The BJP was caught in a spot recently when the party had to expel UP’s party vice-president Dayashankar Singh, for calling BSP leader and former UP Chief Minister Mayawati, “worse than a prostitute” for taking money for issuing party tickets. While Dayashankar was immediately expelled from the party, Arun Jaitley tried to save the party’s patriarchal image by reciting a public apology. He said:
It is not right and I condemn the use of this word and if a person has said this, we will investigate. I express personal regret. I associate with your dignity and stand with you
What this makes me wonder are two things. Is a prostitute undignified? How and why did a prostitute become the worst form of human being? Isn’t she taking money for providing a service, and isn’t that what we all do? How many times can you remember saying to yourself or someone- ‘I got fucked today’?
Much of the ‘prostitution’ that takes place in India is forced on women from marginalized and oppressed backgrounds, who are sold for money by their families. It is more likely that a prostitute has come from a difficult background than the possibility of fact that it is her choice. Even if they want to leave, they are forced to stay because “we” would never accept them back in the imaginary idea of society that we live in. The few who take the leap of faith and set out to find a place in mainstream society end up navigating through oppressive hypersexual males and self-proclaimed moral Gods. For some odd inexplicable reason, what ‘we’ do for leisure or procreation become unacceptable when ‘they’ do it for bare necessities.
Come to think of it- isn’t it funny to know that ‘prostitutes’ have existed on our planet since the beginning of civilization, and at some point in history, we stopped considering them and their work respectful. It became an activity to be spited and looked down upon, as if we are on some sort of a pedestal. Even if we all were to agree on the fact that ‘prostitutes’ are the worst form of women, isn’t their existence for this long proof that we have failed as a society to get to the root of it and resolve it? Aren’t we to blame as much as them?
Coming back to the topic- Mayawati. News says that she wants Dayashankar arrested. She feels offended the fact that she was referred to a prostitute. Why exactly? Is she playing the gender card here, or has simply gone too far? Isn’t it offensive in itself that being a woman, she has no empathy for ‘prostitutes’ or the way they are treated in this society?
(Views are personal)
Feature Image Credit: theuniversalnews.in