The great Indian chop suey

Rufous Treepie. Thiruvanmyur

Rufous Treepie. Thiruvanmyur

I had written this after the Uber incident last December. An unfortunate time when the Indian government decided to ban a taxi app, pass the paneer tikka and inform the masses that safety has been restored on our streets.

I re-posted it after reading a recent report about one of the accused in the horrific 2012 Delhi incident in which four guys who brutally gang-raped and murdered, inside a bus, a 16-year-old girl. Among other frightening perspectives, the accused spoke about how rape victims must share the blame. That “she should not have fought back”. It is not an uncommon train of thought in India. Some of our politicians believe that. Women politicians too.

I have since heard many men condemn the accused. Some of them sounded like those people who nod their heads while walking past “say no to rape” signboards. At the next bus stop, they slide their hands between sweaty bodies, hoping to cup a pound of flesh. They just want to be new-age sensitive men surrounded by women who understand just how new age and sensitive they are. The purpose of which is to sleep with them of course. And they want their friends to think that they aren’t the sort of monsters to condone an act of rape.

These are the same guys on social networks stalking your friends. Your friend’s friends. Their neighbours. They exchange jokes about non-consensual sex. Use words such as “bitch”, “cunt”, “whore” and “rape” to glorify their fractured sentiments – no matter the topic of discussion. Objectify women at every chance; kidding about how they are child-bearing machines and consensual orifices. I am unsure if the women in their lives even understand the kind of men they are capable of being. The line, while seemingly thick and vast, that separates the accused in rape cases and such men, that we may even know and interact with, is sketchy at best – in my opinion. Like the gorgeous performance artist – Marina Abramovic – once proved, people can confuse power with pleasure.

White-Bellied Treepie, Thekkady

White-Bellied Treepie, Thekkady

During one of her performances, Abramovic placed 72 objects on a table that her audience members could use, for a duration of six hours, in any manner that they wanted to. There were feathers, pens, honey, roses, scalpels, metal chains, a gun and single bullet. In the beginning, the audience members were hesitant to even approach her. But as time went by, they took turns mutilating her. Finally someone even pointed a loaded gun at her. Another took it away at once, but it was clear. There lies the urge in some people to cause pain. Not since they find some amount pleasure in it. It is because they can without facing the consequences.

Many of the sex crimes in India are based on the politics of power. A collective sexist mentality that is as passive as it is infectious. As a nation, we are more misogynistic than we are chauvinistic. It is the kind of regressive mentality that also results in children getting married to frogs and husbands legally raping their wives, if it came to that. Perhaps one could argue that I am being too sensitive; that I am prescribing to pro-women discourses since I am a guy too, with urges and strategies to get laid.

Rufous Treepie, Chetpet

Rufous Treepie, Chetpet

That’s my point. Sort of. I have been one for the entirety of my life thus far; all 33 years of it. I know how our brains work. I can easily see the line blurring when either a man’s ego is broken beyond repair or when the price is right and the situation – dire enough.

Clearly this generation of men have little hope left. We have grown up, thinking that our mothers enjoy spending in the kitchens. We treat women like how we think that pretty girl, way back in school, once treated us. At least talk to your sons about how they would remain men no matter what happens to them. That there is no reason to exert gender dominance. No need to blindly assume roles in an equal marriage. And how not to be passive aggressive, power-hungry and penis-glorifying products of patriarchal societies.

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36 comments

  1. They banned the company because their employee committed a crime. Let us ban the government for all the crimes the presidents/prime ministers/ministers/offiicers, etc have committed -_-
    And the so called “Guru”s want the girls to chant a hymn when being attacked so that the attacker goes away!!!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s for the 1st time I am talking to a Journalist and I am glad to know your view point , especially coming from a guy, these days education too means nothing, one works in goggle(dream job) and planning to bomb the country …

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yikes very much a former journo here, friend. Didn’t really do anything in the field to still hold on to it. I think plenty of guys are aghast at these incidents. The bigger problem seems to be that the average Indian man is maniacally-paternal and uses power-plays to assert his manhood. Violence towards women seems like just a few steps away most of the time. Genuine exceptions are so rare, at least from where I stand. I act like I think it’s fine for my mom to cook for me every time I visit home, I leave the plates on the table too because I am conditioned just like the rest. I don’t know, maybe there is hope and one day – squirrels will replace us on the food chain.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Now that you mention,they keep it clean where they eat 😛 From my personal observations ! Mindsets are pretty difficult to change especially when they are too deep set…. Exceptions are there but always overshadowed by hundreds of non-exceptions… The Manhood believes in asserting power at home at weaker places without acting any differently.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. yeah, i guess it’s all i can do and still maintain a functional life, and enjoy my weekends as i see fit. sigh. well, the least we could do is talk about it and make sure younger generations are at least aware of the mess we, and the ones before, have made. clink (a toast)

        Liked by 2 people

      5. If I remember my classmates or my friends now, its all the same 😦 But like small mushrooms,people like you,me and many are evolving with these ideas and we might be able to change our very close people or the next generation 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Rape always starts in the mind…the day men understand that a woman has a right over her body and the right to say no, & they learn to accept it only then can something change…which is unlikely in the near future considering our patriarchal society bestowing so many privileges on the male child purely based on his anatomy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Raw and real. You jar me to realize such malevolent sin is happening in all parts of the world, including mine. If I want a better world, I must stand up for the abused and maligned. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rape, in any country, under all circumstances, is always a matter of power. Susan Brownmiller wrote “Against our will”, the best book on the issue of sexual assault, in 1975. It is still relevant. It would be advisable for some elected officials in India (and elsewhere) to read it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. They can talk and talk about empowerment. But the same men who tch-tched after the rape also were the ones who did not help the bleeding, dying couple on the side of the road. We are like that only. And I am disgusted by us.
    We had72 boys in the BE class of Mech. 80% of who thought I got good grades, Kyunki yeh ladki hai, Cuz dude, you are a chick. Let the boy be from kolhqpur or south Mumbai, the mentality was pretty much the same.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Also, women, are no less. Similar sentiments that the rapist said, are echoed by neighboring aunties daily. Bhatakti rehti hai choti skirt pehenke. Aisa hi hoga. Like it is a suitable punishment to set us straight. Aaaarrrggh

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You missed out…children getting married to trees and dogs…! And I am pretty sure that there are endless other rituals that set us back by century and more!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. oh my…what a blunt article Chris..doesn’t spare the reader at all does it..

    the thing is Chris the politicians, either male or female who say that “she should not have fought back” are like those people in the performance by Marina Abramovic…they say because they can without facing the consequences. I haven’t heard any actions…and I mean serious actions taken against them..

    I don’t agree about misogyny more than chauvinism though…both are there equally, though the latter is more subtle in many cases…so subtle that even women who face it don’t understand it and accept that behavior..

    another point is women are equally responsible since it is many times they who don’t support or stand up for the victim…many times they are the perpetrators too..apna hi sikka khota hai..if u understand hindi..

    lastly, not only boys but girls too need to be taught that they should not take this bullshit…if we start now maybe after 4-5 generations we might see the effects..

    And bravo for your writing…

    Liked by 1 person

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