ONTD Political

Short skirts, bad stars and chow mein: why India’s women get raped

3:52 pm - 01/09/2013
Short skirts, bad stars and chow mein: why India’s women get raped

If you thought the Delhi gang rape would cause a serious debate on women’s rights in India, you’d be half right. Let’s look at the other half: last December’s brutal incident seems to have put a spell on India’s politicians, holy men and otherwise educated people.

From suggesting that the rape victim should have called her rapists “brother” to blaming her stars, plenty of reasons cited for the crime lay the blame on the women whom men brutalise, or portray women in ways that reveal our skewed attitude toward women and their place in our society. When given an opportunity to figure out ways to improve the education and behaviour of men, and thus try to reduce the number of rapes that occur in India, many people revert to the more traditional method: limit the rights of women.

This is a partial list compiled by me and Robert MacMillan. Please suggest more. We’ll keep updating this as long as we have to…

Asaram Bapu, self-proclaimed “godman”: “She should have taken God’s name and could have held the hand of one of the men and said ‘I consider you as my brother’, and should have said to the other two ‘Brother I am helpless, you are my brother, my religious brother.’” In other words, if she’s begged for forgiveness and cited the fraternity of man and called to God for help, all would have been well. Bapu’s spokesperson later responded to criticism of his statements by saying that women who get raped bear a fraction of the responsibility. (Hindustan Times)

Puducherry Education Minister T Thiagarajan, on making girls in the tropical southern city wear overcoats so men won’t be driven mad with lust: “The meeting resolved to introduce overcoats for girl students, operate special buses for them and ban mobile phones in schools. Our government is committed to ensuring safety of women, particularly girl students.” (Hindustan Times)

Rajasthan BJP lawmaker Banwari Lal Singhal: A BJP MLA in Rajasthan has demanded a ban on skirts as uniform in schools to keep girls away from “men’s lustful gazes”. Alwar (Urban) legislator Banwari Lal Singhal has written a letter to the state chief secretary C K Mathew, demanding that skirts should be replaced by trousers or salwar-kameez. “The intention of this demand is to keep girl students away from men’s lustful gazes and for their comfort in hot and cold weather conditions,” Singhal told PTI. (Outlook)

Abu Asim Azmi, state president of the Maharashtra Samajwadi Party: “If you keep petrol and fire together then it will burn. There should be a law to ensure that there should be no ‘nangapan’ (nudity). Those who wear less clothes should also be banned.” Also, paraphrased: fashion and nudity are responsible for the current situation in India. And in rural India, “girls don’t go searching out for boyfriend(s).” It goes on: “I support death penalty for the Delhi rapists but there should also be a law that women should not wear less clothes and roam around with boys who are not their relatives. What is the need for roaming at night with men who are not relatives? This should be stopped.” To be fair, here is the response from his son Farhan: “We are a cosmopolitan family, I have five sisters, they are educated, they drive and roam around in cars, we have always respected girls as equals and is that how it should be.” (India Today)

Congress MP Abhijit Mukherjee (son of President Pranab Mukherjee): “Those who claim to be students – I can see many beautiful women among them – highly dented-painted [sic] – they’re giving interviews on TV, they’ve brought their children to show them the scenes. I have grave doubts whether they’re students, because women of that age are generally not students.” (Note: by dented-painted, we generally understand this to mean that they’re either a) a bit older and therefore need to be made up to look attractive, b) they’re like a car after a repair job, or c) they’re generally made up, and somehow not serious about their protests against the climate of rape and lack of prosecution in India. (Financial Express)

Madhya Pradesh BJP leader Vijayvargiya: “Only when Sitaji crossed the Lakshman rekha, she was kidnapped by Ravan. If Sitaji (woman) crosses the Lakshman rekha, then “Sitaharan” (crime against them) is bound to take place as Ravans are out there.” Here’s the background on that, along with one hell of a deconstruction of the plight of women “alone in the forest,” by Nilanjana Roy. Vijayvargiya withdrew his remark under pressure, by the way. (Deccan Chronicle)

Chhattisgarh Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar: “Harm can come on a person if the stars are in adverse positions … We have no answer to this, only an astrologer can predict.” (India Today)

Mohan Bhagwat (chief of right-wing organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh): “A husband and wife are involved in a contract under which the husband has said that you should take care of my house and I will take care of all your needs. I will keep you safe. So, the husband follows the contract terms. Till the time, the wife follows the contract, the husband stays with her, if the wife violates the contract, he can disown her.” (NDTV)

More Bhagwat: Villages that embody the spirit of “Bharat” rather than “India” don’t produce a culture of rape. That’s something that you see in areas in which western culture’s poison has seeped into Indian souls, most notably in urban areas.

Jitendar Chattar (leader of a Khap Panchayat): “To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts.”

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee: “Earlier if men and women would hold hands, they would get caught by parents and reprimanded but now everything is so open. It’s like an open market with open options.” (CNN-IBN)

Dr. Anita Shukla, scientist at the Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya: “When a group of men intend to rape, they will do it. The victim should save herself for bringing the perpetrators to book … Had the girl simply surrendered (and not resisted) when surrounded by six men, she would not have lost her intestine. Why was she out with her boyfriend at 10 pm?” (Indian Express)

Jamaat-E-Islami Hind (Islamist organisation). Statement released by Secretary General Nusrat Ali: “Co-education should be abolished and proper education facilities meant exclusively for women should be available at all level of education. Educational institutions should prescribe sober and dignified dress for girls.” (Times of India)

MP Rajpal Saini: “Why do housewives and school going girls need mobiles? It encourages them to make futile small talk and get connected with people outside their homes.” (Reuters, citing others)

More than half the people you know: According to a survey by Sakshi, an NGO active in gender issues, 74% of judges surveyed a decade ago believed that “preservation of the family” should be a principal concern for women even in the event of violence in the home. And 51% believed that women who stay with abusive husbands are “partly to blame” for their plight. Some 68% felt that “provocative attire was an invitation to rape” and 55% felt that the “moral character of the victim” was relevant. (via Rupa Subramanya and The Wall Street Journal)

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I want to set the whole world on fire, y'all.
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evilnel 9th-Jan-2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
Ugh! UGH! I just can't even. :(

sitakhet 9th-Jan-2013 05:27 pm (UTC)
“To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts.”

And here I thought it just gave you the shits.
eveofrevolution 9th-Jan-2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
SODA THROUGH MY NOSE
catalana 9th-Jan-2013 05:28 pm (UTC)
“When a group of men intend to rape, they will do it. The victim should save herself for bringing the perpetrators to book … Had the girl simply surrendered (and not resisted) when surrounded by six men, she would not have lost her intestine.

Right. Because police are SO inclined to take a woman who hasn't resisted seriously. That would totally have helped.

*turns sarcasm off*

This whole article makes me aghast. I have no idea how you go about reforming views like those - I hope the protests achieve greater protection for women in India, but I admit to not being hugely optimistic.
kaelstra 9th-Jan-2013 07:33 pm (UTC)
Women cannot win either way. Either you resist, and get blamed for all the bodily harm you received from your assaulters, or you don't resist, and then police and defense attorneys insist you weren't really raped.

Fuck this planet.
anamatics 9th-Jan-2013 05:36 pm (UTC)
oh what the christ.
darlahood 9th-Jan-2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
What the fuck did I just read??
ultraelectric 9th-Jan-2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
I just fucking can't with any of this anymore.

Stop blaming women. JUST FUCKING STOP.
homasse 10th-Jan-2013 01:19 am (UTC)
I just read an article about the lawyer defending the men, and holy hell, he managed to not only blame the woman, but blame her guy friend for not protecting her and making her look like she wasn't a "respectable woman" - he said all the blame lay at that guy's feet, not the six men that were doing the raping.
tabaqui 9th-Jan-2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
Fuck all these people. Just - fucking go *die* somewhere, because i'm sick of your bullshite.
astridmyrna 9th-Jan-2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
“When a group of men intend to rape, they will do it. The victim should save herself for bringing the perpetrators to book … Had the girl simply surrendered (and not resisted) when surrounded by six men, she would not have lost her intestine. Why was she out with her boyfriend at 10 pm?”


I can't with this shit.
amber_protocol 9th-Jan-2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
Seriously. Someone get the fucking victim blaming bingo card out because this quote alone covers like, four of them.
poetic_pixie_13 9th-Jan-2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
“Only when Sitaji crossed the Lakshman rekha, she was kidnapped by Ravan. If Sitaji (woman) crosses the Lakshman rekha, then “Sitaharan” (crime against them) is bound to take place as Ravans are out there.”

No.

I am so fucking done with self-righteous, holier-than-thou fucked up Hindu/South Asian dudes who are full of shit and can't pull their heads out of their asses long enough to fucking listen.

Every family, every mother, daughter, sister, cousin, auntie, grandmother, they all know at least one other mother, daughter, sister, cousin, auntie, grandmother who's been assaulted. Know to stay away from that 'funny uncle' or that behind closed doors their grandfathers turns into monsters. Know that our saris and salwars and skirts and jeans and dresses hide bruises and broken bones and hearts and souls. Know that we don't just have to fear the good, pious men who leer at us on the street, shouting obscenities and suggestions that they pretend they can't even form when they're at home. No, we have to fear the fathers, sons, brothers, cousins, uncles, grandfathers who will do evil things and claim that they are permitted to do by god, that they are giving us a privilege, a blessing, a holy rite.

Women are made to be afraid to speak of our secret histories. We share looks when the men go on about girls these days and their red lips and short skirts and loud laughs. Because we know, we know. And better to help each other in silence, in talks and offers of food and shelter and help all done away from our men. Because we exist in a different world than them, and why fight, why incur their wrath when instead we do what we've been doing, what we've been taught to do. Taught by mothers, daughters, sisters, cousins, aunties, grandmothers. Tricks that have been passed down for generations, for centuries, for millennia. Things that were whispered to Sita and Draupadi and Kunti and Mirabai and Akka Mahadevi and Rani Lakshmibai and and and. Things that failed to protect them. Things that taught them to fight anyway.

I'm done with these men talking about history and morals and right and wrong. Women already understand this more than they will ever know.

Edited at 2013-01-09 06:29 pm (UTC)
tsu_ 9th-Jan-2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
+1
valkeakuulas 9th-Jan-2013 06:41 pm (UTC)
I'm so fed up with men talking about the way women dress.
I haven't yet gotten an answer from men how exactly dressing sexily will lead to getting raped. Because I would've thought men have some self-control, so how exactly does getting aroused make someone want to rape? Nobody has yet actually answered the question to me. I guess by their logic, dressing sexily means you want to have sex with everyone - but still, the motive behind rape would be to humiliate the woman, which doesn't then really have anything to do with the way she dresses, ultimately - it has to do with men not accepting rejection and excusing it with the way the woman dressed. I don't get how men can just blindly repeat that dressing sexily will get you raped, and not being able to explain it in any way - that will only lead to other men excusing rape with clothing, when really it is just an excuse. I guess, in the end, it does make them right though - if there's a case where dressing sexily got someone raped, it was because men like them have told other men that the woman deserves it.

Sorry for ranting. I know I shouldn't talk about this with men, ever, because it's a battle too big for me.
i_m_b00 9th-Jan-2013 06:42 pm (UTC)

I'm so sick of this shit.

Apparently someone with malice intent has been skulking around my son's school. We get a note home last week that says they are investing blah blah.

But then it goes no to say that children should go right home after school and that people should stay in well lit areas and don't go out alone...seems to me the bastard should be easy to catch he's the one who can walk around like he owns the place because obviously he does.

to keep society safe from rapists women and children must hid from them. makes sense to me lets get all the law abiding honest people off the street now.
wikilobbying 9th-Jan-2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
sighhhh they will come up with anything to shift the blame to victims instead of the perpetrators. apparently it really is too much to ask that rapists be held responsible for their actions.
jenny_jenkins 9th-Jan-2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
I can't resist pointing out a logical contradiction (within the logical contradiction that already exists):

According to a survey by Sakshi, an NGO active in gender issues, 74% of judges surveyed a decade ago believed that “preservation of the family” should be a principal concern for women even in the event of violence in the home. And 51% believed that women who stay with abusive husbands are “partly to blame” for their plight.

How can these two ideas apparently exist in the same minds at the same time?

I'd comment on the rest, but I just hate everything at this moment.
jenny_jenkins 9th-Jan-2013 07:35 pm (UTC)
Actually, on reflection, it just occurred to me that the two ideas are not a contradiction in the minds of those who hold them.

Women should apparently just accept abuse "for the family" and they are to blame for it happening anyway.

I don't have the words to express what I feel.

Edited for grammar.

Edited at 2013-01-09 07:38 pm (UTC)
celtic_thistle 9th-Jan-2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
I read the first paragraph and nope.

kangofu 9th-Jan-2013 08:28 pm (UTC)
ginger_maya 9th-Jan-2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
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I have nothing coherent to say to this because all I want to do is howl.

Edited at 2013-01-09 08:51 pm (UTC)
rainbow_fish 9th-Jan-2013 09:56 pm (UTC)
omg that fencing gif is amazing!
nitasee 9th-Jan-2013 08:58 pm (UTC)
I just want to ask that bunch of assholes quoted in the article at what point are men responsible for their own actions? Why are men let off the hook for not controlling themselves? SO what if they have "lustful" feelings when they see a woman? Can they not control themselves or are they just rutting animals? And if they can't control themselves, then maybe they're the ones who need restrictions, not women.

Seriously, people like those quoted in the article make me violent with rage.
nikoel 9th-Jan-2013 11:06 pm (UTC)
at what point are men responsible for their own actions?

This so much. It needs to get asked every time someone spouts this bullshit.
lady_tigerlily 9th-Jan-2013 09:35 pm (UTC)
"When a group of men intend to rape, they will do it. The victim should save herself for bringing the perpetrators to book … Had the girl simply surrendered (and not resisted) when surrounded by six men, she would not have lost her intestine."




Some 68% felt that "provocative attire was an invitation to rape"




“To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts.”

shortsweetcynic 9th-Jan-2013 10:50 pm (UTC)
To my understanding

Okay, ANYTIME anyone says this, it's usually an excellent indicator that everything else that follows is nothing but







see also: todd akin
ragnor144 9th-Jan-2013 09:59 pm (UTC)
So, what I get out of this is that all men should have their eyes gouged out and be locked away, because they can't control themselves.
lady_tigerlily 9th-Jan-2013 11:08 pm (UTC)
That's evil, brainwashed, Amazonian feminist talk right durr.

Seriously, though. I never understand how anyone can make that argument and how people everywhere don't explode from the stupid.
hey_kayla_jay 9th-Jan-2013 10:05 pm (UTC)
Women in India get raped because men in India rape them.
There, I solved the mystery.
lolcatielol 9th-Jan-2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
The fact that men actually blame women for being raped based on what their wearing, is pathetic. They are basically saying that their biology makes them unable to be in public. If men can't control themselves around a woman, then the men should be the ones being separated and having their life drastically altered. If you can't control yourself enough to not sexually violate a woman, then you should be the one locked in your house, only allowed out with supervision, and never allowed out at night.

But of course that won't happen because even though all the people who truly believe what a woman wears contributes to rape preach about how they want to protect women, they don't. They just want to shame women who dare to act like real people and not a doll. They would rather blame women than look at how society raises men. It's disgusting.
soleiltropiques 9th-Jan-2013 10:31 pm (UTC)
...I have so much rage after reading this article that I just can't.

umi_mikazuki 9th-Jan-2013 11:13 pm (UTC)
So men are never responsible for their own goddamn actions. Got it.
nitasee 10th-Jan-2013 12:30 am (UTC)
and yet they're suppose to protect the weaker sex?

Fuck that shit.
teacup_werewolf 10th-Jan-2013 12:03 am (UTC)
I am so fucking tired of this shit.
wrestlingdog 10th-Jan-2013 12:07 am (UTC)
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