Age of Kali – Hotel Relax? Not Really


Earlier today I was told that I should stop representing India as a terrible place for women. The rationale is simple. The more people like me speak out against things that are wrong with India the more it validates racists.

It’s simple? If they didn’t have this to whinge about they would find something else to complain about. My personal favourite is all Indians stink of curry (You say it like it’s a bad thing).

I weighed up the options and decided to keep informing people about the struggle of women in India (Sorry Mr. Esmay, Astro and other MRA) because it is needed. I cannot really help beyond my medicine and giving events a boost so more Indian women will get mad and make angry noises.

A German journalist staying at a hotel in Agra was assaulted by the hotel’s manager. He allegedly tried to rape her while she was in the bathroom trying to take a shower. When she protested and fought back, he made a video clip of her to black mail her.

Hotel Relax in Baluganj area is located just opposite the residence of Deputy Inspector General of Police V.K. Meena

The woman filed a complaint at Rakjabganj police station, located barely 200 meters from the hotel and the manager was arrested and booked under Section 353/354 of the IPC.

200 metres and opposite the house of the Deputy Inspector General of the Police. And that didn’t stop the rapist.

One of the things I spoke about with great sadness was how nearly every guide to India advised women to travel in groups. Preferably with a man you trust so that his mere presence would deter these predators. Because that is what they are. Predators. They seek out the vulnerable and attack them when they cannot fight back.

What’s causing this? What’s driving this? Why specifically does India have this terrible reputation? It’s not due to us speaking about it, we didn’t speak about it as openly before. The abuse didn’t start after we discussed rape.

There is something wrong in the way we raise our young men. The excess privilege we give them is poisoning their treatment of women. In addition  they are getting really weird ideas on how to approach women from somewhere.

It is with great sorrow that I have to agree. India is not safe to travel as a woman. Do not travel alone, travel with friends as a group at all times and travel with some guys. It’s idiotic that men have to be the protectors of women but in India? This seems to be one of the few ways to be safe. I have seen it time and time again where my female colleagues invite me to events solely to drive away unwanted male attention.

I wish we didn’t have to think like this but until India changes the way it treats women and the way it teaches its boys to behave, we will have to err on the side of caution rather than independence.

No, we aren’t protectors. We are scarecrows. A man hired solely to drive away predators. This is not a good thing. You may exemplify me as a gentleman who walks women home late at night and who is trusted enough to do so without fear of assault but inside I weep because it means that I am a rarity. A man who is good.

And remember Nirbhaya’s boyfriend? Sometimes even that is not enough.

Comments

  1. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    My personal favourite is all Indians stink of curry (You say it like it’s a bad thing).

    Yeah, I really don’t that either. The local Spice Centre (Indian owned and selling Indian food stuffs) is, my brother and I reckon, the best smelling shop in Adelaide! (Neither of us are of Indian or subcontinental heritage or remotely resembling it.)

    Also isn’t England now rather famous for curries too?

    Earlier today I was told that I should stop representing India as a terrible place for women. The rationale is simple. The more people like me speak out against things that are wrong with India the more it validates racists.

    Of course, the Catch 22 there is that NOT speaking out would confirm the stereotype and reinforce because “Look all this awful stuff is happening and the “Indians” are so sexist and misogynist that no one from their own culture is even aware of it and trying to change it!” You really can’t win for some people I think.

    I think we all have an ethical imperative to speak up against injustice (even traditional, cultural, religious “sacred” injustice) even when it causes a backlash against us.

    The “racism” silencing tactic needs to be seen for what it is and stopped.

    One way to do this I’d suggest might be an equivalent of Godwin’s law where the minute someone yells “racist” at their opponent – especially when no “racism” is actually present – they are considered to have automatically lost the argument.

  2. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    PS. Obviously whilst “race” is a scientifically falsified social construct; “racism” based on the belief that such a thing as “race” really exists is real and is a horrible, destructive , evil thing.. Genuine racism should be called out when we’re talking about neo-nazis, members of the KKK and ,y’know, actual racists saying things that are *actually* racist.

    But as a general principle there are very often times when the accusations of racism are used a silencing tactic against people who are NOT in fact racist at all nor saying anything racist and this does need to be stopped and this equivalent of Godwins law principle is one idea for that.

    There is something wrong in the way we raise our young men. The excess privilege we give them is poisoning their treatment of women. In addition they are getting really weird ideas on how to approach women from somewhere.

    From all I’ve heard and read including here and elsewhere on FTB : Yes, there absolutely is – Avicenna is right both in what he said and in standing up and saying it.

    Furthermore it *is* a problem that is worse in some cultures such as (though not exclusively) the Indian and Muslim ones and there is a spectrum here so that lesser but still real problems in other groups are well, just that, still real but to a lesser extent and pointing out this reality – really NOT racist, just honest and legitimate and valid points.

    So can we all accept reality and acknowledge this please?

    Rather than saying its okay for women in one culture to be mistreated , abused, raped, mutilated, oppressed etc .. more than in other cultures because that is their culture and we can’t criticise cultures or religious ideologies?

    Does pointing out this reality and standing up against injustice make me -and Avicenna – “racist” or, instead, actually show us as being more clear-sighted (metaphorically), realistic and ethical people?

  3. says

    The more people like me speak out against things that are wrong with India the more it validates racists.

    It validates it only if they are particularly ignorant racists and they confuse:
    “this thing is wrong with India”
    with
    “this thing is wrong with Indians” and assume further that that wrong thing is heritable and that Indians predominantly carry the gene

    Genomics, how does it work?

  4. noxiousnan says

    I’m very thankful that you help protect the women you know and that you feel sad that you have to do so. I do too. But I’d never go to India (and I made that decision years ago) and I worry that my friend, who has always dreamed of an extended pilgrimage there, will attain that dream. And that’s really sad too.

  5. says

    It is with great sorrow that I have to agree. India is not safe to travel as a woman. Do not travel alone, travel with friends as a group at all times and travel with some guys. It’s idiotic that men have to be the protectors of women but in India? This seems to be one of the few ways to be safe. I have seen it time and time again where my female colleagues invite me to events solely to drive away unwanted male attention.

    How different and still alike.
    When I started college in Ireland, the first thing I was told was to NEVER WALK ALONE AFTER DARK.
    Of course, the chances of being assaulted were much smaller than in India, but they were big enough. The attacs weren’t as brutal as they are in India, but the were vicious assaults nevertheless. And I don’t know how many times I was glad in Ireland, England and Germany to have “a legitimate owner” to deter the creeps.
    Yet we in the west are told to shut up, look how bad women in places like India have it. You are told to shut up, don’t you see how racists spin that story?
    And I can’t imagine why smelling of curry would be a bad thing. *drools at thought*

  6. says

    Avicenna has tried to paint the complex Indian society into black and white. Such simplistic approaches to complex problems only create confusion.

    No one denies the existence of rapists, sexual predators and perverts in India. But, India is a huge country with huge population of 1.4 billion people. The crime clocks for India will certainly run faster earning India a very bad reputation.

    The pro-women laws in India are so draconian that all credible sources say, the anti-dowry law (section 498a) is grossly misused by women to send innocent husbands to jail and extort money. The courts are now warning of misuse of rape law. Women are filing false rape cases if the boyfriend refuses to marry them.

    Male privilege is a very close minded phrase to throw around. 3 times more men than women die in accidents, murders and suicides in India. Does that sound as some kind of privilege?

    May be Indian parents should feed only one meal a day to their sons to end so called male privilege.

    The Indian police is extremely corrupt, inefficient and India has too small a police force. So, keeping streets safe has become a challenge and the criminals get encouraged due to bad policing.

    I wish people use their brain and think instead of just being judgmental or being cognitive misers.

  7. asha says

    Sumanth, a few questions for you:

    Are boys in India being taught to think of girls as human beings just like them? Are *girls* being taught to think of themselves as human beings just like boys?

    Or, are Indian youth being taught that girls are special, fragile creatures who need to be kept safe, “worshipped and respected as mothers” but not considered ordinary human beings who should be able to do whatever they want to the extent that men can? That female virginity is a virtue above and beyond honesty, kindness and hard work; above and beyond male virginity? That when a woman is raped, the greatest crime was to her “honor” and not to her bodily autonomy or to her right to not have fear or pain inflicted upon her?

    As long as Indian boys and girls sit in separate sides of the classroom, creating a barrier that promotes the impression that boys and girls are something “different” and “other”, and this othering continues throughout adulthood;
    As long as boys are taught they must have virgin brides and girls are taught they must be virgin brides;
    As long as to keep women safe it is women whose freedom must be curtailed, by instructing them to not go out after dark or not go out alone or to only travel in women-only train compartments;

    As long as these things are true, we have a *fundamental* problem in the way males and females interact with each other, which will not be solved by more police or harsher punishments alone.

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