Monday, April 13, 2015

Rape and Male Chauvinism

Ask a chauvinist how to deal with rape and the most common answer would be "women should cover themselves up and not provoke rape". This is a general view across the board for most males with a narrow mindset. If you had asked me this question say maybe 15 years ago, and my answer would have been the same and I admit it with shame. Though today or maybe some time ago, I managed to change my mindset and see the bigger picture thanks to my sisters who have educated me well. The truth is, you cannot blame people with this mindset due to our patriarchal society. Males have been brought up to think that they are far superior than females. Even in advanced societies, there are still residual notions of male superiority. 

Victims of rape are shunned upon in some societies and this is still evident even amongst women folk who are supposedly more sensitive. You'd be surprised to know some women are still not able to accept a rape victim as their daughter in laws even if their sons are willing to accept the victim as their wives. This is the sad reality.

Going back to the topic of women having to cover up to avoid rape, let's understand one thing about sex. Sex is a primal instinct. There are no 2 ways around it. But there needs to be clear distinction between us and animals before we act upon our primal instincts. That is where rationalisation takes place. Most of us have been taught that rape is wrong. Nobody teaches their children that rape is alright. However, my view is that merely saying that rape is wrong is not enough. Parents need to teach their children especially boys to respect women. This is not only subject to mere lip service. Men need to show women respect in a household. Violence towards women in some households are a reason for male children to believe that hurting a woman is pretty okay. Another thing that we need to understand about rape is that it is not only the sex, research shows that rape is also about dominance. It is not the clothes, it is not the pretty face, it is not about what time a woman goes out at night. It is not the victim's fault. It is all about the rapist. That's where the focus needs to be. 

Please do not teach your kids that girls who do not cover up get raped. This is simply not true. There are ample cases of women who are covered up who get raped. I for one am attracted to any women in any form of clothing be it a Saree, Punjabi Suit, Kurti, jeans, Kebaya (especially Kebaya), cheong sam or whatever! The attraction is there but is there an intent to rape? NO! If you're attracted to someone, that is normal. If you want to rape someone, that is abnormal, you need to be evaluated. 

Just on the topic of covering up prevents rape, explain to me how a fully covered male gets raped. A few years ago when I was visiting the UK, I was in the train station in Liverpool and my friend and I saw a young guy crying profusely and he had his mates consoling him. Being Malaysian and naturally curious, we asked his friends what happened and they explained to us that he had been raped. We were surprised and that was an eye opener for me. Being male, I could never imagine how the poor guy felt. Just put yourself in that situation, what would you do? 

What we need today is a society that does not ask a woman to cover up or prevent her from hanging out late. What we need is a society that respects equal rights and one that empowers women. Do not objectify women. They are not baby making machines nor are they your slaves. Male chauvinism is so yesterday. And please do not use religion to try and justify your sick ideas. So I end this with the kick-ass poster below (it's free to use... gunakan tanpa was-was):


No comments: