When a nation has a history of misogyny, how many generations does it take until its culture accepts the equality of women?
That’s a difficult question to answer, because this country, the UK, isn’t there yet. We still have objectification of women in our media, unequal wages and,scratch the surface, and you’ll find a disguised sexist undercurrent from universities to workplaces under the guise of everyday sexism.
We are only a few steps ahead of other cultures that, until a few decades ago, placed girl babies on rubbish heaps to die, such was the devaluation of women. And in many cases, still insists on a dowry upon marriage.
The appalling gang rape of a 23 year old medical student in Delhi is more than it seems. It was an act of rage and visceral anger against women, against change, against feminism. This girl was a symbol of modern India, independent, intelligent, studying to be a Doctor, having the freedom to go and see a movie with a male friend.
The assault started with taunts about her ‘respectability’ in having the temerity to be out in the evening with a man that wasn’t a relative or husband. The men then decided to ‘punish’ her and ‘teach her a lesson’ for these transgressions and beat her and her friend savagely, before stripping them and raping the girl several times.
The hatred and fury escalated to the point of using a rusted car jack to split the girl open rupturing her uterus and using an iron rod to sodomise her so violently that both her small and large intestines were damaged beyond repair. She was beaten so violently that her brain swelled in her skull with the pressure. Then she and her friend were thrown from the moving bus and left for dead.
Is that about sex and lust? No. It isn’t. It’s about fear and hatred.
The assailants were working men, illiterate, with limited education. For some reason,they had this fury inside them against women, especially women that were part of modern India. Where does this come from, is the bigger question. This girl is one of many victims, including a 2-year-old girl who was bound hand and foot before being raped. There are more examples throughout the country, every day.
It seems that within the culture there is still an underclass that hasn’t caught up with modern life and the role of women as equals in society. The pace of change has been too fast for them to assimilate. They have not been sufficiently educated to accept that women are more than mere chattels to be owned, controlled and despised.
This isn’t just true about India. It’s a truth in all societies. In the West, this hatred of women is more controlled, disguised and not overtly accepted. It’s there in plain view, however, in pornography, with women being defiled, named as sluts,whores,MILFS,holes,slits,slags and the rest. The rise in paedophilia is also linked, I’ve seen a naked four-year old girl referred to as a ‘slut’.
It’s there in things we don’t bat an eyelid at, in the pages of Heat magazine, FHM and the rest. It’s there, without irony,on page 3, when there’s a half-naked teen girl with a story about paedophilia on the facing page. It’s there when Rhianna gets her tits out for the umpteenth time, it’s there when the latest fashion trends encourage twelve year olds to dress provocatively and it’s there in the easy access to mobile porn for nine year old boys.
This isn’t a woman only issue. Men need to take responsibility. Children need to be educated at an early age. To have half the population putting down the other half is not the way to grow a civilised society. To cover women up in burkhas to “protect them from male lust” is not the future either. It’s another form of subjugation.
Religion has a lot to answer for in the demonization of the feminine. Rather than progressing from paganism that worshipped the Goddess and the God, treating both sexes as different but equal forces, Christianity, Judaism and Islam warped this into patriarchy, through a kind of fear. We’ve lived with the results ever since. I wonder which religion the Delhi attackers profess to follow that somehow gave them a “right” or a “need” to “teach their victim a lesson?”
What can be done to change this? How many more generations will it take?
- The Rape Test and The Delhi Gang Rape (ramanan50.wordpress.com)
- Google Lights A Candle To Salute Delhi Gang-Rape Victim (ibtimes.com)
- 10 reasons why India has a sexual violence problem (washingtonpost.com)