Categories
Incidents Thought and Reason

Do fashionable girls invite rape?

Do fashionable girls invite rape?

IHM has written extensively about this topic, and there really isn’t much more than I can add. However, here are my two cents.

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In what seemed to be a re-enactment of the origins of the Slut Walk, Andhra Pradesh top cop Dinesh Reddy recently made a statement that ‘women who wear fashionable clothes provoke men, leading to increase in rape cases’. He indicated that modern and fashionable women are more prone to rape, BECAUSE of their inappropriate dressing. While many people were outraged, many others have applauded him on his courage!!

I lived in India for most of my life, and I can tell you for a fact, that EVEN IF YOU ARE COVERED FROM HEAD-TO-TOE you are still very much at the risk of being sexually abused.

For starters, how easy or difficult do you think it is for a woman to travel in a crowded bus without being touched inappropriately by a fellow passenger?! A young child, a teenager, a mother of two kids – nobody is spared. As long as one is a woman, she is likely to be molested at some point in time. Do you know how many middle-class woman living in Mumbai carry a sharp safety pin while travelling on a crowded local train? I was advised this ‘technique’ when I lived in Mumbai for a couple of months.

The groping, pinching and other lecherous behaviour that happens all the time, on our Indian roads and public transport is beyond a civilised person’s imagination!! To blame that sort of lecherous behaviour on the clothes of the victim sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

A potential rapist sees his victim as an object and nothing else. There are no statistics to prove that a woman wearing a modern dress is more likely to get raped as compared to a woman who is conservatively dressed.

This article (see link) talks about molestation statistics in our Capital city, New Delhi. Atleast one woman is molested EVERY DAY.

Are we really so naive as to believe that all those women who were molested or raped were dressed ‘inappropriately’ or ‘fashionably’?!

How about our villages? Those poor women are not dressed ‘fashionably’, and yet they suffer the humiliation and trauma of rape.

For a country that claims to treat women as ‘goddesses’, statistics surprisingly indicate an increasing amount of crime against women!!

Also, do read this shocking extract from http://www.thp.org/reports/indiawom.htm

‘In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in atrocities against women in India. Every 26 minutes a woman is molested. Every 34 minutes a rape takes place. Every 42 minutes a sexual harassment incident occurs. Every 43 minutes a woman is kidnapped. And every 93 minutes a woman is burnt to death over dowry.

One-quarter of the reported rapes involve girls under the age of 16 but the vast majority are never reported. Although the penalty is severe, convictions are rare.’

Let’s get to the ROOT of the problem.

This interesting link describing the various causes of rape

Every single reason for rape (lust/show of power/etc.) has entirely to do with the mindset of the rapist, and NOT the outfit of the victim.

The problem is not that girls are getting influenced by the West and/or are wearing fashionable clothes, thereby ‘provoking’ men.

Rape happens IRRESPECTIVE of the victim’s outfit and NOT BECAUSE of it.

If we take a step backward and analyse the situation, we find that our society is plagued by a strong ‘rape culture’.

Wiki defines this rape culture as:

‘a culture in which rape and sexual violence against women are common and in which prevalent attitudesnorms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or tolerate sexual violence against women.  Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification and rape apologism

As a society, we still tend to BLAME THE VICTIM. We believe that the victim is responsible, either directly or indirectly.

That way, we not only transfer the burden of rape on the woman, but also seek to excuse the rapist for his barbaric behaviour.

Statistics have not been able to prove the link between the victim’s outfits and incidence of rape. Please read an extract from this link ‘Through a Rapist’s Eyes’. Though this is applicable to the US, the underlying issue is very relevant to India too:

‘There is no data to suggest that a potential victim is at greater risk because of how she is dressed. Remember, 70-80% of assailants are known to their victim, so tactics of stranger rapists aren’t needed.’

More statistics only support the above statements by revealing that around 2/3rds of rape are committed by known persons rather than strangers!

Therefore, the point is – Rape is PREMEDITATED. To claim that a girl wore fashionable clothes, thereby provoking and INVITING rape is baseless.

And for those who really believe that covering ones’ self from head-to-toe protects you from rape, please do read this bold article.  Rape happens even with women who are completely covered behind a veil.

To be fair, I do understand that wearing revealing clothes might attract more attention in a country that is sexually repressed! But does that justify rape? NO. Rape is crime and you cannot simply BLAME the victim by the flimsy excuse that ‘she was wearing fashionable clothes’!

I think this comment on Yahoo beautifully sums it up: ‘A rapist has a totally different mindset. It’s much more sinister, because he is actually serious about his plans. And to a real rapist, the outfit probably doesn’t matter much at all’

The need of the hour is not guidelines on Indian women’s Dress Code, but concentrated efforts to get out of this gross rape culture.

There is no such thing as a ‘right to rape’!! The quicker we realise it, the better for us to evolve into a truly civilised society!

Please, do share your thoughts on this.

Categories
Incidents Thought and Reason

Chennai Diaries – Part 1

Debs gave me this idea.. to write about the little incidents that happen here, during my short stay in Chennai! So let me shoot…

* We took this arduous journey of almost 17 hours to reach Chennai! It was an indirect flight, via Bombay (I cannot yet bring myself to say Mumbai!). Inflight, it was stuffy and warm, and I had a splitting head-ache for half the journey! Then the plane hovered around for about 30 minutes in the air, because it couldn’t land due to air-traffic congestion!! We finally reached home at 5:30 am!! Luckily, my favourite nephew was awake to welcome us, so that eased away all the trouble of travelling!!

* We were jet-lagged for the first three days. The Chennai weather did nothing to help us out. Strangely, until the day we landed, (we are told), the weather in Chennai was supposedly awesome.. warm during the day, but chill at night! Sigh!

* Just as I recovered from jet-lag, my paternal Grandma passed away. The family was expecting it for a couple of weeks, as she was ailing, but when the phone rang at 12:30 am, it was a bit of a jolt!!

* This morning, I witnessed an ‘auto fight’ 🙂 It was fun. Fun, because the auto-driver was negotiating with a foreigner over the fare to be paid! For non-Chennai-ites, you must know something – Chennai autos do not believe in the concept of ‘metre readings’ or ‘fair fares’ 🙂 they believe in harassing and fleecing ‘savaari’ or passengers 🙂 So we saw this auto driver arguing with a foreign lady. And the Hero that my Dad likes to be, he shouted at the auto-driver and said, foreigners will think we are all beggars! The dutiful daughter that I am, I supported him, by saying ‘What will ‘they’ think of ‘us”. Only to realise, after a few minutes, that the auto-driver was actually asking for a reasonable amount. And that the poor foreigner was actually leaving a posh silk-saree shop!!! So much for ‘hospitality’ towards ‘foreigners’ 🙂

* A strange conversation with my dearest maternal grandmother this evening. According to our custom, the son/family is not allowed to perform anything auspicious or even visit temples/undertake pilgrimage for 1 year from the time of death in the family. I was cribbing about this insane custom to my grandma. When she said, that as a young girl of about 6 or 7, she remembers being shocked at a woman in her village (Poondi), who lost her husband, and confined herself to the four walls of her house for an entire year!!!

While I think this is outrageous, there could be a couple of reasons for such a stupid custom…

1- The family is in mourning, so they cannot venture out. One year was probably a fair enough period for them to ‘move on’.

2- The family cannot afford to undertake anything, be it a function or pilgrimage, as people did not save quite that much in the olden days!

3- The widow must be protected from other men (or women) who might try to take advantage of her frail situation.

While I found all the above utterly insane, one point that my Grandma made was striking! She said ‘It is specifically at such a time, that the bereaved family needs support from other people’, so to cut them away from the rest of the world is insane! Kudos to my Grandma for saying that!

* The rich-poor divide in India has always been talked about. Infact we have lived our entire life through this divide, struggling each day, to ensure we are on the right side!! But the more we look around, the deeper this divide gets imprinted in our mind. Yesterday, I went to get my old watches repaired, and spent about Rs.340 on them. Then I realised my slipper had snapped, so decided to buy a new one. In the meanwhile however, I spotted a cobbler, and got the slipper mended by him. The man sat hunched, cruching in the little shade that the bare tree could offer. He did his job, and when I handed out a Rs.20 note, he returned Rs.15 to me. It struck me as so unfair. That labour is so cheap!! What would that man do with such a meagre amount of Rs.5??? Even if he repaired 20 pairs of slippers that day, he would not make more than Rs.100… on his good days, probably Rs.250 or 300? Or Rs.500 perhaps? Is that enough, TO LIVE A LIFE OF DIGNITY?????

* We had an awesome little blogger’s meet this afternoon. Uma, Kanagu, Aarthi, Vimmu (who made a guest appearance), Anish and yours truly met up and had a ball!!! We did take some pictures, but I have this bad feeling that I’ve accidentally deleted the pics I took. So I bank on Uma to upload her pics on FB. Oh, and she baked this yummylicious and totally drool-worthy chocolate cake for us 🙂 that we ate secretly under the tables, when the power went out!!!

* And finally, this evening, came the awful news of IHM’s daughter. Tears rolled freely, as I read Tejaswee’s blog. And a particular post called ‘On dying early’. My deepest condolences to dear  IHM. I feel choked. So I have to sign off now.

More later…..

Categories
Tags

Sinner Sinner

When I first saw this tag ‘Sin against Gender Stereotypes’ from IHM I thought ‘I’ve never committed any of these ‘sins”

But after reading posts by my dear Smitha, Deeps and Hitchy, (and being officially tagged  by them) I realised that I’m guilty too 🙂

So here are my list of sins against gender equality:
1. I think cooking is a waste of time!!

2. Would rather hang around the Computer or TV

3. Never been a very girly girl.. you know ..the pretty ones who do their curls and eyes and lips and all that stuff. I’ve always been just plain vanilla!!

4. Would rather read than watch an Ekta Kapoor soap!

5. Believe ‘serving’ family members/guests is a slightly menial task and that each person at the table must just stretch his/her arm out to help him/herself!!

6. Love technology… esp computers and MS-office 🙂 Such a shame that I don’t do much of it anymore!

7. Cannot bake or make anything (cakes/pickles/traditional south Indian cuisine).. i.e., rather unfit inside the kitchen!!

8. Desperately need ‘peace’, ‘space’ and ‘quiet’. Except for my own ‘khit-phit’ cannot stand any other noise 😉

9. Love screwing (Straighten your thoughts, my friend… I meant – love tinkering about with stuff – fixing/repairing/screwing/unscrewing broken things)

10. Would rather surf the net than gossip with the womenfolk 😉

11. Not a fan of ‘pink’, ‘heels’, ‘stilletos’ or anything pretty. As I said, I’m a plain vanilla!

And now to tag people…. er… here is the list of the Tagged :-

Shail

Batul

Dreamer

Ordinary Guy

Piper

Pushpee

Quirky Indian

Ratna

Supriya

Roshmi

Yashada

Saurabh

Now the creator of the Tag, our very own IHM says…

So here’s a tag – Please list at least ten things you have ever wanted or done which your gender is not supposed to.

The tag is called ‘My Sins against Gender-Stereotypes’. And you must tag twelve blogging friends or else you will be cursed to wear blue clothes pants if you are a woman and pink shirts if you are a man – for next twelve years

So get going people 🙂

Categories
Thought and Reason

A new year and a lot of questions!

I am probably the LAST one in Blogosphere, to write a post, wishing you ladies and gentalmen a ‘Very Happy New Year’. Still,  couldn’t begin a new post without greeting you first!

And, as you know, we are in good ol’ Chennai, enjoying ‘Ma ka haath ka khana’ and dumping the Brat with the Grandparents while I go gallivanting 😉

Plus, there’s a Chennai Blogger’s Meet coming up on 16th, so a lot of excitement over that!

Coming to the questions…I’ve been watching ‘Raaz pichle janam ka...’ on NDVT Imagine, and it has stirred a lot of thought processes!

WHY are we WHAT we are?

WHY should we carry over attributes from one birth into the next?

WHY cannot we start afresh every time?

Is it Destiny that decides? WHAT role do we play then?

And finally, which is the JOURNEY and which, the DESTINATION?

So you see, a lot of questions. Unanswered. Unfathomable. Ever!

But, on a lighter note, every time I am on the roads of Chennai, I cannot help but observe the huge number of PINK SHIRTS that men wear! The most common colours seem to be Parrot Green, Blue and various shades of red and pink. Most interesting was this shirt I noticed today… Blood red with shades of Orange!! He he he. Couldn’t help but think of IHM’s post.

Cheerio then.. hope I come back with a more coherent post next time 🙂