The significant rise in the number of rape cases and the fact that a marriage certificate is permission for the husband to force physical contact on his wife and get away with it is a testimonial to our country’s sad reality, a reality where the people still do not know what consent actually means.
What is consent?
Consent is when someone agrees, gives permission, or says “yes” to sexual activity with other persons.
In 2017, the film mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct and abuse by a number of women.
This sparked a conversation about an issue that needed to be addressed ages ago, after which men and women finally came forward with accusations of sexual abuse.
Kevin Spacey, Aziz Ansari, Ben Affleck are just some of the numerous other prominent men that have been indicted for their heinous misdemeanour. One accusation led to another, prompting others to come forward with their experiences and use social media as a platform to share their stories. The hashtag #MeToo went viral, bringing light to the prevalence of harassment and assault in this world and hence breaking the silence.
Our country is home to many honest, sincere and forward-thinking ministers.
Here are a few examples to prove it,
1. Satyadev Katare, a former minister, said at a Congress rally in Bhind
“Jab tak mahila tirchi najar se nahi dekhegi, tab tak purush use nahi chadega.” (No man will harass a woman till she looks at him in a suggestive manner)
Of course, we give suggestive looks to men on the street so that they can catcall us.
2.”The victim is as guilty as her rapists…She should have called the culprits brothers and begged them before to stop.” – ‘spiritual’ leader and alleged rapist Asaram Bapu on the Delhi gang-rape and murder.
It’s appalling to read such absurd and disgusting comments made by someone who is considered to be holy and pure.
With these comments, it sounds like he is an ‘alleged’ spiritual leader too.
3.”Boys are boys, they make mistakes.”-Mulayam Singh Yadav, chief of the Samajwadi Party.
Comments like these are addressed to thousands of people. Young teens are at an age where they are easily influenced, and to listen to the leaders of our country treating such sensitive issues with disgrace just encourages them to do wrong.
A simple “no” must stop the person from their sexual advances.
No, this isn’t a tease,
No, this isn’t to lead you on.
It simply means No.
The absence of a no, or even an intoxicated yes, still means no.
Recurring actions that showcase discomfort also means no.
Here’s where we are going wrong,
This is a country where sex is considered a taboo and condom advertisements are allowed to be broadcasted only between 10 p.m and 6 a.m.
A healthy dialogue needs to be created, to educate the masses, to let them know that a woman or a man who comes on a date is not always willing for a physical relationship, to stop assuming that he/she actually means yes when he/she clearly said no. To make sure that beyond yes and no, power does not win.
Unlike the viral pop hit says – there really are no blurred lines here.
-Written by Janice Coutinho