Love is a Better Master than Duty*

The recent vicious rape and assault of a 23 year old physiotherapy student in New Delhi has caused rioting and outrage in India. A policeman injured in the rioting has died and most Indian politicians seem to be distancing themselves from having any responsibility for a justice system that allows so many similar crimes to escape unpunished.

This outrage against rape is an important change in a country where most women are stigmatised if they are victims of rape and are, therefore, afraid to ever report the crime in the first place. In order to have any safety or justice it is essential that rape is seen as a crime that is perpetrated by the rapist rather than caused by the victim.  It is an important societal change in India to have the voice of the public blaming the rapists rather than the victim. This public outrage may well help to create at least some will to act amongst the forces of law and order and thereby protect Indian women in the future.

But it’ll take more than just a change in law enforcement to make women in India – and elsewhere – safe.  It’ll take a radical change in attitude amongst both men and women.

Not just a rise in respect for women and girls and a real appreciation of how a society cannot function properly with one dominant gender any more than a bird can fly properly if it has one wing tied down.

Not just an understanding that rape is not an action of sexual attraction but rather one of violence and agression.

Not just a fear of being punished by the law and ostracised by society for committing this heinous crime.

All of these things are vital to creating change but they aren’t enough.

As well as these – and other  – changes there also needs to be a change at the level of the individual human being. A change that makes each one of us see every other person on the planet as something so precious, so special and so vital to even our own welfare that we wouldn’t dream of hurting their feelings let alone violating them in any serious or painful way.

I know we have a bit of a journey before we reach such a place of tender care for our fellow human beings but I believe it’s the place we need to name as our destination.  I don’t imagine that many people would object to a world in which they were held in such esteem and treated with such care and reverence.  I even think most might be willing to try extending this attitude to others.  However, I imagine that a huge number of people might think it impossible to achieve.

And maybe it is impossible.

How do I know.

But what if it is possible?

Isn’t it worth a shot?

If we fail we can just go back to being the way we are now.

But just imagine what might happen if we succeed…

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*attributed to Albert Einstein

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/19/gang-rape-new-delhi-bus

http://whizwoman.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/india-forever-the-plundered/

http://everydayfeminisms.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/resolution/

http://placidrhyme.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/the-rape-culture/

http://www.creatingreciprocity.com/2011/12/22/peace-on-earth-goodwill-to-girls/

http://www.creatingreciprocity.com/?s=i+am+spartacus&x=0&y=0

 

11 Comments

  1. It will never be possible if we don’t try, not just in India but here in America too.

  2. A profound truth wonderfully expressed. We absolutely have to express it in our daily lives wherever we find ourselves.

    • creatingreciprocity

      I think that’s exactly the case – it’s very much butterfly effects in a way, isn’t it? If we acted like that in our daily lives it’d quickly spread to business and politics and international relations. Thanks, Pete.

  3. Our attitudes toward rape are always tied to our attitudes toward women. Thank you for sharing this. I believe we can change.

  4. We look back and feel revulsion that people enslaved other human beings in the US just 150 years ago. We’re shocked that less than a century ago women could not vote, people were exterminated in concentration camps, and millions died in two world wars. But decades from now, our descendants will no doubt look back at us and wonder how we could be so tolerant and complacent about the violence in our society.

    This is a beautiful post, Trisha. I’m not sure how we get there either, but as you said so well, “it’s the place we need to name as our destination.”

  5. I’m glad I keep old comments in file… Your blog is not on your gravatar page and so I couldn’t reach you…
    Glad to reconnect with you this year …
    •.★♥★Happy New Year to You & Yours!★♥★.•
    Eliz

    • creatingreciprocity

      I am stumped by the technological glitches with my blog! Thanks for trying and happy 2013 to you and yours as well, Elizabeth!x

  6. Sadly what happened to the young Indian woman will continue to happen until the government and communities take bolder measures to stem it… so sad. May she RIP.