the wise old man was right?

I tried to make sense but I could not, I tried to process the recent events but I could not so I apologize to the Khap Panchayat leader on whose logic i had once laughed- when he said that western culture is leading to rape, when he said that men might take ages to be civil so women should be more careful, when he said that wearing jeans, getting education, travelling alone can cause rape, too much TV and late marriage is leading to rape….Everything he said seems right when i see what is happening around me.

He was a wise old man, too many wrinkles and a lot of smoke from his hooka, but he perhaps had understood the inbuilt flaw of our society- the fact that we accept( allow and encourage) men to be aggressive, violent and disrespectful. We have raised a society that accepts men to be aggressive, who play the role of either the oppressor or the protector (the cases of rape on men are either never reported) and sadly rape is looked down upon only because it seems like an insult to the woman’s honor and hence a proof of the lack of protection by the male chaperons. Which is why the Social stigma of being a rape victim much more than the stigma of a wife beating husband or a roadside harasser?

Many times police is asked why our cities are not safe, i am waiting for an office to tell them that cities are safer than homes, schools, buses also most of the rape cases are not reported and are done by some one the victim knows or trusts. Police has no mechanism to stop rape before it happens and the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ clause can not make them arrest every man who ever whistled at a woman as a ‘probable rapist’. Most importantly police can not enter you house to see if the females are being raped, they can not check each bus on the roads, they can defiantly not see if there is marital rape. NO one can and hence the only tool in the hands of the state is the have a strong law and ensure implementation. How tragic would the life of a rape victim be who has to see her culprits for years and years as they are released for lack of evidence and whom she sees once every few months in courts for years and years.

As crude as it sounds, Media likes news about rape, everyone had many opinions and every person wants to hear about it. The anchors are fighting over the details and needless to say the law (which has punishment for media if a rape/acid attack/social outcast victim is named or identified ) is forgotten in the race to have one 20 second exclusive. When leading papers talk of death sentence for the guilty, one wonders if they are speaking of a solution or of creating a barbaric entertainment set up which ensures TRPs and a continuation of aggression. Also sadly a very small minority sees rape as an exploitation of the woman’s sexuality and dignity, its more of ‘she is killed while she is still alive’….i wonder if rape by itself kills the victim or the culprit, who had a fall from humanity and brutally hurt another being.

Its not something a parents thinks of when his or her boy leaves home…If he would be bullied and harassed (PLease lets not call it eve teasing), If he would have to hear lewd remarks about his body, If he would be seeing inappropriate gestures or worse if he would be raped. These concerns are reserved for the girls and this concern leads to the notion that father and brother must play the ‘protector’ role thereby reinforcing the notion that protection can come from within the family, community or neighborhood.

Since times immemorial all mothers, aunts, elder sisters tell girls how to try and avoid trouble but when will fathers, uncles and elder brothers tell boys that they better not be the kind of person that tarnishes the family honor, until then people will have to find solace in the wise old man’s explanation.

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