Rape is not a hot topic

Rape is not a hot topic in India but a cruel reality. The widely spread news about the gang-rape and death of a young medical student in New Delhi in December 2012 has stirred an uproar in urban and rural India. The response from across the country stunned me as this particular incident stood out as a story of courage and struggle when hundreds of dalit women and children are raped and killed everyday in India. However, I am glad that people have come together to address rape culture and the struggle of this young woman has become a symbol of hope and courage. Every revolution has a beginning and this could be one..

Rape is not just happening in India. It happens everywhere and it happens every day. It is not just a sexual act of violence that is physical..it scars souls. I am not sure if this brutal act excites rapists sexually, but I am sure this is an act of power that men use to showcase their weak strength.  The power a man feels while raping a girl on a moving bus must be so thrilling that it overshadows the reality of life and respect. Not just respect for the woman but also his self-respect.

If the society treats women as mere objects of desire, oppression, violence and sexual gratification, this is the lesson we are passing on to the next generation. We need to challenge the patriarchal system which blames women for getting raped and start promoting concepts of positive masculinities. Our society needs to empower men and liberate them from chains of patriarchy and power. To promote mutual respect and positive understanding of sexuality is a social responsibility and this can help put an end to all forms of sexual harassment. There are no easy answers but we can work towards making India a country where women’s rights become human rights and not just a dream. We have lots of good men..we just need more!

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