While our films continue to portray most women as damsels in distress awaiting an angry young man, preferably an alpha male to rescue them from the claws of sexual predators showing off his physical strength, real life women are changing the narrative and how!
One shining example of this is an 18-year-old West Bengal girl who beat up three men who tried to sexually assault her.
18-year-old Priyanka Singha Roy, accompanied by her younger sibling on a cycle was on her way to a shop at Kamarpara, Sainthia municipality on Tuesday. Though the shop was merely about 500 meters away from their home, the alley leading to it was deserted.
It was at the time, the girls were accosted by three men.
What started off as lewd comments comments and an attempt at blocking her path, eventually led to one of the men grabbing Priyanka’s hand.
Despite Priyanka repeatedly telling them to back off, the men continued to harass them. What happened next was hardly what the harassers were prepared for.
Faced with no option, the 18 year-old, who had started learning martial arts (Taekwondo) only ten months ago, overpowered and beat all the three men up.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, the mother of the girls who lodged a complaint with police after the incident, said:
“My daughter is a keen student of martial arts. The youths were not aware of her skills. My daughter initially asked them to restrain themselves, but they paid no heed and continued with their lewd behaviour. Then she beat them up.”
One of the locals, Anirban Sen, who witnessed the girl beat the men up as they lay on the ground and she towered over them, said, “After hearing a commotion, we rushed to the area and found that the girl had put the three youths on the ground. She told us that she punished them for misbehaving with her. Her courage will inspire others in the area.”
The three men, said to be in their mid-twenties. were arrested after the commotion alerted the locals who caught them.
Priyanka, a 12th Grade Sainthia Girls’ High School student, was lauded by the Birbhum superintendent of police.
“She displayed rare bravery by dealing with the youths in the way she did,” SP N Sudheer Kumar told HT.
Her story was quick to take the internet by storm, which gained the young girl, a host of admirers for her strong display of courage.
Time and again, incidents of women fighting back their assaulters prove the importance of including self defense in school and college curriculum as well as training workshops in work places.
We salute Priyanka for setting a strong example of how women won’t sit around and put up with behaviour that in any way attempts to outrage their modesty. Because we won’t back down, we will fight back.
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)