Sunday, May 19, 2024

Bob’s Banter


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By Robert Clements

Karnataka Rapes and Bold Women..!
This is not about one woman shouting ‘rape’ but hundreds coming out and screaming at the atrocities by the Deva Gowda family!
Ever wondered where it started?
Well, not in the politician’s home or through his upbringing but in our collective, national feeling about women. Instead of empowering women, by making them stronger, we weaken them by shouting, ‘love jihad’ and other similar phrases. And this comes from a mindset that wants women to remain weak and powerless. ‘Love jihad’ states that my woman and yours are unsafe in the outside world, and so needs to go back to the protective interiors of her house which finally is the kitchen.
And why do these men love to see their women back in the kitchen? Because they feel threatened with women anywhere else. Women in the workplace, women as bosses, is a threat to the traditional Indian male who’s grown up, seeing his mother, sister and now his daughter, going through the motions of education, just to place her higher in the marriage market.
“I’m a doctor let me work in a hospital!” shouts the newly married medical student to her husband.
“What? And be exposed to other men, who will try and have an affair with you?” whispers the insecure husband, and from such insecure men stem terms that reek of being protective, but actually from an inherent fear that they are not good enough.
If we are strong, confident men, let our women go out, make our public spaces safe for them. Strengthen our wives and daughters to handle a man’s sneers and jeers at the workplace, and help them build muscle to become a force to be reckoned with.
When we don’t, we show how weak we are.
‘Love jihad!’ and there’s a Christian bishop who has voiced this phrase too, actually means, ‘Help! He might steal my woman, because I know I am not as good as him!’
So become as good. Become as confident.
When slavery existed in America, the white man, owner of his black slaves, was quite often scared about his woman being attracted to the muscular black and many a lynching took place with no evidence that a crime by a black had been committed. And here in our country we are equally scared. Scared of an emancipated woman, scared, she will choose who she wants to be with, and because of feeling inadequate, under the guise of protection we cast them back into chimney dungeons.
Ask the Deva Gowda family, if they believe in ‘love jihad,’ and they will tell you yes, not realising they are the real culprits.
Empower our women, let them walk on roads, ride on trains that are safe not from those that their men like to make you think are predators, but from Member of Parliament, Prajwal Revanna, the very ones who predate and make laws, under the guise of being protectors!
Even as we discuss the Karnataka rapes and how women are being made to look weak because of insecure men, what begs the question is – should women wait for men to become confident, before they can walk into spaces which traditionally men have occupied?
“We can’t wait anymore for our insecure men to become confident!” say some determined women, even as millions of their sisters, mothers, and daughters are afraid to step out.
No, you needn’t wait anymore. Stop waiting and step out with a new slogan, ‘Be bold with faith!’
Which means having the courage to step out, with faith that someone other than their men supports them.
Two women who did so, a judge and a queen come to my mind:
Judge Deborah was not only a judge but also a military leader in Israel. Her leadership was characterized by wisdom, courage, and faith in God. During a war, she sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. General Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
“Certainly I will go with you,” said Judge Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honour will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.”
Deborah’s decisive victory over the Canaanite general Sisera, demonstrates her strength and strategic prowess. She inspired the Israelites to trust in God and take action against their oppressors, showcasing her ability to lead both spiritually and militarily.
Now take a look at a bold queen. Queen Esther’s story is one of bravery and selflessness. Despite being in a position of privilege as the queen of Persia, she risked her life to intercede on behalf of her people, the Jews, who were facing annihilation at the hands of the evil Haman. Queen Esther’s courage in approaching King Xerxes without being summoned, as well as her shrewd handling of the situation, highlights her strength of character and deep faith in God’s providence. Her actions ultimately led to the salvation of her people and serve as a powerful example of how a bold woman can make a difference, even in the face of great danger.
Both Deborah and Esther were bold and courageous. But where did they get their boldness from? From their men? No! Barak was scared to go to war, and said he would go only if Judge Deborah led the troops, and Esther’s husband, the King of Persia killed anyone who approached him without permission.
They both got their boldness from God. And that’s a message we need to learn today, that if you want to be a bold and courageous woman in today’s India, your faith should be like that of Judge Deborah and Queen Esther, who living in a man’s world still stepped out victorious..!
(The Author conducts an Online Writers and Speakers Course. For more details send a thumbs-up to him on WhatsApp 9892572883 or [email protected])


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