From infochangeindia: Why the to-do over this particular rape? By Oishik Sircar

The full article by Oishik Sircar is here on infochangeindia.

A woman’s body, especially her vagina, is no sacred temple. Rape does not turn her into a zinda laash. Rape is violence and needs to be condemned for that reason and not for any romanticised understanding of izzat and aabroo.

The law (until the Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2012 comes into force) does not put other forms of objects penetrating the vagina, or the penetration of other orifices on the body, at par with rape.

This is also why forced anal penetration of men (or hijras) will never be considered rape legally, or attract outrage of this scale.

Societally and legally rape does not exist inside marriage (and this will continue to be the case even after the amendments come through), and outside it rape exists under the exceptional circumstance of peno-vaginal penetration only.

And it is peno-vaginal penetration outside the hallowed borders of marriage that is a matter of concern for the law as well as society (family, community, and nation).

The law is interested in protecting the institution of marriage from outside contamination (by criminalising adultery) and internal disruption (by exempting marital rape), and society is interested in protecting the virginity of unmarried women by calling any sexual transaction rape if it upsets the structures of class, caste and patriarchy.

The issues of force and choice of the woman (and the man) in question become inconsequential if these objectives are being met.

It’s not a surprise that marital rape continues to be an exception under Indian criminal law since the law is not able to fathom how the owner can plunder his own property.

Sexual harassment or domestic violence can be bad, but the fear of rape is a direct threat to ‘our’ property being trespassed and its re/productive promise being compromised.

The full article by Oishik Sircar is here on infochangeindia.


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