If you are passionate about teaching, then Hackberry offers you franchise opportunities to turn this passion into your profession. Fill out the form now!
The recent case of a rape survivor wanting to marry the rapist to "give legitimacy to her child" speaks of how our patriarchal society inspires fear in a single mother.
The recent case of a rape survivor wanting to marry the rapist to “give legitimacy to her child” speaks of how our patriarchal society inspires fear in a single mother.
“Bachhe pe baap ka saaya hona chahiye” (a child should have a father’s protection)
“Bachhe ko baap ka naam toh milna chahiye” (a child should have a father’s name).
These may sound like clichéd Bollywood movie dialogues to you; but this is exactly what is happening in this bizarre case, that shows our societal mindset.
I do agree that both parents hold their place of importance in a child’s life, but here are a few questions.
In the present case before the Supreme Court, though the survivor’s bail application for the rapist was refused, the fact that she approached the court with an intent to marry the rapist for her child’s sake, speaks of the pressure that a woman undergoes in an insensitive and patriarchal society.
The convicted rapist was the manager of a school backed by the St Sebastian’s Church at Kottiyoor in Wayanad District, Kerala. The survivor was a minor and a student of Class XI in the school when he raped her. She became pregnant, and gave birth to a girl child in 2017.
The survivor filed a complaint of rape against the accused with the help of a child helpline agency. The accused was convicted of rape in February 2019, and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court.
So far so good, and kudos to the young woman for sticking this out.
The accused then approached the Kerala High Court seeking suspension of his sentence for marrying the survivor, with her agreement. The Court refused to grant the request, and refused to grant judicial approval to him for marrying the survivor whom he had raped.
This decision of the survivor could have been the result of pressure from the church, which had been present all along in the case.
The Supreme Court has stated that it would not interfere in the matter, and refused the bail plea for the accused., terming the High Court order reasonable.
Society considers the rapist marrying the survivor an ‘act of repentance’ by the rapist, sometimes even shamelessly glorifying his ‘large-heartedness’. This act has even received support from our courts not too long ago.
You may say that the scenario here is different, as it’s the survivor herself who wants to marry. Well, it only appears as though this is her decision, but is it a decision taken of her free will? She has herself stated that she wants to marry the accused to give legitimacy to her child, and to be able to mention the father’s name in the school application form of the child. It is clear that it is societal (church?) pressure, which has led to her making this decision.
Why must society insist that a father’s name must be associated with a child, especially when the child is the result of rape? Why should a woman be subject to lifelong agony, by being married to a man who violated her consent?
There have also been news reports that all possible pressure was laid on the survivor to prevent the conviction of the accused. This is another reason why it is a strong possibility that this is being done under pressure.
The primary reason why a rape survivor would be married to the rapist is the stigma that society associates with the survivor, and more so if she were to get pregnant. The accused in such cases uses marriage as a means to escape punishment.
Shouldn’t there be some thought for a survivor who has already suffered enough ordeal? Can’t we pause a minute to think about her, her mental well being, and her consent? Instead of making a survivor feel compelled, and also ‘grateful’ about the rapist marrying her, let’s stand by her and applaud her rising to get out of this situation.
Unless society stops equating ‘lost family honour’ with a rape survivor, stigmatizing her, and penalizing her child, we cannot see better days. Any number of laws can be framed, but unless societal perceptions change, no survivor of rape would truly get justice.
Years ago, I had watched a Bollywood flick Benaam Badshah, a cringe-worthy story of how a survivor of rape convinces the rapist to marry her because her ‘life had been ruined’, and she sees it as the only means of ‘reclaiming her honour’. If reading this synopsis angered you, watching the movie would make your blood boil. But how much ever we might pan such inane movies, even 30 years after its release, our patriarchal and misogynistic mindset seems to have remained the same!
Image source: YouTube/ India Ahead News
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. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!
A dreamer by passion and an Advocate by profession. Mother to an ever energetic and curious little princess. I long to see the day when Gender equality is a reality in the world. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, indivisual posts do not necessarily represent the platofrom's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
My house-help asked excitedly, “I am going for wedding. Can you let me wear your red & black saree? To be honest I was stumped for a moment; I didn’t know what to say but I still said yes.
I lent a gorgeous saree to my house-help for a wedding in her family. Soon I stated getting questions if I would wear that saree again or if I was okay to be seen wearing the same saree my house-help was wearing?
We are all so conditioned to give our used clothes to our house-helps but are we okay to wear the clothes they were wearing?
A few days ago she came excitedly to me, “I am going for a family wedding. I want to wear your red & black saree, Ill wash and give it to you after the function. Please can you let me wear it?”
Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum (SISP) is an ode to all of the lost women, who could have been sports stars, singers, bankers, lawyers, doctors, just... happy, if they hadn't been enslaved in matrimony, and then forgotten all about.
One of the cool things about my mother was that she was an ace athlete and a champion sculler as a young woman in the 1950s and 60s. I only found out about this side of her a few years ago. I imagine her in a paavaadai dhaavani, taking on the mighty Kaveri river so many decades ago.
I recently watched a Tamil film anthology on SonyLiv that she would have liked to watch – Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum, (SISP) that has 3 stories of 3 different women – Saraswathi, Devaki, and Shivaranjini.
Like all the heroines in the anthology, my mother’s talents were sacrificed at the altar of matrimony. She pawned her gold medals and silver cups one by one to pay for expensive textbooks for us or a gift for a niece on her wedding, money for which she didn’t dare ask my father, because it was her niece… I remember how she caressed the cups and how her face hardened as she shoved them into her bag to take to the jewellers.
So much of violence - both sexual and otherwise, is directed towards children, innocent victims of a patriarchal society that engages in power play and control.
So much of violence – both sexual and otherwise, is directed towards children, innocent victims of a patriarchal society that engages in power play and control.
Justice has been delivered in the Kathua gangrape case. And yet, the question that should agitate our minds, is why kids of such tender years are assaulted sexually or other wise.
Trigger warning: sexual abuse & violence
The recent spate of child rapes and crimes against toddlers is appalling to say the least. Why isn't justice being served?
The recent spate of child rapes and crimes against toddlers is appalling to say the least. Why isn’t justice being served? Why isn’t the nation rising together and fighting this horror?
If you have a 2-year-old child at home, or you have toddlers anywhere near you, do you look at them and see how sexy they are?
Didn’t like the adjective that I associated with a toddler, right? Did you make a sour face, or did you puke? So here comes a story that will make you cringe even more. I was just flipping through channels one day and came upon news that had me boiling with anger. A 2-year-old was kidnapped and raped by two teenagers. They were repeatedly showing CCTV footage of these two men taking the kid in their motor bike. And I couldn’t listen to it anymore after knowing that our government officials were playing the blame game. Seriously? You have time for that when such a horrific incident has taken place and the people who committed the crime are still at large? Obvious to say, I was disgusted by the fact that it was just a TWO-YEAR-OLD. Later, I came to know that there was a 5- and a 4-year old also raped in the same city.