Tuesday, March 15, 2011

To be a woman, Part II

Three brilliantly written and interesting articles were pointed my way today:
  • The Careless Language of Sexual Violence, which reacts to this utterly insensitive and ridiculous article that had "reported" the gang-rape on an eleven-year-old girl in Texas. My heart was breaking about the trauma that girl must have gone through, and all the NY Times could report was some idiot who said “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.”
  • On Sluts, Rape and Fuckery, an absolute brilliant article by Shalene Gupta on the hardest part of rape - the silence (something I used to keep hearing when I worked with RAHI Foundation - the silence, the inability to talk about what has happened to you, is such a large part of the trauma) - and some words and their connotations, and what these words do to you. It's one of those articles that blow your mind away, literally. Read.
  • And finally, a beautiful article by Annie Zaidi, where she talks about what being a woman in modern India meant a decade ago, and what it means today. And how the women in our lives make us the women we are.
Rape, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, sexual assault - I'm known to get on my soapbox about these fairly often. I can take most jokes, but jokes about these get very difficult to digest. And it is utterly infuriating when rape or sexual abuse is somehow made to be the victim's fault.

Nothing, nothing, justifies rape. And if you don't know that yet, you don't deserve to exist. And you should go read this to help you understand just who is to blame.


Runjoo said...

I barely know you personally, yet I am often struck by how similar we seem to be, its like you are speaking my mind.

*nothing justifies rape* is a line i use often. i had a male friend once who, while making a joke, said "if you cant avoid being raped, might as well enjoy it"... which i will never forget, for the sheer anger it incited in me. it highlights what is wrong with the society- there is a lack of basic sensitivity and understanding towards rape.

i loved the second link- very hard hitting and it made me think. thanks for all the links

a traveller said...

That "joke"....

*deeeeeeeeeeeep breath*

I've heard that line over and over again, on twitter and elsewhere. A more insensitive and stupid line I am yet to come across.


antiglam superstar! said...

"Jokes" apart, something crossed my mind when I was reading the second article. It was about the silence around rape. The idea of it being "shameful" for the victim rather than the one who rapes. The metaphors like a woman has been "dishonoured" or her "modesty" has been violated all point somehow to what rape really was meant to do. I've often wondered, if there was no "honour" in "modesty" would anyone be dishonoured? Would rape then be used as an instrument to settle personal scores between men/families/communities?

This world is full of sickos, and I have no hopes of a lot of things changing. Anybody who rapes a child is sick, I don't know how such men (or women) can be identified before or even after they've done something so inhuman.

But where an adult woman is concerned, the society needs to change. The idea of honour needs to change. There shouldn't be shame, there should only be outrage. A friend of mine is always getting her leg pulled in class, nobody does that to me. I told her, she lets it affect her and that is why the others have been enjoying pulling her leg. I wonder if a similar psychology could apply to rape.

What is it about rape that makes it the most disgusting/brutal/inhuman of all crimes? The act itself or the effect it is supposed to leave on the victim? Besides the obvious physical damage that might have occurred, we all know it scars the psychology of the victim. It was meant to.

When I was much younger, I used to think that if I were ever raped, my life would be over. I would be broken/damaged forever. That's the way they would show it in the films anyway. Things changed as I grew up, but what changed me most was when I watched Sunitha Krishnan tell her story. I realized that she could move on because she was mentally strong and did not behave like a victim. Easier said than done, but I have prayed for myself, and I do for the others too that if any of us were ever raped, we would have the mental strength to talk about it and to prove that it hasn't broken us.

Unrelated: I read it on my timeline that feminists fuck better. I'm assuming that it meant feminist women, and if at all true, it must have something to do with the words without which "fucking" would amount to rape. The words being "explicit consent".