In an IPL match when Chris Gayle hit a smashing 175 runs off 66 balls, a joke became quite popular on facebook which is, “When a man rapes another man, he is called Gay, when he rapes 11 men, he is called Gayle.” This joke was liked and shared by a lot of people. The popularity of such type of jokes reveals a harsh truth about our mindset. The anti-woman thinking is deeply rooted in our minds. We take this as normal and fail to find anything wrong in it. Chris Gayle played a heroic innings and comparing his innings to raping of 11 men projects the rapist as a hero. Is a rapist hero? This is my question to the creator of the joke and to all those who liked and shared this joke or rather jibe.
Who is a rapist? Generally the rapist comes from such a socio-economic background where patriarchy and violence against women are the norm. They might have seen their fathers abusing their mothers either verbally or physically. Sexual offenders suffer from a psycho-social disorder of the mind. They are unable to control their sexual impulses and are not even deterred by the prospect of punishment. They are emotionally illiterate. They consider the woman as a toy to be played with and then thrown away.
The way of our upbringing frames our mindset. Today’s adolescents learn about sex mainly through pornography and other media where sex is shown as an act of aggression. They are not taught about the beautiful aspects of sex. Thus they grow up into men who don’t have empathy or respect for women or for the aspect of consent. Sex is beautiful only with the consent of both.
We have marital rapes too. Even a husband rapes his wife. It is a general belief that a husband has all rights to have sex with her wife since they are married. Yes of course they can have sex. But they can have sex not he can have sex. Even after marriage there should be consent of both husband and wife in having sex. Sex without consent is rape and it occurs between married couples too.
Talking of the gang rape, here the mob psychology takes over. Mobs don’t have brain. They don’t think. They just act. There is a sense of security in the members of the group, because they feel that the responsibility is diffused. Also they get each other’s sanction for the act which removes the sense of guilt from them.
Strict enforcement of laws and effective policing are undoubtedly required for checking the incidents of rape. But working at the grass root level, there is a need to educate the adolescents about sex. Sex should be presented to them as a necessary and beautiful aspect of human life rather than as an act of aggression.