A Rape I write

I write stories everyday. About exceptional women, and men. About success achieved in the face of trials and tribulations. Sometimes they are also about heroic failures. I write about mundane day-to-day activities in offices.

Some prefer to call them articles and reports. But I think the word story is more apt because I haven’t met ‘exceptional’ yet. They are stories — part fiction.

I have never asked a successful woman if she was molested before she earned the security of a chauffer-driven BMW. I never asked them if they have seen another woman get molested, if she tried to stop them.

I never asked a man if he ever visually stripped a woman around him, or maybe even groped her?

I’ve seen enough women in mini-skirts in the sanitized environments of five-star hotels’ pubs and bars. And did they look great! Most of them wore it because they could hop into a car and head home. I have never asked one of them if they had helped someone less privileged.

A story by Tehelka (http://www.tehelka.com/story_main52.asp?filename=Ne140412Coverstory.asp) on how policemen view rape, sexual assault victims and offenders gives us just a brief peek into the society’s insidious mindset. Why society? Trust me these men and women are not God’s gift to mankind. Their opinions, though especially disgusting because they are supposedly part of a “law enforcing body,” comes from and is part of the society.

I quote a police officer from the Tehelka article, “Go to a pub in Greater Kailash,South Delhi, where there’s free entry for girls. You’ll find those who want to do ‘it’ for a thousand rupees. They’ll drink and also have sex with you. But the day someone uses force, it’s rape.”

Yes, my friend, the day someone uses force IT IS rape.

There are reports after reports on how women call for it because of how they dress, how they talk, how they behave, how they don’t behave, how they talk to boyfriends (even if they are boy friends) etc etc etc.

In the same article, another officer said, “If a girl wears revealing clothes, it will encourage lewd thoughts in any kid. They wear short skirts, blouse, they don’t wear dupattas, they flaunt their bodies. The kid will naturally get attracted to her.”

Kid?? How easily the perpetrator is turned into an innocent victim.

And yet, I, like yourself, am complicit in this situation.

We are complicit because our rage remains individual, we don’t pick up the courage to make it a collective anger, while mobs grope and strip a 17-year-old on our streets and gang rapes continue.

Somehow our impotent rage is restricted to Facebook or blogs. When someone is harassed we don’t step up.

My self-righteous anger at the crimes I hear about on TV or read in papers does not encourage action. I sometimes keep quiet when someone teases me at a certain time of day or in certain places in the city. Every time I keep quiet I commit a crime.

I pick up a kurta instead of a spaghetti top just so often. Not because I like the kurta better, but because my freedom needs the sanction of a perverted patriarchy that is easily spooked.

It gets spooked when I talk, it gets spooked when I ask questions, it gets spooked when I even walk out of home.

It is that society which barely registers a creature with a penis holding a cigarette and another with a vagina gets lewdly stared at and commented upon. One where a group beating up, molesting or even raping another represents collective fury against a ‘depraved’ society, yet a woman out dancing ‘calls for it.’

One where a man putting his hand into a woman’s shirt is virile and ‘manly’ and a woman sporting a cleavage is a dirty whore.

It has nothing to do with who wears what and I am sure the women would agree. I know I have been harassed even on days I have worn a kurta.

It also does not have anything to do with who drinks what.

And if it does, if I am a dirty slut because I wear skirts and drink occasionally, then what about that 14-year-old girl that got raped today? And that 11-year-old pre-pubertal kid? And that year-old toddler?

Given the general consensus with respect to sexual offence, girls are born with an incurable, insatiable lust for violent sex, right?

I have read stories about people righteously defending victims of sexual violence. Only, after they have been violated. I have seen millions ‘like’ it on the great tool of modern movement — Facebook.

I have been one of them too.

And, thus, I continue to write stories — stupidly optimistic, glorifying stories and sometimes I think delusional too.

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33 responses to “A Rape I write

  1. ok first things first ….you write pretty good.
    second. you seem quite indignant of the recent incident and are quite right about it too. There are no second thoughts about the fact that we the men have perpetually plagued your freedom. But there is a reason to it.
    Time and again we have proved we are pigs. Have you ever thought why? Being a guy, here is my perspective. Sex, in India is still considered sacred. And it is scarce. You wont find a single guy, honestly answering, he is getting enough sex. Now, by saying this I, by no means am trying to defend or justify any forced attempts on anybody whatsoever. My point is simple. Our society needs to think about physical relationship in an altogether different manner. People need to be more open about it. After all it is the very basic reason we as life have taken form, to reproduce :D. For God’s sake there are sculptures all over the temples teaching us about it. Now I dont have the least idea what ladies would say to whether or not they are satisfied with their sex lives but one thing I can say for sure is if you are wearing revealing clothes ( i am not drawing a line, but you cannot deny the fact that a short skirt along with a deep neck something isnt revealing ), you WANT TO GET LAID. Being a female you are just searching for better options and being a male I just want to pounce. This is the truth, you cant deny it.
    Lastly, again its our collective fault and we need to change our mindset. Intimacy in India is still a taboo and that is exactly why it is always on our mind. Time and again mankind has proved that is has a tingling towards anything that is kept away from it. You can say we are wrong, but you can’t COMPLETELY blame us. You can completely blame us, but then you cannot expect us to change.

    • Okay, first things first — rape and molestation aren’t about sex. They are about power.
      Secondly, not everything a woman does is for a man. Majority of it is actually for herself. Aparna has already elucidated on that.
      Thirdly, yes, I can completely blame rapists. Clothes don’t commit rape. Men do.
      Fourthly, this won’t change till people like yourself, men and women, change their mindset.
      Fifth, your comment is a manifestation of everything that’s wrong with our society.

  2. “Now I dont have the least idea what ladies would say to whether or not they are satisfied with their sex lives but one thing I can say for sure is if you are wearing revealing clothes ( i am not drawing a line, but you cannot deny the fact that a short skirt along with a deep neck something isnt revealing ), you WANT TO GET LAID. Being a female you are just searching for better options and being a male I just want to pounce. This is the truth, you cant deny it.”

    And Bhishma thats what i think is wrong. a woman wearing a short skirt and a t shirt is just that… wearing it… coz she thinks she looks good in it. it is not about attracting male sexual attraction. it is about being a part of a modern evolving society, following trends. I am a fashion designer, with a healthy… more than healthy sex life… i love wearing short skirts/ spaghetti tops even when im out with my brothers… does that make me a sex starved indian? just my clothes make me how you want to judge me. we want to get laid… yes… by force… F**K NO…
    If Being a male “all you want to do is pounce”, go to hogwarts learn how to turn yourself into a tiger and do so. I wouldnt mind hunting down one for humanity sake. Your perverted sense of chauvinism is derogatory and insulting both to women and men.

    “You can say we are wrong, but you can’t COMPLETELY blame us. You can completely blame us, but then you cannot expect us to change.”
    Again
    YOU ARE WRONG. and I CAN blame you completely… you have a libido, i understand. get a girl, a guy, a horse, i dont mind. but u cant just ‘pounce’ on a girl because she was wearing a short skirt a cleavage showing top.
    And if you are man enough… i can and will expect you to change… except.. i would much rather castrate men like you

  3. excellent and true, aesha.

  4. good post btw Aesha…

  5. Very well expressed…collective anger is the only way out…!!

  6. Aparna, twice have you mentioned about hunting me down and castrating me. Let me ask you a question. you might have got lewd comments from men, how many times have stopped to do the same to them. Never, you cam home, you wrote a blog about it. So, I will take you are among the speaking lot.
    Do not give the trend bull crap here. If you would like, go read about social psychology and you will know why and how trends actually evolve in the first place.
    I never said wearing revealing clothes make you sex starved. It makes you show your interest in it and i think you agreed to it. And i never okayed using force.
    About changing. As i said do whatever you want and see what happens. I have been seeing the same news of rapes and post rape demonstrations since years now, and nothing has actually changed.
    The last thing, I still understand and in fact respect the fact women are indignant, but let us not get personal here. I want to solve such problems as much as you do. Probably more. By thinking rationally over it. You on the other hand talk about castrating men. In fact, you have proved my point was correct. You too are a victim of the same mindframe those rapists had.Think over it.

  7. Ok Bhishma, as a man, I want to tell you a few things. Whatever you’ve said above (with all its reasoning and logic and research and social psychology) sounds like nothing but a defense of rapists. Are you trying to explain why rape happens? Then in all humility, I will tell you that your reasoning is not only wrong, but misguided. You are definitely right about us being a repressed country where sex is taboo (not sacred at all, because believe me, if it was ‘sacred’, we’d be somewhere else). And let me also tell you that the number of women who get raped aren’t raped because they’re seen wearing short and revealing clothes. These are women in villages and tribal areas who haven’t even seen the inside of a club, let alone shopped for a mini-skirt.

    Rape is NOTHING but a display of a man’s power to subjugate a woman. It begins and ends with that. As derivative of rape as power tool, a drunken mob in Guwahati feels justified in showing a girl her ‘rightful’ place by molesting her ins public. The message here wasn’t “ooh, we’re drunk and we’re repressed and we wanna fuck so let’s ‘pounce’ on this girl”. It was simply: “You are a girl, and your place is at home washing our undies and bearing our children. And cooking. That’s it.” So by this reasoning, your logic about sexual attraction, even when ignited by a woman’s revealing clothes, being the seed of rape, doesn’t count. I have felt sexually attracted to hundreds of women wearing short clothes, especially when I’m a few drinks down. But by the Grace of the Almighty, my parents and family taught me how to behave myself. I get great sex, but without having to give in to my ugly side, to my primal instinct to, as you term it, ‘pounce’. There’s a word for it: wooing. Not rape.

    And finally, no matter what the motivation. A rape is always, without ANY exception, a man’s conscious choice and decision. It is physically impossible to forcefully copulate with a woman in case you’re too far gone with drugs and/or alcohol. To put it simply, you won’t be able to get it up. So a man capable of having a hard on is ALWAYS in enough senses to make the decision to rape. By that logic, he can also make a decision to walk away, albeit with a hard on that’s not getting any for the time being.

    I don’t believe in insulting people on public forums, because I’m sure you’re a great friend and family member to many people who think the world of you. However, when you put half-baked thoughts and theories out on blogs dealing with sensitive issues, I feel it’s important that you do your research and form a balanced opinion. In this case, you did invite the criticism upon yourself. But I still hope you’ll check yourself the next time you see a sexy girl and feel like ‘pouncing’. If nothing else, think of a sister or a cousin. And if then, while thinking of your sister, you can apply your own logic to the cause of rape and find it justifiable, then I invite you to end your life as an example to the rest of the men who may think like you.

    Varun

    • Thank you Varun, you have actually elucidated on my blog and explained a few things I touched upon.
      And Bhishma, I am going to reiterate some things I, and subsequently Varun, said because I think it didn’t register. Rape is NOT about sex, it’s about power dynamics.
      Clothes are chosen by women not to incite men, though the famous male ego may not be able to accept that. The basic motive for choice of clothes is a little bit of feminine vanity.
      Aparna’s response was strongly-worded, but your comment was pretentious and I can understand her annoyance. It reflects her anger against the mindset.
      You asked her if she ever turned “to do the same” to men passing lewd comments on her. Well, most women are far too sensible to do that. However, they do protest. They protest till they reach a point of a certain amount of tiredness because we actually face the “nothing changes” situation while people like you remain distant witnesses.
      And last, I find it particularly disconcerting that you “understand and respect” women being indignant because the clear implication is that you, or men in general, are not, while any sensible person certainly should be.

  8. Thanks Aesha.

    At the risk of rambling, I’ll add another small but important point. Even if we are to take a man’s ‘natural’ instincts as an admissible argument (which it obviously isn’t) , then we challenge the concept of civiisation as a whole. For what is civilisation and culture, if not the taming of our natural, ‘animal’ instincts for the greater good?

  9. Varun its sad to see your comment trying to justify itself with the ‘ think of your sister’ just like the way aparna mentioned of brothers. It shows nothing but the weakness in your argument. Try and find yourself what percentage of rapes victims are actually siblings? So, I will say it is idiotic to say the least. And please don’t spare the good words, it doesn’t make you or me look any better.
    One thing I admit to have completely missed is that a reason for rapes is power. Yes it is. ( which also explains husbands raping their wives )
    But I refuse to accept that the primary reason for rape is not libido, which in case of the rapes in villages is even more repressed.
    I offered my opinions whats wrong in the society as a whole and I will stick to it as I know that there is never a single wrong end. And would like to hear your solution for that matter.

  10. Thanks aesha… and yeah varun did put it better than i did.
    Bhishma, primary reason for rape isnt libido… read up yourself. Useless arguing with you, i would love to be as insulting as i could, being a woman in a country where many men like you have a funny sense of machoism. where lewd comments and rape are justified by men like you. but gaah. why waste my time? I would much rather teach my children self defence in case of a situation such as this and teach them to fight and stand up when they have to. Thankfully my parents have managed that. and i sincerely would like others to do the same. and learn it themselves.

    Rape isnt justified, and i dont support the recent cases of women doing it either. Men are men, they like a woman, they say so, but again “wooing” is a concept that eludes a lot of people.

  11. Bhishma, I’m glad you accepted part of my reason. Here’s why libido isn’t the reason for rape. It’s because people who have libido can resort to the oldest profession in the world (prostitution: which men even in village have easy recourse to and use often), get married, or get married AND have mistresses and prostitutes. Libido, far from being a reason for rape, can’t even make a pathetic excuse for it. I’m really sorry to hear you stick to your point, but obviously, you’ve convinced yourself that even at that ONE count, rape is somehow explained (and maybe even justifiable). There is NO explanation for rape. Not libido. Not alcohol. Not revealing clothes. Nothing but the desire for a man to subjugate a woman and humiliate her. And if that’s your definition of libido, then I’m sorry for you.

    As for you dismissing my ‘think of your sister’ point, let me also point out that the raped women you’re talking about and holding up as cock-teases are also someone’s sisters and daughters. So if you can’t conjure enough enough human empathy within your own mind and try to overlook it through weak statistics, I fear for you. Have you heard of incest and incestuous rapes? They happen. Brothers rape sisters. Fathers rape daughters. Sons rape mothers. Hate to break it to you, but we’re not living in the fabled ‘Sat Yuga’ of ancient Vedic lore.

    I urge you to read more about the act of rape before you make more of a fool of yourself on this forum. I feel sorry and concerned for you. And may your libido never show itself at the wrong moment. Because obviously, you’ve got your alibi ready.

  12. Aparna, I feel you, and want to add something for you here. Bhishma isn’t trying to justify rape. He’s only trying to say that he believes the reason for rape is repression of the male sexuality. What he doesn’t realise is that rape, no matter how repressed a man is, is always a conscious choice. So his arguments are simpily not relevant to the issue at hand. Instead of feeling angry with him, we should be concerned that a young man who doesn’t support rape is actually trying to find the reasons for it in the wrong places. He needs sympathy and education, not our collective abhorrence, even though he may seem to outwardly deserve it.

  13. Bhishma when I walk in to a shop I see lots of things on display. They WANT TO GET SOLD and I want them! If I steal them out of the shop and some one catches me I don’t turn round and blame the shop owner and absolve myself of guilt. I very very rightly get punished for stealing.

    Now the only problem with that is it seems to justify your stance on girls that wear revealing clothes want to get laid. Does that mean a girl with a short skirt wants to get laid by anyone? You deny her the freedom to choose?

    In a world of anarchy Physical Power wins out. You want, you take. India is not in anarchy, Physical Power does not win out. You want, you ask. If you are denied, you leave with dignity with out taking a poor girls life in your hands and suffocating all that is good.

    In the end it doesn’t really matter if she walks down the road naked. The only time a girl “asks for it” is when she litteraly asks you for sex, and I doubt you will be that lucky.

    In the end, in a freedom loving democracy you do not get to chose when to remove from someone their right to choose, lest someone else do the same to you.

    Adam

  14. Wow. Adam, thanks for your great metaphor. If, even after this explanation, Bhishma continues to believe that the repressed male sexuality is the root cause of rape, then I’ll have no hope left for him whatsoever.

  15. Thanks Adam for elucidating everything in such a wonderful manner. I think it helps me explain my point better.
    Yes, the thief should not steal. Yes the thief rightly gets punished. But does that stops thefts. NO. The only way to stop stealing is equality. Hence the scarcity I mentioned. And even then if some body steals, he’s kleptomaniac. And hence the libido thing.
    As you correctly stated, if one wants it, he should ask for it or other wise leave. Unfortunately in some cases it does not happen. Those are called rapes. And it is at this point the physical power comes into play. why is not any body able to see why the rapist is bent upon using physical power.
    What everyone here in the discussion is talking about how it is wrong and what to do after it. You have got to accept the fact that bad things happen and no matter how tough and strict rules you make you can never stop them. You have to go why it happens and work over it.
    I asked for anyone to offer a solution but unfortunately it has not come up.

    Varun. You, sir, are an idiot. I asked you in my first reply to spare the eulogy in your efforts to demean my opinion. But no. Even when you try empathize with my point that I am against rapes, you use the word sympathy. You live in such high opinion of yourself and such a hollow one that you have to use words like sympathy and hope in every statement you make. Stop it. I do not need your sympathy and hope. Try and learn from the way Adam put his opinion.

  16. Bhishma, I will indeed learn from Adam. But you obviously can’t learn from anyone. It is because I have a high opinion of myself that I choose to ignore your language. I never need to demean anyone’s opinion, but you find it necessary to call me names. That’s fine. You have your opinion (in which I’m an idiot), and I have mine (in which you’re in need of serious help). So let’s leave it at that.

    Moving on, here’s why the rapist is bent upon using physical power. Because he can. It’s an easier alternative to ‘asking’ especially if the person you want something from happens to be weaker than yourself. You’re berating us all for not offering a solution, but your own is a juvenile effort at ‘equality’ to counter ‘scarcity’. Can you hear yourself? These are live human beings. Not manufactured resources to be distributed to every horny guy by a communist government to prevent rape.

    Which is why rules are put in place. Even if they’re not followed, they should be. That some choose not to follow them isn’t the explanation as to why they’re not followed. Rapes happen, yes, but always by choice. So there’s a need to educate people. Not give them girls to have sex with and cross our fingers and hope they don’t rape someone later.

  17. Also Bhishma, let me point out a simple reality to you.

    Rape is never instigated by or through denied pleasure. So your libido argument doesn’t stand. Pleasure, or the desperate need for a man to get it, is never the reason for rape. Rape is simply a tool to show who’s boss. It has to do with deeper thoughts, confidence issues, yearnings, and feelings of inferiority than fickle satisfaction. It’s about schadenfreude. And in our socio-cultural context, it’s a display of patriarchal power. So please stop blaming the libido for something that has its roots in something you haven’t even begun to understand. Read. Research. Learn. And stop theorising.

    This will be my last comment on this forum, because I can’t explain any more to you. Aparna was right; why waste my time? Oh well, we live and learn.

    • Thank you once again for your responses, Varun. But unfortunately when someone is resistant to change there isn’t much anyone can do. That’s a larger issue, really.

  18. Kleptomaniac will typically not steal a materially valuable thing like a jewel. They picks up the things has practically not of much resell value or enjoyable itself. If such fantastic logic existed in Law (IPC and Cr.Pc. ; the Bare Acts) then the Lawyers defending a thief would take the opportunistic benefit of claiming to be a Kleptomaniac. Then a decoit would be just a Kleptomaniac using more than the usual force needed to be a Kleptomania to procure his or her desired stuffs.

    If a country does not make the Laws to strict, then intelligent peoples like someone here will commit a crime on idiots like us. Its the fear of punishment that keeps the criminal minded in control. Otherwise there would be no punishment for a smallest crime in any country. If we travel without the ticket, that is also a crime, that has described punishments. If there were no punishment, its quite obvious that a greater percentage might try to get a free ride.

    I am among the fools, that is the basic reason I think about the fools, may be more fools than me. When Sir Isaac Newton described his knowledge with the metaphor, like a boy playing on the sea-shore, considering his works and knowledge, I have agreed many a times that I am a fool. I do not feel ashamed.
    If such no boundary in the name of Freedom of Speech existed, a criminal would probably love to salute the respected Judge with a slang instead of His Highness or Sir / Madam.

    If anyone has uncontrolled libido, that can point towards the fact that, he or she has been turned to a Maniac. There are separate rules for the maniacs. There are special places to keep the maniacs safe and other peoples safe.

  19. Bhishma, I think there is a communication breakdown happening between you, and Rana

    I think it is safe to say that it has been established by countless studies that rape has nothing to do with libido or lust (http://geshem.bi.org/patternsa.html), and everything to do with power. Women have been ‘objects’ for men since forever. The Old Testament says a woman is a man’s possession, and rape is a crime against the honour of the man who ‘possesses’ her. Islamic law is similar, and only a few weeks ago, I read a case of a teenager who was stoned to death because she was gang-raped. Apparently, the judges figured that she ‘must have tempted’ the men in some way. A 13 year old… walking alone to her grandmother’s house, and raped on the way… was stoned to death while the men went scot-free.

    The Hindu laws aren’t any better, with Manu declaring that a woman has no rights over her father’s property/wealth and is one of her father’s/husband’s ‘possessions’.

    Women have been (very reluctantly) given equal rights, but most men still don’t believe they are equal. This is not just in India, but all over the world.

    You (Bhishma) say that we should talk about the cause and solution, and offer libido as the cause and equality (by which you mean every man should have access to a woman, I assume) as the solution.
    I beg to differ. Libido cannot be blamed for rape because if it was, rape would be rampant (well, more rampant than it is now), and your idea of equality is definitely not the solution because that means regressing to the point where a woman becomes an object again.

    According to me, and pretty much everyone who has been writing here in this forum, rape is a show of power. The man is telling the woman ‘This is your place in my society, and I am showing you how powerless you are. I am putting you back in your place.’ Whether that man is a higher caste telling a lower caste woman her place, or a ‘Protector of Indian Values’ telling a woman what happens if she ‘forgets her values and culture and clothing’, or even a stronger male telling a weaker male that he is the boss, it is the ultimate weapon in humiliating and subjugating another person.

    There are only two solutions I can think, for this issue. The first is that every woman should know basic self-defense. This helps a woman prevent rape, molestation, and other threats to her person.

    The other, Long-Term, solution is for every parent to teach their sons to respect women, and their daughters to respect themselves. If every man in the world truly believed that women were his equals in all respects, rape would not happen, or at least become a rarity. Men should learn and BELIEVE that women are not someone’s possessions. A man should understand that just because the woman is a woman, does not mean the only way he can be a man is by humiliating her. A man should know that just because the female is his daughter or sister, it does not mean they are his ‘possessions’ to be enjoyed instead of cherished.

    Rape is not a spur-of-the-moment, crime of passion. It is very simply a man’s mindset coming through because a woman’s independence threatened to emasculate him. Masculinity should really not be that fragile.

    People should learn and understand that when a woman is raped, she was NOT ‘asking for it’, or ‘deserved it because of what she was wearing’, or ‘She was a prostitute, and it’s okay to rape her’. There is NO justification for rape.

    I find it disturbing that people will sit and discuss whether the rape was ‘justified’ in a situation before condemning the rapist(s). No, it is NEVER justified. No, Molestation or rape does not make you more of a man. No, no woman EVER ‘deserved’ to be raped.

  20. so much to say to Bhishma….bt dude, get a life…go somewhere, travel a little, have some fun…ur ideas are so warped that I think people like Varun, Aesha and Aparna have patience the size of an Everest to reply to you…honestly dude, if a woman wears revealing clothes blah blah blah….thats ur clue that she wants to get laid?? hahahaha…see this is why watching too much of porn can be dangerous…the world is not naughty America, bt people like you surely seem to think that way, which is why u talk of a society where Sex is considered sacred…heheeh…even as a complete atheist, I say God Bless you…with sarcasm of course.

  21. oh btw, that anon comment was by me, Amit…sorry, new to blogging and all…

  22. I’d love to put my thought on the issue, however all the points have been covered by other commenter. Therefore, the least I can say is, Great work Aesha! You aren’t just a passionate writer, but a logically correct Thinker!

  23. Thank you, Samsujata. It feels great to know that someone liked something written by me. Its very encouraging.

  24. Reblogged this on Measuring life with coffee spoons and commented:

    I am one of the women who walk through deserted stretches at night to take a public conveyance. What happened to the girl in the Vasant Vihar rape case could happen to me next…it could happen to any of of my many friends…it could happen to you. Was it her fault? Will it be mine? Yours?

  25. Hello, its good paragraph regarding media print, we all be aware of media is a great source of facts.

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