Shakil Mahmood(Translated by Tahiya Islam):
Why is rape a frequent occurrence these days?
What is the reason behind rape?
The possible stereotypical answers to these questions are; Bohemian lifestyle and revealing clothes of women! Tell me, how does a woman lead a bohemian lifestyle?This question is also answered in a very stereotypical way. Why will women roam around streets? If they go back to their houses before sunset, then there is no chance of being raped.
Is it really the case?
If a woman stays outside the house till 10 at night, a man will become sexually aggressive and aroused for that woman and rape her? Is that what we are trying to imply?
If a man usually stays out late at night, will a woman feel the same and rape him? Has any woman till now, raped a man for staying out late?
Let’s leave rape aside! Has any woman ever uttered anything disrespectful or torturous against any man to humiliate or dishonor them? No man can ever say that for staying out late at night, he has been raped or gang raped by women. It is because a woman’s mentality does not always obsess about sexual aggressions. It possesses other moral obligations, which cannot be even imagined to be possessed by a man.
There is a reason why men cannot control his sexual desires. From the very beginning of civilization, the society have objectified women, considered them as products to meet men’s sexual desires. Men are also taught that it is the prime duty of women to meet their needs.
Let’s focus on clothes now! Women wear revealing clothes, vulgar clothes! If we consider Bengali tradition then the traditional clothes for Bengali women are- Saree and Blouse. Generally, Bengali women wear Sarees and Blouses. Now, if a woman wearing saree and blouse is raped, then the problem was in her clothes, right? So, according to the statement, Bengali clothes are vulgar! Isn’t it?
If we look at the western countries of the world, it is observed that women wear bikinis in sea beaches all the time. But this bikini is considered as a vulgar outfit in our Indian sub-continent. If women roam around in sea beaches wearing these vulgar clothes, it does not create any inconvenience amongst men. It is because they consider a woman’s body just as their own male body. So, revealing clothes like bikini and swimsuits do not aggravate their men to sexually harass or rape their women. To them, both men and women and their bodies are equal.
Now I will be asked if I am trying to establish western culture in our Bengali culture. Obviously not! But whether a woman should wear bikini, saree or revealing clothes; is entirely her personal choice. But seeing women in bkinis and revealing clothes will make you sexually aroused and will lead you jump on her to release your sexual aggression via rape; that is not justifiable. Women and their clothes are not responsible for your animalistic behavior.
Tell me, when a man walks on streets wearing unbuttoned shirts, does a woman get excessively aroused by his appearance and release her sexual frustration by raping that man? No, she doesn’t! Our society is patriarchal and this patriarchy teaches men to showcase their animalistic behavior over women via rape, torture and harassment.
Lastly, a woman’s bohemian lifestyle and clothes are not accountable for them being victims of rapes. Animalistic mentality is responsible for this. This animalistic mentality has made women objects for pleasure. For preventing rapes and discrimination against women, a drastic change in the animalistic mentality of men in the society is mandatory. It is only possible by the modernization of personal, social, academic and civic sense.
Shakil Mahmood is a human rights activist. His article was originally published in Bengali in Women Chapter on 25th May, 2017.
Link to original article:
Tahiya Islam completed her graduation from the Department of Pharmacy of East West University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is currently living in Selangor, Malaysia. Apart from her love for writing, she has a knack for public speaking as well . Her career goal is to become a teacher and be a motivational speaker.