In a country like India, women are subjected to multiple questions, allegations and orthodox ideas everyday. Women are expected in the Indian patriarchal society to behave and act the way they allow.
However, over the years, there have been several attempts by both the genders to shatter such misogynistic beliefs, giving way to modern society. In these attempts, courts and the government have also been hands in gloves with the activists.
While such reformative attempts continue, one court has compelled us to rethink the present situation.
What Has Happened?
Recently, while hearing a petition regarding the grant of bail to a 27-year-old man who has allegedly raped his employer, the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka’s made orthodox and misogynistic comments.
While we do not wish to contempt the court or question the reasoning and the intellect of the honourable judges, the comments made by the court need to be revisited. This is not for the questioning or criticizing but because the observations mirror the reality of the present society.
During the hearing, the court made two important observations. Based on these and other considerations, the court granted the bail to the accused.
Before going ahead, we need to make it clear that the court’s decision to grant bail is completely unquestionable because the facts and matters involved in the case are of such nature. However, we need to bother ourselves with the comments.
The court first said that the fact that the woman fell asleep after the forced sexual act because she was tired is ‘unbecoming of an Indian woman’ and this is not how ‘our’ women react when ravished.
Here, though the court may have commented to question the strength and the true intentions behind the complaint, it has put forward a wrong view.
We cannot ignore that sexual intercourse is a physically draining act and when done forcefully, the fight is also involved, making it more tiresome.
The time of the act was 11 p.m. and the woman may have involuntary slept because no one can exercise control over excessive fatigue and sleepiness.
When questioning her character indirectly, we need to consider that she may have succumbed against the strong calling of nature. But the matter doesn’t end here.
These comments undermine the spirit of hundreds of suffering women who may feel shy to come out henceforth, thanks to the judgmental comments of the society and even the judicial authority.
The second comment by the court was about the consumption of alcohol. The court has pointed out that the aggrieved had no aversions to drinking with the accused.
This statement points towards the Indian mentality which grants freedom to consume alcohol to men but questions women for the same habits.
I again do not pose questions on the court’s intellect, since the facts and circumstances involved were different. However, the comments on a woman’s drinking habits in open court are patriarchal.
People must have quickly guessed that since the woman had no problem with drinking, she must have had no problem in sleeping with her employee as well.
But unfortunately, that may not have been the case and it is not the case with various women.
Women are harassed every day, sexually, physically and mentally. Irrespective of any reason attached, what the courts say matter to the people and help in shaping the society to an extent.
These comments show where we stand and what we need to change. We need to progress quickly before further damage is caused.
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This post is tagged under: bail application, rape by employee, rape, Karnataka High Court, misogynistic judgements, reasoning, comments, fell asleep during rape, had alcohol with accused, patriarchal mindset, regressive judgements, courts, judges, sexual abuse, sleep after the act, slept