On the last day of 2011, Andhra Pradesh Chief of Police V. Dinesh Reddy said this:
For me personally, I was disgusted when I read this statement. I was even more disgusted when some women’s advocacy groups defended his statement and felt he had no need to apologize.
I must wonder if any of them have ever heard of Victim Blaming. Although, judging by their reactions, I must assume they have not.
“Victim blaming” is holding the victim of a crime to be in whole or in part responsible for the crime. In the context of rape, this concept refers to the Just World Theory and popular attitudes that certain victim behaviors (such as flirting, or wearing sexually-provocative clothing) may encourage rape. In extreme cases, victims are said to have “asked for it”, simply by not behaving demurely. In most Western countries, the defense of provocation is not accepted as mitigation for rape. A global survey of attitudes toward sexual violence by the Global Forum for Health Research shows that victim-blaming concepts are at least partially accepted in many countries. In some countries, victim-blaming is more common, and women who have been raped are sometimes deemed to have behaved improperly. Often, these are countries where there is a significant social divide between the freedoms and status afforded to men and women.
Rape is a violent act. It is a criminal act. And it’s been around since before the advent of “Modern Women”.
If you have any question of that, you have only to read the Bible, Torah, Quran or Veda’s. Rape was an issue even during those times and most likely before them. Each culture has enacted laws against rape over the ages.
You can find laws on rape dating even back to the Roman era when Augustus Caesar enacted reforms for the crime of rape under the assault statute Lex Iulia de vi publica.
Rogerius, a monk who survived the Mongol invasion of Hungary, pointed out not only the genocidal element of War time occupation, but also that the Mongols especially “found pleasure” in humiliating women.
So why is there such a focus in India on the cause of rape being because of “Modern Women”?
There is no single theory that conclusively explains the motivation for rape; the motives of rapists can be multi-factorial and are subject to debate. Several factors have been proposed: anger, a desire for power, sadism, sexual gratification, and evolutionary pressures.
But there IS one single truth. Rape is NOT the fault of “Modern Women”. It is the fault of the person or persons who engage in this criminal and violent behavior and those who do not persecute them.
It’s time that India stop enabling rapists and start defending the victims. The more that people in “power” say that this is due to something other than the actions of the people who commit these crimes, the more that these senseless acts will continue.
Reuters did an excellent piece on the topic of Inequality of Women within India, highlighting some of the other issues that women face including rape, spousal abuse and general health and well-being. You can read it here.
So what do you think? Is rape the fault of “Modern Women” or “Antiquated Patriarchal Society”?
© 2012 Gori Rajkumari.