Why Does Society Find It Easier To Blame Women Than Men?

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In 2013, a 22-year-old photojournalist was gangraped by five men. The group of men, which included a juvenile, took turns to rape the woman in an abandoned compound of Shakti Mill in Mumbai. The Bombay High Court had issued a death sentence for the accused but later repealed it.

In 2020, a middle-aged woman in the Badaun district of UP was gangraped and murdered while she was going to a temple. How did the politicians respond to it? A member from the National Commission for Women victim-blamed the girl for daring to out alone in the evening.

In response to Indian anti-rape laws, a politician said “boys will be boys. They commit mistakes. Will you hang them for it?” Moreover, he also said that it is women who start the friendship with men and then when there is a dispute, it is named rape.

In 2020, a Dalit woman in Hathras was brutally gangraped and murdered. The police burnt her body without even letting the girl’s family members involve in the last rites. In response to this, a politician blamed a woman’s sanskaar (good values) for the rising crime against them. He said that families should impart women with sanskaar to avoid crime against them.

Women wearing jeans, using mobile phones and befriending men are a few more reasons that are cited to blame women for their assault. This list for why women are raped and the accused walk free, is a long long one.

I can still state many other cases of crime against women in which the mechanism to deal was to victim-blame women rather than question the perpetrator. The question is that why does society find it easy to blame women rather than men? Why are women seen as soft targets in almost every issue in society? Why aren’t fingers raised to question and improve the men?

It is not just about crime against women but in general, also women are easily on the target of blames than men.

If a child doesn’t perform well in studies, the mother is blamed for not caring about her child, not the father. If a son isn’t performing well in life, the blame is on wife for bringing bad fortune into his life. If a daughter doesn’t want to cook or doesn’t know to cook, the blame is on her upbringing.

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But what is the reason behind this bias? According to me, the first reason is that women are rarely made the dominant or equal members of the house. They remain the subservient members who can easily be oppressed and blamed. The same gender bias makes men the dominant figures, the masters who can never be questioned for what they do. And this is the second reason why men are rarely blamed for their deeds. And the third reason is that society always expects women to change, adjust and bear rather than asking men to improve themselves.

Men are ‘pedestalled’ as unchangeable gods who have the power to boss around and decide the fate of men and women under them. The South reason is retaliation. Women, being subservient beings, are never expected to retaliate, raise voices and question. These are mainly made attributes and the propensity of the society is to not enrage men who can be violent and destructive.

But clearly all these reasons are based on wrong assumptions. So why do we continue to abide by them? It is 2021, why do we still believe that women are subservient to or less than men? And why do we base our coping mechanisms, philosophies and realities on these assumptions? If we continue to hide the mistakes of boys, will we ever grow or evolve into a better society? If we continue to blame women for everything, will we ever have confident women leading the country?

It is high time we stop basing our realities on gender bias. We are not living in older times when women won’t grow or retaliate.

Like me, many women question the gender bias around them and refuse to be silenced. It is time society understands the power that womanhood embodies and respects it. Blaming a woman and saving men will only give a dent in the coming future, not justice. If we don’t start blaming and changing the person behind the injustices today, the dent incurred will grow as a mould and plague the future too.

Views expressed are author’s own