You got raped? Must be because you were wearing provocative clothes. Or were hanging out with boys. Or were talking on the phone. Or were out at night. Or stepped out to have a career. Or you had consumed alcohol. Or you were not a virgin. Or… or… or… it’s amazing how many things women can do wrong that just forces those poor men to rape them.
Then there is the Montana judge who blamed a 14-year-old for her own rape. And the University of Southern California student who was told by cops that no rape occurred because her alleged assailant did not orgasm. And the court in Dubai, which sentenced a Norwegian woman to 16 months in jail after she was raped by a colleague. And Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, who has written a blog post insinuating that the act of a man raping a woman is a natural instinct and that society is to blame for these things, not the man. And pop culture idols like Justin Bieber, who say that everything happens for a reason, including rape. And celebs like Serena Williams, who believe the Steubenville rape was a parenting fail – on the part of the girl’s parents!
And if you are still not convinced that it’s not the poor man’s fault, a group of stand-up comedians known as ‘AIB’ (consisting of Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba, Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya) has come up with a satirical video in the wake of recent sexual assault cases in India. Anchored by Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin and VJ Juhi Pandey, it purports to lay the blame firmly where it belongs: on the women themselves. The campaign is called It’s Your Fault and it’s gone viral within 48 hours of its release. Take a look – it’s relevant to women all over the world.
So true, isn’t it? Of course! The onus is firmly on womenfolk to not get raped. Not on the men to not rape. Because that, of course, would be asking for too much. A friend suggests we women now go a step further and actually do as the world seems to suggest: stay home. Don’t buy groceries, pay bills, spend our hard-earned money in shops and restaurants. Let’s not give them our time, our money, our confidence. It’s easy to tell women to stay covered up at home. Near impossible for the world to function if we decide to take them up on the suggestion.
Till we put that into action, here some really useful tips that I invite you to send to as many people as possible. They are the suggestions of Ann Bartow, of the Pace Law School in Westchester, US. And they are brilliant.
It’s the perfect answer to a complaint I’ve received on numerous occasions: “Why do I need to cover myself from head to toe? It’s men who should be taught how to stop attacking women.” Indeed. I have yet to make that argument successfully since I’ve never met anyone who really admits to being a rapist or assailant. But the next time I do, you can bet I’ll hand them a copy of these rules!
What about you? Like the rules? Agree with AIB? What, in your view, can society do to prevent rape?