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Why did she go out in the evening alone? This was the shocking question NCW member Chandramukhi Devi asked about the Badaun rape & murder victim.
A few days ago, the National Commission for Women member Chandramukhi Devi said, “I feel had the woman not stepped out in the evening, or one of her children had accompanied her, the incident would not have occurred”, while interacting with reporters reacting to the gang-rape of a 50 year old woman in a temple in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh. In doing so, she exposed the internalized patriarchal view that exists in the National Commission of Women.
Her supposed ‘practical safety tip’ lays the unfair onus on women to alter their own behavior only re-emphasizes the feudal mindset that continues to perpetuate around us.
Such patronizing attitudes only takes us away from what we need to really focus on- the perpetrator.
The continued surveillance on what women wear, what time they move out and who they go out with moves miles away from the much needed scrutiny needed on the systemic failure to protect women in all spaces and spheres of life, as a human being!
India’s statistics on sexual violence states that the country records 88 rape cases everyday as per the 2019 data by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
The data (which unfortunately, does not take into account the many un-reported cases, and only a fraction of reported cases actually reach the courts!) paints a rather grim picture. We need more action to call out perpetrators of sexual violence and hold them accountable than the actions of women.
Interestingly, calling out again and again, the fact that sexual violence occurs irrespective of what women wear, who they are with and where they go, has unfortunately not changed age-old misogynistic attitudes. And such comments derails all efforts of in changing narrative of victim blaming.
Even sometime ago, media continued to normalize victim blaming in incidences of gender based violence, where the attention was clearly on the woman’s actions/ behavior rather than on the perpetrator of the violence.
Victim blaming is possibly a major reason why survivors of sexual violence do not feel comfortable reporting about their assaults.
Victim blaming reinforces the feelings of guilt and shame among survivors. Victim blaming ensures that survivors who were saddled with the responsibility of their own safety are also held responsible for provocation of the actions of the perpetrators!
This is precisely why it is important to challenge all such people who enable victim blaming. It is also important to ensure the spotlight shifts to the perpetrator and hold him accountable.
Delving a bit deeper we will realize that popular culture too trivializes sexual violence and in many instances we often dismiss rape jokes rather than challenging them. This again normalizes victim blaming in different ways.
Acknowledging our own internalized misogyny and confronting our own psychological roots of victim-blaming can help in moving away from such actions in the future. Victim blaming often also leads towards self blame that further interferes in the healing of survivors.
So when systems that are meant to protect and hold accountable the actions of perpetrators, spout patriarchal what-ifs then there is a definite requirement to ensure structural changes begin within government mechanisms itself.
Image source: NCW website & pexels
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Varsha Pillai is a former television journalist who quit the fast lane in media when she moved to the erstwhile 'laid back city' called Bangalore. She earnestly believes that she can ‘write stories that people read more...
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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From all news reports, clearly, Aftab Poonawalla seems to be a psychopath, and It was a well-strategized story of domestic violence, abuse, subjugation, and a well-planned murder.
Trigger Warning: This deals with domestic violence, gaslighting, murder, and abetting violence, and may be triggering to survivors.
One case has gripped the nation and I do not need to mention which. My problem is with how the news reflects a victim’s character. The disrespect we show to someone who was long abused and lives no more is appalling. The disservice we do to her through spoken and written words lies in the sensationalizing of the entire case.
How do you spot a crazy human? They do not have two horns and red eyes. They may have no empathy but will show it to lure the victim, just like a child abuser lures a child with candy. Their grooming styles may vary but it is mostly about creating an untrue sense of safety and security around the victim. They present themselves as this effortless savior, an ultimate generous destination for a mentally and emotionally vulnerable person.
Fathers play a crucial role in nurturing and raising children, so why isn't paternity leave considered essential?
Some time ago, Bollywood couple Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt were in the news, yet again. An entertainment website, Bollywood Hungama, reported that the expectant father, Ranbir, wished to take paternity leave to spend time with his baby when it arrived.
The website claimed that the actor would not be signing new films for the time being. He would take care of the child, while his wife Alia would return to work at the earliest.
One would think the internet would laud this sweet and thoughtful gesture. Instead, Ranbir got trolled for his decision to be a stay-at-home dad. Netizens made fun of him; they claimed that it was because he had no offers in the pipeline, and Alia was far more successful than him. Others claimed that it was the right decision – his recent films (other than Brahmastra) had bombed, and it was time he reflected on his roles.
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