Swati Maliwal, Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women, has issued a notice to the Delhi Police to file an FIR against a middle-aged woman who made derogatory comments on a girl for the length of her dress. She went on to ask the male diners at the restaurant to rape the girl because she was wearing revealing clothes. The DCW Chief has asked police to register an FIR against the lady under two charges. Firstly, for insulting the modesty of a girl and secondly, for instigating men to rape her which is a criminal act. She has also asked the police to provide a detailed report of the action taken by May 6.

This is not something new. There have been instances where politicians blame a girl straightaway for whatever distasteful action has been meted out to her. Abu Azmi, member of 12th parliament of 12th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, said in 2014, “The more nudity, the more fashionable a girl is considered. Ants will swarm the place where sugar is.” While Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsanghchalak of the Hindutva nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, in 2013, said, “Rapes are rare in ‘Bharat’ (rural India) but occur frequently in ‘India’. You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban belts. The Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values.”

Girls know this is not something new. After all, girls are the ones who have to think before deciding to wear anything. Girls are supposed to pay attention whether their clothes will incite people to misbehave with them or even rape them. In the notice, DCW Chief called the woman’s comments derogatory. She further wrote about how according to the lady, girls wearing western clothes should be raped and they are the ones who incite men to rape them.

What’s shocking is that even today; the said incident happened just a few days back, we are stuck with the regressive view that what a girl wears can incite men to rape her. This comment was nothing but a representation of our society’s mind-set. Our society thinks that girls are the ones responsible for their own sexual assault. Who can forget when one of the main accused in the Nirbhaya gang rape gave an interview blaming the victim for the fatal sexual assault? Mukesh Singh, driver of the bus in which the rape took place said, “A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy is. Boys and girls are not equal. Housework and housekeeping is for is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night or wearing wrong clothes. About 20% of girls are good.” Shocking to say the least!

After the 2012 Nirbhaya Rape case, we were promised safety in public spaces at least. But for sure the society’s mentality has not changed. The woman and her disgusting remarks validate this.

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Anushika Srivastava is an Intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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