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Rape threats haven't abated despite the Hyderabad encounter which was supposed to "put fear into hearts of rapists" - as this rape and death threat to Sucharita Tyagi shows.
Rape threats haven’t abated despite the Hyderabad encounter which was supposed to “put fear into hearts of rapists” – as this rape and death threat to Sucharita Tyagi shows.
“Women are being educated and empowered. What has not changed is men’s attitude towards these women.”
Rape, murder, vigilante justice – these seem to be the flavour of the season. The mob is out there demanding blood and violent deaths of rapists. At the same time, there is a large group of people who believes that women deserve to be raped, especially those with violent fantasies that women who dared to be different should be raped as a punishment.
That’s the impression I got after reading this comment left for film critic Sucharita Tyagi. The user here believes or rather he “prayed” that Tyagi faces the same fate as the Hyderabad vet. Why? Because she insulted Hindu gods.
Now, this simply reflects that apart from acknowledging that what happened to the vet was horrible, it is also supposedly wished upon Tyagi to “teach her a lesson” over her opinion.
What’s ironical is that the gentleman (should he be called that?) called Tyagi a “disgrace to humanity and womanhood” while simultaneously using words that did great “service to manhood” (assuming that the user is a man).
Due to the rape culture that reduces a woman’s honour to her private parts, where her mobility and dignity is measured on based on that, rape is regarded as the worst thing that could happen to a woman. So it is used in the context of violence.
This is an idea that is recorded in human DNA because we have read about war rapes where the invading men rape women and children of the place they defeated. We know sexual violence is used to scare women into submission and we have seen this between different conflicts.
Men face death threats but women face rape threats along with death.
So, this man will probably want the death penalty for rapists in the vet’s case but if he sees women who think differently from him, then what happened to the vet is the perfect “punishment.”
Women who wear short skirts, women who got out after 9 pm, women who use mobile phones, women who are in a live-in relationship, women who are not “sanksaari”, women who have an opinion, women who smile at men etc. are blamed for the rapes.
Let me tell you this…
Five men gang-raped a 32-year-old woman in South India when she was out to buy groceries.
12 men who gang-raped a law student in Ranchi, and were recently arrested by the police.
A relative raped a nine-month-old baby while he took her out to buy a toy.
A young man half the age of a 55-year-old assaulted and raped her inside her home.
The rapists of a 22-year-old gang rape survivor threatened her while being out on bail in Unnao. After she refused to withdraw the case, five men, including her rapists set her ablaze. She died on 7th December in Delhi hospital.
All these incidents were reported within days, so one can only imagine how many cases are unreported over the years.
Now, I have mentioned a plethora of sexual violence cases that were reported in the last few weeks. What is to be noted here is that the victims and survivors range from different ages, circumstances and social status.
Rape culture will be perpetuated as long as victim-blaming persist. Victim blaming is like pouring saltwater over the wounds. Victim blaming is a horrifying way in which sexual violence is normalised in a country whose constitution gives every woman the right to speech and mobility but punishes only some men for rape.
People like K Bhagyaraj will get on a public podium before an applauding audience and say that rapes won’t happen if women don’t let it happen and that they should be given restrictions instead of blaming only boys. I don’t know which fantasy world he is living in, to believe that boys are actually “blamed” for rape, but the privilege he gets thanks to his gender lets him fantasise.
But when powerful and influential men like him say that rapes are something that women should prevent, then there is a natural tendency for men to see their female counterparts as lesser beings.
When women are given stricter hostel rules, early marriage, chastity rules and social restrictions than the attitude won’t change no matter how empowered they are.
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).