‘The woman said she was inebriated when a co-worker took her to a room and raped her.’

Despite all the comments, despite the expected rape survivor blaming (for being drunk or for just being) and even though it is not reported accurately, this news is a positive indication. Because this rape survivor did not remain silent, and the alleged criminal has been ‘held’  and I am sure investigations are underway.

Man held for raping colleague after party in Gurgaon – TOI

The father of the victim had filed a complaint with the Gurgaon Police on Sunday afternoon. According to the complaint, the woman, who had joined the company a few months ago, was among 50 employees who had gone to the club for an official get-together.

The woman said she was inebriated when a co-worker, who had also joined a few months ago, took her to a room and raped her.

“I had a few drinks with my colleagues and was not in my senses. I was on my way to my room when this guy took me to his room. It was only after I was sober again that I realized what had happened. Not just police, even my company should take some stern steps to ensure that nothing of this sort happens to anybody,” the victim told the police.

And this is how the same crime is reported in the Hindustan Times,

Manesar: woman raped by colleague at office party – Hindustan Times

According to police, the woman — a resident of southwest Delhi’s Dwarka — went to her room after the party got over around 12.30am.

She was sleeping when the accused, identified as Sumit, allegedly entered her room, locked it from the inside and raped her.

“The incident happened around 1.30-2am. The girl called her father, who immediately lodged a complaint with the resort. The resort, in turn, informed the police. A medical test confirmed rape and we arrested the accused from the resort immediately,” said Rahul Sharma, deputy commissioner of police, south district Gurgaon. He added that the accused was drunk when he entered the woman’s room.

“The accused knocked on her door repeatedly, forcing her to open it finally. The victim was also quite hung over and the accused took advantage of the situation and raped her,” said Ramphal, investigating officer, Manesar police station.

Here’s a comment that sounds like common sense. 

Smriti Saxena : “The accused should be strictly punished”

And here is the expected, traditional and patriarchal response which has been successfully used by our ancestors to silence rape survivors.

What does the commentator think should ‘happen’ to the rape survivor? Should she have been too ashamed to report the crime?

Deven (PUNE) replies to Smriti Saxena

“and what should happen to the girl who drinks and cannot even control herself?”

And here are some more reasons why there is an urgent need to create awareness about Consent and Lack of consent in any sexual act.

What if the victim was a sex worker who changed her mind? Would it then be okay for the man to rape her?

Here are just six of the thousands of examples of the traditional methods that are employed to silence Rape Survivors.

1. After all the news n reports n protests, if women does not act a bit more cautious, she cannot always expect a policeman standing next to her for protection…..drink, njoy but to a point tht u dont loose ur senses!!!

2. It was wrong on his part to take advantage. But then I have to blame her too since she herself was in an uncontrollable state. When there are beasts surrounding you, why take the chance. Why cant one be careful and protect themselves. Whats the need to go to a club. What harm would it bring if the party was avoided. I think people no longer think or scan the surroundings but they just want pleasure, comfort and enjoyment and this is the price they pay

3.  You join late night parties…………………….OK, You take drink …………………………………..OK, You loose your senses………………………..OK, You loose your ………………………………………., Police & your company should take some stern steps to ensure that nothing of this sort happens to anybody. Is their any action you would take against you………………

4. Is it totally guys fault?? What the heck if gals in our country adopts western culture then they should be comfortable with the consequences as alcohol stimulates the desire. And ya of course what happened was unfortunate as one should have control upon his desire. But we cant blame the boy completely for what happened..

5. Not to justify what happened, but ladies on outings need to know how far to go. Of course the rapist needs to be punished as per the law.

6. gorigora (chennai)16 hrs ago

Its irony.. not every men is buddha.. the world history shows men will have sex with women when get an opportunity. World history shows it is woman get raped by men.. what more the girl needs educated on? She goes drinks with people and think men will spare her if thhey get an opportunity? We are living in a world even fathers, grandfathers, and brothers commit such crime their kins and what do you expect from a coworker? I am not defending that guy, but when will women take responsibility of their ownself? When will women get commonsense? When will women think wise? All that exploitation of women is not something started today.. it is not just indian thing nevertheless, indian culture also exploitive like other in the western world too.. hey women.. grow some brains..

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91 thoughts on “‘The woman said she was inebriated when a co-worker took her to a room and raped her.’

  1. //When there are beasts surrounding you, why take the chance//

    It is amazing how often this argument is used. Well, if men are indeed beasts (which is not my opinion but of those who repeat the above), Why are the beasts not in cages? WHY are they allowed to roam free without a leash?!

    //Its irony.. not every men is buddha.. the world history shows men will have sex with women when get an opportunity//

    Has anyone asked this expert on World History, if men are such creatures as “will have sex with women when they get opportunity” WHY it is not taught to them NOT “have sex with women when get opportunity”?!!
    And on top of that people like the commentator say, “I am not defending the guy”. Defending is exactly what people like him are doing.
    He has the audacity to ask when will women take responsibility for themselves. Really? How about men taking some responsibility for their body first before asking others to be responsible!

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  2. Wow though I expected similar responses but still..my blood is boiling..It is not only about consensus for sex. It is about individual’s freedom. Man OR Woman..each person should be free to dress, drink , party, and say NO for sex as per their choice. There is a difference between individual freedom and stepping on someone else’s freedom. Sigh!!! But still I am glad she came out and she is fighting against the crime. Thumbs up for that!

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  3. If a woman should be punished because she cannot “control herself” and she drinks alcohol, what should we do to guys who do not drink but still cannot “control themselves?”

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  4. Some action being taken – finally. About time as well.

    However, some of those thoughts are downright disturbing if not surprising. Some people think they are REALLY wise and have ‘grown some brains’, when they say that the woman should have been careful. Drinking is her choice. Whether she drinks or not in no one’s business. Whether that makes her drunk or not is her business. But HE had no business coming in and violating her privacy and raping her. When will these so-called ‘enlightened’ people ever get it through their heads that she didn’t ‘ask for it’?

    Look at this guy saying not all men are like the Buddha! What in heaven’s name? Seriously. And the guy saying “and what should happen to the girl who drinks and cannot even control herself?”, needs to change the question and ask “and what should happen to the guy who drinks and cannot even control himself?”. So it’s just the girl who is supposed to ‘control’ herself. Apparently it’s okay for a guy to do whatever he wants when he loses ‘control’. I wonder if these kind of men actually take pride in being uncivilised – if they actually love being told that men lose control (and that’s perfectly fine), and that they cannot stop their urges and therefore it is perfectly acceptable for them to act like despicable low-lifes. Oh yeah, all hail, these kind of uncivilised men who cannot ‘control’ themselves!

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    • In the world of these people, women do not have sexual desires, and homosexual people do not exist, therefore a man cannot possibly ever be sexually abused. Women do not need to “control” their sexual urges, because they are assumed to not have any.

      This kind of worldview is insulting to both men and women. In the real world, both men and women sometimes desire sex, but both men and women are generally capable of behaving with decency and respect despite this. For the same reason that a person who experiences hunger is nevertheless capable of walking past food without stealing it a person who experiences lust is capable of walking by a desirable person without assaulting that person.

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      • Alcohol lowers one’s capacity of control and inhibitions. I have witnessed incredible things during office parties – even from women, actually especially from women.

        If rape happened, the lady was right to file a case. If she filed a case because she was feeling shameful about having agreed to intercourse while drunk then it’s something else.

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        • So what if a woman gets flirty after having had alcohol? If a sober man took her inebriated yes as a yes and went ahead and slept with her, it is still rape. On the other hand, if the man too was drunk, then we’re treading into tricky waters.

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        • This is really a reply to Krithika’s comment, but I didn’t see a reply button below hers.

          I agree taking advantage of an inebriated woman should be considered rape, especially if she didn’t say no.

          But I feel that if she is inebriated and said yes, it shouldn’t be considered rape. I feel that one shouldn’t use one’s inebriation as an excuse from one’s responsibility. Just the way we argue that a murderer shouldn’t be allowed to walk free because he wasn’t in control of his actions because he was drunk.

          I guess ultimately it’s a case of don’t get drunk enough to say/do stuff you’ll regret later.

          Please note I am not saying drunk women should be taken advantage of. Just that drunk women who said yes explicitly shouldn’t have grounds to later claim rape.

          I know the last line sounds like one of those police officers in one of those videos, but I feel it really isn’t the same. There is a slight difference.

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        • I totally agree with the part where you say not to get so drunk that you regret later. It goes for both men and women. This is not about rape,but for life in general. And yes, if a person says yes for sex when drunk, the sober partner should ideally back off. But if both are drunk, things are murkier.

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  5. If you are unable to control yourself, and drink too much, then you deserve to be hungover and feel bad the next day. If you fall over and hurt yourself, you’ve got nobody but yourself to blame. If you act stupidly and cause people to think you’re a fool, again, you’ve got nobody but yourself to blame.

    But all of that is entirely unrelated to sexual abuse or rape. If you are raped, the blame lies squarely on the perpetrator, and ONLY on the perpetrator.

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  6. Hw Stupid is to blame a girl for a rape ??, just bcoz she is drunk . So if a woman is drunk , man can do watever he wants .Stop this holy bullshit of blaming a girl for rape and justifying it is a crime and ,sin . So the same man can drink , rape any girlz , he can wear or dont wear any clothes ie acceptable in this pseudo modern city ??

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    • Can you explain why it is stupid ? If you get drunk senseless and got robbed, the crime is solely committed by the robber but you deserve the blame too for not being responsible and for making yourself vulnerable. Same holds good here too.

      And, don’t make a false analogy between drinking and the clothes you wear. The later doesn’t get you out of your senses but the former does.

      We would all love to live in a Utopia where no crime occurs. But down here in the real world, crimes do occur and let’s take some personal responsibility to protect ourselves. Of course, it doesn’t mean that we will never be a victim but it doesn’t hurt to reduce the chances of being one.

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      • For people those who are down voting this comment, it would be much more productive if you could reply as to why I am wrong instead of just down voting.

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        • There are many reasons why blaming the victim is the wrong thing to do. First, because it *always* happens. It would be one thing if a tiny fraction of assaulted where told they should’ve been more careful, but in reality it happens every time and there’s ALWAYS something to blame her for. Perhaps she was drunk. Perhaps she was in a bar. Perhaps she wore clothing that revealed her body-shape. Perhaps she was walking home by herself. Perhaps she was traveling alone. Perhaps she was sleeping in a cheap hotel. Perhaps she was hitchhiking. Perhaps she had consensual sex many times with many different men in her life. Perhaps she kissed the rapist two days earlier.

          Yet, do you really want to live in a society where women have stopped doing all these things ? Some, mostly conservative religious people *do* want that.

          Then there’s the issue of fairness. How often do you read that men are themselves to blame because they do one of the things mentioned above ? For that matter, aren’t men “worse” than women in all these respects ? Atleast where I’m at, men are -more- likely to be publicly drunk than women are, and I do think that’s the case in India too.

          I don’t *WANT* a world where women live in fear. I want a world where women will happily take part in all those parts of life they want to take part in. Where they’ll drink wine and kiss boys, if so inclined — or stay home and play computer-games if that’s more their style. Where if I offer a woman a ride, she won’t worry I might abuse her somehow. Where she can be *free*. Not as an absolute, I realize this world won’t turn into utopia overnight. But I see no reason to accept even an inch less freedom for women than for men.

          So if men can go to bars, drink beer and kiss women, without harvesting critique for their efforts, then women should be able to do precicely the same thing, with a equal lack of critique.

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        • @agrajag: I said nothing about what one wears or where/when one travels etc. I am just talking specifically about getting drunk senseless, which was the case here. It is stupid for a guy to do that. It is also stupid and dangerous for a girl to do that. Why can’t we say that the girl shares the fault (and not the guilt) for the crime ?

          Rape is just one thing that can happen when you are drunk senseless. You could also get robbed or your organs could get harvested or you could get trafficked for slavery etc. I don’t see anything wrong with asking girls (and guys) not to get drunk senseless.

          You say that society doesn’t blame men for getting drunk. You know why ? You don’t see men complaining about getting raped (or robbed) while they were drunk. If they do, they will also get blamed the same way. At least a girl will get some sympathy just for being a girl. Men wouldn’t even get that.

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  7. I completely agree with the concept of consent, and women (be in any profession or condition) should have sole right to give consent to any man to have love making session with her. I would go a step further to give a woman the right to stop a man from advancing further, even at the hight of pleasure. But all ideals cannot be implemented or enforced by the force of law. If that be the case, then no man in this country or anywhere can walk free anytime, because while it is debated for the right of women to consent and say no, it is no where debated how it is practically allowed and in many more ocassions than not women use this ambiguity in law and general awareness to withdraw consent given during the act restrospectively. –

    In the present situation being debated here, all the women sympathizers and idelogists holding on to the idea that women can solely lay claim to being a victim are commenting about the consent part (which is agreeable on the merit the point carries), but all of them fail to see the possibilty that a drunk women could have easily led a drunk man to the situation and later could have withdrawn the consent restrospectively.

    I am very clear in my mind that forcing a woman/man to give consent or forcing onself on a any other person (irrespective of gender) is not only a crime of worst order, but pathetic sin, for which there could be no excuse.

    But I am in the same vein very clear that, using just one parameter of consent or lack there off by a woman (that too allowing it to change retrospectively on women’s perception, whims and fancies) to club any act a man does with the worst kind of crime is not only an act of devaluing sufferring of a genuine victim of violence of lust, but also blatantly sexist way of dehumanizing and criminalizing half population of human being.

    Let there be strictest and fastest delivery of justice in every case of crime against women / men and also let there be strictest and fastest delivery of justice in every case of misuse of law (for common good) by woman / man against another man / woman.

    Also to be kept in mind are two balancing statements – Justice Delayed is Justice Denied, but Justice Hurried is Justice Burried. Street justice, and too much stress on stopping the the lowest % of all crime (however emotionally overpowring that crime may be) cannot become a solution to the problem, lest people don’t want our country to behold democratic value. If that is what one wants (like implementing quick street justice, etc.). then I am afraid, all hell will break lose.

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    • I read this on the guardian website- “Consent is too low a bar, hold out for enthusiasm instead.”

      Consent to a sober man from a drunk woman is NOT consent at all. A sober man is perfectly capable of making a judgement call about the ethics of sleeping with a woman who is not fully aware of what is going on.
      I grant that when both parties are drunk, the issue of consent has the potential to be misconstrued. It can become blurry/messy if a man (or woman) is mistakenly acting upon the assumption that consent was given (an assumption arising from drunkeness), and proceeds accordingly. Still, the law remains the same- you are always held responsible for any acts that you commit when you are drunk. Raping someone ‘by mistake’ when you are drunk, is *newsflash* STILL rape.

      I don’t know what you are implying with your comment, it sounds a little bit like victim blaming when you indirectly say that what has happened here is a ‘retrospective’ withdrawing of consent. Legally , that cannot happen, drunk or not, and that is not what happened in the case above. There was never any consent to begin with (according to the woman), so sex without consent makes it rape.

      Of course the defense may claim that there was indeed consent- but it is upto the man and his lawyers to prove that it did exist in a court of law, and for the judge to decide if consent from a drunk woman to a drunk man passes the test of true consent.

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      • lets get it straight, when a drunk man is held responsible for his actions of rape, equally, a drunk women shuld also be held responsible for the consent she has given, even if she is rape. i see no reason why women should have different rules to ease off their responsibility under the psuedo blanket of weaker/victim.

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        • it’s not really about women being the weaker sex.

          When only one partner is sober, there is no question of consent. Consent extracted from a drunk person by a sober person is not really consent.

          When both partners are drunk, I concede that the issue of consent can be tricky, morally and legally, especially if one person was genuinely acting under the impression that consent did exist. It pretty much has to be on a case by case basis, and if one party feels it was rape, the law allows them to file charges.
          Proving or disproving the existence of consent then becomes both parties headache, no?

          I have a friend of a friend who was once accused of rape by a girl he knew. They had slept together when they were both drunk, he strongly believed that she had consented, but she strongly believed that she had been taken advantage of.
          To cut a long story short, the courts felt that there was too little evidence (and rightly so) -to convict him.

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      • That, desidaaru12, depends entirely on the specifics of law, and as such, vary wildly by where you are. For example, where I live, rape is defined as using threaths or violence to get sex *or* to have sex with someone who is incapacitated or for other reasons unable to protest. Having had a drink or 5 drinks isn’t sufficient for that, just like you can say: “Sure I’ll dance with you!” after drinking a whole bottle of wine by yourself, you can also say: “Sure we can have sex!”.

        But if you have sex with someone who is sleeping, or who is so drunk that he/she hardly realizes what’s going on, and is unable to meaningfully say yes or no, then it’s rape.

        The worst part of your comment is however the end.

        It is NOT the job of the accused to prove his innocense. NEVER. This is a very important and general principle in law. Instead, it is the job of the actorate to PROVE his guilt. There is thus no requirement to prove consent, instead, the actorate have to prove (not in a mathemathical sense but “beyond reasonable doubt”) that no consent was given. This is often difficult, and is one of the reasons why we see so few convictions for rape.

        Nevertheless, this principle is important and should be kept: You are innocent until your guilt has been proven. NOT guilty until you prove your innosence.

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        • I know quite well that innocence is presumed until proved otherwise, thank you.

          I am not talking about semantics, or the spirit of the law. I am talking about real life. You sleep with a drunk woman,(in India atleast) and she alleges the next day that consent was absent- and you get dragged through the court as a man accused of rape anyway. In that case you’ve got to try and prove that you did believe that she had consented, and proceeded accordingly.

          Also, ‘drunk’ would mean having sufficient alcohol in your system that is medically known to cause impairment of consciousness- that would obviously vary on a case by case basis and would no doubt be grounded in forensic tests that law enforcement would carry out.

          My basic point is that ‘consent’ given by a drunk person to a sober person is very different from consent between two drunk people. In the former case, the onus is on the sober person to weigh the situation carefully. In the latter, it boils down he said/she said- and Indian law allows charges to be filed.
          As I’ve said to another commentator, a friend of a friend (someone I met a couple of times) was accused (and aquitted) of rape charges in a situation where both were drunk.To seek ‘justice’ in such situations seems impossible.

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    • You are confusing several different aspects, and making quite a stew in the process.

      First: Everyone, man or woman, is free to decide for themselves whether they want to engage in sex or not. This decision can be made at any time, including after sexual foreplay or intercourse have begun. So certainly, you can agree to have sex with someone, start making out with them, then redecide and stop before completing the act. You can however not change your consent retroactively. If you did consent, then you did consent, regretting your decision on the following day doesn’t change the fact that the sex was consensual.

      Second: For something to be punished, 2 criteria must be fulfilled: An act must be illegal, AND it must be proven beyond reasonable doubt that the act took place. With rape, it is often a problem to prove what happened, if the man claims consent was given, but the woman claims it was not, then absent further evidence that guy will NOT be convicted, because there is insufficient evidence to be certain that he is guilty.

      Thus the reality is opposite of what you claim:

      It is true that if a woman and a man has sex, and one of them (regardless of gender) later claims that no consent was given, then we can’t know for sure who is right. But what happens in this case is that the accused go free. Thus the risk here is that rapists go unpunished for lack of evidence – not that innocent people get incorrectly convicted of rape.

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      • In case of rape is not only what woman say against what man say. A rape can be proved with medical evidence if the victim, after rape is going directly to police and then hospital where medical evidences are taken. I think is necessary women to be thought that after rape they should not have shower and neither to go home to wait till next day. Evidences will dissapear in that way. So if was really a rape can be proved very easy by medical evidences, sure if doctors or police don’t take bribe and alterate evidences.

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        • That’s oversimplified. True, medical investigations can sometimes say if sex took place or not, and if there’s particles from the partner on the victims body, then a DNA-test may be able to say certainly *who* the partner was.

          But the medical test cannot show if consent was given or not. Sometimes signs of struggle can be seen, and if so, this can be evidence for rape, but even such signs are not certain proof, because some people consent to bondage or other rough sex.

          Nevertheless, a medical test is well-adviced for someone who was raped. The test may not be able to prove the rape, but it can certainly help !

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    • CLAP, CLAP, CLAP here came the brilliance enlightening us

      …but all of them fail to see the possibilty that a drunk women could have easily led a drunk man to the situation and later could have withdrawn the consent restrospectively.

      …using just one parameter of consent or lack there off by a woman (that too allowing it to change retrospectively on women’s perception, whims and fancies)…

      Leading on or not leading on if you are on top of the woman or inside the woman the NO, MEANS NO.

      What part of NO is hard to understand?

      Man is not a dog that his member will get locked into the female body unless he climaxes. The privilege of being human is you can get up and leave in the middle of the sex act without any physical compulsions like the one for dogs and other animals.

      A woman can consent certain sex acts and can with draw her consent from particular and certain sex acts, that is her right. There is nothing retrospective about it. Her NO means NO, not yes because she is already half naked or fully naked in bed with someone.

      Oh, did we forget Julian Asange? What were the charges on him? Sex without the use of protection. The woman consented sex but not sex without protection. NO MEANS NO.

      Peace,
      Desi Girl

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  8. Victim blaming has been the game ever since whether its rape or domestic abuse – You must have done something to deserve this, the woman is told. Can we expect justice from a system where the accused and the judges are all the devoted servants of patriarchy ?

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  9. Three things here:
    1. The girl was out of senses. But the rapist was very much within senses right, even if he was on alcohol? Then common-sense says that the rapist is responsible for the act.
    2. Why would people assume that it’s consensual? It has been proved that “Intercourse cannot be consensual when the woman is incapacitated due to intoxication” – Re-sharing one of the earlier links shared in this blog;
    http://sapac.umich.edu/article/196
    3. I’m sick of this “He’s drunk so can’t help himself” theory. It has been proved that the affects of alcohol on sexual desire are “socially conditioned” rather than “physically conditioned”. “The evidence suggests that reducing levels of drinking overall would have a beneficial impact on vulnerability to rape perpetration and victimisation, but that this should be undertaken in conjunction with interventions to change the social meaning of alcohol consumption, particularly addressing links between men’s sexual entitlement and alcohol.” – Again re-sharing one of the earlier links shared in this blog:
    http://www.svri.org/RapePerpetration.pdf
    “There is no evidence that alcohol causes a man to become sexually aggressive if he is otherwise not so inclined”

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  10. Ugh. I hope the rapist ‘Sumit’ is apprehended to the full extent of the law. Why isn’t the newspaper publishing his full name? He’s not a minor, and the general public has a right to know his name.

    As for the commenters–the only thing that’ll work with people like these is public shunning. If someone says that a woman drinking deserves to be raped, then you can be assured that this guy would have also committed the rape were he in Sumit’s situation. Society needs to treat these people just like the would-be opportunist rapists that they are.

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    • Unfortunately for you, the criminal justice system in India works on the Common Law principles of fairness, equity and justice. Shaming an accused, a person who in the eyes of the law is ‘innocent unless proven guilty’, is a violation of not only these basic principles, but the right to a dignified life under our Constitution as well.
       
      Mob justice is no justice. Emotional rights are no rights.

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  11. I feel there shld be a law tht in a sexual act if one of the partner is drunk (either male or female) It shld be counted as rape…Something like sex with a minor is considered statuatory rape inspite of it being consensual.
    In an inebriated condition a person cant take a rational decisions and its easy for the sober one to take advantage. That applies to males also….There has been cases where drunk males have been seduced by woman which they regret later.
    So if there was a sexual act between a drunk and sober person and the former wants to press charge it should be counted as rape.
    Like any other law there will be window for misuse but in the long run I feel this law will be effective.There wont be any need to “prove” weather the act was consesual sex or rape.

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    • @Neha,@exploradven
      It IS actually already IN the law. Section 375, clause 5, verbatim:

      “A man is said to commit” rape” who has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions…

      …Fifthly.- With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.”

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    • How do you define “drunk”? Just one drink? I don’t believe that a person can be stripped of their responsibilities just because they’re drunk. If you stab someone, you’re still responsible for murder – you can’t later claim “I was drunk! Not my fault”.

      I can agree that you make poor choices when drunk. But that’s not the same as rape. Here’s how I visualize a dialogue between a drunk woman who had ill advised sex (with consent when drunk) in the morning after:

      Woman: Umm…did we have sex
      Man: Yep!
      Woman: Crap. Shit. Shit. Shit. Can we please pretend this never happened?

      This to me is the right way to go. To me, as long as she was conscious, and said yes it’s valid consent. It’s not as if something terrible has happened. It’s just sex – let’s not make some huge deal out of this.

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      • “It’s just sex”

        See, this is tricky to say. Perhaps it is just sex, for you, if you happened to be drunk. What if the woman in question was drunk and consented to having sex with an abusive ex-boyfriend? What if the woman in question was purposefully plied with alcohol by a person who has full knowledge of the fact that she will probably consent once drunk?

        People who are drunk are impaired. They are not capable of making decisions with full knowledge of the consequences. Yes, maybe you are responsible for your actions while drunk, but they are not the same actions you would take when your mental faculties are fully in your control. When a sober individual consents to sex with someone who is not able to fully control their decision making ability, this, to me, is in fact taking advantage. Even if the drunk person says yes. Because that ‘yes’ does not come from a mind which is fully functional, but rather one that has been impaired and is not capable of making reasonable decisions.

        This is the reason why decisions made when drunk are often not taken seriously. If you consented, and gave away the contents of your bank account to someone while drunk, would you say, “Crap. Shit. Shit. Shit. Well, I was conscious, and I said yes. So I guess it was a perfectly valid decision.”? No, you wouldn’t. And that transaction, under a court of law, would probably be null and void because you made the decision under the influence of a substance. Same deal with marriages–you can get them annulled, because in the court of law, you do not have the capacity to consent to a marriage while under the influence. So why should this not extend to sex as well?

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        • I’m pretty sure that making a bank transfer to someone cannot be annulled just because you were drunk. I’m also sure you can’t take your vote back because you were drunk. Any purchase you made can’t be returned just because you were drunk. Bottom line – people make shitty decisions when they’re drunk. It sucks, but that’s the way it is. In fact, sex while drunk is probably one of the least harmful things you can do! I thought I should write about this separately so I did!
          http://www.bhagwad.com/blog/2013/rights-and-freedoms/is-it-always-rape-if-the-woman-is-drunk.html/

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        • If you consented to have intercourse while drunk, after you decided to drink too much, it’s not a big deal, so long as you consented and had a good time… and so long as you live in a culture that will not judge you, shame you and blame you forever because you did something foolish on one occasion.

          Isn’t feminism also about accepting one’s desires and flaws ?

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    • I disagree. Sure, for *severly* intoxicated persons, those who aren’t able to walk or to talk straight, and may be almost comatose, this applies. In such a state, no meaningful consent is possible.

      But do you really believe that if I and my wife share a bottle of wine, and thereafter go to bed and have sex, that we should both be considered guilty of rape ? That seems very silly to me.

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  12. And somthing similar to this happened in fresher’s party in my office..a girl was drunk and one guy taking advantage of the situation kissed her…It was not rape just a kiss still its was enough to outrage everyone. Coz he violated her personal space without her consent. Thankfully everyone supported the girl.The victim blamers were in minority.
    He was shunned and the issue was sternly dealt by the HR….

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  13. I do not know the details of this case but, generically, could it not be possible that the accused was also drunk and not in his senses. I think the burden of consent should not be on the man if both are not sober.

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    • How smart? Then who should the burden of consent rest? If he was drunk and incapable of understanding his action then she should have stayed in his room not bang on her door when opened pin her to the bed. I am yet to hear/read a very drunk man stuck his member in a live electric socket. They never make any other mistake besides sticking themselves into a woman, there are electric sockets, holes in the walls, faucets etc.
      DG

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      • In my scenario, two people have sex while being equally drunk. Neither of them objects to the act. Neither of them gives an explicit consent. One of them gets to accuse the other while the other is considered to be a rapist, for the same act of having sex while drunk that they did not really have wanted/consented to if they were sober. It figures only if one believes that sex is something that women give and men take, men do and women are done upon. How sexist and patriarchal.a notion that is.

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        • Even women can and do sexually harass and assault men. Who said they that is not possible or that hasn’t ever happened? You think those of us commenting here think women to male sexual assaults are not possible or never happen? Where did you read this either or position? Did we forget quite a few desi young men experience their first actual sex act with older women known to them oh, did we forget that bhabhi or mami in the neighborhood that porn world gloats on? Consenting adults fine, one minor not fine, statutory rape. Two minors one unconsenting not fine. Minor to adult assault not fine.

          If you are drunk stay in your room and in your pants applies for both men and women. Problem solved. This is the reason consent by a shit drunk person is not held a valid in the court of law. Oh they can’t drive beyond certain limit of blood alcohol still they don’t stick their member in electric socket but they definitely make way to an drunken woman. What does that tell you? PATRIARCHY
          Peace,
          Desi Girl

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    • The burden of consent is ALWAYS on both parties, no matter if they’re drunk or not. If a woman has sex with a man, without ensuring that he is consenting, she is guilty of rape. If a man has sex with a woman, without ensuring consent, then he is guilty of rape.

      Gender makes no difference at all. Before having sex with someone, make sure that they want it. This applies no matter what gender you have, and no matter what gender your partner has.

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  14. its not just about consent but also capacity to consent! as someone else pointed out, having sex with a minor is considered rape because they are not able to give a full informed consent. if the guy was equally drunk then its different but if he was not then it was definitely a predatory attack. he took advantage of a vulnerable person, as for those saying maybe she consented while drunk – it does not take a scientist to find out if a person is too drunk to consent or not. there is the merry drunk and then there is the so drunk she cannot stand or passed out drunk!

    anyways stay strong girl! she must be traumatized. all rape victims experience a loss of control, but hers will probably be worse because she has no memory of it and she will perhaps never find out what actually happened, and it will haunt her for some time at least. anyways i hope she understands that she is not to be blamed in anyway and there was nothing she could have done to stop it (i know some may think yeah she shouldnt have any drinks, she shouldnt have gone out – in that case maybe she should not have been working, or even better she should not have been born!)

    also bravo to the father!!

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  15. Dear IHM,

    I have read your blog for almost as long as it has existed and this was one issue that compelled me to comment. Before that, I must congratulate you for all the good work and the fellow commentators for enriching the discussion. I am especially always on the look out for Carvaka and Bhagwad’s opinion any issue for they seem to make the sharpest and most sound critiques.

    In the above mentioned case, I understand that there is judicial remedy for the accused in case the accusation turns out to be false. That is, if the accused claims that there was mutual consent while the accuser claims that there was no consent, the accused will be let off in case there is no further evidence to show that there was a lack of consent. However, as someone pointed out above to an earlier judgement where the court ruled that “consent under inebriation” is no consent at all. It makes sense as far as the accuser was inebriated and the accused was not. If both of them were inebriated, and there was no consent from the accuser, then the accused is still responsible for his actions because inebriation is not an excuse for crime.

    However, I am troubled by the fact that if the accuser in an inebriated state chose to have sex only to realise when sober that it was inappropriate, the accused still has to stand trial. And this can be tantamount to sentencing, especially in a country like India where the judicial process is slow and tedious and judgement is passed by all and sundry before the trial. Not to mention the conditions under which an under trial is housed.

    I am 29 years old and live in a country where women are sexually liberated and do not make a big deal of one night stands. More importantly, the society respects the choice each one makes. I have had few one night encounters and all of them invariably have been under circumstances where the both of us have been intoxicated. This is not to say, we weren’t in our senses. but we would certainly not be allowed to drive with that quantity of alcohol in the blood. I have often wondered what would happen if the next day one of us chose to accuse the other of rape. I am not sure if I convey to the fellow readers here of such a fear. In a country like India, where such a hue and cry is made of virginity and where the idea of women desiring physical pleasure is largely alien, I would think that it is only better that you avoid one night stands, inebriated or not.

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  16. It’s an interesting scenario – not just this case, but all such situations. How drunk is “too drunk”? Clearly if the woman is completely sozzled and has no idea where she is and what’s happening then consent to sex is a joke.

    If however, she’s slightly tipsy and says “yes” I don’t see why that should be a problem. I myself don’t drink, but my wife tells me that she always knows what’s going on and will never say “yes” when she means “no”.

    Also, what if the woman is sober and the man is drunk? Is it rape then too? I don’t agree with people saying “Even if she’s slightly drunk, it’s rape”. I think that’s nonsense. All over the world pick up bars serving alcohol exist where guys and girls get together to have fun. Are all sexual encounters emanating from such places rape? I think that’s a ridiculous idea.

    I think there should be a threshold of drunkenness – a state where you really cannot even speak properly or move your legs. Only in that state would I consider consent to be insufficient.

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    • Bhagwad, I was awaiting your comment on this topic. You have pointed to the issue more succinctly than I was able to. I am almost terrified by the way some of the commentators above seem to think that indulging in sex while being intoxicated should automatically constitute rape. It is impossible to have a certain alcohol limit as the threshold for ability to consent, unlike in the case of driving where the lowest bar is generally accepted.

      What worsens my fear is that in the social scenario that India finds itself in, many of such accusers (I use the gender neutral term advisedly), might often be driven by shame and guilt. This is not to belittle or blame the presumed victim here nor is it about this particular case. But just to point that the larger issue at hand of what constitutes consent, especially for matters of intercourse, under the influence of alcohol is really a slippery slope. I really do not have answers. I am just waiting to grow old where I do not have to fear being accused of rape for going to bed with women whom I meet at the bar or party.

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    • “Also, what if the woman is sober and the man is drunk? Is it rape then too?”

      Uh, yes? Why in the world would this NOT be considered rape? If a party does not have the ability to consent, then it is coercion and it is rape. End of story. Gender has no factor in this situation.

      “If however, she’s slightly tipsy and says “yes” I don’t see why that should be a problem. I myself don’t drink, but my wife tells me that she always knows what’s going on and will never say “yes” when she means “no”.”

      As someone rightly pointed out above, it is not so much about consent, as it is about the capacity to give consent. When you are impaired, you are not in full control of your mental faculties and therefore, cannot give consent. Even if you say yes, this ‘yes’ does not come from a coherent place in your brain.

      I think it’s great that you and your wife have established such boundaries for each other. This, however, is not the case for many other people. For me, if I am drunk, then my decisions are not ones to be taken seriously. Including the ones where I ‘consent’ to sex.

      “All over the world pick up bars serving alcohol exist where guys and girls get together to have fun. Are all sexual encounters emanating from such places rape?”

      And all over the world, there are men and women who specifically go to these bars, remain sober, and purposefully prey on the men and women who are inebriated with full knowledge of the fact that they will say ‘yes’ in their impaired state. Is this not taking advantage? This is not a “fun” encounter. And yes, sexual encounters emanating from such places, within such scenarios, are generally not considered as consensual sex either.

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      • @A:
        A person who chooses to go to a bar and gets intoxicated is making a voluntary choice. Just as this intoxication cannot be held as an excuse for driving under the influence of alcohol, i.e. you cannot claim that you chose to drive because you were not in a position to make the right decision, you cannot claim excuse for consenting to sex either. An adult is fully aware of the consequences of alcohol intake and impaired judgement emanating from it. And thus, he/she is fully responsible for the consequences of it.

        Rape is an act of sex when there is no consent. Coercion comes into picture when one of them has deliberately got the other person intoxicated with the intention of extracting consent knowing well that the other person is incapable of judgement under intoxication. And this too will hold good only if the person has been intoxicated without his/her knowledge. If I chose to sit and drink with my abusive partner and then later consent to sex, it is my responsibility. As an adult I am expected to be well aware of the consequences of my decision to drink. Just as it is for driving. I cannot claim excuse of impaired judgement when the decision to drink was voluntary. Your example of prying sober men/women in a bar is just your moral stand. Bot the sober and not sober adults in the bar are there out of their own volition fully knowing the consequence of intoxication.

        The only scenario where I can think of where intoxication leading to sex becomes unacceptable is when one person forces upon the other who has passed out after drinking. In this case there has been no explicit consent and could be treated as violation of the persons body.

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      • @A:

        You say ” For me, if I am drunk, then my decisions are not ones to be taken seriously. Including the ones where I ‘consent’ to sex.”
        Does it mean that if you were to drive after being drunk, your decision to drive should not be taken seriously? Are you suggesting that the state and law must come to your protection because you chose to voluntarily impair your judgement through intoxication and the state has the responsibility to protect you from having sex with somebody? I do not understand how if you have chosen to be intoxicated out of your own volition, the actions emanating from it should not summarily be your responsibility. As I said earlier, Rape is an act of sex without consent. If the consent emanates out of your voluntary choice to be intoxicated, well knowing the consequences of intoxication as an adult, why should the principles of natural justice come to your aid?

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        • “Does it mean that if you were to drive after being drunk, your decision to drive should not be taken seriously?”

          No, it shouldn’t taken seriously at all. In fact, if I were inebriated, and I announced my decision to leave by driving, my compatriots who are sober should not be pressing car keys into my hands, but rather removing them and calling a taxi in the interest of my well-being.

          Similarly, if I am drunk and announce that I am going to have sex with the next person I see, my compatriots who are sober should not be jumping at the chance to take my clothes off. They should be holding me at arms length and take the appropriate steps to ensure that I am not taken advantage of.

          I choose to drink. Doesn’t mean that when I chose to drink, I chose to drive. In fact, before I started drinking, I could have made a firm decision to NOT drive. I could have written this down in ink. This is the decision that should be taken into account, because I made it with full conscious thought. After drinking, after my faculties are dulled and decision making skills rendered moot, if I choose to drive, this decision is not a serious one and not one to be followed through. Which is why systems like designated drivers exist to begin with, so that even if a person who is drunk decides to drive, that decision is not followed through at all.

          This is the SAME line of thought that should be given to “consensual sex” under the influence. I chose to drink. Before I began to drink, I could have made the firm decision to NOT have sex with anybody. After drinking, again, after my decision making skills are gone, if I choose to have sex, this decision is in NO WAY equatable to the decision I made before drinking.

          Yes, I made the decision to get inebriated. But I made this decision with full use of my brain. Not a partially numbed brain that can’t tell left from right. You cannot equate the decisions made by those two brains as equal and same, because they’re not. The decisions are made under entirely different biological conditions, and such things need to be taken into account. In fact, in many cases under the law, they already are. So no, a person is not “fully responsible for the consequences of it”. You are fully responsible when you are fully capable of making a decision.

          Also, let’s say for an instant that you are “fully responsible for the consequences of it”. What if you get married to a person while under the influence? Well, you said “yes” when they proposed right? You signed the legal documentation. So does this mean that by all rights and purposes you are now married? No. In fact, such marriages are completely null and void. The decisions you make while drunk (so long as they are not harmful to other human beings) are not considered to be serious decisions at all, and many such decisions are completely dismissed in court. Why should sex be any different?

          “Rape is an act of sex when there is no consent.”

          Lack of consent does not simply equate to an explicit “no”. Lack of consent also takes into account the abject inability to give consent as well. When a person cannot make a proper decision about consent, for whatever reason, any consent they give under such circumstances is considered null and void.

          This is also why statutory rape laws exist. A person above the age of the majority who has sex with a minor is liable to stand trial and be sent to prison. Even if the minor consents to sex. Why? Because as a minor, they are considered incapable of making conscious decisions with forethought. A child could say “yes” to sex, but does this mean that they are consenting? No, it doesn’t. Because they are children who cannot make these kinds of decisions at that age.

          “If I chose to sit and drink with my abusive partner and then later consent to sex, it is my responsibility.”

          You’re not consenting to sex. You are consenting to drink. Once you are inebriated, you do not have the ability to give proper and full consent. So no, when you consent to sex, it is not your responsibility, simply because you chose to drink. You made one decision. That does not automatically mean that you made another one right away.

          “Does it mean that if you were to drive after being drunk, your decision to drive should not be taken seriously? Are you suggesting that the state and law must come to your protection because you chose to voluntarily impair your judgement through intoxication and the state has the responsibility to protect you from having sex with somebody?”

          If I am driving while drunk, I am a liability to other individuals. I have the potential to cause harm to other people. This is why DRIVING under the influence is outlawed, not the act of drinking itself. This is why MURDER under the influence is punished, not the act of drinking itself. This is why DOMESTIC VIOLENCE under the influence is punished, not the act of drinking itself. It is because all three of these situations are ones where you are causing harm to other people who are not you. Nobody is going to put you in jail for punching a wall until your knuckles bleed. Heck, you might get thrown in for PROPERTY DAMAGE, but not for hurting yourself. Why? Because you are hurting yourself, but are harmless to others.

          This is the differentiation between “consenting” to sex and “consenting” to driving. One action does not cause harm to others. In fact, it causes harm to the person who is “consenting”. The other act has the potential to kill other people. And it is the taking of another person’s life that is ultimately punished, not the act of being inebriated itself.

          Nobody deserves to be punished because they make bad decisions while drunk. They are punished when they make bad decisions that harm others. But if you make a bad decision that is harmful only to you, and a sober individual aids you in carrying out that decision that is harmful to you, it is the person who has the full mental capacity in the situation that carries the bulk of the blame for the harm that befalls you as a result. Not the person who is impaired, who has not harmed anyone else.

          “If the consent emanates out of your voluntary choice to be intoxicated”

          Once again, consenting to one thing does not mean you automatically consent to everything else. You can make a decision that carries risks, but it is perfectly within your means to not consent to those risks at all. I consent to being an electrical engineer. That doesn’t mean I consent to dealing with bad wiring and circuitry that could potentially get me killed on the job. “But you wanted to be an electrical engineer! You can’t hold the person who did that shoddy wiring responsible for your wounds, you signed up for this when you took this job! It is YOUR fault for getting hurt, because you wanted to take this job to begin with!”, is not an excuse that would hold up very well in court.

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        • ah you have got it so wrong! congratulations you are hitting the walls of your narrow mind. i completely agree with A!

          its not just about consent but also capacity to consent. and comparing drunk driving to rape makes no sense at all!!! i dont know understand why it is so hard for you to understand that a second person here is taking advantage of a powerless and vulnerable person. how the person got to that stage is not important, but the fact that someone attacked her knowing she was defenceless makes him not just a douchebag but also a criminal. he harmed her and thats a crime! period!

          also if one wants to live in a civil society its is imperative that everyone understands that taking advantage of someone weaker or just because they can is WRONG! lets send out the right message and not let them think they can get away

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        • @A: Responding here owing to no “Reply” link below your posting.

          Thank you for the detailed response. I see your line of reasoning but I am not convinced. I think we differ drastically in our moral philosophies on what constitutes personal responsibility and how much judicial remedy one must have for actions construed as ones own.

          My point about the equality in consenting to drive and consenting to have sex was not from the point of view of whether it’s a liability to others or not. I fully understand that the reason for banning drunk driving is that you are liable to others. However, it is also true that the law will not take your excuse of being drunk and impaired of judgement as a reason to acquit you of your crime of driving. And this is what I mean, when I say that you are as responsible for your action of consenting to sex as much as you are of consenting to drive while drunk. My take on it emanates from my opinion on summarised in two points:

          i) I am responsible for my actions under the influence of alcohol because I have taken to it being fully aware of the impairment of judgment that follows.
          ii) There shall be no judicial remedy considering “rape” for what constitutes an act of intercourse under consent.

          I hope you will not provide imprudent counter examples like being robbed while drunk,as identical to the above scenario. I do not see the act of intercourse as loss of property or violation in the case of an adult if the consent is provided under impaired judgement. I think voluntary impediment of judgement through the act of intoxication should have consequences and they should be mine alone, as long as there is no bodily harm or material loss. An act of intercourse with consent in my opinion does not constitute either of it. I find it too far fetched that the state must interfere in under what circumstances two consenting adults must indulge in sex.

          I hope it is clear that I am not trying to equate the way “consent” is understood for a minor as opposed to an adult. For the case of marriage, you mention that it is null and void if it is signed under conditions of impaired judgement. I wish to make clear that marriage in the eyes of a state is simply a contract. A legal contract requires two people of sound mind to sign it. And thus it is only correct that it be treated as void otherwise. The statement of yours comparing marriage to act of sex equates casual sex to a contract and I fail to see the equivalence. Thus in my opinion there can still be no judicial remedy for it.

          As I said earlier, we seem to have difference of opinion on what constitutes an adults responsibility. I think it is best that we agree to disagree because this is a question of ones fundamental philosophy on what constitutes an individuals rights.

          Thank you for your well worded argument.

          @jaya: “ah you have got it so wrong! congratulations you are hitting the walls of your narrow mind….” I think making ad hominem remarks or resorting to satire is not the most useful way of making your point.

          As for the rest of your remarks, I refuse to be drawn into an argument of whose morality is better.

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        • A, if you know that all the decisions you take when drunk are wrong, and still chose to get inebriated then…. I think you should document yourself about alcoholism.

          Why should the people around you be responsible for your actions and decisions ? Why do you chose to put yourself in danger ?

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        • @Victoria
          “A, if you know that all the decisions you take when drunk are wrong, and still chose to get inebriated then…. I think you should document yourself about alcoholism.”

          There’s a difference between stating that all my decisions are wrong, and stating that all my decisions are not ones made from a sound mind. Even if my impaired mind makes a decision that is right, or is one that I would have otherwise made while sober, the fact that I made that decision while drunk means that it should not be taken at its word and followed through by sober individuals as an actual, well-meaning decision.

          Thanks for being concerned enough to let me know that I should document for alcoholism though.

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        • @A. I think it is a bit easy to say the “decision (you make) while drunk should not be taken at its word and followed through by sober individuals”.

          Note that I have often been drunk, so I’m not judging you or anyone, but I think one should always be responsible for one’s safety. You can never assume that everybody around you is sober, sane and nice.

          In the past few years, I’ve had a series of bad experiences, including sexual harassment and fights, each time I was very drunk and behaved in an out of character way. So I went to see my family doctor, and a psychologist ; they both told me you are alcoholic. Which I am not🙂. But I started reading about the subject, and found out that doctors have completely changed the way they see alcohol consumption. So I decided to change my behaviour. Not because of morality but because I realized I could destroy my life very easily. I still drink, but moderately and I have learnt in which situations it is better to refuse drinks and go home early if I’m feeling nervous (office parties is a good example).

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        • “If they are the type of person who, before or afterwards, does not mind having sex if they have consented to sex regardless of their state of mind, I am okay with that. It is their personal decision, it has nothing to do with me.”

          You cannot define a crime like rape depending on “the kind of person the victim is”! Either rape happened based on external facts. Or it didn’t. Why is this so difficult to acknowledge? According to you, everyone’s judgement is impaired when they drink regardless of what kind of person they are. Ergo…rape. End of story no?

          The definition of consent is not different from “person to person”. It cannot be in civilized jurisprudence. The laws are the same for everyone based on externally verifiable facts. Like I said above – you cannot define a crime depending on the kind of person the victim is.

          I’m afraid I don’t understand the distinction between judicial and personal rape. “Rape” is a word that in my opinion is overused and we shouldn’t wield it willy nilly.

          “But if sex is meaningful for someone, it is NOT up to you to tell them otherwise.”

          But in this case, your notions of something precious lost due to sex is causing you to take it so seriously as to elevate it to rape (personal or judicial). I get the feeling that were it within your power to do so, you would gladly change the laws to redefine rape to depend on the personality of the victim. So when this is the case, debating the importance of sex is not a trivial matter no? After all, the laws themselves treat different criminal acts differently based on common sense. Murder is more serious than a broken nose. Sure, there can be someone for whom a broken nose is a far greater crime than murder. But since we require common laws for the whole population we need to make a collective determination about which crime is worse. So talking about the seriousness of sex for everyone is quite important so that we can create uniform laws based on it.

          Just to clarify I am here talking only legalities, not what makes a “good person”…

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      • I’m not contesting that a person’s judgment can be impaired when drunk. (but not always). I’m saying that you can’t just call it rape. There’s a habit in Indian to just class every undesirable sexual encounter as “rape” like a guy promising to marry a girl and then going back on his word. I’m saying that making a shitty decision to have sex sucks. But it’s not rape.

        And many people would find your assertion offensive – the assertion that they’re not capable of giving valid consent when drunk. There are millions of people who happily get drunk and are still perfectly capable of giving consent. Men and women. They would be majorly pissed if someone were to tell them “You’re drunk and I can’t take your consent seriously”. They would probably reply “To hell with your patronizing ass!”

        Also, you can’t “ply a girl with drinks” unless you forced her mouth open and shoved the liquid inside. As long as she used her hands to voluntarily drink from the glass and she’s an adult, then getting drunk in her choice.

        I don’t think anyone has the right to dictate how others live their life. You can’t tell girls all over the world to not go to bars, get drunk and have sex if they want. These are adults who know how to live their life. Leave it to them.

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        • “I’m not contesting that a person’s judgment can be impaired when drunk. (but not always). I’m saying that you can’t just call it rape. ”

          Fair enough. I wouldn’t say you can call it rape either. It’s definitely not consensual sex, in my eyes, but it’s not rape either. It’s a grey area, and it should be treated as such. To me, an individual who has sex with someone who is impaired, when they don’t know fully if the consent that is given is actual consent, is taking advantage of a person in a temporary weaker state. I’m not really a fan of people who take advantage of weak people.

          “And many people would find your assertion offensive – the assertion that they’re not capable of giving valid consent when drunk.”

          Again, that’s probably true as well. But there are plenty of people who would take the assertion that they’re capable of giving valid consent while drunk seriously. They would probably be majorly pissed if you told them, “Well you were drunk, and you said yes!” They would /probably/ reply with, “Well, you’re a major ass for thinking that my ‘yes’ was one made in a right state of mind!”

          So, why take the risk, if you can’t truly be sure? If you are wrong about their consent, what you have done is harmed their psychological well-being as a result by making a mistaken assumption. This is not a harmless mistake that a sober person can make, but one that actually can have consequences for the inebriated individual. So why take the chance that they MIGHT be saying yes, when the alterntive could possibly be something worse for the person you’re having sex with?

          “Also, you can’t “ply a girl with drinks” unless you forced her mouth open and shoved the liquid inside.”

          Plying a girl with drinks, in this case, means putting drinks in the hand of a person with the specific intention of getting them drunk, then getting them to consent to something they normally wouldn’t, in their drunk state. You are trying to specifically impair the judgement of a person so that they will agree to something. Sorry, but if you’re going to actively go out and set up a situation where you can take advantage of someone, the title of “douchebag extraordinaire” is one that falls on you. Not on the person consenting to drinking. They have a right to accept a drink from someone without there being a hidden agenda behind it.

          “I don’t think anyone has the right to dictate how others live their life. You can’t tell girls all over the world to not go to bars, get drunk and have sex if they want. ”

          I’m not sure where exactly I told girls all over the world to not go to bars, get drunk, and have sex. If they get drunk and have sex, and do not regret it afterwards, I’m not going to judge them for it. It’s your life, it’s your choices, I’m happy that they’re happy with whatever decisions they made while drunk.

          However, if they get drunk, have sex, and wake up the next morning to realize that someone had taken advantage of them when they were in a situation where they would not have consented otherwise, then this is problematic and needs to be addressed. Not every person is made the same, and not every person who goes out to bars and gets drunk wants to have sex afterwards. To imply this is disingenuous.

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        • Apologies for injecting sarcasm in my comment earlier. You are right, there was no need for that…

          As far as responsibility is concerned, if two happy drunks want to have sex – there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. It might mean embarrassment or regret for some but its their business – and no third party needs to be involved. But it is wrong when a person is so drunk that she has little sense of her surrounding and someone takes advantage of that. It is then a violation of her and her body. This is an area where much has already been discussed in the west, and it is treated as rape in the West http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_facilitated_sexual_assault

          Also in India as desidaaru pointed out earlier
          “A man is said to commit” rape” who has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions…

          …Fifthly.- With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.”

          So whether you agree to it or not – it is rape by law

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        • @jaya

          It’s not enough to say “that is the law” because as we all know, Indian laws can be horribly wrong. Marital rape is not a legal crime here but that doesn’t make it ok for me to shut down any discussion on the subject by saying “Marital rape is not a crime by law. End of story”. We’re talking about what should be the laws, not use the laws as an automatic “I am right” button.

          And I have a huge problem with a determination of rape being contingent on how the parties feel about it after the act. Either rape happened…or it didn’t at that point of time. It matters not whether they were ok with it afterwards. Either a person gave invalid consent because they were drunk…or they didn’t. It matters not whether she really wanted it deep down or whatever. Ipso facto rape occurred if the consent was invalid.

          This is like our courts letting a rapist go because the girl “forgave” him afterwards. That’s nonsense. Either a girl was raped…or she wasn’t. It’s not enough to say “they both forgot about the incident and were embarrassed afterwards”. Rape is a specific crime with a specific definition. And that is not dependent on what the two parties thought of it afterwards.

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        • @Jaya: (Responding here since I cannot find the reply button under your post)

          Thank you for your considerate response.

          I am glad that we see eye to eye on part of the issue at least. I am aware of the interpretation of rape laws in the west. And I am in complete agreement with it. Quite often you see men and women stumbling out of the bars barely being able to walk home. Having sex with them and claiming it was consensual is ridiculous and is rightfully treated as rape. In fact, I think it is impossible for people in that state to engage in a mutually pleasurable sexual act, considering the energy required to do so. However, my contention is not about this case.

          As you might have read A’s opinion on the need for judicial remedy irrespective of the degree of drunkenness. As you point out, two people indulging in sex might wake up to regret but there cannot be any state intervention in such a case. That is precisely what I mean. A’s claim that if your estranged or abusive boyfriend invited you over for a drink and you accepted the invitation and later consent to sex even though you have not passed out, amounts to rape is something I cannot agree to. In doing so, you are merely shifting the burden of your responsibility to the state and in doing so criminalizing an act between adults which does not cause any violation. Even if the boyfriends intentions were precisely to get her drunk so that he could indulge in sex, as long as she was not made to be intoxicated without her knowledge, it cannot and should not constitute a crime of rape. At most, it only reflects on the poor judgment of the woman in question and nothing more. I think the degree of drunkenness that Bhagwad refers to is of significance and judgments in the West account for that to the best of my knowledge.

          And finally A’s contention that if the boyfriend set it all up purposefully, he would be “douchebag extraordinaire” is merely a moral stand. While I may share her values on the fact that such a person needs to be looked down upon, I cannot accept that he should be punishable by law. Laws cannot and should not be made to satisfy ones narrow morals but it should be based on principles of natural justice. The last time I thought about it only religions and god punished you for thought crimes.

          As for the judicial precedents in India and the laws that you mention, I simply have to concede that it is ridiculous. The law is often an ass as you might have observed in the non-recognition of marital rape.

          Thanks again for the exchange.

          Like

      • “To me, an individual who has sex with someone who is impaired, when they don’t know fully if the consent that is given is actual consent, is taking advantage of a person in a temporary weaker state. I’m not really a fan of people who take advantage of weak people.”

        That’s ok. But being a douchebag is not illegal. I can understand you not being a fan of a person like that. But it’s a long leap between saying that and criminalizing something. People have perfectly legal rights to be as big a jerk as they want. Personal morality must not dictate laws.

        “This is not a harmless mistake that a sober person can make, but one that actually can have consequences for the inebriated individual.”

        I disagree here. Sex is no big deal. Even if – as you pointed out earlier – a girl has sex with an abusive ex, so what? It’s just sex. She hasn’t consented to get back with him, or forgiven him or whatever. She hasn’t lost anything (other than the Indian notion of “purity” which should be abolished anyway.

        “Sorry, but if you’re going to actively go out and set up a situation where you can take advantage of someone, the title of “douchebag extraordinaire” is one that falls on you.”

        Sure. But that’s not enough to make it illegal.

        “If they get drunk and have sex, and do not regret it afterwards, I’m not going to judge them for it.”

        Quite the contrary – you’re telling them that they were raped. You’re in essence telling them that something terrible happened to them and the only redeeming quality is that they don’t regret it. You seem to be asserting in fact that they should file a rape case regardless of whether they regretted it or not. Because according to you, they had sex without giving valid consent and that is de facto rape. So the fate of the poor guy here rests solely on how the woman felt about it afterwards! That is not how laws or crimes are defined.

        Either rape happened. Or it didn’t. It’s not dependent on how the rape victim felt about it afterwards.

        “Not every person is made the same, and not every person who goes out to bars and gets drunk wants to have sex afterwards.”

        We’re talking about adults here – not children. So if a person knows that they’re the type of person who will agree to have sex after drinks, then that is their problem!

        Like

        • “Quite the contrary – you’re telling them that they were raped. You’re in essence telling them that something terrible happened to them and the only redeeming quality is that they don’t regret it.”

          If they are the type of person who, before or afterwards, does not mind having sex if they have consented to sex regardless of their state of mind, I am okay with that. It is their personal decision, it has nothing to do with me.

          However, if they are the type of person who knows that they do not want to have sex when they are inebriated, regardless of whatever type of consent they give in that state, and someone who is sober takes advantage of them anyway, then I’m not exactly sure how that is not rape. For me, personally, if I give consent when I am under the influence, that is not consent at all. That is not how I, personally, choose to give people permission to touch me. This is same for many, many other people. The definition of consent is different from person to person. If someone defines it differently from the way you define it, and that definition is violated, then to that person, it is rape.

          As for judicial responsibilities–perhaps I was not clear in the first paragraph of my response to you before. I’ll say it again–fair enough. Under the law, what I described above would not hold water in a court of law, and conviction would be nigh impossible. The judicial definition of rape (while it still needs some work) and personal definition of rape are not two things that should be mixed. If you’re convicting someone, convict them under fair and impartial circumstances, not because of personal opinions.

          “You seem to be asserting in fact that they should file a rape case regardless of whether they regretted it or not.”

          Once again, I think you completely ignored the first paragraph of my reply in favour of pinning me for words I didn’t say. I haven’t stated anywhere that someone should be filing a rape case, if they do not think it is rape. In fact, I have stated that under the judicial court of law, (and I’ve said this twice now, in my first reply to you, and in this reply), that you probably would not be able to call it rape. I have only stated that to some people, consent while drunk is not consent, and that if such consent is taken at its words and sex occurs as result, that sex is not consensual. It’s not rape, but it’s not done with consent either, which makes it a tricky gray area.

          “Because according to you, they had sex without giving valid consent and that is de facto rape. ”

          Yes, according to me alone. This is how I define valid consent for me personally. This is also how many, many other women define valid consent for themselves, personally. If they are not able to make proper decisions, then why should a decision about sex be any different, or be taken any more seriously?

          If for any woman, this is not their definition of valid consent, and they are perfectly alright with their ability to consent to sex when drunk, then alright. I know many women who are like that, who make their feelings open and clear about these matters. I also know many women who are NOT like that, who make their feelings open about these matters. When we party, the decisions that we made before are respected accordingly, and everybody walks away happy.

          If someone is aware of how I feel beforehand, and they choose to go ahead and ignore my words in favour of having sex with me just because my inhibitions were lowered and I said yes, then this is a violation of my personal trust. It makes them a bad person, because they have violated my trust. Will I get them convicted for rape? No. But will I let them walk away, believing they are a good person, when they had zero regard for my feelings and decisions regarding my body? No. Absolutely not.

          There are other men and women who would not see it the same way as me. And I respect that. In turn, I ask that they respect the way I see things, and not attempt to define things for me by telling me that, “It’s just sex! It’s not something serious! You just had sex with an abusive ex, why are you getting so emotionally and psychologically distraught by the fact that you shared something that is important to you with someone who treated you so cruelly?”

          “I disagree here. Sex is no big deal. Even if – as you pointed out earlier – a girl has sex with an abusive ex, so what? It’s just sex[…]she hasn’t lost anything (other than the Indian notion of “purity” which should be abolished anyway.”

          I’m sorry, but who, in God’s name, are you to define what sex is or is not for any human being other than yourself? How is this any better than Indian society defining what sex should mean for me? In both situations, an outside party is attempting to define something for someone who has nothing to do with them.

          If sex means nothing to you, good for you. I’m glad you think that way. Go have fun, by all means. But if sex is meaningful for someone, it is NOT up to you to tell them otherwise. They have decided that for themselves. If it is their preference that their sexual encounters happen in situations when they are in full control of their mental faculties, then that is THEIR decision. Same as it is your decision that sex “is no big deal”.

          As for cases where a girl has sex with an abusive ex–if the dynamics of that abusive relationship are one where sex was used as a means of control, as a means to humiliate, subjugate and oppress another human being, then yeah, having sex with an abusive ex-partner is going to be a big deal to that person. Again, you don’t get to define what an act means to any human being other than yourself.

          Also, you can attach meaning to sex without that meaning being related to ancient, old world values of “purity” and “loss”.

          “We’re talking about adults here – not children. So if a person knows that they’re the type of person who will agree to have sex after drinks, then that is their problem!”

          And if a person knows they are the type of person who will agree to have sex after drinks, but does not want that to be taken as actual consent, that should be respected as well. You’re right about one thing. We’re all adults here, not children. As such, we should all be able to respect the degree of permission we give to each other, and not violate that trust. And when in doubt, we should be adult enough to give them the benefit of the doubt and walk away.

          Like

        • I would also like to add that in the fourth paragraph when I state the words, “that you probably would not be able to call it rape”, I am talking about rape as defined under the law. You would not be able to bring a case to court, and tell the judge that you were raped as it is defined by the law. You cannot call it rape in that instance, and so a conviction could not be made.

          Like

    • @Bhagwad-
      Keeping the very drunk woman with impaired judgement as a constant –
      A sober man/ slightly tipsy man would be capable of distinguishing between the consent given by a tipsy woman and that ‘given’ by the woman in this example.There’s really no legal or moral grey area here.

      If the man was more than slightly tipsy-enough that his own judgement was impaired, then he would either mistakenly believe that consent exists, or would be so inebriated as to ‘forget’ about consent. This is where is gets really tricky, and I must say that I feel there is no clear right or wrong, especially when the woman’s judgement too is similarly impaired. The law however , allows the man to be accused of rape-perhaps that ought to change?

      Finally if the man was the drunkest possible he could be, he would probably pass out anyway-no question of consent or sex.

      Like

      • @desidaru So you think that if a person is very drunk, he or she is absolved of responsibility of recognising a “no” and forcibly having sex with another person, as long as that person was drunk too? I am confused.

        Isn’t it more logical that people cannot be absolved of responsibility for their actions and spoken consent whether they have consumed alcohol or not?

        A person incapacitated by alcohol (and I think we are speaking of someone in a passed out, or almost passed out state) would not be capable of giving consent and therefore would have a credible case that they did not consent.

        Like

        • Hmm, thanks for pointing out the fallacy in my comment. I wasn’t talking about a drunk man forcibly having sex with a passed out woman. I was referring to two drunk people with impaired judgement (not consciousness) who have sex without consent actively coming up.

          The next day, they are both fuzzy on the details, but one party feels strongly taken advantage of and wants legal action. Like I’ve said upthread , an aquaintance was once accused of rape in similar circumstances. He genuinely believed that woman wasn’t as drunk as she later said she was , and thought she was consenting. He was drunk too.
          In such cases, where establishing the facts is itself such a headache, I do feel that there is very limited scope for the courts to decide properly.

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  17. “And what should happen to the girl who drinks and cannot even control herself?” – But, my dear, – The girl did not commit rape, she was rapeD. Let me explain – she got drunk, went to her room and was trying to sleep it off. She did not barge into anothers room and take advantage of their drunkenness. Who’s the one out of control here?

    “World history shows it is woman get raped by men.. what more the girl needs educated on?” – How about educating men that no means NO. Actually, only Yes means Yes, Anything else means NO.

    Like

  18. Pingback: Is it Always Rape if the Woman is Drunk? « Expressions – Bhagwad Jal Park

  19. The “innocent until proven guilty” standard is sacrosanct. When we embrace this standard, we implicitly accept that sometimes, maybe often, maybe most of the time, criminals will walk free for lack of evidence. Yet, we tenaciously cling to the idea that in a civilized society, it is better to let criminals walk free than put someone innocent in jail.

    If you think about it, “innocent until proven guilty” is like the touchstone of modern free society. It demarcates the line between despotism and free society.

    But, when it comes to rape, we see a sudden reversal. Suddenly, its “guilty until proven innocent”. The media, modern liberals all of them actively encourage us to accept and act as though the accused is guilty until proven innocent. If you talk of “innocent until proven guilty”, suddenly you are a “victim blamer”. In other words, believing in a fair trial is a badge of extreme dishonor. Suddenly, demanding kangaroo courts, extremely low standards of evidence, gruesome punishments (like public hanging) and even medieval style barbaric penalties (like genital cutting) becomes the civilized thing to do.

    Why this hypocrisy?

    It is simple. If you refuse to uphold the standard of “innocent until proven guilty” in the way you speak about the accused, you are implicitly saying that women cannot lie. In other words, you believe in the moral superiority of women and hence the moral inferiority of men. Inferior is NOT equal.

    Like

    • true that one is “innocent until proven guilty” and that is for the judge (and jury where applicable) to decide. all the media can do (and will do) is bring cases like this in public domain so people can speculate and discuss these issues so that there is general awareness. however as people who have basically been given a ‘snapshot’ of whats happened and not all the details, we are bound to make judgements as well as introduce our biases.

      but yes ‘prosecution by media’ is something of a concern. there was a recent case in the uk where a popular tv actor was accused of rape and received a lot of flak but was eventually found innocent in the court. one way of addressing that could be providing anonymity to both the victim and the accused till the actual hearing.

      regarding being unfair to the accused, yes not all cases are the same and one has to try to be thoughtful towards both parties involved. i have sympathy for the ones falsely accused and the public naming that the person faces, i have equal loathing for women who would take such disgusting measures out of vengeance or just unsound mind. but in a majority of cases, the accusation is not false! it takes special courage to actually report a case like this, especially in a country like india where there is so much taboo and stigma attached to sex still.

      when a woman puts her everything at stake and decides to stand up for herself despite knowing that it will be a very thorny road ahead of her and she will be raped all over again – in public and in the court and every nook and corner of her character will be dissected – i personally feel i have no choice but to support her mission even though i dont know her or her case…

      Like

      • “Suddenly, demanding kangaroo courts, extremely low standards of evidence, gruesome punishments (like public hanging) and even medieval style barbaric penalties (like genital cutting) becomes the civilized thing to do. ”

        – i completely agree with this though! none of those things should be carried out. a fair trial is a basic right. what we are looking for is the victim to find justice and take solace in that and the guilty to face the consequences of the harm caused and reform so that they can be integrate in the society again…

        Like

    • I think victim blaming is not about ‘innocent until proven guilty’. I think that’s mixing matters. Victim blamers don’t say ‘maybe this didn’t happen, maybe he is innocent’, they say ‘this happened but was HER fault for being there, he is guilty of rape but it’s HER fault’. Victim blaming does not depend on innocent or guilty status of the accused. In fact it even goes on long after the accused is proven guilty. Just like the Delhi gang rape convicts’ defence lawyer kind of said that the girl should have been burned alive for being out with a guy friend. From what I see, it doesn’t really have much to do with ‘innocent until guilty’.

      Like

  20. If I find a inebriated woman, I would think she can not manage herself. So I would take help from another person to take her to her home or to her to a place where she will be secure from the beasts around and leave her there. If she is drunk, she has some problems. Pity her do not exploit her. No sane person drinks to get inebriated

    Like

  21. Why am I not at all shocked, am I becoming desensitized and conditioned to this mindset? How gross!!!

    “men will have sex with women when get an opportunity. World history shows it is woman get raped by men.. what more the girl needs educated on? She goes drinks with people and think men will spare her if thhey get an opportunity?”
    ———
    1. Rape is not sex. It is humiliation and violence.
    2. Women need to get educated on the fact that anywhere, at anytime, we can be possibly be raped? I don’t think so. MEN need to be educated that they are not entitled to women’s bodies.
    3. It is a disservice to men & masculinity to think that men are apparently these caveman-like creatures that cannot be bothered to control themselves – WTF!!!!!! Really???

    And don’t even get me started on that bullshit “Western culture” comment he made. You mean, a culture where women have “too much freedom”? Oh, how immoral!!!

    Like

    • “Rape is not sex. It is humiliation and violence.”
      It seems a lot of Indians are not aware of this, for instance the Khaps and some Delhi NCR cops seem to think that consensual sex outside marriage, and premarital sex is rape, and forced sex (marital rape) within marriage is not rape, even when the wife is a minor.

      Like

      • Why is there no discernation between the two? Isn’t there sex education in school/home? My husband said he never got any (he’s from Hyderabad in his 30s with good education)

        Like

  22. Pingback: How do you associate a sexual assault with someone who you thought stood up for justice? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  23. Pingback: “Even if the sexual intercourse was forceful it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of the deceased.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  24. Pingback: ‘After shocking the nation with her involvement in a high profile prostitution scandal…’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  25. Pingback: “It was OK for her to say ‘no’ after saying ‘yes’? Saying ‘yes’ doesn’t mean a blanket sanction to any sexual activity.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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