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At the recent launch of his movie that has a plot resembling the Pollachi sexual assault case, Tamil Director Bhagyaraj made crass victim blaming comments.
‘Women invite rapes, they want to get raped, only men shouldn’t be blamed and ladke hai galti ho jati hai!’
Statements like these are very serious, untrue and discriminatory towards women. Yet the irony is that they are said so easily by everyone in our society. Even if women try to ignore such crass comments eminent personalities don’t let them.
A recent example of such narrow mentality is the comments made by Tamil director K Bhagyaraj. Speaking at the music launch of the film Karuthukalai Pathivu Sei, Bhagyaraj said,
“Women let rape happen…don’t just blame men…” adding more to this garbage he said things that can be roughly translated as – “Younger generation, especially women have lost their self-control since the advent of mobile phones. Back in the day, there were certain restrictions on women because of which certain crimes did not happen back then. But now those restrictions are gone because technology gives women the option of calling and messaging whoever they want. Due to this, they are not staying in their limits.” (Source – Indian Express).
If this is hard to digest, then wait – this disgusting thinking doesn’t end here. Yes, he had more things to add.
Moving forward with his speech he said, “Women create a situation that allows mistakes to happen. Things will be alright if you (women) behave correctly. You can’t always only blame boys.” This, of course, was followed by applause and cheers you hear in the background from an equally misogynist audience, while he continues to make such crass comments.
He quoted a famous Tamil proverb to underline what he said – “Oosi idam kudukaama nool nozhayadhu (the thread won’t enter if the needle doesn’t give it space to do so).” This suggests that according to him women give the space to men that’s why crimes happen, but what he conveniently forgets is that the hand that holds said needle has to enable the thread to go into it. That hand, in this case, is rape culture.
He continues in this vein – “So if men are to be blamed, then women are also just as wrong”, and even justifies adultery by men. “If a man does a mistake, it won’t be a big deal. But if women do the same, it is a huge issue. Because if a man has a second wife, he will make sure that that woman is happy, will give her money and property and his first wife will also not be affected. But… as for women, look at what the papers even say… women will kill husbands and kids for an affair” (As reported by Indian Express)
Now if you thought that this is the worst then let me tell you that the worst part about this entire speech was the lack of a reprisal or even any reaction among those present. At this event, noted film personalities like Kasthuri Raja, S Ve Shekher, and music director Dheena were also present. And instead of opposing the director’s comment, the audience cheered, hooted and supported him.
The irony in this entire scenario is that the movie Karuthukalai Pathivu Sei that the director is directing is reportedly a story on how a woman is duped by people she meets through social media. The premise is believed to be similar to the Pollachi sexual assault and extortion case that shook Tamil Nadu in February this year.
And as expected in his speech he didn’t leave the Pollachi case untouched too. He added ‘The boys are not the only ones responsible. You have a weakness and he has correctly used it. If what he did is a big mistake then you have also created an opportunity for that (to take place). That only is a very big mistake.”
Such victim blaming – shamelessly, brazenly blaming women for anything wrong that happens to them. The misogynist has no clue that rape and sexual assault are not ‘mistakes’ but crimes for which the law has laid down punishments. But sadly, he is not the only one in our country who thinks in this manner!.
This is not the first time when a man has commented that women invite rape. Statements that blame women for ‘eve-teasing’, assault and even rape are not new. Sadly they are very common. From our clothes to our lifestyle we are judged for everything; somehow in our society it is just easier to either blame the victim or say ‘Ladke hai galtiyan ho jati hai’.
And when eminent personalities make such comments, they are abandoning their social responsibility as they play a major role in influencing masses through their films. So to see them spew such misogyny is not acceptable.
It’s high time now that few basic things are made clear:
WE DON’T INVITE RAPE, PERIOD
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