When the length of the skirt is inversely proportional to the chances of rape . . .

The 9th July Guwahati molestation and groping incident has shaken the whole city. For us, molestation and groping was for big, bad cities like Delhi.

Guwahati was never like this.

But the incident has brought to fore an ugly face of the city, and society at large – that of hypocritical moral policing and gender inequality.

When the news first broke, the news channel in question gave it a quite different headline. It was : “Mohanagarit mataal juboti!” (rough translation : Drunk girl in the city).

The whole molestation and groping angle was out of contention. It was given a different colour altogether – “A drunk girl was creating ruckus outside a pub, and hence the ‘morally conscious’ public took her to task by giving her a public thrashing”.

The whole molestation angle came up atleast one and a half day later, when the video of the incident started to created public outrage. Heads rolled. The news channel in question swiftly swung into action. Headlines were changed. And the channel tried to save face by running a ‘nab the culprits’ campaign. ‘Wanted’ posters were put up in the city at the behest of the channel.

But parallely the channel also made attempts to slowly revive its arguement of the girl being drunk and that she asked for it by dressing in a ‘revealing’ way.

What is shocking is what a tweet of the channel editor said – “Major chunk of girls visiting pubs/bars are prostitutes”.

Nothing can be more outrageous, unfortunate, and pathetic than this. When a senior journalist makes a statement like this, it reflects a lot about the society and its hypocrisy.

A day or two more, and slowly the incident began to attract national attention, with the National Commission for Women sending its team to Guwahati. Facebook groups started clamouring for justice for the wronged girl. People started putting up status updates condemning the incident.

But atleast 30% of the updates were still in the borderline, confused with whether they should condemn the girl’s attire, or the men who violated her.

And some of the confused people are my friends, people I’ve known at some point in my life. And I was livid with their hypocrisy.

I tried to reason with them. But they gave me a discourse on Indian culture and how women should dress. They asked me if I would ‘allow’ my girlfriend/ sister/ wife to wear a revealing outfit and drink in a public till late at night. I said I was none to ‘allow’ and that it was perfectly fine if they did so. They called me a ‘lost case’ and said that nothing can be done about me. I asked them this morning if I could quote their status updates word to word in a blog that I’m going to write. They refused.
And slowly I began to wonder if this was the Taliban.

There can be no justification for rape or sexual molestation. Girls don’t ‘invite’ rape by dressing revealingly in a pub. Perverted men are simply not man enough to behave themselves. Lets face that. The slighest show of flesh turns them to beasts.

If a guy can drink in a pub till late at night, so can a girl. And if her revealing attire gives someone a free pass to attack her, then that guy needs help. Serious help.

We have made a mockery of ourselves as a society. Our false sense of morality is now laughing stock of the whole world. If Indian culture doesn’t teach one to dress provocatively, neither does it teach you to rape . We need to stop making ‘INDIAN CULTURE’ an excuse for our perverted selves. We need to grow up.

We shouldn’t preach our girls not to dress the way they want to. We should teach our boys to be men and that the length of a girl’s skirt is not their business..

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18 comments on “When the length of the skirt is inversely proportional to the chances of rape . . .

  1. Trisha Dey says:

    You know I find it such a stupid argument to put forward in order to conceal their highly charged testosterones by men. I mean Come On!!! If a girl is wearing short skirts or shorts, she is certainly not provoking you!!.. She is dressing so because she wishes to. And moreover, a pervert is not concerned about the dressing of a girl, its his own sick mentality. If such was the case, every rape victim happened to be one wearing short dresses. But its not so. Maximum victims of rape wore either salwar kameezes or sarees or any other Indian attire. Past few days, I myself found so many people (specially males, infact those who pretend to be absolutely DESCENT ones) blaming the girl’s dressing as the reason behind provoking those men. They were absolutely confused!!! According to them though it was not correct to molest that girl but even the girl need not be at the pub in the late hour of the night that too wearing revealing dresses! I found it shocking! They are not MEN but COWARDS who have absolutely no control over themselves!! Being a girl, let me make few things clear…
    Firstly, if a girl is going to a pub, she is not a PROSTITUTE!
    Secondly, if a girl drinks, she is absolutely not wanting herself to be raped!
    Thirdly, if a girl wears short dresses, she is not CHARACTERLESS and is not PROVOKING you! If you get provoked, its none of her business and
    Lastly and most importantly, if a girl considers you as her guide, and asks your opinion about her actions, she is not USELESS or WEAK or DEPENDENT, she does so because she respects you and wants to make you feel IMPORTANT in her life!
    That night when the incident happened I myself read those headlines by the so called reputed news channel-“Mohanagarit mataal juboti!”. It was only after a day or half that the real picture came out. And most amazing part was that the editor of the channel himself uploaded the video on YouTube and afterwards claiming that it was only because of the video, that the culprits could be identified. Journalism at its WORST!!!
    And Subh, I don’t think using the term “TALIBAN” would be a perfect one. Majority of Indian men or as we say “TRADITIONAL” Indian men and even educated ones are HYPOCRITES!.. This is the real truth… They do something and preach something else!! It is as soon as we accept this fault and make provisions for changing it, can we (specially the women folk) breathe freely!!…

  2. It’s voices like yours that can change mass consciousness. I love reading your modern and up-to-date thoughts – but it amazes me that your friends still think in the ancient way of a by-gone age.

    Anyone that changed the fate of a country (for its own good) first faced great opposition – asking people to change their long held belief’s (thoughts that have just been thought repeatedly = belief) is a huge task.

    Your doing a great job xxx

  3. Thanks a lot Charlotte:)

  4. Priyanka Das says:

    fully agree to your views friend…
    i mean.. really.. tell the guys how to behave as humans not the girl HOW TO DRESS!!!
    and even she is a prostitute as said my many… though they have got no rights to assault her… not any girl… we all are humans and are equal… and that needs to be understood!!

  5. Thats exactly my argument. Even if the girl was a prostitute that doesn’t give the license to assault her in the appaling manner in which she was. Thanks for visiting my blog Priyanka:)

  6. pg says:

    When I first saw the clip, I was surprised why would a journalist ask the victim to identify herself.Now, after reading your blog, I understand why? In the eyes of the media guys present there, the men were not doing anything wrong, the wrong doer was the girl who had drank alcohol, the moral policing was justified. The police didn’t bother to arrest the rowdy disgusting men then because, even the police thinks the actual accused in this case is the girl, the men’s act was justified after all, a man has every right in our society to beat, strip and disrespect a woman who drinks and is not dressed appropriately. All the molesters including the media guys( who are also molesters in this case) went home feeling proud of their achievement of having successfully tamed a wild drunk girl and must have boasted proudly to their family.Their mothers proud of how rightly they have raised their son to stop the evil in society.
    The news channel, the police department and society realized one and half day later of who actually the victim is, what the crime is, and who the accused are?

    SHAME ON ALL OF US!

    • Hi Pg. It is disgusting to find that in that whole mob there were only two people who attempted to protect the girl’s dignity. Seriously, what is wrong with the society? What have we become?
      The prime attacker had even uploaded at picture of the assault on Facebook, as if to share his heroic endeavour!

  7. Priyanka Das says:

    SUBHABRATA .. the pleasure is all mine 🙂

  8. Ranita Sinha says:

    I bow to your thought process..

  9. Thank you Ma’am. I’m touched by your comment.

  10. Monika Bakshi Singh says:

    I really wish all men thought the way you do. I am so saddened by what happened in Guwahati. My heart goes out for the girl.

  11. sudhiryesh says:

    Well said!!! A girls dress is none of their business.

    Its a shame to see the on lookers did nothing to save the girl!!! They should not call themselves men anymore.

  12. Sunny says:

    Well-said, Subh. “If Indian culture doesn’t teach one to dress provocatively, neither does it teach you to rape .” Absolutely true and well put. I would like to link to it from my blog if that’s ok.

    We do need to grow up as a culture.

  13. Yes that’s perfectly ok.

  14. […] When the length of the skirt is inversely proportional to the chances of rape . . . […]

  15. sesame says:

    Hi Subhabrata, I’m reading this post quite late, but just wanted to let you know how deeply touched I am knowing that there are men like you out there who think rationally and do not treat women as mere objects or something they need to have control on. One particular line in your post which I was particularly drawn to was ” I said I was none to ‘allow’ and that it was perfectly fine if they did so.”
    I have known men who still think they are “allowing” the women in their lives to have their freedom. They don’t realise that we are as free as they are. Thanks again for uplifting my spirits and restoring my faith in the hope that I too may find someone like you. Thanks.

    • I am really glad that this post struck a chord with you. This was written quite some time back, yet it is one of my favourite pieces. I remember being so angry during that whole episode, and the shoddy media coverage it had received.

      Keep the faith! There are good, decent people in the world, just as there are misogynists of all hues. Thank you for taking time to type out your feelings! 🙂

      Best,

      Subh.

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