Thursday, 12 June 2014

Little Women

An article about an Indian politician who said "sometimes rape is right" was posted into my facebook timeline today.  It's the latest in a long line of stories about rape and misogyny from this part of the world, indeed just after reading it I saw this in the Guardian about a woman who was gang raped by the Police after she refused to pay the bribe for her husband's release.

There are lots of quotes in both articles from politicians, mainly along the lines of "boys will be boys", it's a private issue etc etc.  It's the view from the Prime Minister; Narendra Modi that really said a lot though: Politicians need to work together to protect women.

And that's the thing, the most positive thing that can be said over all this is that women need to be protected.  I am talking about the issue in India but this situation is world wide.  To avoid rape or violence women need to be protected, they need to follow certain rules, behave a certain way.  If they do experience sexual violence (as so many women have) then they must have stepped outside the rules laid down by society and it is therefore their own fault.

I don't want to be protected.  I don't want my daughters to be protected.  I don't want any woman to need protection.  I want us to be able to inhabit this world without fear, as equals with fellow members of the human race.  For this to happen it isn't women's behaviour that needs to change and we don't need to be wrapped in bubble wrap, it's men who need to change.  

This poster from Rape Crisis in Scotland has been seen by everyone but it's so good because it really gets it.

The only people who can stop rape, sexual violence and misogyny happening are men, women shouldn't be tucked away so boys can be boys with impunity, men should be held accountable for their behaviour.

This is why we should challenge rape culture where we see it, we should question our believes and those of people around us and we should start treating women as equal members of the human race, not as delicate flowers in need of protection or dirty whores who deserved it.

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