In Our Fight For Gender Justice, Have We Started Being Unreasonably Unfair To Men?

Posted on January 23, 2014 in Gender-Based Violence, Society, Specials, Taboos

By Sonakshi Samtani:

I think that the fight against rape culture has led to more victimization of women than ever, and the amount of misandry in a number of popular, supposedly ‘feminist’ web pages and campaigns, is startling.

feminism

‘The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act’ is one piece of law that has inherently victimized women. The society, the lawmakers and the media refuse to accept the fact that men can be and are raped. Moreover, the complete nonchalance towards such violence against men makes it all the more hard for them to report cases of assault. We are conditioned to conveniently deny any aspect of ‘consent’ when it comes to male sexual attitudes. A man who refuses to have sex with another woman or reports an unwanted sexual interface is looked down upon as ‘impotent’ and the popular culture doesn’t refrain from mocking any sort of reluctance on the part of men towards sex.

This supposed acceptance of men towards any kind of sexual advent from the opposite sex is celebrated. We often hear phrases like ‘Oh, why are you being such a girl about it?’, ‘You got to have sex right? Why does anything else matter?’

Such an attitude is inappropriate on a lot of levels. One, it reaffirms the misplaced notion of women’s sexuality as ‘prized‘. Consequently, their sexuality is both objectified and made an issue of their ‘honor’ and ‘chastity’. It is disgraceful yet funny how women think that they are ‘used’ in a relationship for sex. As long as the act is consensual, there isn’t an explanation to how one is ‘used’ and the other is not.

Two, I would reaffirm how sexual crimes against men go unnoticed. A man could be physically violated and feel psychological trauma, however, the socially construed abnormality towards such violence would make it harder for him to make peace with such an emotion. This way, they are subjects to a dual trauma – that of the incident and the emotional non-compliance to the largely accepted behavior.

Third, the war against rape culture slowly turns into a generalized war against men, hence, rapists aren’t perceived as the problem, but men all over. The rising culture of pseudo-feminism is centered along this very idea of male bashing.

This way, we aren’t teaching our boys to be men who respect everyone equally but creating a generation of men that could sustain the idea of raping another woman for ‘revenge’. In the social media and news, there’s hardly any restraint on voices that seldom allow law to take it’s course and regard any man who is alleged to have raped another individual, as a rapist. I would refer to the much spoken about case where Tehelka’s then editor, accused of rape, was condoned as a rapist not just by the masses, but also the magazine’s managing editor, who refused to hear the ‘other’ side of the story.

It is this very culture of victimization that we need to get rid of. There’s a reason why we call it an ‘alleged rape’.

As far as the Tehelka incident is concerned, before people start bashing me for ‘supporting’ the ‘rapist’, I would make it very clear that I am not trying to pass any judgement. I believe that law provides for equal representation to both the parties, the ‘aggrieved’ and the ‘accused‘. So, it should be imperative on our parts to exercise a little responsibility in concurrence with free speech.

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