A Rumpus World

A few years back I read about a girl named Junko Furuta, a high school Japanese girl, who was raped and tortured for over 44 days until she scummed to her injuries. I remember being haunted and paranoid for months. When I hadn’t even wrapped my head around this tragedy, the NIRBHAYA rape case happened. It was then when I wrote this poem. All kinds of feelings of terror and fear were all I could pen down.

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image courtesy – Avantika Thakur

‘There you see me

Lying alone

But you do nothing

You fear to be out in the zone

Blood all over me

It’s so dry

You can make out

I am a body of wry

They cut me up

They finished me outside

I had been dead inside

For a long time

There was just no more pain

No soul, just empty veins

Because the blood had shed

And I was raped

Repeatedly and over and over

The pain was shaped

Tears were rolling down my eyes

I was not a woman

A body that lies

Down there for those evils

To come and hurt me

No angels only devils

Tell me god!

What wrong did I do..?

You punish me so hard

And let the guilty free

They torture me, they kill me

And you just sit and see

Your child was captive

The doors were locked

You did not hear me pray

I was crying all night and day

And now I am dead

The torture to me has fled

If this is how life ends

Then forgive me please

I never want to be born again..!’

 

What price does one have to pay to be a woman in this world we live in and who is to be blamed? The government?  The people?  Women themselves?  A society where people see the survivors as victims, and treat them as inhumane without even thinking how catastrophic the outcome will be for them. The sad reality of how rape victims are considered as “impure” and not accepted as human beings mostly by their own families. Recently, I came across this news where a 20 year old girl studying in DU, was gang-raped by her classmates and friends. 5 men who tricked her into coming to Faridabad for a party by making her believe that other female fellows would also join them. The horror she didn’t know she was going to face, not even in her wildest dreams would she have thought that the people she trusted and considered as her friends would do this to her. While I was in discussion with my family, the most honest and common opinion I got was ‘ use akele nai jana chahie tha ladko ke sath. Ladko ki toh galti hai but uski bhi hai, use dhyaan rakhna chahie tha.’ (She shouldn’t have gone alone and trusted boys. Both the parties are at fault).  How can we let any man off the hook for doing something so heinous and inhuman that their crime goes unnoticed and all people care about is her dress and her decision. It wasn’t her decision to get raped, it was NOT HER FAULT.

Being a woman myself, I face such situations almost daily. Be it my parents, my relatives, neighbors or my ‘male’ friends especially, asking me to avoid talking to boys or being too friendly and of course to avoid wearing clothes that reveal my body parts. (The human race is not yet ready to accept our body, let alone they’ll let us do that).

Blaming clothes and timings for rape is nothing but monotonous. The fact that rape threats exist is a clear proof for how clothes cannot be blamed for this act of violence against humanity. I condemn this mentality where girls are restricted and told to be careful devoiding them of their basic rights as human beings. The most ironical thing where sexism and chauvinism shines intensely, can be seen when how a woman menstruating is asked to control her hormones and restrained from living life like a normal human being, whereas when a man isn’t able to control his hormones and fulfills his desire to rape a girl, it’s somehow the girl’s fault again. Because womens’ hormones are none of society’s concern but a man can easily blame it on a girl and her provoking clothes or actions.  How women’s issues are considered “facile” and her desires go against the culture. The rape culture follows how we are taught that women are prey and men are hunters. The stereotypical image is how men are seen as threat to women but not society whereas women’s choices about her life and her decisions are considered demeaning for our culture and society.

The rape cases haven’t lessened. A rise has been seen after 2012. Most of the cases go unreported. The victims may have thought about the consequences of reporting the crime, and what are they? SOCIETY. The government may make strict laws, accused may get punished, but is that justice? Until and unless the people themselves stop blaming women, rapes won’t stop. This is how we as a society encourage rape culture. No, it’s not precaution it’s straight out wrong. Unless we don’t stop blaming the victims, rapes won’t stop. When we blame a girl, we give rapists a chance to their defense and in that particular moment we are as ignominious as the accused. There is only one way rapes can be prevented and that is by not raping. Instead of shouting DON’T GET RAPED, how about we for a change start chanting DON’T RAPE. Interesting how omission of one word can actually help in evanescence of rape culture. How hard is it to nail down their head the actuality of such incidents and the right aspect to deal with fracas?

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image courtesy- Sakshi Srivastava 

There are many loop holes to this subject. Even after so many years of struggle how a movement like Feminism still struggles to eradicate the taboos and social issues related to violating women and their place in the society. Marital rape, molestation, eve-teasing, rape threats, domestic violence, dowry, slut-shaming, the list goes on and this is just the harassment, there are many piles of torture and threats beneath it. When will this change? How will this change? What are my rights as a woman? Will I ever get justice? Some questions still unanswered. Remember Nirbhaya’s killers are still not punished. Junko Furuta’s murderers are out of jail, they weren’t even convicted. And many such Nirbhaya and Junko are isolated and alone in one corner of their room, struggling with their everyday life. They don’t get the required help and courage to come out and face their devils. Because it’s not just the rapists, but we the society failed her and gave her accused a chance to get away with such heinous crime. We gave birth to more and more rapists. We are at fault.

JUSTICE DENIED IS JUSTICE DELAYED.

As I mentioned above in the poem- “if this is how life ends for me, I never want to be born again…”A RAPE VICTIM.

 

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