Friday, March 03, 2006

Road-side romeos – are inside your house…

I read in Khaled Hossini’s debut novel that the worst crime you can commit is of theft; because every other crime is nothing but a variation of it.
The act of showing disrespect towards a woman (by teasing, molesting, whatever…) is no different. By moving that roving hand to touch an unsuspecting part of her anatomy, the criminal steals her right to feel safe, her right to be comfortable, her right to be normal, her right to be herself…
And our society certainly doesn’t help much either. The blame is usually (perhaps because it is more convenient?) imposed on provocative dresses, and the perpetrators of the act are exonerated as always.

What happens outside is one issue. But the worse form of this crime is what happens inside the four comfortable, apparently safe walls of a home. Cousins, uncles, in-laws, everyone, anyone could be those wolves lurking in the shadows, waiting for a careless moment to make their dangerous move. They aren’t outside, they are not somebody else’s problem. They are right here, with you, watching you, eyeing you, imagining you, ready to leave you with ill-shaped scars on your virgin psyche.
Out there, maybe you can ward them off with knives, judo tricks, blinding sprays, or other gizmos that our advanced world has to offer. What do you do for those whom you trust(ed)?
And with what stupid logic can the society protect these psychopaths who feed on kids as young as five-six years old? Provocative dressing? That won’t work. They probably have to come up with a better one that that.
How about “Being a girl is your fault”? How does that sound for a blame? Is that strong enough? Correct enough? Fair enough? Sensible enough?

How about some statistics, just to corroborate the gravity of the situation-
1. 77% of rapes are committed by someone known to the person raped. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
2. Around the world at least I women in 3 has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Most often the abuser is a member of her own family. (John Hopkins School of Public Health)
3. 22% of females raped are under the age of 12 years; 32% are 12-17 years old; 29% 18-24 years old; 17% over 25 years old. 83% of those raped are under the age of 25 years old. (National Institute of Justice)

And the most disturbing reality of it all:
Only 2% of rapists are convicted and imprisoned (US Senate Judiciary Committee)

There must be something seriously wrong with the world that we live in. And we have to do something to fix this.
Social awareness?
Better legal procedures?
Training for women?

Or how about “Charity begins at home?”


Namrata said...

Great writing, and so true. It's a reality that women, not just in India, live with, regardless of their circumstances. Good to know that there are men out there who not just acknowledge the existence of the issue, but speak out about it! And I'm glad to know one of them :-)

Sharad said...

By the way, I forgot to add that this post was a part of the Blog-a-thon 2006 under the Blank Noise Project (

Pepsi said...

Mr. Seth,

My my, have you changed from your ITBHU days. It is hard for me to believe that this the same Mr. Seth who read so much "you know what"(not that there is anything wrong with that). The depth in your writing is quite the same though.

But I am really pleasantly surprised to see these thoughts come out of you. Keep it up bud!!!