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To Stop Rape Culture, Educate Boys about it from Early Childhood

A recent video released by The Quint  showed the extent to which Rape Culture is prevalent in the state of Haryana. Haryana is one among the many states of the northern states like  UP or Bihar or Rajasthan where rapes happen by the minute and go unreported. While India’s northern states dwell under a rule of terror where caste , religion and gender are the sole currencies for exercising power, our boys and men across the entire country are pretty much indoctrinated in the same ideas and thoughts.

In the video, one can see young school going girl children aged 8-10 years talking of how their teachers have told them that rapes happen due to the woman’s fault. Both men and women are at fault. Rapes are consensual. If the girls don’t agree to it, rapes can never take place. It is surprising how the girls are made to believe the same thing that the boys are seen to believe. A smile of a girl lures a man to rape her. Wearing jeans and using phones lead girls to get raped since men get attracted. These young children don’t even seem to know what they are talking of. It feels like they are reading from a script. The boys look innocent, seem to harbour no malice, just speaking what they have been told in the same way as a learnt table of 7or letters of the alphabet. However over the years, with indoctrination and a free license given to exercising their sexuality unbridled, learnt scripts turn into violence, malice, murder. Rapes are normalized. Killing, is normalized. Misogyny becomes the rule of the land.

This goes as far as rural classrooms are concerned. The scenario is no different even in posh urban schools. Girls are still chastised on skirt lengths, forbidden to talk to or go near boys, shamed on their characters if they happen to attract a lot of attention to themselves, asked to sit with legs folded; boys, are believed to stay as boys. “Boys will be boys”. All mischief is forgiven. Teasing girls is forgiven. Girls on the other hand that stand up, are believed to be dramatic. Over doing it. And this skit is repeated and retold by parents, teachers, seniors, everyone.

Rapes don’t happen because girls ‘want’ it. No human being, not in their right senses would wish to be violated, tortured, killed, brutalized mercilessly. Asking for attention is not asking to get raped. It is a myth that men have raging hormones. Women  do too. They are taught to control their sexuality to the point of non existence. Boys are encouraged to explore it, to the point of exploitation. Rapes in India can only stop when young boys have it hammered in their heads that raping is as unacceptable as parricide. Women aren’t victims of rape because they are naturally weak. But because centuries of social conditioning has preordained their physical realities even. Men too can get raped. All in all, consent is foremost when it comes to sexuality. Sex isn’t a power enforcement tool  that men have a natural right to.  A woman’s body is nobody’s property to be used or violated.

As long as the government decides to jot these points down and pass booklets of the same to each and every school to be taught mandatorily to children, rapes won’t stop. Hanging rapists won’t yield any result. Rapes can’t be stopped by instilling fear. Criminals are well aware of consequences yet they commit crimes as unhindered as had they been unaware of punishment. As a country, things shall never look up for women, irrespective of caste creed religion unless rape is taught to children in classrooms and taught to them as a crime unacceptable to be committed by any human being.

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