Don’t teach your daughter to cover up, just teach your son not to rape


Last night, my sister called me up and muttered in aghast voice that once she is stuck in a jam while returning to home. She had taken a public vehicle and it was around eight pm. We were never worried like that day before. After some time she reached home safely though.

Today, this kind of fear is seen in many families due to the continuous rape cases engulfing around. Rape is not external to our society. Rapists do not constitute a different section in our society. Rapists are the part of society based on patriarchy where women have a subservient position than men in all sectors. We live in a society where skirts, mobiles are held accountable for rape. In our society, if women are raped, it’s not their fault. People say they provoke men to rape. Rape can be termed as institution of patriarchy. It is the limitation on their freedom and mobility.

The most dreadful one was the Nirmala rape case where still the culprits are at large. It has rippled national uproar across the country. We hear many news of rape still today.

In spite of national uproar against rape in the country I have come across the parents preferring to kill their daughter rather than give them justice. They value their social prestige more than the self esteem of their daughters. Sometimes, this fear leads the victim to commit suicide and the rapists remain unpunished. There are many cases where women are assaulted repeatedly but they go unnoticed due to the fear. Whether it be a public vehicle or public gathering, many women are assaulted in many ways. Some raise their voice while many remain silent due to fear. Rape is also on rise targeting respectable woman. It has a tendency to prove that raped woman doesn’t have any value at all. Either society blames her or she has to opt for suicide. Her whole family has to suffer due to the crime of others.

Once, I was travelling in a public vehicle. There was a girl in skirt, probably in her college dress. She was sitting beside a man who looked around forty. I was noticing at him. He was staring at the exposed
body parts of the girl. In a way, he was raping the girl through her eyes. After some time, he slowly raised his hands and took them towards the girl. He was about to touch her, she quickly stood up and raised her voice. When others protested, the man quickly got off from the bus.

Many women are raped after married but their voices are forced to be silent. Research reveals that victims of marital/partner rape suffer longer lasting trauma than victims of stranger rape. My friend shared that her husband repeatedly asks for sexual activities even though she denies it. And she couldn’t refuse him even when she is sick. He threatens her to leave her if he denies. She shared that she could neither leave him due to the fear of prestige nor she could live happily with him. The only one option left for her is compromise.

This kind of human violations should be ended. All have equal rights. There should be strong laws. Demands for tough punishment for rapists, or for that matter, stringent laws to deal with rape fuelled
as they are by moral outrage do less than reinforce the capitalist structure of patriarchy society that are in existence. The moral and structure of society should be changed. Only strong laws wont do anything. The gendered division will be recasted and in more stringent manner in future. The patriarchal society and commoditization has denude the women and thought them as the object. These kind of bourgeois freedom should be viewed from traditional view as well as from the vantage point of system. Strong laws are necessary and more than that is the necessity in change of view of society and people.

Some even argue that women should stop wearing dresses that induces them for sexual activities. Some states in India even proposed to ban skirts. The problem isn’t in dress but in attitude. No matter what they wear, how do they look like, whether they are hot or sexy; their body isn’t an assault. All have rights of freedom. Government should enforce strong law to punish the assaulter and women should be bold enough to raise their voice. Else, these kinds of violence go on increasing. Whether he is your husband, boyfriend or anyone; if you feel you are assaulted, don’t remain silent, just protest it. This helps in reducing this crime. And parents, don’t teach your daughter to cover up, just teach your son not to rape. This is your duty.


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