I remember reading something very interesting about why parents are so concerned about their daughters staying out or partying late, but being lenient with sons of the same age. The point made was that parents don’t get to share in the good parts of a daughter going out with a guy, they only get to see the ugly bits (and that there aren’t too many ugly bits when it concerns a son).
To explain, all the fun parts of a relationship… the flirting, infatuation, romance, sex and sweet little nothings, etc… parents simply don’t experience it. But what happens when things go bad? And by bad, I don’t mean when a relationship sours and there’s heartbreak, I mean when things go really bad. Like the girl is molested or raped or sexually taken advantage of, and all of it caught on a cell-phone camera.
That is when parents and the immediate family bear the brunt of society as much as the girl. Relatives, friends and jaankaars gossip and spread half-truths that usually condemn the girl as loose and without morals. If the media gets wind of it they come running like hyenas hoping for some fresh meat to throw in front of their viewers. Policemen and government agencies that get involved are even worse, making sure the girl and her family go through hell.
As you’ll realize, parents generally don’t see the good parts of their daughter’s relationship. They usually see the bad, so it’s kind of obvious why they aren’t exactly chuffed when they hear the girl acquired herself a new boyfriend. In a risk-reward tradeoff, they’re only seeing risk.
Getting to the point – stopping the rapes
So I thought about it. The reason it is so bad when a girl has been sexually taken advantage of is because society points fingers and says shit about her and her family. This so called “disgrace in the eyes of society” is what makes it so bad. I mean, if no one said anything, that would indicate they probably didn’t care. And if they didn’t care, they’d just move on with their lives. The girl and her parents would file a case against the boy and try to move on with their lives. The policemen would file a complaint and set in motion the due process of law and move on.
But no, nobody moves on. So let’s try turning this process on its head. Next time, whenever a male is even accused of mistreating, eve-teasing or sexually harassing a woman, start talking shit about him. Make up disgusting stories that put his entire character into question. Add masala like it’s free and fling some on his family and parents also. Go to the media and say that he was involved in a prostitution and human smuggling ring. Explain breathlessly how seedy characters regularly visit his house in the late hours of the night.
If you’re in the media, even better! Make stuff up like this
Core of the Issue
Take the fight against rape to those who can nip it in the bud – the man’s family. You know why am I taking such a radical stand? Let me explain. Human behavior is about incentives. So if my son molests a woman and I can make him get away with it by blaming the woman, or laughing it off by saying “ladke toh aise hi hote hain“, or worst case scenario, making him marry the woman… then I will. Not because I’m a bad or a good person, because my incentives are stacked that way.
So you see this photo?
It’s so sweet. “Don’t teach me what to wear. Teach your sons not to rape“. Sounds so nice also. Yeah, a slogan we can all fight for. But it is wrong. The mother who’s been taught that women must bow down to men will teach the same to her sons and daughters. And I kid you not, I’ve seen it up close and personal. Educated women who teach their daughters that women are destined to suffer. Also, when her laadla son is in shit, the mom will do anything to defend and get him out of the situation, which frequently includes going after the girl’s character.
So what do you do? Introduce massive disincentive for the family if the son fucks up.
Seriously, when the father and mother realize that society will hound them to death if their son is caught teasing, molesting, touching or raping a girl, they’ll damn well ensure he doesn’t do it. And moms all over the country will tell their sons very clearly
I don’t give a fuck what she is wearing. You’re not to touch her, or I’ll break those arms of yours.
Hey, but what if the man is not guilty?
Then you’ve probably condemned a man to hell, made life miserable for him and his family and probably put them under great financial and emotional strain.
But every battle has its casualties. It just depends on what matters more to you, dear reader, and how much of a price you’re willing to pay. If you really care about stopping the rape of women in our country, then you must attack the root cause of the problem – disincentivize those who do it. This obviously means that some men get treated unfairly in the process and get caught in your ire.
It’s called the Law of Sacrifice and it states
You have to give up something in order to get something
If you feel that the sacrifice is too large, then that’s cool too. You could do the other things that you feel will solve the problem.
Image credit: avidaebella @ Flickr