How Should We Respond To Rape And Misogyny In India?

How Should We Respond To Rape And Misogyny In India?

These are dark days for women in India. Horrific rapes and assaults show no signs of abating. Even worse, we have a number of men spouting regressive views on women and casting aspersions on their motives and morality.

Here are some of the misogynistic statements we’ve read in the aftermath of the Hyderabad vet’s rape and murder.

  • Women should carry condoms and cooperate with rapists in order to save them from being killed instead of calling the police for help.
  • Rapes happen because women are adamant bitches.
  • Legalising ‘rapes without violence’ is the only way to control the brutal killings of rape victims.
  • You can’t always only blame boys.
  • The solution is to impose restrictions on women.

It’s no coincidence that the film industry in India is facing its own #MeToo crisis? The result of misogyny in India is that Bollywood welcomes convicted rapists back with open arms, while rape victims suffer humiliation and loss of work.

But do all men think this way? No, they don’t, nor do these misogynistic statements represent the opinions of ALL men.

Good, decent men speak out against misogyny in India

There are many GOOD, DECENT, RESPECTFUL, CARING MEN in India and we thought their opinions on this matter deserved to be heard too.

If you’re a man who’s outraged by the statements above, please post your views in the comments section below and we will add them to this post.

Ujjwal Singh, an IT professional and inventor living in Bangalore calls such men cowards preaching cowardice, making more women more vulnerable. He says:

“As a man, I do feel it is more my responsibility to do ‘whatever’ I can in defeating such vile mindset that culminates into such unthinkable heinous crimes and makes it even worse with demoralizing, atrocious and mindless remarks as the one made by a filmmaker on Twitter.

After one is compromised – the options become limited. That becomes a separate matter. But grooming a generation of cowards – what is going to be the future of that people? One has to wonder… What then are such women going to teach their sons: close your eyes if you see someone getting raped and plead for safe passage?

Most women don’t want men to go out of their way – and explicitly express respect towards them. They simply want men to NOT disturb them – in other words to NOT DISRESPECT them.”

According to Al Jazeera, videos that appeared to depict rape are being sold in Uttar Pradesh for Rs 20 to Rs 200 and are transmitted to a customer’s mobile phone in a matter of seconds.

Jeroninio Almeida, of the Karmaveer Chakra Awards, commented on this issue in a Facebook post, stating that:

“The truth of it is, the shame is not on any SURVIVOR OF RAPE, and for all SURVIVORS in similar situations of harassment, molestation, marital rape or sexual assault.

The shame should be reserved for every CREEP who has ever touched women inappropriately and every PREDATOR who nurtured thoughts of molesting or preying women they work with and on JACKASSES who ENJOY DIRTY P**N, ITEM NUMBERS and S*X VIDEOS of RAPE INCIDENTS, where women are exploited, pawed and clawed and treated like objects, things and pieces of flesh and meat, rather than HUMAN BEINGS.

The shame is on the society comprising of the abuser and all the people, who revel in all these videos and porn, and not on the survivor. It is tragic that so many SURVIVORS have to survive this kind of crap, and I’m so sorry to all SURVIVORS who are put through the ordeal in a callous, insensitive, hypocritical society.”

Roshan Raykar of Rosh Ideations believes that it is essential to teach both men and women to defend themselves. He has posted a series of videos on self-defence techniques for girls on his Mission Fearless India Facebook page.

Roshan says:

We have always been taught that men are strong and women are weak and that has been primarily the reason why harassment and rape cases are increasing in India.

Mission Fearless India is on a mission to develop a thought process that women are equally strong and can protect themselves and the only way to do this is by being prepared for any situation.

We show digital tutorials on how to protect one’s own self and keep practising the techniques and also we motivate and encourage women to believe in the thought that you can protect themselves and have to be prepared for any situation.

We also look for a local tutor who can come and give some demo practices which will further encourage the women to take up this activity as a routine practice and make one’s own self physically fit and strong. This is the only way to tackle the current problems of rape and harassment cases in India and across the world.

Mission Fearless India has the goal to make every woman and child stronger to be able to protect one’s own self and people around in threatening situations. We want to make the world a safer place to live it, and the best way is to be prepared for it.

Here is one of the videos shared on their page.

Self Defence Techniques for girls

Self Defence Techniques for girls. Credits: PIB India

Posted by Fearless India on Monday, 2 January 2017

How can we change mindsets to prevent rape?

According to Reuters, gender-violence prevention programs have been proven to prevent and decrease the incidence of rape, as a program conducted in the slums of Nairobi showed.

Young men who went through a six-week gender-violence educational program called “Your Moment of Truth,” were three times more likely than their untrained classmates to report that they’d successfully intervened to prevent an assault on girls or women.

The “Your Moment of Truth” training is part of a sexual-assault program called “No Means No Worldwide,” designed by Dr Jake Sinclair and Lee Paiva.

They developed the curriculum to alter male attitudes towards females, promote gender equality, develop positive masculinity and teach boys to safely and effectively intervene in gender-based violence.

Karmaveer Chakra awardee, Erica Scott, is a Consent Educator based in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. Her passion is working to create a more consensual, more compassionate world.

She developed the fun, interactive workshop, Consent Culture Intro, which will be published in book form and as an online course in 2020. She aims to create Consent Educators who will teach Consent Culture to others and has trained several Delhi facilitators to lead the Consent Culture Intro Workshop.

She hopes this will create a ripple effect that can shift our global culture and make the world a kinder, more compassionate place. As Erica says:

“Teaching consent, or what I call creating consent culture, is largely about UNLEARNING the erroneous messaging we have all received to date. It starts with recognizing the ways we have been taught to disrespect ourselves and others and then practising more compassionate habits.

At the same time, we need to call out society on the old beliefs that enable predatory behaviour. This sounds like hard work, but it is actually fun and liberating to free ourselves of these oppressive beliefs. Fighting rape culture is hard, but creating a consent culture is fun.”

In this episode of Naaree Talk, we discussed concepts of consent, pitfalls of how we currently communicate and assert our boundaries, how childhood conditioning plays a role in teaching consent to children, and why leaders and people in power are in need of consent education.

Nisha Mukherjee Bellinger’s research on diversity in government suggests that one of the reasons India has not been able to effectively address crimes against women is the lack of women in national political office.

Do you have any suggestions of your own to transform this epidemic of misogyny and toxic masculinity? What rape prevention measures would make India safer for women? Please share your views in the comments below.

Author bio:

Priya Florence Shah is the publisher of Naaree.com and the author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women. In the book and online course, you’ll learn how to throw off the shackles of your own limiting beliefs, come into your power and design your destiny. 

Misogyny In India



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