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Rape culture

December 19, 2012


The word makes me laugh now.

We are outraged.

We are outraged when terrorists attack us.We are outraged when little children fall into manholes because of civic apathy.We are outraged at all the corruption in our country.We are outraged at the abysmal poverty we see around us.We are outraged when foreigners click pictures of the real India wallowing in dirt.We are outraged when foreigners depict us in a less than flattering light in their cinema.We are outraged when a country flouting all civilized principles and rules sends us mutilated bodies of our men in uniform.We are outraged at the growing inflation in the country.


You see even under vastly different circumstances one word remains the same. Outrage.

We feel outraged when a woman is raped so brutally and left to die like so much garbage that she is right now fighting for her life. 

The condition of the 23-year-old para-medical student, who was gang-raped by a group of men in a moving bus here, deteriorated this evening after which she has been put on “full-time ventilatory support”, doctors attending on her said.

We are a nation of outragers. We feel outrage at everything.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are a nation that has  such screwed up priorities that it would take many, many lifetimes to straighten.

We live in one of the most misogynistic countries in the world. Deeply patriarchal. Deeply misogynistic.

When Reporting Rape in India, a Focus on ‘Shame’  (Do read)

Sexual assault is so common in India that news outlets often use a rubric to go with articles about rape, or reuse an illustration, photo or “bug” whenever a rape story comes up. Often these seem to have a common theme.

No, it’s not a gang of a dozen drunken men, grabbing a woman, as happened in Haryana recently, or one of men luring a little girl with candy to sexually assault her, as also actually happened, or even a more generic drawing or photo of a looming and lecherous man or group of men. Instead, almost inevitably, the art to go with a story about rape depicts a “shamed woman.” Sometimes, this woman also happens to be somewhat scantily clad.

We don’t have a glorious Indian culture. We have a glorious rape culture.

Some say it is about the new western influences. What is a man to do if not this, when a woman tempts him?

Ofcourse . The ‘tempted  him’ theory works really well. What with all our apsara and rishi mythologies.

The ‘modern saints’ tempted by women of  ‘loose character’  to sin. That seems pretty rational doesn’t it?

You see he didn’t really want to. He is a good boy really. From a ‘good’, ‘respectable’ family. But she was provoking him. With her clothes. With a glance perhaps? With her voice. With …… Well. Just by being a woman basically.

You get it right?


Then there is the previous generation was better argument.

This generation has been ‘corrupted’ because of western influences. 


But it used to happen four decades ago too. Remember Aruna Shaunbaug?

Deja Vu?

Aruna Shaunbaug 

On the same day, at around 4.50 pm, Aruna came down to the basement to change out of her hospital uniform. There are two conflicting versions on why Aruna was changing clothes in the basement. One version says that she had ignored the advice of the hospital matron to use the designated change room for changing clothes. However, another version published in the Indian Express says that there was no place allotted for the staff nurses for changing clothes. Three months before the incident, the then security officer I C Sisodiya had written to the assistant dean and matron on making it mandatory for non-resident nurses to change only in nurses’ quarters, he said. “Non resident nurses would change in any empty corner of the hospital. Shanbaug and colleague Mary Joseph regularly used the basement unit, which would be empty in the evening and unsafe for nurses. Had the nurses been using the quarters, this would have never happened,” Sisodiya said after the attack on Aruna.

Sohan Lal was subsequently arrested from Pune and a police case was registered against him for robbery and attempted murder but not for rape or sexual molestation or “unnatural sexual offence” as hospital officials had deleted parts of her medical report that proved Aruna been sodomized. This was done to ensure that she did not face any ostracism after her recovery.  Sohan Lal was convicted for 7 years in jail in 1974. It is believed that had he been charged for rape, he might have got a longer jail term (up to 10 years).

This logic also states covertly that it is the women who have been ‘corrupted’. Why couldn’t they stay at home the way they were meant to? Sure, getting a job was all ‘modern’ and all but couldn’t the job  have been during  ‘decent’ hours? Shame. On the woman. Shame. Shame. Shame. And we consider ourselves better than this, this and this.

But ofcourse. All rapes take place during night. Maybe we should stay at home when dusk falls. We can lock ourselves up. Right after locking up the cattle.

Victim blaming. And the women indulge in it too. Does calling a rape victim  names make us feel safer as a woman? Does it?


Here’s what I want.

1. Capital punishment for rapists.


3. Chemical castration.

And no, don’t give me the BS about a human  life being so precious and castration ruining someone’s life. About how capital punishment should not be for civilized societies.

And then some more crap. That news anchors, very educated ones mind you, are asking. Even if we give capital punishment will it change anything? How can we change society’s mindset? When will men change their thinking? 

All of it pure effing nonsense.

You know what will change a man’s thinking? A man who views women as commodity? As something akin to a box of popcorn? Hey! in the mood for a woman today? And then they prowl. Beasts on the hunt. Take the first woman whom they come across. Her fault? Because you see our society loves to ask this.

What was the woman doing?What was she wearing? Whom was she with? What’s her family background?

You know what will change a man’s thinking?

The terror. The mind numbing terror. The sheer terror that if he rapes a woman he will be given the death sentence and even worse that he will be castrated.

Why worse? Because in our effed up society where men view their manhood, their ‘ mardaangi’ in terms of sexual dominance,  it will be the ultimate death.

Cut off the effing organ they are so proud of. Which defines their ‘manhood’ for them.

Because it’s not about a woman’s honour. Her izzat. It’s not about her family’s honour. It’s not about the ‘shame’ she has brought upon herself and her family because she ‘let’ herself get raped.

I want to make it about your ‘mardaangi’ and your ‘izzat’ you effing sick b******s.

I want a change in our laws.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2012 5:00 pm

    I am with you on all the points. Chemical castration or death penalty are the options which have to be used. In addition, we have to make the country safer for women. Well lit areas, more patrolling and a change in attitude will go a long way in creating a better atmosphere. If all this is not done, the butchering will continue.
    me- nothing to say really. just wondering about the kind of society we live in.

  2. December 19, 2012 6:59 pm

    Capital punishment for rape won’t work. It will make this worse instead because:

    1. Death sentence is for the ultimate crime. It means a single rape gets the same death sentence as say the Nithari killings where the guys raped and murdered 12 children. The latter crime deserves a harsher punishment. If you award death for rape, then there’s no further scaling.

    2. Every rape will also result in a murder. Since you’re awarding the death sentence, murder is no problem anymore. Even murder itself doesn’t get the death sentence.

    3. Time taken to resolve cases will treble. When the sentence is death, all benefit of the doubt has to be given to the defendant. Because that is how the law works. Be prepared for 20 year cases for every single case of rape.

    4. As a society we should not get used to killing hundreds of people a year. As of now, India executes only a handful of people every decade. We’ve reached this state after decades of progress. Handing down the death sentence left and right will…well be a step back.

    The existing laws for handling rape are actually pretty good. The justice system just needs to work faster and more efficiently. Quick arrests. Quick trials.

    That will be the best thing.
    me- I agree with everything you have said here Bhagwad.

    the logical person in me is nodding her head in agreement.I was just reading viewpoints such as yours.This line caught my attention.

    When I asked Supreme Court lawyer Vijay Kumar if death penalty was a solution, he said “it is the certainty of punishment, not the severity of punishment that is the answer”.
    the emotional me wants something. anything.the emotional me wants these men to be shot. castrated. killed.
    PS:-I would like to know your views on chemical castration.whether that can be a punishment in such cases.
    I have highlighted your words that made a lot of sense to me.

  3. December 19, 2012 7:43 pm

    Shooting them will not give time to make them realise their mistakes, Indyeah. They should be castrated and made to repent. If they are shot, some Krishnaswamy Iyer will plead for them quoting human rights, like it happened in Kasab’s case.

    Like Haryana rape cases died down this will also die down a slow death in a few days.

    The incident happened in a school bus. What must have happened to the children all these days when they travelled with this driver and conductor?

    The girl’s intestines are removed. Just this day last week, she must have been a happy girl. Really, feel scary now.

    me- your point about the school kids travelling with these monsters all these days paints a horrible picture and a realistic one. one shudders to think of it.
    “When she resisted and bit his hand, he says, he got very angry. Alcohol and the victims’ defiance, made him go berserk. He picked up a rod and hit the two everywhere. His accomplices followed suit,” a source said.

  4. December 19, 2012 10:10 pm

    In this case they should be sentenced for torture and rape and ‘gang rape’, and grievous injury, and attempt to murder and brutality, and violence, and each should be seen as a separate crime. Like you I too feel they deserve to be castrated because they seem to feel they have special rights because they are men, maybe if they are castrated then they would not feel this way.
    me- Absolutely IHM.their sense of entitlement …towards women as commodities seems to come from their idea of ‘manhood’.

    • December 20, 2012 5:05 pm

      The way I see it chemical castration is too mild a punishment. And for all the reasons said by Bhagwat and more, I believe capital punishment isn’t the answer either.
      Castration is the best bet. If you can’t handle that organ or keep it to yourself, you should lose it. Period.
      me- love the way you said it.especially the last line

  5. December 21, 2012 4:26 pm

    “Now, should we treat women as independent agents, responsible for themselves? Of course. But being responsible has nothing to do with being raped. Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because SOMEONE RAPED THEM.”
    ― Jessica Valenti

    An eye for an organ for a rape. simple.
    me- so true and yet how hard it is for so many to understand this simple truth.

    Rape Analogy

  6. January 3, 2013 12:20 am

    It is not just outrage, it is a feeling of depression, a shock that people can be so cruel.. a feeling of helplessness that this could happen to someone,

    A life that could be so much but was turned into a nightmare because of some horrible creatures
    How could someone have the audacity to think they could get away with such a horrific crime. A feeling of shame at the system !! it is time for a change – in the law to be more severe; in the way it is implemented; in the attitude of the people; in the attitude of the politicians.

    Why chemical Castration why not surgical?

    me- sorry for the very late reply N. I thought of chemical castration earlier but now when I read and try to understand the implications, the cost of keeping a man chemically castrated over the years and even that is not foolproof. I am sure they will twist the system not to mention the taxpayers money that will be wasted on them, I now favour surgical castration. btw as I write this the new rape law has been passed. it is being hotly debated.

  7. February 6, 2013 9:29 pm

    Meggie my girl , you said it.
    Still makes me sick, how this outrage still pours out, still the rapes are happening, and now the Govt. Ordinance being scuttled! God!

    “Ladies and gentlemen, we are a nation that has such screwed up priorities that it would take many, many lifetimes to straighten.

    We live in one of the most misogynistic countries in the world. Deeply patriarchal. Deeply misogynistic.”
    That is why it’s going to be a long haul. To repeat
    You said it!
    me- it makes one sick doesnt it Ushus? and after all those protests, they have finally given us new laws. lets see how they work out.

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