Sunday, 23 December 2012

Delhi Rape - Are we a nation of misogynists?

The shocking incident in Delhi  has shaken the morality of the nation. What was defining in this incident that forced a billion people out of their slumber and galvanized sections across the nation? Was it the lack of a chauvinistic explanation by the moral safe keepers deriding the incident while extolling the need to remain restrained to the cultural roots?  An explanation, of provocative dressing, presence in an unsuitable place for a woman, meandering alone unescorted by a male of the species, indulging in acts unbecoming of our culture, or the act of a sick mind have not been forthcoming from the sentinels of our society as  justifiable arguments in this case. Here was an average middle class woman, dressed modestly, accompanied by a male friend, returning after a socially acceptable act of watching a movie, heading home in a government recognized transport at a decent time, raped by a gang of hooligans who were looking for some money to buy extra liquor.

That brings me back to the question "Are we a nation of Misogynists"? Though the dictionary definition of the word means a woman hater, it has acquired a new meaning ever since Ms Julia Gillard, Australia's first woman prime minister used it in her fiery speech in the parliament accusing the opposition leader Tony Abbott, of being a misogynist. The dictionary meaning is now being changed to also mean "prejudiced to woman".  So are we misogynists?

So can Mr Sanjay Nirupam, the congress MP be called a misogynist, when he taunted Ms Smriti Irani in a TV news debate of being a nautch girl who danced to make money and hence should not carry an opinion on national politics? Are Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav misogynists when they oppose the 33 % reservation bill for women? Or is the entire judicial machinery a herd of misogynists who would examine the character and past behavior of the woman before putting the accused on trial?

Medical practices and research have added their bit to subject the woman to further prejudice. Strong voices are already clamouring to do away with the prevalent finger test, which tends to further denigrate a vicitim after abuse.  An appalling research that is being formulated into acceptance tends to constitute over indulgence of sexual acts as mental illness.  This would only add to the defence of a rapist and to the repudiation of justice to the victim.

The laws can to an extent act as a deterrent to this abject paradigm of gender equality. The true shift can only occur when this culture of misogyny and condescension evolves into one of respect and a belief that the woman is a collateral descendent of the same progenitor.

No comments:

Post a Comment