The Third Eye Is Crafting A Language Of Compassion Against Gender-Based-Violence

With a collaborative effort, Third Eye, is crafting a language of compassion, understanding, and change.
With a collaborative effort, Third Eye, is crafting a language of compassion, understanding, and change.The Third Eye

TW: This article includes themes of violence & sexual violence.

Men are biologically superior to women. I’m sure you’ve heard this rhetoric countless times. But would it be too contentious if I say that men have forever used this supposed superiority to inflict violence? If at this point your mind is racing with the age-old “Not all men” rhetoric, it is worth noting that it is the structure of patriarchy that permeates gender-based violence. No matter our gender or sex, we are all victims of patriarchy. As we progress as individuals towards a more modern consciousness, it is necessary that we unlearn so many things that the patriarchy has ingrained within us. Irrespective of our gender or sexual orientation, at some point in our lives, we have all been responsible for being agents of patriarchy. Invariably, to understand violence in any form is to understand how it is rooted in patriarchy.

With a collaborative effort, Third Eye, is crafting a language of compassion, understanding, and change.
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In the context of change and eliminating gender-based violence in India, The Third Eye, a feminist think tank works at the intersection of gender, sexuality, technology and education. They have collaborated with twelve compassionate caseworkers from rural and small-town Uttar Pradesh (the state with the highest number of gender atrocities in India) to create an extraordinary lexicon titled The Caseworker's Dictionary of Violence.

In the secluded corners of rural areas, small towns, and kasbahs, the work of those combating gender-based violence often remains undocumented and misunderstood. Who are these tireless individuals, especially women, who shoulder this crucial mission? What drives them, and what are the histories that shaped them? Beyond their roles as first responders or supportive presences, these caseworkers embody much more — they are champions of justice, warriors who grasp the intricate dance of accessing justice on the ground.

Words, imbued with life force, possess the potency to shape our perception of the world, our relationships, and ourselves. They transcend barriers; mutating and transforming as they journey between speakers and listeners, leaving an indelible mark on the human experience. What signifier pops into your mind when you hear the words Samjautha (Compromise), Hinsa (Violence), or Bechari (Helpless)? This illuminating dictionary unveils a tapestry of words that serve as portals into the realm of meaning-making; offering profound insights into the intricate manifestations of gender-based violence across diverse social contexts. Connected through shared experiences, these everyday words became the threads that united the caseworkers from different districts. Within its pages, we embark on a journey to understand the multifaceted roles played by various factors — including family, caste, class, government, and the police — in perpetuating a climate where gender-based violence runs rampant.

With a collaborative effort, Third Eye, is crafting a language of compassion, understanding, and change.
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Over the course of a year, the dictionary has taken shape and has been crafted through immersive writing, theatre-based pedagogies, and transformative workshops. The caseworkers, like alchemists of language, have emerged as lexicographers; weaving their wisdom into each entry. Within the local gender-based violence lexicon, they raise profound questions about access to justice, the nexus between justice and repair, the limits of rationality, and how feminist law and social justice concepts take root in the rural heartlands of India. The caseworkers' realm is not merely a collection of cases but an arena of knowledge construction. In this process, they also turn the introspective gaze upon themselves.

The inspiring team comprises Pushpa Devi, Awdesh Gupta, Manju Soni, Shabina Mumtaz, Shobha Devi, Hameeda Khatoon, Huma Firdous, Tabassum, Kusum Ahirvar, Meena Devi, Rajkumari and Rajkumari Prajapati. These lexicographers (caseworkers), hailing from Vanangana in Banda and Chitrakoot, Sahjani Shiksha Kendra in Lalitpur, and Sadbhavana Trust in Lucknow, boast 5 to 30 years of experience in their respective missions. Many of them are deeply rooted in the very communities they serve, their passion fueled by personal encounters with violence. Shaped by feminist movements and grassroots advocacy, they continue their tireless work with marginalized communities, even amid resource constraints and daunting circumstances.

The Third Eye invites everyone to join them in this collective endeavor and to continue constructing this lexicon that not only illuminates the shadows but also empowers us to challenge and dismantle the structures that perpetuate gender-based violence. The first step to envisioning a gender violence-free future is to articulate it into language. With a collaborative effort, the collective is crafting a language of compassion, understanding, and change.

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