by: Hershall Sehajpal,16
I think you’ll agree with me when I say that it’s a dangerous world out there right now. Especially one for women.
Yes, it’s common knowledge by this point in time that the number of heinous, disgusting and immoral crimes against women which include mainly rape, domestic abuse and murder, continue to go up significantly, especially in our beloved incredible country known fondly to us as India…sorry, I mean Bhaarat. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The point is, though women are, despite how many ignorant or hyper privileged folks might try to deny it, being legitimately beaten up, killed and raped solely for being…women, our very own elected – elected, mind you – ministers – MINISTERS, MIND YOU – really be out here making the most ridiculous statements about women’s issues, thus very conveniently single-handedly disregarding one of the biggest humanitarian issues globally, especially more so in India. Nice. So its no wonder just how messed up the mentality of the common men is.
Take a look, for instance, at this lovely comment by our very own Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Manohar Lal Khattar:
“If a girl is dressed decently, a boy will not look at her the wrong way,” he had said. “If they really want to enjoy their freedom of choice, why don’t they just roam around naked? Freedom has to be limited. These short clothes are Western influences. Our country’s tradition asks girls to dress decently.”
- Manohar Lal Khattar, CM, Haryana (Since 2014)
Thank you Mr Khattar, very cool! That statement holds the essence of the kinds of anti-women comments made by the rest of the ministers, which are honestly just variations of this statement.
Now, I just want to say that the fact that so many people believe the same as Khattar – that girls should be dressed “decently” (seriously what is that even supposed to mean? Who defines decent clothing?) – because if they don’t, the rape is inevitably their own fault. The thing to consider here is, what about women who are attracted to men then, hmm? What I mean is, if rape really is a person’s fault in how they choose to cover their titillating body parts, then why aren’t the number of rapes and sexual harassment incidents against men by women half as high as the rocketing amount of sexual aggressions committed by men against women?? Why can men roam around without being judged as to how they’re dressed and more specifically how that arouses a woman?
Again, I can just about guess the counter-arguments rolling in – “women have more curves, so it’s only natural for her body to “automatically” be sexualised in the eyes of men” – “men have higher sex drives, it’s only natural for them to give in to their instincts” – arguments like these, which have absolutely no basis at all. First of all, it is not true that men have uncontrollable sexual desires – no, that is not a biological fact at all. Look it up, lol. It’s a product of social conditioning and sex and sexual desires being taboo and unhealthily dealt with in our society that lead to men expressing their urges in dangerous manners. Women and men have about similar amounts of sex drives, biologically speaking. It’s just that we live in a society ya see, so women are seen as objects who shouldn’t have their own desires which leads to the stereotypical notion that women have lower sex drives which then get infused in society’s conditioning of people, as is the case when it comes to men – they are supposed to “like sex”, thus they get conditioned to be moulded into being sex hungry maniacs and it is seen as “normal”.
Why is it that patriarchy has seen men traditionally sexualise women and their bodies and enjoy that but the second it’s a woman that finally becomes confident enough and chooses to sexualise her own body rather than a man doing that to her like a straight-up pervert, the very same men have an issue? What are these double standards Pooja?
All in all, I think we can safely say that rape culture is indeed being propagated even in the privileged classes of this nation. Microaggressions, in all honesty, are just as dangerous as outright acts of abuse and violence against women, since they help to normalise the idea of women being inferior objects. Though a lot of people might not consciously believe or do things that make women out to inferior and weaker in their minds, making statements such as “I’m not sexist but women shouldn’t go out at night/wear less clothing, it’s for their own safety” is just as sexist – statements like these not only shift the blame on the victim but by extension excuses the actual criminals from their wrongdoings. Because remind me again how it makes sense when on one hand society asserts that women are the more emotional and unstable creatures but on the other hand tries to justify sexual violence by saying “men are unable to keep it in their pants, deal with it”? Like, congratulations! You just played yourself with that contradictory statement.
So to conclude, I really hope that the people of this country change their filthy outlook and actually begin to look at crimes against women as a product of years and years of toxic patriarchal conditioning instead of victim shaming. By extension, I hope we elect better leaders in the coming years. Till then, Bhaarat Mata Ki Jai, I guess. 🙂