Rape isn't an accident that *just happens*. It requires careful consideration of risks and a lot of planning and forethought. Can we finally stop pretending that rapists *lose control* and that they're a victim of circumstances? <br></br>
creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo by kurichan+: http://flickr.com/photos/yamagatacamille/4325829915

Rape isn't an accident that *just happens*. It requires careful consideration of risks and a lot of planning and forethought. Can we finally stop pretending that rapists *lose control* and that they're a victim of circumstances?

creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo by kurichan+: http://flickr.com/photos/yamagatacamille/4325829915

Uber Case – Rape is Not a “Mistake”

India labors under the misconception that rape is something that “happens” as much to the criminal, as to the victim. Remember the Shakti Mills Mumbai gang rape involving a photojournalist? The mother of the perpetrator said “What was my son supposed to do? He lost control”. Oh poor boy! – He’s the victim here. Why did that woman have to be alone at that place? Why was she dressed like that? Why was she out with a guy?

The same bullshit questions were asked about the Nirbhaya case as well. What was she doing out so late etc etc. And now, with an Uber cab driver confessing to sexual assault, his words are “I made a mistake. What do I do?”

Notice the common thread running through all these statements? They all involve either society or the criminals themselves pretending rape “happens”. Like a force of nature. Like accidentally brushing against a vase and breaking it. “Oops, I made a mistake!”

Let’s accept first and foremost, that a crime like rape requires a lot of forethought. During the Mumbai case, the criminals coordinated to meet each other at a certain time and place. In the Nirbhaya incident, these guys were deliberately seeking out victims and Nirbhaya wasn’t even their first one that night!

The Uber case? The guy made a deliberate choice to divert the cab, made a careful and calculated assessment of the victim’s ability to respond and defend herself, and finally threatened her to keep quiet.

Are these the characteristics of a “mistake”? Does a mistake involve detailed planning of the event well before it takes place? Does a considered cover up and hiding of evidence qualify as a “mistake”? Here’s a thought – why did the cab driver wait to be caught? As soon as he realized his “mistake”, he should have come and confessed to the police right? After all, it was just a mistake. In the heat of the moment!

These two conflicting versions highlight the disparity between how rapists and society think and what reality IS. On the on hand, a shocking number of people like to pretend that rapists are a victim of circumstances. On the other hand, reality shows that nothing is “accidental” and that each step of a rape is chillingly planned – sometimes even days in advance.

Notice how those who justify the rape by saying they “lost control”, are careful only to attack vulnerable women who are either alone, or unable to successfully fight back. Their “control” is fully functional and obvious if they can’t get away with it! No – they only lose control when it’s safe.

Words like “mistake”, “lost control” etc. are symptomatic of we as Indians, refusing to take and place responsibility solely on the rapist. It is they and ONLY they, who are responsible for their actions. They cannot be excused by saying it was a mistake. They cannot be excused by saying the lost control. It doesn’t MATTER what the woman was wearing, or where she was, or who she was with.

Even if a woman is walking naked at 3:00 am at night on the road, she should expect to not be molested. Even in such a situation, it is the rapist and no one else who is to be blamed.

What do you think of this post?
  • Agree (2)
  • You're an asshole (1)
  • Don't Agree but Interesting (0)

Comments

  1. Dont forget the Lutyens cocktail circuit Tarun Tejpal who said that him cornering the girl and fingering her in an elevator are ok because the victim was a “liberated, emancipated modern woman”.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/tejpals-bail-plea-act-consensual-since-colleague-a-modern-woman/

    Reply

  2. Problem is rape is still not proven. It is only allegation. Based on allegation we can’t say rape happened. Any woman can even file a false case against you, will you then become a rapist simply on complaint? Remember Badaun? if not remember that and see how India was shamed us based on a false case. Stop this media trial.

    Reply

    • In reply to Partha

      In this case, the cab driver has confessed and has also tried to justify the act. Plus he’s been convicted of rape before. This time, I think I’ll take the risk of being wrong!

      Reply

  3. They consider it a ‘mistake’ because they got caught! Otherwise, I’m sure it was something to boast about to their cronies!

    Reply

  4. I do agree that rape is a very serious crime and not a mistake that one commits just because he lost his control. But having said that, I’m against death penalty for rapists (which many are demanding these days in India). Secondly, Indians must stop relating rape to a woman’s dignity. A woman is raped does not (not at all) mean that she has lost all her dignity. So Indian media (especially the Hindi media) should stop using phrases like “Izzat loot lee” while reporting rape cases.

    Reply

  5. I agree. We must first learn to call a crime a crime.

    Reply

  6. jason kluge says

    i dont like that last sentence the author wrote. It is partially the fault of someone for making their rape easier to happen if they walked out naked due to an unhealthy attitude of theirs. Not saying its their fault for getting raped, but its their fault for making it easier for them to get raped in this case

    Reply

    • In reply to jason kluge

      There are any number of activities that “make it easier” for criminals to do what they do. Going out at night makes it easier. Getting drunk makes it easier. Heck, not carrying a gun makes it easier! If we start blaming people for “making it easier” for bad things to happen against them, then that’s a slippery slope.

      The whole idea of a civilized society is that citizens don’t have to take responsibility for their protection. The entire burden falls on the state. Sure, there can be guidelines. Sure, the police can give people tips on how to remain safe. But those are optional. They are in no circumstance, way, or form, binding and do not imply that the victim “shares the blame”.

      So I stand by my statement. A naked woman walking alone at night has every reason to expect to remain unmolested.

      Reply

  7. jason kluge says

    Also, a crime like rape doesnt necessarily require alot of forethought if the victim is someone who doesnt fight back

    Reply

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