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

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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.


‘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.

You must be to comment.
  1. HP

    Thanks that you raised a very valid issue here. I myself being the victim of such activities to a level. But when a man will write these things, he will be called anti-women.

  2. jeeka krishna

    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.

    Awesome lines..

  3. lenin


  4. Jayasmita Ray

    Well written! You have raised very valid points

  5. Neha Jha

    This thing has been in my mind as well. U know, many times, I have felt that in many women’s issues, men have actually genuinly supported us while many women didn’t! Women also speak in favour of men’s atrocities. There is this cook in my house who’s a single mom. One of my neighbours actually tried to get her in his bed! She resisted and he said that no one would believe her because he has a good reputation! And yes, no one even said anything bad about him when they heard about this incident. Even women in my society blame my cook, not the asshole teacher! This angers me a lot!
    Its unfortunate that a woman is a woman’s biggest enemy!
    There are many women who want all material pleasures in the world but refuse to work. All they engage in is character assasination os other women. Sickens me!

  6. Karthika

    I love that you highlighted male victimisation.
    How men are seen as lows or “impotent” when they are victims of sexual assault? Man on man rape is prevalent and it is major human rights problem where there is space for a male victim in 2013 criminal act law.
    That is sad.
    But in Tehelka’s case, you should know that he is in a very powerful position and that the media did try to “protect”him. If he is guilty then he should be punished.

  7. Monistaf

    Thank you for trying to tell the other half of the story. YKA has been heavily biassed with plenty of articles highlighting women’s issues. No one seems to care that men are human too, they too have feelings, they too get hurt, and more often than you think are 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crimes. They too, are equally deserving of our collective sympathy and compassion. Acknowledging and talking about issues that do not affect you directly, takes courage, empathy and a strong sense of justice. There are plenty of men who have rightly stood up for injustices against women, but very few, like you, have the ability or willingness to see and consider that there is another side to the story. This, in my opinion, is what separates excellence from mediocrity in journalism. Thank you.

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