|'Why to Blame DRESS for Rape?', asks Lippi.|
For the first time I am also noticing a lot of men voice their opinion against this terrible crime. While there is a definite need to push for more stringent laws, if we believe that just having stricter laws will act as a deterrent to future psychopathic rapists, we may be sadly mistaken.
Years ago when I was trying to quit smoking, I used a method to quit that involved understanding the “psychology of a smoker”-The Why: the mental and emotional reasons we were addicted to the deadly cancer stick. The man who “discovered “this method (god bless his soul!)Referred to the emotional /mental set point of smokers as a BIG monster and the actual highly addictive nicotine as the SMALL monster. The reason, he explained, was that our “beliefs” and mindset were so powerful that even those who managed to free themselves from the clutches of the powerful nicotine addiction, sometimes returned to smoking even years later, simply because they had not understood to change their Mindset.
Today, I would like to talk about the Big Monster that hovers over us-the rape consciousness, that is a precursor to such horrendous acts. It begins with a tiny little seed that is planted in us all (men and women alike)-the seed of “Patriarchal thinking”
The mindset is simply this-Man is the sole, one and only “Lord “of the universe, and has a right to govern the lives and freedoms, and even soul of every other creature that walks this planet. Compliance is a must and non compliance is “punishable “by anything from social ostracisation, and family abandonment to in severe cases even rape and murder.
Mind you, Rape is not the only fallout of this mindest.Wars,Big countries bullying smaller ones (think China V/s Tibet),Animal abuse,etc eventually stem from this one very powerful seed, which gives only one of god’s creatures the right to live freely-sadly at a great cost to all others.
The “patriarchal Society” (this includes both men and women) punishes women in small ways everyday, if they stray out of line. This happens in sometimes subtle ways that are hard to detect till one opens their eyes, and sees the hostility that’s aimed at them for what it is.Perhaps the biggest area where “patriarchal thought “is prevalent is the topic of female sexuality.
1. A woman who dresses provocatively is “asking to be raped”
First and foremost no one in their right mind would ,”ask” to be beaten half to death, humiliated and have foreign objects inserted into them ,and be scarred for life, and then go out of the way to make it happen by wearing a low cut blouse,mini skirt or whatever. The very notion is so absurd REALLY. Please read this sentence again so the absurdity of it finally sinks in!
Secondly, patriarchal thought people have some absurd idea that women dress to “attract” men.
So not true! Here is why women dress up: To feel good about themselves, to enjoy their femininity and yes sometimes to impress other girls! If a woman is showing her cleavage, her legs or her midriff, it’s because she saw this amazing dress that she absolutely must have for her own pleasure, not because she wants her boobs to be groped or her legs to be felt up, without her will or consent!
In any case, they know deep within that it’s not the dress the men are after but what’s beneath it!
So what’s the deal with blaming the “dress”???!!
Here is what is true though, there are terrible, jealous thoughts going on in the patriarchal mind frame. Thoughts that tell the thinker that since he can’t have this beautiful woman, he must attack her hurt her, anything he can do to rob her energy because he feels inadequate in his own. There are terrible patriarchal mindset thoughts going on in some women’s heads too as they proceed to label the beautiful well dressed girl they see as a whereas slut and not worthy of their respect.
2.A woman who is free thinking,adventurous,or fun loving is asking to be disrespected,even raped if necessary because,well simply “Good women” don’t behave this way.
Another absurd idea if looked at purely in the light of logic. So basically if someone is free thinking and adventurous, maybe they party. go out late drink or smoke etc,are simply exercising their natural human fundamental right to live their life in the way they see fit.
What is the connection between their lifestyle and an obvious crime? If rape can be said to be a castration of a woman’s soul and dignity, and women who live like the above “deserve “this kind of treatment then logic holds that men who live freely and adventurously and exercise their choice should be castarated?right?
The absurdity of the thought unravels itself!
3.A woman who stays in “line”i.e. does not go out late, goes out only accompanied by male members is “Safe” as opposed to those that venture out alone at dark etc…
Well if this is true, then that poor girl in Delhi should have been safe. She was not out “Late “at night and she was accompanied by a “man” who was her boyfriend. ….and yet she was not.
I remember a case that send chills through Mumbai when a deaf and mute girl was raped by a single man wielding a knife in a crowded men’s compartment, where at least 30 to 40 men were present!-and that too in pure daylight!!Not a single ‘Man “got up to help!
They all looked away in fear for their own lives.
So is it really really true that having a man around and being on the right side of the clock is a safeguard???
4.Since women are physically “weaker” and can’t defend themselves they must relinquish their freedom and fundamental rights in order to avoid being raped.
First and foremost, does it make any logical sense that a women’s entire life must be focused on avoiding rape!!!??
Here is an argument I often here from well meaning patriarchal thought people.”You must not do such and such because you are a girl…tum to ladki ho”.Ok so let’s read between the lines…you must not do this because you are a girl, because of you do you might get raped and therefore you must forever live in fear and suppression!!! Many thousands of years ago we all lived in hostile jungles with saber toothed tigers, mammoths and the like…
Now if it’s true that women should relinquish their freedom just because they are “physically weaker “then man should have relinquished his freedom years ago.
I mean come on, if it came to a combat between a man and a saber toothed tiger who do you think would win? If men had given up their freedom to “go out” when they wanted due to fears of tiger attacks, they would be suppressed forever but man did not do that. He found solutions-whether it was weaponry,fire,etc..anything to scare the animals away, so he could have his piece of the jungle.
Women are weak compared to what exactly? Compared to men? I don’t know a single man who can compare his strength to an orang utan or elephant or wild wolf, and yet we don’t see men’s freedoms being suppressed because there is something out there that is bigger and stronger.
The truth is, the great universe is relative. There is always going to be someone or something bigger and stronger than you.You have to find solutions to it ,not take the convenient passive way out, just like jungle folk did years ago.
Instead of suppressing the women’s freedoms, empower them through education, financial power, rape proof vehicles, pepper spray ,karate class, whatever…but for Christ's sake, don’t ask them to curb themselves!!
As for patriarchal thought and how it influences our lives, both men and women remember this.
You have added to the rape consciousness ,Each time you abort a baby because you think its female, each time you tell your sons that they have more rights than their sisters, each time you put a curfew on your daughter while her brother is free to stay out all night, each time you don’t allow your daughter a proper education, each time you marry her off against her will, each time you tell her she’s a girl. as if being a girl was a disease…each time you a label a woman a slut based on her clothes…..the list is endless.
Each time any of the above happens it’s a check against a woman’s right, her freedom and her dignity and then one day somebody out there is going to be someone abused,raped,killed even as a massive snowball of these “checks “hurtles towards them.
Check and Check mate.