The mind-set in India regarding rape tends to put the blame on women. Many women do this too, because that is what they have been conditioned to do. The suggestion that female dress and behaviour ‘cause’ rape is outrageous. And more outrageous is the fact that this argument takes place in developed countries like the U.S. also.
Men sometimes try to judge a woman on the basis of what she wore, or ate, or drank, or where she was, etc. This judgment is then turned by men into surveillance of women’s bodies. Sometimes it converts into ‘male’ rape mind-set, which is basically a struggle for about control. Rapes do not to occur just because a man cannot ‘control’ himself, they occur because some men want to control women. Rape is the most extreme and extremely violent form of the control over female bodies and their personal space. Most disgusting is the fact that this is generally practised by many men in ‘moderate’ and ‘peaceful’ atmosphere of their everyday lives.
Most cases of rape take place because some men can’t accept the fact that women should have equal rights to dress, move, work, play or enjoy. Sometimes they take place because some men can’t accept a ‘no’ by a woman. Throwing acid is a common strategy adopted by ‘Romeos’ on a girl who does not show interest in him, or on a woman who rejects her lover. This is a very common part of this continuum of sexual assault.
The only way to stop rapes is to empower the agency of women and not hinder it at all. This includes, above all, the freedom to do with their own bodies what women wish in terms of dress, food, and even sexuality. Only then we will be able to free our society from this curse.