Thursday, 11 July 2013

Is ‘provocative dressing’ a catalyst for rape?




Rape is a grievous crime everywhere in the world yet it is a crime that is on the increase and the profound million-dollar question, “why do men rape women?’ does not have a concrete explanation. After decades of researches, all we have are theories.Depending on the side of the spectrum rape is viewed from, the opinion varies. On one hand, psychologists view rape as a mental or emotional illness within the perpetrator, which differs from one offender to another and the drive behind such behaviour could range from the aggressive need to control and dominate, to dealing with rejection and revenge.Sociologists however, refute the notion of psychological illness and belief that rapists are not psychopaths. There are, of course, extreme individuals but most rapists are relatively normal.They blend well into the society and have more similarities with none-rapists than differences. Some sociologists believe that rape is an expression of gender inequality, while some attribute it to sexual tolerance within the society.
In the wake of high profile rape assaults around the world and the confusing conundrum created by the numerous theories provided by both schools of thought, policy makers are desperate to curb rape and protect potential victims and countries are turning to myth rather than science.Some countries have embraced the myth that rape is primarily a sexual act and are placing the responsibility of rape prevention on the women.In order to prevent a repeat of last year’s summer, where 13 per cent of women were sexually assaulted riding the subway in the Chinese capital, Beijing Public Security Bureau recently issued guidelines warning women not to wear miniskirts or other skimpy clothing in public transport.
Rape reports from India are almost on a daily basis with each one more horrendous than the last. The last straw was the two rape assaults on 5-year-olds within the month of April
5-year-old Gudiya was kidnapped, raped and tortured for two days by her neighbour and is still recovering in the hospital.
One man lured another 5-year-old into a farm where she was then raped by another who was a friend of her parents.  The girl suffered a brain injury when the men tried to stop her cries.She later died of cardiac arrest.
India government responded with stricter laws and a proposal to ban the display of bikini- clad mannequins outside lingerie shops to prevent the increase in sex assaults.According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau, one woman is raped every 20 minutes in India with Mumbai recording more than 15 per cent increase.South Korea might follow suit with their over exposure law, which carries a £30 fine.Last year December, Swaziland banned the wearing of miniskirts, crop tops, low-slung jeans and tank tops in public because they encourage rape. However, the ‘indlamu’ costume, a tiny beaded belt worn by young women to dance for King Mswati topless and with their buttocks fully exposed, is allowed.Since 2008, Uganda had been trying to ban miniskirts but Ugandans are not backing down. The government tried again in April and the Ethics and integrity Minister, Simon Lokodo tried to explain the reason behind the ban.
He said, “there are people who dress very provocatively, stimulating and provoking persons of the opposite sex - as if to say they are available, they are ready and therefore would at any time go for a sexual act. This is what we want to ban.“Any attire which exposes intimate parts of the human body, especially areas that are of erotic function, is outlawed. Anything above the knee is outlawed. If a woman wears a miniskirt, we will arrest her.”

The view that women’s dressing encourages rape is nothing new and though science says rape is not for sexual pleasure, full blooded everyday men beg to defer,When asked, men who were sunbathing in London Hyde Park on Thursday, though none of them claimed to be a rapist and are not paedophiles, almost all of them confirmed that  provocatively dressed ladies turn them on; the over exposed laps with a peak of bum cheeks, the sight of the midriff and boobs almost spilling out  are very overpowering and a man who is not strong willed might temporarily become insane. Blinded by sexual urges, he could  sexually assault a woman.But if just the clothes are to blame, what kind of sexy clothes could a toddler wear that would produce sexual desires in a sane man?No single theory can fully cover why people rape. A combination of the theories and even myths might be a contributing factor to rape depending on the individual.
A man who rapes a child definitely has psychological problems. Sexual frustration due to rejection could contribute. Half naked women parading the streets could cloud a man’s judgement however, it is not an invitation to treat and while women are being told how or what to wear, the men are not being educated on how to respect women and boundaries.The fact is, not every man is a rapist but every woman could be raped regardless of her age…..

culled from Tribune.com

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