Warning: I’m about to get on my soapbox….
There has been a lot of news about rape in India since I moved here (and long before, I’m sure). However, this September’s trial of the men convicted of gang raping and killing a young woman on a public bus in Delhi seemed to be sort of tipping point in the collective conscience. Also, it got lots of international press. Many of my concerned friends and family worry about my safety here because I am somewhere foreign with [presumed] different cultural norms… I want to take a minute to point out this uncomfortable fact: the “norm” when it comes to violence against women isn’t remarkably different.
Consider commentary like this recent US “news” report: http://www.upworthy.com/im-not-saying-she-deserved-to-be-raped-but-is-possibly-the-worst-way-to-begin-a-sentence-ever-3?c=ufb1. Sadly, there are people from all countries that find the mistreatment of women acceptable or, at least, excusable.
To be clear, I have no knowledge of the facts of the case they are discussing in the US media clip — and hence, I have no opinion about the merits of that case. However, I do take umbrage at anyone saying (or strongly implying) that a women (in this case, apparently a child) out at night drinking “deserves to be raped.” THAT attitude is not unique to the man on the news, or to any one country.
Women –and men– have to be vigilant about their safety no matter where they live or where they travel. Of course, it’s easier to keep safe when you have a home with doors that locks, reliable transportation and a police force that you trust will come to protect you if called. Please don’t delude yourself into thinking that the attitude used to justify these awful acts is unique to some place else, because it is tragically ubiquitous.
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