Rape! Stop the Blame Game!
During the auspicious days of Durga Puja, posters of Kaali Mata are held everywhere. Jai Mata di! Jai Mata di! That’s what the pious crowd yells. A man joins his hands and stoops with reverence in front of the goddess, who is a divine epitome of women. Yet, the very next day he rapes a woman. Is he the same man who joined his hands in front of a woman? YES! He is the same man. A man participates in various women empowerment programs and awareness campaigns, but the very next day he rapes his newly recruited female employee. Is he the same person who made efforts to enlighten people about gender bias? YES! He is the same man.
These are just a few examples of how women are perceived in our Indian society. It is such an irony that in a nation, where a deity or a goddess is worshipped in the form of a woman, brutal violence like rape is rampant. Women are treated as sexual objects born only to satisfy the lust of men. It is often considered their pivotal duty to offer themselves to satisfy to the sexual desires of men. Whether it is the Delhi Gang Rape case or the Dalit Teenage Girls Rape case the logic seems to be same. That is, women are perceived merely as objects meant for subjugation. The chief reason for this demeaning attitude is the mentality of our society– a society where from childhood we are culturally brainwashed that women are inferior to men. And this ideological domination has its roots in our patriarchal society.
Moreover, there are certain well established guidelines for women and any crime, especially rape, is attributed to women’s non-compliance with these apparent norms. Women are expected to dress modestly, behave in a modest manner and even speak in a very modest way. However, these rules do not seem to be applicable for men. Though this domineering attitude has begun to change, we can still see a wide disparity between how men and women are treated in the same household. After all, what can we expect from a nation where the political leaders make statements that mobile phones, non-vegetarian food, jeans pants and short dresses are the causes of rape? Despite these falsified (yet accepted) allegations against women the truth can’t be concealed. It is not the dressing of women. It is not the food or even mobile phones for that matter. It is the attitude of men towards women which is responsible for the widespread incidents of rape. Thus a revolution in the line of thought of men towards women alone can bring in the desired change. Let’s hope for that change!
— About the Author: The article has been contributed by our intern, Soundarya Lahari.