January 17, 2013

The Cowardice of Rape

With the death of Damini, protesters have flooded the streets, demanding stronger actions against rapists and stronger punishment, such as execution. No one could deny that these rapists and any other rapists should be punished severely and these rapists should be made as the icon of punishment in the case of rape but there is little talk on why these men are committing such atrocities. These men were born just like us, from the womb of a mother and that mother must have told told them about the pain that they had to suffer for their existence. Did these animals forget their mother when they were raping her and any other women or did  they transform?

In the Indian films, such transformations are common. Most movies follow the common storyline of an innocent young boy loves a girl but there are people who are trying to separate these two. That innocent boy turns into this romantic hero who knows all about love and would give up his life for her. Then he transforms again into an action hero who saves the girl from the gang and takes her back home and the story ends in a "happily ever after." However, during the time while this hero has a conflict with the gang, the heroine is sometimes raped. Mostly, movies from the 1980s and 1990s and some really popular, cult films includes scenes of rape but in those rapes, the hero comes just in time to save the girl.

Basudev Mahapatra from hotnhitNEWS mentions a event in his introduction of his article where two children were fighting in the tones of two famous Bollywood superstars. Many would claim that this is nothing out of the blue because the target of movies are for the audience to escape from reality. What the audience does not understand is that the friend who was with Damini was not Salman Khan or Ajay Devgan and he couldn't fight 4-5 men at once. In fact, maybe he couldn't find even a single on without a few bruises. But neither Salman Khan's Dabangg or Ajay Devgan's Singham were there and there were no one to save her.

Most Bollywood films involve a structure of sexual and explicit scenes and the children are allowed to watch them from an early age. They are therefore built up with the thoughts that these explicitly is the reality that they have to face when they grow up. However, these are not real in the ordinary life. The rape scenes do not directly cause people to commit rape but they cause the psychology of individuals to change. 

In the United States, the gaming industry comes into question every time there is a shootout because children who play these games believe that in real life, killing someone can be done in one shot and does not require much mental pressure. What the children do not realize is that when someone dies in a game, it is not real and anyone you kill is not real but when you have a gun in your hands and you kill someone, it is all real. They fail to notice that when you are killed in real life, you cannot restart the game over again and start your life again.

Similarly, the woman who is raped in the movies is not raped in real life. She earns money from making a scene that looks as if she is being raped when she is not because she has given the actors permission for their act but the unwanted advance from men against a woman is what they face in real life. Her chastity is robbed from her and even if she is able to stand up, she cannot look up because she would be cursed by the burden of rape. She cannot live life as it is. She cannot marry, she cannot stay away from bitter words and most importantly, she cannot receive the love from her child without reminding herself of the incident.That incident will hunt her from the rest of the life because she wasn't acting; she was raped in real-life.

Many have acknowledged that movies, religion, music and the women are themselves to blame Naomi Wolf of Project Syndicate mentions. In India forums, "silvermoonlight" writes that there are major problem with the Indian society. She writes:
India is too complex a society with dowry system, caste issues, misogamy , rampant corruption, mix of urban and rural society etc..happening all at once...its a job not the government can fix nor violent protests nor hanging of criminals...at some point India's society will collapse...they will have to rebuild, and rethink how to live and love amongst each other.

Researchers throughout the world have focused on child psychology and how it can be altered with the introduction of violence from an early age. It has been proved countless times, as the American Psychological Association did in 2003 from a 15-year study that men who watched more TV were more likely to push, grab and insult others. Women who watched more TV would respond to someone who had choked, shoved or beat the women. The National Center for Children Exposed to Violence finds that children who are exposed to violence in the TV perceive the world to be full of crime.

Yes, the media is supposed to depict what is happening in reality. They are supposed to share information about events that are not acknowledged by others. However, they are not supposed to give false hope either because there were no hero to save Damini or girls who had been raped like Damini and the rapists who believe that they are heroes from raping are not heroes but cowards.


Article first published as The Cowardice of Rape on Technorati.

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