Aside
22

When I was around eleven or twelve, I was new to the experience of commuting via the public transport system. I had never traveled to the city alone by bus, and on the rare occasion that I did, it was usually with either or both of my elder sisters. One such occasion stands out unpleasantly in my memory. On the evening of the incident I’m about to narrate, I asked my sister if I could accompany her to the library in town. In those days, she would take a bus at around 5 o’ clock every other evening and return home when it was just starting to get dark. My sister agreed to let me come with her, and so, at a little after 5 o’clock, we set out to catch a bus to the city. When we got to the library, my sister returned the book she’d previously borrowed, paid the rental fee and selected another book to take home with her that evening. We then walked back to the bus stop.

Let me just slightly digress from the story at this point, and give you an idea of what I was like as a 11/12 year old girl. I hit puberty long before most girls in my class even understood what it really meant, and so I always felt awkward about my body. I used to be too tall, too chesty (which is hilarious, because now I complain endlessly about how I’m not chesty enough), and I had to start waxing much before the girls my age did. Looking back, this was all just a part of a “phase that every girl goes through”. But at the time, I was in a perpetual state of embarrassment about the way I looked. I hid behind sexless jeans and t-shirts. My gawky looks and the fact that I was in an all girls convent school made it pretty easy for boys to not notice me in, you know, that way. I think I would’ve been suspicious of the attention in any case.

So imagine my complete mortification when two boys on a scooter rode up to where my sister and I were sitting, waiting for our bus, and said, “Hey baby, what’s your name? Can I have your number?” They looked pretty uncouth (Isn’t using ‘hey, baby’ as an opening line evidence enough?), and I was immediately frightened by the way they leered at us. I’d heard about these things happening to people, but I had no idea what was to be done in a situation like this. I looked to my sister for help. She told me to ignore them. But they were only amused by that, and pressed on, saying things like, “Hey baby, can I have your number?” or “Why aren’t you talking to us, baby?” My sister was getting livid. She’s always had this instinct to protect, and I could tell it was all she could do to not slap them across the face. We tried moving away, but that didn’t work either. Finally, a bus came along. It wasn’t even a bus that took us all the way home, only three fourths the distance, but at that point all we wanted to do was get away from the creeps. We got on, and we were almost about to sigh in relief, when we noticed that the same guys were tailing our bus. They caught up to our window and started yelling lewd comments at us, much to our chagrin. They were laughing so hard I thought their heads would fall off. I hoped they would. By this point I was shaking with terror, and my sister was shaking with anger. It was starting to get dark, and  neither my sister nor I had a cell phone with us to contact our parents. My mind flashed back to all the awful stories I’d heard about the terrible things that happened to girls after dark. I’d heard about guys just like these, too. I think I was about to cry, but my sister assured me that she wouldn’t let anything happen to me, and in that moment, I believed her. Well, I guess the eve-teasers got tired of the chase after a while, because they finally left us alone, and my sister and I got home okay. But I was pretty freaked out after that, and something in my world had changed. I knew I looked much older than I actually was, but I never was afraid because of it. Until then, I’d never been aware of boys noticing me, and the way it happened for the first time, I wished they wouldn’t ever.

As I grew older, that incident just became one among the many instances where I had been harassed on account of being a girl travelling in the city by myself. On so many bus journeys home, while sitting on the outer seat, an older man standing, facing my seat has purposely rubbed his crotch up against my shoulder, or a man sitting next to me has crossed his hands over his chest and touched my breast on the sly. I could never really tell them off, or complain, because they’d make out as if it happened by accident, when the bus went over a particularly nasty pothole. I believe that accidents happen, yes. But no one’s hand/ crotch can possibly land in the same place ten times. After using the local buses to travel to my tuition classes and back for several years, I’ve become used to the occasional pervert having his way with young female commuters on the sly. What’s morbid is that these things happen often enough for people to “get used to them”, and shudder them off as “things that happen to everyone” because some Indian men do not know how to respect women enough to allow them to use the public transport system without apprehension or fear.

The recent gang- rape and mutilation of a young female commuter in Delhi that has created such a media hype, forces us to ask ourselves some very important questions as a nation, regarding the laws that protect citizens and punish the guilty, the current state of the local police all over the country (the supposed vigilantes of the people, the perpetrators of justice) and more crucially, the way we as an Indian society function. Stricter laws, capital punishment and policemen doing their jobs for a change  are all solutions to the problem, no doubt. But we will not see the eradication of crimes against women unless we change the way our society thinks. And for that, we need to change the way we as individuals think.

We need to stop blaming women for “provoking men with their indecent clothing”, we need to stop the hypocrisy of casting women in “Item numbers” acting like nothing less than strippers, falling all over the dashing hero, who has all the swag of a bloody prince, then being offended that the woman who sits next to you on the bus won’t react in the same way. We need to stop this whole portrayal of the “Indian woman” as someone who earns a cute little salary, has a cute little college degree, and of course we don’t mind if she has a couple of cute little “adventures” with her friends in her college days, but everyone knows that soon she’ll have to assume the role of someone’s dutiful wife, churn out the babies (and yes, she will be blamed if the child is defected in any way or gasp! turns out to be a girl) and do all the chores with a song on her lips and a prayer in her heart. And if anything untoward happens to her while she’s out in society, why, sweetheart, anyone wearing a dress with such a low neckline is only asking for trouble. And a nightclub is no place for a young woman, even if she’s only there because she loves to dance. Such dancing is too provocative for a lady of society. Really, you can’t expect the men not to behave so lewdly when you act so scandalously, dear. We need to stop saying things like, “men will be men” and we need to stop being OK with sexual harassment, even if it is of the relatively “mild” variety.

In a conservative society like India, coming to terms with your sexuality can be very difficult. It is especially difficult for girls, who have been conditioned to think that the very body parts that deem them women are something to be embarrassed about, that the pleasure of a man always comes before their own, and that masturbating is the biggest sacrilege that can be committed. I cannot even begin to imagine the repercussion that a victim of rape has to face, day in and day out, and how bad the emotional and psychological trauma is for her. Surely, it will be infinitely more difficult for her to see sex as an act of pleasure, or men as people and not monsters. And even if the victim does make a total recovery, what about the millions of women hearing about her story? Won’t they become more afraid of their sexuality and that of others? Won’t it affect the way look at all the men in their lives? It certainly will.

I’m not a feminist. At least, not society’s version of your typical feminist. I don’t believe in feminism without a cause either.  I don’t abhor acts of chivalry. I even think men sometimes need to feel like they have the upper hand; it’s good for their egos once in a while. But I will never, ever stay quiet when I know that someone is being treated unfairly because of their gender. And it just so happens that in India today, women are the mistreated sex. This needs to change. And now.

And if it takes a feminist’s voice to bring about that change, then I’m all for it.

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22 thoughts on “This is NOT Okay

  1. Hey Cessy, this is an interesting article…I’m sorry you have to go through all this, men do indeed have to be men, not dogs. But, how do you hope to bring about this change in mentality? I have the greatest admiration for women (you know that), and I think from her comes the cure. This may sound a bit controversial and maybe even ‘chauvinistic’ to you, as women have the right to demand how they need to be treated, they have to have a change of mentality too. It is not easy for a man to respect someone, who does not respect herself. Indeed, it requires great chivalry to ‘not’ take advantage of such a woman.
    But then, the whole process of gaining such chivalry requires one to see women, not as objects and not merely that, but to see them as queens! If a man see his queen, dressed up like a slut do you think he will respect her? That he should and must, is very clear, but will he? In the same way, if a women saw a man acting like dog, will she respect him? The same principle goes for both. Only when a man diverges from who he is, the result is more catastrophic…at least physically. But when a women does so, it is more spiritual.
    My solution to this problem is Mary. If every one in India knew, respected and honoured Our Holy Mother and set her up as the model of women and how they must be treated, we would have a change in mentality. Which is the short answer to a very complex question 😛
    Keep it coming (y)

    • Unbelievable!

      Firstly, the fact that you equate women DRESSING like (your definition of)’sluts’, with men BEHAVING like dogs, is a perfect testimony to the craphole our country is in today.

      Secondly, the all-too-familiar ‘blame the victim’ theory (which you have not directly stated, but are undoubtedly implying- “it requires great chivalry to ‘not’ take advantage of such a woman.”) suggests two things –
      1) That a woman deserves or has ‘asked for’ or ‘should expect’ abuse/harassment based on the way she is dressed.
      2) That men have little, or absolutely no control over their own sexual urges.

      I also find myself differing in opinion over your definition of ‘chivalry’.
      You say, “the whole process of gaining such chivalry requires one to see women, not as objects and not merely that, but to see them as queens”.
      I find myself thinking however, that true chivalry is NOT objective. True chivalry should mean that you would treat ANY woman, saint or stripper, with equal amounts of respect and dignity, irrespective of the meters of cloth covering their bodies. And that does not come from “what you see” but from what you choose to understand is cultured and respectful, and HUMANE.

      By your “logic”, Amish, am I to assume that you would not be surprised, if the next time you walked passed Miramar beach, you saw me dryhump a random shirtless guy?

      #The 21st century beckons, man.

      -Zenisha

    • I have to agree with Zen here. A man’s respect for himself is never associated with the way he dresses, why should it be any different for a woman? If a man dresses inappropriately, words like “sloppy” or “shabby” are used, if a women does the same she is labelled a slut. Women were made infinitely more beautiful than men, and that is a burden we have to bear today. If making beauty visible to the eyes of the public is a crime, then why not fell all the trees in the world and lock up every great work of art in a dark dungeon? Beauty is not tangible, which is why (thankfully!) no one can claim it for themselves. Men do not have the right to do so. By trying to make it theirs, they render the “object” you refer to beautiful no more. If it were lawful to walk in the streets naked, and I did so, a man still doesn’t have a claim over my body, no matter how unbearable his arousal may be. By excusing a man for his animal behavior, you are denying his humanness and lowering him to the level of the Neanderthals, maybe worse! I refuse to regard men as mere animals in any respect, as I know many men (including yourself) that I have great regard for as HUMAN BEINGS.
      I can tell you that when I choose to dress up and show myself in society, I do it because it is aesthetically pleasing to me, and not because I want men or women to ogle at me. Why are men allowed to love their bodies openly, but women must do it in the privacy of their bedroom? (It is questionable whether they are allowed to do even that in our society). My body is beautiful, and it has done me no harm. Being raped however, would harm me.
      A man once pulled out his penis and leered at me while I was walking in the city, but that would not have validated any urge I had to rape him, had I felt it then.

      • I think I’ve been a victim of a grave misunderstanding. Nobody ogles at a man’s body, because quite frankly, its not as beautiful as a woman’s.

        I am not saying a man is justified by giving into his urges, the act itself is a grave one and cannot be negated by ‘bad’ dressing.

        But let me give you an example:
        A ring of great value and beauty is left in the middle of the street on a pedestal with the words ‘This ring belongs the King, dare ye not take it.’ A person with great fidelity to the King will not touch it, nor will he even desire it, instead he will admire it. But at the same time, he will ask himself ‘Why has the King left this ring of such beauty out in the open, for anyone to take, with no guards or anything?’
        But then we see a thief, a person who’s conscience is warped and who is continually on the look out for an easy buck. When he sees this ring, will he not try to take it? But then, whats to stop him from really robbing a shop? So the ring is just easy prey for him, and he would just as well steal it if it were kept in a locker, if he could.
        BUT lets add another fellow, a poor man, who needs the money and who doesn’t know anything about the King at all, would this not be a great temptation? If he does steal it, it would still be wrong, a grave sin. But if it were not there, would he steal it?

        You can form your own conclusion to this, lest I influence your mind.

        I find a few fallacies your arguments, firstly that you equate the male psyche the same as a females. Women aren’t turned on the same way as men, men are more visual (more so in this fallen age) and so are aroused by visual stimuli. Women on the other hand are more emotional and are aroused by emotional stimuli. When I say more, I mean that there’s a little bit of both in all of us, but that in males, the visual dominates. Therefore, its not a wonder that I don’t see you dryhump a shirtless guy, because you would never feel inclined to. In fact I would think it absurd! So would you, I should think.

        I am not blaming the victim, what those men did was extremely horrifying and degraded. But what I’m trying to show is, its not a blame game. We, men and women are companions of the same shipwreck! Men have to protect and respect women.

        Cessy, you are right, woman are infinitely more beautiful than men, and it is indeed a burden! With great power comes great responsibility. Men are attracted to beauty, but the proper reaction this beauty is not always kept. Only in a fallen world is beauty a temptation. Indeed, in Eden, Adam and Eve were naked without shame, why?
        This goes for men, as well as for women. Men should not take advantage of women, but at the same time women should not take advantage of men.

        I’ll tell you an incident that happened to me once, my cousin was wearing a short blouse and every time she moved you could see her underwear, so I made this known to her and her reply was ‘Don’t look.’
        Well, if I’m not supposed to look…why show it?
        When I become a husband, I would not want anybody ogling at the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen (my wife), she would be my treasure, and mine alone and I would be hers. Both seeing what nobody else has seen, a secret only we shall know.

        All in all (if you skipped everything else, you can just read this 😛 ), I am not defending those who have given up reason and morality to have stooped so low as to rape a woman, nor am I justifying their actions. It is you, who know how fallen man is, are doing nothing to help him. It is right that if you walk naked, he still has no claim to your body, but will he honour that? It has not stopped anyone before.

        “I find myself thinking however, that true chivalry is NOT objective. True chivalry should mean that you would treat ANY woman, saint or stripper, with equal amounts of respect and dignity, irrespective of the meters of cloth covering their bodies. And that does not come from “what you see” but from what you choose to understand is cultured and respectful, and HUMANE.”

        You are indeed right, but how does one gain such chivalry? How is a man supposed to form his conscience when his own ‘culture’ is against it? Chivalry, requires self-control and a great act of will and that doesn’t happen overnight, it has to be continually formed, man has to deny himself whenever the situation arises. But if men in this culture, can so easily get what they want, without the consequences, how is he to form his will and character according to the norm you set for him? You are not helping him in any way, yet you demand that he should. It is like demanding women to take care of the kids with no support from the husband (and this is also happening and has been happening for ages).

        I’m not for men or for women here, just that blaming each other doesn’t work. We have to work together. Man has to respect woman and woman has to respect man. Man must lift woman up, and woman must lift man up.

        I hope we can continue this discussion with civility and friendliness.

      • (This is in reply to Amish’s second comment, couldn’t find a way to directly reply to it.)

        I think I understand what you are trying to say. That a ring must be protected. As women should. I whole-heartedly agree. If I have daughters, I too will tell them to dress in a way that does not attract unwanted attention. But that would come from a place of concern for their safety, and should they not dress in the way I’d hoped they would, I would be afraid for their safety, and upset that they do not have the freedom to dress the way they want, without the fear that accompanies it. (However, respect for themselves, or a lack thereof, would not be my train of thought.)
        Conditional freedom, conditional safety, is what we’re so used to hearing.
        And at one level, when we’re told by our parents, family, friends, to be careful, that is very understandable and positive.

        When that same concern in echoed by our political leaders like Dixit and Shinde, I am disgusted. For it is their JOB and DUTY to make sure that women DO NOT NEED to take precautions like these. Dixit’s statement about women being ”too adventurous”, was the worst thing a person in her power could have said. As Chief Minister, it’s her job to make sure that streets are better-lit, and that her state is safer for women. Not to then open her mouth and make a fool of herself when the consequences of her own inadequacies come to light. An apology is was what should have been issued, not a ‘word of advice’.

        The point you make about someone who is not all there stealing a ring whether out in the open, or locked away, is my point exactly. So you agree? 😛
        In a country like Saudi Arabia, where women are constantly covered from head to toe, do you think rape does not occur? Very recently, a teenager there was gang-raped by 7 men.

        The solution is respect for women.That doesn’t happen when men see women decently dressed, that happens when MEN are held to higher expectations by society, when bad behavior is not condoned, when women are not part of the solution to the problem.

        Yes, that progress might take time, and till then I am not against loved ones suggesting that women dress for their own safety, but that should, in no way, be a replacement for the broader, larger, progress, and change of ATTITUDE, that needs to happen.

        (I AM sorry if you felt misunderstood, and if I came of as harsh in my last comment, the sentiment was toward a trend of thought, not you. I do apologize though.)

      • I know what you mean :/ It feels like things won’t change for a couple hundred years more. At least. Did you hear about the guy on twitter who blamed the growing number of rape cases on “Delhi women who dress too modern”? Best part – He was simultaneously tweeting Sunny Leone, telling her that he’s her biggest fan, and tweeting Poonam Pandey telling her to cover up and be decent. Hypocrisy at its best. Sigh.

  2. I’m glad we’ve reached to an understanding of each other 🙂 I think, both men and women have to sacrifice some form of freedom to protect others. But before I go on, I would like to clarify, I am on the man’s side here only because that is where the fight is, so to speak. If I were to meet someone who was on the man’s side (and was so unreasonably, as is the case with that hypocritical-twitter), I would bash him (if he was a man) more severely.
    So anyway, all I have to say is this: if a man, when he sees a woman, has to battle his urges to see to her safety, in other words ‘neglect himself’, doesn’t it impinge his freedom to do so?

    My conclusion is, man have to give up some freedom and so does woman. There can be no harmony without sacrifice and that is the sad truth in this world. Even today, hopefully harmony will come from this woman’s sacrifice and may God bless her soul for it.

    And I wholeheartedly agree with your second statement. If this matter wasn’t so public, our political leaders would be quick to dismiss it. They are the real scourge of India. If that’s her justification, will it be okay if I shot her in the head because she was being ‘too arrogant’?

    Well, I do agree with your third point (which is also mine), but I do not think all rape cases are like that. Some people need a push to fall of the moral precipice they were walking on. My point is, it shouldn’t be made harder than it already is.

    I would like to say more, but I shall refrain from doing so at the moment, till I get those thoughts straight 😛

    But I would like to add this, the courage of the man who defended this woman (also, I think there was another recent case where a man defended a woman from a gang rape and got beat up). I think such actions should be applauded, publicly. These men deserve a medal, for bravery and chastity! God knows it is not easy to stand against a mob of men, alone, when you could easily take part in the ‘degraded orgy’. India needs men like them.

    I understand you sentiments against that mindless and cowardly mentality, and I, after accepting your apology, offer my own if I sounded like that 😉

    • I think you’re confusing freedom with something else. Freedom is that ability to freely behave in a way that one chooses, WITHOUT violating the freedom of another. So, no, if a man ‘neglects’ his urges, he is not impinging any freedom of his, for that freedom is not his to claim in the first place.

    • How are you going to ‘reproach’ them exactly? I’m not too sure where you’re going with this, because as far as I know, neither you nor I have stumbled upon a device that allows us to read other’s thoughts 😛 If you do though, let me know… we can join forces to fight evil, after reserving two places in a mental insitution…because that’s exactly what would happen if we could read everyone’s thoughts… go nuts. 😛

      Amish, it’s been great talking (or commenting, lol), but I have exams on Monday, and I probably won’t check up on here for a while now.
      Till then can we agree to disagree? 🙂
      Take care!

  3. Hehehe, I know many comrades of mine who make their thoughts known to me 😛 And its not so hard to know what some are thinking 🙂
    I was trying to say, from a thought comes the deed. You cannot ask a person not to eat something, when you yourself are offering it to him. I mean, its already hard enough as it is, there’s no need to add fuel to the fire.

    Indeed it has been 🙂 All the best with your exams, may the Holy Spirit inspire you so you may answer well 🙂
    Until next time then 😉

    • I just had a feeling you’d say something that would make me annoyed… Tsk tsk. You’re becoming predictable dude 😛
      Seriously though, have you not listened to any of what Frenchy or I are trying to say?
      Why do you assume that when a woman dresses it is in with an intention to entice men? The food metaphor is grossly wrong Amish.
      And if every thought was translated into deed, we’d be living in a very different world.
      In fact, will power is exactly what shapes behavior and distinguishes us from animals. Don’t underestimate that.
      With all due respect, you’re starting to sound like rape apologist. I’m not saying you are, but your arguments are getting there.

  4. Lol, I sorta predicted whatever you were saying anyway, so we’re square 😉

    Oh, I didn’t assume that. But that’s the message that comes across. I do not underestimate anything. You, on the other hand underestimate the human imagination. Just one word can spark such images in a man or woman, you would need a lifetime to count them. If so much for a word, how much more for a picture/scene?

    The analogy I made with the food is not perfect (analogies never are), but whether you ‘intend’ it or not you could be the cause of sin in someone else. If you take all the reasonable precautions and the subject still commits the sin, I hold you blameless.
    Don’t you think it is your duty not to entice men needlessly? It doesn’t matter whether you intend it or not. Some people don’t intend for babies to happen, but they do, because its a law of nature. Its natural for men to feel attracted toward women, and knowing this, you still ‘don’t intend’ to entice them? That’s like throwing a pebble in the water and not intending ripples to form. Do you not care for the soul of man? Do you not care if you make it harder for him to be chaste (not saying that your the reason he’s unchaste, just that it becomes harder)? Do you not care that he might use you, if not physically, mentally?
    In my view, the people of your position have no right to demand this of a man, because you are not doing anything to help him get there. I’ve seen girls actually promote foul talk in men, then later, these same women demand that men control themselves. Is this not hypocrisy? They belittle themselves and they’re bodies to promote such nonsense and then they complain that men don’t respect their bodies.
    The people who do have the right to demand that man act like a Man, are the people who do all they can do help man achieve this end.

    What I’m saying is, men and women must live in that harmony where they both try the utmost to not be the cause of someone else’s downfall. That is true charity.

    But in case all I say fails to convince, I’ll just reiterate what I said before. Its already so hard for a man to be virtuous in this fallen world, why make it harder, and so much harder? Do you know how hard it is to control one’s imagination? Think of that boring sermon of that boring priest (God help him), how hard was it to focus, really focus on what he was saying without your imagination running off at a tangent to the nearest thought?

    I accept that I do sound like what you call a ‘rape apologist’, but that is not my position. I do not justify a rape because of clothing (or lack thereof). But I do ask that you show concern for man, to help him become a man of virtue more easily (so in the end, by sacrificing somethings, we get all things).

    P.S. Such cases of molestation and all, which happen to women regardless of their clothing are done by men, who’s conscience has died and who’s moral compass has been formed by our dead culture. This is not the result of the ideology held by Dixit and company (which is itself one of the results) but the result of a culture where men are asked to be men, but not taught how to.
    How do we teach virtue to men today? By putting them in a position where they have to choose between cold, hard duty or the immediate pleasure of the senses? Or by first helping them appreciate virtue, by being virtuous ourselves, so that duty looses its coldness and man (used here inclusively) delights in carrying it out?

    P.P.S.
    I do believe that rape cases and clothing are not entirely connected, i.e. the latter is not the cause of the former, but it does help build the mentality that women are willing to give themselves away (whether they intend to or not) so cheaply.
    May I ask what the difficulty is in dressing modestly and with dignity to the holiness of the human body?

    • Your comment makes me sick, really sick. Firstly, “whether you ‘intend’ it or not you could be the cause of sin in someone else. If you take all the reasonable precautions and the subject still commits the sin, I hold you blameless.”

      As a Catholic, you probably know well that it is impossible to “induce sin” in another individual. Sin comes from oneself, and as long as a person makes excuses for their sin, they are never going to stop. Since you are so fond of using bad analogies, how about I use one?
      In a large display window in a shop on a busy street you often frequent, you see the most beautiful diamond collar your eyes ever beheld. It is so beautiful that you must at once have it. It’s cut is impeccable, the stones catch the light from way across the street. And all that is separating you from that diamond collar is a sheet of glass. Tantalizingly thin and transparent glass.
      Now, of course in your head you have already owned that collar. Worn it to many a cocktail party and even had a naughty moment, where you fastened it around your cat’s neck! This pretty number has so fueled your imagination that you cannot help but steal it.
      Now, when a policeman shows up at your door with an arrest warrant, is this what you will say? “Yes, Officer, I know what I did was unlawful and wrong. But I am a girl. And it is natural for girls to want diamonds. Marilyn Monroe said so, just listen! Knowing full well that most of the girls that pass by that window cannot actually afford that diamond necklace, wasn’t it the moral responsibility of the jeweler to not display it like that? Why tease one unnecessarily? That jeweler has no right to demand that his necklace be returned, or his shop made safer when he’s been such a tease about that necklace!”
      To which, I’m hoping, the policeman replies, “But isn’t your sense of morality…well, yours, and not the jewelers?”

      I also find it hard to understand what you mean by “necessary precautions”. While breasts and legs turn many a man on, men could just as well fancy long, shiny hair and pretty hands and feet. Sexuality is complex, just because a man is visual that doesn’t mean you put all men in the same donkey cart. I find that what rapists really lust after is that feeling of power, knowing that someone is completely helpless and vulnerable before you.

      These hypocritical women you refer to do not “promote foul talk in men” because they want to get raped later. What they usually want is to be taken to bed by those men. There is a big difference. While casual sex may go against your values, it is a consensual relationship between both the man and the woman, and not legally wrong. I have nothing against you lamenting about promiscuous behavior. But please, please do not divvy up women into those that “have the right to demand that man act like a Man” and those that just haven’t scored those kind of brownie points yet.

      PS: Sex is not the problem. Seeing it as a taboo is. Child marriage is. Our patriarchal society is.

      PPS: But in case all I say fails to convince, read this: http://www.manushi-india.org/pdfs_issues/articles/I%20Fought%20for%20My%20Life.pdf

      and then this: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/opinion/after-being-raped-i-was-wounded-my-honor-wasnt.html?_r=0

  5. Dear Cessy, I had hoped this would not become a heated argument. But I guess I shouldn’t have stuck my thumb in with so delicate an issue. I believe I have not expressed myself properly. I am not justifying rape.
    I will make a few points with your analogy itself:
    Firstly, it was wrong on the part of the thief’s part to steal said jewel necklace.
    Second, what gave this person the ‘moral’ license to steal was not the great opportunity, nor was it the agonizing lure of the jewel. If she had a better moral code and the love for it, she would see that breaking that code would cause her more agony than the jewel.
    Thirdly, now this is about the jeweler. Was it wise for this man to keep such a priceless gem in such a vulnerable position with no security measures whatsoever? Was it right for him to have tempted this poor, weak willed woman, after knowing that there are such people in the world?

    Now, I am not saying that women get raped because of their clothing. In fact, I have great devotion to a woman who did get raped and killed, St Maria Goretti, who FORGAVE the man who committed the horrible crime. This great woman, did not entice this man in any emotional, nor physical manner. But the depravity, the total moral degradation of the man led him to do it.

    What I want to point out here is that St Maria was still concerned about the man after what he did to her. She hoped that he would turn back and ask forgiveness for his evil. And he did.

    All I want is that you don’t make the same mistake as the people who justify rape, join a faction. Its not a fight. Its not weak willed men against enticing females.

    Men have the moral obligation to respect and guard women. Women have the same, but since women are by nature more spiritual, it is in this area that they must help man most.

    Also, I did not say necessary, I said reasonable.

    What about this situation:
    A man, sees a woman and desires her. But he doesn’t want to be tied down by ‘marital bounds’. So instead, he woos this woman, giving her fantasies of the wildest kind. In a way he is enticing her, playing with her emotions and giving her a hope which will never be fulfilled. He builds up in her a false knowledge that he will be there forever and will one day marry her. In the end, the man uses the woman and throws her away, caring not a whit about her emotions or her love.
    What do you say about this man?

    When we see a man sick and wounded, do we not run to tend him? Why then do you not do the same for morally wounded men? We don’t aggravate the pain in the wounded man, but why then for the morally depraved one? Or if you do want to help him, what aid will you give him? Foul talk?

    Nobody wants to get raped, I never claimed that, What I claimed is that the ‘rape’ mentality is exactly that, a mentality. What made Alessandro Serenelli rape Maria Goretti was not her clothing, but a horrible, base mentality. But how was that built up? Why don’t you read about him? 🙂

    Also, I would like you sincere answer to this and its something I will keep asking. If its already so hard to see woman as woman, as God’s master piece, why make it harder? What are you contributing to it build up that mentality where men see woman as a person, not a thing?

    Of course one cannot cause another to sin. But why tempt them unnecessarily? Why put them through such agony? I am not only against physical rape, but also of mental rape (which builds the rape ‘mentality’) which our fashions (and culture) make it half easier than it ever was before.

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