Age of Kali – Mail

[notice]Until I get the graphics up consider this message to be part of the new comments policy. Yellow indicates standard comments policy. In addition to my normal spam blocker (Some people have whined about posts not going through. That’s because you have tripped the spam blocker and I honestly am too busy to respond instantly. Your post will go up in time) the rules are simple. If you are mad? Walk away count to ten then continue. I fucking hate some of the stuff he has written about politicians but throwing bricks at the screen will not help this conversation. I urge you to think similarly. I will have a more solid and definite comments policy in time but for NOW take it as a standard policy on most websites. I will delete posts that don’t stick to the topic or cross the line of bullying or taste.  No bullying (BOTH SIDES!) and no running by the side of the pool. The following email has been changed to protect the names of the man who sent it. This is a discussion and this is NOT /b. Go![/notice]

I’m A and I have been living in London for the past 1 and a half years.  Until then, I was born and raised in Chennai; and used to patriotically boast about the Indian-ness in me.  I was introduced to your blogs by one of my friends/colleagues who in spite of being a non-Indian, shares the same sort of feelings that I do on such issues on a humanitarian basis.  But for the past few weeks, whenever I read different stories (or more precisely tragedies) in the papers about sexual harassment; I realize I can’t improve the conditions or empathize, but quite helplessly apologize on behalf the sex-starved, perverted men who do the unimaginable.  At this juncture, I hope the world and most importantly our country and its women accept this apology even though it sounds insincere; as we have to enter the recuperation phase with regards to sexual harassment, women empowerment, and even corruption —
and we have to do this ASAP.

After reading your blogs on this issue, I can’t help but appreciate you for the time taken in closely following the issues happening back home.  So, I thought of feeding you some inputs as well.  Talking about culture and how women were suppressed heavily both in the society and even at home; I would like to say that I’m really lucky to have been born into a family that isn’t as bad as a few others.  With regards to your latest blog, I would like to bring to your notice that, the Indian culture very strongly teaches people to respect the elders and women.  I don’t know why, but somewhere down the line, they forgot the “woman”part of it.  I also have heard numerous stories where fathers, uncles and next of kin sexually harass and rape their minor daughters and nieces, which is HEART-BREAKING!  It was not just for daughters-in law but also for daughters and even wives to stay quiet and even leave the room when an elderly person enters.  I remember my grandma telling me stories about her mother and earlier generations wherein the wives weren’t even allowed to call their husbands using their names.  It was deemed disrespectful.

Before my mail gets too long, I would like to voice my opinion.  At the outset, forget all the debates about capital punishments, laws, corrupt officials, and so on.  There are TWO things that worry me greatly!

1) How will we make sure we make our country safe for women (especially our mothers, sisters, missus, etc.) — Capital punishment and castration?! – NO! we are taking about prevention and not cure (don’t know whether it can be called as cure in the first place).  Taking to arms and guns?! Hell NO! In fact, statistics in the US say that women become more vulnerable to injury when having a gun for self-defense; and statistics do not lie.  Please see – http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/guns-wont-protect-indian-women-ask-the-us-8439712.html.  To be honest, I’m even scared at the very thought of women resorting to self-defense classes (including the encouragement of using things like pepper sprays).

They might be enough for shooing-off the odd and lonely groper in a public place.  But aren’t we seeing what’s happening?! What can a helpless lady do when she is held down by a GANG of men?  Self-defense is as worthy as toilet paper then isn’t it? What will happen when you provoke a gang of men who already have perverse and wrong intentions.  Sadly, it won’t just be their privates that penetrate the poor lady, but even unimaginable things that are often reported.  Where is safety here?!  How can I “prevent” my sister or female-friend from being sexually molested?  This is what we, as a society should be concerned about! NOT changing the laws, or castrating the accused!  For God’s sake, lets for once shift the focus on the right questions (ie; preventive measures) in order to provide security to women rather than discussing about repair measures.

2) It is not just deep remorse that I feel when I read about such issues.  Its ANGER. Pure RAGE! The majority of politicians, who “RULE” our country are uneducated or have only a preliminary level of education and have some sort of criminal history hanging around like an albatross.  I am simply IRKED by the senseless misogynistic comments passed publicly by many such politicians and even worse — office bearers of high ministerial posts.  Given below is a collection of such comments which I thought might be of some interest to you.

“Mamata is decorating her house with rape victims.” – CPM leader Anisur Rehman.  Mamata bannerjee is the current Chief Minister of West Bengal.

“Those who claim to be students – I can see many beautiful women among them – highly dented-painted (sic) – they’re giving interviews on TV, they’ve brought their children to show them the scenes.” – Congress MP Abhijit Mukherjee

“Delhi’s burgeoning population trend is further exacerbated by the continuous and unbridled influx of people from all over the country”. – Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit (who happened to attend and “dance” at a controversial Punjabi singer – Honey Singh’s party when the entire nation and mainly Delhi was fuming and mourning the death of the 23 year old Jyoti.)

“Kal tak paiso ke liye TV par thumke lagati thi.  Aaj chunavi vishleshak ban gayi”  “You (Smriti) were loitering around acting in TV shows for money and today somehow you’ve become an MP”- Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam about  BJP’s Smriti Irani (on a LIVE debate at prime time on NATIONAL TELEVISION).

“Rapes are happening because men and women are interacting more freely”. – West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“From which bhatar (Bengali slang for a prostitute’s client) did she (WB CM Mamata Bannerjee) get Rs 24 Crore (Rs 240 Million) to fund the Trinamool Congress’s poll expenses?” – CPM (M) MP Anil Basu

“Jaise jaise samay beet-ta hai patni purani hoti jati hai, woh maja nahi reh jata hai.” “As time passes by wives become OLD, and is no FUN to be with (or – becomes boring)” – Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal

“Just because India achieved freedom at midnight does not mean that women can venture out after dark”. – Andhra Pradesh Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana

“One of the reasons behind the increase in incidents of eve-teasing is short dresses and short skirts worn by women. This in turn instigates young men.” – Trinamool Congress legislator Chiranjeet Chakraborty

“I think that girls should be married at the age of 16, so that they have their husbands for their sexual needs, and they don’t need to go elsewhere. This way rapes will not occur.” – Haryana Khap Panchayat member Sube Singh

“I don’t feel any hesitation in saying that 90 per cent of the girls want to have sex intentionally but they don’t know that they would be gang raped further as they find some lusty and pervasive people in the way ahead.”  – Haryana Congress spokesperson Dharambir Goyat

“Poverty and intoxication are the main reasons for rape as well as young people sitting together the wrong way. But also eating chowmein causes a hormonal imbalance which is a big reason for rapes.” (REALLY?!?!?!?!) – Khap leader Jitender Chhataar

“There is no need to give phones to women and children. It distracts them and is useless. Why do women need phones? My mother, wife and sister never had mobile phones. They survived without one”. – BSP leader Rajpal Saini

“Ban skirts as school uniform to reduce harassment of girl students.” –  BJP MLA Banwari Lal Singhal

“Rapes happen in India, not Bharat.” – RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat referring to westernization of our society.

“If you want to sell a BMW, obviously the BMW has to be strategically placed between two bikini-clad women, so that the people don’t notice the BMW, but the women.” – BJP member Sheshadri Chari

“Women display their bodies and indulge in various obscene activities. Women are unaware of the kind of message (their actions) generate.” – Vibha Rao, the chairperson of Chhattisgarh State Women Commission – referring to models and actresses.

“Virginity was preserved (before the British era), but purity has been totally disturbed by these models.” – Vishwa Hindu Parishad international president Ashok Singhal”

“There is a theory of social contract in the universe. A husband and a wife are bound by a contract which says – you (woman) look after the household chores and satisfy me, I (man) will take care of your needs and will protect you. Till she delivers her duties without fail, he keeps her on the contract and if she fails to honour the contract, he disowns her. And if it is the husband who is not honouring the contract, she can also abandon him. One can go for a new contract then.” – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat

There are more.  I have added the translation in a few places, but the entire compilation was quite strenuously put together by the correspondents of popular news channel CNN-IBN  http://ibnlive.in.com/news/rape-sexual-assault-womens-rights-s-politicians-said-in-2012/312791-3.html.

I literally fume reading their statements.  Again, are these the ones who have set out to amend our Laws?!?!? When a college graduate who is required to have a decent score and a CV is made to attend numerous interviews and struggles to get a trivial job with a basic salary, how can we SIMPLY let our nation be ruled by plain IDIOTS like these without demanding ANY educational qualifications whatsoever.  Not to mention the numerous criminal charges that person faces and in most cases even found guilty!!! When India’s most intelligent and the smartest of the lot, struggle for years to clear the service exams to get the much sought-after and revered posts in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), etc., their efforts and pride goes down the drain on day ONE of their service when they are made to stand and salute Ministers who barely saw high school!!!  I strongly feel the focus should also be on this 2nd focal point – Amend laws so as to demand a basic educational qualification for a person to be able to hold a ministerial post along with the necessity of having a clean Criminal sheet!!  The equally big problem of corruption will gradually decrease as well, if we have politicians who TALK SENSE and not blame Chow-mein for increased number of rapes!!
Hope I’ve been able to feed you on a few points from my POV.  Congrats again on your blogs.  Hope you keep up the great work and spread the word!!!

Kind regards,
A

Phone Blogging – Schrodinger’s Rapist

This is a rewrite – Blogging from the phone was an experiment and a total failure. It’s impossible to actually re-read what you wrote and spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and the like abound (even more than usual)

I dislike schrodinger’s rapist but I understand why the concept exists.

You see people judge me by what I am a lot. I have suffered some pretty overt racism (I have been prevented from flying kind of racism. I have seen my aunt stripped because they didn’t believe she was on near permanent dialysis… Because we were brown. It hurt a lot. They couldn’t even tell the difference between a HINDU and a Muslim then why on earth are they indulging in stupid procedures like this. No little old lady with a metal hip was made to strip… just the brown one) I don’t like being judged and a lot of who I am today is based on being a stupid 18 year old me prone to ripping his shirt while screaming “I WILL SHOW YOU ALL!!!”. I was the kind of person who would wear a “It’s okay, I normally pay to be degraded and stripped by a man in uniform” T-Shirt through security because for a fair while after 9/11 I would have to take pants off and get felt up. For me it was fighting back. Schrodinger’s Terrorist. (I also had an “It’s Okay! I enjoy it!” and a “At least buy a boy a drink first!” t-shirt)

I really wish women didn’t feel like all men are rapists but they do feel threatened by us because of the behaviour of our gender. Now we may not be “rapey” but there are a few who are. For all the good people do it’s easy to poison the well by the behaviour of the few. You may not be the grope monster (I am the gentleman grope monster. I take permission first!) but you certainly look like one. And that is unfortunate. So women feel threatened by us.

The correct way of dealing with this is not for me to act in the way that the grope monster does.

To walk a mile in their shoes and to recognise that their fears (While IMHO are stupid because of my experiences as a person who was judged by the fears people have had.) are based on genuine human experiences. But that’s the thing, my experiences are also subjective. My treatment as schrodinger’s terrorist means that other such treatments make me uncomfortable. I fear such concepts and dislike them because they look the same. The experiences that we face build us up. And that’s precisely why this concept exists. Because there is no “rapist” look. The nice man opening the door for you may be one, the guy you think is creepy may not.

It is a symptom of the way things are in our society. The fever is a symptom of the bacteria, not the villain in the disease. In that way schrodinger’s rapist is the symptom of the pathogen that is rape and sexual harassment. The cure is to remove the pathogen. To create a world where women aren’t raped so women don’t see men as rapists. Now I have to fight that in a “For Fuck’s Sake Stop Raping” sort of way but you guys are lucky.

The best you got is “don’t take advantage of drunk women, don’t grab women without permission”. You can do more with that than I can. You are farther ahead on the ladder of progress towards an equal society.

Some rape culture can be blamed on women too. (WHAT!) Specifically what women are told by popular culture aimed at them. No means Yes is the WORST thing on earth and I have known women who have said that. No means Try Harder? No. No should mean No. Do not listen to Cosmo or Marie Claire or any other magazine of that sort. Women are straight up being taught how to play hard to get. That’s also encouraging rape culture because you cannot tell the difference between hard to get and no.

We will teach boys not to rape and we will teach girls to say No means No and stand by it.

But for now? I give you the advice that I gave my brother when he went on dates. No means No, Maybe means No. Yes means Yes. If maybe means yes then be pleasantly surprised but live your life with the notion that maybe means no.

It is my greatest wish to destroy the very concept of Schrodinger’s Rapist but to do that we have to create a world where men and women respect each other a lot more than they do now.

(BTW I wrote this as a comment and realised it would make a pretty decent blog post. And yes it is typed up using goddamn swype… So bear with me. And boy was I right. Phone blogging is great for twitter, not for an actual blog!) Once again I apologise to readers. I don’t really think this was a good piece. It shall however stay up as a demonstration of how crummy I can really write.

Age of Kali – Misandry in India from A Voice for Men

Well as you know A Voice for Men wanted to tell us about how India really isn’t all that bad for women.

They want to tell the hidden stories, because clearly India is not a terrible place for women despite all that you hear about gender selective abortion, bride burnings, caste systems, dowry and rape. No no no!

Amit has come to tell us what we got wrong.

[Read more…]

You are Judged by the Company You Keep

If you quote KKK quotes and hang out with a racist, we would assume you are a racist. Okay, the racist may be “family” but you know that you should speak out against it. You may even argue about it. You may even stop being friendly because you personally don’t think the Dutch are subhuman but your hypothetical sister does.

Because you are judged by the company you keep and by not speaking out. You may disagree with something but have to keep your mouth shut, but that just means you are supporting the thing you disagree with in the first place. If a child INSISTS on sticking his fingers into a electrical socket disagreeing with him but not telling him to stop is pretty much agreeing with him is it not?

You are always judged by the company you keep and I have slowly come to notice that the company that many naysayers against Free Thought Blogs and the like are not acceptable. The argument one individual from the slymepit made was “free speech”, well we have free speech here.

Watch this. I think Atheism Plus is heavily mishandled and it’s pure utilisation of safe zones makes debate and discourse impossible. In addition it takes a very very protectionist attitude to both culture and a purely western attitude towards feminism which is simply not universal or applicable in every situation. However due to the lack of any actual method of discourse there is no way to create active change through it. It is unfortunately a pure academic form of feminism and is unsuitable for punching out gender discrepancies in third world nations. It’s participants have little actual experience in field work and from experience are unwilling to defer to anyone who is outside the sphere of their security nor were they willing to grasp that principles are great if you can afford to have them. I have even spoken out explicitly against their cultural/race aspect of their movement because a lot of it tries to paint culture with a big fuck off brush rather than realising individual nuance.

Oh look! It’s a stance I have stated before I moved here. At no point was I ever hassled by the “FTBullies”. In fact my interviewer was Stephanie Zvan and when I specifically mentioned my apprehension with Atheism Plus we discussed precisely the above statement.

Oh look it’s genuine criticism of the movement. I have also disagreed with people like Taslima on Prostitution and Ian Cromwell on race. But the thing is through it all we have been specific about what we dislike about the other’s work. We haven’t stooped to personal attacks (Although I did offer to have a “shout racial slurs at each other till we both lose” contest with Ian),

I am not part of A+, but neither am I in the camp of the Slymepit because of the company they keep.

Stephanie Zvan survived sexual assault. But she was drunk. Oh noes! The Slut! When a Man is Drunk and Gets Laid He Taketh Responsibility! Right boys?

Many Slymepitters are represented at AVfM. Reap and Wooly Bumblebee and Astrokid who you may remember from my take on their work.

But because of free speech they get to say what they like. Free speech is fine, in fact that’s why I am examining a more flexible comment policy because I think I can do better (Hah! Suck it popular bloggers! My comments threads may be relatively empty but they will be elegant!) to give everyone the best of both worlds.

HOWEVER… The usage of this particular article by Wooly Bumblebee has crossed a line. In particular because THIS is precisely the same arguments people made when the young woman who was raped in Delhi. It was also made by AVfM. AVfM supports Indian MRAs who have blamed the rapes in India on women rather than the men.

“Coyote ugly.” It’s a phrase men use to describe the experience of waking up, hungover as shit, in bed next to a girl so ugly you’d rather chew your arm off than have her stir. Yep, another night of too many shooters and very poor judgement. Well played, tequila.

It must be Tequila’s fault!

Understand the difference between action and consent. You cannot give consent when you are drunk. You can barely order pizza yet are assuming you can give realistic consent? Yes both of you may be drunk but if both of you are drunk and want to have sex then both of you will have sex. What people who get drunk and are raped are discussing are women getting date raped through drugs like GHB or just plain old not being sober enough to put up a coordinated defence against a much stronger assailant.

You are however responsible for your actions when drunk. It’s just that simple.

I’m willing to bet that every single varsity athlete or high status (medicine, engineering, computer science) male on any given college campus has had the experience. Why? Because they get hunted. All the time. By women. You see these guys staggering bleary-eyed into the dorm rooms the next morning, bro-punching their friends and saying “Dude, how could you let me do that?”

Because women are all hungry like the wolf?

You want to know something funny? At no point has anyone ever thrown themselves at me because of my degrees. It’s always been because of my winning personality and sense of humour. I used to get women to sleep with me through the art of conversation, wit and being honest about things. It’s never been about me or my degree or my athletic skill. It’s always been because I am genuinely nice. Now I have noticed women who do sleep with these guys and if that brings them happiness then godspeed ladies, but more often than not it’s because they buy into the stupid Alpha male concept and forget that confidence isn’t arrogance. Real confidence is knowing what your limitations are. And we all have limitations. Real confidence isn’t denigrating other people but letting them shine too.

Whoever wrote that article is insulting to EVERY gender. No.1 Women aren’t Gold Diggers/Star Fuckers (Seriously? Doctor Hunting isn’t a thing), No. 2 that buys into the notion of Alpha Males which is just moronic as fuck because the “Alpha Stereotype” does poorly in medicine. It’s a team effort, if you hack your team off they will kill your credibility and your career. You can be an amazing doctor but you are nothing without your support. No. 3 you assume all men are dicks and cannot control their drinks nor who they fuck when drunk.

How could you let me do that is the hallmark of a man who cannot take responsibility for his actions. I am not your keeper, I will take care of you when sick but if you insist on doing things you consider distasteful then it’s your damn fault. I will try and field terrible decision fall outs but I won’t be held responsible for you insisting on doing something. Sleeping with a “ugly” person is not dangerous nor is it disgusting, it’s just you shagging someone who isn’t attractive.

The article goes on an on… Stephanie fields it much better than me. I would have sworn at people a lot more.

Age of Kali – A Voice for Morons || MRAs weigh in on India and it’s Men

There are always people who simply don’t get it. Whether they demand we specifically eliminate the people they know who don’t fit the sub-set or because they themselves cannot recognise a problem that’s endemic. Or worse are angry that their well established domination of society is being eroded.

It’s no secret now that India is not kind to it’s daughters. While some of it’s sons have rallied magnificently to help make a change some of them have been rather more recalcitrant. Some of them are unfortunately Men’s Rights Activists and indeed, A Voice for Men makes it clear that these “men” are welcome to spread their uniquely privileged world view upon the rest of us.

I was sorry for not thinking about “the men” earlier today, so I shall make amends…

So without further adieu here’s Anil Sharma’s take on the way women have it better in India than “the men”. [Read more…]

Age of Kali – Pay No Attention to The Woman Behind The Curtain – A Story About Purdah and Invisibility

Trigger Warnings abound, the reader has asked to remain anonymous but wishes to tell us a story… I have edited it for spelling and helped by westernising the language since the reader’s first language isn’t English and when Indians write they often use colloquialisms but it’s a voice that I feel that we must all hear. (Thank you Anonymous Reader). Many people asked what does this have to do with Atheism, but this is a primarily Hindu method of keeping women “safe”.

For many young women the first sexual menace is not the stranger but a family member. Sometimes it’s your father, your uncle or your grandfather. I was lucky, none of these things happened to me. However as I grew up I learnt about it from them. My grandfather was a “traditional” Indian. We lived as a group in a joint family. And growing up I can remember the scoldings I got for my dress or my uppity and modern “talk”. That the only way to defend myself from the ever present danger of men was by conducting and dressing myself with modesty and by shutting up and being invisible. I was not equal to man and I couldn’t even pretend to be an equal. Even eye contact was “shameful”.

All the women in the house jumped at his authority, the fear he evoked in them was the best way of dealing with the situation in his mind. I suppose he saw this as a way to protect us and to demonstrate the reason to fear men…

If you are unaware of how the protocol in such a family works then don’t be. It’s a ridiculous dance of the purdah system. A ballet of unknown and pointless rules. For example, my aunt wasn’t allowed to stay in the same room as my grandfather. If my grandfather arrived she would be given a hissed warning and she would quickly cover her hair with her sari and run to another room as fast as she could. In order to talk to him, she would have to talk to one of her sons or her husband to deliver a message.

I know this must sound ridiculous to your readers and even yourself but you must have noticed it when you visit houses.

[important]Avi – I actually didn’t notice it. I thought the women had work to do[/important]

We do this because of a rigid tradition. There should be no relationship between father-in-law and daughter-in-law because there is a fear that such an interplay would cause sexual attraction and rapes. Our modest dress and invisibility is to create a Curtain to protect us because we are told that a woman exposed to men is in danger.

But that’s how women see it, the men see it as any visible woman is available. The reason that women fear the gaze of a man is because there is something to fear. The notion is that “good” women will hide from men, that any woman who isn’t is clearly a woman of poor virtue who wants to be touched. This is a view that’s death to modern women. We want to be as visible as men and the curtain has been pulled down. We go to school, college and to socialise with friends. We want to watch movies, we want to date men and choose our own husbands. We want to be free, but this puts us in the firing line of “tradition”. And tradition says that we are shameless. We are sluts and touching us is not rape or harassment but what we want and deserve. It’s why Indian men are fascinated with “westerners”, because they see all their women as sluts because they are more empowered than us. Many are puzzled when western women fight back after being touched or leered at, because an Indian woman won’t.

This mentality is pervasive throughout Indian society. Remarks made after the Delhi Rape made it abundantly clear that women aren’t going to be treated fairly.

[important]Avi – To point out how much of a rape culture exists, only 25% of rapists and sexual assailants arrested are ever charged. And I already pointed out how ridiculously low India’s report rate is for sex crimes. If the incidence of Rape in India is the same as the UK’s then we are looking at a million cases at the very least. It’s probably much much higher. Also? The word curtain used is a direct translation of the Indian notion of Purdah which is a kind of Burkha style ideology for Indians… Purdah means “Curtain” and was once a literal curtain that segregated women and men and made women “invisible” [/important]

We have marched on the streets because we are angry but it’s only the rich who are. We need a bigger response, it’s a step forward but we must keep walking forwards. We have torn aside the curtain to realise it was hypocrisy. Avicenna used the words “Victorian Morals” but this is far deeper than that. We need real laws and to stop blaming the victim for the sins of the accused.

I feel fear when I walk around India. I once had to travel in a train where there were only men in the compartment, I automatically was nervous and hunched down. I even felt the need to cover my head and face.

Don’t Look At Me. I am Invisible. I don’t want to be invisible or silent any more.

[important]When FTB took me in, I felt that I had finally had a voice that people were listening to. So I feel that Anonymous here deserves to tell her story. A story which can damn her existence. Indian women may have started fighting but there is a long way to go. Any other readers who want to tell their story anonymously can send it in and let me know if they want to edit it or print as is. The email link is on the left side of the page. Just look for the little icon. A voice is important and I know many blogs and the like go unheard but FTB despite what people say about us is pretty good as a soap box. I guarantee anonymity and a voice. Because if Anonymous here didn’t tell me why women behaved the way they do then I wouldn’t have learnt one of the saddest things about my own culture. Your stories are important. I will try and post. A special thank you to this reader who took the time to write out what she felt. If you wish others to read it, pass it on. This is an education. There are a lot of invisible women thanks to hinduism.[/important]

Age of Kali – Dear India, The Rape Riots are a Message

Bwizamani Singh died on Christmas Eve. His only fault was his choice of career and what he was doing on that day. While most of us back home were preparing to tuck into turkeys and hams, Singh was covering the ongoing riots in Delhi against the rape of a 23 year old woman.

He was shot by the police…

As it is India struggles with freedom of speech without this sort of insanity. The reason for the shooting was accidental. The police were using live rounds to disperse the protesters and accidentally hit (which begs the question as to what they were fucking shooting at?) Singh.

Another reporter passed away in Manipur in a similar incident. The usage of live rounds to deal with protests must stop. Surely historical usage of such weapons should temper current usage? But worst of all is the reluctance to do anything… So all I have is this…

Dear India,

I was going to write a Christmas Message to the Roman Catholic Church about flogging hate, but instead it turns out I have to write a message of common fucking sense to you guys instead. I am ashamed to be an Indian man.

Do you fucking know why women are so fucking angry about the rape of a 23 year old? Why now every new rape case that comes to light in India (like the rape of Momoko, a Manipuri actress) will set off riots like the ones in Delhi?

Can you grasp why women are pissed? Why shouldn’t they be? They have fuck all to be happy about. Sexual harassment is so much the norm that they tell foreigners in guidebooks like the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide to watch out for sexual harassment. They tell them to try and travel in groups and to stick together and to try and bring a male companion with them to at least deter sexual harassment and rape attempts. Fuck all kinds of duck! Do you have any idea about how insulting it is to be regarded as “Molesters and Rapists” internationally? Fuck! My girlfriend is in Spain on holiday where a bunch of Indian men suddenly appeared to randomly hit on her while she took photographs. Do you have any fucking idea how creepy, misogynistic and just outright stupid that sounds? Has that every fucking worked? Has anyone driven around in their car honking at random women and had a woman get in of her own volition and without payment going either way? Have you ever wolf whistled a woman on the street and gotten a kiss instead (loved ones don’t count). You wouldn’t grope a woman in a night club unless she wanted you to unless you enjoy starting fights and being thrown out of clubs…, then why would you do so on a bus? Do you think that EVER works? And yes I understand there are women who fantasise about that just like there are women who fantasise about being raped but you want to know the most important part of a sexual fantasy is that it’s a FANTASY. If it gets acted out it’s under carefully controlled circumstances. If you like the whole Princess Leia Gold Bikini routine then you ask your partner to dress up as Leia/Jabba (I don’t judge you… you magnificent slime monster…). It doesn’t mean you should kidnap Princess Anne! If a woman has a rape fantasy it doesn’t mean you get to rape her… It means you get to PRETEND its rape. Fuck! This is basic. Basic stuff you need to teach all children. Consent is vital and consent gained through harassment or threats is NOT consent.

That is why I am ashamed. Because I have to say something this basic. You may say “Oh Avi, we Tamils aren’t like that”. We are. Rapes and harassment may happen less in the South than in the North doesn’t mean we don’t have the same problem, just on a different scale.

Pretty much any travel blog, guide or website on India says “Don’t dress in western clothes and prepare to get groped!” Incredible India? More like Incredible Rape Statistics. We are so pissed for around 600 Rapes in Delhi a year. The problem is how many rapes are actually reported? There are thousands of rapes in just Delhi that are going unreported. There are thousands upon thousands of sexual harassment incidents that simply go unreported. I bet there are at this point more women in India who have rape, molestation and sexual harassment anecdotes than women who have none… Any takers? All these women who are hacked off are hacked off because they have heard of friends being raped or harassed or have been the victims of this themselves.

The blame lies sorely on the men who rape, the people who obfuscate the issue and those who simply excuse the rape by involving something unrelated. If you came across a naked and unconscious woman and you had sex with her then you are still a rapist. It is not her fault, it is not the lack of clothes fault, it is not her presence that is the problem. It is always been the rapist. You cannot claim a lack of control over yourself because of her attire.

If I were wearing a suit and got mugged, no one would dismiss my case with the line “You shouldn’t have dressed for success, he must have thought you were a philanthropist”. No one would say “Well if you didn’t dress like such a philanthropist they wouldn’t take your money”. No one would say “Are you sure you didn’t give the money away and just are saying that to hurt this innocent charity case”?

It’s the same fucking them for rape. The fact that I have to make such a ludicrously stupid example up is how ludicrous it is to blame women’s clothes for being raped. What else do you want to blame? Our religions? TV? Games? Music? Movies? Those are all excuses because everyone knows that these rapes are due to a culture of sexual repression of both men and women and the consistent denigration of women and their rights. That in order to fix this Indians need to admit having a problem and destroy parts of a culture that they think is good and perfect. To claim that men cannot “control” themselves is insulting to the 50% of the entire world. It is denigrating your culture by excusing the behaviour of absolute bastards.

This collective rage has to be harnessed to make India better. The culture where we coddle our men has to stop. The culture where we treat women as arm candy has to stop. The culture where we don’t show women strong role models has to stop. The culture of treating women as unwanted, inferior or in some way incapable of doing things has to stop. Otherwise these rapes will keep happening and in a world where barriers are breaking down we will go down as “Rapists and Molesters”.

The Catholic Church has a reputation for hiding it’s child molesters for a reason. It is because it ACTUALLY did. Will India get such a reputation too? Will we start making Catholic Priest jokes about Indian men because that’s what it’s going to eventually come down to?

Eventually the rock throwing will stop, but the talking MUST start. India changes tonight and you cannot expect others to make the change. You have to do it yourself. It’s not for people like me to make this change for you. India is not my country no matter how brown my skin is. Indian however is my culture and this is why I weigh in.

We cannot keep being called a culture that is just endemically unsafe to women. It has to stop. Do you know how heart breaking it is to be told by your girlfriend that you are not like other Indians because I think the harassment isn’t attractive? That our dating strategy is akin to Stockholm syndrome…

The rage of these women is entirely justified. If you wish to show your support then please does so. Make some noise; let people in India who are in power know that they cannot keep hiding this horrific side to India. It’s our silence that has caused this to come to a point. All we can do is make noise and show the people who are fighting for justice and to stop rape in India that we support what they are doing. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, make your voices be heard. People in India need to know that we actually give a flying fuck and that we show solidarity against the people who make excuses and try and stop this change.

The rapes have to stop.

Merry Fucking Christmas and a Happy Fucking New Year.

Yours in disgust

Avicenna Last

So Part III in the Female Genital Mutilation Saga

 

A Skepchick writer has come out in favour of the Lisa Wade’s article in one specific way

No one likes to be told what to do? Especially by people outside the culture if they are using language condemning a practice that is harsh.

The problem is Lisa Wade poisoned that one point with the rest of her post. “With Therapy” women will have a normal sex life doesn’t excuse protecting a practice. With therapy a broken leg will heal, doesn’t mean running someone’s leg over with a car is harmless. She covers up harm and uses language legitimising a practice and treats it as a medical procedure.

The piece in from Heina refers to Ophelia’s and Zinnia’s pieces on the topic mentioning that they are facts of FGM light. And to be fair I had just run my “primer” on FGM earlier so I figured they didn’t go into the details about it because if people asked they could just go “Look at Avi’s Stuff” rather than hammering out the same primer. That’s my defence of why they didn’t really go into the details of the subject. [Read more…]

A Balanced Look at Female Genital “Mutilation” is Anything But

I started noticing a fair few hits from “The Society Pages” and went to see who was flogging my blog (That sounds… dirty, But then again with my accent saying “Can I butter your scones” can be considered as near pornographical).

What I came across was something that sets itself up to be a balanced view about the practice of female genital mutilation.

A lot of people who read that were obviously rather angry. One of them linked to my recent post on FGM and it’s defence in Islam. So I had a read on my way back from my exam and have a rebuttal. If you want to see another one, check out Zinnia’s piece on her blog.

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Won’t Someone Think of The Children

Not You!!!!

Apart from you guys!

Let’s just say… Jesus makes you think of children a lot. Sometimes in not very acceptable ways.

Oh get your mind out of the gutter! This is an article about abortion and in particular Matt Barber’s take on it where he writes an open letter to the women and “girls” who have had an abortion. He does ask us to keep an Open Mind and Hearing Heart and maybe an Empty Stomach, which is fine if you are planning to do battle in The Kitchen Stadium to topple an Iron Chef but not if you want to talk to idiots particularly about a topic which is personal, upsetting and above all private.

The thing is Matt thinks the things he says are truths. Which is deadly as fuck, because this man genuinely believes that the entire history of the planet is based on a bunch of ignorant shepherds from the Middle East and their religion which was considered anti-knowledge EVEN during it’s own foundation. It’s a faith where the greatest sin and the deadliest thing in it was the acquisition of knowledge. Knowledge isn’t treated as sacred or important, it is treated as dangerous. Abrahamic faith is not just a blindfold to reality but is also a lead pipe to the head when it comes to it so you either are simply blinded or worse, you perceive it in such a warped and weird way that the only thing that will knock sense into you is a horrific shock. Where every single thing that the person holds dear suddenly and simultaneously comes down. My transition to atheism wasn’t a horror filled realisation it was slow and gradual and rather painless. I never really had to wrestle with any demons all though I will Invoke Rule 34 for anyone wanting to see that particular fantasy.

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