Why do men rape women?

Posted: October 14, 2012 in change
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(for readers outside my country : India can be a very twisted place for a young woman who on one hand is bombarded with urbanization and globalisation and on the other hand has to continue living her life in a society still stuck up with mindsets from a bygone era. Women have little or no rights at all. Yes we are better off than the middle eastern nations and yes women are more liberal here than they are in Afghanistan but that does not mean that atrocities are not committed against us, on us.

The capital of India is also the country’s rape capital. Haryana, the state in discussion has a sex ratio of 877/1000, better than New Delhi(capital) 866/1000. Female foeticide is rampant in the northern part of the country and so is flesh trade. Women are still commodities in most of the rural and even urban parts of the nation and men can have their way with almost everything. And this disturbing attitude leads to incidents of some foreign nationals also becoming a prey to the men who have no respect whatsoever for other life forms.

Haryana has reported a total of 12 rape cases in the last 28 days. Most of these girls are minors. The protectors of the society, an association of old people and a few moral activists what we call the Khap Panchayats have grabbed the limelight by making a lot of politically incorrect statements. Hence, my article.)

Haryana is in the news these days and no, it is not the honour killings this time. Over 12 women and girls have been raped in the last 28 days in the state and most of these are underage dalits.  What adds to the misery of the situation are the statements made by the Khap Panchayats, the apparent protectors of the morals of the community. They have blamed the television and the media for the recent spike in the rapes. A certain Sube Singh, member of a Khap, even took the liberty to suggest that girls should be married by the age of 16, so that they have their husbands for their sexual needs and do not have to look elsewhere. What sort of an ill-educated and narrow-minded person says that, you might ask. In this article, we are going to explore precisely that: what makes men rape and is there a final solution to prevent rapes altogether?

Many of us believe that, men who resort to rape are wrongly wired in the head, that they suffer from a sickness of sorts and are mentally ill. For what else do you make of a man who is perhaps married, has kids of his own, is an uncle or a neighbour and still looks lecherously at young little girls? (One of the 12 cases in Haryana recently has a six year old raped by 3 men who were her neighbours/uncles). And what do you make of a man who being a stranger engages in non-consensual sex with unknown women? You would say this man cannot respect a woman and also perhaps that he has no control over his libido, apart from the fact that he absolutely has no sense of loyalty to some other woman he might be committed to.

Men often offer funny excuses and we even have many learned men and women making similar statements : her clothes provoked me, what was she doing walking alone in the night, her clothes revealed way too much, she was being very friendly to me, it was a dark and lonely road etc etc. And then the moral guardians step up to save the day and issue a set of guidelines for women to follow so that they do not provoke men: do not wear so and so clothes, do not travel after dark, avoid talking to strangers.

The question naturally arises: where are the guidelines for men? Why are these not being screamed out from radio channels and media posters?

  • Respect women.
  • Be loyal to your spouse.
  • Try and control your libido, do not take it out on strange women or women who are not interested in having sex with you.
  • Do not look at women you don’t know, do not talk to strangers. These women might arouse you and convert you into a creature you cannot control.
  • Do not travel outside after dark. The streets are full of women whose signals your sick mind might interpret as an invitation for rape.
  • Just because a woman is wearing such clothes or driving a car or walking alone on the road does not mean that she is public property and you can force yourself into her.
  • Kids are kids do not ruin their childhood and mess with their innocence.
  • Gang rapes are sick. Five men raping one woman, obviously without any protection, is a big health hazard, even for the men. And what sort of men can live with the idea of engaging in such a repulsive act? For what sort of men is this a turn on? (And before you jump to the defence of the educated elite, that no only uneducated and rural men do things like these, let me tell you the statistics offer a strong factual counter argument).

Why do men rape women? Are the media and the television with their provocative advertisements, misleading serial plots and depiction of women as objects of desire a main reason for most men to think that all women are just holes?

In their defence the media agencies will say that man is rational animal and is capable of thinking, ergo he should know the difference between projected reality and real-life. So then, does illiteracy become the root cause of rapes? Rephrasing this question into do only men who have not completed their schooling or college rape women? Not really, you will say. Because deep down, we all know why and what sort of men commit such heinous acts.

Men who are highly insecure of their masculinity rape women. Raping women gives them a sense of power. It hardly has anything to do with lust or sexual desire. These men have no other way of asserting their manhood than forcing themselves into a human being that is incapable of self-defence. It makes them feel powerful. It makes them feel manly.

The moral test of any culture is the way it treats its women and children. Haryana is full of men who are highly insecure and led by blind notions of power. The way Haryana treats its women folk is terrible and very disturbing. Just one trip to any of the villages in Haryana will tell you what I am talking about. When I am there, I see a large pool of men who feel manly only by disrespecting women, treating them coarsely and subjecting to unspeakable miseries. I cannot fathom what Haryana is trying to achieve with its pathetic sex ratio. Perhaps a more manly state where men can feel like men only after letting loose their clogged hormones on minors?

The caste angle has not even entered the discussion. You are right if you have deduced that most of the women who were raped were from the lower castes and their perpetuators were from the so called upper and noble classes. Raping Dalit women, is that the only way Brahmins can assert their manhood?( And caste does become an important part of the debate, because Punjab a neighbouring state has an even worse sex ratio, but it is highly compromised of Sikhs, a community that respects it women folk. Rape incidences in Punjab are very rare.)

So men who rape women and children are wrongly wired in the head, yes they are mentally sick and they think that raping a meek being is what it is to be man. And what do you do with men who are past reason? Trying to reform them is not going to go anywhere. Women have tried to do this before and many times – getting into arguments with eve-teasers or potential rapists, taunting them reminding of the mothers and sisters they have at home, telling them to respect women. All this has more than often led to the woman paying dearly for her intervention.

Where reason fails, force prevails.

The need of the hour is strict implementation of a set of very harsh laws against men who cannot keep their things inside their pants. Police should be given all the power to thrash the rapists and lock them up even before a FIR is filed. Force and fear are an immediate solution to on-going crisis. Reducing the marriageable age of girls to 16 is a foolish solution (how ridiculous can any thinking individual get?)

Because, after all, it is a power play. Potential rapists have to be reminded that they are not bigger than the law and that women are not objects for the parasitic needs of their self-esteem. That, if they even dare to look at any woman with eyes full of lust, the law will crush them or even better castrate them. Probably then they will know that there is more than just hormones to being a man.

In the long run, our society has to undergo a transformation. Men belonging to all strata of the society need to experience a paradigm shift. They should be more comfortable with themselves that the need to engage in degrading acts is wiped out. All this can be achieved hand in hand with educating the masses, increasing the sex ratio, increasing awareness among women and providing more career opportunities for women. When our society realises the value of human life, perhaps then it will itself come up with ideas like a proper help-line for rape victims, proper medical care for victims of abuse, psychiatric help to help them overcome the trauma and re-adjust to their normal lives. The next question arises and I wonder if you have ever thought about it: what happens to raped women, where do they go after they have been violated played with and tossed aside? Answers anyone?

Comments
  1. Ayush Kumar says:

    Very well written ,and yes we need to create hell lot of awareness about this issue.
    And I guess after a women is raped ,her thinking about men is just negative negative negative.
    She becomes stronger angry women for whom believing any men becomes difficult just because of some men(who have no place on this planet where men and women lives together).
    It’s my thinking and what they actually think,nobody knows better than them.

    • pecsbowen says:

      the psychological trauma a woman goes through is nothing compared to the physical violation she has suffered…

      studies have already shown how a bad childhood, bad parenting etc etc affect an individual and his growth…we often go around saying oh s/he has a troubled childhood and therefore s/he behaves in such a manner…i have seen so many teenagers trying to cope up with normal life after having troubles with parents at home…

      one cannot fathom the misery a rape victim goes through and what is even more heartening is the treatment offered by our society to such victims…there is absolutely no provision for their rehabilitation …we as a nation and as a people have a long way to go …

  2. Sasi Inguva says:

    Good article. If you could research more about it and write it with statistics, it would have been brilliant. I think the cause of rapes in Haryana is the low sex ratio which makes women more obscure and an object of stare coupled with the caste system – which makes the brahmins and other upper caste persons get away with their mischiefs committed against dalits, easily. The low sex ratio coupled with our conservative societal rules which prohibit women from dating, remarriage etc. make women that less accessible to men through normal means, and increase their sexual agitation. Dalits against whom the upper castes already have hostility become the easy targets.

    Facts:
    Rapes have increased by 800% over the past 40 years. This is a lot more than any other crime in India with kidnap being at 300%.

    97% of the rapes were committed by persons known to the victim with about 7% committed by family members and 35% by neighbours

    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-11-07/india/30368929_1_major-crimes-cognizable-crimes-crime-statistics

    • pecsbowen says:

      Incase of haryana, it is not just the low sex ratio. It is the collective mental outlook of haryanvi males which is shallow and insecure. I have lived there. And i have lived in 3 metros. Urbanisation, exposure, education , globalisation : even these things I don’t think so will ever change how they think of women. And it is typical in every Haryanvi male, no matter how learned or how successful they are – women can never be their equals is how they feel.

      I am really at a loss of how to even approach this problem in states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Probably if the sex ratio increases things will get better( Kerala has been an excellent example), but the males in these states are so creepy and desperate the situation just seems hopeless.

      Oh and thank you. I am not a personal fan of statistics, but will try.

  3. sherry says:

    Excellent article

  4. Mike says:

    I’m interested in the male side of this, being a male. We can cry and moan forever about how
    bad it is, and that’s not going to change those men. All your advice for men is for people who
    know they are rapists, and are looking for ways to stop.

    Sexual inadequacy, fears of inadequacy as a male in general. If that’s the cause, then how
    do we diminish that in men? I know we don’t want to give a crap about people who do these
    horrible things, but that may be the best way to make it stop, or at least, make it less.

    Most men, where I live, don’t have more power than the average woman, as near as I can tell.
    That doesn’t seem to bother them at all. Yet, when we look at power, it does seem to be
    something we associate with men. Alpha males, for instance, are said to be far more attractive
    to women. So, power seems to be necessary for men to be entirely successful in life, in a
    way that’s not necessary for women. In fact, women can be completely successful by
    attracting an alpha male. That seems to satisfy the egos of many women, because it
    demonstrates the power of their attractiveness. Men actually have to hold the power
    themselves; they can’t marry it. We have far less respect for men who marry wealthy women,
    than we do women who marry wealthy men.

    Simplistically, that makes it look like the inevitable (?) hierarchical structure in most societies is
    always going to leave some men feeling like they’re at the bottom of the pile, who need to
    compensate by stealing from women. Why do I say ‘stealing’? Because I suspect that some
    men see women as holding sexual power, and/or other men as holding power over low-ranked
    men through their access to sexually desirable women. Those low-ranked men aren’t allowed
    sexual access to women – most women want nothing to do with them – and they compensate for
    their lack of power by exerting their greater physical power over women. They steal what those
    women willingly bestow on higher ranked men. If it’s true that most women have no interest in
    them, then they have little reason to care about the women they steal from, or the society that
    deems them as near worthless.

    What do women who feel inadequate do? Do they simply go out and seduce some willing,
    high-ranking male? Do they simply feel less measured in terms of power than men do?

    Just a thought, that.

    And, there are sociopaths, who have limited ability to empathize with their victims. They can do
    it, so they do. I won’t call that sick, which is the common thinking, because I don’t think the
    common thinking is helping us much. We can’t blame AND understand at the same time, and
    I’m thinking that we don’t have a chance at making this better if we don’t completely understand.

    For my own selfish reasons, even without the thought of SO many women being hurt, I’d like
    to see men just stop. Every woman has to distrust every man because of this. That hurts men.
    No, it doesn’t hurt us anywhere near as much as rape hurts women. It doesn’t hurt us as
    much as the fear of rape hurts women. But, that necessary fear creates distrust and hatred,
    which hurts all of us. Even men have to deal with that each and every day of their lives. That,
    and most of us care about women in our lives. We don’t want the women close to us to be
    hurt. You want to see the average man ready to kill? Hurt his daughter. Stop telling yourself that that’s because he thinks his daughter is his property, and that HE was the one hurt. I really
    doubt that that’s what motivates most men when their daughters,wives, or mothers, etc. are
    harmed. Further, most of us like women, in general, and don’t like to see them hurt. Finally, it sucks to be a man and have so many women telling us what a-holes guys in general are, because of
    rape.

    I tell you that because I trust selfish reasons. I like knowing that anybody who helps me is
    benefitting as well. Win-win is just fine with me. Can you imagine a world where women
    don’t have to fear men? Women are great people; it would be wonderful if they felt safe
    enough to share more of themselves with us. It would be a better world for everyone.

    • Mike says:

      More. Why are women satisfied to attract an alpha male? Because that is the highest value that women can hold, in a certain way. The most beautiful woman in the world – many women would love to be that. For a man, it’s to be the most powerful man in the world. We don’t value men as much for their looks. Men beyond a certain age can’t be the best athlete in the world. Men can be admired as athletes, for being rock stars, or entertainers of some kind, or for holding wealth. One of the main perqs for such men is that women are readily available to them. Those women and those men are giving each other that which validates the esteem that they are seeking.

      So, sexual attractiveness IS power for women.

      I wonder if Margaret Thather would’ve been willing to trade being PM of England for being Miss Universe, and marrying the most decent hyper-alpha male then available.

      • pecsbowen says:

        Ayn Rand reader are you?

        Most women who want to understand the world in a certain way would want to be the most beautiful woman in the world. For the rest of us it really does not matter.

        I think most of us realize after a certain passage of time that it is more important to do the work you love, to love honestly and to be loved back equally, to have good friends and to be on nice terms with our families. That is all that matters.

        All this attracting the alpha male is a defense of women who are still moving through life on shallow grounds.

        I do not understand when you say sexual attractiveness is power for women. We feel powerful knowing that most men would like to fuck us? I don’t. It sickens me : how can a man who does not even know me desire me? Is it just because of the clothes that i am wearing? What does this say about that man?

        Yeah and the rockstars, the athletes and the actors have their groupies , beautiful little things ready to do anything the power guy would want them to but then that is all that they are groupies. Fame is a big attraction but not big enough. For every ten pretty girls you can name who will readily give them selves away to these alphas there are at least two will not even look at them.

    • pecsbowen says:

      Very good point about the sexual inadequacy and how some men try to over come it.

      I could not agree more.

    • Kat says:

      ToThe fact of the matter is everyone should be responsible for their own actions. I’m sick of people using excuses why they think it is okay for them to do what they want regardless of how their actions affect others. It boils down to respect. Respect women, respect children, respect men, respect animals, respect yourself, RESPECT LIFE! People need to stop being selfish. Males who think they have to victimize others to be viewed as men are nothing but immature boys. Females who use the their sexuality to try to capture a man who’s viewed as powerful are immature little girls. They all need to learn to be powerful in their respect and maturity and show compassion and love towards others. The challenge is how to overcome the many years of training of backwards thought, or brainwashing that had taught people to be selfish, greedy, disrespectful and immoral. Children need to be taught to value life, themselves and others. It starts with what children are taught and shown. Don’t allow children to believe it is okay to victimize others or to be victimized.

      • pecsbowen says:

        a very long discussion ensued among us friends and this is the exact we concluded. In order for anything to change, the change has to come from instilling the little ones with very strong values. Respecting women has to be taught both by their mothers and fathers and not just in words but in actions too.

  5. Mike says:

    I have information about why men rape women. Women won’t like it, but I say it to help.

    Looking back on my youth, some of what I did would now be considered sexual assault. At the time, I didn’t think that. I thought I was playing by the existing rules. Now, I’ve realized, I didn’t play by the rules as I now understand them.

    In a make-out session, I would put my hand between a woman’s legs and she would take my hand off. Or, I’d put my hand on her breasts, and she’d take it off. I’d keep doing that, and maybe, she’d finally leave it there. At times I’d be more forceful, and it would be a struggle. I never hit anybody, and I honestly never got the idea that any of those women were scared of me. Now, I would never do that. Now, I have it clear. Now, it’s 35 years later, and I wouldn’t play that game. If a woman wants intimacy, I would expect her to make it abundantly clear. There are plenty of women who clearly do, so there’s no point. And, now I know that I’m lucky that I never got arrested for sexual assault.

    And, I’ll tell you one more thing, that makes me think that things still aren’t as clear as they should be, that women aren’t *completely* victims. I was with a woman much more recently. We were lying naked, because she’d asked me to lie on top of her that way. I was way into her emotionally, so I wasn’t getting it up. It was just knowing that not getting it up would be a disaster, so I was much more concerned about getting it up than I was feeling sexy. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Later, she told me that, if I’d been more forceful, she would have acquiesced. In other words, if I’d struggled with her a little, it would’ve happened. And she thanked me for not being more forceful.

    This makes me think that sometimes women are ambivalent. That it’s not a clear yes or no in their minds ALWAYS. I get it, that that’s the worst thing I could possibly say about this, short of, “The bitch was asking for it.”

    When I was with an old girl friend, when I was much younger, I wasn’t taking no for an answer. She kind of laughed, and said, “This is rape.” And, I told her, that if she really meant it, I’d stop. And, she let me go ahead. Again, something I’d never do today. But, again, she wasn’t clearly saying no, and she never said clearly yes.

    The rule now is, no consent, no sex. That’s fine. The women who are ambivalent and want to be able to say it wasn’t their fault – guys, get as far away from them as you can. Go to the bathroom and masturbate: it takes the edge right off.

    One more thing: it WASN’T about power. It was, I wanted to touch her breasts, and they were RIGHT there. It was about sexual desire. We’d gone too far, and all I had in my mind was her body, and how much I wanted more.

    Say what you will. This is the truth as I know it. Women ARE just a touch more complicit than women’s advocates will ever admit. I remember, some years ago, a C&W song from a woman, about how she might be saying no, but she might be meaning yes. Women’s advocates went nuts and castigated her soundly.

    The main thing is, I didn’t know I was a serial assaulter, perhaps rapist. I really don’t think I ruined anybody’s life, but I can’t know that, for sure.

    • pecsbowen says:

      Hey mike,

      thanks for the really introspective comments, what a way to wake up to a sunday morning i would say!

      Okay first about the serial assaulter bit. I hate to say it but you were young and your head was full of hormones. That is why perhaps you took everything the women said at literal face value. Human beings say things every now and then which they might not mean and everybody lies, how can you forget that?

      But of course you have accepted that in “all i had in my mind was her body”. But please do not go around saying women do not know what they want, it is the same for men too and repeating such cliches just reinforces them in the low minds who then commit heinous crimes, all time being unable to understand what is it that they did wrong.

  6. pflead73 says:

    1. One strong reason for all this, Indian men can’t control their libido!
    What follows after rape are just lame excuses!

    2. Indian society looks down upon the victim. This gives these men (Haryanvis, Biharis or men from any other state) a chance to take revenge ( for whatever unimaginable reason that may be) from women by raping them.
    Raping a woman gives you sexual satisfaction for that time, is an attack on the victim physically and mentally, tarnishes the woman’s image in the society, and above all this you are highly unlikely to be prosecuted for your act! 1 stone 4 hits!

    • pecsbowen says:

      about the part allows men to take revenge…very interesting point..but then really can people be so sick?

      i remember a few old hindi movies now. maybe they can be.

      • pflead73 says:

        Of course they can be… Indians! I remember reading a few cases somewhere…. Two families have a land feud, men from one of the families rape the other family’s woman! Family is shattered and drops the land case!

  7. og says:

    Only some men rape. They rape not because they love women, but because they hate women. Given they will never like women, perhaps if they are psychologically treated to hate women 10,000 times more strongly, they will stay away. Hey, whatever works.

  8. homosapiensapiens says:

    How as a woman, did you come to know the very basic reason? I am amazed at the depth of your understanding of the other sex.
    And how beautifully you write!

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