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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 MommySpeak Thought and Reason

Beware of Kids??

‘Beware of Dogs’ is a common signboard in India. This piece of news however, quite shocked me. And not because of the nature of crime per se. But the sheer age of the perpretators. How can boys of age 10 be so violent? What sort of upbringing do they have? In my opinion, its the parents of the boy who need to be punished, more severely than the children themselves! Reports say they were used to watching violence on TV.

Coming to think of it, every programme on every channel these days is inundated with violence.

Take a look at this seemingly innocuous Chota Bheem serial, which is very popular in India. Sonny has been watching this for nearly two weeks now, and you can imagine, why he has suddenly started ‘punching’ us!

Do you notice the amount of violence they are teaching little kids? What does a child know? Good.. bad.. they are all the same. The child only sees the ‘HERO’, Chota Bheem, bashing up another guy, and feeling very proud about it. Little does the child realise that the guy being hit is a ‘villain’ of sorts. So, what is it, that Chota Bheem is teaching children? Go, Bash Em Up!!

Or, this Ben 10 trailer.

The colours, the action… doesn’t it all simply reverberate with violence?!!

It is no wonder, then, that children these days are getting more aggressive and violent, than ever before. This is probably a bit of a lecture… ‘free advice’ if you insist.. but as parents, I think these are some small steps we can take, to make our children better people:

* Controlled TV programmes – I know of mommies who do not allow kids to watch TV at all. I think that’s quite extreme, because TV does teach a lot. Like the Playhouse Disney channels for example. So we could try to ensure our children only watch pleasant cartoons, and nothing violent.

* A vent for energy – Energy not channelised in the proper manner will most certainly cause problems for both the child and the parent. So, go out and kick that ball with your child. Or just take a walk down the road. Or go swimming, or something, that will physically tire out both of you, in a positive manner!

* Reinforce positive behaviour – Let’s practise basic manners (saying our please and thank you’s) and openly appreciate any positive behaviour in our children, so they KNOW that behaving well makes us all happy!

[Okay…End of serious post]

By the way, Sonny has just joined pre-school, and seems to have had his First Crush already!! A certain ‘Miss Vicky’ is the lucky girl 😉 and I can see stars in his eyes every time he mentions her name 😉