PREJUDICE AND PATRIARCHY IN RAPE CASES

Reading time : 8 minutes

Ever since we grew up patriarchy has existed from time immemorial and despite all our lectures on equality of men and women it has remained in people’s minds and will remain till infinity. Because there is no way out of these views on patriarchy people still are reading the same books talking about the same topics.

For instance, in the current order, at the same time as granting a rape accused anticipatory bail, the Karnataka High Court said, “It is unbecoming of an Indian girl to sleep after she is ravished.” Giving motives for the bail order, the court mentioned that the complainant’s claim of having slept “after the perpetration of the act” due to the fact she was worn-out changed into “unbecoming of an Indian girl”. This cause for granting bail was inter alia accompanied through different elements viz, put off in submitting a complaint by the prosecutrix and her earlier acquaintance with the accused. However, the statement made through Justice Krishna Dixit, about the behavior of the “Indian girl” post-rape, reaffirms the lifestyles of deep-rooted sexism and patriarchal notions, even in the maximum constitutional institutions.

These patterns of conservative interpretations can be seen in one of the judgments were to establish the guilt of the victim the judiciary focused on the principle like “utmost resistance” by the women to establish her allegations against the accused. This principle of utmost resistance was so fragile and lame that it could easily be established like the accused might have known the victim or the victim might have trusted the accused or she might have been coerced or something like that. There are also instances where judges gave “victim-friendly” decisions and ended up giving their views on sexism and patriarchal norms.

The very first concern is that do we live in a rape culture? It is hard to believe but all men talk about getting some of it? As if they see women as sexual objects to have fun and pleasure themselves. They openly talk about strategies they did to get some of it no matter about the consent of women or how much they ignored.

 This doesn’t suggest that all men are rapists, that everyone heterosexual intercourse is rape, or that egalitarian relationships among women and men are impossible. It does suggest, however, that rape is set energy and intercourse, about the manner men are skilled to apprehend ourselves and to look, women.

Let me repeat: The majority of fellows do not rape. But recollect those different categories:

  • Men who do not rape however could be inclined to rape if they had been positive they might not be punished.
  •  Men who do not rape however will not interfere while any other guy rapes.
  •  Men who do not rape however purchase intercourse with ladies who’ve been, or probably will be, raped in the context of being prostituted.
  •  Men who do not rape however will watch movies of ladies in conditions that depict rape or rape-like acts.
  •  Men who do not rape however discover the concept of rape sexually arousing.
  • Men who do not rape however whose sexual arousal relies upon feeling dominant and having energy over a woman.
  •  Men who do not rape however robotically masturbate to pornography wherein ladies are offered as objectified bodies who’s primary, or only, feature is to offer sexual pride for men.

Those men aren’t rapists. But is that fact — that the men in those classes aren’t, in legal terms, responsible for rape — comforting? Are we advancing the reason of ending men’s violence in opposition to women through focusing simplest on the acts legally described as rape?

Do we live in a rape culture? Where raping someone is so normalized that the rapist doesn’t even think before doing this heinous crime and on being held responsible, they slut-shame or blame the victim and refuse to accept their doing.

Shame is an effective phrase due to the fact its miles related to something as natural and as forthright because of the conscience. Nowadays, disgrace appears to be a small and insignificant phrase in the wake of the ghastly acts of savagery being devoted against women. Are the guys who brutally assaulted and raped the young girl physiotherapy scholar in Delhi feeling ashamed of what they’ve done? Or the most effective poor feeling that they have got toward themselves pertain to the remorse of being caught?

Let me simplify the question to you: do all men who whistle, even tease, stalk really feel guilty about what they have done. The answer is a straight NO.

The curtain of shame is only for women majority of them are only regarded as shameless because the dignity of their home is only attached to the female group, not the male group disgrace, which has been used in opposition to girls as a double-edged sword. They are effortlessly tag-marked as shameless transgressors for acts like marrying without the consent of the family, searching for a divorce, inquiring for a proportion in ancestral assets, or refusing to tie hair, face, or body.

In a recent judgment, the court was of the view that the girl who was sexually assaulted stayed late at the office, wore short clothes which gave hint to the perpetrator to assault her. The explanation given by the accused said that she always kept a hand on his shoulder while talking to him and was super friendly with him these were the hints given by the victim which the accused understood for sex. He ravished her in front of the court and said to be of “loose morals and character” he said that the victim was of easy virtue and slut-shamed him.

 This is what Indian patriarchal society thinks of a woman as just a sex toy. If a woman is a little bit friendly with a male colleague she will be easily tagged as “characterless”.

Normalization of rapes in lower caste and tribal people

Indian society is dominated by men. Lower-caste Dalit girls in northern India are centered for rape by higher-caste men who generally get away justice as survivors bow to pressure to drop their cases, researchers find. Only 10 percent of forty rape cases concerning Dalit girls and women in Haryana state ended with the conviction of all the ones charged, and that concerned homicide or sufferers under the age of six, observed rights groups, Equality Now and the Swabhiman Society.

In almost 60 percent of cases, victims were forced to withdraw their complaint by higher-caste men they were dragged outside of the court to withdraw their cases and were blackmailed if they didn’t take the complaint back their daughters and women of the house will be re-raped this time with the greater intensity.

Their families were coerced, faced violence, were extremely pressured to stay silent. To access justice families, have to go at huge risk. “Dalit women’s bodies are becoming used to assert caste supremacy and keep women ‘of their place’,” “Perpetrators from dominant castes understand they are possible to head unpunished because of the truth every branch and echelon of the tool is weighted in their favour, and this impunity for rape creates allowing surroundings that foster similar abuse.” In almost 90 percentage of cases, at the least one of the accused was from a dominant caste, with guys regularly performing in groups to carry out gang-rape and murder, the research found.

To build on more seriousness to this matter normalization of rape in lower or tribal people didn’t start just now it is being practiced for centuries like “mulakaram” or breast tax give by lower caste women they were not allowed to cover their breast in public and just in case they acted against this barbaric tax collecting technique lower caste women were forced to give a hefty sum of money to the tax collector. After attaining puberty every lower caste woman’s breast size was measured and according to the size of their breast the amount of tax was decided. This is such a barbaric and heinous crime to do with a woman taking someone’s dignity and ravishing her body in front of men. These women were often raped by upper caste men actually to some up this incident this tax was only levied to extinguish men’s thirst to see women naked and rape them.

Sexual harassment at the workplace

Is the most reported crime nowadays as now women stand equal to men and work with or upper to them this creates a sense of egoist behavior in them and in return, they sexually harass women. Studies show that 1 out of 2 women is touched by sexual harassment in the workplace.

Every working woman lacks a sense of security in their workplace. In 2018-’19, the National Commission for Women received 880 complaintsof sexual harassment at the workplace. Women are not safe in this environment too, we say people with degrees are decent people because education changes the way to think, the way to act upon certain things but this saying is wrong because if this happens at the workplace too, then there is absolutely no use of being called “educated man”.

The main judgment given on sexual harassment at the workplace is Vishakha & Ors v. State of Rajasthan & Ors[1]. In this Supreme Court has laid down exhaustive guidelines to prevent sexual harassment of working women in places of their work until legislation is enacted for this purpose. But the proper implementations of this guideline are the utmost priority because several laws are made, guidelines are issued but they aren’t properly implemented.

Male dominance is at par when the male employer asks for sexual favors from female employees in order to get them promoted. They coerce them, practice undue influence on them to get what they want. These all activities are happening at a greater level than reported because many cases are not reported they remain hidden from the world because complaining about these matters hampers only the image of a female employee. She is the only one who suffers the most in this battle.

Marital rape is no rape

India is among 36 countries where this heinous crime is legal. Does this rape is not “The Rape” defines in the Indian penal code? Does this rape do not disgust the women? Marital rape is also non-consensual in nature this is also performed without the consent of wives then why until now is it not this considered a crime. Why this is called licensed rape? Husbands get a proper license to rape his wife countless times without any fear of getting punished and questioned. About 70 percent of women in India are a victim of domestic violence. According to the reports presented by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) every 16 minutes a woman is raped in India and every 4 minutes a woman experiences cruelty from her husband.

Married women are not given the same right as given to unmarried women. Do married women do not have the right to give consent to take their own decision. Does being married end the right of having control over one’s body? 

The patriarchal foundation that regulates Indian families has always considered women not worthy of taking any kind of decision or have any say in important matters. They are trained to endure everything dare not to utter a single word against males of their family despite their inhumane behaviour. In Bodhisattwa Gautam v. Subhra Chakraborty[2] The Supreme Court stated that rape is a criminal offense in opposition to basic human rights and a contravention of the victim’s most loved of fundamental rights, namely, the right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution. Women who experience and desire to undertaking sexual violence from their husbands are presently denied State safety because the Indian regulation in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 has a general marital rape exemption. The basis of this exemption may be traced returned to statements made through Sir Matthew Hale, C.J., in seventeenth century England. Hale wrote: “The husband can not be responsible of a rape dedicated by himself upon his lawful spouse, for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract, the spouse has given herself in type unto the husband, which she can not retract”[3]

As far as the fourth argument is concerned, it is true that a wife impliedly consents to sexual intercourse with her husband after marriage, but the expression of love through sexual intimacy is not the same as forced sex. On the other hand, it strikes at the very foundation of matrimony irrespective of whether the marriage is a sacrament or a contract. By no stretch of imagination can it be said that a person consents to harm or violence by marriage, and neither does the law permit any person to give such consent.

Thus, marital rape is by hook or crook should be made a crime under section 375 IPC.

Pure Patriarchy: virginity test violates the right to privacy 

Why always women are the one who has to go under all the pain to prove her piousness? why always she is victimize? Why all immunity has been given to men?  

The virginity test is the practice or process to determine whether a girl is a virgin or not, i.e., whether she has been engaged in sexual activity or not. This test is very painful and humiliating for girls of any age. In India, this practice is done in order to check whether a girl is eligible to marry their son or not it’s always a girl who has to prove her piousness and go through heinous ways to prove herself appropriate and full immunity is given to son for anything. Nobody even bothers to think that girls are also human beings they too feel pain and humiliation in opening their intimacy in front of a stranger in order to get her tested. I mean what a sick mentality Indians are carrying that whole of their so-called “honor” lies inside a vagina of women and nothing else. There are moments in a women’s life where she doesn’t want anyone to intrude without her permission.

The kanjarbhut community, one of the tribes in the western Indian part of Maharashtra performs a V-SHAPED RITUAL before the marriage in order to check the virginity of a girl and if a girl is not found a virgin, she and her family are heavily fined and tortured by the whole community. We are living in the 21st century and finding the honor of a family inside the vagina of a girl, the progress of girls has no value at all and the whole of honor lies in whether their daughter-in-law is a virgin or not?

The bridegroom is pressured to have sex with her spouse on the marriage night and given a white bedsheet to test whether or not his spouse is pious or not. Just talking about the latest case in Pune Maharashtra in which the son of a locality from Pune who had studied in London recently married a female from the equal community who’s an exceptionally knowledgeable architect. Following Kanjarbhut traditions, on their first wedding ceremony night, the couple was sent to a lodge room with a white sheet on the bed. Meanwhile, the own circle of relative’s participants and Pancha (judges) waited outside the room of the couple to get the scene of while the groom came out of the room and talked to his own circle of relatives was recorded by a social activist present on the post-bridal ceremony on December 31, 2018. The recording, accessed by Asia Times, showed panchayat participants asking the groom whether or not the “maal (product) was pure or not?” and the groom replied, “Khara, Khara”[4] which means his wife is pure. Here the groom studied in the college of London but had the same mentality.

In 2013, the same type of incident was recorded where 450 unmarried girls were forced to undergo a ‘virginity test because they were getting married under the government’s scheme of ‘Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah yojana’ when asked by human right activist The state argued that since the scheme supported poor women to get married, a virginity test would prevent already married women from taking advantage of the scheme. As the scheme provides monetary benefits to the newly married couple.

This is really disgusting and shameful that such practices are still in practice and even are performed by the state itself without any shame or humiliation. Even cases are recorded where after getting married if the husband finds that his wife is not a virgin then he leaves him and go for second marriage. This is so brutal in the case of Surjit Singh Thind v. Kanwaljit Kaur[5]the Punjab and Haryana high court held that allowing medical examination women for her virginity would amount to a violation of her right to privacy and personal liberty enshrined under Article 21 of the constitution. In this case, the wife filed a petition for a decree of nullity of marriage on the ground that the marriage had never been consummated because the husband was impotent. The husband took the Défense that the marriage was consummated and he was not impotent. In order to prove that the wife was not a virgin, the husband filed an application for her medical examination. The court held- Allowing the medical examination of a women’s virginity violates her right to privacy under article 21 of the constitution. Such order would amount to roving inquiry against a female who is vulnerable even otherwise. The virginity test cannot constitute the sole basis, to prove the consummation of marriage. 

What bridges rape in war? Patriarchy

Wartime rape is no new crime it is being done for ages. In ancient India, war happens between two states and when one defeats the other then the winning state rapes the women of the defeated because these women are abandoned and are helpless. This is when the concept of JAUHAR[6] sometimes spelled Jowhar or Juhar, was a Hindu practice of mass self-immolation by women, or otherwise execution by their husbands, fathers, or brothers, in India, to avoid capture, enslavement, and rape by invading army, when facing certain defeat during a war.

 Paralyzed by the fear of what men do would shrink our world. By raping women of another country, they try to end their culture. They show that by raping your mothers, wives, daughters you are already defeated. Men rape old women, and they rape tiny girls in front of their mothers. In some cases, they rape with guns and metal bars. Dying women are raped. This is about power, not sex.

It was reported that Indian forces committed gang-rape of 882 Kashmiri girls in 1992 alone. The Humanitarian Law Project/International Educational Development documented greater than two hundred instances of war rape from January 1994. Many instances aren’t suggested due to the disgrace and stigma related to rape in Kashmir. Human rights groups state that one hundred fifty top officers, of the rank of major or above, have participated in torture in addition to sexual violence and that the Indian authorities were protecting up such acts. In 2016, Kashmiri human rights activist and attorney Parvez Imroz has stated that a vast majority of instances of sexual harassment through Indian forces in Kashmir pass unreported.

We are powerless in matters of patriarchy to get raped by the security holders of our country is something horrendous. They are privileged because of their ranks and acts but this doesn’t give them the right to rape.

Conclusion

Stop saying “MEN WILL BE MEN” this gives them added power to show their so-called mardangi they think that they are superior to women because they are men. Start teaching your fathers, husbands, or son that there is no harm to see this world equal and walk with women not against women. Make them emotional so that they can also understand how a woman feels when they are ravished and raped. Don’t say to them mard ko dard nahi hota Because the truth is they too grief but society doesn’t let them cry this makes them emotionless that is why they don’t understand the pain of others. 


[1] AIR 1997 SC 3011

[2] 1996 SCC (1) 490

[3] https://www.lawctopus.com/academike/

[4] https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/health/pure-patriarchy-hymenoplasty-commodifies-women-breaches-privacy-rights-67050

[5] AIR 2003 P H 353

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jauhar#:~:text=Jauhar%2C%20sometimes%20spelled%20Jowhar%20or,certain%20defeat%20during%20a%20war.

Author: SHAILVI GUPTA , BANASTHALI VIDYAPITH

Editor: Kanishka VaishSenior Editor, LexLife India.

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