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Men against Sexual Violence, Men for Gender Justice

December 28, 2012

Statement by Men for Gender Justice, Bangalore

Public Protest on December 30th


Men against Sexual Violence, Men for Gender Justice

As men, we are ashamed over the continuing domination of men over women!!

Women and men are Equal. Men should understand and accept this!!

Men should become responsible, humane and non-violent!!

As protesters are pouring into the streets all across the country and demanding justice for the recent brutal gang-rape of a 23 year old woman in Delhi, we as men who stand for justice and equality are ashamed, as a large section of men in our country are committing abuses against women – rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence, economic and legal discrimination.

Although we get strength by seeing that there are countless men who share this anger, we assert that this incident is not an isolated one; sexual assault and sexual harassment of women occurs with frightening regularity in this country. Sexual violence is a gender-based crime, in which men use power against women.

Adivasi and dalit women, women working in the unorganised sector, women with disabilities and transgenders are especially targeted with impunity – it is well known that the complaints of sexual violence filed by women are simply disregarded. We urge that the wheels of justice turn not only to incidents such as the Delhi bus case, but also to the epidemic of sexual violence that threatens all of us. We need to evolve strategies that can act as true deterrents to the very large number of men who commit these crimes.

Our 10-point demand:

1. Greater dignity, equality, autonomy and rights for women and girls. For this, the society should stop policing their actions at every step.

2. Immediate relief in terms of legal, medical, financial and psychological assistance and long-term rehabilitation be provided to survivors of sexual assault.

3. A 24×7 helpline should be set up for helping survivors of sexual assault/ sexual harassment. The helpline should also cater to phone calls by women who are alone and feel threatened to travel in the night, thus providing them assistance in terms of safe transport. This should be run by the government in partnership with women’s rights organisations.

4. Provision of improved infrastructure to make cities safer for women, including well-lit pavements, bus stops and emergency services.

5. Effective registration, monitoring and regulation of transport services (whether public, private or contractual) to make them safe, accessible and available to all.

6. Compulsory courses on gender sensitisation should be embedded within the training curriculum at all levels starting from High school to Industries and professional workplaces, including police, judiciary and other Govt. institutions.

7. That the police do its duty to ensure that public spaces are free from harassment, molestation and assault. This means that they themselves have to stop sexually assaulting women who come to make complaints. They have to register all FIRs and attend to complaints. CCTV cameras should be set up in all police stations and swift action must be taken against errant police personnel.

8. Immediate setting up of fast track courts for rape and other forms of sexual violence all across the country. State governments should operationalize their creation on a priority basis. Sentencing should be done within a period of six months. 

9. The National Commission for Women has time and again proved itself to be an institution that works against the interests of women. Its role should be reviewed and audited as soon as possible.

10. The State should acknowledge the reality of custodial violence against women in many parts of the country, especially in Kashmir, North-East and Chhattisgarh. There are several pending cases and immediate action should be taken by the government to punish the guilty and to ensure that these incidents of violence are not allowed to be repeated.

We urge all men to treat women (wife, mother, daughter, sister, co-worker and others) as equals and end discrimination against women. We urge men to make all spaces (family, work and public) safe for women.

JOIN the PUBLIC PROTEST: 5 to 7 PM, 30th DECEMBER (Sunday), Town Hall, Bangalore

Organisers: Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum (KSMF), Praja Rajakiya Vedike (PRV), Sangama, Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) and other supporting organisations and individuals

Phone: 96322 23460/ 94839 50202/ 95918 02687, Email: menforgenderjustice@gmail.com

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Hargopal Singh permalink
    December 28, 2012 12:04 PM

    Let us at the same time stop looking crimes against women in isolation.Wee should view the crimes in general.Are not we becoming a society of criminals,big or small?Look at the newspapers even though only a few are reported.Each type of crime is being committed against the weak and vulnerable.How many are punished.Look at the conviction rate.Who is responsible?Judiciary.

    • January 5, 2013 3:28 AM

      Simply viewing all occurrences which can be seen as ‘criminal’ as having the same dynamics and motivations does not help us at all.

      This article is very useful in pointing out that ‘Sexual violence is a gender-based crime, in which men use power against women’. We further need to understand that it, and other expressions of sexism, works in order to perpetuate male privilege. Maintaining material privilege is a powerful motivating factor and we cannot challenge female oppression without understanding all its constituent dynamics.

      And while the judiciary is certainly part of the misogynist, capitalist state and a major part of the problem, it does not in itself *cause* female oppression – rather, it enables and excuses it.

      So we also need to look at how global capitalism, despite its different expressions around the world, relies everywhere on the male dominance/ female oppression dynamics it inherited from earlier class societies. It is this system which creates the type of state which props up the interests of the privileged, so it is fundamentally this system which we need to overthrow.

  2. petervas permalink
    December 28, 2012 12:18 PM

    one of the suggestions i had made in a previous article in response to the rape crisis in india was to form a rapid response force.

    this force would would respond immediately to the incident and reach out to the survivor.

    leaving this to the police simply will not work. the recent incidents go to prove the complete lack of police infrastructure and the trust any survivor may place on them.

    such a rapid response force already exists in bangalore for sexual minority groups and responds within an hour of police entrapment or abuse. Sangama and the KSMF are proponents of this and have benefitted from it.

    the rapid response force is comprised of doctors, lawyers, social workers and NGO staff. it has brought down the number of police brutalities and victimizations considerably.

    i think this model should be replicated for rape assaults as well.

  3. Kaveri R I permalink
    December 28, 2012 12:43 PM

    Some of the particular men organizing this protest have sexually harassed women in the movement. One of their demands should be that men should examine, acknowledge, and take steps to address their own role in perpetuating sexual harassment. Many feminists have only privately but not publicly acknowledged this issue, and that silence makes women survivors in this movement against rape feel like even within the movement they can not safely participate.

    • Nivedita Menon permalink*
      December 28, 2012 12:56 PM

      Thank you Kaveri RI. I hope the organizers will take your response very seriously.

  4. December 28, 2012 12:47 PM

    I think we also need to look into the steeply declining sex ratio which has been falling now for three decades. The effect is being felt now as partners for men coming of age are nor available and this trend will continue for the next two decades as we are now at the lowest point. Brides being imported and shared by several brothers is now becoming common in Haryana and Punjab. This is also sexual exploitation. We need to re-look at out abortion law which allows termination of even the first healthy pregnancy of married woman on grounds of contraceptive failure. It is this clause which has been misused by medical practitioners in connivance with families seeking male children which has led to the problem.

  5. December 28, 2012 1:12 PM

    Technology should be implemented immediately to make GPS tracking compulsory on all public transport, BpO cabs and other similar modes of transport so that there movement is tracked.

  6. December 28, 2012 7:46 PM

    UNKIND DELHI

    Slow, Slow, O Winter Wind
    Slow, Slow, O Winter Kind
    Your blow is not so wicked
    As man’s ferociousness;
    Your bite is not so intense,
    Because your chill freezes sense,
    And your gust has wilderness.

    High and high engulfing dot
    Entire plain and valley;
    No alliance with caring lot
    Indulging more and more folly:
    The more high, the more unholy!
    There life is loose morally.

    Freeze, Freeze your harsh cry,
    But does not pain so deep and high
    As man’s unkindest piercing rod,
    Painful enough to smash all,
    But your sting is not so sharp and tall,
    As not to fear and bear in mind.

    The sad Jamuna is in tears,
    For the fate of poor lass bears,
    Poor wretch-no friend here,
    But all are there to puncture,
    For that unique charm of feature,
    If be open, all dive to thee to rupture.

    Save, save, me, your daughter cry,
    Creator of this universe fine,
    Crown or power, all my line;
    Love me; pity me, O Heaven’s own white,
    Angels, stainless bride of a king bright,
    O help me, yield me, protect my innocence,
    Among the brutes’ vengeance.

    N.B. This poem was penned down to express pain and anguish over the terribly deteriorating law and order situation in India, especially in NCR and Delhi and crime against women. The situation is so horrible that it seems that rape, molestation and eve teasing are become national game in India.

    By.Dr.Yogesh Sharma
    For mor poem by Dr.Yogesh Sharma log on to http://www.poemhunter.com/dr-yogesh-sharma

  7. Lang permalink
    December 30, 2012 8:12 AM

    How about protesting by making history, men and women. How about ensuring that no rapes happen in Delhi for the next month. The entire month. Not one rape. Not a single damn one.

    Whether that means going out in packs at night as patrolling citizen-police, or putting up flyers in every language, whether that means ensuring an eve-teasing douche gets punched in the noggin no matter what his social or economic status, or not putting up with public or private sexual harassment.

    However you may want to go about it is fine. But the goal remains the same: not one rape in the capital city for the entire month. For once lets not leave it to the same law enforcement agencies we love to crucify while sitting on our sofas. Go out, conceptualize, organize and change.

    Don’t just martyr her. Honor her memory and turn the apathy and neglect around NOW

  8. Gee Ameena Suleiman permalink
    January 2, 2013 2:47 PM

    I am shocked that Nivedita would post about this protest and wonder if she knows about the political party Praja Rajakiya Vedike [which has alliances with the BJP parties in power in Karnataka]. The protest in a typically masculinist, protectionist way asks for men to stop rapes because of course, men can stop/start anything they want at any time, since all of them wear their chaddis over their pants and are supermen who fly high on the power of their own egos. Even the rage of women, they will hijack and make their own. And no! This is not an essentialist view of men, and yes, I will generalise.

    • Nivedita Menon permalink*
      January 3, 2013 11:41 AM

      Gee Ameena Suleiman, I posted this statement at its face value, because certainly this statement is not “typically masculinist, protectionist”. After all, how is one to know the histories of particular people in movements, that Indira wrote about and I posted above.
      As for Praja Rajakiya Vedike, it has put its name to an unexceptional statement, whatever its own politics may be. Allying with the BJP has to be understood in the context of each party separately – so does the BSP in UP, for reasons that are perfectly rational for a Dalit party faced with “secular” but OBC parties.
      Thank you for pointing out these wider links though, one always lives and learns!

  9. Gee Ameena Suleiman permalink
    January 4, 2013 10:59 AM

    At face value, one can safely say that political parties involved in parliamentary electoral politics need to be treated suspiciously, because they might have agendas and alliances that we know nothing about. I know how PRV was formed, who is in it, what the politics are , since I have seen it function at very close quarters in Bangalore. We know how they have used other minority issues like sex work, sexuality and gender minority and North Eastern politics for their politicking without democratic consultations and caused huge adverse impacts for the “communities”[ if they we can be called that]. It replicates the same hierarchical structures and limited identity politics that the NGO that Manohar Elavrathi founded before he formed this party. I am just flagging off a warning that Kaveri Indira tried to raise with more points about the specific, not to mention highly problematic ways in which PRV and the key members involved in it function on
    .

  10. emery permalink
    January 8, 2013 5:20 AM

    since i live 10,000 miles away from Bangalore i demonstrated on a shopping street in my home town on that day and managed to raise a lot of awareness. i got a fairly good response from most people. i only had one problem when some jackass tried to start a fight with me. fortunately he backed down and I went right back to work.

  11. Nancy L. Dudwick permalink
    January 15, 2013 12:37 AM

    I am glad to see that there are groups of min who condemnt this horrendous treatment of women. Women all over the world are frequently subjected to sexual harrassment; not all of it as extreme as in India, but it still exists.

  12. February 11, 2013 12:14 PM

    i read a segment by nivedita menon in an anthology that seemed to suggest that women make too big a deal out of rape because they’re too “prude” and obsessed with purity and honor. i hope i mis-read that.

    • Nivedita Menon permalink*
      February 11, 2013 2:56 PM

      sg – I hope so too!

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  1. The Hijras of India « urban bourbon
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