Never sympathise with the rapist

When you place equal blame on both parties for rape, the line between the perpetrator and victim is blurred.

Sarah Eleazar March 16, 2013
Ours is not a pluralistic society. The urge to ‘other’ stems from an identity seeped in condemnation of whoever is different.

As far as public discourse goes, no one can veer into the ‘sacred space’, protecting the sanctity of sensitive topics. This public can disbar women from any space but the ‘chaar dewari’ and blame-them-for-getting-raped when they dare to venture out of their confines.

A couple hailing from Islamabad were recently arrested for raping and killing an 11-year-old girl who would go to the accused for tuitions. The duo confessed to other similar crimes, including one where they befriended a police official’s daughter and raped and killed her while her father was away for Hajj.

A debate on ‘both sides of the story’ recently emerged in a local newspaper.

Fashionably dressed ‘neo-liberals’ have been touted as wannabe westerners, who ‘foolishly’ do not blame the raped and murdered college student for befriending the couple to sleep over. The victim should have seen this dangerous position — in which she placed herself — coming. There’s nothing wrong with telling girls to be careful, this writer says.

Taking precautions against sexual predators is common sense 101.

So what is wrong with focusing on what the girl should have done and did not do? She no longer remains the victim.

The goggles society chooses to see rape from is important because it has ramifications for every girl in the country. When you place equal blame on both parties, the line between the perpetrator and victim is blurred. The victim no longer deserves justice because, well, she asked for it.

This is the angle a rape apologist takes without realising the leeway he provides to perpetrators. By attacking the ethos of a certain segment of society that ‘tries to emulate the west’, the writer razes the foundation of all arguments against rape.

The subject of rape interestingly lies outside the confines of ‘sacred space’ granted to other topics, though it should occupy the holy of holies.

The onus for shaping social attitudes lies with the media.

Thus the responsibility for rape must be shouldered by perverts and their fellow apologists.
Sarah Eleazar A sub-editor on the Lahore desk at the Express Tribune.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.