Rape and Masculinity

All men are dogs. No, it’s not my opinion but a belief harangued by many feminists. But is it fair to demonise every single man on earth? It is like a stereotype where you profile all males irrespective of their class and strata. My personal experience says that it has got a lot to do with the upbringing of the little child once he takes birth.

No little boy is brought into the world, being taught to be a rapist. And no lad grows up thinking that’s what I want to be in life. They pick indications from society. Signals such as they are entitled to more and that they are licensed to pursue women in certain ways. It’s all about socialisation. How we as a society, over centuries, have conditioned our sons and daughters to behave? Rape and sexual assault are on one end of the spectrum, they are the violent manifestation of culture each and every one of us enable. Pop culture amplifies this message, where the blind objectification of women is coupled with the damaging ideals of masculinity where stalking, gender roles and stereotypes, things we are fighting against are normalised. It is then our everyday action that perpetuates rape culture.

Think of the countless gems from our Hindi cinema. Shammi Kapoor going wild over Saira Banu’s splendour in Junglee singing in Rafi’s voice “Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe, Kahe Ne Do Ji Kahta Rahe, Hum Pyar Ki Toofano Mein Gire Hai Hum Kya Kare”. Oh, Shammiji did it in the early sixties of the last century! Then it must be our age-old tradition. Ten years later a macho man Dharmendra blackmailing Rekha in Kahani Kismat Ki, that too in public domain “Rafta Rafta Dekho Ankh Meri Ladi Hai”. Not to forget Rekha’s denial “YEH KYA AKHE RAHE HO? MAINE AISA TOH NAHIN KAHA THA”. What are you saying? I never told this. Heroines were predominantly showpieces whose role was to support the hero avenge on the antagonists. When they had to be wooed by the protagonist it has to describe their physical structure “Teri Patli Kamar Mein Hai Jadu”.

These films over the years were loved by the audiences both male and female. A young man is therefore allowed to do whatever he feels is cool to win over the girl of his choice. Then comes the frustration nursed by many losers. If their obsession fails them, they can resort to anything. They were brought up in a way where they were the privileged ones among the siblings. Be it on the dining table or the household chores, they were favoured over their female counterparts. Under any circumstances, they wouldn’t hear a no from any mademoiselle. It is going to make things worse for society at large. Respect comes out of demeanour, not from any machismo of any individual. It is convenient to impose your virility on a lady but not admiration. You need to develop it over the years.


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