“A cult of masculinity is behind the constant violation of women around the world — that some men brutalize women against their own self-interest because of an addiction to control or domination. Rape is not about sex, rape is about violence, proving ‘masculine’ superiority; often inserting guns and other objects into women’s bodies; playing out hostility to other men by invading the bodies of ‘their’ females, including old women and babies; occupying wombs with sperm of a conquering group; owning female bodies as the means of reproduction; and raping men and boys to make them as inferior as females.” – Gloria Steinem
She is just thirteen years old. She refuses to leave school after classes and is constantly weeping. Isn’t that strange? What is perturbing her? For the last two years, she had been repeatedly raped by her father, brother and two uncles at her home. An incident in Kerala that came to public notice a few days ago, reminded me of a similar incident from the same state where a father not only raped her minor daughter but took money from hundred other men so that they can satiate their carnal desires by raping his daughter. There is hardly any nation or culture which has no instances of rape of minors by fathers or father-like figures. Statistics say, nearly 70% of the child sexual abusers are males, and are close relatives of the victims. Some are known family friends, distant relatives, neighbours. Very few strangers cause rape. Does this not remind you of Jane Smiley’s “A Thousand Acres”? A father who indulged in sexual relation with daughters when they turned 13, and abused them till they turned 16; there is a saying in Hindi – Rakshak bana Bhakshak, protectors turn attackers. How true is that! For women, safety is a luxury, not a right. Indoors, her father will rape her and when you demand security outside the house, the police rape you.
Any incident of rape – whether it is of a young girl, or a minor or some adult woman – is condemnable in the harshest of terms. Even the rape of young boys is deplorable and disgusting. Rapists who commit these heinous acts know fully well that they are committing a crime. With evolution of the human psyche, the definition of rape has also undergone change. There was a time when rape was not considered an offence. Having sexual relations with minors was a social norm. Child-marriage was a part of the culture. Time changed, but does it really? Not long ago, Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel Prize winner poet and philosopher married a 9 year old child. Child marriage is still a huge tradition in Rajasthan. Even the administration has no right when it comes to taking stand against these customs. Actually there is no difference between raping a minor and having consensual sex with them. Curiosity about everything is natural for children, and hence they might even consent to it. But adults are expected to be mature so as not to engage them in sex!
Child pornography is banned in most civilised nations. However, demand for child pornography has a worldwide trend. Children are sexually tortured in such videos, but instead of crying, they are shown to be smiling and enjoying the experience. These child porn instigate men to rape children and derive a devilish pleasure. While Africa leads the pack in child rape, Europe has the saving grace. North America and Asia lag a little behind Africa while in the South American nations, it is almost an epidemic. When will this shame stop?
People who feel sexually attracted to girls aged fourteen years or below, girls who are not even in their puberty, should be considered as psychologically unstable, opined a mental health specialist from Vienna Richard von Krafft-Ebing in 1886. Several psychologists and doctors around the globe supported the views of Krafft-Ebing eversince. There are two kinds of rapists in the world – the first kind loves sexual encounters ONLY with minors. The second kind will rape anyone, child or adult, who is available, what they need is opportunity. They can be cured of their ailment by therapy or punishment. But the child-rapists are too hard to cure. Their psyche has a different make. The only way to treat paedophiles is to bombard them with heavy doses of progesterone hormone to kill their desire to rape children.
“A 12 year-old girl brutally raped and murdered by a gang of hoodlums” – when this headline hit the newsstands, 70% of the population, across religion, region or sect, living in the Indian sub-continent, said the criminals should be chemically castrated. Another 22% opined that they should be hanged. A minor 8% meekly submitted, “What About teh menz?” “Women rape men too, what about that?” or “The fault must have been with the girl, she must’ve provoked those men”. According the lynch-mob mentality castration or hanging is the solution of rapes. But this is hardly the case. Dhanonjoy Chatterjee was hanged for raping and murdering Hetal Parekh in Kolkata. Statistics show, incidents of rapes have not subsided after that. Instead, they have increased manifold.
The truth be told, rapes occur the least in nations which do not have chemical castration or capital punishment. Those nations guarantee gender equality is part of their culture. Women are respected in such countries and not looked down upon. They enjoy freedom and independence and do not require reservation to enter the hallowed portals of law-making bodies. Rapes occur in those countries where women are mere sex-objects, machines of producing children. Women face sexual harassment in nations where they are treated as second-class citizens, where they are considered creatures who should not have any intelligence or education. Such nations have thriving brothels; sex-trafficking is the norm at such places. Sexual abuse, rape, marital rape, domestic violence, honour killing, dowry– these are the tenets of culture of such places where women are not valued.
Rape is not about sex, rape is about violence. Most rapists are not sex-starved, they have sexual partners. Rape is nothing but the inherent desire of a man to prove his masculinity. In the patriarchal society, the penis is worshipped. Rape is just a crowning glory, a feather in the cap, on the barren head of a dickhead. How then, will rapes stop? The easiest answer to this is, when men choose not to rape. When men collectively decide that they will not put the entire race and species to further embarrassment and shame, only then will rape stop.
Paedophiles are mental patients and need to be treated. The rest need to be sent for complete reformation. Find the reason why these men rape minors and work on to address those concerns. The government should also prove that it is not warped in an anti-women mindset. Sexual slavery should be eradicated; child pornography needs to be severely dealt with. Millions of girls are victims of sexual crimes thanks to thriving business of child prostitution and child pornography. The government should drive confidence among people that it cares. Child marriage, dowry system, caste system need to rooted out. Education and financial independence for girls are urgently necessary. Teaching children about women’s rights and freedom is a must. Gender equality must be a part of school curriculum from an early age. Both sexes should be taught to respect everyone’s human rights. Government must ensure that children grow up in an atmosphere of scientific rational not the darkness of superstitions. If the history of rapists is dug out, in most cases it would be evident that they had a troubled childhood. Majority of these rapists were brought up in environments where they learnt violence and torture is the order of the day. Children deserve better. People get indoctrinated with misogyny in patriarchal society. Patriarchal traditions and anti-women social customs need to be unlearned.
To make a nation rape-free, a government needs to be proactive. It requires a lot of work and goodwill to bring about social change. Hanging rapists is an easier way out. The public is happy, and the issues can be buried forever. Governments fool public, and we happily oblige by playing to their tunes. The government does not want the public to awaken, or to demand the right things, for that will spell doom for them; create hurdles for them to stay in power despite inaction. Intelligent people will demand permanent solution, not a temporary one, they will demand action. They will ask for changes that, if implemented, will benefit humanity. If government accepts their demands, how will they get time to divide people on the basis of religion and caste to get votes? How will government rule with the muscle-power of anti-social goons? How will they secure their stay on the corridors of power?
My Bengali article is translated into English by Agnivo Niyogi (@Aagan86)
If you are going to blast half of humanity with the problems caused by a small percentage, expect to be blasted in return.
If you are going to pretend that an issue is gender oriented, when research that you as a physician should know well, then prepare to be criticized.
If you are going to ignore what you were taught on twitter and in other conversations in the past 24 hours about these issues then prepare to be called an ideologue.
Even contemporary US feminists will acknowledge that a small percentage of men commit the majority of rapes. See Lisak & Miller. Also here: http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/ or google “small percentage of men commit majority of rapes”
Looked at another way, of the 865 total attempted or completed rapes these men admitted to, a staggering 95% were committed by 96 men, or just 8.4% of the sample.
Insisting you treat the science and knowledge with respect, is not “what about the menz”, it is asking you as physician, scientist, and philosopher to be honest.
For you to continually ignore the science, even after you have been explicitly told this, marks you as a misandrist.
Being a bitch is not about sex, being a bitch is about power. Most bitches are not sex-starved, they have sexual partners. Being a bitch is nothing but the inherent desire of a woman to prove her femininity. In our society, the woman is worshipped. Being a bitch is just a crowning glory, a feather in the cap, on the barren head of a self-loathing woman. How then, will bitches stop? The easiest answer to this is, when women choose not to be bitches. When women collectively decide that they will not put the entire race and species to further embarrassment and shame, only then will bitches stop.
This makes as much sense, that is to say, no sense whatsoever, as the bullshit you peddled above.
Skeptics and atheists should not cry foul when others ask them to be intellectually honest.
Jay: Nice Straw man.
Jesus. What if 8.4% of men committed murder or attempted murder? Would you consider that a small percentage too? Or is rape a minor crime like shoplifting where you can shrug off a 1 in 12 stat as not particularly significant?
You totally misconstrue the number. The number of men committing rape in the sample equaled 8.4% of the number of women victimized in the sample. Not that 8.4% of all men sexually assault. The point is that most violence is committed by a very small number of repeatedly offending men, yet this is never pointed out by misandrists.
Also, there are two sides to every story:
There are two sides to every story, but that does not mean both sides carry equal weight or that they are both true. Many of the problems outlined by the article you linked to are associated with a strong patriarchal society. The same patriarchy that is associated with increased violence against women also creates the problems men have (for instance the fear of being falsely accused of rape). As with the previous comments, this article was not meant as a stab against all men, but only towards those that commit acts against women and those that help facilitate it. To cry misandry here is to be blind to the content of the article. I suspect from the source of your link, you tend to see only Man-Hating-Feminists every where here. I suggest you remove your blinders and try and see the world not in X’s and Y’s.
Everything outlined anywhere could be considered the result of a “strong patriarchy”. Scientific discovery, philosophy, democracy, the various music forms, the very concept of equality, etc. are all things that can be attributed to the “patriarchy”, because the very foundations of civization as well as practically every concrete and abstract thing created by humans was created by men. Absent of men, we would be living in a primitive state.
The very feminism expoused here was created by men, specifically elite men who could gain power for themselves by depowering men of lower status. You sound just like those conservatives who seek to take away the blame for black slavery from whites by citing that most african slaves were sold to whites by other Africans White worked with elite African chiefs to enslave less priviledged Africans. In the same way, elite men work with feminist women to depower less priviledged men Those elite men become more powerful and have more access to the the masses of women that they can horde for themselves.
And I’m sure that all you see from the linked site is mysogony, a term that you guys toss out repeatedly.Taslima tosses out generalizatios about men routinely, even suggesting in a previous post that all men are basically the same everywhere. So lets not be hypocritical.
Corey Wrenn says
Sadly, I don’t think it’s accurate to label pedophiles as necessarily deviant…today’s society has sexualized childhood to the point where no one even bats an eye when they see a Disney billboard featuring a 10/11 year old girl advertising bra and panties and posed in a provocative posture…or Bratz dolls geared towards young girls who are dressed like Brittany Spears at the club…or the hugely popular “barely legal” pornography genre…or fetishized women in school girl costumes…or t-shirts for toddlers that read “Flirt.” Girls at younger and younger ages are being burdened with the sexuality of grown women…and it’s hardly accurate to say pedophilia is some sort of “sickness”…it’s a socially celebrated norm.
As for the previous comment by Jay, to renounce the reality of patriarchy is truly brazen…and appears to be springing from misogyny…too much time on his hands…and some underlying guilt about how he treats women.
Reading these kinds of articles is disturbing, to say the least, because it becomes so horrible to contemplate the devastation of a victim’s life which rape can entail, while punishment for the rapist, even in first world countries, seems hardly commensurate with the crime.
Which led me to a rather bizarre thought: in this modern world, perhaps a suitable penalty for a convicted male rapist could be a mandatory gender reassignment. Perhaps knowing that he could end up living as the gender he so obviously hates would act as some kind of deterrent. Don’t know about female rapists, but I would imagine there could be some equally suitable punishment devised.
Probably not workable, but it does make me smile to think of a serial rapist waking up one morning to find himself now a “herself” and having to view life from another point of view.
Rape has nothing to do with culture or country, because it happens everywhere. It happens in America as it happens in any other country, although with varying degrees.
The rapist does not rape because he wants to “prove his masculinity”. I know of no academic study that claims that. It’s only based upon your prejudices.
The rapist commits rape because he cannot control his urges, because he is sexually attraced to the victim, or because he is sexually repressed.
I agree with Thorne that the punishment for the rapist is not proportionate with the crime in many instances.
Who Knows? says
No so much, Issam.
Michael Kimmel is a sociologist at the State University of New York who has received international recognition for his work on men and masculinity. He says violent men often view their actions as revenge or retaliation. “They say, women have power over me because they’re beautiful and sexual and I want them and they elicit that and I feel powerless,” he says. “Just listen for a minute to the way in which we describe women’s beauty and sexuality. We describe it as a violence against us. She is a knock-out, a bomb-shell, dressed to kill, a femme fatale, stunning, ravishing. I mean all of these are words of violence against us. It’s like, wow, she knocked me out. So the violence then, or the aggression or the sexual violence is often a way to retaliate.”
Philip is a 29-year-old man even prison workers at the Utah State Prison say is a charmer. He is serving time for sexually abusing his step-daughter. He says anger over a divorce led to his crime. “I wasn’t thinking about her whatsoever, just she was there,” he says. “Somebody to vent my anger, my frustrations, and my anxieties and pain. I didn’t think about her, and if you ask the majority of people who are here on this same crime, they would tell you probably the same thing. They didn’t really think. They just want somebody to vent their anger out on. A lot of people who do sex crimes, do these crimes out of anger. Now sex and anger go hand in hand.”
Roby sees several kinds of sex offenders. Those, like Philip, for whom sexual assault is an extension of rage; those who have a need to control of have power over their victims; and those who derive sexual pleasure out of inflicting pain on others. Many of the rapists he’s worked with also seem to have been motivated by sex. “Most of the individuals that I’ve worked with saw having sex with a woman as basically their final validation of them being a man. So they would decide prior to the time they went out and actually committed the rape that they were going to be sexually involved with some woman,” he says. “The woman no longer really had a choice to make in that kind of relationship, but I don’t think they started out saying what I want to do is to degrade or humiliate some other individual.”
Approximately 25-26 percent of the inmate population at the Utah State Prison are sex offenders. Dr. Ron Sanchez is the supervising psychologist who works with them. “I think sex is part of it. I think it’s a vehicle for their aggression. There again, it’s not just about sex. Many of these individuals, at least on the surface, have relationships with women and are having sex on a regular basis, but for some reason have chosen to go out victimize people in this fashion.”
Corey Wrenn says
Issam states: “The rapist commits rape because he cannot control his urges.” This is not accurate. Rape is about power and domination, not sexual gratification. It is a direct result of patriarchy and the sexual objectification and subjugation of women, children, gays, lesbians, and transgenders.
Corey I never heard about a rapist who raped just for power and domination. There are cases of rape in virtually every country with different cultures and perspectives. The rapist cannot have sex with the victim and so he forces her to have sex with him. That’s the impression that I got from rape cases that I heard about. Do you have a survey or academic study that confirms the power and domination motive?
Yyyeah… allow me to direct your attention to the books by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, which discuss at length the repeatedly-observed motives of (serial killers and) rapists. Note that Douglas is the man who first introduced psychological profiling to the FBI as an anti-crime tool; knowing how offenders think was his entire stock in trade for decades.
This does not explain why heterosexual men rape other men. It does not explain why men rape their girlfriends and wives.
Corey Wrenn says
Issam, this concept is fundamental to critical studies of gender and rape culture. Do a google search for “rape culture” and you will see professionals make the connection between rape and domination repeatedly. Here’s an example: http://well.wvu.edu/articles/rape_myths_and_facts
Corey Wrenn says
Er, sorry, do a search for “Rape Myths,” rape culture is a slightly different concept.
Thanks Corey for the link. I find it astonishing that someone would commit rape just for the sake of domination or control. I mean is there no sexual attraction involved? Honestly in the region that I come from domination and control never came up in rape cases. Maybe because no such studies were conducted on them. In any case that link about control and domination debunks Taslima Nasrin’s rhetoric about rape for domination and control not happening in “civilized nations” (whatever that means).
Corey Wrenn says
Of course there is sexual attraction involved–men are literally socialized to be turned on by dominating the vulnerable. 🙁 Sexuality is largely a social construction–men are taught that sex is power and control; women are taught that sex is to be given or taken from them. Women are even conditioned to find their submissiveness sexually gratifying. Sexuality is largely a patriarchal construction. Take a look at any pornography, the same script is repeated–man in control, woman submissive, weak, and often fearful or humiliated. Even popular media portrays this same story–woman says no, man pursues, wins her over, she finally succumbs and often her “no” turns into a rapturous “yes.” Even “chick flicks” featuring a strong female character routinely have love-making scenes feature the man in control of the situation and in a position of dominance with the woman subservient. This is what’s known as rape culture.
Totally agree with your assessment.
Mriganka Bhattacharyya says
Yesterday in ‘Ei Samay’ (in the supplementary ‘Rabibaroari’), a good article was published on child abuse, titled “Boro hote hoteo ki rape”. Taslima, did you read that?
Amazes me, a father whoring his daughter as a child against her will, I expect so little from humanity and humanity has a way to disappoint me.