Flesh and Blood


The Bulgarian Martyresses,  Makovsky, 1877

 

Since the brutal gang rape of an Indian student on a moving bus in Delhi, India has been dubbed the “rape capital” of the world. Every week hundreds of new rape cases are being reported and picked up on in the global media.

It fills me dread that the number of rape victims, for both men and women, around the world continues to increase. It makes me question the kind of world that we live in: is it safe? Where is our sense of humanity? Will things ever improve? What chance do future generations have with regards to their personal safety?

Rape is a particularly complex crime to analyse, partly because many sexual assaults are never reported. The surge in the number of rape cases being brought to light may daunt and deeply unsettle us, but it may also signify that victims of rape are brave enough to start coming forward and tell the authorities what has happened to them. Yet, this is countered by the abysmally low conviction rate. According to Rape Crisis, only 1,070 rapists are convicted. This sharply contrasts with the fact that 12,000 men and 85,000 women – on average – are raped in England and Wales every year.

From the Latin word rapere, which means “to snatch, to grab, to carry off.”

What fills me with even more dread, is the comments I see being left at the end of such articles. They range from “Indian men are savages” and “Indians are beasts” to the disgusting comment of “Indian men hold rape festivals.” And these comments aren’t just found in tabloids; they can be found in the comments section of almost every respectable newspaper. When I tried to report a particularly vicious one, it wasn’t deemed to be offensive enough.

I’m all for freedom of speech, but that does not mean that you abuse that right by spouting racist comments. In all honesty, reading hundreds of comments like that really upset me. As someone who was single-handedly raised by an Indian man, comes from a family which is predominantly male and deeply respectful to women, I know that not all Indian men are “savages” and “beasts.” In fact, I’m sure that many of us know that this isn’t true. What I don’t understand is why this thought even crosses the minds of so many people. Race and ethnicity shouldn’t even be a factor worth considering; rapists can be found in every single country and from any background.

In the UK, 1 in 20 women under the age of 60 have been raped or sexually assaulted during their lifetime – the equivalent of 800,000 victims.

 

There is no point in vilifying and condemning an entire group based on how a minority chooses to behave. It is crass, offensive and unintelligent. Yet, this filters into the real world. I have seen a woman openly insult my father – in a supermarket – after he stopped my grandma from picking up a heavy crate of water bottles by saying: “We know how your sort treat women!” in front of her. We see this time and time again with different ethnic groups who are demonised due to the actions of a mindless few. And at the end of it all, I honestly don’t know how we can go about addressing this issue unless we all stand together, educate our sons and daughters and stop protecting rapists.

 

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10 thoughts on “Flesh and Blood

  1. Doesn’t it seem like everyone becomes a feminist when the enemy is a brown man? But those same people are the first to object with “not ALL men” if we criticize white men.
    This is a dark topic to delve into, but so necessary. I love your insight.

    Luna Gemme

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    • Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. And absolutely! It boils my blood when the “not ALL men” argument comes out because it’s only applicable for white feminism.
      The second a black/brown woman uses that, we’re suddenly pitied and viewed as a victim of our own “culture” – the culture that they think we have.
      Agreed, it’s very difficult to discuss but I honestly wish more conversations about this topic were happening because it ultimately affects an ethnic group’s self esteem, self confidence and unity.

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  2. Until and unless we all change our mindset, things would not change. Courts treat rape victims as culprits which makes it difficult for women to report the crime. Society looks down on these women which makes their lives miserable. We all have to be supportive of these women, maybe, then society would feel enough disgust against such men.

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    • Precisely! I don’t know much about the American legal system, but here in the UK, the court itself is very intimidating for victims of rape. Especially with the cross examination techniques being used by barristers.
      Absolutely: we must support these women but at the same time really re-educate our boys and men as well to not feel entitled to rape/sexually assault/harass others

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  3. Thanks for another well written, thought-provoking piece.

    Does anyone remember the case in the 90s of Sunita Vig from Southall? She claimed that she was raped by a priest and the “community” pretty much tarnished her as a harlot making things up. The whole thing was very sad – one of the earliest cases I recall.

    Finally, what area of the UK do you live in?? After the last article where someone shouted abuse at you from a car and now someone abusing your dad in public, it really is odd how some the urchins of the Earth have decided to congregate near you.
    This has never happened to me in my entire life in the UK (since birth), so this is unfortunate and sad to hear.

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    • I vaguely recall reading about Sunita Vig in an article a while bacl.
      It is awful, but as I said rape cases are difficult to analyse because it usually is only the victim and the rapist in the situation. Plus the British courts’ cross examination processes are not great.

      Funny enough I’m in Greater London; the part that goes into Kent. So it just goes to show that even in a vibrant and multicultural city like London, these pockets of individuals do exist.
      In all fairness, my town is overwhelmingly majority white and aren’t accustomed to seeing BMEs

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  4. Post 9/11 all turbaned people were terrorists….seems the attitudes of the world have not changed. It’s an excuse for the bigots of society to provoke hatred and create divisions in the community. During 9/11 lots of Sikhs were attacked by rednecks and twats alike because they saw it as an opportunity…same is happening again.

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    • It does make you wonder and sit in disbelief at what is going on in our world today.
      I’m constantly having to remind myself that there is always more good than evil; even though it feels like it doesn’t at times.
      It makes me feel concerned at the type of world future children will grow up in.
      And yes: funny how history repeats itself but we never seem to learn

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