After the gang-rape of a 23 year old in the Delhi satellite, the Gurgaon administration has asked women to just not work at night. They’ve called for commercial establishments (like bars) to send female employees home by 8 pm. There have obviously been bad reactions. Because it’s stupid.
As Tehelka says, well, it’s long but worth reading:
For one, all rapes (even in Gurgaon) do not occur after 8 pm, and for the DC to believe that they would means that he is completely clued out of his own beat. Second, to curtail the freedom of movement of all women after a certain time — in other words, to impose a curfew — is not just an admission of utter incompetence, but is in fact, anti-constitutional. “Women have a right to equality and freedom of movement just like the men in this country. Meena clearly needs someone to sit down and explain Indian laws to him,” fumes lawyer Rebecca John.
On the telephone right after sitting in for the trial against the rapists of a Northeastern woman recently raped in Saket, John locates the problem to the complete lack of sensitivity with which the Indian legal system treats victims of rape. “Our laws are watertight, but how can this help when the ground reality in a court room, or a police station for that matter, is no different from the mentality of a khap panchayat? I look at women who choose to testify against rapists with wonder all the time, simply because we all know that once they admit to having been raped, they will be violated repeatedly by the police, the lawyers and the media.”
The Times Of India is reporting something similar, but I was still shocked at their little disclaimer, which I think is part of the problem:
In recent times, TOI has tried to avoid carrying disturbing reports of rape and suicide, especially of minors, on front page (even today we have put one such report inside). While our primary duty is to report news without attaching any value judgment, we also believe it is our responsibility to spare our readers the trauma such reports cause (to the extent possible).
I mean, really? Perhaps delicate sensibilities need to be offended, because rapists and ‘eve-teasers’ (ie, sexual harassers and molesters) thrive on communal silence and reflected shame.
Anyways, by saying something stupid, the administrator of has highlighted some actually bad policies that usually go un-noticed and unreported. So at least that debate is now on.
IMHO, when the onus of shame is on the rapist/perv and not the woman, then it’s a start. So that means kinda the opposite of what’s going on – more women working, more women out, and more honest reporting on what’s happening, and what shouldn’t be.