I’m a woman…. if you didn’t guess yet. And as a woman I agree that we have a lot of challenges. For women, the world is constantly portrayed as unsafe, a place we should always look left and right almost every second. I cannot count the number of times me and other women have been told not to do this, go there, wear that…just to keep us safe. And as it is, it is usually in our best interests.
But honestly, we cannot take care of ourselves enough. We cannot wear long enough clothes, choose people we interact with well enough, go to places that are safe enough with danger being everywhere. Danger in this case being rape.
Rape, I heard that word first when I was around seven years old. I was a curious cat and probably knew about sex way faster than a lot of kids my age. And when I heard about rape, the first thing that came to mind was being held down by a stranger on the dark alley, screaming and crying for help. But I’ve grown, and I’ve learnt that the world may actually be worse than that. Close friends, relatives and even spouses have now presented themselves as rapists. This week a young woman was raped (I wanted to say violently raped but rape in on itself is a form of violence) and killed by a man she went on a date with. Another unfortunate incident, a woman was thrown from the 12th floor down ultimately being crippled just because she rejected her boyfriend’s sexual advances.
Of course there is the question of how careful these women were, going to meet with these men that they didn’t know well, using these men for financial gains but for the life of me I cannot understand how that becomes a justification for rape, crippling and ultimate brutal murder.
Many women all over the internet were pissed, going to their social media platforms to rant about how unjust these deaths were. The hashtag justiceforVesh was among the trending hashtags all week. But this was mostly promoted by women, men for the most part keeping quiet. Of course I could go into a heated rant on how misogyny and male privilege has led to this heartbreaking and ignorant silence but I won’t.
Then the one thing happened that sent everyone into a shock, a group of high influencing men on radio decided to victim blame and demean not only the two women who met their unfortunate gender based violence fuelled crimes this week but also every other woman who has gone through any form of GBV. Now we all know how ‘women’s fights’ are usually left to women alone. By ‘women’s fights’ I mean the feminist cause, I mean inclusion, I mean rape and other forms of gender based violence. And by saying this I don’t mean that men do not go through this sorts of acts, I mean most women do and it’s wrong that the patriarchal society has normalized it, making it the so called ‘rape culture’ where rape is normalized and where women are blamed for being rape victims.
I’m pretty pissed off right now, ranting about this instead of sleeping. But somehow I feel like a lot of people need to hear this. Never will there be a justification for rape or any form of gender based violence. Never will victim blaming rape victims be a solution to the rape problem or better still keep women safe. Never will women wear long enough clothes or walk home early enough to prevent rape because the problem is never with them but with rapists. And never will disrespecting women just because make you the ultimate alpha male. I could say rape needs to stop but we already know this. I could say men need to stop normalizing and making a joke out of rape but we know this too. All I have to say is I hope one day no woman will have to look behind her back every two minutes because some guy stared at her for a second too long.