What did Abhijit Mukherjee mean when he described the anti rape protesters as ‘dented and painted women’ and disco going youth?
Maybe he wanted to make the anti-rape protesters look frivolous. And how do we make Indian women and young Indians look bad or frivolous?
Show them as ‘too westernised’ to care about Indian values like a woman’s honor/modesty [Ek Hindustani ladki ki Izzat], and what else is a sexual assault if not loss of honor or modesty of a woman? (Remember, Zinda Laash.)
“Women who are protesting have no connection with ground reality. These pretty ladies coming out to protest are ‘highly dented and painted” said Abhijit Mukherjee.
Many politicians seem to believe that the best way to make women look not worthy of respect is to show that they are not Adarsh Bhartiya Naari, [Link to the kind of mindset they seem to be appealing to].
Wipe your lipstick before you condemn a politician. (BJP General Secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, soon after 26/11).
But here’s why, despite these patriarchal voices, there’s hope.
‘To the Young Women and Men of Delhi: Thinking about Rape from India Gate’ - by Shuddhabrata Sengupta.
“stop treating rape as a matter of honor and dishonor altogether, and expose and boycott those who would insist it is a matter of honor and dishonour. Treat it as ordinary, disgusting, evil violence, as the naked expression of power, and you will see that the expression of power is never challenged by the demand for death. It is easy for those who think of women as property to demand death for those who violate their property rights over women. That is why many men who will demand death penalty for rapists will happily go home and rape their wives. (Because in their understanding they cannot ‘rape’ their wives, only strangers can rape ‘their’ wives.) If you want to end rape, to end the forced sexual subjugation of one human being by another. You will have to look elsewhere than the gallows for comfort.
Remember, the rapist’s intention is not sexual pleasure (because the ONLY way in which pleasure can be had is through the reciprocity of desire, through love, through erotic engagement, not through taking away someone’s agency by force and without consent). Rape is not about sex, it is about humiliation, its intention is precisely to make the raped person think that now that they have been subjected to sexual violence, their life will no longer be worth living. The rapist and Sushma Swaraj are in perfect agreement about the worth of the life of a rape victim. The reason why some men rape women or others who are in their power is because they believe that some lives are more important, worth more, than others. That is the key to patriarchy.“
“Where does this sense of impunity that seems to govern the actions of so many men come from? It cannot come from biology alone. Because, thankfully, not all men, not even all men in positions of real or imagined power, are rapists. Rapists choose to access a cultural code of permission. There is something in the cultural baggage or vocabulary available to us all that normalizes sexual violence, even renders it trivial, as a bit of horseplay at worst, or the hallowed order sanctified by tradition, at best.”
Do read the entire article here: http://kafila.org/2012/12/23/to-the-young-women-and-men-of-delhi-thinking-about-rape-in-delhi/
Note: ‘Denting and Painting’ is a commonly used term, generally used by car- mechanics who beat the dents in the car body, back into shape, and then apply paint over scratches to make a dented and scratched car look new.