March 25, 2015

Understanding feminism, sexism and sexual assaults series: Part II - For professed allies

Here's the thing. I've seen men, and women, who claim to understand, pretend to be empathetic, profess alliance that they are all on the same side of the fight against sexual assaults, and suddenly come up with shockingly misogynistic remarks, and out of the blue, engage in rape apology. So for their benefit: this is what our side should be, so that should be clear now:

A) I agree that rape is really, really wrong, but .....

Wait!! Stop RIGHT there. Rape is wrong. Period. There is no need to qualify that statement. There is no need to provide exceptions to that statement. If what you are stating means anything different from this, you are not an ally in our fight, and you are not on the right side.

B) I am not talking about the brutal rapes like the Delhi one, but for 'some' rape cases, OR under 'certain' situations.... followed by victim-blaming.

Again, you need to stop!! There are no different kinds of rape to grade their depravity and extent to which they can be 'justified' based on circumstances. Because rape is rape, it is a violation of human rights, it is a crime, it is a depravity of the gravest kind. Quick facts:

1) No one deserves to be raped, irrespective of the circumstances.

2) No 'kind' of rape can/should be justified to any extent, so classifying/grading 'rapes' makes no sense.

C) I am not talking about women like 'you'/'us', I am talking about 'those' women, who engage in XYZ....

This is one of the most annoying things which I have seen many misogynists do, while feigning alliance. They intend me to take exceptional-izing me as a compliment. They intend me to not see the implicit supremacy in their patronization which blames women for 'certain' kinds of activities, the automatic interpretation of which is as follows: I am exceptional-ized under the assumption that I agree that I have no right to participate in those activities, lest I deserve to be assaulted or treated as 'less than': like 'those' women. The privilege behind this is hard to miss. Being treated as an equal shouldn't come with restrictions: If I need to 'qualify' for my basic rights by not engaging in certain types of activities, then those 'rights' have no meaning at all.

For all the men who know me and profess to care for me: There is no need to exceptionalize me. If you really care, what I need you to do is to acknowledge that no one, including women should be denied human rights, no matter what the circumstances are. What I need you to do is acknowledge that no victim of any sexual crime should be blamed for crime against hir. That is what is going to help. If you are not willing to do this, you are not helping. It doesn't matter if and how you care. Are you trying to say that you would blame the women you love/care about for crimes against themselves, if they were assaulted under circumstances similar to the ones you are trying to exceptionalize? If you wouldn't defend crimes against them, then why would you defend crimes against others? What do you know about that girl who was on drugs, or was out at night alone, or was partying with guys, etc. etc. and was raped, except for the fact that her rights were violated by a criminal? Why do you need to judge the victim at all and qualify whether or not she deserves to be raped? Why can't you simply accept that criminals should be punished for crimes and not victims?

Especially the privileged misogynists professing to be allies: This is the shit you need to stop doing. Now.

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