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A video is going viral on social media, showing a group of young women confronting an older woman whom they allege, shamed them for wearing short dresses and said they deserved to be raped. However, much of the anger against her is also being expressed in the same slut-shaming language!
She wears short clothes, hangs out with male friends, roams out late in the night, drinks and smokes – obviously she’ll get raped because she is ‘asking for it’. Comments like these are very common in society. It’s very easy for the society to ‘slut shame’ and blames the victim for rape because, apparently, everything that a woman does or wears is to appease men.
A recent video that has gone viral shows a middle-aged woman being followed by a group of girls, who allege that she slut shamed them for wearing short clothes. Shivani Gupta who first shared the video on her Instagram profile wrote, “Today my friends and I were harassed by a woman at a restaurant for me wearing a short dress. This middle-aged woman you’ll see in the video addressed seven men at the restaurant to rape us because she felt we deserved it for wearing short clothes and bashing her unsolicited opinion.” (The video has since been taken down by Instagram).
Shivani alleges that the lady shamed one of them for wearing a short skirt. She alleges that the woman even asked the men in the restaurant to rape the girl as punishment for showing her ‘bare thighs’. The girls say that they then followed her to a shopping centre nearby where they started questioning women about her remarks and recording her response. In the midst of this, another woman also joined the conversation and said that as a mother, she supported the girls. She too questioned the lady about her remarks and asked her to apologize to the girls.
At the end, the lady is seen saying, “Hello, guys. These ladies want to wear short to short dresses to encourage all to see them. All these ladies wear short dresses or get naked to [get] raped.”
Soon after the video went viral with over thousands of shares the lady was being shamed all over on the social media. A photo of the woman wearing a dress has spread like wildfire on social media. Needless to say, the photo was taken from her profile without her consent. While her behaviour was in no way right, how is others behaving in this manner alright?
The lady is now being fat shamed and being sent threats – we know what she said is very wrong, but how is this tit for tat right when it takes the same approach of threatening women?
We all know that blaming a woman’s clothes for rape is something very common in our society. This woman is a mere specimen of our society; her statements only depict something that is very prevalent in this society. While we do not condone the video under any circumstances, it should be noted that this woman is just one representation of our warped society. She voiced the toxic, repressive mentality that a majority of Indian society already nurtures.
In the comments section of the video some commented on the woman’s body and fat-shamed her, some even posted rape threats. In essence, we ask: what is the difference between our mentality and her mentality?
This entire incident has again surfaced the question of why it is the victim who is always blamed.
It is easier to simply claim that a woman was wearing ‘provocative’ clothes or the fact that she was out late at night rather than to investigate why there is crime against women in our country. We need to understand that it’s not the clothes or the behaviour of a person that causes rape. Instead it’s the rapist who is to be blamed.
We need to understand that rape is not meant to be ‘sexualised’ – instead it is meant to be ‘criminalised’.
The video has already been watched a half a million times right now. People are calling the sexist woman out for her actions. The issue goes beyond the authenticity of a particular video or incident – what we can say for sure is that our society really needs to move beyond “victim blaming”.
Updated: According to ScoopWhoop, the woman has since then issued a public apology for her behaviour, calling it ‘harsh’ and ‘incorrect’.
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