Women can never be like the women ‘you’ grew up with. They will never act, dress, speak, and live the same way ‘your’ own mothers, sisters, or the other women in ‘your’ family do or did.
Every woman ‘you’ meet is an individual, who grew up in a completely different environment, society, culture, and religion than ‘yours’. Share respect with every female ‘you’ interact with (maybe from far away), see, or come in contact with!”
Most women, especially younger ones in India, face serious sexual violence, emotional harassment, and physical abuse, at least once in her lifetime. And it is impossible for Indian women to raise their voice or find justice against such atrocities without feeling ashamed, or being accused by their own society and people.
As per a report by the BBC, almost 100 new rape cases get reported to the police every day, while 99,.1% of cases go unreported. Current estimates hold that about four out of 10 rape survivors in India are minors. The numbers are heart-wrenching, however, there is only a contestant increase in the number of such cases every year.
So, why do Indian men commit sexual violence, physical harassment, and emotional abuse?
Gender control in Indian culture and mentality of both men and women–
It is always a societal assumption that the male will have the upper hand in any family decisions. He is the breadwinner. While a woman’s first priority is to take care of her husband and children, and she is the only one who belongs in the kitchen.
Women usually do not have a voice against anything in almost all Indian lower, middle, or upper-middle-class families. They are not allowed to go against the will of the male members. If they want to raise their voice, they need to first gain confidence by being financially independent as there are 80% chances that they will be ill-treated, abandoned, ridiculed, or insulted for raising their voice or complaining.
Even in a few high-profile families, women are faced with the same kind of treatment due to their strong grip on old traditional values and cultural practices.
Women must always be feminine and submissive. Whereas, men should be masculine, dominating, and aggressive.
This is the set of values and environments that almost all men grew up in India.
The big fat male ego–
In Indian society, male-child gets more attention and importance than the female once. Sometimes their manliness is hyped and given attention unnecessarily. This usually inflates their egos.
A healthy ego is good for one’s own self-esteem but men with inflated ego are dangerous. They intuitively become vulnerable when they come in contact with a woman more powerful than them– maybe financially, more skilled, more ambitious, freer, etc.
In a way to cope up with that kind of vulnerability, they are all left with is a sense of gender superiority. And then they make use of it in their own vicious ways.
Stigmatize the victim–
After an incident of any kind of harassment, women are encouraged to ignore, avoid, or look away, and leave the abuser alone. Especially in public places.
To avoid conflict as well as embarrassment (at some level). As onlookers stare at the victim as if she has done something wrong (maybe wore a wrong piece of clothing) to provoke the abuser. Whereas, the abuser goes on his way without receiving a single remark from the onlookers.
Indian society often shifts all the blame onto survivors of the rape and abuse, shaming her and her family. Even a few politicians have been seen making ridiculous remarks against the victims.
Indian slow-moving judiciary system–
Seeking justice from the Indian judiciary system is a really slow process. There are a few judges, and a large number of population and their cases. Also, corruption is another factor that destroys the strength of our judiciary system. Therefore, criminals and abusers feel that they will eventually find their way out of the trouble one way or the other.
Society and police ask the victim to compromise–
In most cases, police do not file a report and ask the victim and its family to compromise. Sometimes, the victim family is too scared to report or to take action against the crime, they often abandon the rape victim-survivors, while they have nowhere to go. Society asks the victim’s family to compromise so as to save the reputation of the family and their whole clan. This gives men the freedom to exploit women even more.