Rape Culture and Us

My friend put this up after India decided to ban the documentary on the 2012 Delhi rape case. This probably spells out the issues in the most lucid way possible.

“I don’t know why this is so new

A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy – “Nahin theek hai tum der se aao, par tum karogi kya agar vaisa ladka aa gaya toh?”

When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape – “Inn kism ke logon se munh nahin lagte, kuchh bhi kar sakte hain”

Rape culture is not outside of us. Rape culture is not a rapist. Rape culture is not a victim. Rape culture is not Bollywood. It’s not Honey Singh. It’s not an arbitrary curfew. It’s not just about equality. It’s not something you can point out and abolish.

Rape culture is psyche. It’s something every single one of us is born into. Unless you’re fighting it with every inch of your being, unless you stand up each time you see a child being fostered the same ideals you learnt of safety, preservation, of the female flower worth being protected you are actively engaging in rape culture. We are rape culture. We are all bound up in this constant binary. It’s not a lower class male raping an empowered woman. Rape culture is the fact that EVERY SINGLE WOMAN I KNOW IS PERPETUALLY SCARED SHE CAN BE RAPED – and what would she do after it. Rape culture is the fact that I don’t know any man who would even claim to be worried that the same thing might happen to them. Rape culture is the fact that it still does. Rape culture is women who need the streets, who work late at night, who earn livelihoods from it being assaulted at every point of weakness. Rape culture is not a lawyer speaking of Indian traditions or a politician talking about chowmein. Rape culture is the fact that every family is worried about their daughter’s dignity, about her modesty and they all have different mechanisms to preserve the same, because she doesn’t have the agency to do it herself. Just because our mechanisms are GPS or verified chauffeurs, just because our protection is stronger than the fear of being set alight by our father that does not mean rape culture is not us.

If you have fought all of your society, if you engaged with every person who had ideas that didn’t match your own, if you finally managed to speak of sex within your family, if you showed agency and allowed ONE other person to show agency when they couldn’t, if you did this in the real world and not on social media maybe you broke rape culture just the slightest. But if you haven’t please realise RAPE CULTURE IS ME, YOU, OUR PARENTS, OUR GRANDPARENTS, OUR SCHOOLS, OUR ATTITUDE AND THEN EVERY SINGLE OTHER FACTOR WE JUST BLAMED.

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