**TRIGGER WARNING** – Subject of rape and it’s discourse in politics (specifically in India)
As I write this, I’m sick to my stomach. This is mostly because I thoroughly did my research on this blog- topic, and I’m sad to say I really can’t stomach any more.
In terms of why I did this horrific research, I recently came across an article from late January about an Indian politician who, during a political meeting, stated that the blame for rape lies on female’s clothes and behavior. Not exactly a new story we haven’t heard before, however, this politician – IS FEMALE! What sheltered/misinformed kind of life is this woman living that she can blatantly ignore the cries of her own gender and believe that they’re actually to blame for being attacked in such a horrifically sick and cruelly personal way? I can’t actually fathom this level of ignorance.
So who is this politician? Her name is Asha Mirje and she is a leader of India’s Nationalist Congress Party and a member of the National Women’s Commission. Wait, I’m not sure you got that, let me repeat it. She is a member of the NATIONAL WOMEN’S COMMISSION! – An organization whose full responsibility is to be representative of the “voice” of Indian women. Hah! I highly doubt this is what the public of Indian women were saying:
“Rapes take place [also] because of a woman’s clothes, her behavior and her presence at inappropriate places.”
In this political meeting, where the above statement was quoted, Mirje was referring to two semi-recent instances of gang rape in India. The first was one of the most horrific accounts of rape I’ve ever read/heard of and the reason for my sick-stomach. I don’t want to discuss the details because honestly, I just can’t, so if you want to read more about it, this buzzfeed article sums it up pretty well and concisely. But essentially, this woman (Nirbhaya as India calls her – meaning fearless) was brutally gang-raped by being intentionally trapped on a bus when on her way back from the movie theater with a friend. Asha Mirje’s comment on this rape was did she
“really have to go to watch a movie at 11 in the night with her friend?”
Well, um…no, no she probably didn’t HAVE to. But she did (and she wasn’t even alone!) …so the real problem is…?
The problem is that the six men, nay – boys – who raped her, were horribly sick and sadistic “people” who were planning an attack. That’s it. End of story. No other problems to blame.
Mirje in fact, had a similar comment in regards to another gang-rape case of a photo-journalist intern who was gang-raped in a mill-factory,
“Take the Shakti Mills gang-rape case. Why did the victim go to such an isolated spot at 6 p.m.?”
…Well… my guess would be that she went to that spot because she WANTED TO! at a respectably early time for that matter, and should not be held responsible for that!
I don’t care who you are or how powerful you are, as a woman there’s no excuse for placing the blame and guilt on any woman who suffered this kind of remarkable trauma. In fact, politicians who react as such to rape, can only be seen as ignorant in-breds that only serve to provide more justifications for horrors such as rape and do nothing to stop those who are actually at fault.
Asha Mirje tried to correct her universally disparaged statements by saying that she did not mean to say that women were entirely at fault, just that they,
“must be ‘careful,’ and think about whether they are even mistakenly inviting assault.”
Well, I’ll agree with that statement, because you know what? – women should be careful. …Not because they might “mistakenly invite assault,” whatever that means, but because even with horrific and tragic rapes such as these being reported, there are still leaders like Asha Mirje in the world, and I don’t know anything more dangerous than that.
Are you all as fed up with this as I am? / Any other thoughts on the fact that these words came from a woman? Let me know what you think!