Every time I hear the Indian national anthem, I automatically start to think about the thousands and thousands of women that bare abuse on a regular basis. It breaks my heart and angers me so much. It also reminds me that our fight hasn’t yet finished – not just for Indian women, but for all women. I have been reading bits and bobs of the news lately, and I know that a four year old girl was raped in her school at Bangalore. And I know that Iran decided to go ahead with the death sentence of Reyhaneh Jabbari. And I know that there are countless other women facing the same abuse all over the world. None of it is okay. It never will be. And I want to do as much as I can to help better the society, and I won’t stop writing till the end.
I was reading something a couple of days back. It was written by an Indian man who was talking about the problem with feminism. In it he stated that feminism isn’t really about women being independent, but about women getting things done from others. He gave examples of those banners that read ‘men can stop rape’ and he wrote about how if us women want video games that don’t condone violence against women or that don’t degrade women, we should make them ourselves. He wrote that women are so used to others doing things for themselves that they are basically spelling out what masculinity should or should not be. I tried to have an open mind while reading that piece, but I just couldn’t bring myself to agree with this person.
‘Men can stop rape’. Yes, men can. And men have to. In that piece the writer stated that why should men be the ones stopping rape, why shouldn’t women learn self-defence? That adds to blaming women for being raped. Because they couldn’t defend themselves, they got raped, it is their fault. What about the four year old girl? Is she expected to be self-defensive too? What about women that have been self-defensive and have gotten killed instead? Men can stop rape. Because who is doing the rape? That is right…men. So saying men cannot stop rape is total and complete bullshit, and it probably hurt the writer’s male ego. Also, saying men cannot stop rape is like saying racists cannot stop racism. It is like blaming people of colour for being victims of racism…because, you know what, they could have stopped it. Sounds a lot like crap, no?
The writer seemed offended that women asked men to stop rape. He seemed offended by the need to fight for women’s rights. I am not surprised at all.