When will the dialogue regarding the way we raise our men, begin? The free-flowing way we raise our men – without any constraints, without any dialogue about consent or about boundaries or talking about a woman’s right to her own choices – is where we are going wrong. Keep her inside the house they say. Like that solves anything. Make her cover up completely when she goes out. Like that stops the wolf whistling. Don’t let her talk to boys. Like that ensures her safety.

Were you alone?
Were you out alone with a boy?
Why were you out alone at night?
Why were you out alone in ‘that’ part of the city?
Were you drinking?
Were you drinking with men? Boyfriend? Stranger you met in a bar?

Most importantly: What. Were. You. Wearing.

As if that’s the most important question of them all. Her clothes. Because no matter how many evidences to the contrary, it always boils down to her and her choices. Like in the case of the Suzette Jordan or Nirbhaya or the Kerala rape survivor or the New Year’s eve Bangalore molestation case – the noise is always about why-was-the-girl-where-she-was-in-the-clothes-she-was-in. Never why did HE think it was okay to touch someone, anyone, without consent? Show us the evidence to support the clothes theory. You cannot. Because there isn’t any.

Talk to your boys. Raise them right. Keeping women in cages won’t solve the problem.

Vitamin Stree’s new video is a powerful take on the unchecked, unwanted male gaze which refuses to take no for answer.

Objectified, harassed, molested, groped like it’s no big deal and then told it is her fault. Raped and murdered and then told her ‘habits’ caused it. We live in an age where there is a lot of noise about women’s safety and yet young girls grow up conditioned to not react to that stray hand that groped her butt or the lewd comments from the boy next door.

Enough.

This video brings to mind the slam peotry, The Printing Machine, which hit us like a ton of bricks  last year. Because when everybody’s favourite human Kalki Koechlin writes, there’s nothing else to do but listen and feel awed.

In case you’re suffering from amnesia, watch: