and i feel for her loved ones in this time of grief…heavy hearted and angry - losing another woman to the intense misogyny and patriarchy that is an international problem - not just in south asia (that kipling-south-asia of the submissive, exotic woman, the effeminate yet overbearing-woman-beating man).
livid that it took such a violent act to happen to a middle class girl in the metropolitan city of delhi before the public galvanised around the issue of sexual violence. the caste, class and religious markers tied to this are so much more stark given how many other women in india are subjected to this type of violence and are faced with silence at best, collusion/participation at worst, particularly when when rape is committed by security forces (ie. the military or police). it also brings into view the public’s silence/approval/support for the state-sanctioned use of rape by india in other countries including in kashmir where indian security forces have raped and disappeared women with impunity for decades. many members of the indian peacekeeping forces were also charged with rape during their time in sri lanka. there has been none of the outpouring for any of these women that we are seeing today…all because they don’t fit the paradigm of the woman “worthy” of this kind of grief, support, and righteous anger.
and the calls for death and torture of the perpetrators? it has my teeth set on edge…don’t get me wrong - there needs to be justice. but if we were to sentence all sexual assault perpetrators to death, we’d be executing our partners, fathers, brothers, uncles, family friends, coworkers, teachers etc etc EN MASSE because stats show, the majority of perpetrators of sexual violence are known to victims/survivors before they act.
but none of y’all want to talk about that.
its easier to continue your pompous, macho shows of “protecting” women with calls for death and torture rather than addressing the real issue - you. you as men who do not question the rape culture into which you are steeped. the culture that tells you to get pissed off when you’re bested in anything by a woman. the culture that tells you you’re a whole person while she’s just a pussy and ass on two legs with nothing between her ears nor in her soul. the culture that tells you to tell women how, when and where they should behave. the culture that tells you “its ok, she was asking for it” (and then lets you get away with using that as justification for your in/actions). the culture that tells you that its inevitable/allowable/perfectly OK for particular bodies, such as those belonging to women and trans folks, to be subjected to sexual violence and that its OK for you to deliver that violence. the culture that tells you not to talk about the sexual abuse you may have been subjected to because you’d be less of a man if you did.
rape and death are logical endpoints to a system that rewards men for objectifying/dehumanising other people (in this case, women). you want to make sure this never happens again? take a good long look at yourself and the men/boys around you. over 90% of sexual violence perpetrators are male. think critically about the messages you give to each other and then pass to the world about masculinity and power. think critically about how you perceive and interact with women. reflect, learn and CHANGE. none of this is going to stop otherwise.