In my formative years, a male counterpart stated that rape was part of the natural world. His claim was troubling on many levels. The most disconcerting was that his rationalization of a violent act was shared by others and normalized by laissez faire attitudes of civil institutions in general. The pervasiveness of violence against women seamlessly crosses borders and disregards economic statuses. From developing nations -- gang rapes in India, rape warfare in Africa -- to developed nations, with instances like fraternity rape parties in the U.S.
A social code of behaviour is used as a weapon by almost all cultures to violate, control and beat girls and women into submission. Women are told if you don't want to get beaten, raped and killed, then this is how you will have to behave. To all the women reading this: on International Women's Day, take one little code of behaviour that confines you as a woman, tells you how to be at home or outside, forces you to live with shame and/or fear -- and break it! If you break one code today, tomorrow collectively we'll have the courage to break our social prison! So let's get started! Let us resolve to MISBEHAVE!!
Contrary to other similar situations, the tragic Indian gang-rape victim was not "dishonoured" by her family or society. Instead, she was "honoured" both on private and public levels. Her painful death was not viewed by other Indian families as a terrifying warning to justify employing more control on young women.
Let us stop killing women by feticide. Let us stop expecting, asking for, or accepting dowry. Let us stop killing brides who have not brought "enough" dowry. Let us stop telling women what to wear and when. Let us stop restricting the woman's right to freely move about. The woman is and must be free to move about and dress as she wishes.