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Rapes Cases Show Clash Between Old and New India

Rapes Cases Show Clash Between Old and New India | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A boom and social change are pitting young working women in the city against men from conservative villages.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The recent resurgence of this issue had me looking through the archives and stumbled upon this 2011 article.  As urban expansion is booming in many Indian cities, the modern city expands into the countryside.  The cultural values of these two demographic groups are quite distinct.  Young, educated women are part of the modern cities' workforce but in many conservative, traditional Indian villages, women working outside the home are seen as "lacking in virtue."  In many of the recent gang rape cases, the perpetrators are less educated young men from surrounding villages and the victims are well-educated young working women that are a part of the new city.    


Public spaces, especially at night, are seen as masculine spaces in most traditional societies.  One of the mothers of an accused rapist succinctly explained this mindset thusly: "If these girls roam around openly like this, then the boys will make mistakes."  This is seen as 'Eve teasing,' where women are perceived as responsible for the violence committed against them to maintain social order.  As another article hints, the outrage that this incident ignited could lead towards long-term change in Indian society.   


This other NY Times article op-ed states, "India must work on changing a culture in which women are routinely devalued. Many are betrothed against their will as child brides, and many suffer cruelly, including acid attacks and burning, at the hands of husbands and family members.  India, a rising economic power and the world’s largest democracy, can never reach its full potential if half its population lives in fear of unspeakable violence."


Tags: India, migration, South Asia, culture, urban, folk culture, megacities.

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 6:50 AM

The rapid modernization of India along with the rural attitudes and male centric society makes it difficult for women who are raped to get justice.  Mostly because to come forward as a rape victim will take their honor away.  If they have to admit it happened then their lives will be ruined.  Even when their family stands behind them, the women are in fear and one almost killed herself because she felt pressured to testify.  The men who rape these women are from the small villages around the area and feel free to do as they please because they do not fear that their victims will report the abuse.  Things will not change until attitudes towards women and rape change in this area. 

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 10:37 AM

This issue is very distrubing. First of all it talks about the poor inocent women and girls who leave their house so they are automatically a victim and should be forwarned that they will be hurt if leaving thie house like as if they should be resticted to their home life and never leave. This would be demonstrated as the old India but they are living or rying to live in the New India where the Women in this soicety should nto be subjected to these kinds of crimes. For example something that really took me was "The accused are almost always young high school dropouts from surrounding villages, where women who work outside the home are often seen as lacking in virtue and therefore deserving of harassment and even rape." And then this quote by one of the accused mothers; "“If these girls roam around openly like this, then the boys will make mistakes,” the mother of two of those accused in the rape said in an interview, refusing to give her name."" Like come on get your stuff together, you should have raised your children better than this.  I have to wonder what this society thinks and whether or not people are questioning what kind of society they are living in and if this society is pressured by the values of the sexes.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 6:06 PM

Getting away with rape in any country is absolutely disgusting. Especially in India where women have been brutalized with no punishment to the predator, these women have a right to stand up for themselves. Being stalked and raped is something that the police need to get a grip on happening to their citizens.

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