Monday, December 5, 2011

Be Silent & Expect A Riot

As students of Sociology, one of the things that we study is “Social Change”. To me that means studying the actions and motivations of those people and groups who have been able to bring about change in the society to which they belong and being inspired.

Both our definitions, Sociology’s and mine, may differ but that’s what it’s about, an amalgamation and fusion of different ideas and points of view.

Yesterday while writing an essay during an exam it struck me that each and every one of us is an agent of change. It’s just that most of us are dormant and accept the world’s wrongs as unchangeable truths. To me, it is quite depressing that so few of us have in us the fire, the predisposition to stand up and speak out when we don’t see the fairness of the situation.

It’s true that the world is not fair but be sure that if you don’t do something to make it a fairer place someone else will! The unfortunate thing about not being involved in the process of change is that your ideas and beliefs may well be left out.

It is my belief that it is these people who did not participate in the process of change, who wake up later demanding to be included, who cause strife and discord in society. When these people are pushy, stubborn and have a false sense of entitlement it leads to violence and riots.

While it’s true that riots have many reasons and many faces, I feel this is the root cause. People want to be included, to feel that they too have a voice, they too are heard and when they feel like their ideas and thoughts are going unheard they become angry and frustrated. The venting of this anger and frustration on innocents leads to riots.

So be silent and expect a riot…

Speak up while the time is right; don’t wait till it’s too late.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I strongly believe that the first step to solving a problem is to identify and define the problem. Since we’re talking about violence against women and the role that men can play in preventing it, the first hurdle that we arrive at is understanding what violence against women is. 

Violence against women is a technical term used to collectively refer to violent acts that are primarily or exclusively committed against women. Similar to a hate crime, this type of violence targets a specific group with the victim's gender as a primary motive.

The United Nations General Assembly defines "violence against women" as "any act of gender-based violenc that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life."  The 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women noted that this violence could be perpetrated by assailants of either gender, family members and even the "State" itself.

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. It can include physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse, and it cuts across boundaries of age, race, culture, wealth and geography. It takes place in the home, on the streets, in schools, the workplace, in farm fields, refugee camps, during conflicts and crises. It has many manifestations — from the most universally prevalent forms of domestic and sexual violence, to harmful practices, abuse during pregnancy, so-called honour killings and other types of femicide.

Some historians believe that the history of violence against women is tied to the history of women being viewed as property and a gender role assigned to be subservient to men and also other women.

Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men.

Thus having understood the problem we, and indeed men, can move forward and take active action to prevent violence against women.
Having realized that the victims of such violence are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and friends, men are faced with an important choice. The path that they choose to follow from here on will determine if they become the heroes or the villans in the lives of women everywhere.

So my question to you, to all men, is- Knowing the consequences, your actions could have, who would you choose to be, the subject of women’s admiration or the subject of their disdain??

This Blog is part of the Men Say No Blogathon, encouraging men to take up action against the violence faced by women.
More entries to the Blogathon can be read at Join further conversation on &