The Question, as to Whose Fault it is When a Woman/Girl/Child gets Raped, is a Heart-wrenching one. …Came across these Very Frank words:
“What your wife, sister, daughter, or any other woman you care for is not telling you is that at least once in her life, She has been groped, pinched, touched without her choosing to ask explicitly for it. If she is lucky, it has happened only once or twice. If not, it has happened to her with an alarming rate of at least twice a day every day that she has stepped out of her home and sometimes inside her home.”
[Reference below. My thoughts on these make it into a regular post by itself, so am not re-blogging it.]
While I whole heartedly Agree with Shweta, the author, with those words above, I Differ from her and from Many, on Many points. Please do Not think that I intend to criticise Shweta. It is the General Mis-Conceptions that I want to address. Her words come very useful as quotes of the Prevailing mentality.
She has written under ‘It’s shameful,’ that she had been told to keep her Breasts covered. From this Shweta has Mis-Understood that she, and All Women, are supposed to be Ashamed of their Breasts. Maybe Many Women think this way too.
At this point, let me share two Incidents.
1. Once, Many years ago indeed, when I was visiting the Villagers as their Parish Priest, accompanied by our Catechist, We had called out, been invited to enter, and found the Woman of the house pounding rice or something. As it was Sweaty business, she had left her Breasts Uncovered. There was Nothing Un-Usual in this. In that region, that was how things were.
Neither She nor my Catechist had been perturbed by that. But I, a young man at that time, had the hardest time trying NOT to stare! (She became aware of this and covered herself).
Point: Breasts are Nothing to be Ashamed about. ‘Somebody’ might have a difficulty, but the Breasts were not the Cause. The Catechist, in this case, the Woman herself, or the Thousands of Villagers who live/lived like that, did not have any difficulty. It is how Anybody ‘Takes’ different things.
2. In this second incident, which had happened Years earlier, when I had been in the Indian Railways, I had noticed a policeman poking at a Woman sleeping on the Railway platform and went a bit closer to look. She was a Labourer by the look of things, and was in deep sleep. Her Breasts were partially exposed, and the policeman was toying with them with his long baton, known as the ‘Lathi.’ Not satisfied with that, he pushed the end of his Lathi at her Crotch, at which she turned over, and I had also approached a little too close for the comfort of the policeman, he simply sauntered away.
Point: Breasts are Nothing to be Ashamed about. If anything, they are Beautiful. And they Attract the Male’s Attention. As do Other Sexual Organs of the Female. We have to Remember that the Sexual parts of the Male Attract the Female’s attention too! But there is Nothing to be Ashamed about, Nor Anything Faulty in all this.
Men’s Looks, Attention and Mind simply ‘Go‘ towards the Woman’s Body and Body parts. And-the-Same-is-True-with-Women.
To Deny the above would be Hypocritical and Dis-Honest. It is Absolutely Normal for a Man to have an Erection in the presence of an Attractive Woman, and for the Woman to have Corresponding stirring in similar circumstances. [This is what We deny! That it works both ways.]
Ok, next question: Whose fault is that?! …….I shall ask You some other queries, and then YOU can give the answer to the first one in this para.
- The Sunflower keeps turning towards the Sun. Whose fault is it, the Sun’s or the Flower’s? (Image courtesy: rsc.org)
- The South pole of the Magnet is attracted To and By the North one. It is Not just an attraction; if unhindered, the two would meet, with violence! Ok, Whose fault is it?
- Sodium, in coming into contact with Water, bursts into flame. Whose fault in this one? I could go on and on, could I not? 🙂
Man Will be Attracted towards the Woman and Her Body, and Vice Versa. That is Nobody’s fault, and there is Nothing Wrong in it.
Woman, in these cases, stops herself with ‘Drinking him in with her eyes,’ if that. The Problem arises when We find at least Some men taking what We can call ‘liberties,’ or even going far beyond it.
Let us go back to our original question. The Answer to that is that the Fault lies in Improper Upbringing.
Mothers, most of the time, Stop with telling their daughters to ‘Cover their Breasts.’ (St. Paul told them to Cover their Heads, an Euphemism for the same thing, and what trouble that landed him in!). We cannot blame the Mothers for not having taught their Daughters better. Communication is Not an Easy skill. Think of Dad’s trying to teach their Sons about the Birds and the Bees!
MOTHERS Failed, Through the Ages, to teach their Daughters that:
There Are, and Will be, at least Some men who will Not hold themselves back; And that These sorts of men Will attack.
Every railway station, bus stand and such Will have their Share of Pickpockets. Similarly,
Every Society Will have its Lechers and Low-Life.
They will be Just a few, but they Will be there. And they Will be the ones to Cause the Trouble. Just as We Guard Ourselves against Pickpockets, so too must We protect Ourselves from Giving Chances to these Low-Lives.
And MEN will attack, as they come out with No Burden after the incident. Taking the Geographical conditions of India, pregnancies can occur with Just One act. But it will be the Woman who will be carrying the Child. Thus We see that SOME men, IF they get the chance, WILL force themselves on any Woman they can; whether she is 90 or just 5 years old.
PARENTS, and SOCIETY on the whole, Failed…
We have to Examine whether We have Told our Young Men, Often enough, Repeatedlyenough, Strongly Enough and Insistently enough. that they, being the Physically Stronger sex, have a Duty to Protect Weak, Women and Girls primarily among them.
The JUDICIAL SYSTEM has Failed…
If You are Sailing, and You find a Hole in Your Boat, You Plug it, Immediately. You don’t take 18 years to do that.
I find what I call the Judicial System, consisting of the Judges, the Law Books and What Not, as a Failure. From the Godhra case to jayalalitha’s amassing Disproportionate wealth, from the 71 year old Nun Gang raped in West Bengal to the Honest Collector Killed in Karnataka, from Civil cases to the Criminal, all these and more have just Made me Lose my Faith in the Judicial System.
We Ask Who is at Fault. All the above are at Fault. We are at Fault.
AND THEY WILL CHANGE ONLY IF WE TAKE THEM UP AND SHAKE THEM UP.
- If I go about with my Wallet showing, and Easy to Pick, Can I Blame the Pickpocket? He has his ‘Weakness,’ which is Trying to Earn a Living the Easy Way.
- If I failed to Lock the Windows at Night, can I blame the Thief for his entry into my house? Is it Not My fault?
- In Chess, Boxing or any Other Sport, if an ‘Opening’ is given to the Opponent, Are We going to find fault with him?
- If I leave Expensive Items in my Car, Leave the Door Open, and Leave the Keys in the Ignition, WITH a big notice saying: “Thieves and Such are NOT to take any of these things,” AND expect that that would happen, it Simply means that I am a Mental Case.
In a country like India where a mere Smile means a Come On, To go out in All sorts of Funny (read Sexy) dresses aping the West, WILL BE TAKEN AS AN INVITATION. Young People in particular should know National Cultures, too.
The Sexual Attraction that the Male and the Female have, is something built in, a Natural. We cannot go around finding Fault with these things. But it IS My Fault if I do not protect my Money, Reasonably Enough, from Pickpockets around me.
Reference to Shweta’s article: