Be Better: The Imminence of Rape Culture in India

... And what we should do about it.

It’s 2019 and we just had to witness a woman with the audacity to judge a girl on what she wears and actually tell some men in a café to rape her for it. Not only this, she was unapologetic, loud and publicly rude about it. Even when another woman of the same age, a mother of a girl, told her to apologise, she refused and instead threatened to call the police. The crown of the jewel is that after a few hours of the video (which recorded the girls demanding an apology from the woman) went viral on Instagram, it was taken down, because it was apparently not “community friendly.”

This is where we stand- as a community and as a country. Rape culture is still as eminent as it ever was. It’s disheartening and it’s frustrating. But I’m here to show you the silver lining this cloud of orthodox thinking has brought along. Within just a few hours, men and women, boys and girls all had shared the video alike. Through this platform, there was finally unity. There was a voice against injustice and until that post unfortunately got taken down, that voice was getting louder and clearer. The thing about change is, it’s slow and while the comments of an obnoxious woman have been an eye opener to the grave situation India is in currently, the response it got is also an eye opener to the fact that things are already looking up.

Please don’t make this about that one woman. Don’t fat shame her, because that’s just hypocritical. Would what she said be justified if she was fit? No. Don’t ask if she has daughters, because it’s irrelevant. So what if she does? So what if she doesn’t?What she did was unacceptable in every way. And yes, there’s a picture of her wearing a short dress. Yes, it’s a reflection of her double standards. But know this. Today, it was her caught on camera. But this mindset is the very basis of rape culture in India and it has spread like a disease, into the very veins of the country.

Focus on destroying the mindset, not the woman because social evil does not have a face. All it has is victims. Victims who fall prey to the social evil and other victims, who due to lack of proper education and awareness (among other things), become a medium of propagation for social evil. The fact that she didn’t, even till now, understand her mistake, shows the immense lack of social awareness in this country. So stop targeting the woman. Be better than that. Target the patriarchal mindset we have somehow created, target the double standards that are spread throughout the society.

Although people with narrow minds continue to plague this society, there are people who are willing to become the change they want to see. That should give us all hope. Hopefully, the next generation will be better. And the next one better than that. Let’s take baby steps to reach a better country. Let’s take baby steps to become a better community.