My mother and I were briefly talking about feminism and the rape case of a 4 year old girl in India.
She was aghast and irate that someone could be so brutal and savage to the extent of sexually exploiting a young innocent girl. I as a feminist, of course shared the same view. I also pointed out to her that not only does India face such an entrenched and patriarchal problem, most countries do as well, such as America. (It’s not as bad as India, Pakistan etc, but any rape culture present in any society should definitely deemed serious and condemned.)
My darling mother actually said something that left my mouth open, and blood boiling. “Their culture is so… open, they even accept one night stands, and they wear so little… They kind of asked for it.”
My dear mother, you may be right in many ways from cooking methods to fashion choices, but regarding this issue you are far from right.
Yes. You are WRONG.
Have you ever heard of “No means NO”? That means I don’t care if you’re married or having a one night stand with a stranger, if you decide not to have sex, and the opposite gender still forces it upon you anyway, it is RAPE.
Wearing too little does not equate to “asking for it”. In fact anybody, men and women alike, can wear as much/little as they want because it is their right and their choice. IT IS HOWEVER, NOT AN EXCUSE TO MAKE TO JUSTIFY YOUR MISTAKE WHEN YOU RAPE OR SEXUALLY ASSULT THEM: “Oh I raped him/her cos he/she wears so little he/she’s basically asking for it.”
It is maddening that my mother, a fellow woman, could actually say that. So a rape in India should anger everyone, but a rape in America is justified. Read this sentence again and you will see how skewed this even is. Sadly this is what lots of women and men especially think.
Then again, we can’t blame my mother for making this conceptual mistake, for she is just simply a product of a misogynistic society, of a world with sexist and patriarchal values.
It is such a value, a mindset that forever hinders the world from progressing towards gender equality.
It is time to wake up.