The 12 Commandments in the Holy Book of Self Empowerment

By Shifani Reffai

Thou shalt not doubt your self-worth based on a man’s treatment of you.

Thou shalt not walk home alone in the street late at night without at least a can of pepper spray or a pocket knife in your handbag.

Thou shalt not foolishly assume that only women in skimpy clothes or of promiscuous behavior get raped.

Thou shalt not look in the mirror and wish you were thinner/fairer/hotter if only to get him to like you.

Thou shalt not remain silent when a stranger in the bus touches you inappropriately.

Thou shalt not second guess your abilities based on the sexist remarks made by people in
your life who try to pass their opinions off as fact.

Thou shalt not put the blame on yourself in any way when he physically abuses you (thou shalt in fact leave promptly and lodge a complaint at the police station).

Thou shalt not fail to recognize that standing up to the bullies you come across will probably save others from becoming victims.

Thou shalt not be outraged at men who look at your cleavage if you wear a top that highlights your cleavage.

Thou shalt not (however) blame a rape victim by accusing her of ‘luring the rapist with her cleavage.’

Thou shalt not ever censor your talents and skills purely on the basis of what society claims that your sex can or can’t do.

Thou shalt not tolerate being forced into doing anything.

Shifani Reffai is the founder and former head of Reach Out and is currently following a degree in Literature at the University of Delhi, while maintaining as much as she can her additional interests in photography, creative design and social activism. Her opinions are her own.


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