A lazy day at works means I might catch a good read between one of my yawns, and today I did. I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and someone had shared a photo-post from a publication community, about a brothel in Bangladesh.
It was a series of photos, showing how is actually life inside the walls of that brothel. There were pictures of women smiling, doing normal chores, but then there were pictures of stone faced women who just seemed dead on the inside. It had pictures of women with tears in their eyes and there was one particular picture where a woman is holding her 6 month old daughter in her arms and a “customer” is lying on the same bed beside her. Heartbreaking does not even begin to describe it.
After I had browsed through the pictures and had a chill run down my spine, I proceeded to read the comments.They were not mean comments but callous… may be.
People had written:
“At least they are not being subjected to violence”
My question is “How do you know?”
“It could have been worse, the women with ISIS are treated in a much worse way”
My question is “Does the existence of a much worse form of torture justify a one that does not APPEAR as brutal?”
“Someone should go over there and marry those women and bring them back”
My question is “Would you?”
“At least there is a sense of autonomy and security among these women”
My question is “Are you sure? And are you sure that they want a sense of autonomy in that place?”
This is not about me being a feminist, in fact this has nothing to do with being a woman. Prostitution is considered a profession in a lot of countries and just because we may not understand it, does not mean we should disrespect it.
The only reason these comments caused an upheaval in my head and my heart is that, as humans we are supposed to be the most sensitive creatures, but we are not. We tend to justify a wrong doing or a suffering by comparing it to a suffering of a greater intensity. We give solutions which we ourselves do not accept, and pity people who should be helped and loved and not pitied.
This brothel like a thousand others all over the world, houses women who are there by choice and also ones who have either been born into it or forced into it. The first reason means they made a choice and the latter means there probably wasn’t much they could do about it.
In both circumstances, the one thing which no one has the right to question is their dignity.
Every word of it, stands true and I fear always will
I’m writing these words knowing that people from all over the world are going to read them. People of all ages, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, of different religious beliefs. Most of them, I’ll never get a chance to meet. Most of them, I don’t know how they look like, what’s the thing they want most in this world, or what is it that they’re afraid of… most of them are perfect strangers to me.
Yet, simply by writing these words with these strangers in my mind, having the certainty that my words will reach them, they become a little bit more than strangers. They become human beings, just like myself, and that is one of life’s greatest achievements.
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One day, just like that
I walked into the sea
So calm, so deep, yet I did not sink
I wondered why?
Why could I wander without a scratch?
And then I saw another one
With a face like mine, but different eyes
Mine were laden
Hers were full
Mine were tired
Hers had light
Mine were drooping
Hers were dreaming
“Who are you?” I asked her
“You” she said
That is when I found out
Why the sea had kept me afloat
Just so the “me” now could see
The “me” who had drowned