Monday, January 2, 2012

Get a life, you Morons

So now it is a woman’s fault if she gets raped or molested. It is all because of how they dress, according to a senior police official in Andhra Pradesh and a senior minister in Karnataka. I have forgotten their names because who bothers to remember the names of semi literate idiots and morons with medieval values.

Some half wit makes these public pronouncements and the press is only eager to lap them up. They always result in these silly debates about whether or not women contribute to their own harassment. When do we change the focus and talk about how sick and perverse men can be? Do we discriminate even when it comes to pettiness? We can throw sweeping generalizations at women but not at men?

A few years ago, a young law student, Priyadarshini Mattoo, was stalked to her house to be raped and murdered by the son of a senior police official. Was it because of the way she dressed? Ruchika Girhotra was all of fourteen when she was molested by another sick police officer who had a daughter as young as the victim. In both the cases, the system led by men did its best to shield the culprits. That they failed owed more to a public outcry than any change of heart in either the criminals or their supporters.

As a man I find these kinds of statements stupid. Because I am always hearing from the women in the family about the harassment they face. If my wife is driving on the roads, some bus or autorickshaw driver would try and bully her. If my niece is walking to her work, she would have that odd day when someone tries to molest her with a look or a touch. It’s not because of how they dress. It is because they are women...plain and simple. Apart from feeling helpless and angry there is little I can do when I hear these stories from them. So I can well imagine how furious women get when they hear such statements by the two faced moral brigade.

Besides what kind of logic is being advocated here? Are we saying men are no better than animals? That they can’t restraint themselves the moment they see an exposed body part of a woman? That they turn into canines who think it is raw meat for the taking? In that case, how do they restrain themselves at home with their mothers and sisters? After all, it is impossible for anyone, man or woman to be fully clad at all times. I wonder sometimes whether Rathore’s daughter was as much a victim of the perverted man as Ruchika was. Does that explain why the wife was so eager to defend the heinous crime? Who knows what other disgusting truth would come tumbling out if we dug further.

They are even trying to bring out a statistical correlation between harassment and inappropriate dressing. We are fine with that. Why don’t you compile the statistics of the women who have reported being raped and what they were wearing when they were abducted or attacked? I am sure they will stop talking about statistics after that.

I am not talking radical feminism here. I am as opposed to the concept of a slut walk as I am towards these demented men. I am traditional enough to not want the women in my family dress in skimpy clothes and go out. But I am also smart enough to see through what is being said and understand the real agenda behind it.

The fact is things are changing drastically in this country. Men are learning that they need women in whatever space they find themselves in. Women are competing with them in their work spaces, making their own decisions, earning their own money and spending it in whatever way they may deem fit. That is threatening. And so they thought of this indecently clad argument to put women in their place.

But it is so laughable and idiotic that even men are not buying it.


  1. I agree with you Vijay, except that slut walk was against shaming and blaming women for the way they are dressed, whenever they are molested/harassed/raped.

    What protestors were saying was that those who are supposed to protect them have no understanding of the crimes they are supposed to control. Many people still believe that women can stop crimes by the way they dress. This kind of thinking encourages and supports criminals.

    A police man in Canada said that if women didn't dress like sluts, there would be no rapes on campus. Women then asked if a woman was actually a slut (and not just dressed like one), then was it okay for her to be assaulted? Most police and society think yes (may not admit it) and that is why whenever there is a sexual assault they try to prove that the woman was a slut. If we stop excusing rapists for assaulting women with 'sluttish dressing or lifestyle', then this excuse can't be used. So they said "Fine, even if you claim we dress like sluts, but still nobody has a right to assault us."

    The problem is everybody's idea of sluttish dressing is different, Andhra Police Chief thought salwar kurta is sluttish; Muthalik thought tight-jeans are sluttish; Patil, a woman thinks half sleeves blouses are sluttish; many people think the saree exposes too much; in Saudi Arabia a woman's face, eyes, hair are sluttish; so instead women needing to prove that their clothing was not sluttish when they were harassed, they were saying, 'Fine, this dress is sluttish, but we still have a right to stay safe.' They just got fed up with fitting into every rapists and police personnel and neighbor's uncle's idea of what is 'slut-like dressing'.

    I think we need to stop blaming what a woman does, and acknowledge that even if she has many partners (or is a slut), works in a bar or is a sex worker, she still can't be harassed. If this is not done, we will see such attempts to prove that the woman was somehow responsible for the crime. This discourages women from reporting crimes and encourages criminals.

  2. This post had some good arguments and the comment was also equally good. And I remember the incident where Shreya, (a tamil film actress) was forced apologise for dressing in a knee length gown before Karunanidhi. Apparently this was unacceptable to Chennai Moral brigade. And the fact that Karunanidhi has three wives and his son Stalin is a womanizer doesnt trouble the moral brigade...