Ever since I've started blogging, I've developed an interest in reading what other bloggers write. Particularly on subjects which are of interest to me. So I wander from link to link, eagerly perusing what others have to offer. If the post moves me, I even leave a comment.
So yesterday, I chanced upon a blog written by a Mumbai based gentleman. He seems to be quite a prolific writer, poet, and what-have-you, having 7300 blog views to his credit. He's interactive and responds to each and every comment that readers leave behind. His responses are positive and respectful. Needless to say the blog is very popular.
A post by this blogger titled 'Indian Male Libido Going Haywire?' caught my eye. The blogger refers to an article in the Times of India about the rape of minor girls from affluent families. He then goes on to wonder why these crimes occur. Is it because the Indian male is frustrated?.
The post seemed harmless enough. Even socially relevant. Rape is after all a very serious crime that affects the lives of women. But the comments were another issue altogether. One comment in particular concerned me. I paste an extract here: "...girls are equally accountable by being so sexually arousal..they are found arrayed with so meagre outfits..that u can;t help shunting ur eyes from her...". (Pardon the poor english!)
I just had to retort to this. Here is what I said and also the response it elicited:
Hi John. You have raised a very important issue about violence against women. However, I am a little concerned about the last comment that Prasun made - that girls are equally accountable by dressing sexily. It is like saying that one should blame a woman for not taking sufficient precautions to prevent her rape. Ours is a democracy. Society and the State have a RESPONSIBILITY to ensure safety of women especially from violent crimes. Safety and protection are a RIGHT of women. Besides, as most feminists will tell you, rape is not about sexual arousal at all. If it was, how does one account for children being raped? Old women past 60 being raped? Young boys getting raped? Rape is about wielding power over the powerless.
Blogger John said...
Thanks for your comment, I respect your view that rape is about power, but disagree with that contention.
Rape may be about power, that I don't know, but rape is also about arousal. I read somewhere that a man can get aroused once every eight minutes. Unlike in the middle ages (with more women working and all) he lives in a society where women have right to work and earn a living he is surrounded by women everywhere he goes. Imagine a man being aroused every 8 minutes in the office and on the street by a sexy figure, a revealing dress, a show of undergarment (all of which openly happens in today's society), etc. and a man would become something of a sex fiend if he doesn't have a wife or cannot restrain himself.
In cities like Bombay around half the population consists of men living alone. That's all the more reason for women to exercise caution while dress, and not following the trend of wearing sexy clothes advertised to sell products. Because if a man is aroused he will exercise his libido over an innocent minor or someone who is not in a position to fight back.
I guess this fact of men's sexuality has not been understood (rather has been misunderstood) by women's libbers. Hope to put this aspect in the right perspective.
I am really at a loss how to deal with this mindset! This is from a man who, going by his writing, seems to be highly educated, erudite and well informed. He probably represents the mainstream thinking on this issue. That it is not the responsibility of the state to provide a protective environment for women. A man will do nothing to 'control his libido' but a woman must give up her freedom of choice and wear conservative clothing to prevent getting raped.
This opinion is just a polite and polished version of what girls at a Mangalore pub were subjected to at the hands of the Shri Ram Sene not long ago.
Oh! How will women ever throw off the shackles that enslave them if men do not partner with them in the endeavor?
I was so distressed by this exchange, that I just had to write a post about it. I would really like to know what my readers think about this. Or better still, please visit the blog: http://johnpmathew.blogspot.com/, read and leave a comment for the author.
- Welcome!Blogging is a form of self expression for me. I find it a wonderful, democratic space. So often in life, our articulation and expression are controlled by environment-like relationships or work place. Here, it is only about me and what I want to say. I write about anything: books, movies, issues, rants...anything which strikes a chord in me or makes me think. Life's lighter moments, highs and lows, causes, opinions. Anything. I follow no structure. It is all about self expression - a form of empowerment if you like.
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