Indian men don skirts to protest victim blaming

2:40 pm - January 19th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    

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This is brilliant. Last week, a group of men in the southern Indian city of Bangalore had enough of politicians and religion nuts blaming women and western culture for rapes and sexual assault.

So they called on men from their city to “come out and take a stand” against violence against women.

They wrote on their Facebook page:

Wear a skirt and speak to as many as you can against the misconception that what a woman wears is the cause for sexual violence against her. Go about your day as usual, go to work, go shopping, watch a movie, but do it in a skirt wherever you are. But do tell people why you’re wearing it.

Why does wearing a skirt make a difference? It’s a satirical take on the issue to draw attention to the absurd idea that what a woman wears invites sexual assault. Wear that skirt as a symbol of your support to a woman’s right to wear what she wants, be who she is, exercise her rights, and be safe in her city. Nothing shows more solidarity with women than breaking barriers and boundaries of “his” and hers”.

They wanted to show that “women are not fighting this battle alone”, they added.

The event was filmed by the national broadcaster NDTV (with some dramatic music for effect)


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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments

What became of the ancient tradition of the Hijra (eunuchs) in India?

You know, Bob, you really can be such a prick.

Cherub: “You know, Bob, you really can be such a prick.”

Even more adhominem abuse without substantive justification?

Subject to correction by critics, I assume contributors here will not dissent from deploring rape. Perhaps, therefore, a more fruitful point of departure is a social science perspective so as to question how and why rape, as well as the claims about the low status of women in India, could have evolved to current manifestations.

The hijra tradition is possibly one historic element. Other contributing traditional factors, as mentioned in previous threads, include sati (or suttee), which was banned by the British Raj in 1829, ancient religious texts such as the Kama Sutra, the devadasi tradition of temple prostitution and the scultures on the temples at Khajuraho.

In previous comments, it was remarked that there is a huge difference in the incidence of rape between Delhi and Mumbai, the second largest conurbation in India. Focusing on such differences of place and the respective social classes of victims and perpetrators seems to me to be a potentially illuminating way of proceeding beyond street protests and getting the police to look into their standard practices for treating victims. In the end, street protests are unlikely to have much impact on rapists.

it amazes me how these white middle class lefties from the guardian and the independant think they always know best on every issue like these gang rapes and crimes commited against the women and children of india.where does this attitude of i know best even though i am not indian come from when it comes to this issue in india at the moment.

With recent UK press reports like this, it must be exceedingly doubtful whether we have anything to teach India about how to deal with the crime of rape or with (potential) rapists:

Fewer than one rape victim in 30 can expect to see her or his attacker brought to justice, shocking new statistics reveal.

Only 1,070 rapists are convicted every year despite up to 95,000 people – the vast majority of them women – suffering the trauma of rape – according to the new research by the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Office for National Statistics.

This is one kind of explanation for the low conviction rate for rape in Britain:

A woman who cried rape to cover up cheating on her partner with a taxi driver has been jailed for two years after the infidelity was exposed.

Decent, honourable men. Well done to them for being kind, and sensible.
If only more men were like them.

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