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[Y]Ral: If You Think Rape Is Wrong Due To These Reasons, You Are Part Of The Problem

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By Sanskriti Pandey:

If you are reading this, you most likely agree that rape is wrong. But what if someone told you that you are part of the problem, despite advocating that rape is wrong? In this TEDx talk, one woman examines rape culture in India in terms of why you think rape is wrong.

If you think that rape is a violation of gender norms, in the sense that it happens because of a dearth of those “good” men that can “protect” their women, then you think gender policing is the solution. You are part of the problem. If you think that rape is a violation of gender-based boundaries, in the sense that it happens because some women stay out late, dare to go to isolated places, or wear short clothes, then you think behaviour policing is the solution. You are part of the problem. If you think that rape is a violation of cultural boundaries, in the sense that it occurs due to the advent of western influences that are staining and degrading the sacrosanct Indian ‘culture’, then you think culture policing is the solution. You are part of the problem.

Watch this video as Shreena Thakore, of No Country For Women fame, peels the layers off this acute social issue and tells you exactly how and why gender, behaviour, and cultural policing are in fact, as potential solutions, catalytic to rape in India.

To know more about what I think of this video, follow me on Twitter at @im_sanskriti.

You must be to comment.
    1. Akshita Prasad

      And what about men raping?

    2. Akshita Prasad

      And what is it that you seek? Women being raped is an issue and so is men being raped , but the Indian society blames women if they are raped, on the other hand men are not blamed for being raped.
      A women’s clothes, the time of the day or any other factor doesn’t ever justify rape. The intention of raping someone or violating their body is entirely wrong, whether its against men or women, and is never the victim’s fault.
      And all your comments are anti women. You cannot blame women for wearing what they desire, and why only women? You cannot accuse any human being irrespective of the gender for wearing what they desire.
      So ultimately, rapes are caused because some people for some deranged reason don’t see the need to respect the bodies of fellow human beings. And B , you need to start respecting other people’s opinions. You have your own opinion about things, but that doesn’t make other people’s opinions wrong.
      Maybe you think women should dress in a certain way, and shouldn’t go out after a certain time, but if an individual chooses to do so you cannot blame them.
      And Rape committed against men or women by men or women, will always remain a crime and a heinous one. But never is it the victim’s fault, and stop finding reasons to blame the victim for it.

    3. B

      There is NO justification for rape. Rape is WRONG. However, as a man, if I go out in the middle on the night without a shirt, and a group of girls stare at me, pass comments, or touch me, I only have myself to blame. I am responsible for my safety. Prevention is better than cure.

      Countless men are robbed at knife-point or gun-point at night, and many succumb to fatal injuries, but they don’t go around with banners and slogans of “teach people not to stab or rob.”

      Be at home early, be safe. 🙂

    4. swati

      @B you should watch the video. Then you will know that you are part of the problem.

    5. B

      Kindly tell us why feminists don’t shed any light on false cases of rape? Read comment below.

    6. Akshita Prasad

      I am not defending women, here. Of course there are false cases of rape, and its completely inhuman to make another person suffer because of your greedy and selfish motives. And such women, do deserve punishment, because nobody should be allowed to ruin another persons life on false grounds.
      And this is what i am trying to convey, you being a man go out shirtless in the middle of the night, but those girls who harassed you are to be blamed, hey had no right to do so. Its your body, and they cannot violate it, in the first place they shouldn’t have the intention to violate it.
      And i agree. innumerable people are mugged, but that again should stop. Just like rape, this too is a violation of a human being.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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