“Did you hear that the girl next door was raped?” “What do you mean by that?” “Well, at least that’s what she claims, alleging that her neighbor raped her when he came to her house one afternoon asking for some milk for tea.” And I was like, What nonsense is this? Why would someone want to rape over milk? It just didn’t add up. But more on this later, after we analyze the scenario going around.

So I visited an old friend who is now married and has kids, and her eight-year-old son bumps into me and says, “Uncle, what exactly is rape?”

I was astounded and amused as well. As a child, I came to comprehend the meaning of the word rape much later into my adolescence, and it was probably appropriate as well since I was at the right age to comprehend things. But for an eight-year-old lad—who can’t even comprehend many basic philosophies of life, including the importance to earn money—to be inquisitive about rape?!

I immediately gave a “look” to my friend, who said she would explain it to him separately so that the kid doesn’t embarrass her further in her circles. While I understand her situation, and this being the age when the gen next needs their parents to double up as their buddies, I still wouldn’t blame the kid for the question he asked. He’s just a small child trying to understand the world around him, and the world around him is abuzz with the word rape more frequently than the word inflation.

Otherwise, the kid would have asked me, “What is inflation?” And it’s inflation that he needs to worry about—not rape—for when he grows up, he needs to know the financial difficulties lying ahead of him, being a boy.

However, it’s rape we are teaching him at the tender age of eight when he is probably not even aware that it is but natural for him to become attracted to a female.

So, the problem is grave, and naturally we need to blame someone. Who do we blame? Do we blame men, who are the natural accused in rape cases? Or do we blame feminists and feminist-dominated media for over-blowing the trumpet of rape? Or should we blame ourselves, as a society, for over-relying on feminist principles, feminist jurisprudence, and a feminist-dominated society for setting the record straight in an otherwise chaotic and turbulent world?

I would vote for the third party above. We have applied more emphasis to “feminist problems,” and this is what we have come to. The kids are disoriented, asking the wrong questions at the wrong age. Normally, the inquisition quotient in kids is high, and if they are overfed with some particular information, they will embarrass the elders with these kinds of questions.

Having taken a pot shot at the social mindset, let’s look at the ramifications. There are times when I actually sympathize with law-makers, I really do. Because law is low-hanging fruit for critics. As a society, we are faster than lightning in judging that a law is being misused, is clumsily drafted, is not getting implemented properly, or the intended beneficiaries of the law are not being reached, and so and so forth.

We often forget the fact that law is merely the effect and not the cause. The cause of law is the social mindset. Of late, the rape laws in India are very much in discussion (obvious with the incident of the kid mentioned above), and they are clearly reflective of the social mindset that we are now going to elaborate on.

Specifically in India, there’s an overt feeling for converting even casual relationships between a man and a woman into marriage, and if the attempt doesn’t succeed, then the man is arrested on rape charges. This is happening due to a flawed interpretation of section 376 of the Indian Penal Code. So, while technically there’s no law to prosecute men for failed relationships, still we have been punishing men whose relationships do not culminate into marriage with rape charges.

Many times the threats of a false rape case and the procedural harassment that follows it force a man to marry the same girl who has accused him of alleged rape, and his life gets ruined further as the girl who has entered his life with threats and coercion continues to abuse him. Since the man is already under a lot of pressure due to the false accusation of a crime as heinous as rape, he submits to the social pressure and this paves the path for further silent abuse of the man.

As in India, we live in a society wrought with the mindset that any romantic relationship between a man and a woman should be converted into marriage. The flip side of this mindset, coupled with the inherent male hatred in the society, is that men are getting trapped into rape cases that aren’t really cases of rape. But still, the feminist-dominated media presents these matters as rape, which creates a very bad image of India in the West.

While there are more reported rapes in the West than compared with India, when Westerners talk to Indians, it’s like, “Oh, you are from Bangalore, the rape capital of India?” and that tells us the tremendous damage that feminist dogma, feminist jurisprudence, and the over-romance of the society with feminist organizations have done to us.

In fact, women are two times safer in India than they are in the West because, given the huge population of India, the crime rate is still very much less. However, vested interests are hell-bent on demeaning the image of India globally, and that’s the reason one isolated gang-rape incident on December 16, 2012, was hyped, over-hyped, and overtly hyped not only to tarnish the image of India but also to spread poison in the society.

It beats the grey matter of my brain as to how after one incident, there’s now a barrage of rape cases being bombarded into the media—as if suddenly the men of India have realized that the women in India are rape-able and rape is one pastime the men in India can indulge in.

How foolish we become as a society when we respond to such agenda-driven media and take part in passing laws that are unconstitutional, biased, anti-male, barbaric and archaic, wrought with a colonial mindset of tyranny, and that violate the human rights of men based on unverified media reports. And later, when those same laws victimize our innocent sons and brothers, we cry hoarse and blame the laws.

But wait one minute, didn’t we pass those laws? Didn’t we take to the streets bearing candles and shouting for tougher rape laws, being misled by the very media that has tarnished the image of India internationally? So when we are the cause (our inherent male hatred) calling for stricter laws, how can we blame the effect (the laws themselves)?

What we fail to realize as a society is that if we do not respect men’s human rights, then we will never be able to make progress or reduce crime. In order to reduce crime, it’s important not only to punish the criminal but also the criminal mindset that perpetrates crime. Misandry (social hatred against men) is a criminal mindset that validates the violation of men’s human rights.

There have been many instances of male rape wherein the legal system has pardoned the female rapist merely because she was a woman and none batted an eyelid. This behavior is unacceptable. It is extremely important to punish women who commit crimes and not develop justifications around them to find an excuse to pardon a “helpless woman in a patriarchal society.”

Coming back to the incident of the girl next door allegedly raped by a neighbor over a cup of tea, as long as we convert such nonchalant interactions between a man and a woman into crime, crime will never reduce, for there cannot be but two worlds exclusive to each gender. The lives of men and women would ever remain inclusive of each other, and we must learn to draw a line between humanism and cynicism.

In one such barbaric incident, a mob beat up a man in the state of Rajasthan, cutting his genitals as he was allegedly attempting to rape a teenaged girl. First, the allegation is unverified, and it could be very much possible that they were indulging in consensual sex. If an eight-year-old boy can ask about rape, then a teenaged girl can very well have sex. Second, even if it was an attempt to rape, the man should have been handed over to the police. Mob fury, barbarism, and social violence cannot be the solution to social problems.

The current practice of punishing men at the drop of a hat when a woman complains is not humanist in nature; it’s cynicism at best, and men would find no reason to respond to the same in a humanist manner. But for the miraculous rape laws of India and their cynical implementation, men will continue to suffer from institutional, state-sponsored, and socially validated tyranny. The only way forward is to start respecting men’s human rights, pivot our social mindset around it, and then change the miraculous rape laws of India.

The rape laws of India are miraculous not by their definition but by the way they have been converted into a weapon of vengeance and a tool to justify abuse and violence against a man. It is becoming fashionable to beat up a man and then frame him with rape charges to cover up the violence. This practice needs to stop.

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