Horrifying Facebook warnings

I opened my facebook page today to see this horrifying warning from a well-wisher.

“A guy sends you a friend request. You don’t know him, but he’s got a cute profile picture, so you accept.

It’s baby girl’s first day at school! She looks so cute in her new outfit you just have to take a picture and put it on Facebook so all your friends and family can see. You’re so excited dropping her off that you “check in” to her school on Facebook saying “I can’t believe how big she’s gotten. Time sure flies. One proud momma/daddy right here!”…

Meanwhile, the mystery guy whose friend request you hurriedly accepted earlier this morning is saving that picture you posted of your daughter in her cute new outfit to his phone and texting it to 60 other grown men across the world with the caption “Caucasian female. Age 5. Brown hair, green eyes. $2,500.” Not only did you provide a picture of your little girl to a child trafficker, you’ve handed him the name and exact location of her school on a silver cyber platter. You go to pick her up at 3:00 this afternoon, but she’s nowhere to be found. Little do you know, your precious baby girl was sold to a 43-year-old pedophile before you even stepped foot off campus this morning, and now she’s on her way to South Africa with a bag over her head, confused, terrified and crying because a man she’s never seen before picked her up from school, and now she doesn’t know where her parents are, where she’s going, or what’s gonna happen to her.

STOP ADDING STRANGERS ON FACEBOOK

Share it with as many you know & avoid keeping your children in profile pics on‪#‎Facebook‬, ‪#‎Whatsapp‬ etc.”

I am not saying that the statement in capitals in the end is wrong. “Stop adding strangers on facebook”. But to justify this statement, why would you attach it to such a far-fetched, improbable and horrifying story!

I don’t think child traffickers would operate randomly picking up children of unsuspecting people they add on facebook! That would hardly be the case! And in most cases, the information they get is from people close to the family like domestic helps or drivers or street vendors near the residence or cruel relatives! Someone known to the family. Not to mention the stupid assumption that women add men who have cute profile pictures.

Do you think that people involved in this terrible business would pick up random children from their facebook walls!? Or are we giving them ideas?

Does this warning make sense? I tried looking up some incident on the basis of which, this message was made, which might give it some amount of credibility! But I couldn’t find anything to that effect.

I was very disturbed on reading the post because it is horrifying, to say the least. That your child could be a victim of trafficking because you post his / her picture on facebook?

Don’t get me wrong. I do agree with the message that you need to be careful of who you interact with on social media and what amount of personal information you share with your internet-friends, but I have a problem with the way this message is conveyed!

Or may be I am just a panicky woman!

What do you think?

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Consent & crime in alleged rape cases

This is yet another follow on post on the recent Delhi High Court Judgment which was earlier misrepresented by news websites claiming that the judgment said “If the victim is menopausal, it is not rape” and later clarified by Firstpost saying that the judgment differentiated between forceful penetration (consensual) and forcible penetration (non-consensual).

Here is an article by Ms. Vrinda Grover, who is a Supreme Court lawyer, which is very relevant and which succinctly refutes the basis on which this judgment was made. The link of the judgment is here. And the link to the article by Vrinda Grover is here (as published by Indian Express).

The arguments that she makes against the said judgment, which appealed best to me are here:

1. The judgment assumes that since there were no other marks of violence on her body, apart from the ones in and around her genitalia, it is not forcible, but forceful penetration. Also being supported by the fact that the victim had traces of alcohol in her body which means that she consented to sex?

2. A passing reference to menopause without linking it either to the act of penetration / to the death seems out of place.

3. The post-mortem mentions that the reason for death may have been forceful penetration that led the food to enter her lungs and cause death by suffocation. In this context, what is consent? Can it be withdrawn, once given? Can consent be taken for granted in such extreme cases of death by suffocation due to forceful penetration?

Can consent be assumed because of presence of alcohol?

Is it practical / feasible or even remotely possible that the woman consented to this uncomfortable sex, where she was being suffocated? This, in fact, was pointed out by Saya of Saya..D..Poet in one of my earlier posts very aptly: If the act was not forced on her, she would not be so stupid to have intercourse just after having food. Also if she faced any problem, she would have stopped having sex altogether, or would have got up and went to basin ….done something rather than just lying down. So it seems either it was forced on her either when she was awake or passed out.

She died! And we call it consensual because there is no violence on other parts of her body?

Please read the article. It is definitely worth a read, to know the legal scenario surrounding consent in rape cases!

Sensational journalism and being ashamed of jumping with a gun!

Well, this post is a follow-on post of my outburst in If you’re menopausal, its not rape! yesterday morning!

In that post I had talked about how the Delhi High Court passed a judgment which said menopausal women cannot be raped! And it was based on various news reports, especially the one from Dainik Bhaskar here which strangely is not showing anything right now! The other links are here and here.

Extremely thankful to Shail of Shail’s Nest who brought this link to my notice, which was published by Firstpost in the evening yesterday. By that time, I had already jumped with a gun in the morning!

The original judgment is here. And though all the news reports that I had read in the morning yesterday quoted exactly from the judgment, the meaning thereof sounded completely different than it does when we read the whole judgment.

So here’s an update:

#1 Traces of alcohol were found in the body of the victim and the accused was also inebriated. This is just a fact mentioned. Not used for victim blaming!

#2 What the judgment says is that since the woman is beyond the age of 60, the intercourse may appear to be forceful. But it may (or may not) be forcible. There are no other injury marks on her body elsewhere.

#3 The cause of death is said to be due to the forceful intercourse (which may / may not be forcible).

It appears that the accused was acquitted for want of evidence rather than victim blaming.

Though I have certain reservations with this judgment too, I can no more jump at the judgment and be murderous for it anymore!

Have learnt an important lesson today: News may be sensationalised. We also need to look for alternate sources like the judgment in this case.

I am sorry for having caused a flutter of agitation on this space! Peace!

RIG!

If you’re menopausal, its not rape!!

Women! Please please please, for God sake, learn today as we teach you what rape is:

#1 It is a violation of woman’s ‘purity’

#2 It is forceful intercourse provided that it is done by a person other than your pati parmeshwar and it is within your ‘child bearing age’

Ok? Do you all get this basic concept now? Please don’t confuse it with stupid things like “theft of choice” and “violation of your person” and puhleaseeeeee don’t start with those feminist thingies!

Our very honourable High Court of Delhi has passed a insightful judgment.

Facts of the case:

A woman, 60 years of age, was found murdered. Beside her was found a man in inebriated state. The post-mortem of woman’s body indicated forceful intercourse and alcohol.

Learned judgment:

#1 It is proved beyond reasonable doubt from the postmortem report that the woman too had consumed alcohol before she was subjected to sexual intercourse.

#2 Achey Lal, even if held guilty for causing the offence of rape, cannot be held guilty of murderas he neither had any intention nor knowledge that such a forceful act of sexual intercourse would cause the death of the woman.

#3 As regards the offence punishable under Section 376 (rape) of the IPC, the woman was aged over 60 years, thus beyond the age of menopause. We find force in the contention of the counsel for the appellant (Achey) that even if the sexual intercourse was forceful, it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of the deceased.”

What you need to learn:

#1 If the woman has alcohol, she loses her right to cry foul.

#2 Since the poor man did not know that forceful sexual intercourse would kill her, he can not be called a murderer.

#3 Since the woman was menopausal, it is not forceful even if it was.

Links to this learned judgment are here, here and here.

Do I even write beyond this point? I don’t know!!! Am I shocked? Am I utterly baffled? Am I feeling murderous? Am I losing my sanity? What the fuck was this! Not considered forcible even if it was forceful because the woman had attained her menopause!!!!

What do these blind idiots think rape is?? What a woman is to them? A child bearing machine? A commodity? If she has lost her ability to bear children, it is not rape!!! Just like theft of a non-productive machinery from some factory is not theft because it was useless to the company? I feel sick to the gut! Where the hell is our country moving?? I can not even think properly!

Emma you are next!

But Emma, you are WRONG! Not all men need to support (y)our cause! Because not all men are affected by gender stereotypes and the attached stigma on doing outside those stereotypes!

Because, well, some of them enjoy these stereotypes! They thrive on them.. Men are supposed to control what women do and say and think and ask for. And they will do just that..

You encroached on their right to control and hence, they will encroach on your privacy by leaking pictures you don’t want others to see!

Why do we see different variants of the same thing doing rounds again and again? The stupidest response by the so called leading news daily of India because Deepika snapped back at a degrading news headline, hackers threatening Emma to release pictures she doesn’t want seen because  she tried to explain that women are people too!

People, we have a long road ahead and certainly it is a road less traveled, but if this is the kind of response women get for talking about their rights, I am not sure we are going to be able to make any change easily.. Sigh! As much excited I was after listening to her, it washed down several times due to this piece of shitty threat..

Does the world hate women?

I don’t know whether I would use a term and emotion as strong as “hate” here but this certainly does not negate that horrendous incidents like these keep occurring everyday. These are not rape cases where the forced intercourse takes place and it is over with. The extent of humiliation and mutilation that takes place is alone, in itself, a heinous crime in itself, let alone rape.

I still don’t know whether I want to believe that the whole world hates women. Because, by the grace of good God, I know amazing men in my life who detest these crimes and such criminals as much as I do, probably even more.

But this video is certainly shocking. In a way that, where we are screaming about women safety in India, I see that this happens everywhere. Ok, I would have expected countries like Congo where the crime ratio is beyond salvation but US, Italy? And crimes like this?

I was reading an article (I will post the link once I find it again) from Canada. I was shocked to read that the social stigma attached to rape is present in such developed countries also.

Why am I talking about social stigma? Because I believe that we give too much importance to a woman’s body, her virginity, her “purity” so much that her izzat is her virginity. Not only in India, but everywhere. Raping a woman is equal to taking away her self-esteem, her sense of being, everything.

I don’t know whether hounds like this will ever stop existing. But I do think that if we detach the virginity of a woman from all these standards of perfection, raping might not be as much satisfying to that fat ego.

Because, one thing is very clear, these hounds don’t rape for sexual satisfaction or orgasm. They rape to humiliate. To take away izzat. To bring a woman shame. Which would prove that they are more powerful. Which would satisfy that massive ego of theirs.

Marriage under wrong identity, domestic violence, attempted forced conversion and repercussions

What are we talking about?

It is about a marriage under wrong identity. A muslim man presenting himself as a Hindu man for marriage to a Hindu Girl.

I promise this post is not about spreading religious disharmony. But this is something which really shocked me.

A muslim man, Rakibul Hussain, wooed a national shooter from Jharkhand for some weeks under the Hindu name, Ranjitkumar Kohli. Talked to her while she practiced. She fell in love with him and they got married. After marriage, she came to know of his true identity.

She was forced to convert and accept Islam, which she resisted. She was beaten up, kept under confinement and tortured to accept the conversion. Somehow, with help from a maid, she could contact her family when her so-called husband was out of town and was taken away.

She has registered an official complaint against her husband.

My obvious first reaction was shock. After some minutes passed by, I realised why should anyone, be it man or woman, trust what is told to them? I am sure there might be many such cases. Wrong identity, incorrect education details, incorrect family details, covered up incidents, hidden medical facts or many other. And these happen in arranged marriages as well.

I am sure we can mitigate some of these shocks by taking cautious decisions. Not jumping forward ignoring some concerns. I am not saying we can know everything. But sometime to know the person, their families, their work-colleagues, their friends will reveal most about a person. i.e. education, work position, identity, family values, etc.

I might draw flak for “victim blaming” but that is not what I intend to do. Neither is this post against Muslim people nor against men. I don’t want to get into generalisations regarding gender or religion because these things happen irrespective of them.

I think we should be aware about consequences of blindly trusting people.

I think take time to know people. Meet their family over a period of time. Meet friends, colleagues. Don’t jump to marriage. That way, you also get a bonus – the blissful courtship period!!! 🙂 And your chances of being duped are reduced, except if you have involved yourself with a crackpot who has set up a maayajaal (trap) to get you, in which case, you can contact Sherlock Holmes! Just kidding, but most issues can be avoided. Better to be safe than sorry right?

A small step

Here is a video:

All that is needed is just a small step to ensure that this idiots who leer and fascinate about woman’s body are made to realise, and at the very least, look away.

Doesn’t it just boil your blood? These types of men are everywhere. You see someone in the lift staring at a woman, someone on the traffic signal, in local trains, buses, chaiwala’s stall, bus-stands, everywhere these people leer and you find that unmistakable fascination for women bodies on their faces. I find it so damn irritating.

And this is what I do. Most of the times, if I know someone is staring at me, I stare back. Look straight in his eyes to let him know that I know. And 90% of the times, they turn their faces, hang their heads in their mobiles as if some urgent text has suddenly come.

Here is another advertisement that I hate so much. I don’t know what purpose it serves of the advertiser:

And what the heck do they mean by “men will be men”!

Educate the young about child sexual abuse in a way that they understand

This video by Childline is made specially for children. It shows how you talk to children or educate them to let you know when someone is touching them inappropriately.

I liked it and I am going to make sure I teach it to my son when he starts school.

Please forward this video or share it to your friends and family who have young children. Also ensure you take your children in confidence about this.

Very important these days when gore incidents happen with children also.

Take care! And have a happy and fun weekend!

Should women stop working because of eve teasing?

Here I am again with a short movie by Anurag Kashyap on eve-teasing, molestation, rape cases and their effect on women and their families.

The film opens with a woman working in the kitchen, making tea & breakfast for her husband, who is reading out excerpts of incidents of molestation and eve-teasing and rapes from the newspaper to persuade her to stop working. Her neighbour friend is also going through the same persuasion by her mom. Both of them leave for work with a third friend. It is shown that on the way, two boys are recording their video as they walk to tease them and some guys outside their colony try to round up one of them and molest her, but somehow she gets away. The other two are harassed by a man in the bus and one of the lady hits him hard. The first lady works in a office where some guy is recording her video and passing lewd comments on her smile, etc. Basically the movie starts with how women regularly face such lewd comments, stares, whistles, etc. and thats only if you are lucky. Some face regular harassment by rowdy guys lurking around the workplaces or homes.

The movie takes a turn with the entry of Sandhya Mridul who is their self defense coach and tells them that they will be ready to counter only when they have made up their minds and that the real strength lies in the mind. Such rowdies generally go and victimise the women who are fearful and will not retaliate.

On their way back home, the rowdies are waiting for them. They circle them and while they are trying to harass them, these 3 women use all the tricks their coach has taught to defend their bodies and teach the rowdies a lesson.

The last scene of the movie “That day after everyday” shows the first lady’s husband making tea for her and telling her how brave she was and how he thought that the men needed to be taught a lesson anyways.

A short disclaimer: By sharing this video, I am not for confronting the rowdies. I don’t know what I would do, or whether I would confront them or not. May be I’d chicken out, take another route, run away, call husband, threaten to complain to police, I dunno. But may be thats because I have a supportive family who would make sure nothing stands in between me and my desire to work. The women here know they have no other help but only themselves if they want to go out and work. Does this make them brave as shown in the movie??

I liked the way the husband becomes supportive in the end, after all. And he also understands that the rowdies need to be taught a lesson. I liked how he said he stands by her. A good ending.