Anyway, what took me by surprise was the fact that these movies were reveling in the gloriousness of abuse and rape. I realized that the hero’s machismo has to be directly proportional to:
1. The number of abusive, sexist and abhorrent dialogues he spews forth.
2. The amount of threats he doles out to the heroine. Graphic descriptions of rape with blows thrown in for good measure, comforting death threats if she ‘dares’ to look at another man and menacingly hinting at obliterating her family if she refuses to look at his pathetic face, are part and parcel with this image.
3. The propagation of a rape culture, by kidnapping and raping the heroine in the name of ‘love’ if she rebuffs the hero’s pukeworthy advances. This will probably result in the heroine promptly realizing that she must be in ‘love’ with her rapist hero. This of course is meant to be viewed upon as a ‘realistic’ and a ‘gritty’ portrayal of the aam-junta (men) of Tamilnadu.
But what really gets my goat (pun NOT intended) is the amalgamation of rape with sex. or the fallacious notion that rape equals sex or vice versa.
This brings to mind a conversation I overheard (not intentionally, of course), while I was waiting for the bus, between two desi’s (talking loudly):
Desi 1: Did you know that X has divorced her husband?
Desi 2: Sacchi? (Really?) But he was a good guy, no?
Desi 1: Apparently he had an abusive streak. She put rape charges on him and she filed a case against him.
Desi 2: But he’s her husband! How can she say rape? He may be a little too strong for her in the bedroom, that’s all. It’s all part of married life anyway. Women these days…they overreact for everything.
Desi 1: I know. Didn’t her parents teach her anything? If she had been more patient, she could have changed him, yeah? After all he’s her husband.
No, they weren’t old, fat or middle aged (not that I have anything against old, fat or middle aged people). They were young grad students and I actually knew X, the girl who they were bitching about. I remembered bumping into her a while ago, in the hallway of our apartment building, with her arm in a cast (thanks to her strong husband) and her racking sobs, and her look of naked terror when I hesitatingly suggested that it might be better off for her if she ‘took a little holiday’…..like just get away from her abhorrent husband for a short while. You see, she was terrified that he would follow her and kill her.
It took me all the strength in the world and then some to NOT strike these insensitive douche-bags who were so callously blaming her for leaving her strong
This incident got the wheels of my mind clicking, and it brought to mind the endless cover-ups and shoddy excuses for rape, which we as a society seem to revel in.
Let’s sift through them, one by one.
‘I’m drunk’ so rape me please:
As offensive as it may sound, that’s THE most pervasive rape myth I’ve heard. A girl getting drunk at a party does not mean that she’s a FREE TICKET for guys to shag on. How about accepting the fact that she was there at the party to have fun which DOES not include being raped by 6 guys? I am sick of people and their ‘concerned’ remarks about how the girl was drunk anyway so maybe she was asking for it or why was she in the party? She should have known better than to go to parties and get drunk.
Since when did a ‘husband’ become a rapist? :
Obviously a husband who is all-powerful and all-pervasive cannot actually rape his wife. So why does she complain? He is her Lord and Master and she signed up for having sex with him, didn’t she? Bedroom squabbles are common, these women fuss about everything. Right?
Wrong. Dead wrong.
First of all, rape cannot be trivialized and called a ‘bedroom squabble’. If a man forces himself on you even after you repeatedly refuse his advances, if he beats you or abuses you while having sex with you, if he subjects you to brutality night after night after night....then YES it is rape, irrespective of WHO he might be. If he humiliates or degrades you using ‘sexual violence’ as his ticket, then yeah it is still RAPE. Sexual violence in a marriage is rape as he has violated your trust, your body and your mind and it is equally, if not more traumatic than being raped by a stranger.
But in our society there is an all encompassing stigma attached to rape and marital rape is not even considered anything close to a crime. And taking advantage of a woman who is passive or too afraid to speak up against her husband or is too weak to protest is also RAPE. Get that into your heads 'Desi's 1& 2', for fuck's sake.
Marrying the rapist:
Now I know that if a girl is de-flowered (snort), she automatically becomes a whore so if the dayalu soul who raped her is ‘noble’ enough to marry her, then all’s well that ends well. Hurrah.
Countless Indian movies have propagated this bull-faeces. The omnipotent hero chases down the scum who raped his weak little sister, thrashes him and corrects him, and gets the rapist dickhead to marry his adoring sister. What is wrong with this picture?
First of all, no woman in her RIGHT mind will want to marry the guy who violates her sexually, thrashes her around and uses her as his personal cesspool. So this pathetic culture of rape based on pseudo-religious asshattery should be nipped in the bud, so to speak. Put simply, marrying the rapist should be thought of as one of the most dysfunctional and vile ideas prevalent in our society and it should be condemned as such.
These are some of the blatant rape-excuses I could come up with. If anyone else can think of more, please leave your ideas in the comments box, and I will update my post accordingly.
Until then, remind me not to watch pathetic vomit-worthy tripe, hiding under the tag of ‘realistic’ Indian movies.
Neha, I should have heeded your ominous warning.