This past week has been harrowing. Earthquakes, blasts, bombs, manhunt, child rapes — there was no good news. There were, however, rants.
The first is a fluffy one, about a new Dove commercial that a lot of people have loved and I found deeply irritating. The tagline is “You are more beautiful than you think” and shows women being confronted with “proof” of their distorted self-image.
There are three possible reasons for me reacting the way I did:
a) I’m a curmudgeon
b) I’m not more beautiful than I think
c) I’m a curmudgeon who is sputtering at the idea of the brand that would have me buy deodorant that promises fairer underarms tell me what to think of the way I look.
This was my so-not-beautiful reaction to the Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign.
Then came the news of a grotesque rape of a 5-year-old who was abducted by a neighbour and raped repeatedly over the next two days. The family went to the police but the police didn’t pay much attention to these claims of a child being missing. Two days later, the child was found by her family in the neighbour’s flat. She was rushed to hospital and doctors were reportedly aghast because her rapist had shoved candles and a bottle of oil inside her. (She’s going to have to reconstructive surgery and remains critical but stable.) Her rapist, meanwhile, had run away. There is speculation that he thought the girl was dead and fled. If this is true, then it would suggest that raping her brutally wasn’t something that pricked either his conscience or instinct for self-preservation. It was only when he thought he could be charged with murder that he ran.
I’ve steadfastly stayed away from following the news today. Even so, I’ve heard of another raped little girl. She’s 4 years old and she was raped by three other minors. There’s also been another gang rape in New Delhi, which raises the tally of rapes in the capital in 2013 to 393. This time, she’s 13 and was raped by 8 men. Someone asked me whether child rape cases are being “dragged into light” by the media — because we must be profiteers of misery, no? — because the Delhi case has caught people’s attention much like the Delhi gang-rape did. To which I replied that there’s no proving or defending against claims like these. But even if the accusation is true, it doesn’t change the fact that these horrible incidents happen. If they didn’t, then we wouldn’t have so much to “drag” into the light.
Anyway, until yesterday, I had it in me to rant. Today, I have nothing but fervent, wordless prayers for the girls and women I know and don’t know.