(This post is an attempt to look into the rape a bit deeply and objectively.)
I was aghast to listen the news of a young girl being gang raped in a bus in New Delhi. What worse and daring inhumane incident can be expected in the capital of India. I watched over news and all the channels were spilling the crime case over and over again, conducting inconsequential debates with feminists and activists, and collecting strong emotional reactions of people e.g. victims should be castrated or even lynched. Among all this, I was brooding on the lackadaisical attitude of police and politicians, preventive measures that should be exercised by society and individuals, but along with this some questions unsettled me even more.
The Animal in Hunt
Why someone rapes and what are the deep and dark reasons that hide in his psyche?
As fact says, 50% of rapists do not ejaculate or reach orgasm during rape, it is easy to understand that roots of a rape also lie beyond sexual gratification. Scientifically, it is the intense pent-up of emotional energies in the dimension of hatred, anger and sexuality, and the unconscious and misguided thinking or believes that can lead one to rape. In different cases reasons can be different, but they are always some of the below.
Realistically, sexuality is a natural aspect of life but we misperceive it when we look at it through the prism of religion and society. Thus, over the time we have created many rules and customs which are rooted in misbelieves and restrict a balanced expression of this dimension in us. Many of us live in conditions where sex and talking about sex is a taboo, we are brought up in a way which cripples us to connect with women in a frank, respectful and loving manner. This ever increasing chasm among men and women and the continuous suppression of sexual desires stores a huge lot of hang-up in us which seeks to vent out when it becomes unbearable and met with conducive circumstances.
Hatred for Women and Gender Inequality
Men are sterner sex and are entitled to use, domineer or harm the weaker sex. Many of us inherit this misbelief in our lifetime, sometimes from our ancestors, sometimes we learn it from the environment that belittles women, and sometimes when we fall in emotional love with a woman and are betrayed. In countries like South Africa where a woman is raped every 13 seconds, the whole social fabric festers from such an abhorrence. It shouldn’t surprise us for this insidious hatred to become an invidious deed at the flip of a thought when someone is seething with such a scorn.
Anger and Frustration from Life and People
Life is not easy when you distrust it, feel orphaned by it and continue to live unconsciously and fight to make things your way. In that struggle, many people close themselves to the extent that they start using misbehavior and violence as a social skill. They are frustrated and feel a meaninglessness in their lives and keep themselves engaged with ego-lifting conversations, squabbles and wrongdoings to cover it up and can be instantly hurt if their emotional and sexual advances are denied by a woman. Rape can as easily become a mean to drain their anger and frustration as any other crime for them.
Spite and Revenge
When a man is cheated by a women or when he is not reciprocated equally, many times, all his love turns into retribution. While everyone else moves ahead with his or her business he keeps stewing a feeling of spite. You must have listened people passing a flip comment or a cuss word among friends about their intention of doing something harmful with the girl who cheated him. Also, for the people with low self-esteem and imbalanced ego, even a small spat with a woman can inflict and fill them with a feeling to avenge.
Demoralizing Social and Life Conditions
The world is full of wretched conditions but people live in them. Poverty, unemployment, health and relationship issues, glint of happiness are scarcely seen in their lives. A sense of helplessness and hopelessness constantly looms in. In such a situation, stealing a moment of instant gratification by raping someone when the urge becomes uncontrollable doesn’t seem to be a big deal. Many women and young girls who live in such conditions are also raped because of low chances of reprisal from their families. On the other side, in metro cities, corruption, fearlessness, irresponsible authority, permissiveness etc. become the reason for a high social status brat to rape a girl and escape.
Shutting Down of Sensitivity and Empathy
When striving to survive, being a puppet in the hands of society and religion, seeing the shallowness of behavior even in the so called normal people, seeing woman being disrespected and disparaged every once and while, we become cold and start to forget to understand other’s feelings. We disregard that having intercourse with someone without her consent is not a pleasurable experience to her. Co-existing and co-creating with women becomes almost an impossibility for us when we close ourselves to them. A woman crying, being wounded, tolerating pain, and undergoing immense humiliation, even all of this fails to touch such people beyond their skins. As dead as a stone in those moments, they become heartless human.
How to hinder such heinous acts?
You can clearly see that the drive to commit a rape starts from the inside of a person. Only outside influences are not responsible for it. Leave a man and a woman alone in a room and it is highly unlikely that he would rape her. Outside actions like punishing the victim severely, increasing women’s security, police getting more active in arresting any eve teaser or offender has a value, but improving the over all social fabric, filling that vacuum of love, compassion and joy, and taking people to a conscious and better living is immensely needed. I believe that it starts from you, you taking the responsibility of your way of living completely, aligning to the dimension of love and joy, and then when you will touch the lives of others in any way possible, as simple as talking to someone, that has an alchemy in it.
It’s simple to realize that society is just an idea, we can not hold and change it for better. Only when the people change and their living change, our perception of society becomes better. Lets try to touch and heal lives in our daily business and lets those who feel inspired go the whole hog into the business of changing lives. Lets see through any misconceptions we have about women and lets women also give men some space for a connection instead of considering men as disloyal or immoral beings, if they do.
I feel more than happiness we need awareness and in this world of internet and communication spreading awareness is easier than ever before. I understand that betterment can not happen in a day, it will take time, but the message of love and compassion needs to reach out to people because that is the only thing that can tell them a sweet story even in the mid of a chaos!
And remember, rape is a horrible failure to remain human, we must do everything to stop it.
Mercy or Malice
How a rapist should be deemed?
The first reaction comes as he should be hanged to death! But I pondered, and felt that it is not just him who is responsible, so many things like his social conditions, upbringing, unconscious living have come together to make him do this. When I look at it from a very personal perspective it feels like he is the culprit and deserves no mercy, but when I look at it from bigger environmental context that also includes the person, I feel we should give him a chance for rehabilitation. With an open heart you can see that if there is a reason to feel compassionate towards victim, there is also a reason to feel compassionate towards culprit.
I can empathize that it would never be easy for those who are close to victim and who have suffered, to give even a shred of softheartedness, specially in the spur of those moments, still we are all human and one, and I can hope only for the righteous thing to happen when the time comes.
What lies ahead for the victim?
I have no idea but I can feel that that time must be extremely agonizing for a woman and the time thereafter that bears a mark of disgrace on her. I do not know what can soothe her at such times, but I feel if just one of us without any pretense can make his or her presence feel her closely, if just one of us is able to hear her story of pain and grief without reacting and let her pour her heart out with the tears if they drop, with the wailing if it happens, she will be lightened, she will be able to touch that emotional abyss whereon path to revival passes through.
In the end, honestly, it is her journey, and she must be able to come back to life instead of closing herself to life if we will pray and be with her.
Why the nature or existence allows such seemingly intolerable happenings and will never let us eradicate them completely even with our continuous struggle?
All that we do we do for a dream of a world where there would be no rapes, wars, murders or any other wrongdoing, and we have seen this dream as long as we have existed, but it never happened, it has always been a chimera! History that is rife with such barbarous incidents is a proof of it. As soon as we feel we have removed something bad from the world, God or nature or consciousness add some more of it and we again become busy in removing it and this goes on as if it is a play and consciousness is enjoying it. What is good or bad is good or bad only to us, through our perception, but it is the way it is to the consciousness, an element of the game. Life does not asses anything.
If it is a play, it has to happen between opposite energies, the light and the dark, the yin and the yang, and thus both are innate and undetachable fractals of expression of consciousness, and thus result into the existence of so called good and bad things in the world. But should we stop after this realization and sit slack, do nothing? No, you are here to enjoy the journey of life, there can not be any other purpose. Even with all you serious intentions and aspirations, sorrow and struggle, pain and love, cruelty and compassion, it has to be lived the humanly way, remaining connected with that space of silence at the same time from where wisdom and inspiration comes in.
Hence we must do whatever is in our control to reduce rapes, and in that experience may be we can experience aliveness, the true togetherness of humans, our uniqueness, and that infinite peace and silence and then may be, realistically, even if our hopes are not met, we have served our purpose.