MAKE WOMEN FEEL SAFE
ENTHUSIASTIC CONSENT IS MANDATORY
ABOLISH MALE GLORIFICATION AND RAPE NORMALIZATION
DON’T TOLERATE YOUR BRO’S JOKES AGAINST WOMEN
STOP VICTIM BLAMING
We need to crystallize the understanding that no matter what a woman chooses to wear, how much alcohol she consumes, or what her previous sexual history was, it is never the victim’s fault. Think about the word dressing “provocatively.” It literally translates to dressing in a way that provokes — provokes what? A loss of control over our bodies? When we tell women to drink less and dress less revealingly, we are essentially telling them “make sure the rapist rapes someone else.” Instead of addressing the rapist, we criticize the victim, and the cycle continues. Let’s remove this privileged mentality of ours, and start seeing it for what it is.
“She asked for it.” (No one asks to be raped. Would you?)
“She’s lying.” (Statistically speaking, she’s not. She has a lot more to lose than you do.)
As mentioned earlier, women from all communities suffer from rape culture. The recently unraveled instances in our community have shown the need for these open dialogues to continue. We, as men, are to be blamed for the fear women have against us. This includes all of us, I’m not exempt from being a part of rape culture just because I wrote this article. I, like you, have to put the work in every single day for the rest of my life to unlearn centuries of oppressive ways I’ve been taught. Let’s stop blaming the victim. Let’s stop trivializing sexual assault with nonsense statements like “boys will be boys.” Let’s stop associating “manhood” with sexual aggressiveness and “womanhood” with sexual submission.
Many Tamil men are products of a unique combination of generational PTSD induced by the Tamil genocide and growing up in a patriarchal society reinforced by toxic family environments, and mainstream Tamil entertainment. We must become self-aware of how we are moving as a collective, and really start questioning our mentalities towards women. It should not require analogizing sexual violence victims with our mothers or sisters for us to empathize and do something constructive. Misogyny has been historically tied to masculinity — therefore, us men need to deliberately transform our masculinity so that it doesn’t rely on the subjugation of women. The generalized attitude of male supremacy is universal. We, as men, need to combat rape culture by teaching boys how to treat girls right. Instead of forcing modesty in how girls dress, let’s teach our boys to see girls as human beings and not as sexual objects. In our community, I have hope for a new generation of Tamil kings who will take pride in respecting, empowering and cherishing Tamil queens. It starts now with us.