Every 20 minutes in India, a woman is raped. Her dignity and consent are taken away from her and her case ends up in a pile of similar cases that will most likely never see the light of day. Only the most gruesome cases are reported and the aftermath is a turbulent chasm of sensational headlines, an outpouring of sympathy and mob reaction. Yes, it's important that justice be served, but killing the perpetrators isn't the answer. Why? Because they are merely the instruments of a diseased society, a society that dictates a woman's life at birth. A society whose religion dictates that women fall to their husbands' feet, that women shoulder the burdens of domestic life, that women give up any pretension to freedom. They are NEVER isolated cases, they are the very SYMPTOMS of a culture that needs changing!
Before the British colonized India, certain ritualistic practices were set in place to send a very clear message; that women were men's properties. ''Sati'' was a barbaric practice in which a woman would be set alight near her husband's pyre. The reasoning behind said practice was very simple, women were inferior and didn't possess property or the economic means to fend for themselves, they were a burden to their in-laws and had little purpose without a husband in their lives. This practice was abolished a few centuries ago, but nonetheless, there have been reported cases in isolated villages. Another practice that is still very active, is the ''dowry'' system, in which men pay in whatever way they can, to basically buy their bride. Talk about chattel slavery! All of the systems involving women are downright demeaning to their gender, be it being cast away when they're menstruating or having their virginity define their existence. Why would men rape, you ask? Well, for eons they were taught that they were the GODS and women were there to serve them. In a country where religion still defines people's way of life, how can you expect uneducated men, who've never been exposed to secular teachings, to radically change their whole belief system?
I am appalled that nothing is being done to protect my sisters in India. My ancestors were from India, and they brought their traditions with them when they came to Mauritius. It's good to be proud of your heritage, but I could never condone some of its overtly sexist, misogynistic teachings and I do not think it's wrong to discard some ideas that are truly inimical to my gender. I exhort my sisters to do the same, a religion that has always treated you as an inferior being, has nothing to do with God. What kind of God would impose such a cruel fate on his own children?
Rape culture will disappear when blind adherence to overtly misogynistic traditions will have become a thing of the past. And these so-called rapists, these men whose very idea of women was shaped by the culture and tradition of their surroundings, will become a thing of the past too.