Monday, January 28, 2013

If She Calls Him Brother, He Won't Rape Her

I've said before, I'm sometimes slow to address certain issues. I really take time to absorb things and think about it. Today I was listening to one of my new songs and he said "you're my hot bhabhi" and then it hit me.

The moron who said that the recent Delhi rape victim should have called her attackers brother so they would stop really is clueless about his own country. No, I'm not India expert but I'm no idiot like he is either. The more I thought about it today the more saddened I felt for men who had been taught to think this way.

One of the most widely searched porn terms...which I learned the hard way a while back and changed this blog "bhabi" with words like sexy, naked, etc. attached to it. "Aunty" also seems to be a widely used word when searching for porn according to Google. These are all terms of affection for family members. So if a man wouldn't rape a family member, then why are so man men looking for these words in porn?

I understand fantasies and I can *almost* excuse the "aunty" searching. Only because every married woman with kids is an aunty. So for that word, a man could easily be attracted to older, more mature and voluptuous women. If it weren't for the fact that the word aunty implies the woman is married, I could let this one go entirely. I'm adamantly opposed to cheating of any sort and this implies cheating.

But there is no excuse for searching for the world bhabi. No matter how they spell it. A sister-in-law is any woman. It's not specific at all. A bhabi could be fat, skinny, tall, short, etc. etc. etc. The only connection here is that this woman is supposedly his sister-in-law. Related by marriage aka off limits. This is the woman who would tie a rakhi on his arm for Raksha Bhandan. She would ultimately be like a sister to him. So how the hell would a woman calling a man brother prevent rape??? Simple. It wouldn't.

I'm not the first to say it. I know that. Bhabi isn't exactly the word for sister but that doesn't matter. It would be the same if she called him brother. Young Indian women are molested at home as well. It's hidden, covered up, etc. We all saw that on Satyamev Jayate where Indian women told stories of being molested by family members. It's a world-wide concept. Incest is not unique to India nor is India immune to it.

Where did India go so wrong as to teach it's young men that it's okay to rape a girl if she's not your sister? Because stating that if she called him brother he would have stopped is implying that he raped her because she wasn't his sister and somehow these men felt that was okay.

No matter what happened, the world knows rape is not about sex at all. It's a form of control. How dare anyone...let alone a woman....refuse the advances of a man who wants her? India confuses me. I hear all the time how Indian women don't have sex before marriage. But if that's true then how is it that the men who rape these girls think they would ever get a yes out of them? After all, Indian women always say no? Right? (Wrong...obviously.)

I think India is torn in a power struggle. A emotional tornado that won't easily be calmed. This storm is going to rage on for quite some time with women emerging victorious and the men will be better for it. The country is advancing, but not without a fight. I feel so sad for the rape victims all across India who are having to go through what they do. It's disheartening. I can only hope and pray that they weather this storm and gain the equality they deserve and take back their rightful place in a  society where they were once respected and revered much more than they are today.


  1. Aunty is like the French Madame - usually refers to a married woman (in India, aunty is generally unrelated to you) but also refers to "une femme d'un certain age" whether or not married. In porn, it seems to correspond to MILF.

    I sort of disagree with the 'rape is not about sex; it's about control' argument - I say sort of because rape IS ABSOLUTELY about control. But the argument is a Western one that sees sex as a positive thing borne out of love and desire. In an Indian context, the fact that the sexual act is forced on someone against their will is exactly what makes it the most feared crime. A woman can be beaten badly by a man and society will see her either as a strong woman who survived or as a poor thing to be pitied, but if victims of rape get neither honor nor pity. It's seen as an insult SHE perpetrated on her family; she should have been more careful with her 'virtue' (which apparently resides in her vagina, though I have never seen it labeled on a medical diagram).

    And it happens because women's bodies are seen as men's property, to do with as they please. That is where 'rape is about power' comes in. Women are assumed to not have ownership over their own bodies, and if they do anything to challenge that view, then it must be reiterated in this most brutal of ways.

    So yes, it's about power, but the deadly sins cannot always be so easily separated one from another.

  2. have a lot to say but right now don't have the time to post a lengthy comment.
    You have hit the nail on the head. Strangely an American understands Indian society better than the morons who make such comments( This is not the only one..there have been many like eating chowmein(noodles) leads to young couples having sex etc)

    On second thoughts you don't have to be an Indian to understand the Indian society. I guess you can be a good human being and understand any culture.

    Incest, rape and crimes against women happen in every society in the world but a sexually oppressed nation, moral policing and lax law implementation make it worse in India.

    P.S.- excuse the grammar and spelling...wrote it in a hurry.

  3. oh.... and by the way we Indians are bloody hypocrites... i am sure while your stay in India you would have heard about how Indian culture is superior to the western culture and how Americans have no culture etc....

    i am a man and i feel ashamed to be a part of this rape culture..i hate is not what my parents brought me up with....

    sorry for the rant....that Delhi rape really pissed me off....

  4. India is culturally still in it's dark ages. there is so much wrong in Indian culture that it is hopeless to describe it. And esp so when it comes to Indian attitude towards women.

  5. i had a another comment before the one posted below. The one below was a continuation of the previous one....the other one is somehow missing :)

  6. Thank you. I know I don't know everything about India but I think as an outsider I can see things and be objective about them. I try to be at least. Having been to India has also helped me be more understanding and objective of my own culture as well.

  7. Don't be sorry. You're absolutely right in the way you feel. It's because of outraged Indians like you that things will change in India. Your country should not remain a rape culture and it's inspiring to see the country and it's younger generations now doing something to do something about these issues.

    I did hear the things you mention as well. It's a subject of debate between hubby and I. Just the other day we were debating some things and he was telling me how great India was and mid-way through what he was saying he changed and started saying how he couldn't wait to get out and to tell me all that was wrong. Like you, he was not raised to live with the things going on there right now.

  8. I've noticed. I can't help but wonder if somehow this attitude toward women could come from the fears that are being taught to children as they grow up. I've seen men who seemed overly concerned another man may look at a woman's butt or try to talk to her. There were many more similar fears, all relating to maintaining the family honor. I don't fully understand it, nor do I agree with any of it. I do like the changes and outrage I'm seeing over the recent Delhi rape though. I'm hopeful (as always) these things will lead to a much better India in the future.

  9. I rescued your first comment from the "pending" folder. Disqus automatically holds some of them so I can review them if they contain strong wording. I had to do that when there were trolls lose in the pardesi blog community a while back.

  10. That gang rape was for many the proverbial last straw for many, th epoint at which a significant amount of the population just stopped wanting to pretend everything was fine, and yet another opportunity for a bunch of nincompoops to come with the most hypocrite and ridiculous statement as to how that rape could have been prevented. The moron who said the girl should have called the rapist her borther to prevent the offense failed to remember that the minor who was the most brutal in the gang rape was apparently the one who asked her to come in the bus calling her ":sister" so clearly he reffered to her as a sister but still raped her and tortured her in the most brutal way there was. That same guy who issued this statement is also suspected to have molested, several of his followers as he is a self proclaimed godman as well, so who is he to even speak of virtue here?
    His comments have not gone down easy with a young very pissed off India. His crap might have not even made a ripple in the water 5 years ago, but he like many of the other stone age stuck idiots in position of powers that have made ridiculous statements in the recent weeks is facing the new reality: people will question and protest what they feel is wrong.
    I see a change in motion in the country, it's going to process slowly, but it's there, and it won't stop. I keep saying that there is hope the India in whcih my daughter is growing up will value her more as a human being.

  11. K -The New Generation-February 6, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    well if "Bhabi" is like "onee-san" in Japanese then its not really about family sister but thought of as older woman.

    At the moment theres this really popular glamor model *coughs* porn star *coughs* that calls herself a "Eroi onee-san" which literally translates to sexy sister but actually means sexy older woman.

    maybe you're putting too much thought on the literal word for "bhabi"

  12. make a good point. I don't know how Indians mean it when they say it. It could easily be misused the way onee-san is.

    In this case if the rapist was misusing the term bhabi then the girl calling him brother would not likely have helped at all. Though I feel like (from what I've seen) an Indian woman using the terms for brother is taken more seriously than men using the word bhabi.

  13. K -The New Generation-February 8, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    misused? lol

    there are all kinds of ways to use words especially in Asia.

    Now a woman could call somebody a brother but in most cases the man doesn't appreciate it and vice versa.

    I had a friend who would call every guy "bhai" but it would tick a lot of our guy friends because they didn't consider her a sister and one of them even asked her to stop but she wouldn't.

    I hope you don't think all Indians are like this. the way you blog and although I find it insightful it comes off as if you think all Indians are the same.

    With rape as you know in any country western or asian the assholes tend to blame the victim by making up excuses such as "oh she wasn't wearing appropriate clothing" or "she shouldn't have been out at night" or "why was she alone?"

  14. I don't think all Indians are the same. I do see there is a pervasiveness to certain cultural aspects. This is the same as with the US. Cultural and societal beliefs tend to spread no matter how true they are. The things I write about are experiences of myself and with other pardesi's. It's things we've personally seen and experienced in our own lives.

    You're right, I've seen rapist here in America try to blame the victim. I've heard people say phrases like (sorry for the grammar, I am only repeating actual phrases I've heard said directly to me and they are offensive to say the least) "she needs to get f*cked" and "she's asking for it" (where rape or sex was implied as what she was asking for. When I was 14 someone I knew was accused of rape. His friends came to his defense talking about how she wore tight jeans after the alleged rape happened. They called her a slut, etc. This is just like what we are seeing happening in India now. The same sick things happen in every country. It's the human mind and no culture can be singled out for this problem.