Because ‘boys will be boys’

Rape is the easiest of all crimes and most probably the laxest too in our country.

It is never the rapist's fault, and it is safe to assume that he just has the urge to release himself, and the women, who are distastefully dressed in saris, or pants or burqas, are his game. After all, it is his animal urge and instinct over which he seemingly has no control. It is not his fault that he rapes, and then kills the woman, he must punish her because he is the dominant alpha. 

It's almost a cool thing to do, the rapist believe, teaching women, the lowest of the low, a lesson. He must show them who rules; in his marital bed with his wife, with his girlfriend while having consent, even with the girl who sells her body every night for food and money.

He knows he is never considered a perpetrator; in fact, he is doing good to society by teaching these 'loose' women a lesson. Seemingly, it's his personal jihad against obscenity. And he wins, because when he rapes a woman, the entire society is with him, it is of course the girl's fault to tease him by wearing tight shirts or hijabs.

In a report published in The Daily Star, it says according to Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), at least 1,627 women were raped and gang-raped across the country in 2020. Of them, 53 were killed after rape and 14 died by committing suicide. The number of rape victims was 1,413 in 2019, and 732 in 2018 — ASK mentioned in its 2020 annual report.

What can these Pritilata Brigade, or banners like "Bangladesh against Rape and Injustice" do? Whenever the rapist commits this deed, few protest rallies are the only 'nuisance' talking against him. If by bad luck he is arrested, he gets out on bail, because it's no big deal to rape and kill a woman. Justice for the victims will never be served timely.

Manusher Jonno Foundation, in one of its recent studies, found that out of the 25 pending rape cases they were following during 2012 to 2017, among the 25 raped, three were physically and mentally challenged, four victims were children from the age group of 5 to 10, five children were between 11 and 15 years of age, 16 from the age group of 16 to 35.

About 20 of the rapists are out on bail, three of them are in jail, two of them are under the umbrella of influential people and they remain scot free. The current situation of these cases is, most of them are in court under trial, four cases are inactive because of missing documents, and 20 of the accused are on bail. All the accused persons got bail within 24 hours to 15 days. As per law, police are bound to file charge sheet within 90 working days.

So, you see how easy it is the for rapist to commit this crime and go scot free.

In The Daily Star report, Taqbir Huda, research specialist at Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, who leads the Rape Law Reform Now Campaign, said "Whenever a rape gets reported, we see a large section of society normalising the crime and implying that the rape was almost inevitable.

"When you treat rape as inevitable by stretching the concept of 'boys will be boys,' you are essentially telling men and boys to go and rape a girl to death, because we'll always find a way to put the blame on her."

For these criminal mentality men, they believe it's their birth right to force a woman to subjugation, and raping her is just a way of ensuring it. And unfortunately, the majority of the society is somehow finding an excuse for the rapist, and blaming the victim.

Forcing yourself on a woman, even if you have consent for sex, is not a gentlemanly thing to do.

Stop the rapist in you, think better.

Keep a lookout for Lifestyle Talkies tonight, 8: 30 p.m., at The Daily Star Facebook LIVE for a much needed discussion with Khushi Kabir, Coordinator, Nijera Kori and Feminist and Human Rights Activist, on sexual consent.

 Photo: Star


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