I want to begin with saying that the name “MaalChaal” is directly derived as a “translation” of slutwalk. However, we see the scope of this protest as much wider. While sexual crimes are a large part of it, MaalChaal also makes a strong statement for the right of people to be themselves. With this in mind, I see the MaalChaal stating categorically:
- Every person has a right to dignity and safety. Any quality of a person is no reason to victimize them.
- Sexual aggression is less about attraction and more about an attack on a person. Whether it is eve teasing or rapes, Child sexual abuse or men being raped or older people…. the common factor is always that the victims refusal is overruled by force and their space is invaded – to whatever extent. Any non consensual sexual approach is a crime, regardless of the victim’s clothes, looks, profession, area, or any other quality.
- Stereotypes play a large role in justifying abuse in society. Women and children in particular suffer for being attractive and vulnerable. Any sexual misbehaviour even within family or social circle is still criminal.
- There are certain stereotypes that are looked upon as fair game for sexual insults – women who wear “revealing clothes”, women who smoke or drink, homosexuals, transgendered people, prostitutes, among others. We hope to challenge the notion that the guilt of a crime can be transfered to the victim because they belong to a certain “kind” of people.
- Police are used to dismissing the distress of women if they don’t approve of their clothing. Prostitutes often cannot hope for an investigation into a robbery in their home because of their profession. The MaalChaal questions this discrimination and urges the police and the justice system to stop discriminating between citizens and providing or denying their rights on individual discretion. We state that as citizens of India, they have a right to protection from the state.
- At work, it is common to see homophobia or different treatment for women where people may be discriminated against for their gender or sexual orientation or they may be preyed upon in order to
- Colleges and universities
- Corporate and other organizations.
- Maid unions and other groups with members where victims of such abuse are common
- LGBT people
- NGOs working with social victimizaiton – domestic abuse, women’s rights, rescue of child sex workers.
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