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Every Day, I Feel Ashamed While Reading The Newspaper

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As I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is grab the newspaper and make myself aware of the daily happenings in the world. I usually enjoy it unless I come across an article about rape. The very moment my eyes see the word ‘rape’, I just sit back, feel disgusted and wonder about the world we are living in.

I know I am not the only one who must be going through such emotions every day. But seriously, somewhere it just breaks the enthusiasm in me to know what’s happening in the world.

I am always worried not to get stuck again in the same dreadful event. But it just happens. Every day. Every week. Every month. I feel ashamed reading it but I still have to carry on with my newspaper.

Reading these articles certainly boils my blood, but when I see a juvenile committing such horrors, I feel terrified. Not because of the age of the criminals but for the fact that they won’t be tried under the normal law procedures. They will be tried as juveniles and will be given lighter punishments. I mean, why such pity? If he is old enough to commit such a horrendous act, why is he not old enough to be punished for it? Are our lawmakers really reasonable?

Then, I feel for all the other crimes apart from that of sexual harassment and rape, we can still think of a ‘logical’ background trigger that brings us to justify the criminal’s side. I am not defending other criminals, I am just making a distinction. But in rape, there is no such thing. Like for stealing, we can blame the thief’s economic condition that compelled him to commit the crime. But rape is just sick. You cannot have any reasonable explanation for this. To even satisfy myself with the explanation, I watched and read materials on criminal psychology. And I came to the conclusion that it is because of lack of education, hollow belief in humanity and outright reckless disregard of others ‘consent.

Rape is the worst crime as it violates the sanctity of the very first entity that you connect to: your body. And the articles get much worse when the accused justifies their action by statements like –

There was no physical rejection from her side.”

She enjoyed it.”

“Even when she said no, it was a very feeble attempt, So I took it as a yes.”

She had an orgasm.” And much more.

It’s so humiliating for the victim to even hear such words. Let me make some clear points here for all such stupid statements. First of all, a lack of physical rejection is not equal to consent. Those are two different things. Secondly, an orgasm is a bodily reaction which one may not be able to control while being raped. So such statements are not only insulting but also inhuman.

These articles not only make me hate society but also make me sad, for the fact that tomorrow again, I have to go through the same set of emotions again. I can only imagine if an article affects me so much, how our women must be living in the continuous fear for their freedom and safety. It’s ridiculous. That’s why I am always worried about my women friends. In fact, I am scared for everyone who goes through this, irrespective of whether I know them or not.

Therefore, I just wish that maybe a time will come when my newspapers will be ‘rape free’ not because of media not reporting the incidents, but our society actually becomes ‘rape free’.

Till then, this hate is here to stay.

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Image source: Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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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.

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