Rape… the only foolproof solution to it.
The only foolproof way to avoid rape.
It has happened again. An unsuspecting woman, taken advantage of, by a serial sexual offender. And while the media, political establishment and the public in general is abuzz with finger pointing, pinning the blame, analysis, condemnation and banning of services as a fallout of this incident, the fact remains that the incidence of rape has never, even once, abated in the last few years.
Rape is abhorrent. Let’s place that on record. But what’s more abhorrent, is the reaction of India, in general, to incidents of rape.
Time after time, we hear of more and more appalling incidents, and more appalling reactions to these incidents.
In the latest case, an unsuspecting woman was lulled into a false sense of security, after taking a cab touted to be ‘safe’. Her supposed mistake… falling asleep, after an evening out with friends, where (OMG) she consumed liquor.
Then started the entire rigmarole of finding fault. Somehow, as expected, people have found a way of looping it all back to the woman.
Across social media, social conversations and the general buzz on the streets, forget the men, there are many girls and young women saying ‘Yaar par uski bhi galti thi (it was her fault too)… she shouldn’t have fallen asleep!’
Excuse me? Are we on the same planet? How can one hold her responsible for falling asleep after a long day at work, an evening out with friends, heading home in a cab service that has built its image on being a ‘safe’ alternative to otherwise ‘unsafe’ transport options?
Every time an incident like this happens, people have newer and newer advice… wear sensible clothes, always travel with a male escort, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t travel after dark… but the rapes continue.
Whatever the case may be, it seems that the onus of stopping the incident lies squarely with the woman. ‘She was asking for it’ is a retrospective justification for almost every rape case.
And this, in my opinion, is where the problem lies. Until the onus of a rape does not shift from the victim to the perpetrator, rapes will continue unabated.
Because rape has nothing to do with the woman, it has to do with the man.
Why is it that women have to be advised on how to avoid rape? Why should they need to avoid it in the first place?
Shouldn’t it be the other way, where men are taught that rape is wrong? That a man should respect a woman and her rights? That there is a line, which you do not cross? That women are not sex objects who, if they aren’t able to prevent it, must be raped?
Shouldn’t men be taught that rape is something that they are responsible for, and controlling themselves, their urges and their need for a power trip or sexual gratification starts and ends with them and them alone?
Presently, it is assumed that men will drop their pants at every given opportunity and it is for the women to ensure that they don’t provide this opportunity to a man. Is that acceptable?
The argument for women avoiding rape, is built on the misplaced assumption that the only way to reduce it is not by educating men, but by locking up women.
This change in mindset, in my view, is the biggest challenge we face as a male dominated, patriarchal & chauvinistic society, where a majority of women are treated no better than cattle.
The fact is that the only way to stop rape, is to make a male feel that it is wrong. Till then there’s only one foolproof way to avoid rape…