‘Rape’ is defined as “unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent because of mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception” or because she does not want to, have to or need to, according to the Webster Merriam dictionary. People think that a woman’s liberty of saying ‘no’ does not belong in her dictionary. She cannot have a will of her own. She cannot deny a man’s desire. She will be punished. She has been punished.
Women were always considered to be property, a meat suit that they can have fun with and when done leave it rotting under the shimmering lights of the phone camera. According to Unwomen, around 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. Does this seem normal to you? Does this in any way give you satisfaction? But, I can tell you one thing for sure. Reading this would not shock you or even horrify you. Rape has been normalized for us. We have been desensitized so much that reading headlines about rape would only make us think, “Yeh toh hona hee tha”. We will point our fingers at her bra strap peeking out of her kurta, her thighs in the jeans seducing young men, her breasts hidden under her dupatta will awaken the beast inside the glorious and righteous men to commit the sin. “What sin?” and then they will ask. “The woman deserved it”, they will say and walk away laughing from the gallows with a sewing machine in hand to start their new business. Then you wonder, are all the goddesses also hiding away from these splitting images of god?
It is not okay and it never will be okay. We console each other with this four letter word and then again resort to suffering their lust and anger filled eyes as they scan our body and plan how to destroy it. In a study conducted by UN women in Delhi, in 2012, 92 percent women reported having experienced some form of sexual violence in public spaces in their life time and 88 percent women have experienced verbal sexual violence.
Why does this happen? What makes women targets of a crime so hateful that it scars her not only physically but mentally more so? What goes on in that filthy minds of theirs? In 2015, Leslee Udwin, from BBC interviewed Mukesh Singh, the driver of the nightmare bus in Delhi wherein he and others with him took turns to rape Jyoti Singh, a girl who was out with her male friend and gone to watch Life Of Pi in the theater. In the interview, Mukesh said, “A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy.” Yes we are responsible. We are responsible for trusting our surroundings, our men. We are guilty of being naive.
“When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her’, and only hit the boy,” said Mukesh in the interview with Leslee.
A lawyer, AP Singh, who was defending murderers of a 23 year old student said in a televised interview, “If my daughter or sister engaged in pre-marital activities and disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face and character by doing such things, I would most certainly take this sort of sister or daughter to my farmhouse, and in front of my entire family, I would put petrol on her and set her alight.” I would urge you to read the whole article yourself.
For the women reading this article, here is a list of things that has been doing it’s rounds on Facebook for quite some time. It’s taken from an interview with a few rapists and says things about what does the rapist think about before committing his hate crime and what they look in a potential victim. I hope this will help you.
1) According to them they are looking at something to grab onto from behind. So, women with long hair, pony tails, braids, become easy targets.
2) They carry scissors around to cut through the clothing. They look at victims with clothing that can be removed easily. It’s not about whether she is wearing ‘revealing’ clothes.
3) They target women who are busy in their phone or distracted somehow while walking or standing because then they are off guard.
4) Parking lots, garages and public bathrooms where the woman might be alone also makes them easy targets.
5) Putting up a fight with the rapist discourages them as they realize that going after this person would be time consuming as they want to quickly take you over to a second location which is elusive from people.
6) Women with things like umbrellas would also discourage the rapist as it can be used as a weapon against the man. If a woman yells something like “stay back” while putting her hands in front of her, it would deter the man from coming near her as he has realized that the woman will fight back.
They are looking at easy targets. Please do not surrender to them.
Let us make this world a better place for our loved ones and that includes men too. Let us teach our future generation to be more kind and have more respect towards each other. Let us let go of our patriarchal traditions and truly be free and not live a life within the boundaries of fear and cowardice.