The supreme irony of it.
One titillation and a man’s entire life gets undone.
And they are the stronger specie. Alas. If only the strength could go beyond their muscles.
It’s time to take stock. Things have gone berserk. Rape has gone viral. Every day there is a gruesome story and the details get sicker. Action must be taken and taken now - not by women and women’s marches alone, but by men too. This is because, this is no longer a Women’s Cause – it is men who need to reclaim their tribe and themselves. Otherwise, the dictionary will have a new word – ‘manimal’.
The truth is, men are the weakest creatures on earth, when it comes to lust. They know this, and to cover up for this weakness, they abuse, beat, molest and rape.
Recent history of events is murky and getting murkier. And, this ‘tendency’ in men is not confined to any one country or race – it’s universal. Rapes are happening around the world, in all kinds of societies – the repressive, the regressive, the orthodox and the most advanced.
Isn’t that strange? One would think that in advanced Western societies, where sex between consenting adults, irrespective of marital status, is an acceptable norm, and there is, as such, no dearth of healthy consensual sex, there are yet disturbing statistics about abuse and rape. Could it be that men hate women for this ‘power’ over them, and given a chance, lash out in abusive and damaging ways? Rape and abuse becomes the outlet that neatly covers their lust and disgust.
Have you noticed how the movies and comedies being churned out by the West are laden with sex, sex and more sex? The most disturbing trend is the debasement of the man-woman equation. Cheap references, innuendo, dirty jokes, locker-room humor, in the media, and a total reduction of the women specie to just one thing – an object for the sexual dalliances and entertainment of men – is the prevailing motif. Sex is trivialized and women are systematically demeaned. If you study the shows and comedies, you see a significant slant into leeriness and cheap tawdry dialogues that cannot pass muster even under the guise of comedy. But they do. One would think that men from so called emancipated societies need not salivate like this?? Is it some deep-seated frustration, or insecurity or plain and simple neurosis?
This contagion has naturally spread worldwide. With the influence Western trends have globally, in countries like India too, the entertainment industry has changed its colors dramatically. Where even a kiss was not allowed on screen, and scripts were chaste and judicious in referencing sex and women, now its gone to another extreme. There is vulgarity beyond measure, and all notions of culture, like respect for the sanctity of womanhood etc. have been conveniently jettisoned. There is global sanction now, you see. It’s part of being a progressive nation.
The collateral, of course, is that horrific rapes in India have become a norm. ( Is it a surprise, with so much exposure and easy access to ubiquitous sleaze - not only on the big screen, but on that ‘constant companion’- the mobile phone??)
These developments are of the recent past. Shows and comedies of even ten years back are more cultured and do not prop themselves so heavily on innuendo and base objectification of women. (That is why La La Land was such a refreshing surprise. The fact that it was liked and appreciated gives much hope.)
The point remains, how has the West progressed, if women, even today, are accorded scant respect and abused, beaten - and raped, of course.
(Where are the psychologists?)
Of late, there has been much use and abuse of the word – slut. Who is a slut? She is the one a man will use for his lust, and then kick, adding, “slut – you deserve this”. The fact is there would be no sluts, if there were no sleazy men who needed them. Most rape victims are conditioned into believing that they need to be ashamed of what a man with a sick libido did to them. Rapes go largely unreported because of this insidious conditioning. When a woman gets raped, it’s her fault you see – her dress is too short, her neckline low, she has had a drink or two, she has red lipstick on, she is out on the streets after dark, she is not with another man - and all this means only one thing - she is longing for some beast of a man to pounce on her. Remember that age old saying (coined by some man of course), ‘Buddy, their no means yes’…
Trouble is, it’s not only the women with short dresses who get raped. If a man is in the throes of his grand lust anything will do. A woman in a habit (Yes, even that has happened), a woman of any age ( even that has happened), and of course, if women not available, children of either sex, and, it pains to even write this, infants. The sickness is that deep.
Women have gone hoarse shouting their anger and proclaiming that when they dress to look smart, they are not dressing to be raped, but you all don’t believe them or lend your voice of support. Why cannot a society be safe for a woman who is out in the night alone, in any kind of dress? And, if she is not safe, who’s fault is it?
Not the woman’s. it’s the fault of men.
So, men – hang your heads in shame. Yes, even you decent guys, because as long as you all keep silent on this issue - and most of you do – it’s your shame too.