Women around the world have various issues that they share with each other: inequality, harassment, and suppression even though we have left no avenue untouched in all spheres of life and professions.
But there are still some regions in the world that are too attached to the centuries old traditions and norms. Following norms and traditions is not the problem, resisting change and improvement is where some cultures are lacking.
A few dominating sects of society still oppress masses, and will continue to do so if these things are not spoken about, questioned and analyzed.
Women in south Asia face this dilemma everyday. Questioning centuries of authority and societal functions is not a piece of cake. Sometimes these women are made to believe that speaking up or having an opinion that is different is a sin.
Clark is a very aware and sensitive campus that believes in breaking barriers. This quality that Clark possesses has empowered so many people. Following this example, the South Asian Student Organization of Clark University, better known as SASA holds the annual South Asian Vagina Monologues called Yoni Ki baat.
YKB was held on November 24th at Clark in The Grind. ‘The New House of India’ catered the event. The event consisted of about a dozen short skits of about five minutes each. The acts addressed issues ranging from female feticide to being expressive about one’s sexual preference. One of the stories was about the discrimination that exists in an average Indian household in reference to the male and the female child, and how the burden of the respect of one’s family falls on the shoulders of the females whereas the males’ actions are not accounted for.
One recent issue addressed was the rape and death of a young woman in New Delhi, and who the people feel is responsible for such inhuman acts.
Vagina Monologues are usually performed by female artists, but for the first time there was a male actor that talked about the male savages present in the world and how these crimes committed against humanity are not associated with just one culture or country. All these acts highlighted topics that are omnipresent in the South Asian cultures and plenty of other cultures in the world. These social stigmas are eating up the base of our society from within, hence weakening it from its roots.
The piece I performed forced me to go out of comfort zone, but it also made me challenge multiple perceptions that I have fostered and believed in my entire life.
Some topics and performances were so moving that they brought the audience to tears and gave them goosebumps.
Events like these make me realize the importance of student organizations and the imperative role they play on campus to bring flavor, knowledge, awareness and a sense of empowerment to many a people.
Photo by Dustin Duong