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Challenge Accepted

You may have seen your Instagram feed flooding with black and white selfies of women. Do you know what this "challenge accepted" trend is? It's not just a fun social media gimmick. It's women standing in solidarity with the concept "women for women".

This started out to protest against the rising femicide in Turkey. Most recently, the brutal murder of university student Pinar Gultekin by her ex boyfriend triggered this movement. Gultekin was strangled to death and then her body placed in a barrel, burnt and covered with concrete thereafter. This is so gruesome and graphic to even read and picturize but imagine what the young woman would have suffered. Imagine what her family must have gone through.

Just recovering from that news, I hear the next piece of news about an Indian nurse Merin Joy, stabbed 17 times and driven over by her husband. We do not know what drove him to take this ghastly step. But again, in social media his actions are being justified as love. "He must have loved her so much", "he is hurt in love", "it must be a spur of anger" are some of the comments on social media supporting the husband. Until when, do we pacify ourselves and our daughters with the lie that "if a boy is being mean to you, it means he loves you". What will it take for us to understand that domestic abuse is not someone's right. Hurting your spouse out of rage is not okay! We will probably react to it only when it happens to us or our near ones. These girls were also raised by loving parents who fell in love with the wrong partners.

We must teach our sons to never hurt a girl just because they don't like you! Do not make them feel they're entitled. Teach them about consent and freedom of choice.

I have a dream. A dream to live in a world sans femicide and gender abuse. I wish to raise my son in a world free of gender bias. A dream to live in a world where women support women. Be it men or women or transgenders, being attacked for what you identify yourself with, is the most brutal thing to happen to anyone. I dream of a wonderful world!

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