You know how we keep fighting for gender equality? Anyone who speaks against women rights, we verbally bash them. What’s ironic is the fact that we, ourselves, don’t stand united. Us, women. The concept of shaming the one who has been assaulted seems to have been around for decades. As if, what she went through was her fault. Maybe she instigated by her revealing clothes? Maybe she made herself available? We ourselves don’t respect our fellow women – especially those who need our support the most – the victims. How can we turn around and point fingers at those who don’t give us our equal rights?
Rape. It happens. It’s common. We know about it. Yet we don’t do anything. You know all those top universities that we aspire to go to while we are growing up? Yes. I’m talking about Yale, Columbia, Oxford, Harvard etc. All these universities tend to brush sexual assault cases under the carpet. Recently, I read an article about a case of sexual assault which was finally brought forward as the victim decided to step up and speak. It happened at the University of Virginia. I’ve read many such stories… heard about many such cases. I’m sure you have, too. Remember the victim who chose to carry a mattress around Columbia until her rapist was prosecuted? The victim who was pressured by the police to drop her case against sexual assault at Oxford? The victim who was asked to remain quiet about the crime at Yale? These are places where the most enlightened men and women are supposed to coexist.
But have you noticed something that’s common in all these cases? The friends of the victims try to convince them how they should not report it to the authorities because that will ruin their reputation. People will look down upon them. She will ruin her life. The life of the victim is shattered within a few minutes whereas the convict roams around and leads life normally. What boggles my mind is why on earth should the victim be blamed? Is it her fault? Quit blaming the clothes she wore. Or even the fact that she liked the guy. Sex without consent, against will, is in fact, rape. Speak up! And quit shaming the one who has been raped. It is time to come together.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2014.