From Bangladesh, an open letter to the people of India

India has a rape problem, and it’s time for men to admit it

An open letter to the people of India
Women will win this battle — they have to REUTERS

This message comes in two parts.

To the men: A#&a is trending on Xvideos. Xvideos is one of the largest porn sites in the world. For any search to trend at that magnitude, millions of people have to search for it simultaneously.

Take a moment to let that sink in. Understand it. Millions of Indian men have searched a porn site, to see videos of an eight year old child get raped to death.

In the last two weeks, 40 rapes in India have been reported — I just Googled this statistic. Do you know what else I found? There are estimates that state that up to 92 women get raped every day in India. That is 33,580 women a year.

This is not for those of you who know this. This is for those who don’t.

Don’t give me the “all men don’t rape.” It does not mean anything. Too many men — over 30,000 a year — rape women. That is enough reason for women to mistrust us, and any woman who does so is justified. And this is rape, the rarest, most extreme form of sexual harassment. Not molestation or a less physically violent form of sexual abuse. God knows what statistics a Google search on that will bring.

React when you see a woman being harassed in any way. You do not have to know her

Stop crying about “feminist hypocrisy” or other such nonsensical talking points. If you really care so much about equality, make sure that they have less reason to be afraid. You can start by not disrespecting them if they do not want to have intercourse with you.
News flash: They don’t have to, if they don’t want to. Next time you find yourself ogling a girl, hitting on her even when she is clearly uncomfortable, start by slapping yourself. She might even like you for it.

React when you see a woman being harassed in any way. You do not have to know her. You do not have to know the details of the girl and her harasser’s personal equation.

Try to think of irrelevant issues later and make sure that she, a fellow human being, does not feel alone and scared. Oh yes, speaking of fellow human beings, maybe start treating women as such?

I love how I felt like I was talking to a spoiled 13-year-old when I typed this out. But then, I know you are one. Grow up maybe? Other people have feelings and lives too. Also, stop calling yourselves “shakt launda” to overcome your insecurities. It’s deeply embarrassing to have to belong to the same gender as you.

To the women: Learn self-defense. Arm yourselves with pepper-spray, tasers, and even guns if you can get licenses. Know exactly what to do in case you are assaulted. And please, always, react with violence. Men need to fear you.

Men need to be uncomfortable around you. Men need to hate the repercussions of messing with you. Most importantly, organize amongst yourselves. If there are millions of perverted males in India, there are hundreds of millions of women.
You will win. You have to.

Abhinandan Banerjee writes from Kolkata, India.

This article was first published on Dhaka Tribune



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