I did a stupid thing today. I made the mistake of thinking that I’m brave enough to watch the Guwahati molestation video that’s up on Youtube.
I’m sure you’ve noticed this, or maybe not- I’ve never really written about any such ‘sensitive’ issues on my blog. Main reason being, I’ve always felt, if I can’t do anything about it, I probably shouldn’t rant about it and blame others for not finding a solution. But also because, with time, I’ve become one of those who thinks “If it hasn’t happened to me, it’s none of my business. Such kind of things only happen to others”. Sad. Shameful. I know.
The other day, I was returning home from work. It was pretty late, around 9:30. The road connecting the railway station (I travel by the local train) to the main road- from where I have to take an auto to my colony- was poorly lit. Or rather, no street-light at all. The only light was from a few shops on the sidewalk. So I’m walking to the main road. It’s a familiar road, I walk it every day. So the lack of light doesn’t scare me. I’m not the only one walking anyway. These two guys come from the opposite direction on a bike, flash their headlights bright at me for a few seconds, yell ‘I love you’, and drive away.
Surely, I should have been flattered that a guy said ‘I love you’ to me, right? I mean, isn’t that what every girl wants to hear from a guy? Those three words. Right? Wrong. We want to hear it from somebody who knows us, gets us, and actually loves us. Not from somebody who only saw me for two seconds in the dark and said it only because I’m a girl and have boobs. Sorry, I’m not so easily flattered. Na-ah.
How is this connected in any way to the Guwahati molestation, you wonder? It’s not, really. What happened to me is nowhere close in magnitude to what that girl was subjected to. I’ve been commented on and stared at before too, not the first time. And I’ve learnt to turn a deaf ear to it and walk on. Maybe that’s the mistake most of us girls make. Ignore. Pretend that it didn’t happen. Pretend that some random bastard’s dirty hands didn’t graze your boobs and ass. Pretend that you don’t feel dirty and violated at being commented on.
But the basis of both these incidents are the same, right? That some men think they have the right to comment on and letch at and touch a girl without her permission. That they have the right to have sex with her just because she has a vagina, be it of a six-year-old girl or a 25-year-old woman. That rape is their way of establishing the power equation. That if a girl wears a short skirt and strapless top, it means she wants to be raped. Believe me, dear men, no woman WANTS to be raped. Do you have any idea how much it hurts? And I mean physically.
Let me get one thing very straight here. I’m not doing any male-bashing. I know plenty of men who are good, kind-hearted people with whom I’ve gone out late at night and have felt perfectly safe with. I have more male friends than female friends, and they have all been perfect gentlemen with me. They’ve taken really good care of the women with them and made sure that they’re deposited back home safely. I have oodles of respect for these men and have absolute faith that they will never rape a woman ever. So this is NOT about ALL men.
So who ARE these men, who rape and molest? Are they wired differently? Is their genetic engineering different? Were they born that way? Is it hereditary, this tendency to rape? Were they given lessons as children, how to rape? Do they set out every morning, in search of potential victims? Are they proud of what they do? Is rape the only way they enjoy sex?
Really, who ARE they?
To say that the video really disturbed me is an understatement. That could’ve been anyone. That could’ve been me, you, your friend, your sister. The next time I walk on that dark road, I’ll be cautious (which is good) till I reach the main road. Because it doesn’t always happen to just others. It can happen to me too. And there’s no way I can avoid it. Unless I decide to quit my job and sit at home. Or find a job that’ll have me home before it’s dark.
But I don’t think any of that will matter. Because for a rapist, none of that matters. Not the clothes, not the time of the day, not the age of the girl, not even whether the girl is pretty or not. All that matters is that he has a hard-on and he has to do something about it. All that matters is that the girl’s screams and struggling give him a high. Isn’t that what it’s all about? The feeling of power.
And it's not just the women who get raped. Men get molested too. Mostly BY men. And it's an equally gruesome thing.
If the moral police say that wearing ‘proper’ clothes is the most effective way to prevent rape, then isn’t castration an equally effective measure or justifiable punishment? And if clothes are what provoked the rape, then what was the provocation to rape a six-year-old? Her frock was too short and skimpy, is it?
What can be done about this? Is there anything that we can do, other than writing blog posts expressing our outrage and putting up FB status updates? Is there any solution to this?
I sure hope there is… because I don’t want to live in constant fear of being groped by strange filthy men...
I have been started and commented on too. By total strangers. Since such incidents get heavy media coverage these days, more people come to know about it. Also through youtube, many other males watch these rape videos for pleasure. Not to know what actually happened. We lived in such a society for ages and still do, as this is like an inbuilt instinct which is difficult to change. There is one solution though. Punishment to the rapists as ghastly as their act. But that will never be implemented in India because our leaders are not clean either. So basically we have to live with it.ReplyDelete
There is absolutely nothing that can be taken as a 'predisposing factor' for molestation or rape. As you rightly said, it has got nothing to do with the place, time of the day, the clothes that a girl is wearing or her looks that leads to such crimes. The only constant factor in all these crimes is a sick male mentality.ReplyDelete
And it is about establishing the power equation. The sense of male dominance. I'm sure every such criminal feels that his sense of dominance over the female gender is threatened in some way or the other. And so, these men find a way to exert their dominance through physical means.
I think you are right in mentioning about it being related to the genetic make-up of such men. The pseudo sense of dominance is inherent. Males, (Not All, like you said) seem to have respect only for females related to them. Sometimes not even for those.
It is time females stopped ignoring and just quietly walking away. They have to object even if a close male relative (who is respectful towards them) degrades other women. I don't know if you saw the case of that molester DGP who forced a girl named Ruchika to suicide. But all the way, his wife (who's a lawyer herself) stood by him and defended him instead of asking for justice for another female.
Women should stop accepting, ignoring or keeping quiet and should take on these strange filthy men with the support of men who aren't like them.
Do read my post which is somewhat related to this sick mentality.
Loved your writing..Though reading you for the first time..ReplyDelete
very beautiful portrayal of one of the worst situations that the society is going through right now!
Collective action or collective responsibility, thats a possibility.ReplyDelete
This is what I wrote in one of my FB comments:ReplyDelete
"I often wonder what is the purpose of all this education, if we cannot do anything to change things around us... I have started feeling after coming to Kerala how bad the social scenario is here and how much a person like me can do in my own locality to change this... Change should start at home... It is a social responsibility... If I do not do it, if you do not do it; who will... Sympathy is not the word, one should be empathetic to people..."
Let me point out to you on how bad this NCW has become... This Alka Lamba, she is just a glorified model turned politician or vice versa!!! Read this: http://www.firstpost.com/india/the-ncw-has-failed-the-indian-woman-it-should-be-scrapped-381459.html#.UAbPCM_P4YV.facebook
This is what women in power and authority do for their fellow sisters!!! Every one are okay with it or believe women themselves are responsible for this... I was really shocked to read about an incident with a girl on a metro: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=379471928773657&set=a.215594388494746.65080.135306476523538&type=1&theater
And this was from an American woman:http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/an-email-from-an-american-reader-he-then-said-my-wife-is-very-sexy/
I was speechless after reading all these!!! Something has to be done about it... This I believe is the worst social evil!!!
You have pointed it out very rightly and that too with a loud thump. One gentleman commented on my post that "you must have read that she was drunk and had an altercation with the men". I was appalled at the comment. I told him that the very reason you mention it shows how you feel that is the reason and that is what is responsible for girls being subjected to such horror.ReplyDelete
It is the mindset of an educated male, not only just uneducated or crass people.
I got goosebumps reading it.ReplyDelete
I havent been able to watch that video. But in fairness I don't need to. I have had my fair share of groping and harrassment over the years. I can imagine how much worse it was for her. I wrote about my experience after the Guwahati incident. I can't get myself to post it though. I am glad you wrote about it. It is always great to see voices, so assertive, about such issues.
I am with you. :)
Guwahati case left me speechless.. When a girl would expect help from bystanders, more of them are coming and killing you some more...I did not see the video but written news excerpts were enough… Such a horrendous incident! I can’t even imagine the magnitude of emotional-mental-physical pain imposed on her in just around thirty bloody minutes!ReplyDelete
The other day I was walking in a highly crowded shopping locale and an idiot touched me (don’t ask where), first time I gave him a scornful stare…but when he did it the second time, I literally charged forward to slap that late-40-something baboon when his (innocent and sweet) teenage daughter (who was with her mother) called him from a few steps away and I looked at the totally ignorant duo and dropped my hand…but I told him that next time even your daughter-wife will not be able to stop me! This is just one of the numerous incidents we have to go through everyday, I can’t even write some of them here! Bleddy!
And how much ever thinking and rethinking I do on this I cant fathom why they do this and if its just for the feeling of power then I declare yes you are very powerful(physically because apparently you don’t have brains) and now can we move on and live peacefully? Atleast leave the children out of it! Jerks!
Very power-packed post Spiff! Thanks for writing on this….
tat was lik a slap on the face for ppl who think women deserve to get raped if they r late nighters or wear bold outfits..ReplyDelete
the above mentioned late night incident happened to me too..jus the guys din say anythin..they stopped the bike, checked me out n went on their way to my relief..it does make one feel dirty.
n kudos to the castration line..enjoyed it!! ;)
keep up the good work..
I so hear you spiff ! I so really do. I know it can be so frustrating to just sit adn write about it. But somehow, you want to. I hate it when they say that "we" invite trouble. I cannot believe that peopel can say somethign like that. I have pinched the hand of a sick cab driver once when he tried to graze my thigh everytime he wanted to apply brakes. I was 12 then. I hated that incident. but somehow I feel so proud now and wish I had just pinched harder.ReplyDelete
That was a touching post.ReplyDelete
And what hurts and maybe surprised me more was that we were discussing this in office, a corporate office one the best places to work in. And a good majority of the guys sincerely believed that a girl who goes to a pub at the wee hours then she should not complain on being raped. And however I tried I could not push sense into them. There was this guy who said that if the girl can dress awkwardly(according to his standards) and go to a pub then she deserves to be raped. Before this conversation I thought the problem was with a section of the society and not people whom I interact with.
Totally right. The thing is girls can stand up against it and do what we can by expressing the anger and trying to prevent instead of just pretending that nothing has happened. If it happens to the next girl, it might happen to us someday. As you said, establishing the stand in power equation is what these men expect and that should be not acknowledged. There is no such thing as the girl's outfit provoking the rape. They just use it as an excuse for such happenings and for the fact that no one is able to control such happenings.ReplyDelete
I too wonder who these men are. Certainly not all men are like this and many many men go out of the way to protect other womenReplyDelete
What I feel is that men have certain animal instincts and once these instincts take over they lose control over themselves. When girls are told to be careful its not just about the clothes they wear but to be discreet in their interactions, I know a girl who was very open with all her colleagues they way it should be but one perverted man thought she is open and available and made advances....sad
We need barbaric laws for these barbarians. And may be compulsory courses in self defense in all educational institutes for both boys and girls.ReplyDelete
The incident in Guwahati is still fresh and we have a new one in Mandya. I say, these useless idiots should be castrated.
We need barbaric laws for these barbarians. Compulsory courses in self-defense across all educational institutions for both boys and girls can help too. The Guwahati incident is still fresh and now we have one in Mandya. These morons should be castrated. Seriously.ReplyDelete
Surely an excellent post. Raping, molesting, groping are an open reflection of a criminal streak in men. It has nothing to do with provocative dressing. it is an assertion of power over the weaker sex.ReplyDelete