Why Salman Khan’s Rape Remark Doesn’t Shock Us
Salman Khan’s rape remark isn’t an isolated case, and why we must be angry at other things too.
The “joke” about rape is that it is still used as a metaphor for pain, for “not being able to walk straight”.
The “joke” about rape is that in a country where 90 women are raped everyday, rapes are still trivialized by politicians, public figures and the cops alike.
The “joke” about rape is that marital rape isn’t considered rape at all, here.
The “joke” about rape is that a UP Minister calls a woman’s rape complaint an exercise in publicity.
The “joke” about crimes of a sexual nature is that RK Pachauri, a man who has been found guilty of sexual harassment by TERI’s internal investigation, was promoted to Executive Vice Chairman.
The“joke” about rape is that a family entertainer (3 Idiots) has an elaborate sequence, where the lead actor replaces chamatkaar with balaatkaar in a speech, evoking uproarious laughter from the audience.
The“joke” about rape is that even today, women are blamed for their rape. They shouldn’t have gone out late into the night they say, they shouldn’t have worn short clothes they say.
The “joke” about rape is that many of the journalists who were present during Salman Khan’s now infamous press conference were clearly heard laughing when he first made that remark.
The “joke” about rape is that Salman Khan isn’t the only one to have made such a remark; it is made in more intimate surroundings, it is made by sexist men in offices and parties, it is sometimes made by our friends (guilty as charged, to have not raised hell when someone I knew made that remark in front of me).
The “joke” about rape is not that someone (in this case, Salman Khan, or in another case, Azam Khan) trivialises it; it is that we, collectively, have allowed it to be trivialised.
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