The reasoning extended goes like this: You had violence visited upon you (groped/pinched/felt-up/beaten/raped/murdered) because you did this (wore short clothes, wore no clothes, wore revealing clothes, loved a man of the wrong caste, stepped out of home, stepped into the street at the wrong time of day, went to work, went partying, got drunk, got on a bus, were speaking to a man of a different religion, did not pay enough dowry, talked back, and so on).
The mass molestation of women in Bengaluru during the midnight celebrations at New Year brings to mind the similar outrageous incident that took place in Cologne last year.
The kneejerk reaction of the Indian political establishment was to blame “western culture” – Karnataka’s Home Minister G Parameshwara blamed young women for their western attire, while Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi blamed the late-night revelries as a western import.
Rewind to a year ago, and in another part of the world, immigrants were blamed for the sexual violence, asylum seekers were rounded up as suspects, and the right-wing seized the opportunity to talk about “rapefugees”
Violence against women is universal, so, we end up with multiple iterations of the same tragedy, with eerily similar responses: In India, the ruling class blames western culture. In the West, the ruling class blames immigrants. This blame game achieves its intended aim: It outsources trouble, diverts attention from the misogyny on the domestic front and normalises violence against women. Continue reading “Bengaluru attacks: Patriarchy excuses toxic masculinity by night and day”