By Meghana Rathore:
“Tired of hiding, Park Street rape victim reveals identity”
This is what the headline read in the Indian express after the rape victim chose to reveal her identity and fight back instead of succumbing to the society’s regressive attitude. It brought to me nothing but disenchantment. This one line is a revelation of the fact about how life goes on from being idyllic to being immensely brutal for a rape survivor. Rape is considered to be every girl’s worst nightmare. It indeed is, but it is considered to be so for all the wrong reasons. It is considered to be so not because it is a brutal act that hurts a woman’s bodily integrity and not because a woman is sexually assaulted and not because it’s inflicted upon her without her consent. It’s a regretful act because of the numerous stigmas and stereotypes attached to it. It is because a woman’s and her family’s virtue is in question that it is analogous to a woman’s worst nightmare. And this is wrong and a retrogressive ideology. Rape is one traumatic incident and leaves an impact that lasts forever but it certainly does not take away a woman’s virtue. Life still has so much more to it. And if you fight back, it’s a matter of immense pride.
The Park street rape victim was rather valiant when she revealed her identity without any hesitation. And, the entire woman fraternity must revere her and look up to her. Yes, a rape victim is more or less a survivor. She does not have to be inured to the misogynist conceptions linked to it. She should extricate her of all the guilt because there must not be an iota of it. It’s not her fault. Society will behove her to hide and not fight. But, no matter what, she has to take a stand and make sure that the perpetrators are indicted.
“One is not born a girl, one becomes one”
It’s imperative we understand the relevance and significance of this statement. A girl is brought up to believe that this society will go on to tame her and she has to be submissive and bear with it. She is taught to never speak up and in case she is raped she should not fight back because her family’s virtue is in question. A girl is brought up to believe that the moment she is raped her life has no meaning so she should be careful. People of utmost moral rectitude go on to exacerbate the condition by stating parlances like: “she led him on” and that “it’s her fault”. The park street victim must have gone through all this as well, because she accepted a lift from the culprits and so, such statements must surely have been on the rounds. A woman has to follow what the society edicts. Most of the rape cases go unreported because of this hypocrisy and such doctrinaire attitude.
However, this revelation has questioned all this and proved that rape is a crime and the perpetrators are criminals of the highest order. One has to fight back brazenly and make sure that such criminals are punished. The park street rape victim has sent across this message and a sense of strength has been permeated across the entire society.