teach them that ‘ we are not doormats, we are not their servants ’

I’m Jennifer Shaheen Hussain…I got to choose a very few things in my life I couldn’t decide my gender,family,name,c­aste,religion and school but I’ve decided the kind of person I’m and I always choose to be- I define freedom- I’m quite vocal yet I’m sensitive.I think a lot yet I’m surprisingly funny.What do I do-I’m a life time student of cinema,music,photogr­aphy,food and animals..


5 comments on “A letter to all ladies/girls – a brave new voice by Jennifer Shaheen Hussain

  1. gita4elamats says:

    You tell them, sister!

  2. have been doing it for a long time…I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded but that haven’t stopped me on bit! 😀

  3. soumyav says:

    A brave approach which at least shall provide some confidence to the ones moving alone.

  4. Trisha Dey says:

    loved your thoughts! Keep going!

  5. Stranger says:

    brave woman you were and always will be! … good thoughts… agree on this!

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