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Dignity Of Choice

Conformity vs. Individualism
By Vasundhara Goyal

Instead of punishing the criminal, we often end up blaming the victim. What was she wearing? Was she drinking? Did she ask for it?” - Slutwalk, Ottawa

If a rape victim is blamed for wearing revealing clothes, will a blast victim be blamed for not wearing a bullet proof vest?” - Besharmi Morcha, Kolkata

The first slutwalk in Canada was just an aftermath of the rage ignited by a police official who claimed that women get raped because of their slutty outfit. This march was one way of women counterclaiming, “I should have the dignity to choose what I wear without being judged or victimized for my choices.

I live in a world where I get judgments from everyone around me on the way I dress, friends I make, people I talk to and the views I carry. People bug you with clichéd statements like ‘get a hold of your life’, ‘be the master of circumstances’, ‘one man’s army’ with a pinch of ‘you should have the sense to make the right choices in life’. And who decides what is right and what is wrong? Society?

Our constitution provides us with right to education, equality, freedom. I guess these rights need a more detailed sub categorization. There are certain rights an individual deserves as a Human Being.


Dignity to choose what I wear
I should not suffer for my choices to wear what I feel, defines me. I am an individual and I choose my individuality over conformity with the society. I should not be judged, molested, raped or harassed, because I choose to dress like this. I should not be stereotyped as a slut or adulterated, over my wardrobe.

 
Dignity to choose my career
I should not suffer for my choice of job. My choice to work in a night club or as an escort doesn’t mean I can be treated like a platter or be an object of brutality. My job doesn’t define my character. I am as good a citizen of this country as a House Wife or a School Teacher and I deserve equal rights. 


Dignity to choose my partner I should not suffer for my choice of partner. Whom I choose to marry is my personal choice, society doesn’t have a say in it. Society also shouldn’t be concerned with whom I sleep; my sexuality is none of their business.

Dignity to choose my lifestyle I should not suffer for the way I live. I may be married or in a live in relationship. I may drink in pubs or may not. I may celebrate Valentine’s Day/ Friendship’s Day with a guy/girl or may choose to celebrate Diwali and Holi. I am free to choose which culture to follow. I should not be beaten up or forced to marry or tie a Rakhi to someone I chose to spend my day with. I should not be dragged out of pubs, beaten up because I am a girl and the society feels that girls should be put behind veils to prevent infidelity.

All I want is the dignity to choose without having to face rebuke or animosity from society. Low minded and baseless social stigma has no place in a progressive democratic society.

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Vasundhara Goyal
I eat when I am bored and I live by the quotes that explain exactly what I am going through. I fancy reading Archie comics for the love of my favourite character Jughead Jones and I tend to get attracted to guys with a persona like him. I am a loner and at times I search for lonely spots where I can just sit and daydream.

 

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