• Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
By Edmond Fernandes and Shrea Kapoor There are those acts which should never have been committed, but with a good judicial system in place can be punished and thus justice can be meted out. Rape, on the other hand, is not one such act. Firstly because the system simply doesn’t seem to work fast enough to evaluate it and furthermore, there isn't a form of penalization in use that will reprimand the criminal in a manner equivalent to how the crime affected the victim.  Interviewing a rapist doesn't mean one is promoting rape. Surely you wouldn't argue that a scientist researching the cause of hypertension is promoting hypertension! There is a school of thought that believes that investigating rape from an evolutionary perspective justifies or legitimizes rape (e.g., Baron, 1985; Marshall & Barrett, 1990, cited in Thornhill & Palmer, 2000). One may use common logic to disagree with that, and using the same logic one might proceed to simply say, “but conducting an interview doesn’t mean one has to reveal all its details!”  Or is this protest our subconscious want to run away from the Ugly Truth? Do we not have the tenacity to bear the weight of those atrocious words? Yes, that may well be the case. It is not like we don’t know what lies out there. We are not ignorant of the threat that faces women just by virtue of them being women, but maybe we don’t need to hear it flashed at us in this crass manner. If this documentary does get cleared someday, let it be a piece of information to take note of and not be the documentary of the day to earn points from. We hope that India and the world at large are able to watch it, condemn it and spit fire in the face of its very existence and the existence of all those who are capable of such thoughts. Let Science keep its objectives separate from that of the psyche of people at large. Such experiments and interviews must undoubtedly be conducted, for how else will we get to the “root of the root, the bud of the bud”? But there we must be more prudent in our filtering, or the lack of it of such things. Human rape appears not as an aberration but as an alternative gene-promotion strategy that is most likely to be adopted by the 'losers' in the competitive, harem-building struggle. If the means of access to legitimate, consenting sex is not available, then it seems that a human male thinks he faced only with a choice between force or “genetic extinction”. Researchers estimate that 67– 84% of rapes are not reported (Greenfield, 1997; Kilpatrick et al., 1992). Rape is a global phenomenon and its interpretations have varied from time to time. Different theories have been attempted to understand the psychology of rape victims. Analysing rapists goes a lot deeper than simply pointing a finger at them and yelling “you’re wrong! A lot depends on the upbringing of the person, what kind of hardships and oppression that person has gone through in his lifetime that influences his behaviour, nature and that final decision before the act. This is not in any way to condone the act of rape, but just to bring forward another aspect of how we can deepen our research and understanding of it. What exactly happens in the mind of a rapist while committing the crime is yet to be understood by science although psychology offers different socio-biological theories. Having said that, several studies show that lust is not the always the reason for crime. Revenge features very high on the list of why men rape women. The most commonly cited motives for rape are those of power, anger and sex (Barbaree & Marshall, 1991; Barbaree, Seto, Serin, Amos & Preston, 1994; Berlin, 1987; Groth, 1979; Groth, Burgess & Holmstrom, 1977; Hazelwood & Burgess, 1987; Holmstrom & Burgess, 1980; Holt, Meloy & Strack, 1999; Kanin, 1985; Palmer, 1988; Sanday, 1981). Modern rape concepts often recognize that it certainly involves aggressive and sexual motives but then this is suppressed by theorists as one motive and they de-value other motives. As a nation we ought to focus on why rapists do what they do in-spite of commercial sex workers on record. The mind-set of a rapist is framed with the reason that he needs to exercise dominion over a woman. The fault lies primarily in the fact that he views her as a commodity. The issue stems from the fact that the female child is always the more unwanted one, that is ofcourse if she survives foeticide to reach the stage of being unwanted. She is always the least prioritized, uneducated, unfulfilled, suppressed one. It is as though she is not a breathing, living entity, but just an object to be exploited for recreational, reproductive and domestic uses. Take this mindset of a rural man, and place him in an urban set up where we see girls taking the lead, trying to chase their dreams, being given freedom to do the things they want. Albeit the latter is a minority scenario compared to the former, just take the rural man and place him in front of an urban woman. What’s going to happen? Exactly what’s happening. This one section of rapes we can blame on rural-urban-mindset-clash, but what about men in rural areas raping women in rural areas? Surely that’s purely a case fundamental ideologies being grossly wrong and anti feminist. What about urban men raping urban women? Like the present Nirbhaya case that’s being discussed. The rapists were not neurologically deranged men, with psychiatric problems. They were not convicts or criminals. They were just ordinary men!. Right now, we’re doubly angry and scared, because they were just ordinary people. People we all might run into on a day to day basis. It has something to do with how rapists always want to see women under their control and their inability to handle women expressing themselves in terms of their clothes, careers, likes, dislikes inter alia. While as a society we fiercely oppose this crime, practically there is very little solution tabled for discussion. A conservative approach such as rigorous counselling? A more extreme approach like life time imprisonment? Capital punishment? While human rights watch-dogs have raised concerns of death penalty, certain democracies like ours cannot for once take an alternative route. In the distant future as we evolve as a nation, reversing death penalty can be re-thought. But for now, today, rape needs to be approached with a different perspective. What is a form of punishment that will make the rapist regret his actions? What will cause him as much grief as he caused the victim? What will be “an eye for an eye” in this case? More studies on behavioural aspects of a rapist mind will help unfold means to tackle this growing menace. The research conducted by Thornhill and Thornhill focuses on the aftereffects of being raped and on the psychological pain that may motivate women to avoid the circumstances leading to the rape. Very little research, however, has been conducted to identify the specific behaviours women may deploy to avoid being raped. These aspects should definitely be explored. As should physical fitness training, martial arts and basic knowledge of self defence be made compulsory for all girls and women. If extinguishing the flame is proving to be difficult, we must atleast find ways to cut off the oxygen supply to it. Amending the law is not the only thing to do. It is definitely not the need of the hour. Delivering speedy judgement in such cases is more meaningful. We don’t need to emphasise on the astonishing number of rape cases that are still pending judgement. “Justice delayed is justice denied”, but here, justice doesn’t seem to be in the picture frame let alone the picture! Let science act as a tool to augment our motives and purposes. Let humanity take the lead in defending its pride. Ashoka’s Lion pillars were adopted by our founding fathers as a symbol of strength. With repeated rapes taking place, when the lion roars, the vultures laugh. The time to change had arrived long ago, now is the time to make it happen. Enough said, but not enough done! Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this articles are the personal opinions of the author. The News Minute is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article. 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