‘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?

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‘Angry Mob cut off man’s sensual organ for attempting rape of a girl.’

Do you think this (and similar such acts of mob violence) empower women? Maybe by putting fear of consequences into the hearts of potential rapists?

Angry Mob cut off man’s sensual organ for attempting rape of a girl

The incident took place in the Indian city Ganganagar when locals there found Suresh Kumar attempting the rape of teenager in a cornered street.

After been caught on spot, the man was dragged on streets by angry mob and then he was taken to a butcher’s shop where he was beaten with sticks for an hour.

They then hacked off his penis with a meat cleaver and dumped the remains in the middle of the road, leaving his beaten and bloody body nearby.

The group of people who did this was having a viewpoint that “It was a punishment for a sex crime – if you do it, you will be punished like this.”

I see it as a dangerous precedence.

Because if this is found acceptable then why would any criminal bother to commit a legal and social offence? Won’t they kill in similar acts of Public Outrage?

Normal, sane, civilised people and children should not be encouraged to view such acts of mob violence as ‘justice’.

Tolerance towards such acts of Mob Violence creates easy opportunities for the unscrupulous.

And also, we don’t really know what actually happened. Please note – many Indians view consensual sex outside marriage as rape. We have no concept of ‘consent’ [link]. (The age of the teenager is not mentioned, was she a minor?)

Let’s say the crowd really saw the crime take place and knew without doubt that the man was trying to sexually assault the victim and that it was quite certainly not an act of consensual sex – they should still have handed the man to the police and the survivor should have been provided counselling and support.

Was she hurt, or traumatised or blamed? How is she coping?

What we need is certainty of punishment, faster trials and support for survivors and their families. What we need to take a very strong stand against is any acts of Mob Violence.

Related Posts:

The problem is this:

What did Sharad Yadav mean by, ‘Who amongst us has not followed girls?’

‘“Why would this girl lie? After all she is taking the blame on herself”, said the police officer to the criminal infront of me.’

“… people will say we encouraged these men to follow us… even though we are innocent”

By lodging a complaint the girl would get undue publicity and that would adversely affect her marriage prospect.

And this is not the solution:

Allahabad girl Aarti Yadav beats harasser, sets bike on fire

What exactly are we fighting against? First the crime should be understood:

“I am safe because I’m very careful in the way I behave and dress in public, on the streets.”

40% of rape charges were filed by parents of girls who had eloped consensually with a boy

7 things that can make ‘Rape sometimes right’.

Forced intercourse in marriage not rape: Delhi court

Yet another rape that was not about lust but about aggression, revenge and putting the victim in her place.

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

The only thing that will work – take the crime seriously. Which begins with understanding the crime. Who rapes? Why have they no fear? How can they be controlled?

Why should all acts of sexual harassment be taken seriously, even when there is no grievous physical injury?

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

A response to: Why we think women activists should change their attitude of “wear what you like”

What makes Men Rape?

Forced intercourse in marriage not rape: Delhi court

How do verdicts and laws like this one influence the way sexual assaults are seen by most Indians?

Forced intercourse in marriage not rape: Delhi court

A Delhi court has acquitted a man accused of raping his wife, stating that forced intercourse with a woman does not amount to rape if she is married to the accused.

“The parties being husband and wife, the sexual intercourse between the two does not come within the ambit of the offence of rape, even if the same was against the will and consent of the victim,”

So do sexual criminals feel safe when they are married to the people they assault? Is that why Five rapists in Patna wanted to marry gangrape survivor?

Is this how legalising marital rape prevents the Institution of Marriage from being destroyed? [link]

Since sexual assaults are not legally permitted to live in partners, then aren’t women safer from sexual assaults (and other things, like threats of divorce, dowry demands, pressure to bear male children etc) in Live in Relationships than in marriages?

But while the rest might be true – sexual assaults in Live in Relationships continue to be defined in Patriarchal terms. Meaning – a sexual assault in a Live-in Relationship continues to be seen, not as an assault on the person but as an attack on the rights of the future husband [link].

Which is why, Making Marital Rape a legal offence is the fastest way to make it clear that Rape means forced sex, not lost Virginity or Honor.

Related Posts:

Refusal to have sex during honeymoon is not cruelty: Bombay high court

Who will benefit from criminalising sexual assaults within marriages?

Would this crime have been reported if he had mercilessly raped her but not sodomised her?

A comment- ‘Reverse the gender, and it is marital rape.’

Rapist groom should have waited a little to satiate his lusty desires without problems which he has got into.

For Victims and Survivors of Marital Rapes.

Where Consensual Sex is Rape, and Forced Sex a legal right.

Forcible sex with wife doesn’t amount to marital rape: Court

 

“Homosexuality is criminal offence, Supreme Court rules.”

I am not able to understand how or why any act that is consensual and concerns nobody but those directly involved should face so much prejudice. What could anybody have against homosexuality, that is – if it wasn’t for the interpretation of religion/tradition/culture/family values that they have been given to understand, would they still see homosexuality as a bad thing?

Homosexuality is, like Feminism, a crime against Patriarchy. Homosexuality too reveals gender stereotypes to be not natural but a Patriarchal construct.

Because like feminism, homosexuality too doesn’t fit into the idea of macho, aggressive, male-bonding, controlling men and submissive, obedient women who hate other women and whose sole goal in life is to find a man who would be willing to marry them.

I have been away a lot and extremely busy, but had to share my disappointment with this verdict. Doesn’t equality and the right to freedom and freedom of expression include the right to love, marry or live with a consensual/willing, adult, and uncommitted partner?

Disappointed.

If homosexuality is a crime then who is the victim? Isn’t it deep rooted Patriarchy that can make so many of us see marital rape as legal and consensual sex between some adults as illegal?

Homosexuality is criminal offence, Supreme Court rules

Parliament is authorised to remove Section 377, but as long as this provision is there, the court can not legalise this kind of sexual relationship, the SC bench observed.

“It is for the legislature to look into desirability of deleting section 377 of the IPC,” the apex court said.

It’s Your Fault

Shared via email, facebook messages, phone calls and twitter by more than ten people. Please watch.

It’s your fault.

On the verge of becoming a Zinda Laash but saved by marriage.

Why do some ‘rape victims’ fight to get married to their ‘rapists’? 

1. Unfortunately ‘rape’ in legal terms is also used to describe consensual sex if the woman was promised marriage to get her to consent. The term here should be ‘cheating’ or ‘breach of trust’ not rape or sexual assault. In such ‘rape cases’ a ‘rape-victim’ might demand that the ‘rapist’ keeps his promise and marries her.

[This is one of the many reasons why child sexual abuse, sexual assaults, acquaintance rape (marital rape or date rape), sexual harassment and street sexual harassment should be clearly defined.]

2. The women perhaps feel that being married to someone who cheated them and clearly does not wish to marry them (probably someone they don’t love, like, respect or believe they would be happy with), is a ‘respectable’ thing to do.

Why?

Because, patriarchal societies allow (or tolerate) premarital sex for men. If these men intend to marry the women they have sex with, they are said to ‘respect’ them. All good women in patriarchal societies are expected to strive to earn Men’s (and everybody’s) Respect.

3. Marriage by any man is seen as the only way a dishonored woman can be redeemed.

And they fear that no other man would marry them (since they are not sexually inexperienced anymore) and they see Getting Married and Staying Married as their life purpose.

Would you call this a case of Cheating or of Rape?

“Singh had promised to marry her and so she agreed to sexual relations, as a result of which she found she had been impregnated.

She alleged that they had even married in a temple. However, subsequently, his parents were not prepared to accept her as a daughter-in-law ….

“She assumed he had no intention to marry her and hence initiated criminal prosecution against him,” the court noted. She filed a rape case under section 376 of Indian Penal Code against him and he was arrested by the Goregaon police. But Singh’s counsel said he had infact taken steps to marry her. He had on January 4, three weeks before her complaint, filed an application for registration of the marriage.” [Intention to marry ‘rape victim’ gets man bail]

Somebody asked in a comment: Why is this cheating? Couldn’t the man just change his mind about marrying the woman?

If the man promised marriage to get consent, he knew the power of the ‘promise to marry’, he obviously also knew how breaking that promise could affect the woman. [More here: Link]

If she needed that promise, she probably did not think that it was hypocritical and demeaning to women, to value sexual inexperience in women. A broken promise could force her to fight a fight she didn’t believe in, or was incapable of fighting or simply didn’t want to fight. The man in the case above, had committed a crime against Patriarchy and he was allowed to make patriarchal amends and thus turn a dishonorable act into a sacred one.

BUT.

Would you describe his ‘dishonorable act’ as Rape?

The woman perhaps genuinely feared that she was on verge of becoming a Zinda Laash [Zinda Laash]. Many Indian women (and men) believe women should have only one sexual relationship, and that should be with the man they marry (preferably only after they are married to him). Indian women are denied education, freedom and opportunities; and are warned (and protected) against premarital sex. If the partners turn out to be abusive, incompatible or unwilling to marry them, they are warned, they would be ruined. [No second chances for an Indian daughter.] Suicide, stigma, social boycott, shifting to another place, marrying someone who doesn’t know about the ‘dishonor’, and honor killings have been the traditional methods for dealing with such ‘broken promises’.

So, the woman (and even the man) probably did not think she had the option of ending the relationship, claiming child support (if applicable) and moving on. Chances are that the man (and his parents) saw the broken promise as ‘ruining her life’ but also realised that they could get away with it.

So there can be no doubt that the man should have been held accountable. If he promised marriage in return of premarital sex, perhaps he should have been punished for Cheating. Maybe he could have been asked to keep his word. I agree that Consensual sex on false promise is cheating: HC.

But would you say he raped her?

Consensual sex, just because the woman was inexperienced (a virgin) should not be seen as Rape. This trivializes rape. This is also why many Indians confuse Rape with Sex. [How does an average Indian define Rape, Child Abuse and Consensual Sex?]

Also,

It is dangerous to allow marriages to make sexual assaults alright. [Five rapists in Patna want to marry gangrape victim.]

Another case:

Man raped girl on promise of marriage, gets 10-year jail

“The court said that after maintaining physical relations with the Muslim girl for over two years, Deepak Dogra refused to marry her. Moreover, to save himself from legal punishment, he went through “farce of marriage ceremony” despite knowing that it was neither lawful nor valid.”

Zinda Laash translates to ‘a living corpse’ or a lifeless person. Would you call a Rape Survivor a Zinda Laash?

Related Posts:

Would you call a Rape Survivor a Zinda Laash?
When a rape victim chooses her life over her ‘Honor’.
What do dented-painted women and disco-going protesters understand about a rape victim’s loss of honor?
How does an average Indian define Rape, Child Abuse and Consensual Sex?
Irresponsible girls who throw away their lives while in throes of lust for the completely wrong person…

Martial Arts for women to fight back rapes?

Here’s a question I have been meaning to share.

***

Prakhyath asked in an interview: For all these rapists, I believe they are using the girl’s lack of physical strength as an advantage. Don’t you think martial arts/gym and being strong will help them? Do you believe in self-defense kit for girls to fight rape?

My response : I should blog about this. While physical fitness would help in any crime or violent situation, I am not sure if it would protect a woman from a gang of, say eight or ten, or even four violent criminals. It seems, in 90% of sexual assault cases, the rapist is not a stranger, so it might help some women in dealing with those acquaintance rape, where there is only physical force being used and not some other form of coercion (like blackmail or verbal threats).

Martial arts require training, practice and general physical fitness, so how much time should women be expected to devote to keeping themselves safe from sexual assaults?

Also not all sexual assault victims are young adults, there are also the disabled and older women and children, not sure who and how much gym and fitness would help.

I am sure, it could give confidence and could ensure that one is able to escape if and when there is a chance to escape. Being able to jump over a wall or fence, being able to run reasonably fast, being able to drive, being able to use a cell phone, knowing emergency numbers etc should also be equally helpful, I think.

***

Many who suggest martial arts/self defense training for women may or may not approve of Indian girls playing in the sun, wearing anything but (often difficult to run in) traditional clothing, traveling alone for work or classes, jogging or walking alone, participating in sports (Uterus might slip!) or using cellphone, even eating before their husbands and brothers.

Women are rarely encouraged to be, or to look strong.

“Hers is a body that is so different from the usual physical ideal that is shoved down women’s throats — the slim, uniformly “toned” but not muscular, waifish model body… “[Link]

And yet Patriarchy celebrates acts of violence (like a slap or burning of a motor cycle etc) by women who are protecting that which belongs to Patriarchy – their modesty/honor/chastity. And it also assumes all rape victims are young women being assaulted by strange men.

Related Posts:

“In unison, everyone agreed that asking her out was outraging her modesty…”

Although she did  ’take law into her own hands‘, Aarti Yadav, 22, has complete social approval and support.

Where Consensual Sex is Rape, and Forced Sex a legal right.

Is it women-friendly to call Consensual Sex ‘Rape’ and Forced Sex a legal right? It makes no sense unless we see a woman’s virginity (and bodies and  sexuality) as something that rightfully belongs to her husband, in laws and the society. Who benefits from this kind of mindset?

The government has now brought in an ordinance to introduce stricter penalties for crimes against women Patriarchy, instead of implementing recomendations made by Justice Verma Committee. [Do read more here]

1. Why is it that the Indian law makers believe that Indian men must be given the legal right to rape their wives?

Do they see a sexual assault as loss of honor/virginity/purity or as a criminal assault? If a sexual assault is seen as a criminal assault, then why is it treated different from any other violent assault?

When it is not a legal right to beat, cheat, treat cruelly or burn-alive a spouse – then what makes the government hesitate in acknowledging that forced sex with a spouse (or anybody) should not be seen as a husband’s (or anybody’s) legal right?

2. The same logic makes it legal for Indian men to rape fifteen year old girls if they are married to the minors. [link]

And here’s what makes the patriarchal hypocrisy so obvious:

3. Consensual sex between 16 to 18 years old unmarried teenagers is being seen as rape. Who do you think benefits from criminalising consensual sex between 16- 18 year olds? [link]

This is NOT what the Verma Committee recommended.

Women’s groups reject ordinance on rape laws, urge President not to sign it [Link] Do watch the video here. http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/fromndtv/263810

Related Posts:

1. Making Marital Rape a legal offence is the fastest way to make it clear that Rape means forced sex, not lost Virginity or Honor.

2. Who benefits from criminalizing consensual teenage sex?

3. “Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.”

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

5. Pregnant at fifteen? No moral issues. Unmarried and pregnant at fifteen. Degeneration of society.