TW: Mentions rape, sexual assault
It is no surprise that I’m writing this in October 2020—just days after the Hathras incident.
Hathras is a small city in Uttar Pradesh. Like any other town, it had its own significance and beauty; it also had a reputation that everyone acknowledged. Then one day, a gang of upper caste men raped a Dalit girl. After fighting for her life for two weeks, she died in the hospital. Then came the politicians and the media—pushing and fighting to bring this to the attention of other people.
See, this is not the first time such an incident has happened.
And guess what? This is not the end of the list. Many girls are sexually abused and harassed every single day in this country. There are several reasons why we don’t know about the majority of rape cases happening:
These are not rare incidence, they happen quite often in our society. This is what’s happening to many women and girls every day.
Is it really about sexual pleasure? If yes, then why can’t they just go and receive that pleasure without force and with a woman’s consent? I don’t think it’s right to associate sex with such a violent act.
I mean of course there are women who have sex for their pleasure and that’s not a mistake. But if a girl is protesting or trying to get loose of a man’s grip while having sex and even though she will say ‘stop’, if she is still getting sexually handled then that’s what’s called a rape. And in the majority of rape cases, women are NOT getting any pleasure. They are bearing pain and guilt instead of happiness. And the pain a girl have when she getting raped is beyond words.
Do you think that those poor girls deserve to endure that extreme pain? Do you think that those innocent women deserves to be handled like objects? They are human beings! They have all the rights to live happily without any depression or traumas! And even though our country is one of the most developed country in the world, 100s of girls are getting sexually harassed this very day! What is the government doing? What is the use of a huge government when they are not taking any actions regarding this issue even though rape cases are being highlighted in the media frequently. If rape is such a common practice in India then why are they taking no actions?
What the government can do:
The government could supply self defense kits to the women of the country just like they did for grocery during the pandemic. It could include a can of pepper spray, a small alarm and other things that could help them survive. The government could also give awareness classes to the girls especially in the minorities about rape. They could also install streetlights and camera surveillance in the narrow alleys were rape is more common to happen. Instead of telling the girls to not walk alone at night, tell the men to stop treating the girls like toys. Educate the boys on how rape can have a terrible effect on girls.
The society’s role:
Last but not the least stop hiding these things away from your kids. Sex or rape is not something that’s going to bring them good when its kept away from their knowledge. They are the rulers of the future and they just cant go out into the real world without having any knowledge on what the people are going through. They need education and awareness about rape culture and its effects.
Why boys should also be given equal consultation on rape as girls:
Another important thing we have to keep in our mind is that we should not teach girls to look at men like monsters. It is a common practice that girls, when they see a man, have this sudden fear and thought running into them that ‘the man is a rapist’. I agree that most of the times a man is usually the one that harass a woman but it can also happen the other way. A man can get sexually abused by a woman. But its not common and not much known but it is equally important. Men should not feel any embarrassment in expressing their worries. Many men usually stands back in speaking out their troubles because men are ‘not suppose to cry’ and ‘should not complain’ because then they are ‘acting like a girl. The first thing to keep in mind is that men CAN express their concerns as much as a woman can. This is called gender equality. Men and women should get equal chances. The second thing is that if a man cries or complains, it doesn’t mean he is a girl. It means that he is brave enough to do so in a society like ours. Third thing is that never define a girl by the words ‘crying’, ‘complain’ and ‘weak’ because we are not. Just because we are not afraid to express our feelings doesn’t mean we are ‘cowards’. Boys should also feel comfortable in opening up and the society should help him with it. These stereotypical mindsets are what causing half of the issues in our society.
Harthas case was another issue that would stay in the news for 3 days and then get forgotten like any other rape case. Instead of learning and doing something every time a rape case gets publicity, we are trending hashtags and having debates on news channels that have no effects on the progress of the country. I’m literally begging our government to implement strategic moves to ensure that no other boy or girl gets raped. It may take years to achieve a 0% rape rate but this is the time to act. If it gets delayed it will not only affects the girls and boys but also the reputation of our country. This IS the time to take some action. I really am impressed by several actions taken by our government in many issues. But I’m really disgusted to say that India is really behind rape protection. As much as infrastructure and development is important, there are more important issues that needs to be consulted first like rape. Its our duty to protect the girls and boys of our country because they are the ones who is going to stand in your position in the future.