Today, I had a conversation with a colleague and the video on Harayana’s rape culture or rather what the natives of the state thought of rape became a point of discussion. My exact words were – what are we becoming? How can we think that rape is entirely a girl’s fault? Why is it accepted? His answer was simple – this is what the natives have seen, this is how they think, and hence, this is what happens. WHAT? Yes, apparently, the treatment women, what men see at home, they follow. Women follow the same as they look at their mothers, sisters, aunts, friends, etc. being treated shabbily and hence, it becomes an accepted norm.
He further added that the natives never harm their own women. Apparently, if they damage their own women, they will be beaten up or shot. The problem arises when they come across different cultures. The main issue though is the male-female ratio that is the lowest in Haryana. Poor women from remote parts of the country are bought and sold here, married off to more than two men at once. What is worse is that men – young and old alike are heavily into watching pornography. So what they see as porn is what they think the reality is.
A couple of years back, a cab driver picked up an Australian woman from the airport. He was to drive her to the hotel. But as the cab started, he asked her if she would have sex with him. To this, she obviously said no. She was raped. When the cab driver was charged, he gave a statement saying that he saw no wrong in his actions because in all the porn videos the white women were readily available for sex.
Rape is not consensual. Pornography is another matter altogether.
In the fields, when women come to cut grass, they are allowed to do so peaceful in exchange for sex. For the women, the act of forced sex is something that happens often. Once done, they go back to work and never report it.
I don’t buy it. I don’t buy any of it. Maybe there is some truth in the above filth, but it doesn’t justify heinous crimes such as rape. Rape is not limited to physical trauma. It scars the victim for life. She is ostracized, abandoned and if lucky, she is killed. Her smile, her choice of clothes, her wearing jeans or speaking into her mobile phone are lame excuses. Why is the woman seen as a piece of flesh, an object people – men and women alike, can violate? Why does her choice, her free will, her consent not matter? She is not the weaker sex. It is 2018, and we have already established that. But each time a woman wants to report the atrocities she faces, why does the blame fall on her?
To this question too, my colleague had an answer. Our judiciary, our police force, and even security people come from the same background. The thought process is the same. Unfortunately, in bigger metros, the burden falls on the woman too. In the city, the woman is forward. She drinks, she smokes, she mingles with unknown men, is independent. Women who are modern are thought to be sex deprived and men who violate them believe ‘they asked for it.’
And it does not end here. Babies are being raped, young boys and girls are not safe in schools. How can people sexualize little children? The list is endless. Each time I open the newspaper, and I read the news of rape, molestation or abuse, I go numb.
My original question prevails - what are we becoming? Do we really have an answer or a solution?