This is a video doing the rounds parodying an all too common assumption in the subcontinent and elsewhere, that rape is somehow the victim’s fault. This comes from both men and women, the idea that women provoke rape, or that there are somehow extenuation circumstances that make men unable to control themselves. Randomly, I just read a distilled version of this think in excerpts from Melissa Gorga’s (Real Housewives Of New Jersey) book.
Here’s her husband on how he’s tamed this particular shrew:
Men, I know you think your woman isn’t the type who wants to be taken. But trust me, she is. Every girl wants to get her hair pulled once in a while. If your wife says “no,” turn her around, and rip her clothes off. She wants to be dominated.
Women don’t realize how easy men are. Just give us what we want. (via Jezebel)
and here’s the lessons she’s imbibed:
In the beginning, Joe wanted to have sex every single day, at least once, if not twice or three times…If I didn’t give it to him once a day, he’d get upset.
I can do something that pisses him off on a Monday, but if we had sex on Sunday night, it blows over more easily. But if we haven’t done it for two days and I give him attitude? It could be a huge fight. (via Jezebel)
In this context the implication is that sex is something women somehow owe men. Sex is a vital part of many relationships, but taken to this extreme it quickly spills over into rape. As the video above jokes, if you’re married it’s not rape anyways, almost certainly not in the eyes of subcontinental police or courts.
I was recently at a friend’s house in Trinco and they had a Mongolian picture of Genghis Khan, riding a horse and mounting/raping a woman, I suppose on course to the next town to pillage. In Mongolia he’s a bit of a hero. And, in fact, he seems accountable for about 8% of the men in that region and about 0.5% of the world (about 16 million descendants). Raping has been an obvious part of human interaction for a while, but it’s easy to lean upon that as an excuse. Which it isn’t. In small village type communities there are actually far more sensible norms imposed on people than there are on hordes passing through.
The problem with places like India is that they’re urbanizing and mixing people up at a new rate, away from their families, cultures, and everything else that enforces norms. I mean, not that Indian villages are much better, but there is at least a mechanism for moral supervision, even if it’s used for covering up more than anything else. Transmitting those norms across a broader and ever expanding culture is difficult, but certainly not impossible.
It does, however, require authorities to accept that rape is not women’s fault and that ignoring it won’t make it go away. Ridicule may be a place to start.