Gender Oppression: The World Aint Always Pretty

In fact it’s kind of ugly sometimes. And people love sweeping ugly reality under the rug, even when it’s a problem that really needs fixing, just because they don’t like what they see. Especially in conservative Sri Lankan society.

Well get real. Problems aren’t going to disappear just because you look the other way, and apathy is just as destructive as the actual crime. So roll up your sleeves and face it, man.

Reach Out wants to bring out the ugly problems of social oppression against women in Sri Lanka in our hopefully upcoming documentary next year. We’ve been researching and brainstorming so far on the subject. 

It’s an eye opener, studying how complacent society has become when it comes to some horrible ‘norms.’

In lots of cases, the only reason crime prevails is because nobody cares enough to take a stand against it. Social oppression is an oppression by the attitudes of society. Against women, it’s everything from the complete tolerance of harassment on buses to women getting ostracized post-divorce to full on physical abuse in male dominated relationships.

Causes for the prevalence of oppression against women are:
1. The ostrich attitude: Head in the sand, you’re not gonna see the hurricane destroying the village behind you, and ignorance is bliss. 
2. Complacency: It doesn’t affect me. Everything is great the way it is in my world, so why change anything at all?
3. Apathy/Denial: Bah whatever, man. That’s all probably exaggerated bull anyway.

Clearly the three above are very similar and are actually inter dependent lots of the time.
Anyhoo, this isn’t about making people who aren’t doing much feel guilty, it’s not like we bothered before Reach Out happened either. And apathy is easy and human. It’s about creating awareness about real issues and getting people to open their eyes and look at what’s clearly wrong. See it.

And if the victims they see are lucky, maybe do something about it.

Sure, as a boy, a school girl getting groped in the bus may seem irrelevant to your life, or as someone in a healthy relationship, a woman getting beaten up by her husband is just a fascinating story to read in the papers before you turn to the cartoon page. But someone, somewhere, is suffering. Maybe you think it’s in some land far away but it could very well be your neighbor, and she just hasn’t told anybody. Possibly because of stigma that is often attached to subjects like being oppressed or abused.

It’s always “oh it’ll never happen to me.” But when society lets it happen to so many, and appalling human behaviour is tolerated, you can’t be so sure. Don’t let complacency and apathy get the best of you.

Some things need to change. Take a stand. We’re looking for fresh ideas, some faces who want to share useful new opinions in the documentary itself, people who work with psychology and sociology, and just anybody who cares enough, especially young people with relatively less time on their hands and relatively more enthusiasm about change!



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