'Law is impotent in the face of patriarchy' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Law is impotent in the face of patriarchy'

Mehak Sodhi, a second-year student of Hindu College and who was part of post-December 16 protests, shares her story with Mallica Joshi.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2013 18:27 IST
Mallica Joshi
Protesters-shout-slogans-and-hold-placards-on-completion-of-first-month-of-the-Delhi-gangrape-and-murder-of-the-23-year-old-at-Jantar-Mantar-in-New-Delhi-PTI-Photo
Protesters-shout-slogans-and-hold-placards-on-completion-of-first-month-of-the-Delhi-gangrape-and-murder-of-the-23-year-old-at-Jantar-Mantar-in-New-Delhi-PTI-Photo

In the last one year, I have fought for change. I have hoped for things to change.

I joined the protests as a student who wanted to say 'enough is enough'. Politicians and the police promised the protesters a lot. But, little has changed.

A welcome change is that the taboo on discussing rape and sexual violence has been broken. The protests brought debates and discussions to our homes.

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Another thing the December 16 gang rape and the subsequent protests seem to have changed is the time and thought the media is now giving to the coverage of sexual violence.

But, I feel there has been absolutely no change in the rape culture and related brutality.

The streets are not safe. Teasing and catcalling or worse are to be found everywhere. Sexual harassment in public places as well as inside the home is still rampant.

The only thing that can challenge ridiculous societal norms is the law, but I've lost faith in it. The law is actually impotent in the face of existing patriarchy.

But the law and the government alone cannot be blamed. We as a society have failed somewhere.

I do acknowledge, however, that a year is too less to undo what patriarchy has done over centuries. It is too embedded in our homes, our institutions and in our laws. The police may be a little more receptive, but it is not out of a sense of duty but out of the fear of censure.