Because I Worry

This morning I was introduced to the Incels. Ever heard of them before? I unfortunately hadn’t and I was intrigued. I continued to watch the video and even read a few comments. 

Now, if you are uncomfortable with the idea of sex or a conversation around it, tempted as I may feel to ask you to stop reading, I have to tell you to stay with me. 
Because this affects you. 

The video has a beautiful young man talking about hundreds and thousands like him, locked away in front of a screen with no job, angry with life and women. They are not just angry, they literally blame women for them leading a life of Involuntary Celibacy. These boys/men are pissed that they they are lonely, sad, out of place, and rejected by women. And they are looking to purge their distress from within their cubicles in extremely erratic forms of behavior that involve shaming, abusing and threatening women. Scary right!

Also, thinking about it, are they very different from the angry, jobless (literally) men, sitting in our very own Indian streets who choose to pick women, make rape videos and find oppression satisfying? Nirbhaya was a case that shocked us, but this brutality has become so common, it is constantly a cause for worry. There is no escaping this issue. 

We can no longer pretend that these issues do not exist. That we do not see the sexual frustration that is building around us. And we can no longer pretend it is not our business.
Because it is. It is our business that babies are being raped. It is our business that 17 men took turns to rape a 12 year old child. The Kathua rape victim was my son’s age. The child raped in Surat was 11 and so was a girl raped and then set on fire in Assam. The horrors of these crimes are difficult to get past and they are real. So this time around let us stop pretending it is not our problem. 
Now, I am also not here to play the blame game. The one where we imagine these men as monsters who don’t belong, who come from somewhere and make our life miserable. We blame them for being violent misogynists and they blame women for their loneliness, their hurt, their pain and their rejection. I do not think any one person is responsible for who they are and how they are. I know that we are as a COMMUNITY responsible for creating the monsters we fear.  

No, I am here because looking at the INCEL in the video I figured that these boys are a part of families with mothers like you and me.  
I realised today that my boys could be INCELs tomorrow. 
And so could yours. 
And it is OUR responsibility to help them grow into mature, healthy adults that take responsibility for their lives. We need to play our part to stop them from dealing with rejection, or loneliness with violence and revenge. 
And if and when we fail, it becomes our job to not be blinded by our love and to seek help. 

As much as we need to protect them from the anger that lurks around us all the time, we need to stop them from turning into angry men that find pleasure in destroying others, in thoughts, words or action. We need to ensure that our kids grow up understanding that rejection and failure are crucial to their growth and wellbeing.

There are no clear answers to how we can do that. 
But we need to start somewhere. 
I guess that somewhere is acknowledging that we can play a part — one boy, one girl, one home, one family at a time. 

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