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Giving Would-Be Rapists A Taste Of Primal Fear

25/05/2016 8:18 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Knife with blood.

There's a very powerful but controversial video about rape doing the rounds on social media. This video accurately portrays a rapist's mindset and highlights the sense of entitlement and legitimacy with which many perpetrators view and justify their heinous actions.

Rape is a horrific crime, not just against the victim, but also against all of humanity. A man uses his physical power to subjugate a woman and to fulfill his sexual desires. Many experts argue that rape is not about sex, but about exerting power and domination. However, it is undeniable that sexual desire also plays a major role in many rapes.

The first deterrent then is cultural conditioning. If a man believes that forcing himself on a woman is an abhorrent act, he will be more likely to desist from allowing his desire to get the better of him.

In many cultures, men are conditioned to believe that women are inferior creatures and need to be punished if they cross certain boundaries. Women aren't seen as having any autonomy over their own lives. Men make decisions for them and virtually "own" every aspect of their being.

In no other crime is the perpetrator allowed to retain the weapon he used. Why then is a rapist allowed to retain his penis...?

Women are there to be "used" and rape becomes a weapon to exert control over them. A man with this mindset will not think he's doing anything wrong when he rapes a woman. It is as natural as seeing a fruit on a tree and plucking it to satisfy the desire. He sees his penis as being a divine endowment and a symbol of his superiority and entitlement over any woman's body.

Then comes the law. The fear of stringent punishment can douse the fire of many men with out-of-control libidos and also act as a counterweight to any cultural conditioning.

That's where the radical punishment -- castration of rapists -- proposed by this video deserves attention and deeper consideration.

Rape is unlike any other crime and in our failure to combat it effectively, we as a society have thoroughly let down our women. In no other crime is the perpetrator allowed to retain the weapon he used. Why then is a rapist allowed to retain his penis when he has used it as a weapon in a crime? A man who has raped once is likely to do it again if given the chance because he has no moral or emotional barriers to stop him.

The only true deterrent to rape is to take away that sense of entitlement and power that drives the rapist.

The only true deterrent to rape is to take away that sense of entitlement and power that drives the rapist. Cruel and barbaric as it sounds, a truly safe environment for women can only be created when no man would dare to violate her.

No doubt re-education and sensitivity are vital in this regard, but they will take a long time to take root. Punishment such as castration will go a long way in de-incentivizing and deterring rape.

Unfortunately, an environment of fear already exists, but only for women. The imbalance and fear psychosis are so severe that vast swathes of our public spaces are out of bounds for women. If men begin to experience unpleasant consequences for their misogyny, they are likely to adopt self-restraint. Just the way women today are advised to lower their eyes, avoid any altercations with men, and walk away, this might be the only way for men to be taught to view women respectfully, not stare at them, etc.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and maybe it is time for this radical solution to be tried out to correct the physical imbalance

Women add a different dimension to public spaces and the participation of free women in society adds colour, flair, vitality, compassion, and diversity of thought into the narrative. We must fight the fear that keeps them from fulfilling their potential and contributing to a world that is as much theirs as men's.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and maybe it is time for this radical solution to be tried out to correct the physical imbalance and wipe out the tears, fears and exploitation of women.

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