Who Is Responsible For RAPE: Patriarchy, Law, We Ourselves Or All Of It?
Rape—It ain’t exceptional but is native (occurring to women on a regular basis). Shameful it is and we say we live in a modern era.
Rape has now become an action of extremism or torment against the whole idea of a chaotic society which requires conformity to certain level of individual rights of life and dignity. The major concepts of rape try to link the driving ideology of women who become victims, the oppressors or the rapists, the so-called justice givers’ form of justice along with the significance of male-dominance or patriarchy in the society.
Under the law, rape is deemed as a sex crime. In general terms, a sexual intercourse involving dominance and submission plus consent is sex, not rape. The problem lies in the patriarchal system which supports for male supremacy and dominance in such a way that most of time, the submission of women to a forced sexual intercourse is treated as her consent. Moreover, this dominance is not only present externally which is seen on beds, road sides and now even in buses but also has seeded itself in the minds of women who are married off. Assuming it to be a responsibility to fulfill their husband’s sexual needs, women ‘submit’ to a sexual intercourse demanded by their partner in the institution of marriage. This ideology has been deep rooted and observed in every household which fails to find a resolution even in the elaborate stature of the judicial system. The law on rape in India divides women into two categories on the basis of her relationship with the man accused of violating a woman’s sexual privacy. If a lady is related to the man through marriage, then a sexual intercourse without her consent is not considered to be rape (marital rape). Statistics also prove that women are raped more often by men they knew than by strangers.
Rape can be called an extension of sexism in some ways as it links to the idea of commodifying women and reducing her identity merely as an object. With no hesitation, it can be said that socially, women’s sexuality has been abridged to a ‘thing’ which can be stolen, bought, sold, negotiated, or exchanged by others. Moving back to how law defines it – a rape and how the long-run custom of male dominance affects it is the next concern. It has been so difficult for the system of law to define what rape is as the first step to follow is differentiating it from sexual intercourse through the medium of consent which is also difficult for the women to realize as they fail to understand their own position because of their submission to the customs of male dominance. To explain women’s gender status on rape, a rape theory was proposed by Susan Brownmillers which said that all men benefit from threatening women for sex.
Marital rape and the battery of wives have been separated by law. But from a feminist viewpoint, an assault through a fist and a penis aren’t different as both are abuses. According to women, rape is not prohibited rather regulated. Women who know they have been raped, do not believe that a legal system is prevalent that understands it the way they do. Also for women, it is rape but for men, it is merely a criminal offense. So the question arises that from whose perspective it has to be judged? Well, in a male-dominated society like ours, rape is seen as a usual thing and that is why the no. of rape cases are increasing. The tricky part is that the injury of rape lies in the meaning of the act to its victim but the standard for its delinquency lies in the meaning of the act to its aggressor. Where is the world going? What are we teaching our coming generations? When would this change? Who would change this? We must start working on answering these questions and the answer lies within us. It ain’t that tough to crack but is tough to fight for but believe me it’s worth it, especially when half of our population is fighting for equality, fighting against harassment, against rape!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article is written by Apurva, our intern.