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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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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 1:37 PM

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, 2014 9:06 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.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 28, 8:37 PM

It is hearting to see the police force in the modernized area taking such a strong stance. As the article showed it is greatly needed because the reason rape largely happens is because the traditional aspects of Indian culture continue on strongly in the village areas. These men were told for the longest time that women cannot amount to anything and for them to act free is wrong. This type of thinking is heavily engrained into the members of the society so they won’t just stop acting this way on their own accord. Arresting and convicting these men will send a message that their actions are not tolerated and aren’t right despite what they were taught.

 

 It also amazes me that this stance exists because the modernized area were also told these stories at one point too. The only explanation I have for the differences is that the more modernized areas are more welcoming of the freedoms seen in the West. To be clear though, the freedoms are more of a western trait. Thus globalization in this instance might have actually helped the positive result of the police force come about because of the positive influence seen in the Western countries economy and life style when they let women have more freedom.

 

Unfortunately, globalization can’t completely solve rape just yet. The article ends by asserting that to report rape “is a very difficult thing in the Indian context.” Yet, reporting rape anywhere is hard to do. In fact, the mention of 1 in 10 under reported rapes is a statistic similar to that of the United States. Similarly, many victims will refuse to cooperate or even contemplate taking their own life to avoid testimony (in fact many do). In either situation, most rape victims feel they lost their “honor.”  I am not sure when reporting rape or how reporting rape will ever become any easier. However whichever country can figure it out will need to show the rest of the world how. As I do look forward to the day that globalization could decrease rape on a large scale. 

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