Social Media Campaign Calls On Women To Thank Men For Not Raping Them (IMAGES)
A new social media campaign is calling on women to thank the men in their lives who chose not to rape them.
The bizarre campaign alleges that women have got a bit too upset about male-on-female violence, and that women should show a bit of gratitude to the men who let them live without breaking their bones or violating them sexually.
And no, this is not a satirical piece. This actually happened.
We do agree that a woman has to go through a lot. The leering, the catcalls, the groping, the societal othering, the miasma of all this that women bear the brunt of every damn day. Every single day is a war to them. BUT generalising the other gender, is not right. Not all men are rapists. Not all men abuse their significant others. Not all men actively oppress women. And these posters say it all. #BlameOneNotAll
So for what did women express thanks?
That her uncle kept his hands to himself.
That her college professor didn’t use his position to illicit sexual favors.
That her best friend didn’t decide to rape her because they found themselves alone in the same space.
That she can go for an evening out with colleagues, and come home having not been sexually assaulted, raped or murdered by a single one of them.
Is this really worth a pat on the back? Is the highest a man can aspire to in our society, to keep his zipper fastened and his hands to himself? Because last time I checked, many 8-year-olds were about operating at that level of impulse control.
Twitter users were quick to fire back at the campaign.
What’s even worse, is the idea that the real problem India faces right now is the hurt feelings of men, and not the lost lives of women. Women like medical student Jyoti Singh, who in 2012 was just weeks away from beginning her first internship as a doctor. She was returning from an evening screening of Life of Pi with a male friend when the pair boarded a private bus. The driver Mukesh Singh, and five of his friends were on board. They beat Jyoti’s male friend, then proceeded to brutally gang-rape her, violating her with an iron bar so deeply they ripped out a portion of her intestinal tract. She died from her injuries thirteen days later.
But Mukesh Singh, awaiting hanging for his crimes, is unrepentant.
“A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night,” he told a BBC documentary team.
“A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy. Boys and girls are not equal.
“Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes.
“About 20 percent of girls are good.”
Jyoti is not alone.
In a single week of March this year:
- A 16-year-old hung herself to death from a ceiling fan. She was gang-raped the month before in Haryana, which surrounds the capital New Delhi.
- A 27-year-old female tourist from Kazakhstan was gang-raped by three local men at her hotel in New Delhi.
- A 21-year-old employee of a five-star hotel was abducted and gang-raped in a car by three unidentified people on Sunday in Ludhiana.
- A 16-year-old girl from Basanti, West Bengal was gang-raped and then viciously hacked with meat cleavers. She is fighting for life in a Kolkata hospital.
- A gang of robbers struck a Christian school in eastern India and raped a 70-year-old nun
The girls and women who survive their ordeal, all face the physical and emotional battle to recover from rape. In India, a woman is raped every 20 minutes.
So yes, it’s a big deal. It is an issue for men to address. No, not all men rape, AND a terrifyingly high number do. And not just in India. As I wrote in a recent piece after the murder of 20-year-old University Mary Washington student Grace Mann in a apparent retaliation for her activities for gender equality on campus:
Misogyny is not a joke. It is not some hobby horse that “angry women” ride around to piss men off. It killed 18,000 American women in the last 12 years. This means that more women have been killed at the hands of their husbands and boyfriends since 9/11, than Americans died during 9/11, and in all terror attacks and wars since. This year, the country will spend $38bn on Homeland Security, and $598bn on defense. It is estimated that America will spend just $4bn addressing violence against women. It is long overdue that we take violence against women, and the attitudes which promote it, with the seriousness they deserve.
To pull the focus of violence against women back to the wounded feelings of some men is outrageous. The best men I know do not make the epidemic of rape and sexual assault against women, by men, about them. They see it for what it is: A cancer in our society. In fact, as the United Nations discovered, domestic violence is killing more women aged 15-44 than cancer. It is that serious. It is deadly serious. It deserves our undivided attention.
Featured Image via Facebook