Rape is one of the most heinous crimes in the world as it has a permanent scar on the mind of the victim.
However in India If you happen to be a man and had the misfortune of being raped by a man, woman, transgender or transsexual person, there are no laws in India to get this adequately redressed.
According to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code stands, rape is something that only a man can do to a woman. There is no space for adult male victims, much less female perpetrators.
In spite of several recommendations, rape laws have not been made gender neutral in India due to opposition from feminists for whom rape is a tool to vilify men.
The national secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), Kavita Krishnan, who was among the leading voices in the public protests that erupted following the gang-rape of 23-year-old student in Delhi has been one of those who has been against the definition being made gender neutral.
They are making the law against rape gender-neutral, where the accused is concerned. This means women can now be accused of rape. Now when we were struggling on the streets, was this what we were asking for? Is it a problem in society that women are going around raping men?
Well Kavita Krishnan is only echoing what most feminists do – use the concept of rape culture for ideological war on men and maleness. “Rape culture” is a term that was coined by radical feminists in the 1970s according to which “all sex is rape” and “All men are rapists”.
The feminists advance five major arguments against gender-neutral rape laws in India v.i.z.:-
1. Women cannot rape men
2. Women do not rape men
3. Men are not similarly affected by rape
4. Rape is about power
5. Gender-neutral rape laws will have unintended consequences
And finally, Women never look for sex as an urge, it is man who force her to have sex (this is inherent).
The following incident busts the feminist myth that women cannot rape men or that women do not rape men. On 16th July 2015, Renu Lalwani a 32-year-old woman from South Delhi forcibly tried to have sex with 41-year-old Umesh Prasad, an auto driver, while her friend from Tanzania tried to make MMS of the incident.
The duo hired a rickshaw. Upon reaching the destination, the woman, on the excuse of paying the driver the fare, invited him to her flat. She gave him drinking water after which she suddenly locked all the doors from inside and sought sexual favours from the driver which he clearly denied.
She then tried to offer him alcoholic drinks and threw herself on him when he declined that too. She tore his clothes, tried to kiss him while her Tanzanian friend named Hitija filmed the entire incident. Fortunately when the women were distracted, the driver jumped out of the first floor balcony but fractured his foot in the process.
Another incident proves beyond doubt that men are affected by rape and some of the victims become suicidal.
Ram Singh, one of the accused in the Delhi gang rape case, was found hanging in his cell during 11th March 2013. His father alleged that his son had been sodomized inside the jail.
The incident brought to light the fact that convicted prisoners and those in custody awaiting trials are at risk all over the world of being sexually assaulted and raped. Being raped in jail while awaiting trial is not the kind of justice that a person deserves in a democratic country like India.
There is no statistics in India on this subject. However in USA in the year 2012, it was reported that nearly one in 10 prisoners were being raped or sexually assaulted while in custody. The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed by President George W. Bush in 2003 in an effort to address this common human rights problem. We do not have similar laws in India.
Hence it could be concluded that rape of men is prevalent and is traumatic.
The absence of gender neutral laws lead to peculiar circumstances.
A 36 year old woman who had allegedly compelled a 16 year old to have physical relationship with her for nearly four to five months. The parents of a school going boy had approached the police alleging that their son’s friend’s mother had laced their son’s drinks with drugs, forced him to keep physical relationship. She also clicked video of their act and used it for coaxing him to continue physical relationship with her.
Instead of being booked by police for rape, the woman was booked for wrongful confinement and blackmailing.
The whole ideology of saying Women doesn’t look forward to sex is ridiculous and has been challenged by various incidents like above. Feminist have been asking for gender neutrality but only where it favors them. Even though around 63 countries around the world have rape or sexual assault laws written in gender-neutral language, India is yet to have gender neutral Rape laws. It is high time we review our rape laws and make them gender neutral.
Picture Credits: Adriano Agulló/Flickr