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As men, we have the responsibility of raising our voice for women’s safety, says this author. For rape is certainly a demonstration of power, something that ‘real men’ should be able to control.
Some people sadists who derive pleasure by giving pain to others. They can also be misogynists who hate women. There is a high chance of them being control freaks who love to dominate people who are susceptible to their power.
No matter what category they fall in, these men are the same. These men rape. And they inflict trauma on a woman’s body and her psyche.
Last month began with a horrifying incident coming to light. A woman was raped by three men in an auto rickshaw after her infant daughter was thrown out of that moving vehicle. This happened in Gurugram. When I think of the kind of people we are surrounded by, there is an air of terror then envelopes my heart. And as I picture this brutal incident taking place, I tremble in pain.
Rape is not about sex and venting out your lust. There are ways to deal with sexual urges. Porn and prostitution are the outlets that men use to deal with their irresistible desire for bodily pleasure. Rape is about control. It is about humiliation. It is about showing your power. It is about forcing your wants.
Rapes take place during wars and reveal the dominating side of a soldier that normally stays hidden behind his disciplined demeanour. Rapes take place in marriage when a husband feels entitled to have sex with his wife. Rapes happen between colleagues and in families where a man feels a sense of ownership over a woman’s body and her desires.
“Women’s safety is a men’s issue”, said green comedian Vasu Primlani in one of her videos on women safety. There is no doubt that the world is full of creeps who want to savage a woman’s body at the slightest sight of her bare flesh. What about the rape of a three month old baby? That clearly had nothing to do with sex. The desire of men to force themselves upon a person who seems to be a potential victim is turning men into beasts who walk in human flesh.
When I come across these incidents, anger flows through my veins. Is there nothing that can be done to prevent these acts that portray the most pathetic side of men in our culture? The only answer to this question is to help men become more secure in their sexuality and masculinity. Majority of people are not psychopaths and leaving them aside, each one of us has the potential to un-learn and re-learn what we know about sex, female choice and become a caring human being.
We live in a country where abusive language revolves around copulating with your mother and sister. Names of a person’s private parts are used as slang. Men here get excited when a girl says no. We see movies that project true love when the hero refuses to accept no from a woman and turns into a pervert and stalks her.
Raising men to become gender sensitive and gender neutral in this patriarchal scenario is a big thing. Men around us who seem to have an insight into a woman’s mind and to her desires, educating them about gender, power and masculinity shall not be an easy task.
Being a man I have accepted and understood that women’s safety is a men’s issue and I discard the useless notions of culture and society that are based on chauvinism, sexism and patriarchy. Fellow men around me shall change and evolve. And I desperately hope that it happens soon.
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