It’s been a couple days since the notorious gangrape took place in Delhi, and there’s been a motherload of reactions going around on the social media as status messages, and newspapers as reports and editorials; bloggers blogging about their thoughts on rape and TV channels having a fieldday. Just the other day, I came across the following on Amrita’s Facebook status.
As a Facebook friend succinctly put it, “There’s more blood on my Fb feed than on the streets of Delhi”. Yes, a woman was gang raped in Delhi. A heinous crime, true. Where were the Facebook posts demanding capital punishment for the rapists in the 600 odd other cases of rape reported in the NCR this year? Where were the protests and the placards when a minor was recently gang raped in Noida and the Noida Police had the audacity to reveal her name to the press and cast aspersions on her character? Why now? The straw that broke the camel’s back? Then the camel had a pretty unflappable back, imo. Yeah, go on. Project yourself as socially aware and emancipated by posting yet another status condemning the rape and wishing the Delhi Police to perdition. I’m sure the Delhi Police will get your message and will definitely change its she-asked-for-it mindset. And then, women, go back to your real life and give in in yet another small way to the man who rules your life. Men, you make sure you make her give in. Any tiny way. Just to show her that you’re the man. You’ve done your bit for womankind on Facebook. Yes, you definitely have.
And, since it seemed like an indignation against the men, a few comments poured in in reaction to her status message. The following one was particularly thought-provocking.
Since when have women in this country ever stood up and done anything. I know my comment will draw hordes of emancipated women attacking me but that changes nothing. Hate men all you want, they behave in the manner that they do because no woman ever stood up and hit the guy back with an iron rod. Yes yes I know they are physically weaker etc etc but then who was the last woman who told her husband to fuck off because he asked for dowry or who told her parents to fuck off because they were forcing her to conform. I know such a woman. Her biggest worry at present is the way the other women in her society think of her and speak of her. As a part of my livelihood I am required to meet women from across the country and understand how they can be empowered. The funny thing is they dont want to be empowered. You can yell and scream in Delhi all you want, your own gender across the country does not give a shit. It is not now nor has it ever been a case of men vs. women. If it were as simple as that, life would have been much simpler even for renegades like me who would stand in support of women against men. It is about old india vs new india with halfassed india suffering in between. My earnest suggestion to women is to stop thinking of chopping off the balls of men and grow a pair themselves.
Then I went to Saswat’s blog and read his epic commentary on how rape is an essential ingredient of the recipe called Indian Society. Some of his points were irrefutably bitter, but true nevertheless. Here’s a portion which moved me in particular:
Demanding castrations and death penalties are the easiest ways to appear moralistic while letting the system sustain its sexist character. Focusing on gender wars and demonizing all men as beasts and all men as potential rapists is highly regressive and counterproductive. Asking that men give up their privileges is akin to asking capitalists to give up their wealth. This is utopian at its best, and reactionary, at its worst. What’s important is not to ask men for mercy or police for protection, but to form alliance with every revolutionary formations to overthrow the last vestiges of feudalism – the patterns of caste violence, the licenses to rape women in the name of religious sanctions, the sacrosanct marriages – and to organize a communistic future that will no longer depend on legal interventions from the capitalistic judiciary.
Yes, being a man and having lived in one of the small towns of our state, I have remained an observer of the India’s patriarchal society since my childhood. I have seen my mom and sisters being made to sacrifice their cherished wishes at the behest of the family heads. Gender disparity has largely remained the hallmark of our society, be it an illiterate girl in a village or a self-made woman in a metrocity. The male ego has to perpetuate and take precedence over the female’s interests. This is a truth and an age-old story in every household across our country. This blog post on TOI shares the same perspective I have about the first step towards stopping rape from being a household affair in every Indian family.
A lot of how India will be in the future, how one half of the population will treat the other half, will depend on the lessons from parents and teachers. GPS and CCTVs, after all, cannot track what goes inside homes and the minds of men; they can only make our streets a bit safer. The violence to women within families is many times deadlier.
While there has been an emotional outrage about how the rapist should be hanged till death, I seriously think every responsible selfcentric male in our society with a penchant to look down upon his female counterpart must hang his ego till death to start with, if they are trulely serious about allowing any positive change to usher in. What do you think?