By Hafsa Amin.
“Have you heard about that girl who got raped by her boyfriend?”
“By her boyfriend??? He was supposed to rape her, Why did she had a boyfriend at first place?”
“You know that girl was raped yesterday?”
“Oh, that one? She always wore provocative dresses and have you seen her picture on instagram? She asked for it man”
“Girls get raped because of their dress you know, if she is showing her cleavage and thighs she is supposed to be raped”
“What?? Marital rape? Is it a joke? Why she married if she didn’t want the physical relationship at first place? What is the husband supposed to do? These feminists are forcing us men to have extra marital affairs”
Rape- the non consensual act of sex- and the stigmas around it have haunted the girls from centuries. From slut-shaming to murder, the sufferers of rape have faced the agony of the society. Since attraction between opposite sex is natural, the society have presumed that if not controlled by the female, men are supposed to get violent and forceful. While rape is physically painful, it endures long lasting psychological effects as well and a lot of it comes from the society. Since South Asians are traditionalists, rape culture doesn’t reflect a crime but it certainly shows the root cause of rape – GIRLS AND THEIR CHOICE OF LIFE.
If I am a woman who choose to wear the dress of my choice and talk to the boys I feel comfortable with, I put myself in a situation where I am likely to be harassed or raped, somehow deservingly. There has been a debate between liberals and the clerics on who to be blamed for rapes and the tendency of society has always been towards the females and their “vulgar” dressings. Many women themselves believe that they got raped because it was their fault. They ASKED for it.
The post rape torture is horrendous as well. The victim is outcasted. She becomes a symbol of disgrace and impudence. Not just the victim but her whole family which sometimes include her clan as-well receives public hate. The family is forced to displace themselves. Some ultra self respecting male members of the victim often kill the girl to save their honour. And God forbid if she gets pregnant, that’s suffering for the two as she’d be a social embarrassment to have an illegitimate baby and if she aborts it, she becomes a murderer as well.
But people say that she asked for it all!
All the news headlines showing girl getting raped and sometimes being murdered after rape attempts urge the society to think that these victims MUST have a loose character. They must have persuaded men. And I would say let’s agree for a moment to the society that men were provoked. Let’s agree it was her dress, her smile, her confidence or her cheekiness.
But what is this then?
“A 10 years old girls raped and choked to death in Karachi”
“A scandal in Kasur involved almost 350 minors who were being raped and blackmailed”
“A 15 year old BOY found dead in faisalabad after physical abuse”
“A man found raping a CHICKEN because girls won’t find him attractive”
“Two men raped a pregnant GOAT and killed it”
No, these aren’t some fictional statements. These are actual news headlines that are clearly ignored by our society. Raping children, boys, animals and what not? Is there any possible excuse or accusation that might justify rape in these cases? Would a kid ageing 10 years old could be provocative? If yes, then what about a goat? A chicken? Were these animals supposed to wear the burqa to avoid such circumstances? There was even a headline stating a 10 months old baby getting raped, A 10 MONTHS OLD.
All these situations imply that its certainly not the dress or the attitude, it is the wild attribute of some psychopaths who don’t know how to control their urges. Not all men rape women. We all have known men who respect women, we all know men who protect women, who despite having natural urges won’t give you a second look. So it’s not an ALL MEN ARE TRASH fact, it’s SOME MEN AND WOMEN ARE SPREADING VENOM IN THE SOCIETY and BLAME THE CRIMINAL NOT THE VICTIM fact.
We need to get rid of the statements like she was raped because she asked for it, or she was raped because she was attention seeker. You cannot justify assault. You just can’t.
This rape culture isn’t a natural phenomenon. It is a disease which needs treatment. But before that we really need to accept it as a disease and stop providing lame grounds for saving the criminal. Only after the acceptance we can go forward to the cure which might include psychiatric treatments. Also we need to accept the victims as innocents and ensure their protection from public hate and depression.
No one asks for a rape and no one should be accounted to the question of why were they raped. The “raped because” clause needs to be knocked off. And proper medical treatments should be provided to save people. Only then – we can stop this venom from spreading.
Hafsa Amin is Lecturer of Social Science and a Social analyst. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org