No woman in any part of the world, at any time, under any circumstance wants to be raped

Dear Editor,

Even as Mr Abu Bakr in his letter (‘The argument in the discussion on rape has been deformed’ SN, January 14) concedes that Swami Aksharananda “was quite correct in insisting that lawless  clothes are not the cause of rape”, he immediately returns to the idea that places rape within the context of “scanty wear” which causes men to become “desensitized” to “flashes of raw flesh.”

He continues to see rape as an act of lust that is related to erogenous zones and the male libido rather than as a crime of male inadequacy that seeks to empower itself through rape.

While women, too, must be responsible for their sexuality, they expect to attract healthy male attention when they dress in a sexy manner, but never rape. Statistics do not bear out that rape occurs mostly in sexually charged environments like night clubs. It happens just as well in the bedroom of a six-year-old girl or a seventy-year-old woman.

That women come forward to press charges against their rapist at much personal cost that includes social stigma, shame, and further abuse by those who blame them, signals just how unwanted and unwarranted these heinous attacks are.

I want to believe that Mr Bakr and the men who think as he does are yet concerned about the safety and welfare of women everywhere and would like to help put a stop to this crime. To this end, I now state clearly that no woman at any time and under any circumstance wants to be raped.

No matter how she dresses, how she talks or walks, how she laughs, or how much skin she bares – no woman in any part of the world is ever asking at any time to be raped.

Mr Bakr and his men folk do not have to agree with this statement. All that is required of them, if they are truly concerned, is that they take it on good faith that this is how every woman feels and that they disseminate this information to every man they know and make sure it is understood.

Yours faithfully,
Ryhaan Shah

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