Friday, December 21, 2012

Rape, Rajo Tamas etc

I checked my twitter feed today morning and the first 30 or so tweets all had the same topic. It was people expressing extreme outrage on the Delhi rape situation.Twitter is a miniature, easily accessible version of main stream media. Smaller in scale but very representative. Both are just subjective opinions of and knee jerk reactions to some incident. So it was an interesting experience learning about what happened purely based on twitter reaction of people. I hadn't read a single news article on this issue at the time of logging into twitter ( I later read some news items) and I don't have cable TV. A lot of tweets were from men hurling expletives and wanted the rapists to be castrated and hanged (in that order). Deep down inside my heart - I couldn't help but feel a little suspicious about some of the men who appeared to be very outraged. A woman feeling this level of outrage - I get it. Somehow after reading some extreme tweets from some men (not all), I felt they were putting on a show. They were more interested in letting others know that they were outraged as opposed to being genuinely sad. And that is what this post is about. Not so much on those incidents (there is a little bit of that) but on the twitter reactions to those incidents.

Why did I feel so ? For example, one guy said he was brought up by strong women in his family (listed his grandmother, mother, and sister) and claimed that it was a reason why he always learned to respect women. Quite a number of other guys said stuff that was a variation of this. I felt that it was total bull shit. Let alone big time TPT (in an attempt to raise their personal brand value). I don't believe there is a man out there who does not view women as a sexual object. The statistics on number of men who watch porn (and the kind of porn) is a more accurate indicator of how respectfully men view women. The porn industry is built on forcing women to do things worse than rape.Its not like women study in some college aspiring to have a solid corporate career as porn stars. It is exploitation of women.  (Almost) All men watch porn and encourage the growth of the industry. Cognitive Dissonance anybody? If lack of respect was the sole reason to commit rape - you'd have 1000s of rapes everyday. The importance of 'respect to women' leading to a rape situation and the extent of how *constantly* a man respects *all* women has been severely distorted. This 'respect' factor does not have a stable value in a man. It changes depending on the situation, time and context.

Why is this reaction of the desi male in twitter is revealing? Lets say a man was murdered in a gory fashion because the murderer wanted to rob the victim's wallet and the victim resisted. It wouldn't evoke this kind of reaction. But lets assume it did. How would you feel if the reactions were "I respect life so much. My mother has life. My father has life. I would never take someone's life.". Really! What an irrelevant thing to say!  Why is this suddenly about you and what you wouldn't do? This song ain't about you brother. A murder is heinous and objectionable stand-alone. It has no relationship to the moral uprightness of the observer. If the observer inserts his own moral uprightness into the picture it looks more like - Unga appan Kudhiru kulla illaya? But in a rape situation people talk about how much they respect women. And I am also sure there a rapists whose mother or sister were actually good, honest upright and strong women. One doesn't lead to the other.

Since everybody is allowed a theory. Here is my theory on why people rape. Some are necessary conditions. A subset of others could combine to lead to sufficiency. But they are in the order of importance. 1. Opportunity to commit rape 2. Influence of Alcohol 3. Mental Illness 4 Poor Cultural/family Upbringing, family values  5. Lack of Education and so no fear of retribution (It could be Law or Police or Karma or God) 6. Viewing women as sexual objects 7. Repression due to lack of sexual satisfaction and many more. Like having small amount of poison in your body almost every man has small amounts of at least one or many of the above. While it is in moderation everything is ok. It is only when they grow to extreme levels and certain deadly combinations of the above factors occur does a man commit rape.

#1 is a necessary condition but need not be sufficient (although in significant number of cases it may have proven to be sufficient). What pisses me off is that #2 listed above is pretty close to being a necessary condition. A combination of #1 and #2 in many cases is pretty close to the sufficient condition.No one talks about the influence of alcohol in this incident. In the case of the Connecticut shooting the very same people rejected the notion that 'guns don't kill but people do'. They agreed that the nature of the person alone isn't the only reason. A lifeless object that enabled the person was the reason. In this incident they take the total opposite view. Why? because most of these people in social media are kudigaara pannadais. They don't want to blame alcohol because it risks their personal brand. However, cheap liquor/arrack available to uneducated/poor/shift-job people has become a menace to the society. It makes them animals. Have you seen how people in front of TASMAC behave. Have you walked with a girl on the street and crossed by a TASMAC after 9PM?

To conclude, I strongly believe that notions such as 'progress' and 'safety' have a life and inherent qualities of their own. We overestimate our ability to manufacture, customize and create these two concepts according to our wishes. You can't have everything you want and still have safety. It may never be possible. The world is a jungle. Life is a jungle. You can't control tumors appearing in your body and killing you. You can't prevent many diseases. This world is like that. No matter what happens to this world, you can never stop rape. It will never go away. If the world is filled with excellent mothers, sisters and grandmothers - there will still be rape. If everyone got educated in the best universities with the best ethics and humanities counselling - there will still be rape. That is the reality of this jungle. A view that assumes this to be the case is practical. Rape has existed for 1000s of years. Why would it go away now?

The key thing here is progress and safety are notions that has a subtractive quality. This means the quality of this concept gets better when you remove things from the system. Cutting off, stopping and removing the things we do help a lot. Safety becomes worse if you add more things into the system. Cutting junk food, beverages, stopping to overeat help prevent diseases better than adding more medications after getting ourselves into trouble. Doctors can't remove diseases from your life as fast as Drug mafias, alcohol mafias, tobacco mafias and fast food mafias can add them into your life. Similarly police cannot remove criminals from the society faster than the number of criminals added to the society by vulgar movies, loose moral standards and alcohol mafia. So - 'progress' and 'safety' phenomena is achieved by cutting things off and stopping a list of things we do. There is some humility in knowing that there are evils we cannot eradicate. The least we can do is reduce our personal probability of getting exposed to them. The government will still have their job cut out. But personal actions and government actions are not mutually exclusive. You can't have free flowing alcohol, party hopping couples hanging out in unsafe places at night, thinly stretched police force and still have safety. Feminists and certain groups argue that it is the duty of the government to guarantee safety of women under all circumstances. It maybe the theoretically right thing for the civilized society to have. But it is utopia and it will never ever happen. 

If parents feel that they should stop their daughters from staying out at night. They bloody well have the right to do so. They are removing #1 reason for rape - opportunity. Its not the ideal solution. But no one has the right to tell parents that they shouldn't do that. What some devious people do is play out the "removing #1" to its extreme case (i.e. they ask "are you suggesting women never leave the house and wear burkhas like in Saudi Arabia"). This argument tactic is deliberate, evil and detrimental. What is safe and unsafe is a subjective decision. One uses common sense and their knowledge of the local conditions. But mocking people who take a slightly conservative tact is pretty judgmental of these feminists in my opinion. The police may have to do their job of keeping the city safe. But that is separate from parents trying to keep their children safe. A girl child is not a bait for the society to test its law and order situation or its moral fortitude.

30 comments:

Srijith Unni said...

I can relate to your post. However one thing that I can also relate to is that in the name of protecting the daughters, conservative parents may also end up keeping women confined to the the kitchens.

One main thing that should be discussed is that rape is also abuse of the physical power that man holds over woman. Man is physically stronger and the woman is not able to protect herself. I think every woman should learn the art of self-defence.

As long as women have their own careers and have a life outside of home, such *opportunities* will always exist for the men outside. If that abuse can be stopped by the women themselves, then the opportunity will get negated.

Anonymous said...

Unni,
Physical power ? Self defence? Have you got enough of it? Now, do you think u can't be raped? ( it does not matter u r male or female)

Ash.

Imayamalayil en kodi parandhaal unakkenna? said...

However ridiculous it sounds, there is a rapist lurking inside every male who has got a dick. As rightly pointed out, there are a combination of factors that need to click for a male to commit the act. The mirugam that is awake in the real rapist is just sleeping in every man. The threshold is what matters.

Just observe a "kaanji pona" case. A guy in mid to late twenties, who has a job, is unmarried, does not have much of challenges in life. I have seen a few like this. You can see the frustration in their eyes. Have seen how they behave with their cousins. Subtle touching, overa urugardu, too much affection etc ..... On a fine day, if all elements are in right proportion, I see no reason why the animal in him won't jump out.

All these assholes in social media who outrage saying "i respect woman" blah blah - who knows how they treat woman in real life? They might not physically rape, but then ....... All these guys are like Kamal Hassan writing about his glory in talking about Mani Ratnam (His comment on "Conversations with Mani Ratnam" book).

Anonymous said...

//For example, one guy said he was brought up by strong women in his family (listed his grandmother, mother, and sister) and claimed that it was a reason why he always learned to respect women. Quite a number of other guys said stuff that was a variation of this. //

For the record, That was uttered by our own Harsha Bhogle.

BTW, Nethiyaddi post machi. Liked the use of Kudikara Pannadais.. LOL
-G.

INnocent_guy said...

I disagree with you some what. 1. A few things I want to point out. Rape and murdering to rob someone are two very very different things. 2. Porn industry rarely forces women to do things. I'm pretty sure that's illegal. Women who go to porn, do so voluntarily. The reasons may be different; some may actually like doing it, some do due to financial reasons etc. 3. I was one who commented on various news posts about castrating and hanging the culprits. It has nothing to do with my upbringing. My reactions are based purely on what I think my morals are. I do watch porn, but I would never commit a crime like that. Equating porn-watching to rape is actually very stupid. Every human has sexual desires and find ways to appease them. Watching porn is harmless to others. To appease your desires by violating the body of a person of the opposite sex is way beyond the line of most, if not all, porn-watching desis.

Anonymous said...

"The porn industry is built on forcing women to do things worse than rape.Its not like women study in some college aspiring to have a solid corporate career as porn stars"

The porn industry doesn't "force". They may be many socio economic causes behind it but it is not rape.

Rape cannot be justified. Period.

Hawk Eye said...

innocent guy and the anon after that,

it doesn't require a lot o IQ to get it. But if for some reason you don't get why porn and murder was mentioned in this post (or you do, but pretend not to get it) - please don't bother commenting.

And please don't tell me that rape is bad and cannot justified and shit like that. I know it already. You just worry about improving basic comprehension skills.

INnocent_guy said...

I never said rape cannot be justified. Every action can be justified, whether it is perceived as right or wrong. Come on dude, you can make a slight attempt at comprehending as well, if you think I don't. All I'm trying to say is, watching porn and raping have a very weak correlation, if any.

Anonymous said...

very sad to hear such attrocities

G said...

innocent guy,

err...I don't know how to break it to you. Hawkeye seems to be saying the same thing as well. That there is no correlation.

I am guessing this is why the topic of your comprehension skills came up

Anonymous said...

You have assumed that rape is always and only towards achieving a sexual end. Not true. Rape is a tool of oppression and dominance (also). It is always not about a sexually repressed male letting loose. Serial killers, rapists, sexually repressed violent people - all included. However, what we also have are people with sheer hate "getting back" or "giving it" to 'them'. Manifest in upper caste men raping lower caste women, occupying army men or cops raping locals, or fringe people robbing and/or raping urban middle-class and elite people.
These apart, largely agree with this post.

sands said...

Good post.

But it is all going to fall in deaf ears.

And they'll cherry pick your post an say you are a 'rape supporter'.

Even among the people who think lie this, there are three types...

1. Like you, who do say it loud and clear -- The bold.
2. Like me, who think it would be a waste of time to talk/write -- The lazy (or useless)
3. The ones who would, in a group, simply talk in favour of the 'mood'. -- The scared.

You're the minority, in the minority. :(

Mani said...

one of the most sensible and balanced views.

Ranjith said...

You have a point. But please also explain why crimes of the sort we witnessed recently are an everyday occurrence in places like Delhi whereas they rarely occur in western countries. It can't be denied that the attitude of males in India is a problem.

While I tend to agree that nearly all men at some level look at women as sexual objects in all countries, in India, many men are unable to come to terms with women being equals in the workforce or earning/being more educated than them. So I disagree with your premise that these are merely crimes of passion. It is also a crime of aggression and dominance, a consequence of the frustrated male ego.

So yes, the attitude needs to change. Not the attitude of objectifying women (that never will), but accepting them as equal members of society.

Vijay S. said...

Somehow after reading some extreme tweets from some men (not all), I felt they were putting on a show.


believe it or not, every man has some woman, be it his sister, friend, girlfriend or even female colleagues who he cares about and feels protective of. Men (including me) are outraged because they fear for the safety of their loved ones.

I know that you have added the "not all" clause... but still this point annoyed me a little. Even if the outrage is false, it only adds.


About the alcohol, you are spot on. Although we cannot ban alcohol, we should at least consider closing it before sunset... i live near a wine shop and have seen a lot of men drinking in groups just outside the shop in the night...

Vimal Raj said...

Talk about "Nethiyadi"....
Kalakita maapu

Anonymous said...

Dude,I don't know why you got such a colored opinion against alcohol as if it is the root of all the evil. You need to visit places like Italy, Singapore to know the facts. Bars are open till 6:00 in the morning. Alcohol is free flowing. There are plenty of opportunities with lone woman, dressed in party wear. Still you don't find gang rapes. Going by your logic, these places should be overflowing with rape and violence against women. Singapore has the lowest crime rate against women. How is that possible despite all the opportunities being available? It is enforcement, that acts as a deterrent. Even at 4:00 AM in the morning, a single lady could take a cab and reach home safely, despite being drunk. So, please don't trivialize these with theories of opportunity and alcohol.

Ace in The City that Never Sleeps said...

Hawkeye, it's typical for you non-drinkers to blame any anti-social behavior on alcoholism. Aren't you the guy with the big brain? Living in America, you should learn to be tolerant towards social drinking. What do you drink at a "formal(office) dinner party"? Evian?

Reply-to Anonymous(Friday, December 21, 2012 9:27:00 AM) - It doesn't take a genius to know "rape cannot be justified". Try to come up with something new.

Responding to Sands(Sunday, December 23, 2012 3:00:00 AM)
"Even among the people who think lie this, there are three types" - And that has to do with what??

Delhi rape - Technically, the protestors & sympathizers must advocate for "open carry of firearms for women" which at this point could be the only useful arguement characterized by a sound reasoning. Sometimes, guns are always the solution. Until then it's better to take a massive piss on this issue.

Hawk Eye said...

Vijay s,

What you said - that is the problem. That a man is driven to take a stand on this issue because what he considers as his personal 'belonging' is at stake. That is a really bad reason to be concerned about such things.

A policeman would then show similar attitude in that he'll only be vigilant if something personal is at stake for him.

The answer to the question of "Why should I be concerned that this does not happen again" - should not be anything more than "it is immoral and it is against the laws".

Judiciary, police and safety of women is not your "personal investment" with incentives. You cant say "god should exist because I have spent 80 years of my life praying to him".

They should have meaning independent of the personal sentiments of the observer.

Hawk Eye said...

Ace,

/* What do you drink at a "formal(office) dinner party"? Evian? */

lemonade.

Also

Social_drinking:Alcoholism::Eve_Teasing:Rape

Danny Jose said...

Whoa ! Why are alcoholics so pissed off ? :D Hawkeye didn't say all alcoholics are rapists, did he ? What he meant was getting too drunk can make you lose your senses and if that particular #opportunity is laid in front of this senseless guy, such an occurrence is possible.

Anonymous said...

Nice views. I am tired of this stop telling me how to dress; teach your son not to rape campaign. WTH do they target mothers who have boys. And, talking bad about the criminal's sister - as if he is gonna worry about it. Why pull the innocent sister?
- Divya

Hawk Eye said...

who ever gave build up to Singapore please read this

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/did-know-rate-rape-higher-pore-india-063116298.html

Anonymous said...

So, what is the gist in that article? It is a no brainer that the article goes tangentially on gender equality, when talking about violent crimes.Rapes do happen worldwide.But you know the conviction rate in SIngapore? 92%. Compare that with dismal 26% in India. Men are men worldwide and atleast the majority in Singapore knows if they commit a rape and gets prosecuted, the chances of him escaping is just 8%.Even those high profile officers who committed the crime are in jail. To me that is enforcement. So, while I have my own views on the political system of Singapore and general running of the country, I have to hand it over to them for making this a safe place. Opportunity and Alcohol will not let rape happen, if there is enforcement.

tifosikrishna said...

Here's another surprising revelation...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/01/delhi-rape-damini

"For example, this BBC article states, as if shocking, the statistic that a woman is raped in Delhi every 14 hours. That equates to 625 a year. Yet in England and Wales, which has a population about 3.5 times that of Delhi, we find a figure for recorded rapes of women that is proportionately four times larger: 9,509. Similarly, the Wall Street Journal decries the fact that in India just over a quarter of alleged rapists are convicted; in the US only 24% of alleged rapes even result in an arrest, never mind a conviction. "

Mathi S said...

Women in porn are there out of their own volition. They are actors.
Rape is not consensual. It is a crime.
I think even illiterates can understand the difference.

"1. Opportunity to commit rape" - such insightful observation..
"Nobody is talking about the influence of alcohol" - maybe that should've been your clue..

When people are looking for the root causes of a complex social issue, you seem interested in superfluous superficial "sappa" matters, that borders on victim blaming.

Please keep up your social commentary, so that it helps others on what not to focus on.

Hawk Eye said...

Mathi S,

I don't know how to break it to you. But basically you are the illiterate you referred to.

Just for starters on why you cant comprehend basic English -I never compared 'watching porn' and 'rape'. but somehow in your urgency to criticized you glossed over that little part.

but that's ok. your idiocy isn't unique. this talk of uncovering of social complex psychology should basically help keep rape alive for next few centuries so in that way we'll have some real 'victim blaming' happening in 30 years or so.

Mathi S said...

Dear Hawk Eye sir,

I do know how to break it to you sir. So basically, didn't you imply, the number of men who watch certain kinds of porn is a more accurate indicator of how respectfully men view women, sir?
Watching porn actors go about their BDSM business is not cognitively dissonant with respecting women.
Whereas raping a woman and claiming to have respect for women is.
That was my point dear Hawk Eye sir.
Anyway, thank you for putting me in my place and pointing out my lesser English comprehension skills sir. It was my fault for assuming your comprehension is only as good as mine, sir.

But that's ok, your condescending tone isn't unique sir. You please continue your brilliant Additive and Subtractive theory of solving society's problems. I'm all ears, sir!

Sincerely,
A humbled pupil.

Hawk Eye said...

Mathi,

ha ha.

/*Watching porn actors go about their BDSM business is not cognitively dissonant with respecting women.
Whereas raping a woman and claiming to have respect for women is.
That was my point dear Hawk Eye sir */

that wasn't the point of your initial argument. this is now your new point after you cared to go back and re-read the post.

your initial point was

/*Women in porn are there out of their own volition. They are actors.
Rape is not consensual. It is a crime.*/

I think when you go back re-read the post and "subtly" change argument tact you are better of acknowledging that. Otherwise it begs the question of why you didn't argue your 'new' point from the outset.

Going by my experience in dealing with trite commenters like you - this is how I foresee - you will keep on dragging this topic forever and start claiming women in prostitution are there due to their own volition. you will ignore some basic studies on the po_rn industry and will ignore researches on p0r_n addiction and You may even say that a man watching a woman go about her BDSM business (u know when she is being spit upon and beaten and tied down) that the man is actually enjoying her great skills as a business women and 'lack of respect' isn't even a topic here.

instead of waiting for you to do all that and then later call you an idiot. I thought it might be efficient to call you an idiot now and save both of us some time.

for your convenience you can assume that I will eventually go on to blame the victim and save us the time by calling me conservative retard or some thing like that and we can move on with our lives.

Anonymous said...

hmm ..

I find the situation to be sad one.
I find the article to be an interesting one.
Here is a tongue in cheek comment: Considering the title, I am surprised you didn't mention the influence of onion and garlic as a potential cause.

-sr