Society has instilled certain inappropriate lessons in women’s minds, lessons like don’t tempt a man by what you wear, don’t wear shorts that are too short and don’t wear tops that seem suggestive.
These are joined by notions such as, it’s your fault, you’re asking to be touched and you’re asking to be led to bed. The actions we take late at night, like going to a movie at 11 p.m., scream rape. At least, that’s what an Indian politician says.
It’s sad when what you wear and what you do as a female is seen as “asking for it.” When I wear high-waisted shorts and a crop top, it’s my fault if I get touched at a party, or if a man makes unwanted advances.
This female Indian politician, Asha Mirje, said a 23-year-old medical student was gang-raped on a bus because of her actions. Let’s make one thing clear. It is not a woman’s fault when she gets raped. Why not teach young men that it’s not OK to judge women by what they wear or how late they go out?
The thing is, I have even blamed myself for wearing something because of the mindset that society has set for me. We wear certain things and then accept whatever happens to us because of what we are taught.
Instead of blaming women for what they seem to be portraying, why not tell men not to attack women? We teach men that they can do whatever they want if they perceive even the slightest sign of acceptance.
Women are constantly put down and accused for tempting men. Really, it’s as simple as teaching women that it’s OK to be able to wear whatever they want and it’s OK to go to the movies at 11 p.m.
The problem with India in particular is that rape has been so prevalent that the culture has yet to react. Indian woman are more conservative and are constantly blamed for what men do wrong in their society. What’s even more horrible is the sole fact that politicians are taking the sides of the rapists even though they are the ones in the wrong.
This cultural norm has been one of the most shocking and sad to date. Rape should not be blamed on the victim but instead on the person who is raping. That an Indian politician is blaming this innocent victim for the fact that she went out at night is a clear call for reform when it comes to sexual education.
Reach the columnist at Tishni.Weerasinghe@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @tishnii