Of course it was unsafe to ask for lift, but what exactly were their options?

What if the women were rushing, due to some emergency, to be with their in laws? Or if they were coming home from the airport or the railway station? Would the rapists then deserve a stricter sentence?

What do most Indian women (or men?) do in similar circumstances? How do you manage when you have to go somewhere late in the evening?

Two women gang-raped in moving car in Gurgaon

The girls alleged that the men took turns in raping them inside the car, a police officer said, adding that a medical examination confirmed rape.

The victims lodged a complaint that they were offered a lift in the car outside a Gurgaon pub last night where they had attended a party, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Maheshwar Dayal told reporters.

“The two women took lift from MG Road to Delhi last night in the car. After travelling for some distance, two more men boarded the car,” Dayal said. [link]

Although the first sentence mentions that medical examination confirmed rape, many comments suspect the women were sex workers who were not paid and hence falsely alleged rape.

Or maybe they think sex workers’ are paid to get raped by men so that men’s daughters and sisters are not sexually assaulted? Many Indians don’t know that sex workers are equal citizens and it is a crime to have sex with them without their consent.

Here’s a comment:

Why!! ??
Why did they ask for lift ??
Is the location of lift (the Pub) right place to ask for lift ??
May be they are hookers and when they were not paid they called it rape.

Not all girls are same dude!!

Of course it was unsafe to ask for lift, but was there safer night time public transport available?

What were their options?

Option 1: Ideally and most of the police, neighborhood uncles and political leaders prefer this option – women should not go to pubs at all. In fact, many believe that women should not drink at all, liquor in India is made and sold for men’s consumption.

Option 2: If you do go, then leave before 8 pm [Link] while the rest of the people (i.e. men) continue to enjoy.

[Andhra government has actually reserved pubs for men after 10 pm [Link]. So now, in Andhra, if a rapist can prove that the victim was coming from a pub when she was assaulted, she can be legally blamed for ‘asking for it’?]

Option 3: Drive your own car and hope there are no break downs on the way home.

Please note: If you are with male friends then you are asking for some serious victim blaming, because you are going against Indian culture. Going with your brother/cousin doesn’t help much either – link.

Option 4: If you choose to not go to the pub and decide instead to order pizza at home – that would be asking for it too. Mumbai pizza delivery boy tries to rape, kill woman.

Option 5: So why not cook your own meal instead and serve it to your family (not friends, because female friends should be in their owns homes after dark, and male friends are against Indian culture) with a pleasing smile? There’s is joy in not doing what you feel like doing. Dancing, drinking, ‘drinking and driving’ are men’s vices.

UPDATE: There seem to be two versions of the same news. Did they take lift or did they hire a cab? Do they just get blamed or do they get blamed a little more? The good thing is, a medical examination was done and  the police is looking for the rapists.

Gurgaon, June 27 (IANS) …

The two women had hired a car outside the Sahara Mall for Rs.300 to go to Tughlaqabad area in south Delhi. The driver, however, let two other men into the car. [Two Delhi women gang-raped in Gurgaon, five held]

Don’t such crimes take place before dark?

There was less victim blaming when a 24-year-old BPO employee was abducted and gang-raped in a moving car in Gurgaon. The survivor had just finished her afternoon shift at 7pm and was waiting for a cab outside her office at the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, when the incident occurred. Read more: [Link]

In the same city, on the same road, a woman was raped when she was traveling in a Radio Cab [Link], and another was accompanied by her brother in a cab, but was dragged out of the cab and raped [link], and yet another was molested by a mob [Link].

And yet, these women danced on these streets after dark. [Link]

Wouldn’t public spaces become safer for all women if there were more women out on the streets at all hours?

Related Posts:

In Gurgaon, jobs, safety and roads after 8 pm, reserved for men?

Pubs in Andhra to be officially Reserved For Men?

How does the Gurgaon administration make it even more difficult for women to find employment, and stay safe on Gurgaon roads?

Gurgaon pub attendant gang rape victim: Went willingly? Refused medical test?

India leads in sexual violence, worst on gender equality: Study

Why was this radio cabbie, a rapist, not afraid of being arrested?

Kai Po Che : Through feminist eyes…

The night women were safe on Gurgaon roads.

One Billion Rising, Gurgaon : Photographs.


42 thoughts on “Of course it was unsafe to ask for lift, but what exactly were their options?

  1. I heard some people discussing this in the morning today..

    This is what they had to say:

    1. Did the girls drink? Drunk girls may have provoked the men.
    2. What were they wearing?
    3. If they went to the pub, they should have had someone of their family to pick them up, or driven in their own car.

    and so on..

    My response:
    1. Just because a girl is drunk, doesn’t mean she is provoking your for rape. She is NOT asking to be raped by drinking alcohol. Nobody ASKS for rape.
    2. Why does it matter, what they were wearing?
    3. So, they didn’t take their own car (probably they thought that it is not safe to drive after drinking and they couldn’t get a cab so asked for a lift, they could have any reason of their own though.) Does the reason that they don’t have a car account for them to be raped? Even if they had a car, there are cases of drivers raping women. If they had someone pick them up, there are cases of friends and family raping women.

    So basically, these are all just excuses we have for people raping women. Excuses that justify the women being raped as a fault of their own.



    • Almost all the comments thought the girls asked for it – or they were sex workers because which good Indian girls would ask for lift from strangers in the middle of the night? And somehow all this was more important than the actual crime.


      • You see, what people say:

        Don’t go outside, and if you go outside take all these forms of care to not get raped.

        If you stay inside the house, keep yourself covered from the family members.. .and don’t get raped.

        So be it family,friends or strangers, don’t get raped by them..
        We teach women to not get raped, and not men to not rape. Dumbasses


        • Just read a comment on my blog “A disastrous date with the television”. This is a land where a woman says, ““I’m sure my neighbor’s 8 year old daughter is being molested by the father. And I can’t blame him because she is so out of shape and is always walking around with a haggard look.”
          What should we do with such a breed of humans who excuse even child abusers?!


    • Well I was just wondering. Am I allowed to slap and kick drunk men? They “provoke” me so much! And abusers, wife-beaters,rapists “provoke” me even more.


  2. Most distressing.
    Three cases in the space of one week.
    The Gurgaon case you are referring to and the Mumbai Pizza boy case you have mentioned are probably receiving more prominence than the third case in Manipal where a girl was raped by three auto drivers.
    It’s heartening to note that the public uproar that resulted goaded the police into action and they have managed to apprehend the culprits, two of whom attempted suicide. I am happy they were not successful. They don’t deserve the quick release that suicide offers. Let’s hope they get the punishment they deserve.

    In this Gurgaon case, I am not concerned if the women were hookers or not.
    I am not concerned if they should have been in a pub or not at that time.
    I am not concerned if they asked for a lift or not.
    They mav have been unwise but I simply refuse to believe that they were “asking for it”.
    No, the men gave it willingly, and forced it down on them.
    The women’s morals are immaterial.
    Being immoral is no crime.
    But men don’t have a right to rape an immoral woman.
    The men must be punished.
    Let’s stop moralizing and go after the culprits instead.
    I hope and pray the culprits are caught.


  3. I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t the way many Indians choose to think-
    I/my family members don’t dress ‘provocatively’ – so I/we won’t be raped.
    I/my family members don’t go to pubs- so I/we won’t be raped.
    I/my family members don’t go to pubs/drink alcohol- so I/we won’t be raped.
    Etc. Etc. Etc.
    This ‘othering’ the victims creates a false sense of safety & security for many Indians.
    Even though we know that 98% of rape victims are raped by someone that they know & what they were wearing, where they were & if they were drinking isn’t really relevant.


  4. The best option for women is actually not to be born. They would be safe that way and so would Indian culture.

    Oh wait, who would we rape then?

    No, no, not being born is not a good option.

    Let them stay at home and cook parathas.

    Oh wait, who would we rape then? ( Because rapes only happen outside homes, right?)

    No No, stating at home is not a good option for women not from our families.

    Let them go out but in modest clothes and come back home on time.

    Oh wait, who would we rape then? ( Because rapes only happen to women dressed provocatively and in the dark, right?)

    So, maybe women just have one option left: to be raped and accept it as their destiny.

    Or just maybe, (a tiny thought entered the thick skulls)…


    drumroll…thunder…flowers raining from heaven…..


  5. A girl standing alone on a bus stand (any time of the day) is not a ‘good’ girl. She has to be a hooker. Period. And if the location is near any ‘immoral venue for girls’, then you don’t have any doubt left. In this case, the girls were outside the pub! Now isnt that a red mark on their character certificate?

    No, we women have no business being out so late at night. If it was for some errands asked for by in-laws/husband, then such harassment can be contested, otherwise we clearly deserve it.

    Sarcasm apart, I do feel that they didnt make a good decision asking for lift. If going out late night, esp to a pub, one should make proper arrangements – and this I say not just for girls but men as well esp because we don’t have reliable public transport system yet.


    • …just wondering what kind of arrangements would be good. A pre paid cab? Not safe.
      Many women stay away from families, some have no brothers or husbands, also some families might ask them not to go because it is not safe…


      • A pre paid cab with location tracking system is the best available option. I have been using it for past 7-8 years whenever there was a need to go out alone at night – whether my husband was in town or not.


        • In Bangalore most of the taxis are fitted with this system, and hence I have never felt unsave using them even late at night.(which used to be rather frequent thanks to hectic schedule at work)


    • Doesn’t sound fair, and I really can’t imagine this helping in saving fuel, but they have also reduced the weight of checked in baggage to fifteen kg.
      Edited to add: It’s possible that they will take this decision back, it is as biased against women (in the bigger picture) as it is against men. It’s good for men and women to work together and to work in fields that are seen as belonging to either gender – because it continues the process of showing how inaccurate gender stereotypes are. If it was concern for weight maybe they could reduce the number of passengers and crew they took in each flight?


      • Wait: are you objecting only because you think this is “as biased against women” ?

        So, if there was a situation where one could exclusively hurt men and leave women alone, would that be okay?


        • Feminism and Gender issues are not men versus women – what hurts women hurts the entire society, similarly what hurts men hurts the society too, at the least injustice creates an environment of gender bias. If it is unjust, it is wrong, no matter who is being hurt, and even if somebody else benefits from it, a wrong remains a wrong.


      • I doubt if weight saving is the real issue here.
        Even the smallest of the Boeings (737) has a maximum take off weight of 79010 kg.
        Assuming an average male flight purser weighs 15 kg more than a female hostess the weight saving by eliminating say 5 male pursers and replacing them with females is just 75 kg.
        This is just about 0.01 percent saving in weight and the figure will be laughably small with bigger aircraft like 747, 777 etc.
        The considerations are definitely not technical or commercial.
        What is it?
        I don’t know.


    • Dude this is IHM’s blog – what she chooses to post is completely her decision. While she does focus on other things it is mainly going to be about things that affect women. You might as well ask why aren’t there more posts on gay rights or politics or environmental issues etc! And from the posts I have read IHM is very fair-minded and certainly does not take the ‘man-hating’ stance that you think she does…


    • What does GoAir’s policy have to do with a post about rape incidents? What’s the most ‘important’ news is quite subjective. You can’t impose your priorities on other people’s blogs!

      It seems like you are trying to catch IHM out as being sexist by bringing up off-topic articles that she hasn’t commented on. If someone hasn’t commented on a topic at all, how can you judge them on it? That’s called prejudice.

      By your own logic actually, what should we make of the fact that you have posted two comments on a post about rape.. and NEITHER of them address rape whatsoever. I hope you realise that this is worse than what you are accusing IHM of. Your article has nothing to do with this post so it’s fair there was no comment about it from IHM here. But you have commented on a post specifically about rape and chosen not to condemn rape in any form. What would you make of that then?


      • Excellently put, Carvaka!

        In my opinion, MRAs have some valid points about discrimination against men. However, the problem for them is that, apart from blaming feminists or hijacking feminist conversations, there is no one who seems to be doing anything constructive about those points. Their entire strategy seems to depend on whining about how feminists aren’t doing enough for men’s rights…fair enough….but where were the MRAs when women were being (and are being) subjugated literally for millennia….giving evolution as a lame excuse for the subjugation and denying that the subjugation ever happened? As you correctly pointed out, IHM atleast had the basic courtesy to take the time to respond to his points…but where is he in this conversation about rape victims and society’s response to them?


  6. Saw a news special/documentary on BBC (UK) last night about Women in India and how unsafe it is for them. You should hear the comments from the counsel for the guys in the Nirbhaya/Jyoti’s case. “He said “respectable” women don’t get raped. You can look at a woman and can definitely say whether she’s respectable or not which is also dependant on the clothes she’s wearing and where she goes etc”. The girl who went to interview/talk to him came back wondering whether she was “respectable” or not. It was horrifying to watch about an acid-attack victim and the girl from the Guwahati molest case (My apologies for referring to them w.r.t the incidents they faced). Again the assamese girl is facing similar comments about her respectability after the molestation. Not so surprisingly the interviewer went to lodge a case against a man who tried to molest her during her previous visit to India and the case got lodged and even had a hearind in the court! I wish justice was that quick for everyone :(. If you can find it, please do watch it. I would call it a much sanitised view but still horrifyingly real.


  7. I’m a night/late eve person, i think the best time for me to go out is after 7.30pm, Hw done, dinner drama over, kids relaxing , husband doing dishes and will help the kids along to bed and all is well in my life. so I go for a wlk, to the lib, shopping, art studio, jog, meet friends and generally have a gala time till around 10pm .. I never think of safetly. I think of only my happiness.
    so nowadays when i moan about how we should return to india and do soak in the atmosphere ( and mainly sev puri and chaat) all my husband has to do is show me such news and i shut up immedietly. with a young daughter i cant get myself to put her somewhere where she has to look over her shoulder all the time.. so sad no?


  8. Is the crime rate in India increasing due to a dysfunctional police force and courts system? Yes there’s more reporting of crimes and more media coverage …. but it feels as if the crime rates are also increasing on their own due to lack of fear, lack of accountability, lack of consequences.

    I used to travel to Chennai and Bangalore on business all the time – land at 1 am, take a cab to some hotel ….. now I hesitate to travel without a group. It’s as if we are finally paying the price for not taking the law seriously, for not training our police, for not curbing corruption in the courts, for focusing on our own individual achievements and not on the community and not caring if the government goes to hell.


  9. The fact remains that we cannot provide security to women in our country and then we blame them if anything goes wrong. It is the easiest way out.
    No, it was definitely not the mistake of women and it definitely does not matter what they were wearing. It also does not matter if they were sex workers or if it was 3 AM.
    What matters is that 2 men raped them. If we cannot get out heads around that then the problem lies with us.


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  15. If two men got a lift from women and the women assaulted them and committed atrocities against them, I do believe there would be no question of whether the men were “asking” for it. Nobody asks to be harmed.


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