“As long as the men do not understand that they CANNOT and WILL NOT get away with such behavior and criminal acts, the rape culture will not go away”

A couple of thoughts shared by Anon Girl.

Hi IHM,

I recently saw this BBC documentary on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENNi8Kk0ags (India – A dangerous place to be a woman).

Of course, most of it is to show the rest of the world the culture of sexual violence that most women living in or visiting India are already all too familiar with.

What was interesting though was how the BBC subject reports a 6-month old molestation incident that she herself went through to the Delhi police. As I watch her go inside the police station with her girl friend without the cameras, I was actually afraid for her. I thought she will be either dismissed, mocked or, worst case, be molested by the police itself. Surprise, surprise…the police actually investigates the crime, encourages her to file a report and arrests the criminal. She then appears at court proceedings where a female judge affirms that he will be face severe punishment. Several reasons are given for Delhi police’s shockingly appropriate behavior that she is a foreigner, the recent public pressure on the police, etc. But I believe there is one take away from all this – despite the hurdles that any of us face when we are “eve-teased”, harassed, groped or molested….we all need to make it a point to officially register a complaint, and/or outspokenly condemn such behavior on social media and blogs (a woman actually found her attacker’s facebook account and posted for all to see about what he had done). As long as the men do not understand that they CANNOT and WILL NOT get away with such behavior and criminal acts, the rape culture will not go away. Also, the sheer number of complaints will show that we reject the victim-blaming attitude and will pressure the society into changing their norms. The Indian jails might be more populated than ever though!

I love reading the comments on your blogs – it actually has helped me to be mindful of and question all the “trivial” and “everyday” things that Indian women are expected to do – to shower or not to shower, to wash your husband’s inner wear or not, to stay quiet when someone touches, grabs, or violates your body and well being or not.

Good luck and keep going!

Related Posts:

It’s Your Fault

Study finds 98% of India rape victims knew their attacker.

“The foreign tourists that come here must inform the police of their activities”

“I will not sit back and allow the image of India’s men to be tarnished by an article that does not articulate other sides to India.”

Controlling crimes against women: What works, what doesn’t work.

This is what rapists do when there is no fear of punishment.

How Victim Blaming confuses rapists, police and the society about when exactly does non-consensual-sex becomes a crime.

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

26 thoughts on ““As long as the men do not understand that they CANNOT and WILL NOT get away with such behavior and criminal acts, the rape culture will not go away”

  1. My sentiments exactly…below is an excerpt from a post I had recently written….. “React and Report- when ever you face harassment in a public place or face a bunch of eve teasers or are attacked, report it to authorities.File a formal complaint.When you feel that a person is misbehaving-react and let others around you know. There was a lot of social stigma attached to women reacting against and reporting these kind of ‘advances’. But then time is changing, the mind set of people are changing. More arrests are being made on charges of harassment in public places.

    If a person is excused without any confrontation after committing a crime, that would only boost his/her confidence.He/She might try a braver and more sinister thing the next time.Make this place a safe place for you and the others.”

    Like

  2. I don’t agree with you.

    Indian women have hundreds of good reasons to avoid going to the police after becoming victims of these crimes. It is irresponsible and wrong to tell women to ignore their instincts and report the crime when they don’t want to for some reason. Instead, we should SUPPORT and ENCOURAGE and WORK TOWARDS MAKING IT POSSIBLE for women to report these crimes.

    If you want to change men’s behavior, tell men directly to change their behavior. Don’t tell women, especially victims of crimes, to do X or Y or Z in order to change things.

    Why are we even bringing victim’s behavior and choices into these conversations? We are no different from people who say “women should take precautions by doing this or that”. The only difference is those people are saying what the victim should have done before being attacked, and we are saying what the victim should do after being attacked.

    From the point of view of the victim, it’s the same old victim-blaming all over again: a hyperscrutiny of their actions and their choices with the implication that if only the victim had done something different we would not have this problem anymore.

    Like

    • I see your point and agree with you.
      I think your point about creating an environment where women feel more comfortable with reporting these crimes is essential.
      However, it is also important to create awareness about what is expected of the victim by the law enforcement and legal systems in India.

      I concede that some of this can overlap with ‘telling’ the victim what to do- but the intent here is to get justice for the victim, NOT to rid society of its problems. The difference in intent makes it acceptable (IMHO) to push for greater reporting of such crimes.

      Like

    • It’s not so much victim blaming to call for more people to report the crimes that are committed against them. It would be victim blaming to say that their suffering thereafter is directly caused by the fact that THEY did not report the crime, and that they deserve whatever ill-effects they get because they did not pursue justice in due course.

      But to simply state that more women should recognize that what has happened is a crime against them, and that they should feel no shame and fear no societal repercussions in reporting that crime (because it is a crime, end of), is not wrong. The way I see it, it is a step in the right direction. People are only silent as long as they are afraid, and women who are sexually assaulted in India are afraid of reporting what has happened, often solely because they fear that they will be blamed for it. By telling them that they should report the crime is in essence also absolving them from fearing that they will be blamed for it and recognizing that whatever has happened was not their fault but the fault of the person who did it to them.

      I will agree that people need to stop telling women how to augment their behaviour and instead go after the criminals and ask them to change their behvaiour for the better instead. But I don’t see how asking women to step forward and demand justice is a case of that? I can see how it would be, if women were being blamed for their suffering because they don’t step forward, but to simply ask women to not be afraid of demanding better for themselves–how is that victim blaming? To demand that your rights be recognized, to demand that people punish the criminals–isn’t this just another way for women to take back their autonomy? The more women stay silent about these things, regardless of the environment, the easier it is to brush these things under the carpet and pretend like they don’t exist. You cannot change attitudes without making noise first.

      I will also agree that this there is a massive need for people to facilitate a better environment for women to come forward with their stories, and that the current environment is not conducive to this at all. However, it’s very much a catch-22 here. You can’t facilitate change if there is no pressure placed on the police by the victims, but in order for victims to come forward, the police need to create a better, safer environment for them to speak out in. Something has to give.

      Like

    • That’s a little silly. The right thing for a citizen to do is to report a crime, whether it is murder, rape or theft. Many choose not to do so, but the right thing to do is obviously to report it. I can’t disagree more with you. Encouraging women to report a crime against them is not victim blaming. Or do you advocate the age old ‘keeping quiet and bearing the shame’?

      Like

    • @ Nandini,
      It is a good thing to make women aware of their rights – and one of their rights is the right to report a crime. If we do not exercise our rights, they will go away. There are some countries in the world where the law does not permit a woman to go and register a complaint.
      This is not at all victim blaming – it’s empowerment. There is safety in numbers. It may not be safe for a woman to walk into a police station alone but she can gather other people who support her and make the complaint.
      My aunt who lives in small village in Andhra Pradesh was faced with a problem a couple of years ago. Her 15 year old daughter was constantly being “eve-teased” at school because she was the only girl student in her class. She talked to several neighbors and relatives, both men and women, and group of 20 people went and filed a report against the 3 boys who were harassing her the most. The harassment stopped. The 15 year old was able to attend school without being bothered by anyone.
      True, we must create safe environments for women to report crimes. But we must also actively encourage women to take the lead in garnering support for themselves.

      Like

  3. I think this is a very good point. People get bold only if you’re silent. But if you stand up and shout, the instigators are often the biggest cowards on the planet. Even if justice is not served on a judicial level, if we at least make it a point to raise awareness about what has happened, that itself can be powerful. By doing so, we are taking ownership of the incident. We are turning something that was supposed to dehumanize us and sapping it of its power. The very action of refusing to be ashamed of having a crime committed against you can sometimes make all the difference in the world.

    Like

  4. I loved that BBC documentary. It was so well done, and it covered the many different layers of violence against women. I was rooting for that narrator to report it and get justice – it is an inspiration to girls everywhere. Another thing I found interesting was when the narrator said, “it’s all about how you’re PERCEIVED”.
    Here is my blog post in reaction to watching the documentary:
    http://madh-mama.blogspot.ca/2013/08/must-watch-india-dangerous-place-to-be.html

    Like

  5. the attitude that people have against crimes and women need to change as well.
    My sister recently posted a status on facebook about a mallu actress who had complained about a politician who had groped her. The actress broke down on tv while explaining what happened and her husband stepped in to defend her. My sister’s comment was on how the husband did good and that all men should be like that.

    Someone commented on that post (a female someone) saying ” My dad says she is a prostitute (obviously they are throwing the word ‘prostitute’ in very callously!). He reckons she’s just doing it for publicity”

    To this comment, another guy posted ” 80% of mallu actresses can be bought. Besides, I saw the video. He just brushed against her. Hardly call that MOLESTATION”. This comment was “liked” by the previous female.

    I am appalled that these 20 somethings who are all supposedly “new age” and talking like this! They are calling an actress a prostitute based on what?!! They are maligning her character because she raised a complaint against assault!!?

    I responded saying that a prostitute also must not be touched against her will. That a person’s sexual history is irrelevant when they complain against a sexual assault.

    She responded saying ” I agree. That’s not what I meant. I only asked if she is a prostitute cos that’s what my dad said. My knowledge of the case is limited”

    Of course… in spite of her ‘limited knowledge’ of the case, she has already rubbished a woman’s claims of being sexually harassed by a man by calling her a prostitute and suggesting that she was doing it for publicity.

    This world… I cannot understand the way it works. *sigh*

    Like

  6. I think it’s unfair to lump the entire police force into one category. I have met many helpful policemen. Twice, I have also reported harassment, and the next day, there was no stalker. One of the policemen actually told me to always come if there is a problem and they’ll take care of it. No mention of what I was dressed in, etc. I am aware that there are many bad eggs, but there are plenty of good men in the police force too.

    Like

    • I agree , on my recent trip to india , a fellow bumped against me and said some garbage, rigth outside the police station, i kicked up a fuss, 2 police officers were just coming in , stopped and told me to go inside and file a complaint, their exact words were ‘ go in and file a complaint, put it in writing, otherwise we cant do much and this fellow will go on doing this, don’t worry about anything, just file a complaint. if victims don’t report the crime it will never become a crime’.
      very educated , young police officers who want to make a difference. i applaud them.

      Like

  7. It’s a slippery slope, really. It always starts with a gesture, a comment, something indirect. It starts as a gift, an adjustment, a favour, as tradition. It starts as something to make us look “good”. Before you know it, you’re struggling to not look bad.

    It’s like the gambler’s fallacy. the more we lose, the more we play in hopes of winning back something we’ve lost. But it’s not likely at all that we’ll win. The odds are deliberatly stacked against us to keep us from discovering that the idea is never to let women claim space or have rights. That’s how patriarchy operates.

    I find that a forum like this brings out all problems big and small and throws up an overall pattern. From complexion and dowry to education and careers. From keeping house to washing underwear. Do we hear of any tales of acceptance and empowerment? Not even close to the scale of the other stuff. It’s just endless khich-khich

    that’s the reason l am making an effort to call out BS whenever I encounter it. “Eve teasing”

    Like

    • sorry, posted too soon.

      “Eve teasing” is the ultimate B.S. in our society. The end goal is clear. harass women to the point where it’s easier to stay at home and think twice about every action. But it’s named “teasing” just to make women second guss their reactions. The less we tolerate it, the better.

      Like

  8. I agree. One of the most frustrating aspects of Indian culture is the tolerance for suffering. The first instinct is not to complain or report or solve the problem, but to put up and shut up.
    I remember boarding a flight in Chennai at 1 am and there were thousands of passengers moving at snail’s pace and not one of them went and asked the airport personnel why the heck they can’t open more than 2 counters. Frustrated, I finally walked to the desk, with my toddler holding my hand and my baby in a stroller and demanded to know why can’t they have more people and not make it such an ordeal. They let me in quickly but the thousands of other silent sufferers continued to wait in line. What would’ve happened if more people complained? They would actually do something about it.
    This attitude of silent tolerance is something that must change, not just for women, but for all of us, men and women, in this country. If no one wants to “get involved” and no one wants to take risks – well then, nothing’s going to change, and we can all watch silently when someone else suffers and pretend it’s not going to happen to us.
    The protests in Delhi were the first time I saw ordinary people taking action. I hope the trend continues and people continue to use their voices.

    Like

  9. Saw the video.
    Felt deeply depressed.
    I just don’t know what to say.
    I am seeing women in Malls here in California, dressed in a variety of ways.
    Many of these would have invited bad behaviour and comments in India and possible molestation if there was an opportunity.
    No one even notices them here.
    The difference is stark.
    Regards
    GV

    Like

  10. Pingback: Why should all acts of sexual harassment be taken seriously, even when there is no grievous physical injury? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  11. Oh my god, I saw the video and really can’t imagine that these can be done with any girl. I cannot understand what to say on this. These types of men have to get very bed punishm4ent which is chosen by only girls. They are criminal but other people who did not even notice these girls, they have to save them.

    Like

  12. I am a regular reader of your blog and agree with a lot of your views on rapists thinking they are teaching the girl a lesson by molesting her, because she was dressed inappropriately or was with a guy etc etc and believe there should be strong punishments for anyone who indulges in such lowly acts.

    But right now I am not here to comment on just that, but on how you have generalised all policemen(“Surprise, surprise”). My Dad is an ex-Commissioner of Police and over his 30 years in service I have met several of his colleagues and friends. I can vouch for one that none of them fall under this generalisation and my Dad has helped innumerable families/women during his tenure. It irks me when movies and other social media more often than not portray police officers in bad light. Like any field of work, there is good and bad. I wish the good gets highlighted at times!

    You say women should report rape as soon as it happens and immediately after paint a scary picture of police officers taking advantage of the victim. In my opinion I don’t find this very encouraging at all.

    Like

  13. Pingback: Why Scandinavian women make the rest of the world jealous. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  14. Pingback: “It is very sad, disheartening and shocking to learn that the body of the missing girl was tracked down by her father and colleagues in Bhandup.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  15. Pingback: Classmates who rape and burn to death are not Spurned Lovers, they are dangerous, violent criminals. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  16. Pingback: 7 things that can make ‘Rape sometimes right’. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  17. Pingback: “… people will say we encouraged these men to follow us… even though we are innocent” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  18. Pingback: When a crime is a punishment or a lesson taught to the victim. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s