Originally posted by bhakti2
Originally posted by apolloartemis
This woman is an inspiration. She picks up on what exactly makes rape such a henious crime- because of what the victim suffers, not because of what society perceives as suffering. Here in the States, rape is recognized as a crime against the victim- it is a huge shame on India, rape is often blamed on the victim.
How is it that in one culture (U.S., for example), the victim is seen as the wronged party and is given support accordingly, where as in another (many others, I fear), she is shamed and is responsible for the loss of honour for her whole family?
I am asking the question seriously and not rhetorically. It must be an anthropological matter, hai na, that shame and honour is in some settings symbolised by the purity and control of the woman, but actually resides in the hands of the men. In this situation is it not so that one man (or an army of men, sometimes, as is happening in Mali, Somalia, etc.) will rape a woman not to destroy her per se, but to destroy the man whose honour she represents? In this case scenario, it is no wonder she has no value - she is just a symbol, a territory over which one or another man has control. I mean to say, the rape of a woman by one man emasculates the other to whom she is attached by rishta.
So why does this take place in one cultural setting but not the other? And was this difference always present or was the West once more like the East, or vice versa? Is it a matter of primate behaviour? That is what I thought when a neighbour explained to me the plot of the current track of Punar Vivaah, in which a woman's previous husband tries to force the abortion of her current husband's unborn child. It is a disgusting track, but also quite primate-like - I do remember reading about some simians who will take over a group of rivals, kill the males and the babies, and reimpregnate the females. Is this brutal sort of biology present also in our primitive brain areas?
Thank god, though, we do have free will and can think ethically. Now if only more people will choose to do so.
I don't think its a East/West thing per say. Even here in the U.S, there are places/people who blame the victim for the rape (for example- the clothes the woman was wearing, if she was drinking etc). It's a lot more prevalent in India, I think, because the general attitude towards women is that they are meant to be standards that gauge the honor of their menfolk. As a result, when they fall from that standard, they shame their family and not themselves. It's a different way of thinking, but one you can find in Eastern Europe a lot as well. In fact, in Bosnia, during the war, rape was used as a tool of warfare, to shame the men of the culture in question. Those people did not think of the huge effect it would have on the women...
It is just another burden we bear as women in this world. But all it does is make me more determined that if I have a daughter, she'll come into a world where her being a girl is not a disadvantage, but something she can take pride in. It's a world, we should all, in some small way, try to work towards.