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Women like Surya Rajappan, Aysha, Ladeeda, and the women at Shaheen bagh shall go down in history as the women that made thousands of men and their masculinity uncomfortable. Surya Rajappan, a lawyer in Delhi High Court dissented against the Home Minister as he was conducting a door to door drive attempting to garner support on the matter of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019. Surya and her roommate, who wishes to remain anonymous, were however evicted shortly after a video of the two women shouting, “We reject CAA” from the roof of their building located in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar, went viral on social media.

Image Source: The News Minute

A mob of 150 men shook at the thought of their strong dissent to Amit Shah’s face as he rallied across Delhi on 7 January, 2020. Surya has issued a detailed statement on what followed, describing how an angry mob ran up to their apartment and threatened to break the door down. They were evidently enraged and threatened by the simple act of two girls protesting peacefully to tackle what they perceived as an obvious threat to their propaganda parade. “The protest banner that we had hung from our balcony was torn and taken away,” Surya wrote.

Image Source: Huffpost India

Surya has issued a detailed statement on what followed, describing how an angry mob ran up to their apartment and threatened to break the door down. They were evidently enraged and threatened by the simple act of two girls protesting peacefully to tackle what they perceived as an obvious threat to their propaganda parade.

She then described the ordeal of the men trying to bang their way in, using derogatory, misogynistic slurs; and locking the common entrance/exit from outside such that the two women were trapped in fear for 7 hours, where even their friends were threatened with physical assault. The landlord, told Indian Express that the girls caused “inconvenience” to everyone, and that he shouldn’t have rented the flat out to them in the first place. 

Also read: How Inclusive Is The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 Of Women And Other Minorities?

Politics Of Women Dissenting

This goes on to show how much women have to risk in order to simply speak out. Many women get flak from their families, are threatened with violence, pulled away from educational institutions and are not allowed to work for the mere act of speaking out. We saw how Ladeeda and Aysha were attacked and questioned by “journalists” for having opinions. We see how Greta Thunberg, a 13 year old girl makes men uncomfortable at the thought of them dissenting. 

Toxic masculinity feels an immediate threat as soon as womxn choose to oppose them.  At a deep level, the language of politics is tied up with a form of masculine identity predicated on modern capitalism—specifically, an idea of the conquest of countries and power by man, in a world especially made for men.

Toxic masculinity feels an immediate threat as soon as womxn choose to oppose them.  At a deep level, the language of politics is tied up with a form of masculine identity predicated on modern capitalism—specifically, an idea of the conquest of countries and power by man, in a world especially made for men. By attacking CAA-NRC-NPR in front of Amit Shah- the first one to speak about it- and the ethos of BJP politics, Rajappan made a statement.

Image Source: Scroll

She attacked the core beliefs and world view of certain sort of masculinity; men who came up in mobs to threaten the women with violence, for having an agency, which attacked not just their opinions but also their sense of masculine self-worth. Male rage is their knee-jerk response. She did not try to be “nice” when she dissented. She did not defer or smile. She did not attempt to make anybody feel comfortable. We must not let anyone forget that Amit Shah did not stop, or address this issue, which happened in his rally. 

Women are constantly infantilised, it was assumed that they must not know the act, that they must not be aware. Surya is a Delhi High Court lawyer, and the landlord did not respect her democratic right to express dissent. She was bullied for having an opinion by 150 men, who were angry because she had an opinion, and used the democratic right to protest, in front of an elected leader, who rallied for the Act that she disagreed with. 

Also read: Why Are Feminists Opposing The Citizenship Amendment Act?

The Home Minister must take up responsibility for this mobocracy that traumatised two taxpaying citizens, and men must grow up to realise that women have their own agency to disagree, react and protest against the masculinity of the state.


Featured Image Source: Mangalore Today

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