Rape a product of patriarchy

By Azhar Aalam Mir. Dated: 7/23/2019 1:30:51 AM

Rape crime in India is increasing at an alarming rate. It has become such a norm that every day there is a headline of rape. The victims now are mostly minors. According to NCRB 2013 annual report, 98% rape cases were committed by someone known to the victim.
Rape isn't a new crime, it has been there since ages but was considered as a minor crime. It was in 20th century when rape was considered an atrocious crime, thanks to the feminist movements.
When we talk about rape we can't miss the cause, that is 'patriarchy' whose seeds have been sown so deep by our so-called ancestors since a long ago. Patriarchy is a political structure created to benefit men. Moreover, patriarchy is the entitlement men feel to sexually harass women, perpetrate sexual violence against women, have power over women's body, life decisions and economic needs. Patriarchy has been ingrained in us since we were children. It has become a part of our culture and speaking against it is considered anti-cultural.
Violence against women, sexism, domestic violence, girl child infanticide or abortion or any crime against women has its roots in patriarchy and we contribute to it. We aren't ready yet to eradicate this ill-system, mostly men because male desire to dominate over other sexes is fueled by patriarchal mindset.
When a woman is raped, many people blame the victim instead of the man. It has become so easy to put the blame on the woman for bringing out the best in a man. People blame her and her dress, wrongly arguing that "it provokes a man". Aren't women clad in burqas raped? If you blame a women's clothes or makeup for the crime against her, how would you justify rape on minors, infants or aged women. Rapes are an outcome of not only patriarchy but also mental illness and rapists need to visit a psychiatrist.
It is a modern world and is very much affected by movies, songs, media etc. In India, Bollywood has a lot of contribution for promoting patriarchy. Almost in every movie they have item numbers where woman is projected as no more than a sexual object, this causes women to be viewed as commodities, meant to be consumed and ravished. The lyrics of many of their songs are such that it presents women as a sexual object for men.
Irony of Bollywood is that they have wrongly interpreted the meaning of women empowerment. They show women empowerment as women wearing short clothes, going to late night parties and revealing their bodies. This is not women empowerment, it is simply adoption of western culture which is a totally different thing. Women empowerment actually means empowering women politically, socially, economically, culturally and through many other dimensions. Some movies are actually good and beneficial which focuses on women empowerment, patriarchy, girl child abuse like Padman, Pink, Highway, Kahaani etc.
But overall, they produce such movies which promote patriarchy and therefore crimes against women. Besides they encourage men to commit a crime against women.
In many movies, scenes like sexual assault and rapes against women are shown as glorious acts which influences people to do such kinds of crimes. There have been many cases in which criminals have committed crimes and are directly influenced from Bollywood movies.
People of Jammu and Kashmir are not an exception. They endorse a patriarchal culture to the extent of blaming women for every misery including even climate change. From religious sermons to school assemblies, people tell girls what to do and what not to do, what is right and what is wrong but none is concerned about what boys should do, how they should treat a girl and respect her. If focus would have been more on boys, then perhaps there wouldn't have been such crimes against women.
Patriarchy is real, pervasive, and insidious. It will not go away on its own or due to passage of time. It must be called out and combated if we are ever to have serious hope of liberating ourselves from it. The world would be a better place if we can get that done and working towards ending sexual violence and rape culture is a constant collective effort in which we all must do our part, and it all begins by challenging patriarchy
The women are being sexually exploited. Such cases are very common among the poor, they are being exploited and when they disclose about it, they are silenced and cases are closed. Rape isn't only an act of sexual gratification, it is an act of suppression of women. It's about the thinking of a man to keep women at her place, to dominate over her. Even in Kathua case, the motive was to drive out the nomadic Muslim community of Bakarwals from that area i.e. power domination.
In Kashmir very few people are concerned about the growing crimes and rapes against women. In conflicted areas most sufferers are women but no one pays heed to their voices. The valley need some voices over crimes against women. There should be awareness about Patriarchy and Sexism among girls and boys too. Families should be more concerned about boys and their activities and also should teach them to respect a gal and her choices. Education can play a great role to eradicate patriarchy and empower women. Besides, there is a need of feminist voices who would aware people about what is right or wrong. It along with sex education should be made mandatory in every educational institution.
These simple steps can minimize patriarchy and hence the crimes against women. Besides, investigating agencies should work with honesty and efficiently and should bring every criminal to justice. In India there are lakhs of cases pending related to the crimes against women, which need to be solved quickly.
(The author an undergraduate student of Delhi University and hails from Sirhama, a village in Anantnag district J&K)



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