When they don’t even understand crime, how are they ever going to begin controlling it?

Andhra Pradesh Police chief Dinesh Reddy has stated that women who wear fashionable clothes provoke men, leading to increase in rape cases. Claiming that modern women are more vulnerable to rape, Reddy said that fashionable dresses worn by them was one of the factors leading to increase in rape cases in the country. [Link]

Why do those who are supposed to be informed, support and encourage crimes with their ignorance? Did this man who should definitely know better ever check the statistics to find out how many rape victims are ‘fashionable’? I have blogged about [Click to read Who Gets Raped link] this dangerous myth –

1. It ensures the criminal is not blamed, makes them fearless. Like this Radio cabbie so recently who had no fear of being arrested, please think, ‘Why was this radio cabbie, a rapist, not afraid of being arrested?

2. It also confuses the criminal, rapists are known to be unsure if rape is a crime or not, ‘The rapists often don’t see their actions as crimes, the police said, and don’t expect the victims to report them.

Younger rapists are being misguided into believing that women must save the culture by dressing according to their approval, or approval of any male who happens to glance at them.

And yet criminals sense they dare not assault every woman dressed in salwar kameez – this leads to resentment and support for incidents like the attack on women in a Mangalore Pub. (Please note, it was planned and not an impulsive act, some men and women thought it was justified because women were fashionable).

3. It makes the victims so ashamed of having asked for the crime, that it discourages them and their families from reporting the crime.

3. It sets a dangerous precedence. The entire system, even the victims start wondering if perhaps they are responsible for the crime. They might wonder, if men in regressive societies where women are not respected or valued are more prone to ‘losing control’? And if that is true, then isn’t chemical castration a more practical solution?

4. Such statements make women and their families feel insecure and leads to girls not being allowed to study, travel, make careers or even walk out of a violent marriage.

Can’t such statements be legally challenged?

Charakan shared a link that confirms that humans and macaque monkeys tend to empathize with those who they feel are like themselves – so I am likely to empathize with women and men who stand for justice and logic, and does that mean those who think men can’t help but rape a fashionably dressed woman – feel they (or their close ones) might do the same if they saw a fashionably dressed woman? I am not being sarcastic – this is a serious question.

To men: Do men who support other rapists (by minimizing or justifying their crimes) think they might rape a woman if she was fashionably dressed?

And to women: Do you think your son, husband, close friends, male relatives might rape a woman if she was wearing ‘fashionable’ clothes?

Here’s another reason to be grateful that we have free social media as a platform to vent our angst. Just when I was feeling hopeless I saw I wasn’t alone. ( Link shared by Charakan.)

A Modest Proposal for the Castration of Male Police Officers : (Andhra Police Chief Dinesh Reddy Holds ‘Fashionable Women’ Responsible for Increase in Rape)

Related posts: (Click to read)

1. Those charged with our safety should have a true understanding of what it is to be a survivor of sexual assault — slut or otherwise.

2. Segregation, lack of sex education and taboos – Indian cities dominate ‘sex’ search online; Pak leads list but 7 Indian cities in top10.

3. Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

4. And just yesterday I blogged about why sexual criminals in India, seem to have no fear of law or social stigma.

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63 thoughts on “When they don’t even understand crime, how are they ever going to begin controlling it?

  1. While this stupid guy’s views shocked me, what shocked me more were the comments on the TOI website featuring this news. Around 70-80% of the commentors were in favor, calling him courageous and applauding him for speaking the truth!

    Apparently all the guys who replied in this way see themselves as potential rapists of “provocatively dressed” women.

    And by “provocatively dressed” they of course mean salwar dupatta as specified by their new hero.

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    • Exactly!..It was frustrating to read the comments on Yahoo nad TOI..almost every male are happily lauding this guy’s thoughts..With these kind of ideas ingrained in the collective psyche of our people, we have a long, long way to go before we can come out of categorizing women as merely mothers,sisters,wives,daughters and sluts and see them as individual human beings with thoughts,desires,ambitions,emotions,goodness,badness and every other thing that characterises human beings.

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    • Not easy on this blog!
      I call this the Tania Mirza method of trying to breast the tape.
      As soon as you get an alert you reserve your place by shooting off a single word and then think later what to say.
      Tania was successful.
      But now everyone has got wise.
      The last time I used this method in the pre-internet days in queues was to keep a towel or napkin or hanky to keep my place for me.
      I have an easier way to be first on a blog.
      I simply choose some other great blogs where the traffic is far less.
      Better luck next time!
      Regards and Happy new Year.
      GV

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    • Here we go again… Where was this guy when the world was talking about Slut Walk. How come he hasn’t rapped women around him guess most are dressed in police uniform or he is saying he is better than other men? World will never be free of morons…
      Peace,
      Desi Girl

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  2. I think a lot of people think like that, IHM. Probably the reason why my father refused to ever allow me to wear denims- something he said my husband would decide if I could, inspite of me ranting against the stricture – and the husband in his turn is uncomfortable with my 10 yr old wearing strappy tops! It might be all due to a protective instinct, but the thinking is skewed, nevertheless!

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    • Read ‘The Good Earth’ by Pearl S Buck. Set in China at a politically turbulant time. There is a scene where hooligans enter into a home with an intention to loot, rape, etc- and find only a 95 year-old woman left behind in the blind rush by the residents to escape. The devils gang-rape her, as she is a woman!

      So nothing to do with nubility or dressing ‘fashionably’! It is more a crime of power.

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      • Agreed.
        It is a brash, naked exhibition of power.
        There is no pleasure involved in rape.
        Natural urge is not a reason but one of the excuses.
        Provocative clothes is also not a reason but another lame excuse.
        I have toyed with a couple of ideas in my mind but have been hesitant to come out with them.
        One is a cell phone for women with a built in pepper spray and also a special button that sends out a special Gps signal to all police stations in the vicinity.
        Our modern gadgets have so many capabilities that most of us don’t use.
        Why not a capability like this?

        The second is for ladies to wear a special ring with a retractable mini needle that can be used to inject the rapist with a special vaccine, a drop of which should be enough.

        What that vaccine should do can be left to one’s preference.
        The least it should do is to render him harmless for a lifetime.
        I know these are not fool proof but some protection is better than no protection.
        Regards
        GV

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      • No point sending a signal to the police stations with police chiefs of this sort. They will probably arrive, deem the victim’s clothing too provocative and tut tut in sympathy at the poor men who were provoked by such shameless clothing as salwar kameezes.

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    • Ah the good old denim, so you haven’t heard of Denim Day. Here you go…
      Denim Day has been internationally celebrated since 1999 in protest of an Italian Supreme Court ruling that overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing jeans.

      In 1992, an 18-year-old girl in Italy was raped by her driving instructor during a driving lesson. He was convicted, but in 1999, the Court overturned the verdict on the premise that the instructor could not have removed the victim’s tight jeans without her assistance.
      Women of the Italian Legislature protested the decision by wearing jeans to work. As news of the decision spread, so did the protest. In April 1999, a social service agency in Los Angeles, California established the first Denim Day in the United States.
      Come April wear you denims to work everyday for a week. 🙂

      Peace,
      Desi Girl
      Come April

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  3. It’s victim blaming, pure and simple. I also feels there’s laziness on his part as well, he simply doesn’t want to want do any about rape.

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  4. The national Commission for women says it is going to take it up with the Union Minister(
    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/dinesh-reddy-incurs-wrath-of-womens-commission/216766-60-121.html), but then it’s not even a slap on the wrist. Then again, the bigger issue is what mentality he(and many men) have – this is going to be a long road – am not sure I’ll see a huge change even if I live to be eighty.

    (UN-SPAMMED BY INDIAN HOMEMAKER)

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  5. Even if a woman should choose to walk nude down the street, this would be zero excuse for someone to harass or assault her in any way. There is absolutely nothing anyone can do to give you the right to violate their personal integrity.

    Apologists of the “she had it coming” variety can find a 100 excuses, to make it seem as if the victim is to blame. But the reality is that every decent person manages to behave in a respectful and polite way towards others, regardless of what clothes they are wearing.

    The few criminals who are unable or unwilling to, have 100% of the blame for the abuse that happens. It’s sad to see the police being part of the problem, instead of part of the solution.

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  6. I felt just as enraged watching this on TV. How can the chief of Police of a state get away with making a statement like this?! Shame on him!

    To your point, my Dad is someone who thinks “decent” women ought to dress “a certain way” and while it’s very hard for me to think of him as someone who could potentially rape a woman who’s not dressed a certain way, I do know he thinks women need to be controlled, and that it’s the responsibility of the men in their lives. (And that I’m the exception because I’m ABOVE all that, which again is because HE has raised me a certain way.)

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  7. Ah well the mentality of MEN .. and here we are fighting anti corruption this and that and all .. heck.. when such mentality exists how can we even think of some change …

    and TOI is great it gets the TRP rating up by putting and higlighting such things MERA BHARAT MAHAAN …

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  8. “a link that confirms that humans and macaque monkeys tend to empathize with those who they feel are like themselves” – Just to clarify, mirror neuron researchers (as far as I know) do not claim this fact. I have reviewed a bit of the literature in this field, and the essential findings are what have been described in the link – single monkey motor cortex neurons fire when the monkey performs an action, or when it sees someone performing the same action in the same context. Tests have been conducted for simple motor actions. We do not know if this phenomenon has an emotional equivalent – whether a monkey ‘feels’ that he is also moving the cup as the human in front of his is doing it. Links to empathy are still being studied, nothing as far as I know has been established yet. So claiming that ‘humans and macaque monkeys tend to empathize with those who feel like themselves’ is a large stretch IMO 🙂 The reason I clarify is because I see a lot of people twisting biological evidence to suit their needs, especially if this involves speaking out against women. I don’t want someone to make an argument that a man feels like raping a woman because her “provocative” dressing makes his “provocative mirror neuron” fire, or some such bullshit 😛

    “Do you think your son, husband, close friends, male relatives might rape a woman if she was wearing ‘fashionable’ clothes?”
    I have heard men talk condescendingly of women who dress in ways they don’t like. One person spoke about this girl in an adjacent car at the traffic signal who was wearing a spaghetti top ‘with her breasts hanging out’ (his words). He actually rolled down his window, knocked on hers, and once he had got her attention asked her “Is this how your parents want you to be seen by random men? Do you think it is safe for you?” The best part was he genuinely thought he was doing her a favour, because it might not be safe for her if she dressed that way. Mr.Reddy might talk about provocative dressing to excuse lack of police action, but the root cause lies in the minds of men such as him, who rape a woman with words if she does not conform. The men in my life would not rape a woman, but they might still judge her for what she wears and how she talks and blame her attitude for provoking male attention or rape. It’s high time the notion of women’s safety was redefined. Safety is not “not being raped”, “not being groped”, “not being sexually harassed”. Safety is when I can go where I please, do what I like, wearing what I will, without the thought even entering my mind that my action might ‘provoke’ misbehavior.

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    • Nitya, there has been studies in humans with amputated limbs where it showed they feel the pain or touch on the ‘phantom limb’ when some one else’s limb is touched in front of them. Mirror neurons are considered to be imitation neurons which helped us to imitate others. This gave us a big survival advantage as a technology like starting a fire could be learned by each member of the species with ease. In monkeys it is not that well developed.As mirror neurons evolved over millions of years it might have helped us to view things in other’s perspective. Thus when we see scene of suffering we feel a little bit of it ourselves. Autism is considered by many as a disease with dysfunctional mirror neurons. It is early days yet but an exciting field. V.S.Ramachandran’s ‘Tell tale Brain’ is a good book even for laywomen to know more about Mirror neurons. Here is a link to one of his article
      .http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/ramachandran/ramachandran_p1.html

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  9. It would be nice if the cops/media published some rape stats for India.

    1) What percentage of rape victims were wearing clothing considered revealing in India (short skirts, tops that show cleavage etc.)

    2) What percentage were absolutely clothed in conservative wear (saris, salwars etc.)

    3) How many were raped by people they know?

    4) How many were raped by a relative/co-worker?

    5) How many were illiterate?

    6) How many were employed, and spoke English?
    etc.

    That would help mitigate such myths.

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    • Nish I think such public servants should be educated about their responsibilities. More than anybody else they should have a clear idea of what are facts and what kind of myths make their job difficult and innocent citizens unsafe.

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      • @RenKiss,

        I am not sure of the precise legal definition but forced sexual intercourse (requires actual penetration) is considered rape. Anything else usually falls under molestation or attempted rape.

        That said I am curious how the definition of rape relates to my post above.

        Like

  10. so why are the plantation owners raping their rural young women workers ?

    is it because they are fashionaly dressed or because they are woman ?

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  11. I wonder how DGP V Dinesh Reddy Explains assault on 3 years olds. Was it coz their skirts were too short or they were too much in tune with fashion? and Salwar Kameez is fashionable? Here we were all thinking PC made Saree more inline with Fashion! As for fashionable clothes making people more “vulnerable” to rape.. Who knew Saree was a weapon of self defense.. Mr. Dinesh Reddy just became the Einstein of Fashion

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  12. Good post. Most men and women believes in this patriarchal myth that if women dress conservatively rape will be less. But they never have any statistics to prove it. One reason for a statistical increase in rape is because more women and families are brave enough to report it.

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  13. Such kind of statement from people in authority just reinforce this belief and actions of other sexist men. Being in such a position, he has acted irresponsible and imposed his personal views on women. Its like make any statement on women and it does not matter. But it matters when a women (Kushboo) speaks the truth and reality about women. If this goes against the great Indian culture, poor Kushboo. She had apologise right? and she was just an actress!
    Why cant we demand an apology for such a discriminating, closed-minded, gender statement?

    For your question, many men/women in my life are controlling – my habits, my dressing, my movements. They think that wearing ‘fashionable clothes’ is not right – for whatever reasons, but the common one is culture! I fight and do what I want. As of now the men I know are incapable of rape:).. Since that too is not in culture I guess.. I hope it does not get included.

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  14. I’m going to rape the next fashionably/provocatively dressed man I see. God help me, because I can’t help if I’m provoked, can I? And he should have definitely thought twice before he wore that sexy cool blue tee. Not my mistake. I hope the national commission for women(I would have said female DGP, but there are none, so I’ll stick with NCW) defends me.

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    • I know you were being sarcastic, but the analogy is not correct. In our society and possibly due to differences in brain wiring between genders, it’s highly unlikely that a woman would ever need to “rape” a man, because chances are quite good that the man would consent to sex (which automatically cancels out the act from being categorized as rape).

      Like

  15. That educated illiterate moron should have added:
    1. If a person’s house is burgled, it is the house-owner’s fault for not having enough security
    2. If a car hits a pedestrian while going over the speed limit, it is the pedestrian’s fault for crossing a road where there are cars
    3. If we have people are creating and using counterfeit notes, it is the fault of the mint for not having designs that are more difficult to copy
    In short India doesn’t need a police force and he should not have a job, as potential victims have to resolve the crime problem themselves.

    It sounds horrible to say this, but such people will only learn if a crime is perpetrated on them. Let a gang of women castrate him and then he can be told, “Unfortunately you were born a man with a physical appendage that could be cut off and the women were tempted to do so. Now go live in peace”.

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  16. I’m not in the least bit horrified by this. I’ve heard this ‘they are asking for it’ argument by many people, many times over. Including policemen. Including even an ex-friend (that explains the ex). That’s just how these people think.

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  17. Rape is a serious crime. The perpetrator is the rapist. It isn’t up to the police to pass opinions and judgements about provocating clothes or behaviour but to register the case and let it undergo due process. Wonder why we hear of so many policemen who don’t register rape cases in India.

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  18. Here’s an Youtube video from a new year eve scene in New Delhi a few days back. Says it all.

    Video Removed

    The guy who took the video was more interested in getting the lady’s face than capturing the molesters.

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  19. I’m in complete dilemma about how to react to this, on one hand I find this moron’s rationality in painfully comedic, makes me wonder if politicians can get any dumber, seriously this is as low as it gets. On the other hand I feel indignant and outraged that someone (someone who is supposed to be leading the crowd) can just make a comment like this and get away with it.

    Seriously are we gonna use the same logic for theft ?, lets say that one night someone breaks into my house and steals money, is the judiciary then going to turn around and say “Well you should have used stronger locks to the doors or should have stayed awake to make sure none was breaking in, you provoked the criminal” ??????!!!!!!!

    And whats with subjecting women as objects of desire that should keep their sexuality contained so men won’t get provoked and rape them. Does that at all sound familiar ??? , Hmmmm where have I heard that before ?. Ooooh thats right , Saudi Arabia where they ask women to cover up so men won’t be provoked. You know what else they do there ? beat women up for driving , and from the looks of it that is where we are also heading as long as we tolerate such remarks.

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  20. They should sentence the AP Police Chief to some community service ( preferably work involving his interacting closely with salwar kameez and (eek!) denim clad women) for that statement! I wish Police training involved some basic human rights awareness classes – but you’d imagine that someone who’s an IPS would be more educated than this stone age goon! Ugh.

    And I wish rapist convictions included a “Beware: Sex Offender” tattoo on their foreheads as part of their sentence.

    Like

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