#Metoo and Rape Culture in India

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With #Metoo movement taking impetus in India, and as the accusatory voices of women ask for justice, a huge number of social media audience called it a pure stance of a swindling wave which is used by few women to play a victim card and received a scourging condemnation from people.

Though a huge number of social media users and public figures came forward to support but the voices of victim also met with demeanour of criticism and outrage by the masses and were denied to receive the necessary empathy. And we wonder why is that so…?

In India, there is a prevalence of rape culture which is marked with myths regarding the factors that triggers sexual violence against women. Lonsway and Fitzgerald defined these myths as “attitudes and beliefs that are generally false but are widely and persistently held, and that serve to deny and justify male sexual aggression against women.” And most of this includes belief like:

1.  Men are biologically incapable of controlling sexual impulses
2. Women who dress provocatively trigger such impulses in me
3. Rape happens to women “who asks for it” and the women who get rapped usually enjoy it
4. A woman must use everything in her power to stop it and if she is a victim of sexual assault and rape then she hasn’t done enough to prevent it.
Rani Mukherjee
A 2013 study of Attitudes & Myths toward rape among college going students of Surat city found an alarming results; the myths regarding rapes were considered as truth by almost all participants. The prevalence of rape myths was higher among college-going males than females(B.L Himabindu, Radhika Arora and N.S. Prashanth).

It is essential that men and women are educated through awareness programmes at schools, colleges, workplace and even at social institutions and gathering. It is necessary that correct values and ideas are imbibed in society with regard to sexual violence against women.

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