No guy ever really

No guy ever really "loses control" when they sexually assault a woman. What they really mean is that she couldn't defend herself and they thought they could get away with it. No potential rapist will ever say "I lost control even though the woman was well protected".

“He Lost Control” – Why that’s a Bullshit Excuse

Underlying most of the victim blaming that goes on when a woman is assaulted, is a scary and rather offensive assumption. That men “can’t control themselves”. Apparently not a tiny number of people think that we are these slavering, foaming at the mouth, dangerous animals who need to be kept unstimulated and that a woman’s body language, her clothes, shape of her pinkie finger or whatever is like waving a red flag to a bull. “They can’t help it!”. The mother of one of the rapists in the Mumbai photojournalist gang rape case said “What was her son supposed to do? He lost control!”

Oh really? I mean seriously?

Would these guys still have assaulted the girl had they thought that:

  1. She carried a gun, or
  2. Had a deadly Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), or
  3. Had a couple of professional bodyguards around the corner?

“Lost control” literally means “Unable to do anything else”. So little details like the above wouldn’t have stopped the guys from raping her right? Oh they would have?

But…but…they lost control. How could they have acted differently?

Oh I see! These guys “lost control” only when it was safe to do so. Right, right. I get it now. “Lost control”. *Wink wink*!

I can guarantee you that if a beautiful naked woman were to walk down the most crime infested area in Delhi at 3:00 AM with adequate protection, no one would lose control. Even the most dangerous insane maniac will keep his dick in his pants. Because they know better. They weigh the odds. They calculate.

And this is the very opposite of “losing control”. Truth be told, no one loses control. The same applies to losers who beat their wives and later justify it by saying “I lost control”. These jerkoffs are used to beating on people without getting the worst end of the deal, and so they “lose control”.

Of course, not all men even require the threat of violence to keep it down. I can confidently state that I can easily and with only a bare minimum of effort keep my hands off a woman if she just says “No” regardless of the situation, her dress, her attitude, her way of standing, the time of the night and so on and so forth.

Because I’m not an animal. Actually, why should I insult all animals here? Dogs for example are fully capable of controlling themselves if consequences are made clear. Ever seen a dog just standing in front of a tasty treat waiting for permission to gobble it? Even they have sufficient control.

So the next time you hear someone say or imply that “He lost control”, you know that it’s one of the biggest bullshit lies ever manufactured to deflect blame. In truth, they’re only condemning themselves.

Comments

  1. Pink says:

    True! Accepting such a lame excuse would mean, they would act the same and get away with the crime by blaming the victim. One feels more powerful when one regards others’ life, opinion and desires lesser. Similar to speciesism- that humans feel superior to other creatures. :(

    • bhagwad says:

      Right. It allows them to absolve themselves of responsibility. They’re the victims here don’t you see?!

      • Pink says:

        Yup.I mean the same. They->those who ignore this issue or accept the criminal’s ‘lost control’ excuse.
        I was thinking how speciesism was similar to this gender superiority that is seen in certain cultures.You put it in a better way, yes it absolves them of the responsibility.

  2. ha ha ha.. u nailed it there! that is one hell of an argument about losing control. :)

  3. Aparna says:

    This ought to be made mandatory reading for all victim-blamers. Rapists rape because they they want to, and because they can, and because they think/know there are no consequences.

    Apart from the immediate deterrences you’ve mentioned (protection etc), what if a chap knew he would be locked up for life definitely if he assaulted a woman? Chances are he finds that he has a LOT of control over himself!

    • bhagwad says:

      That’s the true point I’m trying to get at. The reason for so many crimes is because our justice system is creaky, police doesn’t register FIRs, the conviction rate is low and slow as well. The lack of “immediacy” of the punishment and the uncertainty of it allows rapists to think that they’re not going to face any consequences.

      Police reforms and an overhaul of the justice system are the real long term solutions. No mere increase in police presence is going to change that.

  4. Surbhi says:

    I’m appalled every time this excuse is made. Appalled at the shallowness and shamelessness of the excuse. But appalled even more at how it doesn’t get the blood of all the sensible and sensitive and right-thinking men out there boiling.

    This excuse riles me up like no other, because I have known my father and brother and male relatives and male friends and male colleagues to be perfectly capable of ‘control’ regardless of the situation/circumstances. It makes my blood boil when this pathetically flimsy and hollow excuse is used in such a sweeping way for all men in general. It insults the men I know, and I can never take that lying down. So how can men?

    Why are men not screaming from the rooftops that they know they have a brain and they know how to use it. This excuse is insulting to men as much as (if not more than) it is to women.

    Hats off to Bhagwad for highlighting this, though I was missing more of the outrage.

  5. A. Madhavan says:

    THANK YOU!!! Men are not these uncontrollable oafs!!
    It is refreshing to hear a male perspective who has some damn sense!
    I also read the article on the Mumbai rapists mother who said it about losing control, and I was like WTF?!?! Seriously, people would rather give a crap excuse like that than to ADMIT that he was wrong AND be afforded the consequences.
    Seriously, the excuses people give are truly mind-boggling….

    • Clueless says:

      This!! I can somehow comprehend the rapist saying he was “out of control” to get some sympathy, but what makes regular men who do not usually rape to brand themselves as “out of control” animals? Is it so horrible to accept that some men are bad and they should be held responsible for their actions?

      Combine this attitude with High Court judges that routinely advice the victim to marry the rapist, we have a two front attack on the victims – from the society, and from the law that does not take them seriously either.

      • bhagwad says:

        I think victim blaming also gives people a sense of safety. Think of what it means to not blame the victim. It means bad things happen even to good people. That shit occurs randomly. But if you can somehow deflect fault onto the victim, you can point and say “Well, it was your fault!”

        It also might have something to do with the attitude of “karma” where people feel that you deserve whatever happens to you. It’s a way of making sense of an essentially random universe.

  6. mostlymisfit says:

    The mother of one of the rapists in the Mumbai photojournalist gang rape case said “What was her son supposed to do? He lost control!”- I also blame women (some) who give feed to the thought that “unable to control” is the test of real masculinity. I mean come on!!

    But a lot of women actually believe that if their husbands don’t show some degree of violence, they aren’t men enough. My mum used to have a domestic help who was shocked that my dad didn’t hit my mum. She gave my mum a pitiful look and proudly described how her husband occasionally came home drunk and beat her.

    • bhagwad says:

      Where have I heard this before? Some book with an Italian setting I remember where every woman would strive to get at least a few beatings by her husband – with marks no less! Jeez – whatever rocks one’s boat I guess. Something to do with beatings showing that the man cared.

      The problem comes when they apply those standards to other women who don’t share the same desire to be whipped.

      • freebird says:

        Were you referring to any of Mario Puzo’s works? I’m just asking because when I expressed similar reservations about them, I had to deal with ‘But he’s just depicting the reality!’. Just wanted to feel better in case I’m not the only one who thought that way.

      • bhagwad says:

        Maybe…maybe. It might well have been him.

  7. freebird says:

    This is one of the things to be included in the ‘curriculum to reform rape-apologists’. I have never understood how a person can ‘lose control’ selectively. And you’ve put it very precisely and concisely.

  8. Thank you for stating what needs to be stated. Excuses are a rather common way for an offender to justify or at the very least, rationalise their behaviour. Criminology 101. That is what the mother in this case did, burdened with the guilt of having a rapist for a son – a son she might have never imagined capable of such savagery.
     
    Now, there ARE a few points I’d have to disagree with. One is the presumption that ALL men are always in full control of their judgement when it comes to inflicting violence. A higher certainty of penalty *might* help reduce the prevalence of opportunistic crimes such as the Delhi and Mumbai gangrapes OR the murders/muggings of certain ethnic groups in Delhi. However, as I have experienced AND observed in the world outside the realm of blogging philosophies – a lot of people (men AND women) have poor impulse control. It can be something as minor as gorging on that extra pastry while moaning about how bad their ‘genetics’ are (~fat) OR something as aggravating as a 5′ 4″ Jat bloke trying to physically accost a guy a lot bigger and heavier than him (during a heated debate).
     
    Such a poor impulse control, which is more prevalent in a certain socio-economic segments, *will* and *does* provoke a higher tendency for opportunistic short order crimes.
     
    Also, contrary to some of the opinions posted above, a short tempered and impulsive behaviour is one that has never been upheld as contemporary masculine behaviour. One of the defining characteristics of a masculine man is one who is in full control of his emotions – he chooses how, when and in what way his emotions manifest. He does not let his emotions control him, like some PMSing lass. The fact that the mother of the criminal chose to defend him is very telling – one that is hard for the discerning mind to miss. The rapist didn’t have a strong masculine role model. If you follow the stats related to criminal behaviour, you start to spot a pattern – a lot of violent criminals tend to have domineering mothers OR weak/non-existent fathers APART from the obvious other causative factors like poverty, motive, etc.
     
    On that note, a sensible and right thinking person does not respond to pleas that bad behaviour from certain men and their justifications should ‘get his blood boiling’ OR get him outraged enough to defend himself.

    • bhagwad says:

      Yes, I agree that there are several crimes committed on impulse. The law itself has a lower punishment for murders etc committed “in the heat of the moment”. An argument between husband and wife gone askew for example. It’s not an excuse, but I think it does make sense to have slightly differing sentences.

      But rape…I find it a bit hard to imagine that it can be done on impulse. So many actions need to be taken to successfully rape another person that it would be pretty tough to make a “heat of the moment” argument. Neither the gang rape of the photo journalist, nor the Nirbhaya rape case, nor any of the other cases I’ve read about convince me that they fall into the “impulse” category.

      In fact, the law allows the taking of life in specific circumstances when your own life is threatened. Not all self defense can justify murder of course, but the SC has pretty much made it clear that accidents happen and in certain situations, killing another person can have a justification. But I’m yet to think of any exonerating circumstances that would justify a person raping another. It’s just too specific a crime.

      Murder is relatively easy. There are dozens of actions that can result in someone’s death. Rape…not so much.

      • “So many actions need to be taken to successfully rape another person that it would be pretty tough to make a “heat of the moment” argument.”
        From a general perspective, I agree. If we go by the conventional definition of rape – it does involve a lot of deliberation for a person to overcome a victim’s resistance to force himself/herself upon her. I think this is one of the reason why rape prosecution in India does not require the prosecution to prove the *intention* to rape. The intention is implicit in the act, unlike murder trials.
         
        However, we cannot really put ourselves in the shoes of a rapist – for the simple reason that we don’t have that perspective. Take a scenario with my chauffeur for instance, who asked after browsing through my old collection of FHMs, if women are aroused by visuals of men the same way he found them arousing. After explaining to him the gender differences in sexuality in a way that he would understand, I realised that in another time and place, he might have been one of those man who flashed a woman expecting to ‘arouse’ her. Without their perspective, you never know what goes on in their minds and how they might be motivated to do what they do.

Add Your Comment