Friday, 12 December 2014

Stop telling us to ‘be careful’. Tell them not to rape.

I recently had a heated argument with one my friends. Someone shared on group a message regarding Delhi gang rape and it was kind of a nice salute to the guy friend who was with the girl and who fought with her and for her until the end. I loved that message. Salute to the guy.
The argument started when another one of my friends commented on it. ‘But I think it was also their mistake. Why should they travel in a bus at that time in the night in country’s crime capital?’
And another sad part, the person who shared the message thought the same. Kudos.
‘With Shakti Mills Compound rape, she should have gone there with her whole team. Why go with just one more person and then go into the woods?’
Well, not everyone thought the same. The criminals were given death penalty, the first extreme punishment given to rapists in the country.
‘Don’t go out at stupid timings and offer yourself to the monsters.’
That was the sentence that threw me off. Stupid timing, eh? Like at night. Right. Well, if you just google ‘rapes in broad daylight’ you get search results that would shame the entire world. This is just as bad as saying ‘what were you doing on CST station when the terrorist came and shot you dead?’
Another statement: ‘Don’t venture into dangerous places till the mentality of these people change.’
What does one define as a dangerous place? A deserted area, subway, call centre, a club at night, a bus, a train. If you have to list down all dangerous places where rapes have happened there isn’t a single place left that you would call safe.
And according to surveys there are more unregistered marital rape cases and rapes by members of family or friends than actual strangers. That makes ‘home’ one of the most dangerous places to live. So now do you reckon we ‘be careful’ at home as well?
‘Until the mentality changes, be careful.’
What makes one think the women who did get raped weren’t careful or alert? They’d have trashed and writhed, threatened to go to police, tried to escape or tried to kill the rapist in extreme cases just as much.
Women have a natural instinct about certain things. Without looking we can tell which person is ogling at us, passing snide remarks or inconspicuously trying to follow us. When the woman instincts kick in there isn’t an ounce of doubt we try our best to be safest. We might take a cab instead of a bus home, we can disappear in a crowd and stand around a bunch of other women in a crowded place to avoid the coward, we might keep our loved ones’ phone numbers on emergency contact list or check where the nearest policeman or policewoman stands. We are more careful than any of those people who ask us to be give us credit for. But that’s the point. Being careful’ was never the solution. And it never will be.
‘It takes time to change these people’s mentality.’
Agreed. But then as educated modern generation we should do something than just sit there hands crossed over shrugging the whole situation by saying the number of sex starved people is just too huge to be bothered. If you want to change this mentality any time in the near future, start with yourself. Stop with blaming the victim and trying to treat her as a ‘poor creature’.  Give her equal respect. Stop looking at her like she isn’t a human anymore. And most importantly, stop telling her to be more careful the next time. Tell them not to fucking rape.
The saddest part of the argument though was the person arguing with me was a woman. And no matter how much I love her, this is the part where I'll have to disagree with her through and through.