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Do Fashionable Girls Invite Rape?

Do Fashionable Girls Invite Rape?

January 14, 2012

First it was ‘revealing clothes’, now it is ‘fashionable girls’. For how much longer will we keep ‘justifying’ rape?



In what seemed to be a re-enactment of the origins of the Slut Walk, Andhra Pradesh top cop Dinesh Reddy recently made a statement that ‘women who wear fashionable clothes provoke men, leading to increase in rape cases’. He indicated that modern and fashionable women are more prone to rape, BECAUSE of their inappropriate attire. While many people were outraged, many others have applauded him on his courage!

I lived in India for most of my life, and I can tell you for a fact, that EVEN IF YOU ARE COVERED FROM HEAD-TO-TOE you are still very much at the risk of being sexually abused.

For starters, how easy or difficult do you think it is for a woman to travel in a crowded bus without being touched inappropriately by a fellow passenger? A young child, a teenager, a mother of two kids – nobody is spared. As long as one is a woman, she is likely to be molested at some point in time. Do you know how many middle-class woman living in Mumbai carry a sharp safety pin while travelling on a crowded local train? I was advised of this ‘technique’ when I lived in Mumbai for a couple of months.

The groping, pinching and leching that happens in our Indian roads and public transport is beyond a civilised person’s imagination. To blame that sort of lecherous behaviour on the clothes of the victim sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

A potential rapist sees his victim as an object and nothing else. There are no statistics to prove that a woman wearing a modern dress is more likely to get raped as compared to a woman who is conservatively dressed.

This article talks about molestation statistics in our Capital city, New Delhi. At least one woman is molested EVERY DAY.

Are we really so naive as to believe that all those women who were molested or raped were dressed ‘inappropriately’ or ‘fashionably’?

How about our villages? Those poor women are not dressed ‘fashionably’, and yet they suffer the humiliation and trauma of rape. (Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunan_Poshpora_incident)

For a country that claims to treat women as ‘goddesses’, statistics surprisingly indicate an increasing amount of crime against women.

Do read this shocking extract - http://www.thp.org/reports/indiawom.htm

‘In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in atrocities against women in India. Every 26 minutes a woman is molested. Every 34 minutes a rape takes place. Every 42 minutes a sexual harassment incident occurs. Every 43 minutes a woman is kidnapped. And every 93 minutes a woman is burnt to death over dowry.

One-quarter of the reported rapes involve girls under the age of 16 but the vast majority are never reported. Although the penalty is severe, convictions are rare.’

Let’s get to the ROOT of the problem.

This interesting link describing the various causes of rape. Every single reason for rape (lust/show of power/etc.) has entirely to do with the mindset of the rapist, and NOT the outfit of the victim.

The problem is not that girls are getting influenced by the West and/or are wearing fashionable clothes, thereby ‘provoking’ men. Rape happens IRRESPECTIVE of the victim’s outfit and NOT BECAUSE of it.

If we take a step backward and analyse the situation, we find that our society is plagued by a strong ‘rape culture’.

Wiki defines this rape culture as:

‘a culture in which rape and sexual violence against women are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or tolerate sexual violence against women.  Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification and rape apologism’.

As a society, we still tend to BLAME THE VICTIM. We believe that the victim is responsible, either directly or indirectly.

That way, we not only transfer the burden of rape on the woman, but also seek to excuse the rapist for his barbaric behaviour.

Statistics have not been able to prove the link between the victim’s outfits and incidence of rape. Please read an extract from this link ‘Through a Rapist’s Eyes’. Though this is applicable to the US, the underlying issue is very relevant to India too:

‘There is no data to suggest that a potential victim is at greater risk because of how she is dressed. Remember, 70-80% of assailants are known to their victim, so tactics of stranger rapists aren’t needed.’

More statistics only support the above statements by revealing that around two thirds of rapes are committed by known persons rather than strangers.

Therefore, the point is – Rape is PREMEDITATED. To claim that a girl wore fashionable clothes, and thereby provoked a rapist INVITING rape is baseless.

And for those who really believe that covering ones’ self from head-to-toe protects you from rape, please do read this wonderful article. Rape happens even with women who are completely covered behind a veil.

To be fair, I do understand that wearing revealing clothes might attract more attention in a country that is sexually repressed. But does that justify rape? NO. Rape is crime and you cannot simply BLAME the victim with the flimsy excuse that ‘she was wearing fashionable clothes’!

I think this comment on Yahoo beautifully sums it up:

‘A rapist has a totally different mindset. It's much more sinister, because he is actually serious about his plans. And to a real rapist, the outfit probably doesn't matter much at all’.

The need of the hour is not guidelines on Indian women’s Dress Code, but concerted efforts to get out of this gross rape culture. There is no such thing as a ‘right to rape’!! The quicker we realise it, the better for us to evolve into a truly civilised society!

(The above post is entirely the opinion of the author. Readers are most welcome to agree or disagree, but not indulge in personal assaults on either the author or the magazine). Photo credit: www.akshayphoto.com 

46 Comments

  • Kateri Blackwing
    By
    Kateri Blackwing
    24.06.14 03:06 AM
    I totally agree women don't get rape because of immodest Give me a Break get your head out of your ass and stop this BS
  • rhea
    By
    rhea
    28.04.13 12:43 PM
    male's wacky brain is the main reason behind rapes not our clothes

    Earth to the "SHALLOW MINDED PEOPLE "(who think girls are responsible ) , 90% OF the cases, involved girls who were properly covered DUH people clear your facts out then utter such statements about us. What about the 5 yr old girl , who was raped brutally ?? was she wearing make up jewelry or revealing clothes??? Give your shallow mind a rest and GET A LIFE PEOPLE. We have the right to wear anything we want to. Who are you all to dictate us what and what not to wear. Those girls who wear shorts are rarely raped as compared to those girls who were properly covered. Get your facts and head right. Was the 6 yr old girl who lived in a slum raped because of her clothes? Could she afford shorts or revealing dresses?? Instead of blaming us blame those monsters who raped all those poor victims just because they wanted to get some PLEASURE out of it , it is not because of their mental state. Instead of encouraging us to join defense classes you want us to be caged in the four walls of our house? A cage of four walls is that our future
  • Nagarajan
    By
    Nagarajan
    03.03.13 12:17 PM
    The article talks about various facts that are known to many people, I believe. The important thing that we forget to understand about this issue is the growth of a "wrong value: women / girls are associated with pleasure" through almost all our mass media (like Adveritisement,movies etc...). Something needs to be done to wipe out this ill-value.
  • Fenil
    By
    Fenil
    02.01.13 02:24 PM
    I think Margaret Salvador has thrown some light on my point.

    I was not saying that cases of rape will come down to 0%, if girls stop wearing fashionable cloth. But it will certainly help to reduce the number of cases of rape.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    02.01.13 12:32 PM
    @Margaret Salvador:
    I do hope that all Indian women think like you have summed up. Revealing clothes can be fatal attraction for men without character. If a woman is bold enough to get out on the streets with revealing clothes she must be prepared to attack the attackers. Attacking is the best form defense.

    Indians are more accustomed to look on than interfere to interrupt sexual attacks on women. If half the numbers of protesting Indian males decide to attack rapists, India should be well on its way to solve this menace. So Protect your self.

    @ayesha:
    No one has been soooo candid so far as you have been. “A candy without a wrapper invites more flies than the one that is wrapped”. How true.

    For a sadist to sexually abuse a woman for whatever reason takes just minutes however, to pass laws to stop them takes years. The hesitant legislators and the reluctant uneducated police force seem to support the offender rather than the victim.

    The dust hasn’t settled on one heinous crime even with so many protests, the next is being reported by two IT guys, one an HR guy raping a woman on 31st December.
    Is there something seriously wrong with Indian parenting?
  • ayesha
    By
    ayesha
    01.01.13 06:26 PM
    A candy without wrapper invites more flies that the covered. I feel safer travelling since I have started covering myself. I see it as a right to protect myself, that i will always use
  • Margaret Salvador
    By
    Margaret Salvador
    01.01.13 07:07 AM
    If even the modestly dressed girls in indian attire are sexually asaaulted then it must be true that there is a higher risk when being fashionable and seductively dressed to attract attention. After all it is not about the revealing clothes but the motive behind why women wish to reveal more flesh on the street or in public places. When the woman dresses in such a manner yet spurns men's advances is the main cause of this otherwise unacceptable behaviour from some men. Women should be taught men, unlike themselves, cannot control their urges and are easily visually stimulated.
    It happens in the West too, less frequently now as men have been conditioned to hefty jail sentences for the charge of rape. Judges in the West are also prone to lean towards provocation as a defence in some rape cases.
  • Stene
    By
    Stene
    30.12.12 11:10 AM
    What you've said is absolutely true. This has been shown time and time again that it doesn't matter what the person is wearing or what she (or he) is doing or how they're acting, a rapist will rape them without the slightest provocation.

    The sooner Indian men get a grip on their responsibility for these acts the sooner women will be safe.

    MEN CAN AND MUST STOP RAPE.
  • madhu
    By
    madhu
    01.12.12 11:48 AM
    its not only when u wear modern clothes that u get groped. even conservative dress doesnt stop them. i faced groping when i was wearing a saree as well as salwars. its abt the mindset, not the dress.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    20.07.12 12:53 PM
    @Writerzblock,

    "A girl is entitled to wear what she wants to wear WITHOUT the fear of being molested."

    Yes you are right. Normal people like me understand this. I see them in all kinds of dresses everyday and not in the least bothered what they wear.

    However, I hope psychopaths get this message right. May be a tall order but if they don't get it that would make me sick too.

    My opinion is not to give a psychopath the weeniest of a chance.
  • Fenil
    By
    Fenil
    19.07.12 11:59 PM
    @ Writerzblock,

    "A girl is entitled to wear what she wants to wear WITHOUT the fear of being molested"

    By this statement you are just giving women a space for free riding. In society both man and woman are equally responsible. Of course rapist are the culprit in act of rape.

    We conclude that man should control their impulse. On this same foundation we also need to restrict woman on their way of dressing. Wearing provocative cloth is also a action out of impulse to flaunt.
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    19.07.12 05:00 PM
    KZ,

    Please read these links.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2174288/Sonali-Mukherjee-Acid-attack-victim-pleads-justice-let-die.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/Samar/The-death-of-Kali/Article1-891399.aspx

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pipili-rape-case-police-submit-chargesheet/922195/

    Articles 1 and 3, the victims were not wearing 'provocative clothing'. Yet they were brutally assaulted. Article 2, is simply OUTRAGEOUS. It clearly reflects the cheap thinking and disgusting attitude of some men.

    I hope these open your eyes to the fact that RAPE is not OK. Even if the rapist CLAIMS that the victim was an 'easy target'.

    No victim wants to be an 'easy target'. No girl goes around wanting to be raped.
    No girl wears wears a 'revealing outfit' hoping that a mob of men would accost and molest her on the streets.

    A girl is entitled to wear what she wants to wear WITHOUT the fear of being molested.
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    19.07.12 04:55 PM
    KZ,

    The whole point is that we are always BLAMING THE VICTIM. How long will this go on??!!!!

    I feel sick to think that we live in a society that pardons the heinous crime of rape and argues that it was the victim who provoked it.

    My point is, STOP BLAMING THE VICTIM. It really does not matter HOW she was dressed, WHERE she went, at WHAT TIME of day/night she was out and about. No matter what, the bottom line is that a man HAS NO RIGHT TO RAPE.

    The victim's clothing does not automatically give a man the RIGHT To rape her. Period.
  • KZ
    By
    KZ
    19.07.12 07:24 AM
    youve mentioned even if a woman is covered from head to toe she will be molested.... then thats the argument itself..... if covered women can be raped then women showing their assets and wearing these skimpy and revealing outfits are easy targets. "if you can get food for free, then why go buy it?"
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    28.06.12 10:57 PM
    I don't think there is anything wrong. But be careful going around in female clothes in the night unless you like to get raped. Best of luck Boy
  • ASHISH
    By
    ASHISH
    28.06.12 09:00 PM
    I WANT TO KNOW IF MALE WEAR FEMALE CLOTHES IT IS WRONG N HE SHOWS ONLY GIRLS NO MALES PLS ANSWER
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    04.03.12 11:40 PM
    @ Rajpriya:
    Thank you! Couldn't agree more!! The focus needs to shift to the criminal, instead of the potential/actual victim!

    @ Subhorup:
    Thank you very much. Thanks also for sharing the links to your posts, will certainly take a look at them.

    @ Aamar:
    Thank you, for putting it so simply and correctly! Any 'civilised' man will not commit rape, irrespective of how a woman is dressed.

    About capital punishment, Aamar, this is rather taboo in India. I've written about it earlier, should you be interested in reading, please see this link: http://www.the-nri.com/index.php/2011/09/capital-punishment-death-sentence-india/

    Like you rightly said, instead of civilised people living without fear, its the corrupt and crooked, who roam around free.

    Your comment reminded me of Tagore. 'Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high.... ...Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake'
  • aamar
    By
    aamar
    10.02.12 05:57 AM
    Attributing a rape to the victims apparels is damn ridiculous. Irrespective of dressings, a civilized man will in no possible way commit this heinous act.
    The best way to deal with the increasing social evil of rapes is to award capital punishment to that perverted human. Ah well, it may sound harsh but it is nothing compared to the social paralysis of the victim for rest of her life. Also, such stiff punishment can in many ways thwart the urge of the vicious lust.
    " when a snake bites you, its killed." So should be the rapists, this is justified by the fact that even the animals don't retaliate unless provoked.

    All i can wish for, is a social system where our moms, daughters , sisters and every civilized man can live without fear of lose of life and dignity.
    But the situation here is completely opposite. The people live in fear and the criminals sway around scout free waiting for their prey, waiting to pounce.
  • subhorup dasgupta
    By
    subhorup dasgupta
    22.01.12 10:57 AM
    A very thought provoking post, and from the discussion in the comments thread, it obvious that this is a topic that everyone is reflecting deeply about. Leaving a couple of links on the same topic in case you and your readers find value in them.

    http://goo.gl/ohplx - Dirty Picture, Sunny Leone and Crimes Against Women: The Real Dirt (a post by me)

    and

    http://goo.gl/QyBDc - Rape and Civil Society (By Dr. Ramesh Grandhi)
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    19.01.12 01:15 PM
    Correction! Please read as:

    Looking for information I found the following website. Profiling Rapists.
    http://harfordmedlegal.typepad.com/forensics_talk/profiling_rapists.html

    I think is very useful information for women and Children. My personal opinion is to focus our efforts on “How to Stop the Rapist? Rather than how a woman should dress not to be raped.

    Rajpriya
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    19.01.12 01:11 PM
    In the eyes of a Rapist even a very modestly dressed little Girl is an object for his brutality. Rapists are psychopaths. They come in many formats. Some are in powerful positions and some with plenty of money or others just criminals who have no known reputation to loose. Generally they are all cowards.

    I think is very useful information for women and Children. My personal opinion is to focus efforts on “How to the Rapist? Rather than how a woman should dress not be raped.

    Looking for information I found the following website. Profiling Rapists.
    http://harfordmedlegal.typepad.com/forensics_talk/profiling_rapists.html

    Ted Bundy:
    He was attractive, smart, and had a future in politics. He was also one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history. Ted Bundy screamed his innocence until his death in the electric chair became imminent, then he tried to use his victims one more time - to keep himself alive. His plan failed and the world got a glimpse of the true evil inside him.

    http://crime.about.com/od/serial/p/tedbundy.htm
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    18.01.12 10:24 PM
    @ Fenil:
    On this topic, I think we will have to agree to disagree :-) but I'm glad we are still on the same page, as regards punishing the perpetrators.

    @ Rebel:
    Spot on!!!! This simply goes to show that 'outfit' is an 'excuse', not a 'reason'. Thank you!

    @ Cameron:
    Pretty much. A great tip that was once shared by someone who had lived her entire life in Mumbai. If you travelled even once in a crowded local, you will know exactly how intimidating it is to have hands groping you. A pin is a fair enough response to those filthy hands.

    @ Vivek:
    Thank you. That is a brilliant point you have made.

    While such soaps are in part,a reflection of society, like you very rightly said, they also aim to rake in the moolah by sensationalising crime!

    It almost makes the onlooker think want to ACCEPT crime as a way of life!
  • Vivek Iyer
    By
    Vivek Iyer
    17.01.12 09:17 PM
    @ Pallavi: Quite insightful and well written!

    Another observation, we as a nation claim to be of "rich culture and values". On the flip side, rape and cruelty to women is also portrayed in many televised Indian epics and tales. Whether this really happened or for TRP-sensationalism, its still very shocking!
  • Cameron
    By
    Cameron
    17.01.12 08:59 PM
    Was curious about your safety pin comment. What exactly does a girl do with the pin? Poke someone back when they try to touch her or is it for some other purpose. I have never heard of this before so just curious. Thanks in advance.
  • Rebel
    By
    Rebel
    17.01.12 09:54 AM
    65% of rape victims are children. Is an Indian male such a lecher that he gets turned on even by seeing a child in diapers?

    The mindset has to change.
  • Fenil
    By
    Fenil
    16.01.12 11:33 PM
    Indeed a good point of relativity has been bought by you.

    Even salwar kameeze proves to be attractive. It all part of seduction. We all wear clothes to look good and attractive but not for to be assaulted.

    That's the point we need to understand. To be assaulted or not it is not in our hand once we are out. We should behave responsibly, If we want to protect ourselves.

    Thing is that we want to look good and attractive to people we want. Problem occurs only when we attract unintended gaze. And in this sense I was talking about hypocrisy. Their intentions are different and for consequences they are blaming others. If you want to get something in your way then better be ready to accept the consequences and responsibility of the act. We all want live with freedom to do anything we want but at the same time we should be ready to accept the responsibility for our act.

    we also need to understand biological difference of man and woman.

    If we do not give chance to outfit to be part of problem then it would be difficult for us to condemn nudity.

    As far as turning of the table is considered, we better understand that this issue is not about taking sides or gender discrimination. Perhaps we share same disregard for the this act. This game turning table can go on and on till we want. But I told you earlier if we want evolve into civilized society, we all have to act responsibly.

    Once again understand that I am in favor punishment for indecency of man toward woman, only if man is responsible.

    Glad that you brought the point of society secretly watching porn. However this point would deviate from main topic and open whole new sphere of debate. No matter what, we can discuss this issue over email, if you provide me with one.
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    16.01.12 10:13 PM
    @ Fenil,
    I also have to say I applaud your honesty. Though I don't agree that there should be an enforcement on women, I do appreciate the fact that you have boldly stated something that most of our society believes in.
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    16.01.12 10:12 PM
    @ Fenil,

    I like your question WHY do women want to wear fashionable clothes? To look and feel good, and yes, to attract attention too!!! But not to be assaulted.

    Like Angela says above, if the tables were turned. Say if men were being raped, would you still blame the male victim?

    Also, what is 'provocative'?

    To A, a sleeveless blouse may be provocative. To B, it might be a mini-skirt. And to C, it may be the simple sari. It is all in the eyes of the beholder!!

    Infact abroad, low necklines are a common sight. However people don't stare or cast lecherous looks!! Which unfortunately is the way things are in India. The problem is actually far deeper than the outfit!

    I do understand your point, simply because that is the way we have all been brought up. That is exactly how our society has worked all these years. I personally dislike a 'have it flaunt it' attitude. However, no matter what... the outfit cannot justify the crime of rape.

    And if we are talking about hypocrisy, then what better way to explain it than the fact that this is a society that secretly watches porn, but outwardly recommends a 'decent' dresscode only for women!!!!
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    16.01.12 09:48 PM
    @ Joseph James:

    I always look forward to your comments, they are insightful and enrich this forum!

    Infact your comment made me wonder, if news channels had intentionally highlighted this specific sentence of Reddy's to raise their TRPs!!

    But having said that, my contention is:

    1) If the police force cannot curb crime, then who can? A policeman may not be able to 'prevent' every rape crime, however, he can help to convict the rapist, and set a precedent. I wonder how many women feel safe, just to enter a police station itself!!


    2) I would understand if Reddy was advising caution. One website (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/andhra-dgp-v-dinesh-reddy-stirs-up-salwar-storm/216644-60-114.html) states Reddy's exact speech:

    'People are turning out to be more fashionable. Even in villages they are wearing salwar kameezes. All these provoke and this cannot be under the control of the police. So rapes increase or decrease'.

    It seems like he is trying to absolve the police of this problem, by passing the buck onto the victim.

    Alternatively, he could have provided statistics of rape, to show any connection between outfit and the crime itself.

    Or perhaps the crime and the social/educational profile of the perpetrator! To me that would have made a lot of sense.

    Lol @ the thought of women getting aroused at the sight of semi-clad men (assuming we aren't referring to the likes of Hritik Roshan and Bradley Cooper ;-)).

    On a serious note, you hit the nail on the head! And yes, you are very right. I think the sari can be as conservative or as fashionable as the wearer wants!! The sari can expose more skin than a salwar-kameez or jeans-and-tee! Totally depends on how it is worn. And even more, on how it is perceived!!!!!

    Thank you also for enlightening us about the culture in tribal areas. It is truly refreshing to hear that the victim is not shamed, but the perpetrator is! When will the 'developed' society truly evolve?

    Thank you, JJ.
  • Fenil
    By
    Fenil
    16.01.12 09:25 PM
    It is true that rape can not be justifiable on any ground. But you really have to look between the thin line of wearing fashionable provocative clothes and clothes covering top to toe, led rape.

    Every society condemn the act of rape.
    But it is also need to be see that are only man to be blame for this act?

    As far as the provocative cloth led rape is concerned, I think women are equally responsible for the same. I know this statement would urge the reader to think that I am trying to justify the act. But, well, I am not.

    Just relax for a moment and think that are woman not equally responsible, if we want to evolve as a civilized society?

    Knowing that provocative clothes are going get gaze of unnecessary people, why risk wearing one? Ask a woman wearing or want wear fashionable provocative clothe, for honest reply to question that Why they wear such kind of clothe. Is it because of comfort or to appeal to man.

    It only become problematic when they get unnecessary gaze. It is fine till they get what they want. Is not it a hypocrisy from the part of woman.

    Once again by this I am not justifying the rape but responsibility need to fixed. In this society moral enforcement has to be on both side.
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    16.01.12 09:21 PM
    @ Angela:
    Thank you!! Couldn't agree with you more!! A mentality that blames the victim is certainly 'backward'.

    What an interesting situation it would be if the tables were turned!! I think your comment also goes to show that somehow, we still live in a male-dominated society.


    @ Madan Mohan:
    Thank you for saying so!! I think it takes a lot of courage for a man to actually say that boldly. Kudos!
  • madan mohan
    By
    madan mohan
    16.01.12 02:25 PM
    rape is an incident which is result of men's uncontrollable lust at a particular point of time.it is the fact though unfortunate.there is no other cause at all
  • Joseph James
    By
    Joseph James
    16.01.12 01:59 AM
    I do understand your anguish as a woman and share it as a father to a teenage daughter. But I wonder if you aren't reading too much into a casual remark by Mr.Dinesh Reddy. Most police officials are neither media savvy nor very communicative. When confronted by a persistent media, they mumble something to get away. Put yourself in his boots. A policeman can't do much about it, can he? It isn't easy to get a rapist sentenced as most victims prefer silence to the ignominy. As you have mentioned in the article, the crime is often committed by people close to the victim. What can the police do about it? It's when they are cornered by an angry public and an aggressive media that they come up with such outrageous comments. Mr.Reddy was probably suggesting that this could be one of the ways to reduce the crime. You yourself admit in your article that revealing clothes can invite unwanted attention in a country that is sexually repressed. Direct your ire at the criminal, not at the cop. He isn't justifying the crime - merely trying to understand it like you and me. A couple of years ago there was a similar protest against an off-the-cuff comment made by the Delhi CM, Ms.Sheila Dixit after the murder of the journalist, Soumya Vishwanathan. She was merely advising caution then; so is Reddy now.
    That apart, your article was spot on. The attire has nothing to do with rape. In fact, women should wear what they are comfortable in, without bothering about whether they are provocative or revealing. Our male population should be exposed to such outfits, until they cease to titillate them. Come to think of it, saree -regarded as the most conservative wear in India - is one of the most provocative dresses designed to erotically expose the midriff. Women should merely ignore the outrage and continue to wear the so called fashionable clothes until the novelty wears off. If semi-clad men - a very common sight in the tropical south - should evoke no special emotion in women, why should revealing clothes excite men?
    You do raise some interesting questions in your post. Why are crimes against women so high in India? I wonder if it is easy to answer that question. Sexual repression could be one of the reasons. Segregation of men and women could be another. Perhaps, it is an offshoot of the general discrimination against women.
    An interesting point to note in this regard is the healthy attitude of the Indian tribals towards women. Rapes are unheard of among North Eastern tribals like the Khasis, Garos, Nagas etc. Very often rape is used by men as an effective weapon to subjugate women and keep them in their place. This doesn't work in the tribal culture, since a rape victim does not lose her esteem, respect or status in a tribal society. It is the rapist who will have to hang his head in shame. A rape won't affect the matrimonial prospects of a tribal girl. If a rape leads to the birth of a child, she won't face any ridicule or derision. In such a scenario, rape loses its efficacy as a means of asserting the male superiority. We do need to learn a lot from our tribal brothers and sisters. As far as the status of woman is concerned, they are a hundered years ahead of the so called 'mainstream' Indian society.
    As you rightly say, it will take a concerted efforts to get away from the rape culture. Maybe we could begin introducing such stringent measures as castrating the male predators.
  • Angela Carson
    By
    Angela Carson
    15.01.12 11:49 PM
    Bravo Pal, SUPER article on a difficult topic. Personally, I can't get over the backwards mentality that places the blame on ANY victim of rape. If the tables were reversed and men were being violently absused, I wonder how accepting they would be about having the blame placed on them? Great job! You are spot on!
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    15.01.12 04:19 PM
    @ Sunil:

    Brilliantly said!! People who enforce modesty are almost saying 'immodest clothes are likely to be punished by rape!' Which sounds unjust!

    Also, rape isn't only about women.. it is basically about power and vulnerability. A couple of years ago, I had read 'The Kite Runner'. It was an eye-opener. Rape happens with children, with boys too. And clearly, it isn't about fashionable clothes!
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    15.01.12 04:05 PM
    @ Alka,
    I am quite sure statistics will support what you have said about rape being more common in weaker sections of society. The fact that women are not financially (therefore emotionally too) independent does play a role in being able to stand up to crime.

    I am interested in knowing why you feel a woman cannot be raped unless it is a gang or at gunpoint? I think rape is to do with mind and power, and a man who is able to psyche the woman out of her senses can actually commit the crime without any help from anyone else.

    Self-defence..I think that is what we sorely lack. Women are dependent and defenceless.

    Also the fact that 'reporting rape' means a lifetime of shame and taunts to the poor girl, is not very encouraging.

    I hope there comes a time when women are more bold and courageous and make sure that the attackers are tortured and hung to death!
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    15.01.12 03:58 PM
    @ Harry:
    You echo my thoughts.. there is just no excuse for this crime. I applaud you for your courage in saying people who justify it are just as guilty!!!

    I had no idea about the categotisation of predators and opportunists..and interestingly while 'predators' sound more sinister, it now seems like the opportunists that are a far bigger threat to society!

    Brilliant analysis Harry, about the rape and conviction ratio.

    As regards reporting of rape, I believe media has to change its focus from the victim to the rapist. For eg., if a news channel is reporting rape, they almost always reveal the complete identity of the victim and her family. Whereas they equally protect the rapist himself by ensuring his face is adequately covered with a dark cloth!! I wish somebody would actually interview the parents and siblings/friends of the rapist and ask them how they feel about the crime, rather than interviewing the grief-striken family of the poor girl!!

    Is it possible that there is a substantial amount of voyeurism in society?!! Just wondering...
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    15.01.12 03:46 PM
    @ Shirish: Thank you for highlighting the issue of dwindling sex ratio. The statistics you have given are scary, to say the least! What is interesting is that this is all man-made catastrophies!!

    Education does not impact crime... hmm.. extremely thought-provoking..considering people like SPS Rathore and KPS Gill, one really wonders!! I feel (probably naively) education does help to a certain extent...but I guess it will not impact people who are perverts by nature.
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    15.01.12 03:28 PM
    @ Rupesh: You made a valid point about basic human nature, would like to hear more.

    @ Mohan: What a shame that their mindset itself is so regressive and narrow!

    @ Deepak: Definitely, laws need to be more tough on rapists and molestors, and even on eve teasers, as that is also a form or harassment.

    As for outfit, I understand your point... that they may 'attract' attention. But having said that, can we really call that an 'invitation' to rape? Calling it even an indirect invite means we are trying to 'explain' or justify the crime in an indirect manner. Isn't it?
  • Sunil Deepak
    By
    Sunil Deepak
    15.01.12 02:03 PM
    If rape was only due to the way girls dress or have make up, the incidence of rape in countries like Iran or Afghanistan should be low as most women are obliged to wear hijab and burqas.

    In fact the logic behind making women wear those clothes is "men can't be controlled, if they see even your hair or your face, you will tempt them & they would try to rape you".

    Persons like Reddy may not advocate burqa, they advocate "modesty" but their logic is same.
  • alka narula
    By
    alka narula
    15.01.12 10:51 AM
    Well,in my opinion rape/molestation is more common in weaker section of women than in fashionable section , infact one of my maid, who is a single parent according to her she was raped by a co- worker which apparently resulted in pregnancy which she chose not to terminate, probably an educated woman would have dealt the situation differently.i dont know about rest of the women ,but i strongly feel ,no woman can be raped unless its a gang rape or rape on gun point and fashion or nofashion has got nothing to do with rape. women need to be strong and should be well equipped with self defence in some form,and come forward and report rape so that it can be dealt fiercely.
  • HARRY
    By
    HARRY
    15.01.12 02:25 AM
    Rape is a heinous Crime. There is no excuse or justification for rape, and those who justify rape by means, saying that a women was dressed non conservative or any other reason are just as guilty as the rapist themselves.

    Rapist cannot be even catogorised as an animal either, because animals only carries out certain acts of violence against other, when it's justified in it's kingdom, but rapist does this for other reasons. Rapist intentional act is to defile another human being for his pleasure, which is unheard of in the animal kingdom, except in primate.

    Rape is not about sex even though it involves sex. It's about power over other Individual with sinister motives.

    There are two types of rapist( I was told this by a policeman in uk ) a Predator and a Opportunist.

    Predator is a very sinister individual who gets up in the morning and think about raping somebody. This person doesn't care how the victim is dressed or what she looks like. He gets urges to do this crime. This type of individual will kidnap and also will kill his victim at will, when he's got no desire left. Normaly 1/3 of rape are involving this sort of rapist.

    Opportunist are the other 2/3 of the rapist. These are the ones which makes excuses that they were led in to it by the victims, and were given consent. They will also blame the way victim were dressed. These kinds are also known by their victims as well and will try to find all the excuse in the book to get away from their crimes.
    They will also pretend to be the nice guy when you meet them at the bar, and will make propositions, when they are rejected, thats when they turn violent.

    The rape ratio is larger for the opportunist but the conviction ratio is small for this group in UK. The conviction ratio is higher for predator due to violent nature of the crime.

    I feel that the rape should be reported without shame to the victim and full force of law should be used to convict the offenders in the question.

    HARRY
  • shirish patwa
    By
    shirish patwa
    14.01.12 01:20 PM
    I fully agree with the observations of the author.Fashionable attire or not there cannot be any justification for the heinous crime.As regards rise in number of such crime ,I am afraid ,there seems to be no end to outrageous crime.The reason is dwindling sex ratio in entire country.Female ratio in most of the States is around 780 per 1000 male.The foolish crave for boy child and belief that girls are only burden has its roots in social practices that has been prevailing in our country.Dowry,female illiteracy,lack of financial independence for female,these are some of the reasons why female are discriminated against.They have been victims at each stage of their life span.It is a grave social problem which need to be addressed lest the crime against women may continue to grow.Further I would like to add here that education has nothing to do with the crime.Whether educated or not,young or old,urban or rural men are more prone to commit the crime.We have seen head of states,chief of IMF, Governors,teachers ,doctors are all have disgraced themselves with the crime.And most of those men who have not committed the crime are because they didn't get the opportunity so far.So the situation is grim,to say the least.
  • Deepak
    By
    Deepak
    14.01.12 12:03 PM
    Outfits has a least role behind these atrocities, poor security in the neighborhood and poor cautiousness are the main reasons and main reason is stupid,outdated LAWS that we have..
    Outfits, yes they can be an indirect invite at times...

  • Mohan
    By
    Mohan
    14.01.12 06:06 AM
    That is some ABSOLUTE 'BS'. Hope these folks have their own minds to think and then talk in public like that.
  • rupesh
    By
    rupesh
    14.01.12 05:54 AM
    think again i am not against any cloth but i think u have to go more deep on human nature

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