‘Rape is theft of the victim’s potential to fulfil her destiny from birth, the pivot of her existence, her marriage.’

Why is rape considered the most hated of crimes?

Patriarchal concepts of honor, blame, shame and silence have trivialised the physical trauma that the victim goes through. The mental trauma is trivialised as loss of honor. 

Survivors of most other kinds of physical trauma (disease, burns, acid attacks, amputation etc) are not silenced or shamed. They are not told that they have to ‘live with the scars’ or that their lives are ‘shattered’. In contrast, these survivors are seen as inspiration for others. 

Since rape is seen as an attack on honor – the physical injuries are not even taken into consideration. The ideas of loss of virginity and loss of marriage opportunity become the focus of the crime.

Everything about the crime, the way it is reported, tolerated, condemned or blamed on the victims results from this patriarchal focus on shame, blame and entitlement. And the need for a woman to get married. 

Ratan Kongara shared this.

I am a regular on your blog, and wanted to share the following link with you:

Dhaula Kuan gang-rape: Court turns down request for leniency to convicts

We should question the assumption that her worth to society is determined by her ability to get married. That being attacked means she will be unable to function as a member of society.

Dogma says the crime was not the forced attack on her physical being but rather at her worth to society. After the crime she loses her value as a person. She can’t have dreams, hopes or ambition.  The crime is theft of the potential to fulfil her destiny from birth, the pivot of her existence, her marriage. The crime isn’t a a physical attack against her. This kind of thinking needs to be challenged. 

“the incident shatters her life and dreams in a violent manner. Her marriage prospects diminish to a large extent and she finds it unable to engage in routine job…”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/dhaula-kuan-gangrape-court-turns-down-request-for-leniency-to-convicts/article6522519.ece?homepage=true

– Ratan Kongara

Related Posts:

What makes Men Rape?

15 thoughts on “‘Rape is theft of the victim’s potential to fulfil her destiny from birth, the pivot of her existence, her marriage.’

  1. *sigh*
    I was raped and then almost raped. I still married. Twice.

    Until we stop linking virginity with ‘honour and dignity of the womenfolk’ rape will remain something that ‘not only affects the physique and psychology of the victim but impacts the society’.
    While the heart here may have been in the right place the language shows that the legal system is convinced that rape puts the victim and her family to shame.

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  2. Desi women are born to be married and that is their life ambition, thank you for reassuring me or else I thought it is 2014 and we just sent a craft to Mars. We are all the product of this system that sends crafts to Mars with a nose in the skies while stomping on those on the ground.
    The legal system still doesn’t see women as humans and equal citizens they are still property of inidividual families and communities.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

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  3. In this case, it is the big fight to change attitudes versus the small one to punish the guilty. I’ve had heated arguments and most people I know believe the small fight is the important one. The big fight is not even on the horizon of Indian women or Indian society in general as yet!

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  4. It’s ironic, sad, bewildering to know that everything from acne to rape can hinder a woman’s marriage prospects and then what good is she!? I read the actual news report and I have to say, the legal system doesn’t walk even an inch higher than us commoners – at least not when it comes to gender justice.
    Look at these lines: “It has come on record that all the convicts were married, having children and still they were roaming on the roads in Delhi in search of a soft target to satisfy their sexual lust. This manifests that the convicts are psychopaths having no regard for the honour and dignity of the womenfolk and thus are a threat to the society. It is the demand of justice that they should be kept away from the society as long as possible,”
    I wonder, had the rapists not been married or ‘having children’, what comments would we reserve for them? Also, we are again pointing at the honour and dignity framework the other side of which is guilt and shame (of the victim, of course).
    Just for a second, if we take this crime as a theft of some kind – yes, the comparison is wholly inappropriate but still – and compare it with “other” kinds of thefts, do we call into question honour and dignity of the victim with all these rest of the thefts?
    A rape is an injury, an accident, a sheer betrayal of trust. We all have gone through some incident or the other of some kind of sexual abuse (almost all women can attest to that), we know how it impacts us.
    Those men raped not just because they have no regard for the honour and dignity of women – that, many don’t, and get away with, including some women – but they raped because they thought they could hurt and humiliate someone and get away with it; that being male, they had the power to do so, and the immunity from judgement (legal as well as social) as the society they live in almost regards this power their birthright. Those men lost their honour and dignity as human beings to their heinous actions.

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  5. Because women are still considered as Ghee ka dabba which should be opened by her husband on 1st night. If in any case the seal is broken because of anyone mistakes then the dabba is useless. This is the concept of women in Indian culture. Not able to understand how come our culture is great.

    Whenever we go to market then we do not buy a ghee ka dabba which is broken. We can show remorse to owner for his loss or can blame him why he didn’t cared but we will not buy it. Same thing goes for Indian arranged marriage. I don’t find any difference in buy dabba and looking for bride or groom.

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  6. But why is rape used in wars to dishonour married women and shame the whole community then ? (like in some African countries) Does rape only affect women ?

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    • How about mental illness and domestic abuse ? You are not supposed to talk freely about these topics either. Maybe people simply avoid talking about traumas that are not visible.

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      • Rape is used as a tool to insult men/the male relatives/community members of the people or children who have been raped – in patriarchal societies. Because in patriarchal societies rape is not a heinous crime, it is ‘dishonor’.

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  7. IHM

    I would like to bring to your notice that Indian law considers “Women are innocent”

    which is not same for men. Even if a man is innocent, he can’t be to same same extent as women.

    In fact you can theoretically say men are not as innocent as women in general as per Indian law.

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  8. The most heinous thing about rape is lack of consent. Violation of a person’s ownership over her own body. The fact that our government sees nothing wrong with marital rape but condemns rape outside marriage shows that their concern is not for the rights of women but the rights of the men, the families and tribes and societies that own them.

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  9. Pingback: “What do you think, blogger why Sexual Violence have increased at home in a country like INDIA which has the most peaceful religion?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  10. Pingback: “I’m baffled that Indians (not just men) truly think that virtue stems from being sexually chaste.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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