Recently, while reading one of the articles on making prostitution legal in India, I came across many comments from the various sections of the Indian society. Not to my surprise, the primary argument which was going in favor of the topic was, “It will reduce rapes in India“. The general mindset of people with their limited understanding around the topic is this – a rapist rapes because he does not get sex and he will stop raping once he gets enough sex by paying money.
Let’s first get our definitions right. “Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual relations in exchange for payment or some other benefit. Prostitution is sometimes described as commercial sex or hooking. Depending on the jurisdiction, prostitution can be legal or illegal”, Wikipedia explains. There is no doubt about the fact that a person who indulges in prostitution faces lot of abuse and violence due to the nature of this business and the (il)legality involved.
In this article, let’s analyze the statement “Legalizing prostitution will stop men from raping women because today’s men are sex-starved” piece-by-piece and see if it passes the Litmus test for common sense and logic. Hop on and enjoy your ride!
Claim-1: Today’s men are sex-starved
India is a conservative country and sex has always been a taboo here. People do not want to talk about it in public and consider it as a disgusting exercise. We do not have sex education in schools and even questions related to same are either matter of laughter or are killed by teachers themselves.
When girls reach puberty, their mothers are the sole source of information but for boys they have no parents to talk about it, it’s only their own age group friends with the same level of knowledge. Availability of sex is very limited in India be it unpaid or paid. The primary source is, post-marriage, with the spouse. That too, within few weeks of marriage, the same conservative parents who have never spoken about sex start expecting children from the married couple and this time, they ask openly. This is the key reason why people want to marry in India – for an youngster it is the availability of sex and for elders it is the expectation of a child.
Sex is of various forms ranging from making love, wild sex, paid sex to forced sex. Sex is a mental and physical desire by both girls and boys and it is enjoyed by all genders. If one wants to have sex in India, the options they have are as follows:
- Before marriage – Finding an equally open-minded partner and a place (very big deal) – this combination is extremely rare in the middle and lower class society.
- Within Marriage. Unfortunately, after marriage, the rate of sex decreases over time.
- Paid sex. Since this is illegal in India, it involves huge risk of arrests, losing dignity and this is very expensive as well.
Is Claim – 1 true?
Going by the above three points, both before and after marriage and both within and outside marriage, today’s men are sex-starved. But, so are today’s women! By saying today’s men are sex-starved tells only one side of the story. Hence, I would call it misleading, if not utterly single-sided.
False. Claim 1 is not true because it tells only half the story.
Claim – 2: Men rape women
Rape is ‘forced sex’ as per the understanding of a layman. As per Indian law, the definition is very open ended. One can imagine, in a country where sex itself is big taboo , how they might be treating rape. Rape in India today not only stands for forced sex but also for any kind of sex, without financial or life-style benefits to a woman.
- If a couple had sex before marriage but could not get married, it is rape on the false promise of marriage.
- If a couple were caught having sex in a village, it becomes a rape.
- If one is looking at a girl for more than 30 sec, it is stare rape (Read a little bit on Western Feminism).
Here are some other facts that you might want to keep in your mind while we are on this subject.
- In the US, there are cases registered where girls have claimed to be raped by pigs and aliens as well.
- With better civilization, rapes have gone down in numbers, but media and feminists have invented new definitions of rape (this helps in bringing huge donations from UN and foreign funding at any cost) and since it is a very sensitive topic, people get easily brain washed.
- In the race for funds, they have also diluted the seriousness of the subject with girls logging funny and stupid complaints just to blackmail boys and destroying their lives.
- Note that India does not recognize rapes with the male victim. A man once reaches the age of 18+ becomes auto immune to rapes as per society. However, there are many men who get raped by females which are not reported due to no provision in law. In the given circumstances under the laws and social boycott for those male victims, very few find courage to write about their exploitation in blogs like this.
Is Claim-2 true?
Considering the above facts, even consensual sex can be passed off as a rape under (in)appropriate conditions. Additionally, women also rape but since law does not acknowledge that, we do not have that data on record.
If one is of the opinion that all forced sex is rape, then women also rape – hence, rendering ‘men rape women’ intentionally hiding the full information.
Similarly, if one is of the opinion that only forced sex is rape, then most of the rapes mentioned above, acknowledged by law, are not forced sex. So, we do not know if we have enough rapes to qualify the assumption of ‘high’ density of rape in India in the first place.
If one is of the opinion that both men and women can rape, again the above-mentioned logical fallacy is automatically applicable to “men rape women” statement.
Inaccurate. Men rape but also women do, empowered by the law. In short, it is not women or men but rapists rape. Also, all rape is not forced sex but all forced sex is rape.
Claim – 3: Legalizing prostitution will stop men from raping
We have, by now, established two things by debunking the first two claims:
- Not only men, but women are also sex-starved in India.
- Not only men, but women also rape.
According to me, it is the worst form of misandry to say “Men rape because they do not get sex”
Let me explain! When people say that a man rapes when he does not get sex, doesn’t it imply that females who do not get sex, rape too? If I believe this logic, all bachelors and spinsters must be doing rapes all around the country, as the availability of sex is almost null to any lower or middle-class person. Isn’t it misandry to show only the male gender in bad light while attaching sainthood to all sex-starved desperate females?
Also, by the same logic, all married couple might be doing rapes as sex reduces in married life after 6-8 months once they plan kids. Remember that physical desires are not going away – both males and females love having sex.
Is Claim – 3 true?
With this logic, rape count in each year should have been in millions! However, the rape count per capita population has gone down and whatever figures are projected are high due to new absurd definitions and fake cases found in courts.
The reality is that a rapist (male or female) is having a Psychological sociopathic disorder and they do not understand consensual sex. They have a long history of such abuses in their own childhood or have faced rejection by society with due course of time. Rapists are not necessarily sex starved people, they are criminals with a mental disorder. Even if one will make prostitution legal, a rapist will only rape. There is no relation of prostitution with reducing rape.
Utterly wrong and misandrous! There is no relation between prostitution and rapes.
OK! Should we go against legalizing Prostitution then?
Not at all. Why should we legalize prostitution?
- This is needed to uplift the sex workers’ situation.
- This is needed to make sure that people accept the basic fact that everyone aspires for sex after a certain age and they is no harm if they can access same.
- Sex workers are always under threat of arrest.
- There are a lot of middle men or women who take huge commission without doing much.
- The corruption around this in police and law is very high.
- Last but not the least, the dignity of the individual. Here again, since I have not mentioned any gender, a reader perception is all about female sex workers’ pain and issues.
This leaves us only one more issue to discuss – What about men who are in prostitution due to various reasons?
Yes, there are many men who work as “Kept Men” but unfortunately here also unlike female prostitutes getting NGO funds, govt rehab centers, men have nothing. Today many young women and men are doing prostitution to support their families but under the hidden identity. Making it legal will help in solving these problems, and may be with due course of time, the society may accept those individuals as well.
Let me leave you with a video that I recently saw regarding this topic.
Picture Credit : Nils Hamerlinck/Flickr