Jan 6, 2017

They want you to forget...

Just as we're digesting the copious quantities of grilled chicken (or whatever it is that vegetarians binge on) and booze, we have news of 'Rape Night' (aka New Year's eve) pouring in.

The media has done a superfragaliciously fantastic job of saying how Bangalore has become the 'Rape Night' capital of India. Politicians with the foot in mouth disease have been caught having their regular bouts of verbal diarrhea. 


Rape, sexual abuse, sodomy, molestation, outraging the modesty of a person. All words that used to shock our conscience and question the path of our society. Now, we barely twitch a nerve. 

This post isn't about my take on rape. This post, however, is about a pattern I've begun to notice.

  • Everytime something like this is reported (unreported crimes don't qualify for our fanciful outbursts), we have our frenzied mainstream media doing an awesome job spewing the usual rhetoric, shaping our opinions and branding our victims. The media instead of informing us, appoints itself as our collective conscience, jury, and executioner. 
  • Our law enforcement, which should have been the first on the scene, gets caught with its pants down (pun intended), fumbles, stumbles and launches a manhunt/investigation. Some of the more 'foot-in-mouth' diseased in the police brass will release a press statement objectifying women. 
  • Caught unawares, our politicians, for the intense need to remain relevant, will make a statement (insert random statement about 'short dresses/skirts/makeup/lifestyle) that will ruffle the manicured feathers of the Woman's Commission. 
  • The Woman's Commission will demand the resignation of the said police chief/politician. 
  • If the culprit is presumed influential, the cops will bungle up the investigation. Ditto if the victim is poor/not nicely connected/doesn't look like she will be a thorn in the butt in the future/won't make a movie out of the whole shebang. If none of the above, the cops will actually do some average cop-work and arrest the suspects. The media will serve you a hot juicy plate of the 'modus operandi' of the investigation. Down to the last chicken leg. 
  • Having read all of this, we - the 'shocked/dismayed yet concerned' citizens will sigh in relief and kick back on our cushioned recliners. All's well that ends well, eh? 

This is the way our media/politicians/law enforcement want. They are banking on our short-term memories about heinous crimes. When crimes like this are reported, it is but a speck in their eyes. An inconsequential bug in their windshields. Nearly all of the agencies involved will try to sneak a potshot at eachother. It's almost like some 40-year-old marriages. You know you hate eachother, but you still need eachother to survive. 
They will move heaven and earth to do just enough to satiate our thirst for salacious details but not enough to curb the crime. They want you to forget.

In an ideal world, the media must be gagged and prevented from whipping up mob justice. 
The media mustn't be allowed to spew opinions. 
Law enforcement should be motivated enough to do whatever it takes to solve crimes like this, and learn how from past crimes. They should let their work speak for themselves. 
Politicians should simply shut the fuck up. Period. 

India being India, we shouldn't expect cops to police (and not be corrupt). 

  • How many of you homeowners out here, will give a decent house to single women without setting a gazillion terms and conditions? 
  • How many of you parents know where your sons are, who they are with and what they are upto? 
  • How many of your parents have encouraged their daughters to learn self-defense courses like Krav Maaga? 
  • How many of you men out here will not give a second glance when you see a girl in skirt on the streets?
  • How many of you men out here will not download and watch scandalous MMS clips of girls being raped/filmed without their knowledge?
  • How many of you women out here know your rights and have reported crimes that happened to you/someone you know?
I have more questions that will make you squirm but you get the drift, right?

But then this is not endemic to India.
Barring the nordic region and a few countries in Europe, I doubt if women are any safer elsewhere. There are more unreported rapes in the West/Middle East/East than what they'd like us to believe. 
In Japan, young women are groped and raped in over-crowded trains on a daily basis. The crime is so popular that they even have a genre ('Rape Train Porn') for it.  
Underage rape is so popular in the US, that it is a billion dollar industry where young girls are dressed in bridal wear for their customers. Blacks and latinos aren't left out in the rape fantasy either. 
We wax eloquently about how strict rape laws are in the ME, but more women (with or without burqas) are raped every single day than in India. And if you have the gall to report, then you can be sure to be thrown in jail

Rape isn't an Indian thing. A lady isn't raped because she is wearing a particular outfit. Just because you don't hear it or see it, doesn't mean it isn't happening. 
In an earlier post, I'd written about how I think rapists must be punished - 
'I don't think hanging him/her will ever work. Death is too swift and too short for these monsters. I want a justice system that will put the guilty through the exact measure of trauma that the victims suffered. In the US, judges are allowed to decide the method and quorum of punishment, which has resulted in many curious verdicts that have both satisfied the victim and reformed the culprit, sometimes. I want rapists to suffer the shame, emotional and physical trauma and the untold agony of their victims. Why do we cover the faces of the guilty, when we love sharing the pictures (and names) of our victims? To rape is a horrible thing to do. And by sentencing them to the noose, aren't we letting them go easy? So this is what I propose - The guilty and his/her family must suffer the fullest extent of shame, their faces publicized, their financial credit ruined, their careers destroyed and be listed as a sex criminal and predator for the rest of their natural lives. Human rights? Unless you've been raped, you won't remotely understand why victims feel their predators don't deserve leniency.'
Men (and women) choose to rape only because they know the odds are stacked against the victim. They know they won't be caught and if they do, they know public memory of them will fade soon. Given the right representation in court, they will be walking free in a few weeks. 
They know they can change their names, move to a new city and start life all over again. 

Because they too want you to forget.

Recommended reading, if you'd like to read more...
Raped by my man
While you were gone... 
No Honor among thieves
Gutless
Acid Love
Good Job, folks!
3 Steps back
A New Low
Do Not Try This At Home
Chopping Block
Half
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