Being Single in India

Guest Post by wordssetmefreee

My niece has often shared with me the troubles of being single in India. A couple of her friends are now almost turning 30 and pressure from their families is mounting. This they’ve chosen to ignore, but everyday life is not easy. The way neighbors and random strangers seem to treat them is reprehensible.

What are some challenges single Indians (both men and women) face?

Based on my niece’s experiences, and the comments from My Era, Neha, Cosettez, Simta, and Fem on the recent post on ‘women and friendship’, here are some –

Practical/Everyday Challenges

  • renting a place to stay
  • going out in one’s neighborhood (attracting uncalled for attention, especially single women from ogling men )
  • living in an apartment complex where everyone makes it their person business to worry about your future
  • for women, mild to moderate to severe harassment from some men in the building (staring, lewd remarks or worse)
  • getting mistrustful looks from some married women (being viewed as a potential ‘threat’) and not getting invited to family gatherings, pujas, festivals celebrated in the building
  • advice from family, relatives, neighbors and random strangers to get married and settle down and obsessive matchmaking that sometimes borders on abuse
  • Questions like, “Why are you not living with your parents?” (or at least with an aunt’s family)
  • being judged for dating or being in a relationship or pretending to be married when you are in a live in relationship
  • for women, being constantly reminded of your biological clock ticking
  • finding your name appearing mysteriously on matrimonial websites, without your permission, with the description, “highly educated, yet traditional, fair, beautiful, makes X amount.”
  • difficulty finding and keeping friends as most people get married by 30
  • patronizing attitudes from co-workers with families
  • workplace discrimination (“if you are single and over 35, there must be something wrong with you”)
  • questions on the person’s orientation, which is now everyone’s business
  • friends of the opposite gender forbidden from visiting apartment (because God forbid, they may have consensual sex. And we’re okay with marital rape, of course, that’s the poor woman’s problem, but consensual sex is everyone’s problem)
  • If you are divorced, you either did something wrong or you are unlucky. You no longer make the cut in terms of group membership.
  • Single women wanting to adopt a child face bureaucratic and societal challenges
  • Real threat to safety (when I go for my morning run wearing shorts in India, I feel safer if my hubby, brother or older son goes along with me. I’ve tried running alone but felt intimidated by the hostile stares and the lecherous grins. How is this different from the Taliban mindset? The man in your life may not be The Hulk but having one next to you seems to discourage unwanted attention.)

Emotional Impact

  • Feeling of being more visible – being singled out, more negative attention, every behavior/action attributed to one’s single status
  • A sense of being more invisible – ignored at or not invited to social gatherings/outings if more people in the group are married
  • Displacement from family – younger cousins, married with children are quoted as examples by sad parents, parents don’t understand how someone can want to be single, a feeling of collective rejection from family and extended family – being blamed/made to feel guilty for not making marriage work
  • Self-doubt and confusion – rejection and isolation leading to feelings of uncertainty, disorientation, and demoralization.

Some possible ideas to deal with this

  • Find other singles to network with. If you are divorced, find other divorcees. Start a support group. Sometimes these groups lead to friendships, sometimes they don’t. Even if this doesn’t lead to friendship, a group can be helpful for advocacy reasons – it is easier to fight for the right to rent without being discriminated against, if many people are involved.
  • Remain committed to the few people who are supportive. Keep in touch, make time to keep the friendship going without withering.
  • Join online groups and forums to get help/ideas for specific problems as well as to feel connected.
  • Start a blog on the topic as a meeting point for ideas and support. If there is a blog that focuses on the issues of single people living in India, please share.
  • Divorce needs to be made as un-intimidating as possible, otherwise marriages become prisons.  Many women stay in unhappy marriages because there is insufficient legal information and emotional support for taking this simple step – of walking out of an unhappy situation.  Therefore, please share resources/websites for divorcees, especially legal resources that explain your rights, procedures, property and custody issues.

Are we better off?

In the past, the only people who remained single were women who “failed to get married”.  They remained in their brother’s or uncle’s or male cousin’s house (after parents were gone) and served the families that extracted work and threw scraps at them in return.  They were ostracized within the family and held as an example of what happens when we don’t pray, fast, or train for a good husband.

Now, most single people I know (who are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s) got there because they made a choice. They chose to stay single.  They chose to walk out of unhappy marriages.  They chose to be in a relationship with someone without marrying them.  Boy, haven’t we ( a minority perhaps) come a long, long way?  Even if their % is small, there are probably now more single men and women in their 30s and 40s than there were a generation ago.  What does it mean – the fact that this is the first generation that we have more single people than ever?

  • this indicates that a few more people are putting off marriage to a later age (in my generation, many women got married in their early 20s and men by their late 20s).
  • this could also mean that a few more people are choosing not to marry
  • more people are opting for divorce when faced with unhappy marriages
  • at least a few women are no longer worrying about their biological clocks – they can choose to adopt (if they want children later) or choose to be child free
  • more women are able to work and hold jobs that allow them to make a living, so being married is no longer the only way to survival
  • being single longer and marrying later makes marriages more level playing fields – women who have lived alone and managed finances are less likely to be enslaved, men who’ve lived independently are not mamma’s boys, can take care of themselves and are not looking for someone to cook and clean for them, both women and men know what they want in a relationship)

The fact that a few people are making the decision to remain single or get divorced despite the challenges listed above means that our mindset is changing – that freedom and choices are now more valued – that they are pursued at the cost of society’s approval, acceptance, and the need to belong.

If you are single, please share your experiences and challenges with being single/in a live in relationship/divorced in India, and how you cope with both the practical and emotional aspects, and especially what has helped. It would be great to hear from both women and men on this.

If you are married, would you be comfortable renting out your apartment to a single/divorced person, male or female, if they appear to be honest, reliable people and have proper paperwork?  Would you rent to an unmarried couple?  Do you have unmarried friends who are over 30 or do you make friends only with married people?  Do you invite single/divorced people to gatherings/celebrations in your building?  Why or why not? If the answer to any of these questions is no, please elaborate why you are uncomfortable or what’s getting in the way of your friendship/trust.

Those charged with our safety should have a true understanding of what it is to be a survivor of sexual assault — slut or otherwise.

Sometimes the same people who think women should endure unhappy marriages also worry about the gender ratio. They see no connection or contradiction.

Some people think banning prenatal sex determination tests will end female foeticide in India, even if the society continues to see getting and staying married as a woman’s life-purpose. They see no connection.

The same people who claim to respect women also insist that controlling how women dress can control crimes against women.

Somebody told me this protest in Canada, ‘condemning the notion that suggestive dressing is an invitation to assault’ was ridiculous.

When a Toronto police member told the students that they could avoid assaults on campus ‘by not dressing like a slut’,

The protestors swept through the streets wearing whatever they wanted

I agree with them,

Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work.

No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.”

The protesting students and the staff demanded that the Toronto police force take serious steps to regain their trust.

“We want to feel that we will be respected and protected should we ever need them, but more importantly be certain that those charged with our safety have a true understanding of what it is to be a survivor of sexual assault — slut or otherwise,”

(Link shared by Desi Girl on Buzz, Thank You DG.)

Do you think, in India, the police (including women in the police), the educational institutions and our law makers, and all those who have the power and the responsibility to ensure women’s safety have a true understanding of what it is to be a survivor of sexual assault — even if the victim ‘participates in sex for work or for pleasure’? 

I doubt it.

Related Posts:

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work.

Provocatively Dressed.

Why a ban on jeans may not stop street sexual harassment of women.

She does not invite it.

Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

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

Sometimes one crime and how it is reported tells so much about a society.

‘Five drunken young men from a nearby farming village accosted a couple…, beating the young man and gang-raping the woman. It was the latest in a series of brutal sexual assaults and gang rapes of women in India’s booming capital and its sprawling suburbs.’ (Thanks for the link RenKiss)

“The attackers often do not see their actions as crimes, the police said, and do not expect the women they attack to report them. “They have no doubt that they will get away with it,” said H. G. S. Dhaliwal, a deputy police commissioner in New Delhi who has investigated several such cases.”

We shall soon see where the attackers get so much confidence from.

Let’s believe the attackers really don’t see a gang rape as a crime, or at least not a serious crime.

How do they get this idea? This news report illustrates how. It’s a perfect example of how sexual crimes must NOT be reported.

One example,

“In each case there has been an explosive clash between the rapidly modernizing city and the embattled, conservative village culture upon which the capital increasingly encroaches.”

Why this effort to explain the rapists’ point of view?

And the facts are inaccurate. These rapes are a result of clashes of culture?
So rapists (some with previous criminal backgrounds) don’t rape women from their villages? (Click if you think they don’t.)

Going by the above logic a 6 month old or a 2 year old would be safe in these ‘sleepy villages’ with narrow lanes ‘redolent of cow dung’, since these babies are not ‘enjoying’ any unheard of freedoms, or romancing forbidden lovers?

What about when village girls looking for jobs in Delhi get raped by WagonR owners?

“India’s economy is expected to grow 9 percent this year, and its extended boom has brought sweeping social change. The number of women in the workforce has roughly doubled in the past 15 years.”

Can’t really blame the rapists, can we? How are they expected to adjust to ‘sweeping social changes’ and women doubling in workforce?

So women who stay inside their homes and whose lives signify no social changes are safer?

More facts.

A 60 year old, raped by her husband’s employer in her house (this rapist was earlier acquitted in a rape case), another 77 year old raped by a rikshaw puller, an 8 year old in her house, a 12 year old by her driver, 17 year old daughter of a Grade IV employee in Lady Hardinge Hospital, a 9 year old in Sarojini Nagar in her house, a 3 year old

[All examples are from Delhi]

The victims are almost invariably young, educated working women who are enjoying freedom unknown even a decade ago. The accused are almost always young high school dropouts from surrounding villages, where women who work outside the home are often seen as lacking in virtue and therefore deserving of harassment and even rape.”

Examples above show this is not true.

FACT.

Who gets raped?

Everyone. According to some statistics, only one in 69 rape cases in India are even reported. Only 20 % of those reported result in convictions for the rape accused.

Rapes happen across the social strata in India. In the Indian villages, it is the poor villager’s wife or sister or daughter who gets raped by another poor rowdy villager, and everyone from the local thanedar to the landlord. These rapes, unless the news becomes public due to unavoidable reasons, are never reported. It is reported in the newspapers or reaches the police only when a rape becomes part of a larger caste battle, family feud or political game. [Click to read and save the entire, very well written  article.]

“Seema Chowdhury, 20, the sister of one of the accused men, graduated from high school. But when she tried to enroll in college to become a teacher, her brothers refused to allow it. Young women who wander too far face many dangers, they argued.

“I wanted to do something in my life,” she said. “But they thought it was not a good idea.”

It’s so nice to see they are family men and want to see their sisters safe from men like themselves. Maybe such nice men can’t really be blamed for doing something they don’t see as a crime?

In comparison, the young woman who was raped here had unimaginable freedom. She had a job as an accountant at a garment factory and her own cellphone and e-mail account. Using those, she carried on a secret romance with a young man she met online despite the fact that her parents had arranged for her to be married to someone else, according to the police.”

Rape justification continues, so does victim blaming. The girl was asking for it by being in the wrong place, in wrong company, at a wrong time and doing the wrong thing – basically breaking all the rules these nice rapists lay down for their own nice and hence safe sister. Also note, the notorious cell phone and the internet being used to carry on a  ‘romance’ when her nice parents have arranged a nice match for her elsewhere. Maybe she asked for it?

If she was a Swiss Diplomat, working with full permission of her parents, not meeting her secret lover, she would have been safer?

When they picked up Tony …he was still drunk, Mr. Singh said.

“He was so shameless he narrated the whole thing without any sense of remorse,” he said. Tony later denied that he had raped the woman, according to the police report.

Tony had apparently assumed that the rape victim would not come forward because the shame would be too great.

Why don’t the victims feel more angry than ashamed?

This newly-wed’s rapists were also given a subtle benefit of rape justification’ because she probably opened the door and offered a glass of juice to her rapist and murderer. Did she know the rapist? That might justify the rape?

It has become a strategy to talk about a victim’s ‘shame’ instead of pointing out the rate of conviction, as reason for women not reporting.

If a victim was assured support instead of blame, do you think she would not have complained?

“on Feb. 5 a young man came into police station to report that his cellphone and laptop had been stolen. When the young man claimed they had been snatched near some isolated farmland at the edge of the city, Mr. Singh became suspicious: it was an unlikely place for a robbery.

He pressed for details, and eventually the young man admitted taking his girlfriend to the secluded area so they could be alone, and that five men had beaten him and raped her.”

Why didn’t the man want to say anything about the rape? He too had little faith in the police, and, he knew a couple being alone in a secluded spot would be seen as a bigger crime than a gang rape.

“I realized from the beginning that the girl would not help us,” the police said.

“The police will not be able to restore my honor.”

Is it really about honor?

Why don’t women report rapes to the police?

We all have heard about shame and honor etc. But there’s more.

Police. Police is the reason.

Have you ever taken a good look at the average Indian policeman? have you ever been to a police station?

A police station is an intimidating place. The cultural sophistication of the average policeman in India is pretty much that of the average roadside thug. Your average policeman hardly knows how to talk politely, is barely educated, is uncouth, brash and rude.

Is this the paragon of sensitivity a victim of rape will run to?

Add to this the rising number of custodial rapes which every one knows about. People will turn to a policeman only when they are desperate. Educated, rich people are abused by the police in India routinely and they have to call upon their networks and call upon little netas to get the policemen to treat them with some consideration.

Expect a policeman to humiliate a rape victim, turn her back, discourage her, be foul-mouthed or maybe rape her in turn.” [Click to read the article]

*

Such reporting tells a rapist that when his mother claims, “If these girls roam around openly like this, then the boys will make mistakes.” someone looking to justify rape will promptly quote her with some satisfaction.

What else do we say that gives rapists so much confidence?

Related posts:

The rapists are listening gratefully.

If he were a a woman he would have filed a case against a man everyday.

Updated:

Another example of Victim Blaming by New York Times:
Victim-blaming in the New York Times’ Cleveland gang rape article.

(Thank You Ankita Prasad)

Is stalking of girls and women illegal in India?

Videos like the one below undermine the seriousness of Sexual Harassment  This video is almost like wishful thinking, a quick, easy solution to a problem nobody seems to take seriously.

‘Calling it ‘eve teasing’ trivializes the act; it isn’t teasing, it’s harassment.

And sexual harassment on the street is a gateway crime that creates a cultural environment which makes gender-based violence OK.’

Young girls in many parts of India are taken out of school once they reach puberty because of Street Sexual Harassment [link-1 , link-2]. Girls are known to commit suicide because of such harassment.

The High Court of Bangladesh declared on 26 January, 2011 stalking of girls and women illegal, and directed the government to consider the offence as sexual harassment instead of the term Eve Teasing. The court’s ruling came amid growing incidences of stalking that led many victims to commit suicide.

Is stalking of girls and women illegal in India?

“There exists a legal framework to reproach sexual harassment and abuse in the home and at work, but when it comes to the streets—all bets are off.

It is ‘culturally accepted as ‘the price you pay’ for being a woman and living in a city.’

The explosion of technology in India via the mobile phone and the Internet has given us an unprecedented opportunity to end street harassment...

Hollaback is a global movement dedicated to ending street harassment. Hollaback Mumbai says,

Share Your Story

If you feel like you have been harassed, we want to hear about it.  Tell us your story. Or send us a drawing, a picture, a poem, a song, a picture of a piece of string that you tied into several knots because you were so frustrated. We are working on SMS capabilities so that you can SMS us when you have been harassed.

Visit www.mumbai.ihollaback.org for more details.

Related Posts:

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work

The night I was not an easy prey

‘Bill seeks to let 12-yr-olds have non-penetrative sex’. Does it really?

I would watch any intimacy – even if it’s not very obviously sexual, between an adult and a child. I have blogged about how I had made sure my kids knew they had a right to complain if an adult’s touch, behavior, jokes or just looks made them uncomfortable. [Link] But if two young children (say ages 12-13 or younger) are found to be involved in non-penetrative sexual activity I would rather question the parents and other care givers than ask for the children to be treated like criminals.

There is a chance that they have been exposed to sexual abuse or some activity they do not quite understand. And even if it is felt that the children do understand (ages 12-15), I wonder if it’s a good idea to empower ‘the authorities’ to handle young children at this sensitive stage in their lives.

One has seen enough examples of how our police and some of our media handles any activity where sex is involved (Not to miss how this news has been reported, and on the front page). I remember the time when some of our media, used one such opportunity to ‘recreate the scene of crime‘… and their TRPs.

Here’s more reasons.

1. We are averse to Sex Education, so we refuse to guide children about anything related to sex. We’d rather change TV channels. Most Indians learn about sex from rape scenes in Bollywood movies, cheap porn and through their peer group.

2. But we are fine with 12 year olds being seen as criminals for something we are not comfortable even talking to them about?

3. And so, we are unhappy with the idea of decriminalizing an activity they are too young to completely understand the implications of being involved in. (taboo; social stigma for girls; emotional, cultural and moral issues involved; family-honor; responsible behavior etc).

4. Criminalizing such activity increases the risk of children being blackmailed into sexual abuse (by adults who ‘catch‘ them, like teachers, drivers, neighbors, ‘authorities’ etc) with threats of not just parental anger, but now also, legal action against them.

And this when they don’t really understand how seriously our society takes any activity related to sex. 🙄

Aparna Bhat, a Supreme Court lawyer who was part of a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights group that drafted the latest Bill said the gradation of age down to 12 years was to decriminalise sexual exploration by two children.

I don’t think the ‘Bill seeks to let 12-yr-olds have non-penetrative sex’, it simply wants to ensure they are not treated like regular criminals for something they can’t completely understand.

Under the existing law, if two 12-year-olds get physical and if one childs parent complains, the other can be pulled up by the Juvenile Justice Board. The panel felt such minor things should be decriminalised, she said.

This does not make 12 years the ‘Age of Consent’. An adult will still be seen as a rapist if they have sex with a 12 year old, but if two 12 year olds are involved, they will be seen as two 12 year olds, not as regular criminals.

Raaj Mangal, chairperson of Delhi Child Welfare Committee said the Bill could prove “disastrous“ if it comes into effect. “Twelve, given the mind and maturity of a child, is not an age to give consent, be it penetrative or non-penetrative sex. In the name of decriminalising, you can`t keep sexual acts between children out of the notice of the authorities,“ said Mangal.

Should the likes of those who see Sex Education as ‘Blue Films’, have the power to judge sexual activity between two 12 year olds? Why not let the parents deal with non penetrative sex,  just like they deal with most other issues related to their children? (including Sex Education)

 

Related Posts:

Teenage Pregnancies – not our culture.

Sex Education is not Blue Films.

It’s child abuse, not an affair.

When life ends at 12.

If your boyfriend is abusing you physically…

I am sharing parts of a conversation, initiated by The Bald Guy on Google Buzz, because I think Desi Girl’s response needs to be read by more of us.

The Bald Guy If your boyfriend is abusing you physically then its time for you to hit back at him and move on. You do NOT need such a person in your life.

Girl Desi No, hitting is not the solution. Research has shown women get more harmed when they hit back as men hit back even more severely.
Fighting back also makes it harder to leave.
Report physical abuse to authorities. In India it can be filed under IPC 123, and for more grievous hurt file for civil damages.

It is time consuming and expensive, so the best way is to make a legal noise and leave…

If planning to leave never tell the person because he’ll immediately change behavior and confuse you. Do not engage with the abuser, keep interaction to the minimum. When finally out, let the person know in very clear words you are through. Severe all contacts. Stay in the company of people who support you and will not rat you and your plans to him. Change phone numbers, block his email id. There is no looking back.

Physical violence should be seen as Deal Breaker. They say in Hindi “aadmi ka haath nahin uthana chahiye, nahin to haath khul jaata hai.”

Research shows, once an abuser hits he is bound to hit again.

YES, You do NOT need such a person in your life.

***

Culture supports the men in abusing their wives.

Numerous women are raped by average Joes, they are not all tall dark handsome prototypes. Go to Tarai region you’ll find these hill sides full of idle men sitting and smoking on the roadside and their tiny women folk carrying heavy loads of produce and fodder on their heads. These women work dawn to late night, every thing from farming to tending cattle, weaving, housekeeping and care work (children and seniors) still these tiny idle men beat up their wives.

How come, these strong women are beaten up by these druggie idle men?
Because  culture supports the men in abusing their wives.

***

A Commenter : More men are beaten by women, than women by men.

Girl Desi You telling us huge number of men being beaten up by women is far from truth, please substantiate your argument with statistical evidences and peer reviewed studies. DG works in violence prevention in conjunction with law enforcement (in both continents), if you want she can give you all the stats you want. More men are abused by other men be it suicide bombing, religious crusades or family feuds for land and honor (that definitely qualifies for inclusion in family violence).

Gender neutral trends of violence are not yet happening in India.

***

Women as abusers.

In Indian context women have been abusers for centuries.  And culture supports them to be abusers in the form of mothers and sisters.

The number of wife comes in ripe old age or after she has achieved her reproductive goal (read, has a male child that is still alive) or the husband is not able to provide for the family due to personal failures like substance abuse and gambling etc.

Mothers and sisters of men play good mind games with taunts like “chudiayaan pehan rakhi hein” orjoru ka gulam (JKG).” Masculinity is challenged every now and then.

No one talks about the violence perpetrated against men by their mothers and sisters, discussions always comes and rests on wife to husband abuse.

Why?

Because mother and sisters are the primary relations, the pillars of family and wife is an outsider who is not considered insider until she is dead and initiated into the family ancestors (all her life time she remains outsider, “paraye ghar ki hai.“)

Abuse is about power and control.

It is not that gender burdens only women. Even men have a gender and it bears them down too.

The problem lies with the concept of masculinity and femininity within the patriarchy. To be a man one has to be in a position of power and be dominant. To dominate a woman or a man is all about being a man.

To be a man one must not be in a subordinate position. If he falls into a subordinate position he is considered a lesser man. (Read emasculated and woman-like). Mid-level bureaucracy has that problems all the time: clerks bad mouth female officers regularly, have personally over heard lunch time male gossip.

To be a man and be abused by another man (or worse, by a woman) refers to a man’s inability to be a man. Thus not disclosing abuse is all about being a man.

Men are under pressure to perform their gender as much as women are. Yes, men collectively have more power/benefits than women but individually many men lack power as compared to other men.

If we were to dismental the structures of power then we need to undo the concepts of masculinity and femininity.

If we want peace then it is time for Patriarchy to go because it selectively gives power to few and oppresses so many.

[DG hates to write post length comments but she just can’t stand the misappropriation of concepts and data coz’ she works both at grassroots and policy levels. At times it feels she and friends are just wasting their time coz’ those who are able to make a difference are stuck in presumptions.]

Another comment: What if it is the girl who abuses physically, mentally or emotionally ? It happens trust me.

DG : Of course it happens. Research shows women engage more in verbal abuse that is a component of emotional abuse. Until a few years ago (in west) and it is still in India it is considered provocation and an excuse for male physical violence. A small percentage women do engage in physical assaults.

That does not mean that one can discredit that more women are abused by men than the other way around. Here the discussion was on male to female violence hence the reply.
Who ever is abused has to use the same steps as mentioned here there is no other way around it personally and legally.

Three Saudi youths were arrested for attempting to sexually assault a teenager…

Teenager escapes rape attempt (in Taif,  Saudi Arabia)

Did you find this news difficult to believe? I did.

Is the victim going to be stoned for attracting the molesters attention?

No.

“The victim told police, after  escaping from the youths, that while walking down the road a car with three men pulled up and invited the victim to join them. When the victim refused to get in, two of the men tried to drag the victim  into the vehicle, but the victim resisted and managed to run away. They had also taken the victim’s mobile phone.

With the help of a Bangladeshi worker, the victim called police and described the car the attackers were driving.

A police patrol detained a car matching the victim’s description when it passed through a checkpoint later in the night.

After being interrogated, the youths admitted to trying to sexually assault the victim. They also confessed that they had sold the victim’s mobile phone for SR300 in a nearby market.

They took the police to the shop where they sold the phone and officers interrogated the shopkeeper.” (News from here with minor changes, to make a point…)

Can you guess why this victim is not going to be blamed for this (attempted) crime?

‘Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!’ is on facebook.

As recommended by Allytude in a comment on,

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

Facebook group created. 🙂

Say No To Victim Blaming

Add your tips and links to any blog posts that deal with Sexual Harassment or Sexual Crimes against women, the right way.


Please click below to join:

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

Thanks SR, for this link.

In thousands of ways, our culture has conditioned us to anticipate rape as a natural consequence of violating social norms. Rape myths serve to keep women out of the public sphere, and rape culture wants you to believe that the only safe place for a woman is her kitchen.

Don’t talk to strangers, wear revealing clothing,… take public transportation, travel alone, …because you will get raped… when you think about it, that’s a pretty effective way of maintaining social control over women and…

The list of don’ts goes on and on, each rule wildly impractical, blatantly inconsistent with actual statistics related to sexual assault

The myth is that rapists are strangers who attack because they are provoked and lose all control.

The fact is that in 70% of cases, the rapist is someone known to the victim, including young children and old people. Most attacks are planned. [Link]

Why do we have entire dossiers on How to Not Get Raped and no guidelines for How to Not Rape People? We need a cultural revolution. [click to read the article]

I agree.

Here’s a list of Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work.
“1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident”you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

Lack of sex education could mean that a rapist may not be sure of what rape is. A lot of Indians learn about sex from rape scenes in Indian movies or from pornography, both can be misleading.

I found this site useful.

1. Do not think you have the right to rape a woman.

2. Learn what rape is. Rape is forcing someone to have sex with you when they do not want to.

3. Most rapes are committed by men who know the women they are raping. If the woman you are forcing to have sex with you happens to be your girlfriend, your neighbor, your cousin, your sister, or your wife, it is still RAPE.

4. When someone says no to you, that means you have no right to force yourself on them.

5. When someone pushes you away, or otherwise inclinates, verbally or with physical movement that they do not want to have sex with you, and you force yourself on them, that is rape. [Click to read more]

And here are some more tips for prevention of sexual assaults.

1. While traveling by bus, don’t start moving towards people  to stand close to them. Don’t pinch, grope, stare at, fall on them or push them. Don’t stand in their way, in a way that they would be forced to touch you.

2. Don’t spend your free time standing on street corners staring at people going about their daily lives. Don’t whistle at them. Street sexual harassment is responsible for thousands of Indians not being allowed to study, travel, work or just hang out with friends.

3. Don’t start singing when you see them, don’t push your friends towards them, don’t try to get their attention by laughing, staring, mock-wrestling, falling etc.

3. Don’t assume they want you to approach them because they are smiling at each other.

4. If  people are out after dark, it is not because they want you to rape them. (Fact: Nobody wants to be raped).

5. They wear skinny jeans/tight skirts because they like to, not because they want your attention and not because they are asking to be raped.

6. Fact: When people say ‘No’, they do not mean ‘yes’.

7. Don’t throw acid on them if they turned down your frandship request. Don’t spread stories about how you rejected their offer of frandship.

8. If they ask you the time, help or directions, give them if you can, and then move away. Asking for help does not mean they want you to assault them.

9. If people are not frowning it does not mean they want you to approach them.

10. If they are drunk you still have no right to rape or molest them.

11. You cannot rape them even if they are sleeping with somebody else. Or even if they are sleeping (or have slept) with more than one person.

12. Their morals are not your concern.

Feel free to add more.

I also believe in such reminders. The society needs to hear in no uncertain terms that the criminal, not the victim is responsible for this crime (just like any other crime).

Updated to add:

As recommended by Allytude

FaceBook group created

Please join and add your tips and links to any blog posts that deal with sexual harassment or sexual crimes against women, the right way.

By dealing with the offender.

Let’s say no to Victim Blaming.

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

Losers and Stalkers

Cilla’s brilliant collection of ‘loser songs’ reminded me of this one, I call it a Stalker’s Song.

Tum mujhko na chahogi to ko baat naheen, tum kisi aur ko chahogee to mushkil hogee..”

It’s an old song, but we have many subtler, modern versions today.

[Roughly translated, this guy says, “If you do not want me it’s alright, but if you like another (man) there will be problem.

Now if we are not together, we are not apart either; You haven’t accepted me, but you haven’t turned me down either

I can live with the thought that you are not mine, so long as you do not belong to another man.

If you do not appreciate my heart, it’s okay; but if you appreciate another man’s heart, there will be problem...”]

Songs like this one are not about infidelity or a broken heart after a breakup. These songs object to a lack of interest  shown by the girl the singer chooses, as in…

“Can I do fraindsheep with you?”

“No.”

“Fine then I will have to throw acid on your face.”


Ever wondered why did he think she can’t turn him down?   “It is a normal human tendency to feel sad when rejected by anybody. But, where is this sense of entitlement and anger coming from? Why this feeling that she must like me, I am too good to be rejected, I cannot possibly be turned down?Read in Apu’s thought provoking post ‘That Huge Sense of Entitlement‘… (Cross Posted at ‘No Gender Inequality‘)