The inglorious stigma!

No matter what excuse you give for raping someone, it won’t change the fact that the victim didn’t concur to it, writes Dristy Rahman.


‘She was asking for it!’ Then why did the 2 year old kid (who barely knows how to talk or walk) got raped? ‘She was wearing provocative clothes!’ Of course, did the hijabi woman longed to get raped from underneath her veil too? ‘She went outside after dark.’ Right, then why did the old woman who stays home all day, got raped? ‘She was drunk and wasted.’ Oh, so, why did the girl who never even touched alcohol got raped? Society, how about us, women, decide how to live our life the way we want to, and all the men learn to keep it in your pants?

It’s about time that we got one thing straight; victims never cause rape, rapists do. Oh my God, did I offend anyone by using the word ‘rape?’ Will the society accept me for such a heinous and shameful misuse of the freedom of speech? You know what, I don’t care. Just how none of you seem to care when the victims of rape gets blamed for someone else’s crime. Before I dig deep, let me enlighten you on what rape actually means. It is when someone has sex with another person forcefully, without their consent. So, no matter what excuse you give for raping someone, it won’t change the fact that the victim didn’t concur to it.

Mindspeak-rapeWhat goes beyond my understanding is why women in our society are taught to avoid sexual assault from the time they start going through puberty (if not sooner), rather than teaching men to control their testosterone whenever they see someone of the opposite sex? We’re taught to be careful about our dress, our drink intake, where we go, and who we hang out with. Whereas, men are not taught to make women feel safe when they are alone, respect them no matter what attire they are in, or not to take advantage of a woman regardless of how many drinks she had. Rape is probably the only crime where the victim gets blamed, and the criminal gets away with it.
Recently, the news of molestations and sexual assaults flood our social media newsfeeds. If the victim or the culprits are from a high social background, then it goes viral demanding justice in the most outrageous forms. However, little attention is given to the thousands of other women becoming the victim of this unforgivable crime. The amount of hatred that rape victims and prostitutes receive, if only the culprits received such hate then the justice would be served. What hurts me even more is that women are their own enemy. Instead of being supportive, they humiliate the victims and the social stigma related to being a victim results in no actions being taken against the guilty party. In most scenarios, the culprits walk with their head up high, but the women don’t get accepted by the society.

According to a survey conducted by The Daily Mail, one in five people think that a woman is partly to be blamed if she has many sexual partners. More women than men think that a woman is ‘totally responsible’ for being raped if she was intoxicated. Also, the idea that people have of not getting raped if someone is married pollutes the mind of the people. No matter what religion you follow, or which culture you are in, rape is rape in every language. In many places, marital rape gets ignored in the name of ‘love making.’ Just because one is married to a person doesn’t mean he has the right to use her body whenever he likes without her consent.

When a girl says ‘no,’ it actually does mean ‘no.’ I believe that the glorification of the rape culture in the media is leading towards even more cases of assault. Most rapists get away because we make the girls feel like it’s their fault and therefore, hold them accountable. Shame on you men, that woman can’t walk down the road without the fear of getting teased, touched, grabbed, and stared at. Some men update statuses on Facebook regarding how they support and respect women, whereas wouldn’t do anything to stop a sexual assault in a public place. As women, we are taught to cling to our dupattas and hide our body parts, whereas men can rub themselves against our behind and flash their dingdong just for fun.

Most women live in fear of incidents like this. We feel at risk because we are. We know the statistics. By some estimates one out of four women will be the victim of sexual assault in her lifetime. Each year women report almost half a million rapes and sexual assaults. In about 80 per cent of the cases, the accused plays the victim card and make themselves look like the prey. Rape is a devastating crime. Some women get badly injured, some become pregnant, and some are even forced to marry the rapist himself as a form of justice. Are you serious? How can it be justice when one has to live the rest of her life with the person that ruined it? The emotional trauma which women suffer from can be worse than any physical injury. Women who are raped have nightmares, panic attacks, waves of self-doubt, and an overwhelming sense of distrust.

Unfortunately, in this culture sex is completely interfused with violence, with notions of dominance and subordination. A country that eroticises that kind of violence against women and makes it appear consensual, can in no way be progressive. No matter how open-minded we pretend to be, the moment we shame a rape victim we lose our humanity and become the monster that we really are. So, dear society! If you can’t support the victims, at least don’t shun them for a crime they didn’t commit. If a rapist gets away with minor punishment or none at all, that means rape is a viable sexual strategy for a large number of men and rape will be inevitable.
Dristy Rahman is a blunt rationalist who likes to drown herself in positivity and a progressive outlook on life.

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