What makes Men Rape?

Please read.

Two links that finally ask the right questions and attempt to answer them rationally.

What makes Men Rape?

(link shared by Anil Singhal)

The aim of this rapist is to humiliate, debase and hurt their victim; they express their contempt for their victim through physical violence and profane language. For these rapists, sex is a weapon to defile and degrade the victim, rape constitutes the ultimate expression of their anger. This rapist considers rape the ultimate offense they can commit against the victim. Anger rape is characterized by physical brutality, much more physical force is used during the assault than would be necessary if the intent were simply to overpower the victim and achieve penetration. This type of offender attacks their victim by grabbing, striking and knocking the victim to the ground, beating them, tearing their clothes, and raping them. The experience for the offender is one that is of conscious anger and rage

Because this is only a fantasy, the rapist does not feel reassured for long by either their own performance or the victim’s response. The rapist feels that they must find another victim, convinced that this victim will be “the right one”. Hence, their offenses may become repetitive and compulsive. They may commit a series of rapes over a short period of time.

Some forms of sexual violence, such as gang rape, are predominantly committed by young men. Sexual aggression is often a defining characteristic of manhood in the group and is significantly related to the wish to be held in high esteem. Sexually aggressive behaviour among young men has been linked with gang membership and having delinquent peers. Research also suggests that men with sexually aggressive peers are also much more likely to report coercive or enforced intercourse outside the gang context than men lacking sexually aggressive peers. Gang rape is often viewed by the men involved, and sometimes by others too, as legitimate, in that it is seen to discourage or punish perceived immoral behaviour among women, such as wearing short skirts or frequenting bars. For this reason, it may not be equated by the perpetrators with the idea of a crime. In several areas in Papua New Guinea, women can be punished by public gang rape, often sanctioned by elders.

they have a sexual association with anger and power so that aggression and the infliction of pain itself is eroticized. For this rapist, sexual excitement is associated with the inflicting of pain upon their victim. The offender finds the intentional maltreatment of their victim intensely gratifying and takes pleasure in the victim’s torment, pain, anguish, distress, helplessness, and suffering; he/she finds the victim’s struggling with him/her to be an erotic experience. Sadistic rape usually involves extensive, prolonged torture and restraint. Sometimes it can take on ritualistic or other bizarre qualities. The rapist may use some type of instrument or foreign object to penetrate his/her victim. Sexual areas of the victim’s body become a specific focus of injury or abuse.

2.

I need to understand!

– Rapes happen more in systems that allow it to go unpunished (source)

– Rapists are experts at rationalizing their behaviour (source); ‘she asked for it, was wearing ……’ being prime examples of this rationalizing.  In India, I think we have some rapists and more than 90% of others (male and female!) rationalizing!

– There are some significant factors that have been identified as risk factors among perpetrators of sexual violence:  adverse childhood exposures (major ones being child sexual abuse and having witnessed rape in their parents’ relationship), mental health (psychopathic thought), peer pressure and delinquency in adolescence, gender ideas (inequalities in perception of gender, patriarchal systems, entitlement – ‘men can’t help themselves’, ‘boys will be boys’!), and substance abuse/firearms. (Source:http://www.svri.org/RapePerpetration.pdf)

– Personality characters can be: lack of empathy, macho/aggressive masculinity, emotionally constricted, impulsive and having underlying anger against women

Related Posts:

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

What kind of men are likely to sexually assault women?

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

19 Rape Facts that Khaps, Cops and Chautala should know.

The rapists often don’t see their actions as crimes, the police said, and don’t expect the victims to report them.

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

Have a Good Time in India, Sister – gounderbrownie

100 thoughts on “What makes Men Rape?

  1. I am not sure of the psychology behind rapes, but what I feel is, it is the strong belief in the sysyem and the self-assurance that one can escape without punishment that is leading to an increased number of cases. Not all rapists are psychopaths…isn’t it? If there is a proper law and sentencing within a stipulated time, I am sure at least half of such cases could be prevented from happening. If a girl finishes her revenge by castrating a boy, will it go unpunished? Will the boy ever be blamed for his mistake?

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    • I’m a little late here but…….I think Indian men rape primarily because the culture emphasizes that women aren’t really quite ‘human’.
      I read an interview of an Indian man in Delhi who said something like like this-
      ‘Delhi women are like mangoes, eat ’em & toss ’em.’

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  2. In almost all recent case, the rapists were into porn. Let’s not ignore this. It starts as indulgence and eventually base instincts/animal energy takes over.

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    • Convicts in a prison in Orissa once killed a fellow convict after coming to know that he was a child abuser. Societal values play a very important role.

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      • Even if they watch porn, most American guys that I know would not reveal it to their girlfriends. Because the girl would make it known to him that he has a disorder that needs treatment. Without the restraining role of women, pornography would have been a normal thing in society.

        Indian girls differ in this regard. They think it is cool or normal and are not taking up the restraining role in this regard. In an already unfair society, the status of women will further worsen if they don’t exert a countervailing force on such unhealthy trends.

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        • How many American couples are even your close friends Pedro? Stop giving this blanket statements about Indians or Americans. There is a difference between watching porn & porn addiction.

          Restraining role of women? Wow, again push the entire blame on women. Indian men rape because their women did not restrain them.

          I am tired of patriarchal conservative people like you – An adult human being is expected to have certain decision making capabilities. People can take responsibility for their actions. Hand of god makes them rape is it? Stop blaming all & sundry for men raping. Admit you raped & it is abnormal

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        • News flash:some women enjoy porn too. It is not about porn. It is about the mindset. If people cannot understand that porn is pure fantasy and nothing to do with real sex then there is something wrong with them. Not with porn.

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      • @Fem
        however, you know it’s fake. it’s not your source of sex-ed, is it?

        on the other hand, take someone from a closed enough setting and given no other sex education he is liable to think force is not just ok but what women seem to want.

        Not saying it’s an excuse or a complete explanation but I’m sure it’s a factor.

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        • Closed setting guy also watches porn – does he always see women being raped or women participating willingly or enjoying? All porn is not rape porn right?

          The viewer is aware of the huge difference between the porn movie & real life. Conservative women wear different clothes, are not open about sexuality & have arranged marriages & avoid contact with opposite sex.

          So what if he is from a “closed setting”. Har koi TV dekhta hai na? Do you believe everything you see on TV?

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        • @Boiling
          Of course not all porn is rape porn but porn is primarily targeted for consumption by men. Therefore, the common themes/fantasies are those of women always enjoying whatever the men want to do to them. There’s no getting around this point.

          Second, yes, I know TV is not real. But say I’m watching a show about a place I’ve never been to before. Say my only exposure to America is through watching Karan Johar movies. Rationally speaking, I know America is not like this. Yet I have no way of knowing which parts to keep and which to reject. My brain will probably absorb all these patterns at least subconsciously but of course subject to future correction. What if this correction never happens?

          Say a couple watches porn together just to be able to spice things up. They balance this with what I assume would be consensual sex (of whatever flavour they prefer). Now say there’s only porn but no healthy real-life relationship. Now what?

          If TV tells me there are only two types of women: subservient and vamps; porn tells me women enjoy whatever men do to them; movies tell me that if I persist long enough and do whatever I like a girl is bound to fall for me; and I have nothing to balance these images with, what do you expect me to turn out to be? Also, if I am exposed to violence in my daily life – watching abuse at home and such – and patriarchy is entrenched in my day-to-day life, then where do I learn differently?

          Again, I’m not saying this is an excuse. Rapists are still criminals. But clearly we are failing these men somewhere if they have not grasped the concept of consensual sex let alone more subtle concepts like gender stereotypes. Clearly as a society we have to introspect a little to try and understand what causes this anger and this desire for control. What can we do to prevent it? I am not talking about just preventing potential rapists from acting on their impulses – though that in itself is a huge issue. I’m also talking about the factors that go into making these men want to rape in the first place.

          I am scared for India in a way because we’ve started to look at it as “War on Rape” like America’s “War on Terror” or “War on Drugs”. As we know, neither has been successful.

          Sorry. I digressed quite a bit. :o)

          Liked by 1 person

      • Lol Fem. Exactly. I know many people who watch porn that does not mean they go about raping people. What bullshit. Men are looking at their penis when they pee & shower. Women are looking at their breasts. That can be termed nudity & porn. So, are we all going about raping?

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        • Besides, mainstream porn shows women as active and partners na? So if anything, people who watch porn are more likely to know what bilateral enthusiasm (albeit highly exaggerated) looks like.

          Lets face it, the “porn causes rape” excuse is a thinly veiled attempt to state that that men are entitled to sexual release whenever and wherever they get aroused. What BS.

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    • “It starts as indulgence and eventually base instincts/animal energy takes over.”

      Why doesn’t women’s base energy/ instinct take over as much as men’s then? Why fewer female rapists? Why no female on male gang rapists? Because the people who are raping feel an entitlement over their prey, an entitlement to do this act and this comes from society. We sanction rape, all the time.

      The indian army in conflict areas is exempt from being charged with rape, so here we sanction it. Husbands are exempt from being charged with raping their wives, so here we sanction it. Every time we restrict a woman’s freedom and choices and indulge in victim blaming rather than rapist blaming, we sanction rape. A woman was raped at 9 pm in Haryana and the government responded by making it difficult to employ women after 8 pm (women were made house-bound even though the rape was done by men), thus sanctioning rape and saying ‘out after 8 = fair game’.

      We as a society teach people that men raping women is ‘ok’ in certain circumstances.. and we then allow rapists to define what circumstances are ‘rape-worthy’ and how women should live to avoid them. We never teach men how they should live to avoid raping.

      This has nothing to do with porn or animal indulgences or alcohol. I have watched action movies, I have drank alcohol and yet I have never killed anyone because I don’t consider it my privilege to kill and get away with it (and I think it’s wrong).

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      • //We sanction rape, all the time.
        This.

        We sanction rape when we don’t prosecute the perpetrators. We sanction rape when we shame the victims. When the victim has more to lose by an MMS than a criminal. We sanction rape every time we try to create a “females only” space because it’s yet another “Lakshman Rekha” women are not supposed to cross. We sanction rape every time we say “boys will be boys” and refuse to hold them accountable for their actions. We sanction rape every time we decide that pre-marital sex is wrong. We sanction rape when we turn a blind eye to marital rape. We sanction rape whenever women are offered protection after a gruesome incident instead of potential rapists being restrained.

        What we have in India is a rape culture. We cherish it and nurture it in the name of tradition. We ignore it through rationalization and otherizing. We are proud of it when we decide foreign tourists should be more sensitive of Indian Culture. And we’re not interested in getting rid of it because we just ignore intelligent recommendations by panels.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture

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        • Yes, we sanction rape. So, let’s stop blaming porn as an excuse for men raping is what I am saying. If families do not teach their kids, they will learn from wrong (information ) sources. If families did not make people hide their porn watching & instead explained to their kids, consent is important, we wold not have the issue. Instead, they get their kids married & tell their daughters “just allow him to do whatever he wants” before the first night.

          Then would you blame porn or are you blaming the society which shrouds proper sex information as some military secret?

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  3. Regarding eroticization of pain and aggression, I think this does not necessarily, or even usually, leads to people becoming rapists. Aggression, domination and pain covers part of sexual attitude of a lot of people that are not rapists. I think the main difference is, for example in the BDSM culture, that the person acting as aggressor needs to know that the subject is deriving sexual pleasure from the act. Non-rapists who engage in such fantasy immediately lose interest as soon as they come to know that a certain act is not a turn on for the other person.

    Also, usually such people enjoy the reciprocal treatment as well.

    ( Of course the whole thing is supposed to be consensual; the above points, in my opinion, are related to psychological difference.)

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    • Yes, economies in transition see higher and sporadic rise in violence against women both in private and public space. Emasculation of men in the times of fast changing geo-economics is one of the factors attributed to rise in VAW along with the holy trinity of patriarchy, class and capitalism. Whilst capitalism brought women out in the market economy yet systematically kept them in a patriarchal bind be it feminization of poverty or objectification of jobs as women’s jobs hence dead-end or lower wages, so these forces have to be understood in their crossectional intersections.
      Peace,
      Desi Girl

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  4. The main solution lies in effective laws that would serve as an example. Also, parents need to properly educate their sons how to treat a woman with respect and we should openly discuss sex with children. Sex is taboo and the try to uncover the lid by surfing porn materials. I really like the information above that I consider to be insightful and draws attention on sexual violence.

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  5. Wrong. If rape is all about humiliating the victim, why do men rape children of age which can’t understand the meaning of humiliation at all? What kind of power they feel when they are raping little children? I am talking about both men and women here. In a patriarchal country/society like India only men considered as rapists but not in the western culture. There are many cases where women punished for raping little boys and even grown up men. The total argument that men want to punish women is seriously faltered. This kind of argument gaining popularity only after feminists entered into the picture and started funding the studies and researches and opposing any study that seriously debunk their myths.

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    • Rape if definitely about humiliating the victim, irrespective of if the rapists are men or women.
      Yes there are women rapists as well as men, somehow the cases of men being the aggressors are higher in india. why do you think that is? or is it that women are raping men viciously in large numbers and men are ashamed to report it???
      lets take the latest case, why only men raped the journalist? how come a gang of women didnt go after the male journalist???
      No where in the report does it say women don’t commit crimes, but rape seems to be more prevalent in india especially in males..

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    • 95% of rapes are by men on women, other men, young girls and young boys. Most rapists were also white – an additional piece of data since you speak of the western context, not that different from the Indian context. One major difference is that we’ll pick one case and take an opposite pole position just for the heck of it.

      Prior feminist thought actually was that there was no rape profile, now they’re digging deeper to understand more, this is good, a chance that we’ll actually get closer to a solution by getting close to the root causes.

      Your kind of denial is part of justification, something the rapist AND Indian society have a lot of practice doing. We’re so good at justifying that we wonder why a person went somewhere at 6 pm to do her job, in a supposedly safe place with a male colleague. I have had female friends, my age say this to me. That five people have committed a clear crime isn’t significant! Whether men want to punish women or vice versa, that this is a crime that is rooted in control is clear. “I have no control elsewhere, if I get it by raping a child, hey, I got control, so what if it was a child!”

      Let’s take the men-versus-woman attitude out – at least if we want to think solutions. For pointless discussion, by all means, let’s gender bash!

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      • @Sangitha, I think there is more data on men on women rapes because it is more documented. Few men would think of complaining when they are raped. They should have enjoyed it, after all! They would be seen as unmanly (even if they were kids) if they did not enjoy a woman’s attention. This attitude is prevalent even in the most progressive societies.

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        • @Fem,
          Female on male rapes even if documented will not amount to the staggering numbers male of female rapes make. A country whose documentation is often documented shows: Nearly 1 in 5 (18.3%) women and 1 in 71 men. (1.4%) reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives.
          http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/sv-datasheet-a.pdf
          How can one equate 18% to 1% is beyond me?

          Yes, there is enough documentation both reality and fiction how young men are initiated by older women in the extended family and neighborhood. That is why the term Bhabhi and mami are pretty worth of net search that end up on blog like ours. These are jovial relationships with folk permissibilities. Did we forget Savita Bhabhi?

          The point you made about societal attitude towards the female on male abuse is valid but does not negate the fact that this is a system if it silences women from reporting sexual assault it also prevents men from reporting it by stigmatizing both. The fact is it is a system that lets abuse and abusers flourish and victimizes victims.
          Peace,
          Desi Girl

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    • “What kind of power they feel when they are raping little children?” – Most child abuse, sexual or otherwise, occurs because the perpetrators have no control over their own lives, so they seek to control little children who really can’t fight back.

      “why do men rape children of age which can’t understand the meaning of humiliation at all?” – I hope you are joking. Children have an acute sense of feeling from the time they are a few months old. They can experience humiliation easily. Besides, it’s more the feelings of the rapist that is important for him than the feelings of the victim – the feeling of power that one can get when there is a helpless person under your control. It’s the same reason why some people abuse animals.

      “The total argument that men want to punish women is seriously faltered.” Men wanting to punish women is not a feature of every rape. But in ‘honour-bound’ societies, this often happens. As long as society sees rape as shameful for the victims and her family, this theory holds true.

      “This kind of argument gaining popularity only after feminists entered into the picture and started funding the studies and researches and opposing any study that seriously debunk their myths.” – Why are you scared of feminists?

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      • “why do men rape children of age which can’t understand the meaning of humiliation at all?”

        Because they can get away with it. Children are too overwhelmed by the entire situation to complain.

        I was molested by an “uncle” (I prefer to call him SH*T HEAD) at the age of 5, 6, and 7. I did not reveal it because somehow I thought it was my fault. I disclosed it to my parents at age 36. Their reaction was shock and silence. And complete denial. Because those are “good Indian values.”

        I am 38 now. That SH*T HEAD still lives having suffered no consequence of his actions. Now apart from my bad memories, what hurts me more is the reaction of my parents.

        All I can tell myself is that before he dies, I’ll confront him.

        So yes, once and for all… IT’S ALL ABOUT CONTROL.

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        • A child is not only overwhelmed but also have no words to explain what just happened because early one we teach kids not to name private parts or even emotion them, as if they don’t exist on our bodies. There is so much shame inculcated into little minds about their bodies that even adults we have describing bodily functions in a doctors office.

          Confronting the SHIT HEAD will be a great step in your reclamation journey, why wait more you are an adult and no longer need to seek approval from your parents. You can give a print of this link to your parents to yank them out of their denial.
          http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/recognize-child-sexual-abuse/

          Stay strong.
          Peace,
          Desi Girl

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        • Desi Girl,

          For some reason I am unable to post the reply under your post.. anyway.

          You say, “why wait more you are an adult and no longer need to seek approval from your parents. ”

          I am not waiting because I need my parents’ approval. I am waiting because every time I think of confronting THAT piece of crap, I start shaking.

          And I am an educated woman, a Manager who earns a great income, has traveled all across the world… have published a book, stories, articles… I am articulate. And I am a feminist.

          Still I am scared.

          Goes to prove that these emotional scars are very very deep.

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        • Leela S.,

          You will confront your abuser when you are ready and at your time DG knows that and is not putting you on the spot but if you need support, it is available. There is also survivors’ self help group in Delhi DG worked with long time ago Pune she is not sure one was in Mumbai at TISS.

          You’ll get there when you get there healing is a journey but other kids in the family need to be protected from this monster as he is aging his credibility is going up- nobody will doubt him to be a dirty old man.

          Stay strong,
          Peace,
          Desi Girl

          Like

    • Wrong. If rape is all about humiliating the victim, why do men rape children of age which can’t understand the meaning of humiliation at all? What kind of power they feel when they are raping little children? I am talking about both men and women here. In a patriarchal country/society like India only men considered as rapists but not in the western culture. There are many cases where women punished for raping little boys and even grown up men. The total argument that men want to punish women is seriously faltered. This kind of argument gaining popularity only after feminists entered into the picture and started funding the studies and researches and opposing any study that seriously debunk their myths.
      – – –
      “If rape is all about humiliating the victim, why do men rape children of age which can’t understand the meaning of humiliation at all?”
      Let’s examine the social context under which the word “rape” is used, shall we? I’m an engineering student. I’m in male company more often than not. Much of the time, when we sit around to discuss an exam that we just wrote, a VERY common refrain is, “Dude, I raped that exam man. Like, seriously. I totally raped it.”
      So, are you suggesting here that anybody who has written that exam is sexually attracted to a stapled fifteen page piece of paper? Is it the ink that was “attractive”? Or was it the fact that the paper was using a particular font that caused them to “lose control”?
      The context under which the word “rape” is used here would suggest not sexual attraction, but power. Dominance. To pass an exam is to signify that you have dominated the source material. You have defeated the powers that be that set the exam. You have humiliated the proverbial bureaucracy that wanted you to fail. So yes, rape IS very much about power and humiliation. One only needs to look at the context of the word’s casual usage to see that.
      “What kind of power they feel when they are raping little children?”
      Children cannot, and do not fight back. This is why so many children are victims of abuse. Children also have an innate desire to please the grown-ups in their company, which is yet another thing that abusers take advantage of. As Fem already pointed out so beautifully, for the abuser, they feel powerless in any situation. This is why children are so often their victims, because they are easily coerced and thus, they can easily feel powerful.
      “The total argument that men want to punish women is seriously faltered.”
      The total argument is never that men want to punish women. The argument has, and always will be, that rape is not born out of sexual desire but a need for power and dominance. It does not matter who the victim and the perpetrator is in this equation. The point is that the abuser is not driven by sexual desire, as so many people are quick to say. It is because the perpetrator has an innate need to feel and show that they have power in their society.
      The argument in IHM’s post states that in India, one of the most common forms this takes is through raping women who do not fall in line with the perceived cultural standards. Essentially, this is done to punish them, to control them, to tell them violently that they cannot exercise their own agency, but must always be subject to the dominant male desires and wishes, whatever they may be.

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      • “If rape is all about humiliating the victim, why do men rape children of age which can’t understand the meaning of humiliation at all?”

        Let’s examine the social context under which the word “rape” is used, shall we? I’m an engineering student. I’m in male company more often than not. Much of the time, when we sit around to discuss an exam that we just wrote, a VERY common refrain is, “Dude, I raped that exam man. Like, seriously. I totally raped it.”

        So, are you suggesting here that anybody who has written that exam is sexually attracted to a stapled fifteen page piece of paper? Is it the ink that was “attractive”? Or was it the fact that the paper was using a particular font that caused them to “lose control”?

        The context under which the word “rape” is used here would suggest not sexual attraction, but power. Dominance. To pass an exam is to signify that you have dominated the source material. You have defeated the powers that be that set the exam. You have humiliated the proverbial bureaucracy that wanted you to fail. So yes, rape IS very much about power and humiliation. One only needs to look at the context of the word’s casual usage to see that.

        “What kind of power they feel when they are raping little children?”

        Children cannot, and do not fight back. This is why so many children are victims of abuse. Children also have an innate desire to please the grown-ups in their company, which is yet another thing that abusers take advantage of. As Fem already pointed out so beautifully, for the abuser, they feel powerless in any situation. This is why children are so often their victims, because they are easily coerced and thus, they can easily feel powerful.

        “The total argument that men want to punish women is seriously faltered.”

        The total argument is never that men want to punish women. The argument has, and always will be, that rape is not born out of sexual desire but a need for power and dominance. It does not matter who the victim and the perpetrator is in this equation. The point is that the abuser is not driven by sexual desire, as so many people are quick to say. It is because the perpetrator has an innate need to feel and show that they have power in their society.

        The argument in IHM’s post states that in India, one of the most common forms this takes is through raping women who do not fall in line with the perceived cultural standards. Essentially, this is done to punish them, to control them, to tell them violently that they cannot exercise their own agency, but must always be subject to the dominant male desires and wishes, whatever they may be.

        Sorry IHM. My comments seem to be finicky again. Post this one please.🙂

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    • Men definitely aim at punishing/humiliating women through rape. Okay, there will be exceptions to this. One theory cannot possibly explain each and every rape that has occurred on this planet.
      Consider terms like ‘Izzat lootna, rob her of her honour. Where do they stem from?

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  6. I think the argument that surety and/or severity of punishments will reduce rapes is not well founded. Crimes thrive because of social conditions and punishment has very little to do with it. Young black men are filling the jails in USA to the brink but that is not deterring the other young black males to commit violent crimes. I think class issues are very intimately mixed with gender in the kinds of crimes we are hearing out of India. In most of these cases, the perpetrators belong to lower classes, alienated from main stream. For them, women, and especially those of a different class are yet another thing to snatch and defile while they can.

    Social advances by women in recent times can also be a reason. A large section of society has been cut off from these advances and hence do not understand the changes at all. A woman seeking liberty is too strange a thing for them which must be punished.

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    • There is a huge number of (so called) ‘upper caste’ men who rape dalit/less privileged, minor girls, there is also abuse of power at work places, where women are sexually assaulted, teachers abuse students – in all these cases the rapists believe that the victim would not report.

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    • “I think the argument that surety and/or severity of punishments will reduce rapes is not well founded.” – Spot on! I keep getting bored of the arguments that people make that the legal system is at fault. It isn’t. It’s the social system which is at fault.

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      • 100% it is the social system – which is why so many rapes go unreported because the woman feels “shame” which is absolute crap. Why should the victim feel shamed when it is clearly the attacker’s fault!!! Punish the attacker, not the victim!

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    • There’s a difference between severity of crime and the enforcement of punishment. I don’t think rapists hanging is a good idea – more women will be killed to prevent identification. But if we ensure that every one WILL be caught, we will reduce incidence. There is enough data based evidence to show this, several countries have successfully done this. It is both legal AND social, too complex to have one simple answer. It starts with everyone of us not laughing at sexist jokes. Not only lower classes and alienated – those are the ones who get caught! If we were to really get into it, am sure class as a factor will be eliminated – the higher classes do it at home!

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    • “I think the argument that surety and/or severity of punishments will reduce rapes is not well founded.”
      Initially, maybe yes. And perhaps without a concerted effort to punish ‘gateway’ crimes like molesting and street sexual harassment , it will be next to impossible.

      However, there having been documented instances in history where a shake-up of law enforcement and courts resulted in safer streets. The New York Police Department was once regarded as corrupt and inefficient. A large scale program in the 1990’s was undertaken to make more professional, and rates of all crime began to subsequently fall.

      Rape cannot be looked at in isolation. India is a country where ALL crimes are rampant. No doubt it is a social issue, and the long-term answer lies in ‘changing’ society (though I have no idea if that’s even possible), but to say that there are NO solutions to reduce rape is a tad pessimistic.

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  7. only ONE reason — They know they can get away with it. The reasons for them getting away with it are many and myriad ,they are rooted in one truth — Social, physical and/or economic inequality.

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  8. Drugs/alcohol addiction surely clouds human instincts- be it the ability to feel comapssion towards a fellow being or the mere logical fear of consequences. The mere lack of these human insticts makes man react to his needs savagely in an animal like manner. Another important factor should be access to internet.Today even children,if not properly supervised, can readily access porns.Lack of proper sexual education combined with watching the sexual fantasies will surely result in misleading notions and I guess, a need to channelise the fantasies eventually leading to rape.

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    • Misleading notions? So, everybody with improper sex ed rapes is that what you say? Sexual fantasies is different from rape. Demonizing sex is a big issue here. Want to channelise your fantasies? Then find a consensual partner. What will a person explain about their fantasies when it is considered taboo to talk about your fantasies? What about marital rape?

      Like

      • @ Boiling…. is finding a consensual partner simple enough in India for a Teenage guy? lets imagine a guy addicted to watching a lot of porn, which many of our youngsters are.It could be harmless. But let us combine it with intoxication and or repression..don’t you think it would prompt him to pounce on the most vulnerable/innocent victim-say a child whom he thinks he can threaten to not speaking? Don’t you think porn has any role in the increase in sexual assault by younger boys -14-18 age range? There are psychopaths, case of marital rapes, case of father raping their daughters….but i am taking about other cases- Think that young child of 5 years who was raped and almost killed in Delhi, think of the Mumbai rape victim….don’t you think porn might have had a role here? it is not the sole factor , i agree. But still it might have a role. India has become the third largest user of pornography in the world.Could addictive hours of watching porn mislead our youth to have the notion that sex is connected to violence?

        Like

    • Dear R,
      It is lack of a safe environment where one can discuss sexuality, changing bodies in growing children and the ever hanging cloud of shame over anything to do with one’s body that fosters this suppressive society. We don’t support children who are abused, nor do we protect them from further harm (which shaming them does). We rationalize and point fingers at the victim. We assume in our own moral high-chairs that it must have been the victim’s fault somehow, for having brought this upon themselves.
      Porn is entertainment, albeit of a sexual manner. And men and women both watch porn. I know, I do. I drink and have been drunk. I have smoked pot too. None of those times did I give in to my savage animal needs and ravage and ravish another man (or woman ).
      The problem is this culture of shame and hypocrisy we have about sex that forces young people to turn to porn as a desperate measure. And it is healthy is some measures.
      If we talked about our bodies, the importance of saying no, teaching our youngsters and adults the importance of not assuming silence as yes, then we can be assured of a society where healthy sexual relationships can develop and grow.
      Blaming porn is as immature and baseless as blaming victims.

      Like

      • Shruthi, I don’t agree totally with you. Studies in Europe show that porn has banalized for young people things as group sex and anal sex – which is not something most people enjoy. Having no other point of reference, they think it is part of a normal sexuality. So porn does have a certain impact on people’s behaviours.

        Then about alcohol and drugs, it is not because so far you have not done anything wrong while drunk, that other people behave well when drunk or stoned. I can assure you that statistically many physical agressions are done under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Just read reports from courts. And women do it too. I don’t believe this fairy tale that women are less violent than men.

        Then it has to be said that a drunk woman is less aware of her environment so more at risk of having problems. This is common sense.

        The point is not to find something or someone to blame, it is facing problems and finding solutions. When I see how some Indian men drink, consuming 50 cl of brandy in a few minutes, I find it really scary. At the same time I know alcoholism is often the sign of despair. So banning alcohol is not a solution but education to the dangers of drinking too much, may be….

        But I totally agree with you when you say the main issue is teaching people to say no, and have more self respect.

        I would add that since rapes are often committed by someone already known by the victim (neighbour, colleague, family member, teacher, “friend”…), it is important to tell youngster to trust their gut feelings more than authority.

        Like

  9. Rape is violence & power – most commonly men do rape to women & children – to overpower them into submission. I really think this is related back to a man’s unhealthy mutation of masculinity…that combined with the deep seeded cultural/societal value that so many women in Indian society are undervalued and as seen as objects – whether it is sexual objects or pieces of property which belong to father, husband, then son, etc.
    The question must be asked: WHY should a man’s masculinity be SOLELY based onto forcing another person into submission or having someone be dependant on them? Why are some men SOOO emotionally constipated that the only way they can express themselves is through sadistic violence? What has happened to these young men???
    “How do we expect our sons to be men of integrity and conscience, and social justice advocates, to treat women with respect and to speak up when they see women being treated with disrespect if they don’t see their own fathers doing it or if they don’t see their society doing it. It’s not fair to put the burdens on the young men even though they’re part of the solution. This is about adult men” – Cory Booker
    The Mumbai gang-rapists ranged in age from 16-27 years old. What has happened to this generation of young urban men where they feel that this kind of violence is both socially acceptable and unpunishable???!!! Where are these men’s fathers??? What kind of madness has been learned within their natal home???

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    • I agree with you but I disagree with the statement – “What has happened to this generation of young urban men where they feel that this kind of violence is both socially acceptable and unpunishable?” – Not like rape did not happen earlier. It did but the victim was shamed & there was no media to spread the word. What about all the invasions & invader raping? Raping has been practiced through the ages.

      This Generation – What about the earlier generation that is great? All our politicians are old people. Are they really doing anything worthwhile? What makes the previous generation any better? Every generations has its issues & good people & bad people.

      Like

      • Not to mention, if you believe statistics, there are less rapes in India than in the USA for example.

        Politicians usually take action when they feel it may affect the way people vote.

        Like

        • I really doubt the statistics that there are less rapes in India because marital rape is still not considered a crime. Where do you think these attitudes are learned from? Behaviours that are seen within the home. Plus, with India, a woman’s “honour” for her family is her virginity and chastity, and why is there such a great “shame” these girls feel? Why should they report it if that is why society makes them feel? Plus, rape is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of sexual crimes, including sexual harassment, groping, etc
          Not to mention the sluggish judicial system….the Delhi rape is still in court 8 months later!!! Why is it that the Nirbhaya fund has got hundreds of crores yet not dispersed a single rupee?
          The US may have rapes, but I lived there alone as a single young woman for 6 years (all over the US), out at night, and nothing ever happened to me. On my trips to India, my Indian family never lets me be alone, and the 2 mins that I was left alone I was approached by two goons. I have witnessed women being sexually harassed and groped in public and everybody has chosen to look the other way. Nobody stops to help. Nobody wants to be a witness. Why is it that every single woman in my Indian family has been harassed (in India), but not one in my Western family (in the West)?
          We live in Canada now, and last year there was a young woman near our place who was groped at a bus stop late at night. There were 8 people who were on the street that tried to catch him and chased him off, they called the police, and they gave a sketch.
          P.S. Why is everybody always comparing one country to another? (India, USA) They can hardly be compared. 2 different places.

          Like

        • Oh yes, US has more rapes because definition of rape is pretty encompassing and penetration be it by penis, limb, degit or object is considered rape not like India where only penile penetration is considered rape rest everything comes under non rape even if stuff is inserted into woman’s body through vagina.

          Also, why not compare the reporting rates and rate of delivery of justice and the duration of cases? Why just number of rapes.

          What a shame that people chose to compare bad and worse, while they criticize the US for all the trash it is sending into this great country yet they use it as a model to compare.
          Peace,
          Desi Girl

          Like

        • Alexandra, I have been groped, stalked and more in Western countries, but not in India even though I was travelling alone ; the opposite experience. Many of my friends have been through some kind of harassment and 2 of them at least have been raped (one in Europe and one in the USA). However I do not doubt the experiences of women who tell of sexual agression, in India, the USA or elsewhere.

          It annoys me when people try to say groping is the same thing as rape, or domestic violence, which it is not.

          There is a media buzz about violence against women in India at the moment, and it’s good if it encourages society and individuals to tackle the issue and take steps to make deep changes. But if it’s just an excuse to blame India as a whole, while conveniently forgetting that even the most economically developped countries in the World are unable to eradicate sexual violence, then I don’t agree. Comparisons are usuful to put one’s emotional reactions into perspective… in order to take appropriate actions.

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        • @victoria – What annoys me is that you’re more concerned about India’s reputation, than about being empathetic to survivors, especially considering that you’ve had it done to you before. I respect your story, but what I cannot respect is that “groping is not as serious”. If it is not as serious, then why is it considered to be a sexual assault? Because it is a forced sexual act in which the other person has not consented – that includes rape, molestation, groping, forced kissing, sexual torture, child sexual abuse, etc. – Anything that is a sexual violation needs to be held accountable as all are violating. Many of these violators start out with groping and then escalate to rape.
          You are fortunate to have had a good time in India. Nobody is blaming India as a whole. Talking about sexual assault in India and elsewhere is not “talking about the whole country”, obviously. These things need to be talked about.
          Jai Hind, Victoria…but there is a reason why India is rated the 3rd most dangerous country for a woman after Afghanistan and Somalia. That needs to be looked at, not denied or brushed under the rug “just because YOU had a great time”. There is a lot that needs to improve, as you can see by all the comments on this site and everywhere. This is a daily thing, not just “media buzz”.
          Indian women & women in India have a right to safety, no matter what they wear, no matter what the hour, no matter where.

          Like

      • @boiling – yes, that is true. I am just so saddened by the news that it just seems like the worst time is now, and yes, in history, there were worse stories.
        In the global society – and especially within India – attitudes towards women need to change, and that starts within the home and within the community. Hopefully it will improve.

        Like

        • “This generation is like …….” line irks me because it is the standard line used by all uncles & aunties attributing all the world’s problems to today’s age & harping abt how good their life was before women did not wear western clothes/drink/smoke/ blah blah conveniently forgetting that they are using positive aspects also – cell phones/internet etc. This is used to make you obey them because things were better in their times. I instantly imagine my aunt nagging me & pointing out what is wrong with my gen ha ha

          I often remind myself, we talk of problems but in reality it was the same earlier. They lived through world war, famine, economic depression etc. We identify with our lives now but we are tiny specks in the universe.

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  10. Yes, rape is about power and control. I’ve told this story several times online but years ago a police officer coworker of mine was giving a presentation about personal safety at a retirement home. He’d just finished talking about how rapists want power and control when an elderly woman raised her hand and said, “but who would want to rape a 90 year-old woman?” The room erupted in laughter and I was shocked because they weren’t understanding his message the officer just explained to them so well. She thought that at age 90 no one would rape her because they wouldn’t find it sexually gratifying. Male and female, old and young are raped– the rapist gets a thrill out of brutalizing another human being and seeing them powerless.

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  11. how many of you have seen this documentary? where it is clearly hinted that rape is used as a revenge for loss of honor. It is clearly evident RAPE/MURDER are about power and not sex or class.

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  12. Rape is awful, and gang rape is beyond words. What is important to know is how to react when someone wants to rape you. Sometimes talking can help, because then the abuser is forced to see you as a person rather than a prey.

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    • Really? Do you think the raped doesn’t do the talking or begging or reasoning or what ever you and others recommend?
      Rape happens because a rapist makes a choice to rape and knows he can get away with it because someone will come up with a list of suggestions to the raped how she could have prevented it.
      Peace,
      Desi Girl

      Like

      • It has happened to me, and I have talked the guy out of his project. But you who have never been harassed apparently have better ideas ?

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        • You think DG and other women who grew up in India faced no harassment, it was a walk in Eden for us. The permanent eleven between DG’s brows is the gift of 25 years of stern expressions to keep miscreants at bay. It is not a best feeling to go around with a stern face and smileless just because you do not want to give anyone any ideas.

          Now about what works, everything and nothing; putting up fight; talking them out calling them Bhaiya, ripping your scarf and tying the holy thread called Rakhi, distracting them with other means. But it all comes and rests on how many people there are and what means of inflicting hurt they have at their disposal besides penis.

          Here you are arguing just for the sake of arguing and you want to have the upper hand go ahead and be DG’s guest. But please stop preaching what an abused could have done differently coz’ it is not about her but the abuser who made a choice to rape.
          Peace,

          Desi Girl

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        • I am sure you have heard of the story of Rosa Parks, an African American woman who decided to sit on a bus although it was not allowed for African Americans.

          Most people like to tell the story as if she was just a tired woman who wanted to sit down. Therefore when you hear the story you think she was some kind of super hero and you could never do such a thing. But the real story is she was a civil rights activist a long time before that day, and if she found courage to sit down, it is because she had done a lot of courageous little things before that day.

          Everybody agrees that women need to empower themselves and learn to say no. But what does that mean on a daily basis ? Is blaming everyone and going around with a stern look the solution ? I don’t think so.

          Peace to you.

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        • I have been harassed before, in fact you should assume that every woman has, just because they don’t come out and say it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. Glad the “bhaiyya” technique worked out for you, but it certainly doesn’t for everyone. Many people who commit sexual-related crimes don’t have the consideration to think of others’ feelings.
          I’m out of this conversation & done arguing with you.
          As Desi Girl so eloquently puts it – “peace”

          Like

        • @Victoria,

          We know Rosa Park’s history none of us here thought she was one tired woman who just sat, we are aware of her civil rights engagement. Please stop preaching the choir.
          We both as women and as Indians know what it means to be walking on the roads of this country and how to defend ourselves and offend the patriarchy in every possible way. We know how we are making difference in everyday life not only our lives but of those we engage on daily basis. Some of us are in the field for almost half of our lives now. Stop preaching us and stop telling the victim of sexual abuse what they could have done differently because it was never about her but the abuser who chose to commit a sexual assault.

          Who is blaming anyone but you are the one who is blaming the victim.

          Please enjoy your wearing the chip on your shoulder just spare us.
          Peace,
          Desi Girl

          Like

        • Desi Girl, you misunderstand me, I am not blaming anybody and I’m not preaching. I hope you find peace.

          Like

    • Oh my gosh, more victim blaming, now it is the woman’s responsibility to make sure she convinces the rapist that she is a PERSON by talking to him. And I suppose she must remember to be polite right, not use any f words to offend the holy rapist? correct?
      How many more excuses and rationalization do we need in favor of the rapist? And what if she stays quiet and resists to fight just to ensure the rapist doesn’t kill her if he is raping her at knife/gun point? Obviously then the entire sick and twisted Indian society would say that was consent, not really rape and she enjoyed it, after all she did not fight or scream hard enough and dared to actually survive first.

      There is absolutely no justification for rape or rationalizing why men rape to come up with a lame ass excuses. Doesn’t matter what the woman was doing, wearing, or if she is prostitute, no woman ever deserves to be raped no matter what.
      Yes killing another human in self defense is totally justified, but raping someone is never justified regardless of circumstances, there is absolutely no gray area here (and yes that includes marital rape).

      Like

    • I don’t think this comment blames the victim in any way or tries to justify the rapist’s actions. This is simply one way we could (maybe) escape if we land in this situation. I’ve heard something similar about kidnapped kids: when parents make an public appeal to the kidnapper, they are asked to mention their child’s name often because it may force the kidnapper to view them as a person. Similarly, when someone is trying to rob you at gun point, then talking in a calm voice to the gunman can make the person less jittery and less likely to fire the gun. None of these may help; most likely the gunman/rapist/kidnapper is a sociopath. But there is a very slim chance that he may be a first-timer who will back off or reduce the intensity of the assault. Teaching someone possible escape mechanisms does not imply victim blaming and does not reduce the vileness of the crime in any way. And yes, nothing can be as effective as pepper spray or better still, a gun (in a gang rape, your only chance of escape is a gun).

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      • Yes, that was my point Vibha. It may work, I know it has worked for some women and it has worked for me. But as someone once pointed out ; whatever you do to survive is the best thing to do.

        I so wish some women would stop seing themselves as hopeless victims and classify all the positive things you can do to try to stop an agression as “victim blaming”.

        Yes, you are more at risk of being assaulted if you look like an easy prey, and yes there are things you can do, even though there is no 100% guarantee it will work. Even pepper spray can be used against you by the rapist/gunman/kidnapper. But it can also save you.

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        • Victoria and Vibha,

          I see your point that women must learn to do whatever it takes to stop a rape. I bet everyone here agrees to that because until our legal system improves WE have to be more vigilant about ourselves … however, are you assuming that the victims don’t “talk it out” with the rapist(s)? I bet they are crying, pleading, what have you!

          Vibha,

          Child sexual abuse is different from rape in the sense that in *most cases* the abuser of a child is a family/known member. And such abuse happens in the so-called “safe” settings (mostly inside the victim’s home). So in such cases, confronting the abuser or saying that you’ll complain does help.

          Rape is different. In case of marital rape, the problem is that most people don’t even acknowledge that it’s rape. And if you think about the rape cases reported in recent times… the brutality of it all says everything. No amount of talking, pleading, Rakhi-tying will help.

          Like

        • Leela, even when the legal system improves, I believe it’s important to inform yourself about techniques that could help in a situation of agression. I was not implying victims are not crying and pleading, I was saying talking calmly might help (which is not something natural to do).

          Like

    • @Victoria,
      DG did not misunderstand you, she understood exactly what you wrote. If you think she and Alexandra misunderstood you then next time please chose your words carefully because words carry meaning.
      DG is always in peace or else she won’t able to do the work she is doing.
      Don’t steal her signature create your own.
      Peace,
      DG

      Like

  13. GAWD…I have been asking this question forever.. What pleasure do they get while raping a woman/girl/child? Do they associate this act to their manhood? Do they rape to boast? Does raping a woman make them superior from others? Why do such men not go to prostitutes? Can they not afford one? Or, they don’t want to go to a prostitute fearing how will their family or society react? Thus, they rape. And if they don’t get caught the 1st time, they continue to rape women and children.

    Our law is so weak. Its been 8 months and Nirbhaya’s case is still being debated in the court. Becuase of the delay in justice, the crime against women is at an increase. There is no fear. Men (and now even boys) rape because they don’t fear law.

    If a 16 year old can rape or gang rape a woman then why consider him as a juvenile? Is this not enough encouragement? Our government is doing everything to ensure MEN DO NOT GET EXCITED by asking women not to step out of their house after 7, not to wear certain type of clothes, and so on. They don’t want lingerie displayed outside the shops. Dance bars have been closed…but men will be men. If they don’t fear law or God, lets try Humiliation. Show them on TV, let the whole India know who they are and what they have done. But it still does not answer the question…what makes men rape? hmmm…may be they love to experiment… they love to feel a miserable, crushed body under them…may be they feel like superman… I don’t know….😐

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  14. Here are some answers straight from men, 25% of whom admitting to raping http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/10/asia-pacific-rape-survey. 75% of those admitting rape said they did it because they feel entitled to sex, they ‘deserve’ it whenever they want it. More than half did it for ‘entertainment’.

    Feeling entitled to another person’s body and finding entertainment or ‘fun’ in another person’s pain are issues to do with how men are brought up. These reasons are not about sexual repression or arousal. They are about boys growing up believing that a woman must give them what they want (how dare she refuse) and lacking empathy.

    Like

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