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If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?

 
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03/24/2013 01:19 AM
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If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
'If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?

A shocking series of brutal attacks has led to a national debate on sexual violence. The Observer asked a group of young men in Goa for their views. The talk revealed a disturbing mindset

Indian woman at food stall
A woman waits at a food stall in Delhi. Many in the country say women should not be allowed out at night on their own. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/AP

"Rape is a big, big problem. It starts with the woman. They drive the man fucking crazy." Papi Gonzales leans back in his chair and surveys the other young Indian men around the table in his beach bar, seeking approval. They nod in agreement, eager to make their own points. "When the girls look sexy and the boys can't control themselves, they are going to rape. It happens," said Robin Shretha, one of the waiters.

Since a 23-year-old medical student was gang-raped on a bus in Delhi in December and later died in hospital from her injuries, the issue of rape has been hugely prominent in India. Last week headlines were dominated by the gang rape of a Swiss woman on a cycling holiday in Madhya Pradesh. In the same week a British woman leapt from her hotel window in the northern city of Agra at 4am to escape the unwanted attention of the hotel manager, who was trying to get into her room.

According to government figures, a rape takes place in India every 21 minutes. The number of reported rapes rose by 9% in 2011 to 24,000. Yet conviction rates are falling, down to 26% in 2011.

The recent cases have led to worldwide outrage, and demonstrations led by women have filled the streets of major cities. But what do India's young men think? The Observer gathered a group in the western region of Goa to hear their views. They were: Abhijit Harmalkar, 28, a driver; his brother, Avinash, 24, a factory worker; Bhivresh Banaulikar, 26, an auditor; Brindhavan Salgaonkar, 20, a factory worker; Robin Shretha, 21, a waiter; and Papi Gonzales, 32, the owner of the bar.

One word to describe their views would be "unreconstructed". Others would be "alarming" and "frightening". Plenty of Indian men have joined the recent demonstrations. Plenty of Indian men are committed to the cause of women's rights. But this discussion revealed the deep moral conservatism of some young Indian males, coupled with confusion about gender roles in a society where economic modernisation is outstripping social attitudes.

We are getting the blame, these men claimed, while no one is paying attention to the actions of young women, who need to understand that they should not be out on their own at night. "Our culture is different," said Abhijit Harmalkar. "Girls are not allowed outside after six [pm] because anything can happen – rape, robbery, kidnaps. It is the mentality of some people. They are putting on short and sexy dresses, that's why. Then men cannot control themselves."

Banaulikar nodded. "I have a sister. If she is out late at night, then I would be worried. After 7pm I would be worried. Men can't control themselves."

The men sit around a table in a bar overlooking the Arabian Sea. It is an idyllic scene: coconut palms edge the beaches, the sea is a deep blue, the temperature in the mid-30s. It is mid-morning, but already there are a few western tourists wandering along the beach – the men bare-chested in shorts, many of the women in bikinis. Groups of local men watch the women, discreetly taking pictures with their phones. When night falls, nearby bars will be packed with young people. This bar is only a couple of miles from where the body of British teenager Scarlett Keeling was found five years ago. The 15-year-old had been raped and murdered. An on-off court case against two men has dragged on for years. No one believes that those responsible will face justice, and there appears to be no impetus among those in authority in the state to bring it to a conclusion. The truth is that in India there are many people who think a 15-year-old western girl out drinking in bars in the early hours of the morning was asking for trouble.

This collection of young men is a small, random sample, and plenty of Indians would find their views abhorrent. Foreigners thinking of visiting India – particularly young women – will find these views not only repulsive, but dangerous. Though this is a small sample, it is telling that they speak so openly, and it is clearly the case that other young Indian men would express similar thoughts – even if large numbers of their compatriots would find them shocking.

Sometimes the women lead the men on, those around the table said. Sometimes men are frustrated that women who have earlier flirted with them then ignore their advances. This is not how they themselves behave, but this is what happens, they said. "The Indian girls who come here, they don't behave, maybe there are some boys and the rape happens," said Shretha. "But sometimes they are not behaving sexy, not talking to the boys, and the boys are angrier and they think, 'I'll rape'.

"If they find them in a blind place, they are going to combine together with friends and they are going to rape them. If they [the women] talk nicely, they are OK. If they behave rudely, then they [the men] are going to be angry."

This group, while expressing these views, still maintain that the idea that women are second-class citizens in India is out of date. Everyone is equal now, they said, with women going out to work and making money too. "Before, for many years, girls were neglected, boys got opportunities. Girls did not get opportunities, but now it is equal. It is a new generation, no difference between girls and boys," said Shretha. Their notion of "equality" is impossible to square with the casualness with which they understand and even expect young men to visit sexual abuse on women.

The trouble is, they claim, that this new assertiveness among women is causing confusion for the men. "The main thing is the bank balance. Women are in love with the bank balance," said Gonzales. "And a nice shiny car. Then everything is OK," said Salgaonkar. "You should not blame the boys every time," said Banaulikar. "If you have four girls, sometimes one is a prostitute type," said Avinash Harmalkar. "The others don't know their friend is a prostitute. It is common in college life," he claimed.

Such attitudes are not unusual. Abhijit Mukherjee, the son of president Pranab Mukherjee, himself an MP with the ruling Congress party, dismissed protesters after the Delhi rape as "dented and painted women". And religious guru Asaram Bapu suggested that the victim was not blameless, asking provocatively: "Can one hand clap?" Maybe if there were more prostitutes, there would be fewer problems for young women, the men suggested. "It keeps men happy," said Gonzales. "In Bombay, there are 20 places that I go sometimes. There are hundreds of places there. In Goa there are no places like that. And when we see the goras [whites] showing their bodies off, the Goan people react badly."

One answer, said the men, would be for the women's families to be stricter, preventing them going out at night. That is the traditional solution to keeping girls safe. "In Indian culture, our generation has grown up with respect for families," said Gonzales. "That's why we are scared of our parents. We behave as we are told to behave. Mum and Dad shout 'do this, do that' and we listen. But in the next generation everything has changed."

"Parents should stop the girls going out late at night," said Avinash Harmalkar. "Parents should set them free to live their own life, but parents should be strict about late nights, then this kind of crime will not happen." None of the men could understand why the medical student and her boyfriend had taken a bus in Delhi alone at night, the bus on which they were attacked. "At night-time no one goes in the bus," said Salgaonkar.

"You don't go as a single boyfriend and girlfriend in a late bus at 8.30pm. At that time anything can happen, because no one is in the bus," said Harmalkar. As for men who assault women on crowded buses, which happens frequently, they do so because they have the safety of numbers, he said, and because they don't understand that what they are doing is wrong. "They can't have a girlfriend. If they had a girlfriend they wouldn't act like this. In fact, if they had a sister they would not do this," said Salgaonkar. It was not the rape itself that provoked such anger, he said, but the violence. "The boys who raped her also violated her with a steel rod. If it was only sex, they would not have been so angry."

No one around the table had a simple solution, though Banaulikar said that the only way to stop rape was to keep young people busy and off the streets. "In my job I am always busy," he said. "I don't have time to do these things. If you keep them busy, you can stop them. It is the jobless men who are doing these things.

"If they see others doing this stuff, they copy them. It is the same for the girls. In the daytime she is a good girl, but no one knows what she does at night, and she persuades her friends to do the same." Parents should teach the difference between right and wrong, they said, and also schools.

Then there was the world of higher education, seen by these men as little more than dens of iniquity. "College life is different," said Avinash Harmalkar. "Anything can happen there. Girls and boys know everything about sex. The girls go from boy to boy."

Banaulikar added: "Some girls are doing things for money. They use the boy and then throw them away. So some boys are taking revenge. If someone wants to have sex, no one can stop them. And if you do not want to have sex, people will say you are not a man."

For anyone interested in the promotion of women's rights in India, this was an alarming, even frightening discussion. Last week the lower house of parliament passed new rape laws, which include the death penalty for the most extreme cases, and introduced punishments for stalking and assaulting women. But the all-male conversation by the sea in Goa ended on a note that did not offer much hope for the thousands campaigning on the streets for an end to sexual violence. "Nothing will be changed," said Avinash Harmalkar. "Things like this happen every day and nothing will be changed. Only if the world ends will anything change
Judethz
Israel is Eternal

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03/24/2013 01:23 AM

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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
judethdflo11 There is a quite simple cure for rapists.
Marxist

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03/24/2013 01:33 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
Rapid changes across Asia will have significant dislocations at many levels. What you are seeing in places such as China and India is the emergence of a global culture as these countries slip deeper into the embrace of global capital, not the least being the change from male dominated societes to the more nuclear order of modern capital in the West.

You also see these forces at play in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America as well as Eastern Europe where previously conservative or ordered societies fragment before the forces of capitalist modernism.
Workers of the World, Unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!
Anonymous Coward
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Australia
03/24/2013 01:37 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
DATS RACISS!!!!
Anonymous Coward
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03/24/2013 01:40 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
happens everywhere by every people. just look at all the partying going on in the western world.

"Your honor, if i knew she was going to wake up, i'd never have touched her"
Anonymous Coward
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Japan
03/24/2013 01:59 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
India is a dark, a very dark Place
and i recommend everyone who want to see "Darkness"
to visit that Place!

There is also no chance for a bit of Light,
that Place is rotten to the core!
Anonymous Coward
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03/24/2013 02:16 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
What was the religion of the rapists, Islam?

Islam, allows the rape of infidels, or non-Muslim women and girls.

Proof
[link to www.wikiislam.net]
Anonymous Coward
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03/24/2013 02:18 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
What was the religion of the rapists, Islam?

Islam, allows the rape of infidels, or non-Muslim women and girls.

Proof
[link to www.wikiislam.net]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 36703336



[link to www.youtube.com]
Anonymous Coward
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United Kingdom
03/24/2013 02:24 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
If its got a head and two legs Indian men will rape.

India and South Africa have petitioned the International Olympic Commitee to include rape in the next Olympics.

Should be a big increase in each countries medal tally if rape is accepted as a sport.
Anonymous Coward
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Australia
03/24/2013 02:29 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
If its got a head and two legs Indian men will rape.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1192767


Not even.........just anything with a heart beat will usually do.

Actually fairly sure Indian men also fuck each other until they snare some unsuspecting wretch.
Anonymous Coward
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Australia
03/24/2013 02:31 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
fucken heathen phallic sex cult, they might as well be muslims.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
03/24/2013 02:32 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
Well then it should be politically correct for U.S. business's to remove call centers and all other operations from India.
If a business is not in the process of removing operations at this point they are saying they support rape.
India will not change its ways if we only scorn them, we must take actions that will be felt.
We owe it to all women to withdraw all business from India.
Anonymous Coward
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United Kingdom
03/24/2013 02:37 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
Well then it should be politically correct for U.S. business's to remove call centers and all other operations from India.
If a business is not in the process of removing operations at this point they are saying they support rape.
India will not change its ways if we only scorn them, we must take actions that will be felt.
We owe it to all women to withdraw all business from India.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1018225


What about South Africa then? Look at the rape statistics there puts India to shame. 1 in 4 black men have even admited to having raped at least once there is no stigma attached to it for them.
Anonymous Coward
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Japan
03/24/2013 02:39 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
What was the religion of the rapists, Islam?

Islam, allows the rape of infidels, or non-Muslim women and girls.

Proof
[link to www.wikiislam.net]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 36703336


This Example (mentioned above) is from Goa,
the People in Goa are Catholic or Hindi, not Muslim!
Anonymous Coward
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Australia
03/24/2013 02:40 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
If boys look sexy girls will rape them too it just depends how much booze they've had
Superfly
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03/24/2013 02:44 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
In the UK, if Pakistani/Indian/Bangladeshi guys see their women and girls dressing like slutty westerners, they are even more fair game, and in a sense deserve a good beating too for being sluts. British sluts are fair game, but for 2nd/3rd generation girls wanting to be like their peers, well, their rape is seen as keeping them in line. From what I've overheard.
Anonymous Coward
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India
03/24/2013 02:54 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
Islam religion is best ! compare to other religions
no one see females in burkha when moving on two wheeler
when other religion females moves in vehicle
everyone stares her
Anonymous Coward
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United States
03/24/2013 02:56 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
In the UK, if Pakistani/Indian/Bangladeshi guys see their women and girls dressing like slutty westerners, they are even more fair game, and in a sense deserve a good beating too for being sluts. British sluts are fair game, but for 2nd/3rd generation girls wanting to be like their peers, well, their rape is seen as keeping them in line. From what I've overheard.
 Quoting: Superfly 14217823


^^ the Muslim helps confirm my previous reply
Patrick Bateman

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03/24/2013 02:56 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
Fucked up guys will rape regaurdless.
remember me
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Canada
03/24/2013 03:47 AM
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Re: If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe?
Anywhere in the world and any kind of races. Man are all the same. They have a penis instead of a brain.

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