Rape Discussions Deepen as Indian Rape Victim Dies

The questions at the heart of it all: Why does rape happen? What can we as a society do about it?

On December 16th a 23-year-old Indian student boarded a bus in New Delhi with her male companion. What had the makings for a day like any other quickly turned savage, deadly. Both were beaten with an iron rod and reports say that she was then gang-raped by six men and further “brutalized” for 45 minutes. The man has been discharged from the hospital, but the woman, whose name has not yet been released, was pronounced dead yesterday at a hospital in Singapore.

Protests have erupted throughout India and many peaceful protestors are claiming they’ve been beaten by riot police. All the media coverage is allowing needed space for stories to resurface, stories like that of a 17-year-old Indian girl who claimed she’d been gang-raped during the Hindu festival Diwali in November. A formal case was registered by police fourteen days later. Earlier this week she committed suicide, leaving a note behind that blamed her alleged rapists.

The profound sadness and mourning is fostering deep and necessary conversations on the current state of Indian masculinity and on the nature of rape itself. Some of the clearest commentary has come from Professor Ratna Kapur in her piece for The Hindu titled Rape and the crisis of Indian masculinity:

Rape is not simply about law and order, or about deranged individuals. Nor is the problem going to be solved by more laws, more police on our streets, more CCTV cameras on our buses or stiffer sentences for rapists. The gang rapes that are occurring with alarming regularity must compel us to reflect upon who we are as a society.

Rape taps into our most visceral emotions and as such it’s far easier to reach for the easy answers than to view it, as we do with other crimes, from a variety of perspectives. The primary way we get perspective seems to be through the fictionalized rape that dominates our media. Rape is at once sexual and violent and these are the tried-and-true ingredients that draw ratings. Many of our highest-rated and longest-running television programs often begin with a rape scene and then keep us glued to the television screen for the next twenty minutes because we want to get inside the rapist’s head to see why or how they committed the crime. I believe we’ve become entirely too comfortable with learning about and discussing the complexity of rape primarily when it’s fictionalized. There’s a serious danger when what we think we know about a crime we only “know” because of what TV drama has fed us (my latest visit to a sex trafficking shelter was with a woman whose entire knowledge of the crime came not from well-researched documentaries or books but from watching Liam Neeson in Taken. Her entire point of view was skewed to the point that a blank slate would have been far better. Fictionalized movies can be the spark for awareness but anything after that…). When we’re talking about real victims/survivors and real rapists our emotions from the raw reality of the crime can close us off and we become comfortable talking about rape only through the safe and prescribed ways – nearly always through the lens of the victim/survivor.

While this perspective is certainly necessary, it’s also necessary to view rape as the brutal crime it is, and this sometimes means the difficult and even politically incorrect strategy of ratcheting down the focus on victim/survivor empathy and placing attention elsewhere. This can happen effectively in university criminal justice courses because there’s an understanding that the ratcheting down has nothing to do with being a “rape apologist” or “rape sympathizer” and everything to do with trying to understand the crime itself, there’s an understanding of why it’s important. Much of what we know about organized crime didn’t come from those who were beaten or swindled out of money or property, it came from listening to the criminals, it came from viewing each crime not as a single acute act but of one part of a network, one created and grown through certain parts of our collective society. What we see in the public sphere regarding the crime of rape, however, is an absolute and blind allegiance to the victim/survivor, so much so that speaking of rape through any other method is a surefire way to receive one of the aforementioned labels. Professor Kapur took the difficult road. Easy it would have been to call the six men monsters and be done with it. Easy it would have been to speak only of “them.” Professor Kapur also looks inward, she looks at “who we are as a society.” When it comes to rape it’s far easier to vent than it is to, as Professor Kapur does here, seriously try to find answers.

She goes on to say:

Just like the killing of young innocents is forcing Americans to address the societal reasons for such violence and not just blame one individual, Indians need to understand that gang rape is not just an aberration committed by inhuman men. We need to address how we as a society are implicated in producing such appalling levels of violence against women, which is increasingly being tolerated and even normalised. As women enter the work place and the public arena, their boldness and confidence seem to trigger a sense of insecurity in a society where men are used to being in charge. While it is impossible to reduce the issue of violence to one sole cause, that is men, the fact remains that young men are the ones committing these crimes.

Bravo. Here is a thinker capable of balancing both the raw emotion for those brutalized and the raw rationality needed to unravel the nature of the crime itself. Good as it may feel, one singular factor cannot be blamed here. Major events like those in Newton and New Delhi create within us a host of emotions that can range from depression to total rage and anything beyond and in between. We owe it to those hurt the most – to the victims and the survivors – to channel those emotions, as Professor Kapur did, into ways that deepen the discussion, that show new perspectives, that don’t simply blame the perpetrators or the government, the situation or, as happens too damn often, the victim. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had it right when he wrote in Letter From a Birmingham Jail:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea.

We’re all in this together. All of us who are taking time from our lives to think and write about the nature of rape are doing so because we hate rape more than anything in the world and we’re trying to understand its complexity. May the dialogue continue with respect and with understanding.


–AP Photo/Kevin Frayer: Protesters shield themselves as Indian police prepare to beat them during a violent demonstration near the India Gate, on December 23, 2012.

About Cameron Conaway

Cameron Conaway is a former MMA fighter, an award-winning poet and the 2014 Emerging Writer-in-Residence at Penn State Altoona. He is the author of Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet, Bonemeal: Poems, Until You Make the Shore and Malaria, Poems. Conaway is also on the Editorial Board at Slavery Today. Follow him on Google+ and on Twitter: @CameronConaway.


  1. SOHAILA ABDULALI – “I reject the notion that my virtue is located in my vagina, just as I reject the notion that men’s brains are in their genitals.”
    Ms Abdulai is a rape survivor.

  2. Worrying about India smells of the Raj and academic tilting at windmills-
    How about we put our own house in order first…

    • Worrying about India smells of the Raj and academic tilting at windmills-
      How about we put our own house in order first…

      What makes you think people share a house, town or even state? It’s a Tad Rich assuming such levels of Privilege.

  3. I’ll have to research this point a bit more, but I don’t believe that a reliable causal link has been established for sexually abused turning to abusers. It would seem intuitive that a strong causal link could be made, but I do not think it has been shown to be the case (possible a weak conflation force of some sort).

    What seems more apparent is that male sexual abuse victims tend to spend time in our penal systems while female abuse victims enter into mental health institutions.

    This specific case is incredible sad and tragic. With some reckless speculation on my part – this case seems mob anger driven – mob beating and sexual assault, maybe a revenge / class-caste attack, akin to what happened to that 60 minutes reporter about a year ago.

  4. I wonder how many of the commenters have ever set a foot in India. It seems that everybody is trying to see the tragic event through his/her own biased lens, churning out really weird theories. India is very different from Western countries. It is land of contracdictions where everything and its exact opposite, both are true.

    • And You? have you ever set foot there – In India?

      I not only have spent time India, I’ve also got some interesting roots/connections in the Indian Diaspora.

      • I want to tell you a secret. I am an Indian. Born and brought up in New Delhi. I am Brahmin by caste and belong to the family of former aristocrats in Bihar.

        • What makes you think it was a secret? P^)

          • Because nobody knows it here. Feeling really bad about the incident. I would have joined protest if I was living in India. I want to bash up those criminals.

            • Maybe you could answer on why you think there is so much sexual abuse. Also is there sexual abuse perpetrated by women commonly there? I only see stats on men. Not trying to “blame the women” here but trying to understand if there is a similar link to rapists in the U.S who the majority apparently have been abused by women and go on to abuse women later.

              • Archy, I am REALLY not persuaded that your claim that the majority of rapists in the US have been abused by women has much of a foundation. The studies that you cite earlier hardly even provide the most slender of bases and the sample sizes of the ones that I checked were extremely small (under 100). Really not a lot of ground upon which to make such generalizing and controversial statements that run contrary to common perception and consensus. I don’t want to dismiss the position without closer analysis, but do you have any stronger (and ideally more recent) evidence?

                • No, I use it as a guide, if I didn’t make that clear. I haven’t seen any recent studies on it and googling for it is pure evil as it usually just shows victims and not perpetrators. I’d love to see a much larger study that may or may not rule it out, at the moment I just see a potential link which is supported by a small study so far which definitely needs to be increased. Not sure who to ask for any more indepth studies, anyone here know anyone working in the prison systems with rapists?

                  Why is it running against common consensus though? It’s very easy for me to believe abusers have been abused, most I know were abused for domestic violence (physical n mental) so I wouldn’t be surprised if it holds true for sexual too. The gender of the initial abuser probably doesn’t matter as much but those small studies showed a lot of female perpetrated abuse in male rapists past. It may be completely wrong and I’d love to know either way, I hold no agenda on trying to prove it right but simply am pointing it out for further study, based on what I’ve read I view it as a theory which may or may not be true and is one of many avenues that should be taken to reduce rape and the cycles of abuse.

                  I saw the stats on here, ht tp://www.canadiancrc.com/Female_Sex_Offenders-Female_Sexual_Predators_awareness.aspx which seems to have an agenda but as far as I can tell it seems legit, I found one of the studies it referred to and that has a small sample size but looks legit too.

                  • <Why is it running against common consensus though?

                    It’s known as the Wozzle Effect – and you are dealing with people who keep chasing the Woozle’s tail.

                    Have a read of “Rethinking Domestic Violence”, Donald G. Dutton Page 109 onwards. Google Books Link To make It easy.

                    Page 119 is a hoot where it shows Woozles in action. It’s Oh So familiar and we all know just how hard it is to deal with those who have embedded circular logic and are vanishing down rabbit holes. It has to be true because we believe it and out research top prove it is true has proved the truth! B.I.T.E.

                    The Original Woozle can be found “here Richard J. Gelles, Murray, Arnold – Intimate violence, 1988.

                    I’m Tired of being rational and making rational points so I may just start calling people and their ideas Woozles … It seems to get the point over better than anything else.

                    God Bless Winnie The Pooh.

              • I also do not have any idea as to why this is all happening. Sex is a taboo in India except the tribal areas. It is rarely ever discussed in public. Boys get all the information about it from peers and porn (educational magazines as videos as we used to call them) and form their own opinion about it without any chance of correction ever. Thus the only hard data available is the sexual crime rate. No significant research in whys and wherefores exist of sexual abuse exist. So all evidence about it is anecdotal.

                • Thanks for the reply. Sounds pretty bad if it’s never discussed, do most people there realize rape is wrong at least?

                  • Of course, rape is considered one of the worst crimes. There is lot of social stigma attached to being branded rapist. Even among the criminals, they are considered the worst and are often beaten up by other inmates in the prison. On social level, they are ostracised and others would not give or take women in marriage to the family of rapist.

  5. Richard Aubrey says:

    I did some anthro going on half a century ago. So I decided to, at least in public, not be culturally chauvinistic. IOW, wrt the 500,000,00 living as practically everybody in the tropics did a hundred years ago, or last week, or a thousand years ago, who am I to judge?
    Shoes is an interesting issue. Nobody’s poorer in resources than the Eskimo in the traditional paleolithic culture, now ruined by snow machines and rifles and so forth, but they all had shoes, Even the kids. Pretty slick ones, too. If it’s worth it to have shoes, I guess you can have shoes.
    I discussed this with a reflexive lib once, suggesting that even the most benighted groups could manage Ho Chi Minh sandals. I think she thought Nike made them. Or, given the name of the thing, perhaps Ben & Jerry’s, But after I explained it, she wondered how people would know how to make them. I guess the wonderful white people would airdrop illustrated directions or something. Sheesh.
    As to open sewers, go to a Renaissance Fair and sniff the air for what’s missing.
    Fernand Braudel, in his “The Med in The Age of Phillip the something or other” tells us that the great cities of that era had a net decline in population due to disease [births vs. deaths], the numbers kept up by immigration from the ninterlands which will tell you something about how the hinterlands were doing.
    Same thing’s happening in China and, apparently, in India.
    Once the government decides that enough people want better sewerage to make it a political issue, I imagine the sewers will appear PDQ.

    • I discussed this with a reflexive lib once, suggesting that even the most benighted groups could manage Ho Chi Minh sandals. I think she thought Nike made them. Or, given the name of the thing, perhaps Ben & Jerry’s, But after I explained it, she wondered how people would know how to make them. I guess the wonderful white people would airdrop illustrated directions or something. Sheesh.

      Please – Lines like that have to come with a coffee and monitor warning!

  6. Richard Aubrey says:

    I have heard that a climactic battle in Indian folklore–perhaps in the Bhavagad Gita (sp?) –involved the deaths of 18,000,000 ordinary men, none of whose names are recorded.
    Mediahound makes a good point. Remember not to judge other cultures…. Or, at least, don’t expect the same from one culture as from another.

    • @Richard Aubrey – Well some folks can only manage “To Kill A Mocking Bird” when to comes to other people’s shoes and walking around. They just can’t imagine 500,000,000 million people with no shoes and open sewers.

  7. Richard Aubrey says:

    It’s frequently said that most, or many, rapes go unreported, which leaves one wondering how we know about them if they’re not reported. That said, if more that were not reported are now reported, it may look like an increase in rape. Unless, of course, the requisite correction factor is applied to increase the number of unreported rapes. IOW, this could be an artifact of reporting, both on the part of the women and the part of journalists and commentators
    Of course, we shouldn’t teach women to protect themselves. We have to tell women to do whatever they want and, eventually, we’ll figure out a way to make sure there are no more rapists. Sort of like society has ended murder after ten thousand years of effort. Whew.
    I believe GMP had an article on why a woman bought a gun. Not many recriminations there. So perhaps it would be possible to posit Indian women arming themselves. Not as if they’re guys who want a gun, after all. Two dead rapists getting a lot of ink might impress some of the others to molest goats or something.

    • Unreported to the police they mean. Random sample surveys would show let’s say 4/10 people being raped, but police only get 1/20 reporting it so stats for the police are way under the random sample surveys hence the idea of under-reporting. (these stats aren’t real in this comment, only shown for demonstration).

      • RIchard Aubrey says:

        Archy. If they’re not reported to the police, the likelihood they’re actually rape as opposed to anything from made up to actual rape is unknown. See Crystal Mangum.

  8. Virginia Kelley says:

    Yes it is of some value to think about rape in a societal context, but the statement here about how the presence of women in the work force triggers insecurity in men, and the presentation of this as a factor in the India high and growing rape rate — this is absolutely nothing but conjecture on the part of the author, unless she has data from sound research which for some reason she failed to provide.

    It is possible that this is relevant, it’s possible that it is irrelevant. One person’s guess is as good as another’s Most knowledgeable people will affirm that India has had a culture that treats women badly for as long as anyone can remember, expressed at present in such highly documented common practices as selective abortion of female fetuses and infanticide of girl babies, as well as honor killings of girls and women and bride-burning, not to mention police rape of women, including women going to the police to report sexual crimes against them.

    My own opinion is that this is the same as any abuse situation : what’s needed is for the victims to be protected against the abuse. The police in India do not protect women – or much of anybody. That comes first, just as it comes first if someone is being beaten by a spouse – protect her and let him know he can’t do that. Don’t start with “understanding.”

  9. This is a helpful article by an Indian from an Indian paper talking about the connection between the escalation in gang-rapes of women and young girls and the elements of Indian society that are contributing.


    And here’s an excerpt:
    “We need to inquire why young Indian men are routinely committing gang rapes in metropolitan cities against women who are just going about their daily lives. What is the anger that motivates this level of violence? Is the sight of a young smartly-dressed educated female professional generating a sense of displacement in men? Over the past several decades, women’s rights have proliferated and they are claiming their subjectivity, asserting their identity as women as opposed to being someone’s wife, daughter or sister. And with the opening up of the market, women are more visible in the workplace. That they are entering male bastions of power has challenged the sense of superiority and entitlement of the traditional Indian male. This idea of a woman as a fully formed human subject remains a difficult concept to embrace.”

    This makes sense to me. I’m not sure why it would not make sense to others who know anything of Indian culture. I can understand why it may be something people don’t *want* to accept. I would really prefer that global warming be a hoax and not be real, but sadly, that is not the case. To tackle large problems in a society from the ground up, there needs to be an honest assessment of why something is happening. Everyone forms their own opinion, and rightly so. Mine, after talking to female Indian friends and reading many, many articles from a huge cross section of publications, is that men are increasingly lashing out at women who are trying to gain freedom and equality. At the very least, can we agree that in India, women are kept down by men? Is that even an essential truth that can be acknowledged? If it’s not, and if the idea that men would resort to violence to keep in place a system that has favored them for centuries cannot be acknowledged here, I will quietly leave this thread and place my energies elsewhere, since this matters greatly to me.

    • What is the anger that motivates this level of violence? – such a western perspective from English Language – Anglophone Indians. The Biases just keep plopping out!

      • What do you think the causes are? I’m asking seriously. I’ve been trying to keep up with your posts, and I do respect your opinion especially that there are loads of white western voices calling out in outrage, translating culture through a western lens. I will admit that it is hard (impossible, probably) to understand the dynamics given that I’m USian, but the rage and protests from women seem…forceful, the violence against women seem…well, it’s an impressive level of sexual violence.
        If you have insights, I’d enjoy hearing them. If you don’t feel like posting, I’ll also understand.

        • In relation to India you do have to place all matters in a correct cultural lens. Imposing a White Judeao-Christian lens is a big No No!

          First The mass of Indian Culture and Society is built around a Pantheistic religion which frankly makes the Xeus and his mates look positively tame! The Levels of begatting, begetting, chasing, ravaging and so much more in just The Mahabharata ….. it leaves The Bible combined with the Greek pantheon looking like a kiddies colouring book.

          The Indian Cultural attitudes to sex, sexuality and sensuality are so alien to a Judeo-Christian/Protestant/Catholic and even Moslem Mindset that people baulk. They are happy to snigger over the Karma Sutra, but see it as a titillation rather than expressing the levels of sex – sexuality- sensuality embedded in the culture.

          When you look at Shiva and Kali to western eyes that are nice and dramatic pictures – but both represent destruction and transformation, even Total Destruction, as natural and normal and no Judgement is involved.

          It is also very necessary to recognise that Indian Culture and Society is Nihilistic – Fatalistic – there is no afterlife, no heaven, no salvation … do it now and enjoy. Even within the while religious pantheon death and destruction simply are. They are not present to be feared, and that is why Climate change is not really seen as an issue – if the world changes and millions die that is just nature and the universe doing their thang.

          When you have a certain population density such views are self balancing – but in India there has been a population explosion fuelled by Increased food production (though levels are still such that 50% of Indian children are malnourished) and the food production has co-coincided with medical advances, reductions in mortality rates and increased longevity … so now each family unit is bigger, needs a higher per-capita income to function and still has to cope with malnutrition.

          The Indian Population has quite literally Tripled in 2 generations from 1960 at 450 Million to Today 1250 Million – or 1.25 Billion. That places over 70% of the population under the age of 50. The figures get mind bending because of the sheer scale.

          Urbanisation is increasing at a rate that is again unimaginable – access to media due to IT has impacted in ways that are still not even being studied let alone talked about. Mix that with cultural norms that are highly sensualsied/sexualiased – rapid urbanisation – and booming population of mainly under 32 and legal and social structures that are still in many ways colonial and Under the Raj … you have a perfect storm that is explosive and incomprehensible to people not in that culture.

          It’s the same South Africa and the rapid social – cultural changes there post Apartheid – mixed with burgeoning access to IT that is driving perception and belief.

          Essof, Shereen. “South Africa: Violence against Women and Information and communications technology (ICT)” – http://goo.gl/5OibF

          There is this focus of how everything is impacting woemn (Funding is like that) but when you step back and stop using the one gender monocle and use two lenses you see equal levels of impact against existing norms.

        • In the west there is a link between rapists of women being raped BY women when younger. A report above said high levels of children are sexually abused, but doesn’t say who abused them so it may be an avenue worth looking into. Stats I looked up for rape there only shows rape as male perpetrators, female perps listed are only listed as accomplices and not women forcing men to penetrate. They need better statistic gathering to rule out this potential issue.

          My guess is that it may be linked to female rapists like in the U.S, but I’m sure there are other issues too. I won’t hold my breath on anyone researching this link because it’d be an unpopular one especially in the mindset of female = victim, male = perp. I personally think it’s worth investigating to rule out though.

          What would cause those men to hate women? Are their mothers beating them up a lot? Every person I’ve known that has hated women has been treated ill by a key woman or 2 in their life. Trying to find that link is important because it sounds so alien to me to simply hate women being they are getting more power, do they as a culture see rape as bad as we do here in the west? I may be completely wrong though, as I only know a western lifestyle but if anyone knows better I’d love to hear if my idea has merit.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            Rape doesn’t always have to do with hate. Sometimes it has to do with power, sometimes about a lack of empathy, sometimes about being too drunk/high to make the right decision, sometimes it has to do with a lack of knowledge about what “rape” really is—in all its forms.

            There may be men who rape because they hate women, but my feeling (especially based upon the studies by MacWhorter and Lisak, Miller) is that many men commit rape because they are deviant personalities who do all sorts of other nasty, criminal things simply because they can get away with it.

            • Guess that begs the question, are there far more rapists per 100 people in India, or even the extreme rape capital of the world the Congo vs the west? If the numbers are similar it could be indicative of a defect or something like psychopathy and partly influenced by genetics? They’ve identified warrior genes linked to violence I believe, which are far more common in men (quite a few abnormalities are more common in men as the Y chromosome is more unstable I’ve heard, such as ADHD). I guess that’s the genetic aspect that would be influenced by genes passed on but also in utero how the fetus develops from what I know.

              Then there is the social element and from what I read over 60% of children, experience mental n physical abuse with males about 10% more likely to receive physical, and I believe the above link also says a lot of boys and girls are sexually abused. That trauma can for some influence criminal behaviour. I guess I am someone who wonders WHY they have deviant personalities. Seeing as I can’t find much info on female perpetration in India I am unable to guess as to if women too are affected the same by trauma if my lil theory is correct though considering both genders in the west also go through a lot of violence it makes me wonder if there is a genetic and/or social aspect/s influencing criminal behaviour (or maybe one gender is far better at avoiding the spotlight).

              Add on the sheer inept ability of their justice system to handle rape cases it could breed a huge amount of abuse. Sooo many possibilities, and so many questions I have regarding why it’s so high there. I am really curious to know if the perpetration by gender rates are similar to the west though as from what I gather women in the west have more freedoms and more equality thus less power difference, would that follow through to those with more power being more likely to rape? Stats show that we’ve either finally realized females are abusing OR females are abusing more alongside their increase in relative power to men. If that is how it is then as women gain more relative power to men in India I’d expect the proportion of abuser by gender to start to even out. But that also makes me wonder if the typically male gender (breadwinner) role increases likelihood of abusing?

              “sometimes it has to do with a lack of knowledge about what “rape” really is—in all its forms.”
              Do these men in India realize the severity of their actions? Do they understand it’s bad or do they see it as normal and even wanted by the women? Education sounds like it’s very much needed there, all that groping alone sounds extremely bad and I can’t understand why people would do it? Is it a cultural thing? Hell if you tried to touch a woman in public here and other men saw it there is a decent chance you’d get flattened here, and I’m sure Indian men have some protective instinct too so do other men intervene against the groper? Or is the groping happening in very crowded situations where the hustle n bustle makes it difficult to even identify who groped you let alone others seeing it happen?

          • @Archy – most research is now synthesising and shifting around genetics and environmental exposure.

            All indications are that negative behaviour is not as simple as people wish to to be. Studies looking at what people would recognise as psychopathic behaviour show that exposure to abuse – Physical – Emotional at an early age appears to be the single largest factor in combination with genetics that is then expressed antisocially.

            It’s why the major focus for many years has been on domestic violence/abuse – and removing the aggressor from the child’s environment as long term social protection for all. There is just the one issue there – it’s always the male adult who is seen as the aggressor, when research shows it can be any adult, male of female … and so there is a major problem caused by failure to recognise female often maternal aggressors who abuse.

            It’s interesting that you see these themes play out in the works of Thomas Harris. They are also very acuratly observed. Of course his characters are seen as extreme, which is what people focus upon not the well written and observed background. Red Dragon was published 1981 – over 30 years ago, and it’s still spot on 30 years later. As Harris has expanded the franchise and filled in gaps, many have described his works as disappointing – it’s a pity, given that he has reduced the negative images and increased the quality of insight.

            So many simply look at the world through interesting lenses – and absent fathers are often an easy target for blame. It gets very interesting to look at cases where there has been no father at all, and yet domestics absue and violence has occurred and caused/activated high level Psychopathy. It’s even more fascinating when the abuse is not even seen to be abuse – but that’s Abuse Culture for you.

            I wish some would wake up and smell the reality and drink less coffee.

          • I think that overwhelming childhood sexual abuse of males (the majority being abused, and more males than females) is relevant, irrespective of whether it is by men or by women. What it leads to is a normalization of sexual abuse, especially when such abuse – as it typically does – involves parental or family members. Also, when you have been deprived of any dignity by others, it can be much easier to treat others as if they didn’t have such dignity. When people feel that their dignity is in question – especially to themselves – their attempts to regain it can be violent and abusive, humiliating others to feel less humiliated themselves. Frankly, while I think that the loss of patriarchal privilege argument is not entirely without merit, I think that normalized sexual abuse from childhood is far more likely a factor.

            As for the rate of female abuse of young males, I am not sure. However, the eroticization of childhood seems very pronounced, and I have read several claims of mothers habitually masturbating their sons in a culturally tolerated manner. I am not sure how much weight to put upon these claims, though.

    • Fantastic post Lori.

      Alastair, I find it very hard to believe that a society that has such a huge issue with violence against women, would somehow treat little girls with less abuse then little boys in childhood. Although I can certainly understand that there would be a huge history of abuse for both little girls and boys in India. But to say that young boys are more often victims of abuse then young girls, and then all the sudden after a certain age, young women become bigger targets seems very unrealistic to me.

      • Thanks Erin. I think what we’re both obviously missing, along with the rest of the world, is that most of the violence committed across the globe is by women, towards women (and men). All of the people protesting, marching, writing, and speaking on this issue are deluded. They actually think there is a wide-scale societal problem of men raping women that needs to be addresses. Silly us, when the problem all along has been the opposite, and the abuse of mothers of their children. Not fathers or men. Men and boys are the victims of the worldwide Matriarchy. I read this thread and suddenly got it! The problem with rape has nothing to do with men, really, it is caused by, instigated by, and perpetrated by, women! I stand corrected. Phew! Very glad to be disabused of the notion that any country, including India, has a problem of violence towards women that they don’t in some way deserve.

        • Was that helpful? Did it make you feel better to get that off your chest? Because it’s a great strawman. Who here is blaming the women ONLY? There are comments including mine that an avenue to look into is sexual abuse in earlier years of rapists, if it’s anything like the U.S where quite a few male rapists have a female perpetrator in their history abusing them then it’s certainly worth looking into don’t you think? Doesn’t at all mean that all or most rapists have that in their history but may explain the issue for some. Nor does it anyone deserves abuse, but hey nice strawman there again.

          But hey we can bury our heads in the sand and say da menz fault only, always da menz fault, da big bad menz commiting da violence never ever have a history of abuse from women. We should castrate those menz, womenz are perfectly innocent and never do harm! (was that helpful too?)

          Or maybe, just maybe, addressing violence against everyone requires looking into EVERY possible aspect of why people rape, abuse, be violent. And I guarantee you at least once was raped by a woman which has caused bitterness n hatred towards women from it, it may or may not be the majority of rapists story but it’s worth looking into along with everything else such as patriarchal attitudes, terrible justice system, etc.

          • And did that make you feel better, Archy? Because I see the same tone in your post, the same irritation. I don’t know if that helps either. How about asking her where she’s at. As someone who knows Lori, she isn’t saying it’s always men’s fault through time immemorial. She’s frustrated. She (and I) get frustrated at what seems like a denial of the amount of sexual violence perpetrated on women by men. And you know, men don’t report nearly as much as women so we don’t know.

            Why they don’t report has a lot to do with old attitudes about masculinity and weakness and yes a standard that holds women don’t abuse. And anyone with any sense knows that abuse happens across gender, but how it happens isn’t always the same.

            What I do know is that the violence is there but it’s different for each gender and gang rapes for women on men do not seem to happen in the same way, same rate, with same results.

            We do need to be looking into all cases, all reasons, but I get why Lori is frustrated. I get why the men are frustrated too.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              Julie is making a good point here, that should not be overlooked –

              What I do know is that the violence is there but it’s different for each gender and gang rapes for women on men do not seem to happen in the same way, same rate, with same results.

              Just because we’re talking about the brutal and deadly rapes against women in this conversation does NOT take away from any other conversation about abuse against men. But in this case, we’re talking about soldiers entering villages and raping dozens or hundreds of women. We’re talking about 5 men raping one woman until she is in a coma, and then dies. And these are NOT isolated incidents and they are NOT unique to India.

              We do need to look at all the reasons this may be happening, but we need to do it with compassion and care.

              • “But in this case, we’re talking about soldiers entering villages and raping dozens or hundreds of women.”
                Weapons of war for the soldiers. They will go in, kill off the men and take the women (although some men survive and many are raped before dying from what I’ve read). Gang rape outside of warfare though really puzzles my mind, is it linked to mob mentality? Does seeing a one or 2 others raping make it seem more ok or simply give them more of an excuse to act like a monster. Trying to understand the mind of a rapist thought really does my head in, I don’t understand how people can just inflict pain n suffering like that unless they’re extremely ignorant which is probably rare or they’re psychopaths. I nearly threw up with anxiety just breaking up with someone because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings, how the hell do you turn off your humanity to rape someone??

                I try to put my mind in others place to try understand other’s lives better but in this case I can’t. What really bothers me though is if rapists are meant to be rare in numbers (6% I heard), how the fuck do you find 6 of them in one area where they would be able to dominate any non-rapist men who may protect her and her friend? A bus has what, 30 people? 20% of the occupants happened to be both rapists, and those willing to do it in public? Did they know each other or something? Then to try run her over after so add attempted murder on the list of depravity. Only way that could occur is some kind of pack mentality?

            • Thanks Julie. Archy, let me try to calm down and give this one more shot, because yes, I’m very upset and frustrated. I’m going to try to use an analogy.

              I am of the opinion that our educational system is failing boys. I believe it is also failing girls, but not nearly as often or as badly as it is failing boys. I could be writing about this topic–as I often do–and shift the focus from boys to all children. What would be lost is the essential nuance, which is actually quite a bit more than nuance, that boys suffer more than girls, for reasons that have to do with the system that is stacked against them. Is it true that there are also girls being failed by our schools? Of course. But would you, Archy, be happier if I stopped writing about why boys, specifically, are disproportionately falling behind, or would you prefer I include “everyone,” and generalize it so that it washes out the very real situation unique to boys? As a member of the reality-based community, I lose my mind when men or women tell me to please stop writing about how boys are falling behind educationally, because it happens to girls too. Equally, I lose my mind when it is clear as day that many more women/girls are raped and gang raped and internally injured and sexually abused, and men or women say that, you know, actually it isn’t true, and let’s just talk about males and females equally when it comes to sexual violence. If you consider my boys and education analogy, hopefully you can understand the frustration I feel when I see an issue that really is about violence against women distorted into being about a million other things and/or equally about sexual violence by females towards males. It is disingenuous and insulting and exasperating. Sometimes it is necessary NOT to paint an issue with a broad and inclusive brush if that obscures the details that a finer brush could bring out, that are absolutely essential to solving the problem. Education of boys…rape of women…some issues are gendered heavily in one direction or another, even though it is not what you want to hear, Archy. It is still, nonetheless, true. I will not write about all children being equally disadvantaged by our schools because it is not true. I will not write about sexual violence not being predominantly perpetrated by men against women because it is not true. I will not write about either of these topics in a way that obscures or excuses or distorts or spreads around data in ways that detract from a reality-based analysis of the problem, and a reality-based attempt at a solution. Does that make sense?

              • Lori – I love fine art and you are quite correct that a fie brush can fill in detail. However, unless the artists is using a three dimensional canvas the artist only shows aspects of reality in at best 2 dimensions. Even then the colour of paint counts – so rape is red and sexual assault is a sort of pale pinky blue colour. Using A Big Splash of red can lead to high levels of abstraction – where the pale pinky blue applied with a fine brush can create very fine detail. That is why I do say rape is a bad word to use because it is gendered and loaded down. It aint just the brush – the paint counts too!

              • No, it makes absolutely zero sense. As an educator clearly you can understand what this means.

                “Finally, there is an alarmingly high rate of sexual abuse by females in the backgrounds of rapists, sex offenders and sexually aggressive men – 59% (Petrovich and Templer, 1984), 66% (Groth, 1979) and 80% (Briere and Smiljanich, 1993). ”

                Do you get it now? Alastair just posted a PDF showing 60% of the victims of child sexual abuse in delhi were BOYS, DOUBLE that of the females. If this extends further into affecting a large portion of the population then the above quote has a huge amount of significance. The early childhood abuse is directly influencing those rapists in some way.

                So how do you help prevent rape of women? Well if 50-80% of rapists in India were abused by females (IF, not guaranteed, only theory at this point) then preventing their first abuse will probably do a lot to stop them raping women. You may not realize it but I’m not trying to pull a whataboutthemenz here, I’m trying to point out a potential direct influence to rapists actions. In the U.S it appears the majority of rapists (if the studies are correct) were raped by women.

                Alastair has shown a huge amount of boys are being abused and some of them probably later go on to abuse women (and probably men too). It’s probable that some abused girls also go on to abuse men and women too.

                If you think this is not a reality-based analysis of the topic, and not a reality-based attempt to solve the issue then quite frankly I don’t think you should even be discussing this with me if you can’t understand very simple concepts that I and Alastair are putting forward. And to have you attempt to paint it as victim-blaming is even more insulting, and having you imply it’s derailing is even more so insulting especially to get a comment from you with an analogy that absofuckinglutely nothing to do with my comments at all. You failed to understand my line of thought completely. I don’t want anyone to stop writing about women and their rape, I am putting forth a legitimate reason that should be looked into for WHY THESE MEN RAPE.

                I am extremely frustrated and annoyed to have my words twisted into something they are not even saying, either that or I suck completely at discussions. Using the victim-blaming label to try silence me is even more disturbing considering I haven’t mentioned a single victim in my discussion about how female perps are linked in male perps backgrounds (and female perps probably have male perps in their background, n so on n so forth for many cyles).

                I’ll say it clearly this time, I’m TALKING ABOUT HOW TO STOP RAPE OF WOMEN BY STOPPING THE REASONS THE RAPISTS RAPE! You don’t stop rape by focusing on one gender alone and expecting it to all go away when that gender has some people who have abused the rapists of that gender, to stop rape effectively you need to stop all 1st occurrence abuses along with whatever measures need to be taken to stop those who aren’t abused from raping as well. Most victims don’t abuse, but some do. Ignoring this fact helps no one, most if not all abused people in my family were probably abused by someone who was abused themselves. A high number of rapists report abuse in their past, male or female rapist doesn’t really matter though female may lead them to hating females. Does that make my “agenda” clear? Cuz it appears the agenda of some is to close their eyes to the FACT there are females linked in male perpetrated rape, and vice versa.

              • Lynn Beisner says:

                This theory is not a new one. It is the same story told to explain the rage and dominance behind the KKK, lynchings and even slavery. Many white southern men claimed (not in court but in stories and even in political theory discussions) that black nannies used both before and after the end of slavery routinely sexually abused white boys left in their care. Specifically, they got them to sleep by masturbating them. This kept the nanny out of trouble with her masters because the boy didn’t whine and do all the other stuff that kids do when you try to get them to sleep, and it allowed the nanny to get a bit of time with her own family.

                White men were so traumatized by this sexual abuse that they took out their anger and pain in the form of beating black men and women, lynching black men, and enganging in the most outrageous forms of racial terrorism and abuse. Despite this trauma, they hired black nannies for their own children, often the very women who had raised them. This does not in any way invalidate their claims, rather it shows the complicated feelings that develop in the wake of sexual abuse.
                My own grandfather taught this theory in his southern college classrooms until he was forced from his tenured position for egregious abuse of students. He blamed his own problems on his black nanny. He had a hand in the death of his wife, who had abused horribly for decades. He sexually abused every family member he could get his hands on and even the family pets. And he beat everyone who could not run fast enough or hit back hard enough to stop him.

                So this theory is not a new one. It is as old as the plantations.

                • You do realise that the topic under discussion is India and not the USA?

                  Are you of the view that Delhi – Capitol of India – is in Louisiana or Georgia?

                  Just Checking, cos your response seems to be in an odd frame and with astigmatic lenses!

                • Lynn,

                  Just for the record, my claim that childhood sexual abuse are a factor here are not based on the assumption that women are the ones abusing. My suspicion is that most of the abuse occurs at the hands of males. I never advanced any theory that the abuse of boys by women lay behind the culture of sexual assault in Delhi and don’t hold such a theory, as I have little evidence to support it.

                  The reference that I made to the masturbation of young Indian boys by their mothers was in response to Archy’s query and I questioned how much weight to put on the claims that I have come across, as they all trace back to Lloyd deMause’s work, and I have yet to determine whether he has a reliable basis for making the claims and have doubts about his work in other areas.

                  One thing that should be stressed, however, is that the claims of Indian mothers masturbating their sons were made in contexts that weren’t trying to explain the practice of rape or abuse later on in life. They were merely about the scale, scope, and form of child abuse in different cultures.

                  As for the connection between such claims and those justifying theories of KKK members and the like, a few points:

                  1. The fact that such a claim is used to support an evil and abusive movement isn’t sufficient basis to dismiss it. Its reliability must be evaluated on its own merits. And let’s make one thing absolutely clear: abuse in a person’s past NEVER justifies their abuse of others, even if it might help others to understand why the person abuses.

                  2. Conversely, scapegoats are not always innocent. The truth of a claim that is used as a justification to persecute and victimize a particular group should not just be dismissed. Often such claims can be true, although the scapegoating is evil (Rene Girard is worth reading on this).

                  3. Is there guilt by association here? The fact that a similar theory was used to justify race hate does not mean that it should be automatically dismissed as a factor that might help us to understand why men are sexually abusive in Delhi.

                  4. Patterns of abuse have a tendency to perpetuate themselves and abused persons are significantly more likely to abuse than those who have never been subject to abuse. Lines between victims and perpetrators are seldom clear for this reason. We really shouldn’t be surprised when abused persons become abusive persons. For this reason, theories that seek to lay blame tidily at one door and take a prohibition on victim-blaming to its logical conclusion make it very hard to speak honestly about the messy reality of the fact that abuse all too often tends to be a cultural norm to which most are subject and which most inflict on others and/or themselves.

                  5. This is one reason why former child abuse victims, especially when placed against well-respected public figures, often seem to be unreliable witnesses. The seriously abused child will often have manifested behaviour that would lead society to distrust their word, either by externalizing the psychological consequences of the abuse (more of a tendency for males), or by internalizing them in forms of self-abuse (more of a tendency for females). For this reason, I am wary of discrediting such testimony of abuse solely on the basis of the evil actions or character of the person giving it.

                  My chief contention here is that we need to examine the evidence that we have about the specific situation in Delhi, rather than just airing generalized theories about patriarchal resentment at loss of entitlement, which rest primarily upon ideological prejudices and seldom provide more than dogmatic assertions built on mere conjecture to support themselves in such cases.

                  • Just for the record, my claim that childhood sexual abuse are a factor here are not based on the assumption that women are the ones abusing. My suspicion is that most of the abuse occurs at the hands of males.

                    Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius – The Expression Of One Thing Is The Exclusion Of The Other.

                    I’m suspicious of your suspicions. … and of course some would say “No Shit Sherlock” to that!

                    The India 2007 survery – There is scant comment as to abuser profile and you really have to look hard and even know how to look – how to read, and even the tricks of the trade when it comes to getting a message out from bad source stats and findings.

                    50% of the abusers were cousins, uncles and friends and class fellows.

                    Highly gendered language – and what gendered language should be used for the other 50%? What – did people get fooled into focusing in only one place and on only one idea?

                    Cousins is masculine – Uncle is Masculine – Class fellows is actually gender neutral but made masculine by association with the other two nouns. Odd that – the Rule of three to increase impact and slip in a gender error. I’m just too experienced and too familiar with dishonesty by not telling the whole truth. Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.

                    SO – Why are 50% of a reported sample missing?

                    It’s hard to deal with reality when only one half is provided. Is there any significant gender variance linked to the missing 50%?

                    You see – I get suspicious when anyone is easily primed by bad data presented with a nice slant that panders to prejudices.

                    I get even more suspicious when it is recognised that the sampling instrument sued is invalid for that area …. and yet STILL the bad stats and findings are used to slip in some highly gendered and statistically invalid comments! I keep looking at the options provided under different sections of the survey – so for physical beatings it’s primed that Mother is the best option – and for Emotional absue it’s also mother … but outside of the home it’s teacher .

                    When it comes to using booze Father / mother / uncle in that order seem to be the one’s getting children on the demon drink – and yet when it comes to sexual absue it seems the first suspicions fall on “Brother / sister” … and I even had to note that brother is CAPITALISED and sister in lower case. Is there by any chance some bias playing out on the page?

                    the survey instrument alone with it’s loaded language and focus leads me to conclude that India is the world capital of Incest with mother and teachers abusing kids both physically and emotionaly.
                    Doesn’t look very Patriarchal does it?

                    You Don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to spot a few issues!

                    It’s also worrying when a report says such things as “The subject of child sexual abuse is still a taboo in India. There is a conspiracy of silence around the subject and a very large percentage of people feel that this is a largely western problem and that child sexual abuse does not happen in India.” and then says “The WHO estimates that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 have experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence involving physical contact, though this is certainly an

                    That is quite shocking – because first it’s an estimate that shows a level of male victims unheard of in other cultures and venues. … and the report itself finds that the majority of abuse victims are boys and not girls. Most worrying of all is that the Reference to the World Health Organisation is not provided so it can’t be checked. A Factoid Bomb left lying about for pope to pick up and uses as they wish! Ah well.

                    Now … what was that about your suspicions?

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          Okay, I want to step back and take note of what is being said in Lori’s snark, because I know that when we resort to snark, our entire message is usually lost.

          Lori’s last line, “…has a problem of violence towards women that they don’t in some way deserve” explains where her anger (and thus, snark) are coming from.

          Lori is saying that this discussion feels like victim-blaming to her. That doesn’t mean anyone’s trying to blame victims, but everyone here needs to pause for a moment and consider how we can continue this conversation in a way that we get the necessary discussion to move forward without victim-blaming or misdirected anger.

          Archy, to me it sounds an awful lot like your agenda (to make people realize that sexual abuse DOES happen to men and boys, even perpetrated by women-which IS true and that message matters) is more important to you in this dialogue than to actually have a conversation about how to stop rape. And that leads me to believe that you are not having a conversation in good faith here, and leads someone like Lori to think that you’re victim-blaming.

          I don’t think you are victim-blaming, but I think it wouldn’t hurt to take a step back and see whether your message here is being received the way you want it to. Right now, I think it is not.

          I could be wrong, but my personal guess of what you and others are trying to do is to look at the systemic reasons why there is such a huge problem of gang rape and brutal rapes against women in India, including understanding how the large number of boys being victimized as children could lead to a generation of adults who don’t value women’s bodily autonomy and who think rape is okay, even normal or justified.

          Lori, that conversation isn’t victim-blaming in and of itself. We need to examine the well-established link between victimhood and becoming a perpetrator later in life. TO BE CLEAR, however, being sexually abused as a child does NOT make you a sexual abuser later in life. Nor do all sexual abusers have a history of sexual abuse. There is a link, and that link is sometimes used to bring shame to survivors and make people fearful of them, and we need to be ultra-careful not to exacerbate that.

          If there is a startlingly high rate of child sexual abuse in India, especially perpetrated against boys, and there is also a high rate of rape or sexual assault committed by boys in India, that is something not to be ignored. And again, we’re talking about India here, but this conversation belongs to every group of people, and as MediaHound says, there is much about Indian culture that is different than Judeo-Christian USA and Europe.

          Ultimately, it’s complicated. This conversation cannot go forward if we are pushing agendas, using snark, or closing our minds to one or any aspects of the dialogue. Everyone in this conversation can look at their own posts and think to themselves, Is what I’m doing advancing THIS conversation? Am I taking out my hurt and frustration on others here, and if so, how does that help us grow this dialogue? Am I pushing an agenda out of my own hurt or frustration? Am I being compassionate toward survivors?

          Most people here are having a conversation in good faith. Let’s all continue to do so.

          • My agenda is to stop rape. FACT is that there is a link between the abusers being abused, not all are abused nor do all abused go on to abuse, but there is a significant level of abuse that can be prevented by stopping that first cycle of abuse on a person. That is not victim-blaming, and anyone that feels it is needs to take a breath and re-read what I said. It means some Woman A raped male X who he then goes on to rape woman B, woman A has probably influenced woman B’s rape. If the male was not raped by woman A then woman B’s chance of being raped by mr X most likely would be reduced. How do you prevent rape of women? By preventing rape of men as well! Zomg, my big agenda exposed, it carries through to all types of abuse. Abusive people I have known have been abused, a high number of rapists have been abused, far higher % than the rest of the population.

            I asked the questions here because the chances of me getting an answer here are pretty decent, I’ve already gotten some from Mediahound. It’s not like my friends n family even have a clue about rape stats in India so I can’t ask them, I tried googling but failed, so I ask here and ask if SOME of those rapists are doing it from previous abusive histories. I find it sad that people assume it’s victim-blaming, and quite frankly that illustrates to me very very very clearly that some people here are not actually interested in stopping rape as much as they believe because there is NO way you can argue against preventing rapists previous abuse to help stop rape, none, zadda, zip, zilch, it’s infalliable, it’s 100% I’ll bet my life on clearly linked….for those prisoners in the stats, hence I ask if it’s true for Indian rapists.

            Trying to stop rape means asking difficult questions, it means delving into all possibilities and not just the typical idea of patriarchial views which may cover many rapists but not all. I believe all along I have been advancing this conversation and seem to be one of the only ones who remembered the link n asked about it, why is that? Majority of people I see talk about rape only seem to think of it in terms of abuser is abuser, victim is victim and rarely seem to realize abuser is often victim at one point.

            I find it sad that my message has been twisted if people think I am victim-blaming, but I think that’s partially to do with people projecting there interpretation of my words. I’d love to see someone post how I have blamed a victim because if I have it was never my intention and obviously a mistake. I am blaming abusers only, in this case focusing on female abusers in my questions of whether there is the possibility abuse by a female can cause hatred of females and for someone to go on to abuse females (which I believe does but unsure of how often). Victims don’t deserve any of it.

        • Lori, the question here is not a generalized one, but the particular question of what is happening in Delhi, and why it is happening. Over twice as many boys (54.66%) as girls (22.54%) in Delhi answer survey questions in a way that suggests SEVERE sexual abuse (the general figures in India are 23.06% boys to 18.58% girls, varying significantly from city to city). The statistics for more general sexual abuse in Delhi are 65.64% to 34.36%.

          I am not denying for a moment that the sexual abuse of women is an issue of horrific proportions in Delhi, nor am I seeking to marginalize or downplay the problem (I linked an article describing the problem in stark terms above). My point is that, if we want to understand WHY this happens we should pay attention to the extreme levels of sexual abuse of boys (note, I wasn’t blaming women for this sexual abuse) as a key root factor.

          The idea that abuse is a zero sum game and that we cannot speak seriously about a problem of child abuse of boys on such a scale – especially when we are doing so as a means of helping to explain the abuse of women – lest we minimize the problem of the latter seems strange to me. The ideological resistance to the notion that the abuse of males might be a causal factor in such cases is troubling to me. In order to maintain the tidy edges of a theory of patriarchy we would merely be denying or ignoring the situation on the ground, especially where it does not conform to our theoretical prejudices.

          • This is the survey in question – http://wcd.nic.in/childabuse.pdf. Read from page 71 onwards.

            • Holy shit, that goes against everything I’ve heard on abuse too. Is there a cultural issue where the boys are abused more?

            • Alistair – forgive me for making a very pertinent point – but this time last year the sexual abuse of boys was raised and got thrown under the bus because it did not agree with some people’s required world views. I wonder if there is any progress in 12 Months!

            • I didn’t think you were victim-blaming at all. Quite frankly some of these replies have been frustrating in their blindness to the point here. It seems the possibility of some women helping influence the rape of other women is too taboo to talk about, it doesn’t help that online discussions are often derailed though which is probably what our comments appear to be. The ultimate taboo, mentioning the other gender on a gendered article because everything is black n white, the genders are separate! Pity reality has 2 genders that directly influence each other and yes that means the bad actions of some from one gender can lead the victim occasionally to hating that gender n abusing them in an ever-continuing cycle of abuse. What absolutely shocks me is how rarely this is actually discussed? If 100 men beat 100 women up, quite a few of those women would hate men and some of them would probably be abusive themselves. It happens with physical and emotional abuse, why not sexual abuse as well? I know of people who were abused by their partners, who were (usually one I think) was abused by their parent, n so on. Without adequate support I think the likelihood of whatever makes people abuse would stay high and thus the cycle continues.

              21% of the Indian children reported SEVERE sexual abuse, which gives the possibility that those gang-rapists each had a 21% chance of being a victim in childhood alone (adults may have additional risk added). Could also be all 6 were victims, hopefully someone will interview them and find out why they did it so we can better understand such despicable people. But the fact remains is that preventing their potential abuse in the first place may potentially have prevented 1 or more of them committing that evil crime.

              • …It seems the possibility of some women helping influence the rape of other women is too taboo to talk about, … Rocking the Boat? Well Archie it was nice knowing you. You will be banished to outer darkness for all eternity for being on point.

            • Oh and I keep forgetting to mention an Obvious matter – there is no law against Child Sexual; Abuse in India – Flys in the face of UN Convention On Rights Of The Child, Article 34. But you know, Police in india collect stats for none crimes just to fill the day! That’s nice of them.

            • @ Alastair – I’ve been digging in me archives again and found a nice 6 page easy read which may be helpful Review Research Paper – The Problem of Child Sexual Abuse in India Laws, Legal Lacuna and the Bill – J Indian Acad Forensic Med. April-June 2012, Vol. 34, No. 2

              I know It lacks a snappy Title, but it covers all of issues – is upto date and has a wonderful selection of Links to follow up. It’s a nice 6 page rabbit punch for those who can’t handle the hundreds of pages else where!

              Unfortunately as with all work built upon the 2007 research, it comes with the NOTE, that as the survey instrument failed to correctly address the issue of perpetrator sex/gender it is not covered and it’s bad – bad – bad – terribly naughty for anyone to ASSUME that it means that the abusers were male, or predominately male, a majority of male etc.

              It’s so odd that so many kids in the age range 3-7 years – which has me wondering is the Indian Eduction System stacked with Paedophiles, or are there issues as home that need to be looked at?

      • Did Alastair mean sexual abuse?
        Only thing I see in that article where males faced more abuse was physical abuse (which generally isn’t sexual abuse). It looks like males cop more physical abuse, females probably more sexual abuse though I haven’t seen stats for sexual abuse by gender of victim and age in India.
        “The survey, which involved interviews with 12,447 children, also highlights that it is usually family members (89 percent) who perpetrate such crimes and that more boys face physical abuse (72.61) than girls (65 per cent). “

        • I mean sexual abuse. Look at the survey here (http://wcd.nic.in/childabuse.pdf) from page 71 onwards. The statistics are very stark. Pay particular attention to those for Delhi.

          • Alistair – you have to understand that you are dealing with people who only wish to hear and see things that agree with THEIR reality.

            It’s an issue that is well known and affects all ape like species … It’s called prejudice. People will also not go and look at anything that addresses or endangers their prejudices. We saw that so recently with yet more knee jerking over rape and GMP. The screams of “GMP Has Cooties” show the level many are at. It’s hard to have a debate if people are not willing to have their positions altered when their prejudices are shown to be negative, unproductive and generally getting in the way of Progress. Reality is the greatest threat and so has to be ignored as often as possible.

            So I will “QUOTE” from the very detailed report from 2007 – which oddly got no media attention in the USA at all … there was no outcry and no Knee Jerks in sight. It even failed to reach comment level in the corridors of Power USA, and the implications in such things as Trafficking In People (TIP) report just got missed too! So here are some of the basics that so many DON’T WANT TO READ or KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT … because it’s those boys again… yes Just some boys…. , and the figures have to just be part of some amazing patriarchal conspiracy and under cover operation.

            Out of the total child respondents, 53.22% reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse that included severe and other forms. Among them 52.94% were boys and 47.06% girls. The age wise distribution of children reporting sexual abuse in one or more forms showed that though the abuse started at the age of 5 years, it gained momentum 10 years onward, peaking at 12 to 15 years and then starting to decline. This means that children in the teenage years are most vulnerable. The study looked at gender-wise break up of children who were subjected to one or more forms of sexual abuse in the sample states.

            The significant finding was that contrary to the general perception, the overall percentage of boys was much higher than that of girls. In fact 9 out of 13 States reported higher percentage of sexual abuse among boys as compared to girls, with states like Delhi reporting a figure of 65.64%.

            It would be interesting to see if this trend of higher percentage of boys being sexually abused continues when seen separately in severe and other forms of sexual abuse.

            Right. Now that it’s there in Black and white with some bold to assist, and not hidden in some Pdf in the bowels of the net, it can be ignored and people can carry on as if they are shouting about their experience from down town Smallville and ignore that it’s another planet!

            And the First person to in any way dismiss – alter – deride the figures and basic reality can have a Gold Plated Racists badge as endorsed by the SPLC! – Do It three times and You get a Bronze statue outside the stadium of your choice in India.

            There are also art class available for the use of fine brushes to change the numbers given so that some people’s required impressionist landscapes of other lands can be maintained. Specialist courses for those who require vegan paint options are also available.

          • It’s a tad shocking that the figures got out at all – they are both good and bad. Good that reality was allowed out of the bag – bad in that due to a poor set of sections in the survey instrument the Perp profiles were rubbish and unpublished, so it’s assumed all abused are male. Maybe next time.

  10. Bay Area Guy says:

    I don’t know the reasons why.

    The point I’m trying to make is that few people (particularly on the left) make much effort actually looking for possible reasons.

    As Danny said, the conversation seems to start and end with, “they’re doing it out of anger over losing privilege.”

    • The ‘strong’ state makes itself possible by lawless and unconstitutional exertions and endeavours. It fosters practices of national integration that remain deeply and pervasively human rights violative; it emerges for the minorities as an ‘institutionalized riot system’; it remains a – ‘state in search of a nation’ and embodies a resilient rape culture.”.

      Baxi, Upendra – The (Im)possibility of Constitutional Justice: Seismographic Notes on Indian Constitutionalism. In India’s Living Constitution. (2002) pp 31-47. Copy

      I’d advise everyone to look at Baxi’s work – as Prof of Law Delhi and Warwick University UK he has been at the forefront of more social change concerning rape in India than any other academic.

      Ref Prof Upendra Baxi in 2002 India is a Rape Culture – The Second Gujarat Catastrophe, Upendra Baxi, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 37, No. 34 (Aug. 24-30, 2002), pp. 3519-3531 – copies available from Here and Full Text is available Here

      The final message for the past, present, and future politically violated Indian women is that there is not much that constitutional governance can achieve except to normalize violence, almost as a social cost of doing democratic politics. This logic articulates what must be named as rape culture…

      …Rape culture structures political agency; decent and well meaning political actors, women as well as men, can achieve very little, despite subjective commitment, in terms of structuring governance as a form of sustained respect for women s rights as human rights.

      Rape culture affects all state agencies and forms of articulation of state power, although it manifests differently depending on the authority and auspices. Gujarat 2002 thus presents an extraordinary spectacle in which the National Commission for Women in a much belated investigation sanitizes, through unfeeling prose, violence and violation of women. The relatively more engaged prose of the National Commission of Human Rights preliminary report is indeed exemplary but provides no real strategies against rape culture.

      His daughter Patrixia Baxi is a major force in the field of sociology and legal change. She has been much quoted in the last 14 days.

      I also find it quite a Hoot that suddenly Baxi is trending and the content inserted into Wikipedia 24 Dec 2012 is featuring suddenly in so many places. Just shows you what quality work does in changing the world!

      • The gang rape and brutalisation of the girl in Delhi which ultimately lead to her death is really tragic. The perpetrators of the crime deserve and would certainly be awarded death penalty (to be hanged by neck till death). Your claim that rape is used as political control method is definitely a hyperbole. Your knowledge of ground reality in India belies your attempt to project yourself as some sort of expert in sexual crimes. Police and armed forces are not protected under any law from being prosecuted for any crime including rape. Obviously, you are referring to Armed Forces Special Powers Act under which when army is deployed to help the civil authorities, army personnel cannot be tried in a civilian court, but only military court. Moreover, India is a functioning democracy and both police and army are under civilian control. If any political party in power crosses the line, the people of India would throw them out of power. I hope you know that Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi lost election after she imposed emergency in India. Citing from the work of Prof. Upendra Baxi without supporting it with some kind of data would cut no ice. The researchers and social activists quite often try to blow a problem out of proportion to gain attention and funds from West and usually are not very trustworthy. The U.S. has at least 4 times rape cases than in India with population about one-fourth of India. The Website of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has national level data on number of police recorded rapes in 2011. Rapes per hundred thousand people in India are much lower than lot of developed countries.

        • The U.S. has at least 4 times rape cases than in India with population about one-fourth of India. The Website of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has national level data on number of police recorded rapes in 2011. Rapes per hundred thousand people in India are much lower than lot of developed countries.

          Interesting and also a very very basic flaw in perception. Yes – Offical stats may differ, but then you do need to judge the stats against the actual ability of being a statistic and counted!

          If you live in a country such as the US which requires the logging and reporting of a rape you can get counted quite easy. In india, there are just a few major issues with Bribery, Corruption, lack of Infrastructure, lack of police training and supervision and things like The caste system, which whilst outlawed still places those of a lower caste at a major disadvantage in all areas of life. Just about 70% of the population.

          As Upendra Baxi said of rape in India ”

          More sinister are the structured practices of governance, which deny as well silence women’s sufferings. This crime against Indian women is a perfect crime in the sense that Jean Francois Lyotard (1988: 8) describes it:

          It is in the nature of the victim not to be able to prove that one has been done a wrong. A plaintiff is someone who has incurred damages and who disposes of the means to prove it. One becomes a victim if one loses these means . The perfect crime does not consist in killing the victim or the witnesses but rather in obtaining the silence of the witnesses, the deafness of the judges, and the inconsistency (insanity) of testimony. You neutralize the addressor, the addressee, the sense of testimony; then everything is as if there were no referent (no damages.)

          You know of the Mathura Case? She could not have been raped becasue she did not cry out and anyway she was not a virgin and supplely habituated to sex. Low caste and be damned. That case did get fought due to immense support all the way to the High Court – many 10s of thousands of other cases never even got logged and recorded by the police – as shown by extensive research in the field. Do I need to quote it all?

          How about the Bhanwari Devi? She could not have been gang raped becasue she was of the Kumhar or “potter” caste, the jpolce and even a judge were of the view that she was too Ugly, middle aged and how could she even think that a group of Upper caste men would … and I quote… “Defile Themselves” with touching such a woman. A few notes taken after the events – Kanchan, Mathur (Oct 1992). “Bhateri Rape Case: Backlash and Protest” . Economic and Political Weekly 27 (41): 2221–2224. – here’s a copy Do Have A Read.

          And it’s not just an issue in India either – take South Africa – labelled at the rape capital of the planet due to multiple lacks which make it just a simple for crime including rape to occur and for there to be no recourse before the law! That’s even been one of the issues with “Corrective Rape” – the South African Constitution many protect gay people before the law, but of your local police officer with a tribal background and immersed in the layers of Tribal law believes that lesbians have no place in society – can and should be raped to make them straight … and so turns a blind eye – lets it happen and then refuses to fill in a form and push a computer button to make you a Statistic?

          It’s called Institutional Failure and Institutional Abuse.

          It’s not just A few places either – Central and South America most of Asia and most of Africa too!

          So when you start quoting stats from different countries -, please do quote the Indexed Interpol stats which factor in a number of things such as Institutional fail and obstruction so as even a playing field as possible is provided.

          Oh and Your claim that rape is used as political control method is definitely a hyperbole.

          It’s not my claim It’s Baxi’s and backed by a number of independent groups that can say it and not run foul of the Indian Government or cause major Political Incident. Politics – Filthy Business!

          • The prosecution in rape cases is pretty complicated and perhaps you have never read the whole 200 or more pages of the judgments given in Indian court system. You are trying to prove that rapes are really acceptable in India and nobody cares about it. Several times false rape accusations are used to gain upper hand in disputes especially related to property. In certain cases, when there is a physical fight between two groups and any lady intervenes and gets hurt in the process where clearly sexual assault was not a motive. Unscrupulous police men and lawyers advise the affected party to report sexual assault to increase the severity of incident. It is not easy to live in India branded rapist. They are considered sub-human even by their fellow prison mates and usually bashed up by other criminals. One of the accused in Delhi rape case was also attacked by prison mates and had to be move to high security area. Keeping this in mind, a judge has to consider all the evidence presented very carefully and as everybody knows, the benefit of any doubt goes to the accused. Unfortunately, many times the valuable evidence is lost due to delay in reporting, lack of medical tests, shoddy police work and prosecution. To obtain conviction the case has to be water tight. If the defence counsel is able to find cracks in the moral character or the narrative of case, the accused go scot free, whether innocent or not. That’s the way Indian legal system works.
            I prefer not to take the claims of Prof. Upendra Baxi as gospel truth. He is just an alarmist. Show hard data to support your statements

            • The prosecution in rape cases is pretty complicated and perhaps you have never read the whole 200 or more pages of the judgments given in Indian court system.

              On the other hand perhaps I have? I know It’s a shocking Idea but, They have even got Internet in India now – and they even publish such things a court adjudications on line.

              Have a Mathura – “Tukaram & Anr. v. State of Maharashtra, 1979 AIR 185 – 1979

              Now wasn’t it Baxi et al who write to the Supreme court and said such things as :

              “…extraordinary decision sacrificing human rights in the Indian law and the Constitution…..”

              An Open Letter to the Chief Justice of India by Upendra Baxi, Lotika Sarkar, Raghunath Kelkar & Vasudha Dhaganwar, (1979) 4 SCC (Jour) 17

              Do you need all the court adjudications and related public documents, or are you happy with Just the Supreme Court?

              You may be shocked at my reading lists, given that I take nothing at face value but do go and check. Have your read Baxi, or are you just writing from a position of not having read what others say?

              Now what were you saying about me having to prove to you …. what?

  11. Bay Area Guy says:

    Without wanting to minimize the horror of this crime, it seems that Professor Kapur relies on various tropes when writing her article.

    Just like her Western feminist counterparts, she seems to attribute male misbehavior and frustration to “anger over losing privilege,” or what some are beginning to call “aggrieved entitlement.”

    Whether it’s white men in the U.S, or brown men in India, all forms of male frustration, anger, and misbehavior are somehow reduced to “privilege.”

    As Danny once said on an earlier thread, maybe, just maybe, men commit these types of crimes for reasons other than “entitlement” or the patriarchy.

    • What do you think some of the reasons are?

      • I think that the fact that the majority of India’s boys have been sexually abused and many are raised in a context where sexual abuse at the hands of parents and relatives is normalized (http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=476&Itemid=34) has rather a lot to do with this. The line between victim and perpetrator is frequently crossed from both directions.

        • I take it you are referring “Study on Child Abuse: INDIA 2007” by Ministry of Women and Child Development working with Save the Children and UNICEF… among others.

          The easy read:
          1. Across different forms of abuse and across different evidence groups, the younger children (5-12 years of age) have reported higher levels of abuse than the other two age groups.
          2. Boys, as compared to girls, are equally at risk of abuse.
          3. Persons in trust and authority are major abusers.
          4. 70% of abused child respondents never reported the matter to anyone.

          The full report can be found via http://www.webcitation.org/6DK3fzBKS

          • The sample size of the survey is too small to be taken seriously for a country with population over billion.

            • Oh Interesting! So in your opinion exactly what sample size would be needed?

              I do welcome your logic, becasue should it be valid we can at last throw away the accused 1 in 4 and 1 in 6 stats, because they come from an appallingly small sample size, and yet have been trotted out since 1984 as 107% accurate and valid!

              • The sample size should have been at least a hundred thousand to be taken seriously.

                • Well it’s nice to have a number, but what is it based upon? hundred thousand sounds big and valid, but on what basis does the word least – or rather at least – get applied in a valid way? Come on, you have opened the door .. lets run through it!

                  • The number of people under the age of 14 according to Census 2011 report is 359,564,220. The universe of the survey is pretty big. Sample size depends upon preferred confidence level and desired error margin. Although even hundred thousand does not come anywhere near a valid sample size but at least it would show that the surveryors at least were serious.

                    • Sorry – but your seem to be expressing opinion and not theoretical and even academic views. As I have said I hope you are right because the 1 in 4 figures come from a very small sample group. It even throws the CDC under the bus.

                    • Problem with getting 100,000 surveys done is the cost to survey, especially on small budgets, you at least need to mark off 100,000 surveys which takes many many humanhours of work unless digitally done. I’d like to see full comprehensive surveys done with at least 0.5 to 1% of the population done, maybe in the future it could be done with more access to the internet but it’d be a huge undertaking.

                      At the moment though I believe it is a good warning guide that more studies need to be done, regularly like every 5-10 years or at least once per generation born (20years?) with a focus on age of victim of each abuse, gender, area they are from, area the abuse was in (school, home, etc), a profile on the abuser/s of age, gender, relationship to the victim, even race or cultural background and hierarchy in society? (upper, middle, lower class) for both victim and perp. Maybe even add in if there are any disabilities mental or physical since that matters too.

                      If I become a billionaire I might get a statistics program developed to ensure full coverage of the most important traits to get studied and try get abuse studied more indepth. I very much want to see equal male n female participation in stats to compare, and good coverage of upper, middle, lower class people. The CDC was a good start I think and gave a pretty decent picture of abuse but I think there needs to be a more indepth study undertaken in many more countries, currently the most common stats I see on abuse for sexual and DV seem to only get stats on female victims or only focus on forced penetration. The CDC uncovered an epic amount of abuse that I don’t think any other study found yet to date! 5million+ potential victims in the U.S alone who disappeared from coverage. Given the link between sexual abuse and going on to abuse (a minority of victims, most don’t go on to abuse) it’s directly relevant to stopping rape of women to ensure their rapists were never raped in the first place.

                      What I fear is happening is in India a huge amount of sexual abuse is against males and females there of all ages, and some of those victims are going on to abuse. I would guess some of the females even go on to abuse, so clearly to stop rape in that sense it’s worth studying all genders and doing your best to stop all genders first abuse to reduce the risk of the cycle of abuse starting. What I also fear is very few anti-rape campaigns bother thinking of this, and it gets thought of as victim-blaming for some dumb reason, it seems taboo to dare mention rapists could be rape victims themselves? The emotion surrounding rape I think is a detriment at times and narrows the view many will take at figuring out how to reduce rape, but it’s also a positive in the fact it gets people motivated to help albeit narrowly.

                    • Sexual abuse is a taboo subject in India. I wounder how those surveryors found the participants for their survey. I would not be surprised if this survey turns out to be bogus.

                    • So Rapses – your preferred explanation is that The 2007 Report written by Government of India, the United Nations and Multiple NGOs is a fraud, and so no children have been abused – just Tax Payers Dollars and international aide?

                      Well! You have have come clean and admitted you are from Bhārat and know more that others of Bhārat . So if, as you indicate, there is such massive corruption from the government on down through out Bhārat that such a massive Fraud can be perpetrated, should we just accept the idea of such whole sale corruption, fraud and illegality committed by so any and against so many in the name of Bhārat ?

                      I’m reminded of the story of The Buddha and the Angry Brahman. We’ll all just sit here and wait to see what happens. P^)

                    • I never claimed that no child was ever abused in India. I am just skeptical about the veracity of the data collected. Certainly cokking up some data is not a massive fraud given the level of corruption in government departments and NGOs.

                      Corruption is global phenomena.

                    • It is kind of off-topic here, but how about a survey with a sample size of 126,696 boys – from South-Africa – another country with it’s on section on Wikipedia’s article on Rape culture.

                      It found that 9% had been raped in the last year. 44% of the 18 year olds reported they had ever been raped (forced sex). 41% of the respondents reported a female perpetrator, 32% a male perpetrator and 27% reported both female and male perpetrors.


                    • @Tamen, correct me if I am wrong but don’t they also have gang rapes involving both genders as perpetrators?

                    • @Tamen @ archy – The South Africa Findings (2008) are best summed up in the conclusion from the study;


                      This study uncovers endemic sexual abuse of male children that was suspected but hitherto only poorly documented. Legal recognition of the criminality of rape of male children is a first step. The next steps include serious investment in supporting male victims of abuse, and in prevention of all childhood sexual abuse.

                      The Hitherto poorly documented is significant, both in assessing cause and effect. There is the documented issue from central Africa – Uganda – Rwanda – Congo – Berundi – Malawi – Zambia – Zimbabwe of Mojo theft, where a man being sexually assaulted by a woman (alone or in concert with others) to basically steal his manhood and reduces him to less than human. The reports were coming out thick and fast with Nato/UN peace keepers in the Rwandan Genocides – both men and women were raped genocidally and women were doing the raping of men whilst other men stood there with guns. Interesting choice – bullet – rape and be made socially less than an animal? Oh and also 80% of those raped ended up testing positive for HIV – so it seems that there was a certain selection in who was doing the raping, because at the time infection rates amongst the one’s doing the rape was way lower at say 15%. It sort of looks very much like premeditation which raises criminality and torture!

                      It’s also worth considering that many feminists insist that rape is not about sex but power – so accepting that Feminist view, and embracing it 100%, it makes it quite simple to see that rape of men by women is a power issue and readily linked to Torture – Torture is a 100% expression of power !

                      “An examination of the international understanding of political rape and the significance to Torture” – Heather PEARCE – 2003 – Copy from the UNHCR website. .. it sort of does make the point that you can’t have it both ways as a feminist – and if rape = Power then torturing men sexually for political ends gets seen as Political Rape, no matter the sex, gender, race or other characteristics of the Aggressive Perpetrator. Genocide is rather political – in fact it’s just about as Political as you can get!

                      The same reports concerning Africa are there today, but there seem to be great political and racial pressure not to say anything, just in case animistic views and beliefs are criticised racially. There is also still the ongoing implicit racism of Countries presenting themselves the right way to keep other countries populations happy when to comes to giving aide. raped men and Boys with Female perps just don’t attract charity and tax dollars!

                      That’s why when Lena Slachmuijlder (A Supposed Expert In the Field of Africa and rape with a Major in playing the drums and doing arts projects with international funding ) was publicly dismissing reports made to her in The Congo (Major War Zone) by men who were very publicly saying they were being raped by Women (Link To Source) .. well a number of people who would have normally driven past got whip lash with teh speed they had to turn as ask her What the F###?

                      Slachmuijlder’s politically inept and victim blaming position was of course blown out of the water by some others Will Storr The Observer, Sunday 17 July 2011 – Chris Dolan,Refugee Law Project – Even Al Jazeera Was Covering it and I’ve put the link up here on GMP Many Times.

                      The silent male victims of rape – Hundreds of thousands of men have been raped, but it is such a taboo that few know the full extent of the crime. Inside Story Al Jazeera 28 Jul 2011 13:41

                      Lara Stemple – Bless Her Legally Brilliant Cotton Socks (Could some one please ask her to write here) – makes issues so clear, as only a Truly engaged expert can. I Think her writing for the New York Times might be a clincher – if it’s good enough for Tom Matlack and all that …. The Hidden Victims of Wartime Rape By LARA STEMPLE Published: March 1, 2011

                      Even the excellent work by Al-Jazeerra was recommended to the GMP readership by The Editors Aug 01 2011, so it’s a pity it just aint got followed up and we keep on having to sort of fit in the rape of men around the factoid bombing when it’s all about the ladies!

                      Oddly everyone seems to have missed the results of Some Experts being unhappy – some media coverage and a few awards – but then again men are invisible and don’t count – so when the work of Some was winning award – no one seemed to think it worth commenting … or maybe they just failed to notice because they didn’t even have a google alert for the subject or names like “Will Storr”. Perhaps lack of de-genderised language and Milieu Control around gender and sexual offences was an issue?

                      Dying of shame – 30 May 2012

                      Just weeks after an article instigated by Christian Aid journalist Emma Pomfret in the Observer Magazine earned a prestigious One World Media award for highlighting the controversial subject of male rape, the piece also scooped the Amnesty International Media Award for Best Magazine supplement of 2011.

                      The Rape of Men, written by Will Storr, and published in the Observer Magazine, Vanity Fair, and GQ last summer, scooped the prestigious awards after highlighting the brave and inspirational work of the Refugee Law Project, one of Christian Aid’s long-standing partners based in Kampala.

                      Christian AideOne World media Awards 2012

                      And just to be clear that is the AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Media Awards … and they have been about for some time… the Awards That is, not just Amnesty who have been about for 50 or so years, since 1961.

                      So there were winners for covering the issues! But Guess Who the Real Big Winners have been? About 3.5 Billion men and Boys, and they won when after the news was breaking the UN had to get it’s finger out and change a few things – Such as The Definitions of rape so that there is NO Gender Bias.

                      GENEVA, Switzerland, October 8 2012 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency has for the first time issued guidelines for UNHCR staff and other aid workers on how to identify and support male victims of rape and other sexual violence in conflict and displacement situations.

                      The new publication, compiled by UNHCR’s Division of International Protection, was launched at a recent debate in Geneva on the rarely broached subject. The participants included academics, aid workers, women’s rights activists, lawyers and diplomats.

                      The guidelines will be essential for people and organizations that help refugees and internally displaced people. They include tips on the challenging task of identifying victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), given the stigma attached to rape.

                      “SGBV against men and boys has generally been mentioned as a footnote in reports,” noted Sandesh Sivakumaran, a law professor at Britain’s Nottingham University. “Rape is not limited to traditional notions, it is not limited to gender . . . we must recognize rape as torture, rape as rape.”

                      UNHCR Geneva

                      And people can read the results Here “Working with men and boy survivors of sexual and Gender-based violence in forced displacement”

                      Of course some will not be willing to accept even that, as it fails to say specifically that Women can be and are rapists, so they have a get out of reality free card thanks to “Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius” and the gendered nature of the word rape.

                      I vote that the word rape be banned – cos sexual assault culture won’t be affected, except for the equality issue, and as we keep being told Feminism is all about equality so it is just Win Win for everyone! P^)

                      I just have to wonder why when the US rape season comes round each autumn the bigger picture on a global basis just gets missed and 3.5 Billion People vanish! ….. It must just be my pathological curiosity as to the weird and wonderful manifestations of aberrant psychology on a global basis?

                      The oddest thing is that the UNHCR announcement should have been picked up due to it’s timing, as it fell right in to the US Rape Season. So if it got missed there must be another reason – Tis the season? It’s About rape? It’s Global! – so it’s either a Gender issue – or racism – or maybe both?

                      What do you think?

          • Note also that boys are sligtly more at risk for rape than girls even though envelopment is not included in the definition of rape (or “sexual assault” which is the term used by the survey). See page 80 in the report Mediahound linked to.

            Also interesting is the finding that in Delhi (where the incident in the OP occurs) boys are almost twice as likely as girls to be victims of sexual abuse (ca. 65% vs. ca 35%). See table on page 75.

            The report has a section called “Major Findings”. It presents the gender distribution of victimization by physical abuse, but interestingly it says nothing of the gender distribution of sexual abuse, but only list the total number of some 53%. Strange how I then correctly guessed what I’d find on page 75 – boys are slightly more likely to have been sexually abused.

        • Alastair, if the majority of India’s boys have been sexually abused, what about India’s girls?

          • What I am trying to say is that the “statistics” are questionable to me.

            We should take into account that it’s normalized to abuse women and girls and some of the absues they may suffer may be more taken for granted then possibly what young boys or men face. I don’t know if that’s a fact, however it’s an idea to consider. WHich might explain why abuse of boys is slightly more reported then abuse of girls.

            • What I am trying to say is that the “statistics” are questionable to me.

              Saying Stats are questionable without actually looking at them is the same as believing in Monocerotem Unicornis or as many know them “Unicorns”.

              Such beliefs may both look equally harmless of the face of things, but actually not reading blunts one of the two terribly and often leads to serious injury. Worse still, the injury is not to the person who is ignorant or a fantasist of horsey things with a single horn and flowing white main.

              Misuse of Stats has been known to result in the whole sale slaughter of Common A Garden Unicorns – or as they are better known abused men and boys.

      • I think that one of them is a matter of men being abused as young boys, not getting the help that they need to heal, and taking a very dark lesson from it.

        I usually sum this up as, “No one cared about the fact that Johnny was abused as a child but when he grew up and married Suzie and abused her all of sudden the very same people that didn’t reach out to him did reach out to her.”

        And I think there is something else going on here that adds to that. Being raised as men we taught that “might makes right” so when abused and no one is listening we don’t bottle up forever. No we bottle it up for a while and then explode later on.

        And I think it doesn’t help that when a woman is abusive folks will trip over themselves to find out if she was abused herself but then turn around and deny that exact same consideration to abusive men (then it’s just an excuse).

        What I describe above is not “male privilege” or “entitlement” or “being taught that women are beneath you” (although it is very popular to dismiss it as one of those things).

        No this is negative masculinity at its possible worst.

        “Oh you were abused? By a woman no less. So what you probably had it coming (and if it was sexual you probably wanted it and you probably raped her). You have to help yourself.”


        “To assert that you are a real man you must have control over all aspects of your life. Use any means necessary to maintain this control.”


        “If you want your manhood back then take it by force. Let any and all know that you will never be treated like that again.”

        Now as adults it’s easy to dissect the problems with these types of lessons but remember, we don’t pick them up as adults we pick them up as children when we have no way proper way to dissect them.

    • Just like her Western feminist counterparts, she seems to attribute male misbehavior and frustration to “anger over losing privilege,” or what some are beginning to call “aggrieved entitlement.”

      Hmmmm – yes it does read as rather poorly informed and self satisfied. He Just Ignores the legal situation in india where the Government has some 25% of it’s population under Martial law with rape used as a military control measure? Bit of a blind spot and #Fail in my book …. but that’s academics for you!

  12. the word – rape- is attached in the social system of the Indian male dominated culture just as – mardangi- to woman for over century – no one protests or objected… it is just going on and on…. no objections, only the raped girl get punished from the society, police, legal system, administration etc. etc. the whole blame is on the raped girl and those rapists ……. they are just mard … that’s all. nothing was changed over century … decade after decade……………. who is going to stop it, firstly this mentality……. this is the question of the hour……. first changed the mentality of the society……

  13. Several years ago I saw Jackson Katz speak. It was the first time I realized that the American (and seemingly the rest of the world’s) notion of rape prevention was teaching women how to best keep themselves safe (including covering themselves up) versus understanding why men rape and dealing with the issue at the causal instead of the effect level. The normalization of rape, the kind of “boys will be boys” attitude, what can you do? with a shoulder shrug is still so prevalent.
    Thanks for your article!

    • Humans will be humans more like it, We’ve had many years of anti-rape awareness but it still happens, hell in the U.S the rate of female perpetration has risen extremely sharply so maybe many rapists just don’t want to listen. I’d say teach both not to rape but also give tips on how to stay safe (such as covering your drink and never letting it out of your sight at bars) would be a good idea. I hope for a day when everyone is safer but no one can walk down streets 100% safe, precautions can be taken within reason, they shouldn’t have to be taken but telling rapists not to rape probably won’t work a lot of the time unless you can somehow appeal to their humanity and also give harsh punishment for the crime. I hope to see the numbers reduce but there will never be 0% violence in this world as long as more than 1 person lives.

  14. The details of this case are nauseating…I bet the details and personal profiles of the suspects will be examined under the microscope….the act of rape as part of a continuum with violence and murder is blatant here….I suppose whatever drove them to act as a group must be condoned in their micro culture (are they part of a gang or is that how things go in their little fiefdom?)….I have a feeling there must be something completely destroyed within the psyches of these men…how can you go about attacking/killing someone like that unless you somewhat dead inside yourself already?

  15. It amazes me how many people are fixated on one event – one death – and they miss so much. Activist in India (You Know – people who live there, are active there … the one’s that get raped and deal with rape there) … these poor ill-informed, uneducated and evidently stupid Indians are pointing to the whole country, they are pointing at laws which protect police and army from being prosecuted for rape in Assam, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Kashmir, Manipur to name but a few. I’m tired of the racism it’s time to stop it!

    In 2002 – Prof Upendra Baxi wrote a whithering legal Critique showing how India and the the Indian Political System were “Rape Culture” – how rape was being used for political control by the government, and just how dangerous it was for anyone male or female to speak out.

    Have a look for the naked women of Manipur protesting the rape murder of “Thangjam Manorama” in 2004 – and then stop the BS about there now needs to be discussion.

    In India they have been Screaming listen to us for 50 years! It’s the institutional and racial deafness that needs to be discussed, or better still kicked off the field of play!

    • @mediahound- please some links, in my experience you dig deep.

      • Ref – Most of India is covered in the additions finally made to Wikipedia Rape Culture (Entry For India as at 30 Dec 2012) from my provisional work… they were added with no objection as of 10:39, 24 December 2012. It’s shocking to see the Wiki page hits go through the roof and a 300% spike just to content

        Also the South Africa section bears close consideration too – again nominally at this time all my work – though I have spotted that some idiots have decided that Steve Biko was writing in the 1980’s – a little odd given that he died in 1977. But that is Wikipedia for you, get the facts Straight and any idiot can change supposed reality because they see book published date and don’t actually read .

        Ref Prof Upendra Baxi in 2002 India is a Rape Culture – The Second Gujarat Catastrophe, Upendra Baxi, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 37, No. 34 (Aug. 24-30, 2002), pp. 3519-3531 – copies available from Here and Full Text is available Here – It is one of the most Extraordinary documents I have ever read.

        “Eve Teasing” – Time Magazine 1960 – 12 Sept – Link and also Times Newspaper London – 22 Apr. 1960, p.9. (Not Available – Paywall)

        Note the behaviour known as Eve-teasing is not limited to India, but is also reported in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burma, Nepal and also in Africa where there are high concentrations of Indian Africans such as South Africa and a number of Indian Island Locations. It is hard to confirm sources to meet the demands of some … so Wikipedia etal do need to be treated with a pinch of salt.

        Indian Army – rape under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 – legislation which makes police and army immune to prosecution – Rape and death of “Thangjam Manorama” – the Wiki coverage is quite accurate, except that all references to Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act keep on being removed (I Do Wonder Why that Would be and even Who would keep doing it?)

        Human Rights Watch says of the Act a “tool of state abuse, oppression and discrimination”.

        The act extends to cover the specific areas of of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir. Just Imagine the whole of the US Eastern Seaboard under Martial Law and militias rapping with impunity from Nova Scotia to Florida and NO – absolute Zero before the law.

        Better still, given the population involved – just have the Whole USA placed under martial law with rape allowed From Alaska to Hawaii and all of Mainland USA… and you get some idea of the scale of Institutionalised and State Authorised Rape Culture.

        This is rather telling:

        Why Temperance Will Not Work With AFSPA

        Posted by Editor on Saturday, November 6, 2010 2:28 am // No Comment

        There are only two ways to proceed with the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, says Supreme Court lawyer Rakesh Shukla: retain it or scrap it. Tempering it with pleas to refrain from ‘˜excessive use of force’ etc will simply not work with an army trained to inflict maximum damage.

        ManipurOnline… Dealing With The Issues. A Virgo Communications Company.

        That is the Indian Army who are trained to inflict maximum damage against the Indian Population. They have been getting trained in this since 1958 – that is over 50 years – 2 Generations.

        http://www.webcitation.org/6DJFfrllp – that link will take you to a rather startling image and essay of naked Indian Women Protesting outside of the Barracks of The Assam Rifles following the rape and death of “Thangjam Manorama” in 2004 – some see the image and laugh at saggy bottoms – others see the faces and desperation.

        ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAM – 29 July 2004 It’s all in the title http://www.webcitation.org/6DJ3Aq9YE

        The Human Rights Watch 2008 report “These Fellows Must Be Eliminated” (79 Pages) Is very detailed and it also carried pictures of naked ladies with saggy bottoms and banners saying “Indian Army Rape Us” http://www.webcitation.org/6DJIwyunw

        I have just looked and I presently have over 18000 (18 Thousand) links and references sourced in just 12 months, ranging from Books to Academic Papers and Research, News Alerts, Alerts by NGO’s and the United Nations, Standard Media Coverage and also citizen media …. In English. less than 10% of main media from India comes in English, and I have been delving into Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and a few other language groups.

        In one way the most poignant reference is this:

        “..women aren’t marching for the right to walk down the street dressed in barely-there clothes, as critics suggest. They’re fighting for the right to walk down the street. Period.”

        Ms Magazine – SlutWalk Delhi Starts “Immodest” Discussion in India – July 6, 2011 by Christie Thompson

        People who went to India to take part in what became known as “Besharmi Morcha” or Shameless Up Front Protest, were critical that the Indian Women were being too conservative in their dress and not with the Spirit of Slutwalk – Stupid – Stupid people. If I had been there the Riot Act would have been read. Some went so far as to incite young men to touch them, almost as a burlesque, and in doing so just Empowered the who Eve-teasing stereotypes which others were there to smash. It’s annoying when people decide it would be a good idea to have a quick holiday and go to another country to protest … and hen they arrive they show such disrespect they actaully undermine everything that other people are doing. That’s not rape Culture – or even just plain stupidity – It’s arrogance, Ignorance and Racism.

        Oh and I have been making my anger known concerning the ongoing implicit racism concerning Rape Culture none US Flavour – there are yet more links there with some very terse opinion.

        The Politics Of Rape Culture…. and there are images on naked Indian women again protesting. Certainly puts a Basque and Suspenders to shame, and shows just how up front and shameless some people have to be for media attention! I Applaud them and so many others who are fighting for the right to walk down the street. Period.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      I don’t doubt they’ve been screaming about it for 50 years. I’ve seen the photo of the naked women of Manipur, it’s incredibly moving, I wept when I saw it.

      I think what is being said here isn’t, “India, YOU need to take responsibility and start speaking up!” But more, “Look world, this is happening everywhere. It’s time we all start paying attention and prioritizing ending rape.”

      The fact is, women die from gang rape here, too. Women are raped in this country, even by just one man, and almost die from it. Lynn Beisner tells her story of just that exact experience here, after having almost bled to death from being raped (not even a head injury, damage to her intestines and other internal organs from the force of the rape).


      This happens everywhere. If people being horrified by this helps all women in the world have their voices heard and their safety prioritized, I’m all for it.

    • Alastair, that is one of the most powerful and moving posts I’ve read yet. Thank you. I have shared it widely. And Cameron, this is an excellent article, truly excellent.

    • Side-topic but couldn’t think of where to ask, do the women there ever grope men? In the U.S quite a lot of sexual assault seems to swing both ways but from the sound of it it’s far more skewed towards male perp, female victim in India? Is it a vastly different culture to the U.S, or Australia, etc? I’ve heard there are female-only rail cars to try address the problem.


  1. […] significant social change. He pointed out that even with the awareness that came about after the Delhi gang rape, crimes against women in India have continued to rise. He asserted that the race was “aimed […]

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