India has mostly been a patriarchal society. It's the 21st century but there still exist men who think it's a society where the power rests with the men; where women are simply considered to be a property or commodity. A commodity used for the purpose of men, by men. A society where a woman’s, as well as her family’s ‘honour’, is put into her vagina will always be prone to gender-based injustice. A society where the media reports a rape case using the word
‘sex scandal’, will always stigmatise the survivor.`
When we analyze the societal construct keeping in mind its myriad influences and biases, we come to realise that sexual assault isn’t simply about a person’s sexual desires, it has more to do with the three P’s: Patriarchy, Power and Property . According to various reputed surveys, over 80% of women experience some form of sexual harassment in their lives. According to government data, nearly four women are raped every hour in this country. Realistically speaking, that means only about 90 women each day find
the courage to report that they have been sexually violated. The real number — probably way higher — never gets captured as numerous assaults go unreported, buried under shame, confusion and fear. No matter how much we try, the change needs to start from the grassroots level, at our homes, at our schools.
Yes, it’s difficult, but it needs to be done because every time the parents place a 8 PM curfew on their daughter and none on their son, they’re adding to rape culture. Every time, a teacher sends a girl back to her home because the length of her skirt is too ‘distracting’ for the boys, he/she is adding to rape culture. Every time you don’t call out someone’s blatant sexism or every time we judge a woman’s character by the length of her clothes or by the number of drinks she’s had, we’re contributing to rape culture. Even today, the question
arises, “Are your in-laws letting you go to work after marriage?” The question has become a double-edged sword as both the speaker and the listener have internalized the patriarchal hegemony. The urban areas fail to understand that working or reaching for one’s dreams is not necessarily to stabilize financial insufficiency. It is to make an “individual identity” irrespective of gender. Every woman in her life is accused of being over-ambitious, asked to
take a break or quit her professional life after having a baby. It is not a choice which she makes at that time but a subconscious compulsion. It comes under the veil of choice – a result of internalized patriarchy.
But how do we change this? The answer is simple. Change our mindset. | society, Rape case, mindset
India is moving one step at a time towards acknowledging female rights. We all love being called ‘modern’, but we refuse to change the way we think. So, let us do some unlearning and do our part in not adding to rape culture by holding the culprit accountable and not the survivor/victim?
We all need to understand that we need to change our own thought processes. It all starts with us. Until and unless we question our own mindset, nothing would change. Hence, let us relearn ourselves, let us pacify our souls, and open our minds to questioning the very roots of our society. Only then can we curb this social demon called rape.
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