This is a guest post by a guy who wants to put across a very strong point. Let NO mean NO, and not “try harder”. A must read for all girls-
First, let me tell you about myself.
I am your average guy. I come from a middle class family. I worked hard to clear my exams. I have a well paying job. I have travelled to Europe on many occasions. I love gadgets. I love cars. I love movies. I love girls.
I am decent looking. I am charming. I have had many girlfriends.
I am also a rapist.
Now that I have your attention, please read through the entire blog post before you judge me.
All this talk about rape being the fault of the victim has gotten me thinking. Who in their right mind can make a disgusting claim like that? Will we eventually start hearing people say that the victims of 26/11 were at fault for the massacre? Will earthquake victims of Bhuj be blamed for the earthquake?
Bottom line: I think whoever puts even an iota of the blame of a rape on the victim is plain stupid.
And this is a very sensitive “but” – and I completely understand the implications of what I am about to say, hence the double disclaimer – I also think there are things girls can do to avoid such incidents.
I know feminists will want to hunt me down and castrate me just for suggesting this, but please read the entire post before you judge me.
Personally, I believe that every individual has a duty towards self-preservation, so discussing these ideas is not counter-productive to getting the debate going forward on how men should change their mindset. The menace of sexual assault is so disturbing that we need to find solutions across multiple dimensions. Getting men to re-wire their brain is one such dimension. Getting women to be careful is another dimension. They are not mutually exclusive.
Enough has been written about what girls can do (or should not do) to avoid putting themselves in such dangerous situations. I am not going to repeat any of that here. What I do want to touch upon is something that I have never seen mentioned anywhere.
Maintaining the sanctity of the word NO.
This is where I must digress to my personal experience. I have dated a lot of women. I have slept with a lot of them too. I am not trying to brag, please understand that I am trying to make a point here. Having been that intimate with many women, I have what many of you would call data-points. That would not be my first choice of words, I don’t treat women as objects or numbers, but I am trying to make a point here. So please keep up.
Women that I have known for a long time, that I have even been intimate with, who have even confessed they love those moments of passion with me, tend to play a very dangerous game of “hard-to-get” with me. This is where they pretend they are not interested in sex, or make me work hard to “get” them. I say pretend because they readily accept later that they did want to get intimate with me just as much as I did, but the “game” is either an “adaa” of theirs, or a moral defense mechanism to avoid guilt later, or a way to show they are not really the “fast” kind. Either ways, if it has happened with me, I can assure you it has happened with many people out there.
I call this game dangerous because of the kind of precedent is sets. It essentially says that all that “NO” was a big farce. It tells a guy that NO does not really mean NO. That it just means you need to try harder. (You see where I am going with this?)
I look back at my experience with girls, and this shocking trend emerges. I see self made sex movies on the Internet of people and this trend becomes stronger. You may remember there was a sex scandal on the JNU campus that broke. Everyone talked about it. Many actually watched it. What no one pointed out in that video was that for the first 3 minutes or so, the girl (apparently already in a physical relationship with the guy) kept pushing the guy away. She vehemently keeps saying no. She ends up using all her physical strength to defend herself. So much so, that the guy had to eventually get violent just to “get” the girl. Shockingly, once the guy “gets” her, the girl is seeing enjoying the experience, even encouraging him to go further, almost as if the NO meant absolutely nothing. This is very similar to many home made sex videos you will find on the Internet. This sadly, must even be very true of what happens in many bedrooms across our country. In each of these situations, guys are being given the wrong message and the sanctity of NO being systematically destroyed.
Western civilizations take such NO very seriously. As a guest in a westerners home, if you say NO to another helping of their delicious pasta, you can be sure you won’t be asked again. Contrast that with India, where saying NO is probably the first response by default. Here, the host is expected to “fight through” your NO to come across as being genuinely hospitable. Combine that basic sense of “manners” with the dangerous “game” some women play and you have the beginnings of rape – specifically date rape.
This leads me to the point I am trying to make in this post. Of the many things we’re trying to do to reduce the incidents of rape, somewhere we need to start educating women to uphold the sanctity of NO. Let guys not be confused even in the slightest way about what the NO really means. It has always, and should always, mean JUST NO.
Let women make this promise to their partners, they will say NO only when they really mean it. Let guys be clear with their partners, even a subtle NO will make them step back so their partners should be very clear about what message they send out.
Sure the timeless “adaa” of playing hard to get suffers, but atleast we get to see some real results on the ground. A fairly large percentage of date rape cases (sorry I don’t have numbers, I am just sharing my experience here) are attributed to an assumption that the girl didn’t seriously mean to say NO, she just said it because that is what she usually says in such situations. If even a fraction of those rapes can be avoided, I say it’s okay to wipe our hands clean of that “adaa” in the larger interest.
Sure there will many cases of rape where the animal inside just takes over, and these kinds of precautions won’t be of any use. But the one in a billion case of date rape that can be avoided because of this mindset change merits that kind of attention.
I for one have decided to change my moral bearings now. If a woman says NO even playfully, I will stop.