Rape Myths.

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You know why rapes happen? Because of several factors- the presence of external sexual organs in females and the way they use it to provoke males.

(This article is pretty much going to be sarcastic throughout so here’s an early warning.)

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So, yes. According to a large portion of our society rapes are mainly caused by the reasons stated above. Of course they don’t deny that the men are perverted and that they have a primal sexual hunger. This satiation of hunger causes rapes. These opinions are usually followed by comments like “Men will be men, must we provoke them?” No, definitely not.

So according to these people the solution is obvious. Rapes would become an obsolete term if the women started covering every inch of their bodies. A chastity belt is not over the top, that may be added too. For more ‘prevention of provocation’, women can also chose to tightly wrap a gauge over their breasts and wear loose t-shirts. Of course, t-shirts are a sin as well because jeans are absolutely abominable creations. Yet, for the ultimate degree of ‘prevention of provocation’ the women should cut off their breasts or kill themselves. Since the women are synonymous to ‘victims’, the absence of live victims with their provocations must be the final nail in Rape’s coffin. Of course, there would be the necrophilia to worry about then.

But the women are not the sole miscreants. Nude photoshoots of both men and women even for artistic purposes should be banned. Michelangelo’s David should spend a sad life in a closed dungeon and the Sistine Chapel should be painted over with non-provocative images. The huge industry of pornography would have to collapse. The production of bikinis and beach wear would have to stop. Harsh and unforgiving as it sounds, this is the only way.

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(End of sarcasm.)

Except this is not only not the ‘only way’, this is not even the ‘way’! First let’s clear up one issue that is almost always glossed over. ‘Women’ are not synonymous with ‘victims’. ‘Men’ are not synonymous with ‘rapists’. Men are victimized too and often women are the rapists. Let us not argue about statistics here, one can easily google ‘male rapes’ to find out the truth. Of course, in India male rapes are almost never spoken about which has given it the tag of a myth. Since people only realized the fact that men were indeed raped as late as February, 2013 (when the law was finally changed to include men, wives and transgenders under the fold of ‘victims’ in India) they easily forget that women are not solely the the sufferers. Hence, I request everyone to actually use the specific terms ‘rapists’ and ‘victims’ instead of generalizing. We cannot blame the men for being offended after we go on calling them rapists as a whole.

Also, let us get to the main problem. Did you feel that the suggestion of cutting off our breasts, killing ourselves and locking David in a dungeon were too extreme? Well that’s how absurd the suggestions of “Cover yourselves up, wear decent clothes or you will provoke them” and “ban the GQ magazines” sound like. For the record, Brandon Teena, a transexual man actually did wrap gauge on his breasts and he was raped too. That’s not really the solution. We merely divert ourselves with these strange demands.

Rapes do not happen because the victims expose themselves and provoke the rapists. It’s not about the primal sexual hunger. When people say “men will be men” they often miss out the fact that rapists do not have a regular sexual appetite. We all have hormones, not just the men- the ‘hunger’ may exist but it does not instigate us to molest someone without their consent. It may only convince us to become attracted to a particular individual. The conscious decision to rape someone is not something that can be easy interpreted by our brains. We simplify the rape into terms that we can understand. People who have actually tried to delve into the minds of the rapists instead of blaming the victim, know that it’s not about a mere sexual attraction. There lies a lot of intricate facts- the person’s wish to dominate, to feel powerful maybe because he lacks power or the capability to attract people’s attention in his daily life. These are only some of the possible reasons in the minefield of a rapist’s mind.

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When a particular incident of rape occurs, millions of facebook statuses and articles like this one are posted. It’s only natural- people wish to do something to remedy the situation, to find out answers which do not really exist. I agree that these efforts are futile. Awareness already exists, but awareness barely means anything if we are bigoted ourselves. Some people still think corrective rape is the right choice. It is not. No one ‘deserves’ to be raped- not our worst enemy, not an animal abuser, not a rapist, not a terrorist. Not anyone. Punishments are obviously needed but screaming “Rape them like they raped their victims” makes the line between good and bad disappear.

A woman spoke up about her abuse on the television yesterday. A few days later, when the storm cools down, she will be sent home. The sophisticated people who posted their statuses on facebook shall forget about her existence. She will live on, in the darkness with her nightmares and probable post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD). No psychologist will be send to treat her. Why do we try to solve the problems we don’t know the answers to and completely ignore the ones that can be solved easily. Of course it’s a bit more difficult that typing letters on a blank screen like I am doing now. Why not arrange a fund and hire professionals to help the victims of rape? Severe PTSD is a common symptom which occurs in rape victims, why not try to make sure they live the rest of their lives without being continuously haunted by their memories? Maybe we cannot pay for a 100 victims ourselves but I am sure each of us can pay for the treatment needed by at least one person. Maybe these are not long term solutions, but these are solutions nonetheless.

Locking David in a dungeon would make a lot of people unhappy and we still wouldn’t be ‘asking for it.’