Has this Rape issue been stretched too far ?

A strange race of people we are… eh?

We always find ways to avoid problems… Avoid, not solve…

Rapes happen, we avoid such news, its not comfortable you know, we switch channels, turn the pages, forget those headlines. We ask our sisters, daughters, wives, mother to not travel at night, avoid certain places, avoid certain costumes but… we never got around to addressing the real problem. Sorting out the guy’s, explaining it to them that whatever they might think about a woman has to remain in their minds not be expressed.

I remember once, we were a group of 8 guys in a Scorpio, reached a toll on the Highway… ahead of us was a gypsy with 3 girls in the back and 2 guys sitting in the front. The girls were dressed in vests and shorts. Immediately murmurs in our vehicle. Then as we stopped behind them one friend among us (driver) opened his window and while gesturing to the toll window said… Chal Na Darling… Jaldi kar… He was certainly not telling the shabby guy on the toll booth this… we all knew where the comment was intended…

A couple of us sneered… probably thought that was cheesy…  2-3 of us said hey don’t … if anything happens we are not with you…. sigh….

I remember discussing this issue with another of my friend, later in the day, who also thought it was wrong… We even discussed that the idiot has two daughters and still he did that… but… we never got around to addressing that friend of ours and telling him what he did was not on. We kept it to ourselves. I did nothing to change things did I ? Now when I come to think of it I seriously think this needs to change. If the 7 other guys would have rebuked the 8th guy then and there would not the message have been delivered clearly to the guy ?? Shouldn’t someone have reminded him of how would he have reacted if he was with his wife and daughters and a jeep of 8 men behind him would have made such a comment?? Alas… but I avoided speaking at that point what I should have… I also avoided the problem…

The thing with problems is they don’t go away on their own.

I think this rape issue is not over stretched, infact for the the first time I feel maybe our country is starting to acknowledge that there is a serious problem that exists and are actually for the first time trying to think about a solution and not just avoiding it. First time it seems everyone is starting to feel if they do not act now… its not long before they too will be taken out… about time I guess.. enough is enough…

For long, generations perhaps avoided… its about time we don’t run from the problem…Its about time we work on some solutions.

Do read this post by IHM :

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53 thoughts on “Has this Rape issue been stretched too far ?

  1. shail says:

    Sadly enough one of the main problems is men don’t speak up when they should. I remember one of the men saying when he did, he was ridiculed. But I feel, facing that ridicule and standing up to it is far more manly… rather “humanly” than keeping silent, or pretending to join so that you don’t stand out.
    That is where families/parents come in, I feel.
    I love your post. Sharing it.

    • hitchy says:

      Yes… you hit it on the head… If there is something that is to be done by men it is to stand up at such an instance and announce that he is a man !

      Unfortunately I too let it pass… maybe now… I might not… but thats what is happening only after this uproar… tells us how thick skinned we have become

    • someone says:

      I have spoken up on a lot of occasions only to be rebuffed and told to not take it too seriously. I only went to one protest on this issue, because I didn’t agree with the “Hang them” and “Stricter Laws” propoganda.

      SO when I was there, I made a poster saying “P**is is not power”. I’ve always been up for strong statements. There was this other gang of guys holding up a poster saying “Aint no sunshine when she’s gone”. I got some appreciation from a lady for holding up such a brave sign. Meanwhile after around an hour of holding up, these other guys noticed my poster and came over and said “Dude that’s too vulgar”. I was a little surprised. I told them rapes were vulgar. I just had a message. So they said “but you can’t say whatever you feel like”.

      This came across as a shock. We were trying to make a difference. I beleived the message was exactly as I was holding up, but I got chided by these other morons who were supposed to be on the same team. I still don’t understand how the message was vulgar. So I used the word p**is…so what?

      And ofc I asked them what their sign mean “Aint no sunshine when she’s gone” . He said “they were sad …cuz she died”. These guys weren’t trying to safeguard women… they were merely appaled at the violence level. They didn’t want to make the world a level field for women. They just wanted to hang the rapists.

  2. R's Mom says:

    No, I dont think the rape issue has been stretched too far..and yes I do think may be if you guys had rebuked the driver then, it would have made a difference…

    I definitely wish something positive comes out of all this…I am crossing my fingers hard!

  3. Indian Homemaker says:

    We would be stretching the issue too far, if women in most parts of India, not just Delhi, did not feel unsafe anymore. If they could get out of their homes without being cautioned, and without double checking how they were dressed, and if the cell phone was charged for emergencies etc.

    • Indian Homemaker says:

      And I agree, if we all start taking ‘eve teasing’ (Street Sexual Harassment) seriously – by discouraging it and by refusing to ‘accept’ or ‘tolerate’ it, it would make a tremendous difference. I think being in bigger numbers gives men more confidence to harass women in public spaces.

      Women generally feel safer when there is a larger presence of women or families in public spaces – which is also why locking up women inside their homes after dark, actually makes streets even more unsafe for women.

      • hitchy says:

        Guess if me or anyone of us would have been Men enough we could have nipped it in the bud… these are small things that should not be tolerated or allowed to go away by themselves…

  4. Sandhya Kumar says:

    Here, in Chennai, if any man comes out to support the girl who was teased, immediately the next question from the rowdy is ‘yeh ladki tumko kya lagthi hai?’.

    Long back, once I had been to Bombay, in my 5th std. holidays, alone. My father had asked the passengers to take care of me. At some point, I was sitting on the seat near the passage. Some man who was going to the toilet or something just pinched my chest hard! I was shoked. I was flat chested and thin in those days. The passengers were shocked but couldn’t do anything. Just made me to sit near the window. The man was going here and there later, but nobody had the guts to do anything…I still remember the man’s face and the pinch on my chest.

    I have told my sons this incident and told them how I feel about it even after so many years. Will it make any change? We tend to ignore these instances for dire consequences.

    Very well written post, Dhiren. Keep writing.

    I read CNN IBN news in twitter. 90% stories are about rape victims in different parts of the country. Have all the incidents are coming out boldly or have the rowdies increased suddenly?

    • hitchy says:

      That reflects the mindset of our society doesn’t it… we’d rather avoid it, hide it, forget it ever happened but not do anything about it…. thats why I think this has just not been stretched too far.. infact our stupidity has been stretched too far… about time we all woke up and started calling a spade a spade and not worry about the rebuke…

      I guess the victims suddenly finally feel there is a ray of light.. and hence the cases are now coming out.. in Bharuch near my house only a girl who is now 23 reported that her van driver raped her when she was in 11th….

      Atleast the victim is starting to feel she can get the rapist to justice… I think people are starting to understand for the 1st time that its not a girl’s fault that she was raped…

      • Sandhya Kumar says:

        And the affected girls should not be rebuked and insulted in a later date. Even men/women too, in their own family would look down on the girls, I am sure. We are brought up like that. We give too much importance to virginity…no, I am not saying that girls can be promiscuous, but if she was helpless when she was hurt, we should ignore it and make the girl feel comfortable to carryon with her life. But I don’t think it will ever happen here in India.

    • ddeepa says:

      I think the impunity with which these acts are being carried out has permeated everywhere. They are confident that they would get away with it. This also includes the men who were extremely chauvinistic even before but pretended not to be – now voicing their opinions out in the open because they’re finding an audience who agrees and supports and even thinks just like them. On IHM’s blog, check out the post “Will the real men stand up” and the comments to that post. You’ll get a feel of how many men (proud to be IIT grads) think even today! Here’s the link.. I only hope that more and more men, and women, understand that they need to stand up against injustice in any form. It takes courage to stand up for someone – especially in these days when there’s also fear of being attacked for speaking up. Thoughtful post Hitchhiker. And optimistic.

        • hitchy says:

          I hope the outrage and the discussions after this even act as an eye opener… our conditioning is so deep rooted it will take all the might in the world to change our outlook… every day I discuss and hear so many depressing thoughts… I hope someday this will change… hope the change has begun..

          • ddeepa says:

            For some people it has begun. Unfortunately on the other side, rising at a much more alarming rate are the number of closet-misogynists who are now coming out into the open with much bold statements because they know that have many supporters. The good part from this is we get to know their true faces. But I wonder if mindsets for such people can truly be changed. At least with the one’s admitting it and working towards change, it’s a step in the right direction.

            • hitchy says:

              I guess the attitudes of people towards guys like that Vijay Vargiya should be so strong that they start thinking if their thoughts have any takers…

              I guess Rapes happen in almost all societies in the world… Crimes are committed… we all try to control them… but cannot be completely rid off I guess…. but what can surely be rid off is the suffering the victim has to face…

              The whole concept that was built that a girl loses her Izzat … is completely wrong.. if anything Izzat means… I think its the guy who lost it…. For God sake the Girl is a victim…

  5. starlitwishes says:

    You acknowledging that you should have done something, and that may be things would have been different if you had, is the first step! 🙂 Not many men would admit that.

    And no, the rape “issue” is not being taken too far. In fact, it isn’t being taken as far as it should be. And the fact that crimes against women are continuing in the face of these protests and this anger are evidence enough of this.

    • hitchy says:

      I guess we let a lot of things pass by… but this even tells me what we might think is passable might just be teh beginning…

      its pretty pathetic that the woman has to go to an extreme end to even make a man take notice of her point of view…

  6. Smitha says:

    Hitchy, your last line sums it all up – ‘For long, generations perhaps avoided… its about time we don’t run from the problem…Its about time we work on some solutions.’ And yes, as someone mentioned, men speaking up will make a difference. The fact that people like you are writing about incidents like this will make such a lot of difference. When people – families start taking this seriously, and place the shame where it belongs – on people who harrass, rape rather than on the victim.

    The reaction across India is indicative of how strongly women have been affected by daily incidents like these. Many might seem like trivial incidents(according to some), but indicates the larger decay, the larger problem that our society faces. And hopefully this time the problem will refuse to get swept under the carpet.

    • hitchy says:

      I guess our conditioning needs to change…. I hope we learn from this episode where an innocent girl has paid with her life… I hope people do not tolerate but start acting…

  7. Aathira says:

    I have had so many arguments with people who say that India has so many other problems. And, all of them come down to poverty, food and hygiene issues which the people of India face, and they ask why should the govt do something over those problems for something like rape. I do not get this attitude. Why will a crime not be treated as a crime, that is all my question. Poverty and hygiene are issues which are not inflicted on someone by force, it can not be called a crime. But if you can not have access to sanitary facilities for fear of your life, that is a crime.

    • hitchy says:

      Yes we have problems of hygiene and poverty and food… so !? we are trying to deal with it… ridiculous if anyone thinks that this issue is getting far too much importance… rapes and murders are crimes that cannot be taken lightly… easier for folks who are unaffected to say… guess you should just ask them would they hold their view if god forbid it happened to a loved one of their own ??

  8. Deeps says:

    Absolutely not! The rape issue is not stretched too far. I completely agree with you, Hitchy, its our nature of avoiding problems and not addressing them that has lead to such ghastly state of affairs. So I’m glad that at least now we have woken up from our slumber and decided to face the issues crippling us, head on and work towards finding solutions to them. And for the first time I feel even the media has been doing a fairly respectable job of covering them and demanding answers.

    Now the only thing I sincerely hope is that this drive in us to change our own mindsets and surrounding does not slacken. I have my fingers crossed tightly!

  9. UmaS says:

    Am so glad to read a man’s view point on this…very well written Hitchy 🙂

    Its not only as parents that we need to educate and correct our children when they do wrong, it applies to friends also !!! Just for the sake of the fun times together, wrong behaviour need not be tolerated.

    Hugs Hitchy for a post, which is the need of the hour !!!

  10. Phoenixritu says:

    My sons have even been told that they are whining like women since they have avidly supported the cause.

    My take is slightly different … it is the first time men have introspected and realized that they want to be able to go out on streets with women friends, wives and relatives and feel secure. I am so glad this has happened.

    • hitchy says:

      Everytime my wife has an outfit that reveals a bit too much I am like wow and then also always warning her…remember we don’t live in an ideal world… that for certain places we cannot wear certain things… geez.. such morons we have been for so long…

  11. pixie says:

    Such a brilliant post! your last line sums it all up perfectly! It is encouraging to see both men and women fight for a cause so dear to all of us…

  12. abs says:

    it is absolutely necessary to teach a son how to respect and behave with a woman than to tell a woman what to wear. i hope that the flame that has been lit keeps on going and that change is brought about. hope this flame does not die a natural death as is with other issues in times to come. Women should feel free and secure to be able to go out in the streets. RIP Nirbhaya and may you get justice.

    • hitchy says:

      Thats what… we should try to build a society where everyone can feel secure… not define rules for what women wear… unless we strive for idealism.. we will never get there !

  13. Winnie the Poohi says:

    I so agree with you Hitchy! Infact its not just men but us women too who take a lot of things lightly! For example.. two of my colleagues have a bad habit of passing comments on girls passing by.. most of the time its harmless and its very funny so I laugh and forget..

    but to think of it.. its actually is eve teasing.. coz those girls dont know these guys.. and passing comments is not good!

    I realize that.. but i prefer to avoid those guys or simply laugh it away.. I dont want to put my feet down.. and thats the problem with people.. no one want to stand up for what they think as long as their skin is not in the line..

    • hitchy says:

      I guess in an ideal society if a guy is interested he should be able to come to a woman and ask… and then accept the no if he gets one and get away… but sigh… so many of our movies have also promoted commenting on girls… sometimes they get lewd… it almost gets ingrained in us that its ok…

      this event shook me off and the more I read the more I realize so many things that looked innocent were actually not… I guess these discussions will help broaden some minds..

  14. Shilpa Garg says:

    It is so nice to see some thoughts from a man’s perspective on this issue! Wish this movement gives the desired changes in laws, sensitivity and awakening among all.

    • hitchy says:

      Yup I hope there is swifter and stricter justice…
      even more I hope our attitude towards the victims changes… we must enable her to live a normal life even after the event…

  15. Roshni says:

    I’m glad you bring this up! I also wrote a post on the hope of changing our mentality. Hopefully, something will come out of all this outrage being generated.

  16. indrani says:

    People have taken such issues very lightly till now. Upheaval is required, that is the call of the hour. Great take on the issue by you.

  17. Scribby says:

    Standing up and speaking out does matter and is what is required… I read these lines on FB recently:

    “It is not the women who should be told to no go out after 7 pm but the men who should not be allowed to step out without their mothers/wives/sisters/daughters!”

  18. Sam Pich says:

    Shail wrote:

    “I remember one of the men saying when he did, he was ridiculed.”

    Ah, how a man must suffer the shame of ridicule for speaking out while a woman is expected suffer in silence for things far worse than ridicule that are thrust upon her!

    I grew up in a different country, Canada. Back in the days when I came of age as a boy and into early manhood I was often ridiculed for my speaking out against inequality. On occasion I have been beaten for expressing my beliefs on these issues. But I refused to back down or keep my mouth shut, even to this day.

    Sadly, we as “humanity” as a whole have a long way to go to eradicate prejudices of all forms, whether they be based on age, gender, place of birth, religious beliefs, colour of skin, or any other of numerous “reasons” to hate, oppress, and abuse one another. These will never be done away with unless we come to a point of accepting each others as equals in spite of our differences and treat each other with respect.

  19. Bikramjit Singh Mann says:

    What you say is right that had the 7 said something to the 8th views might have changed..
    the problem is that in our nation we take things to a position but then the next day we forget about it ..

    its not as if problems are not highlighted they are , but the way we forget it a problem, as has happened everytime with so many good movements starting with a bang but then fizzling out ..

    We got rid of the british from our nation because the martyrs did not give up, they kept at it .. Nowadays a rally takes place one day , where people go over the top and the next day the same people are probably doing the same thing they were protesting against the previous day.

    Another thing is this thing we do following a leader, millions have heard what many leaders have said, almost every single of them has decried and felt horrible at what the leaders have said , or some religious leaders have said .. YET we follow them and we will continue following them .. this is in our nature and till that changes things looking bleak ,,

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