The next interviewer — or for that matter, anyone at all — to ask why this columnist, being male, continually, constantly, and at every possible opportunity protests, decries and denounces man’s inhumanity toward woman might just get told a few unkind things about themselves. In real plain words.
Submitted for your consideration: News came December 28 of a rape victim who suffered such unconscionable barbarity she agonized for two weeks, languishing in first a New Delhi hospital bed, then one in a Singapore hospital, before dying in a sleep that was induced by medication to dull her pain.
The woman was so brutalized she wound up basically euthanized, tended to until she slipped off into death, her condition and fate reduced to that of a pet cat or dog being looked after before going to the hereafter.
It happened because these animals (it was a gang rape) didn’t see her as a human being. It happened because they saw her as a source of gratification, of sexual release. An object, to the extent that they even didn’t stop at holding her down and forcing her legs open. (The victim’s name isn’t yet released.)
This 23-year-old was beaten, endured forced intercourse, was penetrated with an iron rod resulting in severe organ damage and thrown out of a window on the bus in which they were traveling. She suffered a heart attack, lung and abdominal infection and brain injury.
The actual truth is that the perpetrators can’t literally be called animals for the glaring reason that this is not how even the dumbest beast behaves. Animals do not victimize for the sake of sheer victimization. It’s people who do that. Specifically, it is men who do that to women, savagely attacking them for the pure sake of doing so.
It should prove interesting to see what law enforcement does with her rapists, the half-dozen men who were arrested for the crime. Indian authorities, like most around the world — yes, including the good old U.S. of A. — have a piss-poor record of protecting females and punishing males who abuse them.
Indian authorities have, in fact, been accused of belittling rape victims and refusing to file cases against attackers. Protests went up around the nation virtually within moments of the woman’s rape hitting India’s media. So? What good does protest do?
The uproar sooner or later will subside and go away, whereupon women and girls will continue to be raped. The prevailing attitude among politicians is apathetic at best and, at worst, dismissive. Abhijit Mukherjee, a national lawmaker and son of President Pranab Mukherjee, for instance, blew protesters off, derided them as “highly dented and painted” women who go from discos to demonstrations.
He backtracked and apologized only after his idiotic remarks drew such fire he really had no choice. Mukherjee is hardly by himself. Other politicians have come under fire for insulting protesters and making little of the crime.
The national rape conviction rate for India’s legal system is a measly 25 percent. In some communities, victims, on top of being stigmatized as tainted goods, are pressured to marry their rapists. Think about that. If you want a woman and she doesn’t want you, all you have to do to get her is sexually assault her.
Because this happened in India does not let other societies off the hook. The fact is, many men hate women. Hate them for the power women have as objects of desire. God alone knows if or when that’s ever going to change. It hasn’t in all these years of so-called civilization. Sadly, there is no reason to believe it ever will.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.