I’m going to walk you through what I imagine might have been the thought process/creative storyboarding for this new Indian-themed* music video from Australian rapper/singer Iggy Azalea.
“I love saris! They’re so pretty! Also, elephants! What if that old Indian guy was my stern uncle? Let’s all have Bindis! Bindis for everyone! Old Indian guys bring gravitas to this party jam! Sad Indian ragamuffin children will bring double gravitas! Does this sari make my butt look hot? It does, doesn’t it? Holi festival! Wait, no! I’m the Indian elephant goddess Ganesha, except with a better gold jumpsuit!” Keep reading »
Last night, a five-year-old girl died in a hospital in India from cardiac arrest, succumbing to wounds suffered when she was raped.
According to a hospital official, the child had been in a coma for over a week and suffered brain damage as a result of being smothered during the attack to stifle her cries. Two men have been arrested in conjunction with the assault. One allegedly lured her to a neighboring farm, and the other, a friend of her parents, raped her. Keep reading »
A five-year-old girl in India was abducted and raped last week by a neighbor who held her captive for three days and left her for dead. She suffered serious internal injuries and is now hospitalized in New Dehli critical condition. As of Monday morning, two men have been arrested in connection with the rape.
Keep reading »
Over the past few months, India has been racked with high-profile gang rapes and deaths of little girls and women. From the three sisters under age 11 who were sexually assaulted and murdered to the student who was gang raped with a metal rod, which mangled her insides so badly it eventually killed her, the brutality of the country’s rape culture is horrific. One of the main problems with the rape culture in India has been placing the onus on the victim instead of the perpetrator — society as a whole, including police, had been blaming women for being out in public where they could be attacked, instead of punishing the men who hurt them.
The new laws aren’t perfect. First of all, as legal scholar Karuna Nundy for the BBC notes, the laws only protect the “modesty” of women, not boys, men or transgender folks. Additionally, marital rape is still legal (including if the wife is a minor ages 15 through 18) and homosexuality is still criminalized.
Alas, it is with cautious optimism that we welcome India’s new spate of laws criminalizing rape and other acts of violence which went into effect yesterday. Keep reading »
Looking at pictures of women with cartoonishly large breasts, bound and gagged in the backseat of the trunk of a car, you might think you’re looking at bondage porn.
But no, you would be looking at someone’s idea of “advertising” for the Ford Motor Company. The tagline? “Leave Your Worries Behind.” Keep reading »
Following a spate of gang rapes in India in the past several months, the Times Of India newspaper is running quarter-page ads imploring men to treat women with respect through the stark statement, “The true test of your manhood is how you treat a woman. All women. Any woman. Every woman.” I’m pleased the newspaper is questioning traditional aspects of toxic masculinity, like “rash driving” and “drunken brawls,” which some men do think defines their manhood. Yet I also think their conclusion about proving your manhood by behaving a certain way (even if it’s the right way) is problematic: “If you do not respect women, you are only half a man.” That’s the flip side of the same thinking that says guys aren’t manly if they don’t want sex all the time. Just like sexist expectations of femininity can imprison women, sexist expectations can imprison men, too. I’m all for eradicating rape culture everywhere. But the answer isn’t to tell men to act like “real men,” it’s to tell them to act like good human beings. [Our Mobile World]
The trial of the five men accused of raping and murdering a 23-year-old on a New Delhi bus began today, after being put on a special fast-track, the BBC reports. No arguments were actually heard, however. The defense argued that the trial should be open to the public, a request the judge denied. Charges were then read, and the trial adjourned until Thursday, when opening arguments will take place. But first, the court will hear a defense motion seeking to move the trial, with the defense arguing that the accused can’t get a fair trial in the city the alleged rape took place in, the Telegraph reports. Read more …
Fed up with the idea that women are somehow inviting rape by wearing “immodest” clothing, a group of men in Bangalore, India, have taken to wearing skirts in protest. Their protest comes right after the recent gang rape and brutal beating death of Jyoti Singh Pandey, and the men wanted to show solidarity. The protesters are also wearing signs that say “teach your sons not to rape” and “men, don’t skirt the issue — speak up, support women.”
“The point of this protest isn’t to rally or shout slogans, but rather show how wearing a skirt is just normal and that a piece of clothing cannot invite rape,” said Samarpita Samaddar, one of the protest’s organizers. After weeks of nothing but horrible news coming from India, it’s inspiring to hear these men stand up for women. [CNN]
“I was saddened and I was sickened. I literally felt nauseous. I’m from India and while [the attack] didn’t surprise me, it disgusted me … And it reminded me, it brought back to me all of those feelings of when I was walking in Delhi. I used to ride the bus in India to school and I hated it. I hated going on a crowded bus because they would always pinch you or grab you and, you know, when you’re a teenager … I went to school for some years in India and it was terrible …
There is no actual word for rape. The closest word [in Hindi, India's predominant language] is I guess ‘lootna,’ which kind of means to take someone’s honour away. But to say that because a woman has been violated she no longer has her chastity or her honour is missing the point. Therein lies the problem.”
– “Top Chef”‘s Padma Lakshmi, who is Indian-American, responds to the death of Jyoti Singh Pandey, a 23-year-old student in India who was gang raped with a metal rod and later from her injuries. Singh Pandey’s death was followed by another gang rape of a 29-year-old woman just this past weekend. I did not know until reading this quote from Padma that there was no actual word in Hindi for “rape,” which, as she pointed out, explains a lot. [Daily Chilli]