A 3-year-old girl is raped by her neighbor. A father forces himself on his young daughter. A minor in a home for the mentally-disadvantaged is taken advantage of. A goon grabs a girl’s behind as she walks home from the vegetable market, and laughs. And now, two men on a bike celebrate the new year by helping themselves to a woman who has done the unforgivable crime of getting out from an auto. Five dastardly deeds of sexual violence in a world bursting at its seams from it.
And that’s precisely the problem.
The problem with the furore on sexual violence, is that it is seen as a question of violence.
It’s seen as the quest for power, of domination, of hurting, of male supremacists proving a point with their penises.
The truth is far more disturbing. And far worse.
You see, violence is an act. It is volition. It is a verb. It is the synchronicity of mind and motor skill towards a purpose. It is always aware, even when caught in bloodlust, drunken or otherwise.
Eve-teasing, molestation, rape – disgusting as they all are, are not as much about deliberate conscious violence, as much as they are about un-thought unconscious entitlement.
The worst thing about sexual violence is that it is not about grabbing or getting, but simply about taking. The girls (and I daresay, boys - when they're at the receiving end) didn’t ask for it. They were simply there.
You’re hungry, you see french fries nearby, and what do you do? You reach out and help yourself. You might feel a sense of wrong, a vague gibbering of guilt, but pleasure talks louder. You certainly don’t feel violent towards the fries. You don’t even feel angry towards them. All you say is ‘fuck it’, as you help yourself as a matter of right.
Entitlement. It’s taught early to our sons as culture, when they get to eat but not clear the table. It’s taught early in the opposite to our daughters, when they’re told to stay at home while the brothers till the field or field the till.
It teaches our women to not speak, and our men to not ask. And unless we call it out for what it is, we won’t be able to cut its hands, break its balls and castrate it for its casualness. Like it is unceremoniously, unforgivingly entitled to.
(Pic courtesy Google)