Cry for women’s freedom is stronger, but backlash has grown too: Kavita Krishnan in Chandigarh
Krishnan was trolled by a Facebook user in 2016 when the ‘Spoilt Modern Indian Woman’, a feminist initiative, had shared a quote by her on its Facebook page and initiated a discussion on what constitutes “free sex”.punjab Updated: Nov 25, 2017 12:08 IST
Women’s rights activist Kavita Krishnan believes that the cry for “azaadi” (freedom) among women has become stronger in the past few years. “The way people are coming out in support of women is overwhelming as it wasn’t the same in the past,” said the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPI-ML) polit bureau member.
“However, the situation is becoming dangerous too, as the political backlash against women is also growing,” said Krishnan, who is also secretary of All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) and former joint secretary of the Jawharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU), at an interaction at Panjab University on Friday.
“Media also needs to reflect on its role. Discussing cases is important but what needs to be found out is what sustains this violence.” — Kavita Krishnan, women’s rights activist
Krishnan was trolled by a Facebook user, GM Das, in 2016 when the ‘Spoilt Modern Indian Woman’, a feminist initiative, had shared a quote by her on its Facebook page and initiated a discussion on what constitutes “free sex”.
The user had commented, “Ask your mother/daughter whether she had “free sex”, to which Krishnan had replied, “Er, yes, my mother did. Hopefully so did yours. Because if the woman is not free, it is not sex but rape. Get it.” And to the surprise of many, her mother also came defending her on Facebook and said that she had “free sex” and she fought for the rights of every woman and man to have sex according to their consent.
‘Parental restrictions violence too’
On Friday, Krishnan underlined, “Restriction by parents is also a form of violence, though they do it believing that they are protecting their daughters. However, safety turns into an excuse, restricting the freedom of their daughters.”
Discussing the recent cases of crime against women in Chandigarh, she said, “Usually, cases in which the accused are strangers get attention. However, if it happens at home, it is buried. And in most of the cases this is what happens.”
‘Ask the questions’
“We need to challenge victim-blaming so that the victims have the confidence to come out. We need to demand that the government ensure support to the victims. We should ask where the rape crisis centres are,” she said. Krishnan also discussed how many people have come out with comments saying that women should stay inside their homes to stay safe.
“Caste system is also strengthening the violence against women as the anxiety of preserving it puts more restrictions on women. Breaking the caste system has to be a part of women’s movement,” said Krishnan.
In the end, Krishnan talked about media’s role in creating a change, “Media also needs to reflect on its role. Discussing cases is important but what needs to be found out is what sustains this violence.”