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TACKLE SYSTEMATIC ISSUES AT BASEMENT LEVEL

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Sir,

I had an interesting debate with another person some time back and we were discussing rape culture and homophobia; in fact we touched on most of the ‘phobias’ in society. His stance was that he agreed it was all wrong and felt that we need to criminalise it all. My argument was, before we even deal with it on Judiciary level, we need to cuff these issues way before they get there. Tackle the systematic issues at basement level. The argument led to my stance that the issue is men who feel they have the right to violate women, that’s where we need to start when fighting this problem.

Argument

You can imagine the argument was back and forth. This is when I realised how important it is to check your friends. By ‘check your friends’ it alludes to calling them out about these issues. But before you even start calling out your friends around you, it starts with the self. We can’t even begin to alter the course of our society if we allow those closest to us to use derogatory, discriminatory, misogynistic and rape language. This language can come through as a ‘joke’ that we let slide or comments during conversations. We initiate change at home. We must stop being silent; when others act in a manner that doesn’t align with your personal politics, say something. I genuinely believe that’s how we can begin to change the social engineering entrenched in how we interact with all these issues.

Actions

To inhibit the perpetuation of misogyny, patriarchy etc, we need to be aware of these small actions for this to thrive. I’ll admit sometimes I find myself reacting in a manner that is highly patriarchal or misogynistic and it makes me realise that these things are so entrenched in our psyche that at times it’s a reactionary response, like blinking. But with evolved consciousness, one can unlearn it all and check themselves.

Another dynamic is how we are continually putting updates that are ‘woke’. Out here posting about ‘cis-hetero men’, ‘patriarchy must fall’ or ‘rape culture is rotten’ yet we allow our people to spew and act out those very things you say you do not support. What’s up with that? This is the hypocritical principle trending with our peers. It happens so frequently but there are great instances where people have been called out.

We may check our friends and sometimes they may not take it well. Some blatantly ignore it and do not feel the need to change. At this point in our lives, we can’t waste time aligning ourselves with people who refuse to be better. It’s true what they say; who you associate with has an effect on the trajectory of your life. This applies to life in general. In order to grow and learn, we must learn to be aware of everything around us; we can’t be docile. We want to change the world but yet we occupy spaces where we allow actions and words that act against that change we want to see. We have to break these habits that enable people to think that it’s okay to say or do certain things around us.

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