So you think some filthy, pervert minds are responsible for rape? Or, the law and administration who prefer to sit cross-legged instead of taking the right measures to stop such ghastly acts? Or the politicians who indirectly put the blame on the victims? Yes. You are right. And No. You are wrong. The scenario is far worse than what you think it is. Considering rape a crime committed just by individuals or groups is just a way of miscalculating its grievousness. It is not a disease present in people in a scattered way. Rape is a deep-rooted collective socio-psychological disease we all are suffering from. How? Let me explain.
How society is responsible?
When we read about a rape case, we shiver in anger, hatred and empathy. Enraged, we demand capital punishment for the criminals. We expect our governments to show no mercy to those filthy culprits who dare to commit such felonies. We take part in candle marches. Sudden bouts of rage leave us deeply troubled during our lunch breaks, over coffee cup chit chat sessions and dinner parties. It’s all good (read sensible) till now. It is where our being-a-responsible-citizen part ends and we go back to our normal life.
So how come we are responsible in this? Before answering that, let me ask all the men reading this a question. Will you ever marry someone who has been a rape victim? I can almost hear you muttering “What???” On a second thought, your philanthropic sole is bothered about how society will react to such a bold step, whether your family will support this or not, and, first of all, how can someone be your wife who is ‘already taken?’ Yes, that’s the most ‘uneasy’ part of the whole thought. Accept it. And that is the Core Problem about rape.
Rape is not the problem. Our attitude towards the victim is the problem. Our inability to accept the victim back in our regular social life is the problem. When a part of our psyche blames the victim for maybe being too or subtly inviting with her attitude or attire that is the problem. When some of us still seeing a girl wearing revealing outfits make comments like “This is the reason why rape happens” that is the problem.
India is not the only cursed land where rapes happen. In almost every continent, every country, rape, molestations etc are the most common types of crime throughout the world. As per the statistics, in 2008, 164,240 women have been victims of rape in USA. But the media there does not make a business out of it. Nor does the society put a ban on the victims. The young ones go back to school. The adult ones get back to their normal lives after a couple of psychiatric sessions as a way to handle the trauma in a better way and get over it ASAP unlike in India where the victims are being reminded of that one attack on their body as long as they live. Does not that count as a rape of mind and soul?
Coming to media. When burglary or robbery or murder happens, media shows the victims as well as the family of the victims. The faces of the robbery/murder/burglary victims are never pixelated. Rather it’s the faces of the culprits which are shown pixelated or hidden. But when it is a rape case, things are just the opposite. Here the victims cover their faces to avoid being recognized by mass in fear of being judged or getting socially isolated forever. And there the society joins the criminals and becomes an inevitable part of this ghastly crime.
The day a rape victim will be able to come in front of the camera without feeling ashamed, will be able to get back to her normal life without being judged, will be able to enjoy her womanhood without any inhibitions and will be able to find her prince charming without feeling guilty, ‘rape’ will lose its severity.