The Gulabi Gang - Badass of the Month
Social mobility is something most of us take for granted; the ability to improve one's station in life through effort, talent, and dedication is a concept a lot of us don't even think about. If I just cut back on the margaritas and bring my lunch to work, I could probably afford that motorcycle... If I got my Master's I'd be making $20k more a year and we could afford that lake house.....
And while each day that goes by it seems that those of us in the "first world" are losing that wide range of options and opportunities, imagine having born in a place where there are few to begin with. Now imagine being born, in the developing world, to a family that belongs to the lowest rung of society... so low they're called "untouchable".
Now imagine, with all this against you, being born into this world as a girl; a girl in a part of the world where a deeply male-dominated culture automatically makes you a second-class citizen. But considering how you're already a fifth-class citizen, the social math puts you slightly ahead of livestock, but only by virtue of it being legal to put a penis in you.
That's the world into which Sampat Pal Devi was born; a world she had only eleven years to learn about before being married off to a man in her village, a world where she feared being caught teaching herself how to read.
Let's take a break for a second. I know this is already starting to read like something written on a bumper-stickered Mac in a Starbucks by a chick who refuses to shave her armpits. So let's cut to the chase; this lady and her crew are beating the **** out of people with sticks.
See? We were getting to a point all along, and your monitor doesn't smell like patchouli oil.
The Gulabi Gang was formed in 2006 by Sampat Pal Devi, with the aim of stopping corruption, violence against women, and other social problems in the remote northern part of India. Devi had been a child bride, and eventually allowed to work for the government's health department.
Here's the thing folks: most people would rather live with problems in their communities - even ones that affect them directly - than do anything beyond coming up with excuses as to why they can't do anything to fix them, or how someone else should be doing so. Examples of this mind-boggling mental dysfunction include the guy whose daily ritual includes grumbling about the dick-and-balls graffiti on the stop sign at the end of his street, the mugging victim who blames the police for not being nearby when she got her purse taken, and pretty much anyone who expects genuine "change" from a candidate when two parties completely control the election process.
For most people, as long as the **** you have to wade through isn't too deep, as long as the humiliation isn't too great, as long as the chains aren't too tight, it's somehow better to endure routine discomfort than to deal with the unknown discomforts and risks involved with putting an end to them.
To be honest, Sampat Pal Devi shouldn't be considered a badass. She only earns that title by doing what everyone should do in her situation, because in this particular aspect of badassery - social activism - the bar is so goddamn low that 99% of the population has not only tripped over it, but are also just laying on the ground looking for someone else to help them back up.
In the meantime, if you pretend to give a crap about a particular issue, and do nothing more than just whining about it over Social Media, you're pretty much the opposite of a badass.