This article is written by Aditi Aggarwal & Aditi Daga, students of Banasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan
We are living in the 21st century, today when we talk about equality, stability, vulnerability or any social issue all of them are directly related to women and their safety. why so? is this world is safe for men? The answer is no, when we talk about assault, harassment or rape all these can happen with male also. “WE LIVE IN A MALE DOMINATING SOCIETY”, “EVERY TIME THE VICTIM IS WOMEN” this is what we actually always have in our minds. In this paper we are not saying that women suffer more, but what we want to convey is that men suffer no less.
Section 375 IPC defines RAPE, which is specifically for females, even our legal system has no idea that there is one such thing as Male Rape which really needs our attention. What is exactly male rape? Is that even possible? If yes, Then how? Is this notion important enough to be discussed? What is Second Sexism?
There exist many reasons why men never accept that they are victim, the fear of the society, embarrassment, we can clearly say that there is no room for male rape victim in Indian legal system .
DO INDIAN LAWS RECOGNISE MALE RAPE?
our Indian Legal System does define victim Rape (sec375IPC) cases by referring victim as women and not person. Suffering is painful and must be same for all. The suffering is same for all it doesn’t see that the victim is male or female the pain, trauma; anxiety will cause the same effect.
The section’s language infers:
A male is necessarily a rape offender and A female is necessarily a victim.
IPC recognises coercive sexual intercourse with men by men under Section 377 of the IPC, as carnal intercourse going against the order of nature. The addressable questions come, “Why coercive men on men intercourse cannot be roofed by the rape law? Why isn’t there any difference between coercive and consensual homosexual sexual intercourse?”
It is the gender biased language that stops males from filing complaint or speaking loud about what has happened to them. Although child survivors of both sexes are covered by the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, current rape laws leave out a large swathe of male victims, who cannot come forward for fear of stigma and a lack of legal recourse.
It’s a fact that despite of the recommendations of the Law Commission in its Report to frame Rape law in view of a gender-neutral law, Indian Laws don’t recognise this untouched issue.
Male adult sex abuse is still to be seen as written in the words in any Indian law
WHY MALE RAPE SEEMS ABSURD TO SOCIETY?
It is seen as a pathetic notion in society, rape is a common crime in India, but specifically Male Rape is considered to be unrealistic in Indian Society. It is somewhere a patriarchy ideology that a male is the stronger gender and it has the ability to protect others. If any survivor talks about it openly it will be a question on his manliness. most of them fear the assault as the fear the judgment of the society.
This fear of society has forced uncountable victims to hide and deny the Rape cases. Myths has played a major role in hiding the crime case.
- Of course, women are physically weak
“Male Rape is a biological impossibility.”
Men are stronger than women, it is therefore believed that they must be able to defend themselves against rape. Man, not able to defend himself is an absurd impossibility.
Is it really outdated to believe that men can be forced and sex can be done against their will? Living in a male dominated society where men have always been revealed the stronger sex, male rape and molestation lives mostly in the shades
- Men Always Want Sex
One more stereotype thinking is that men are always ready to get intimate to get physical, no not everyone wants that every time. This stereotype thinking forced another stereotype thinking that males are always ready and they can never say no to sex, they will enjoy it, in other words their consent is not necessary .
- Emotional imbalance
Society believes that no harm can be done to male, male can feel no pain, they always enjoy sex , they get aroused easily ,whereas the reality is way more different MALE ARE NOT STRONG THEY ARE FORCED TO ACT STRONG.
Another notion is that male have less emotions or no emotions at all, they are muscular and males are not allowed to express or share their feeing openly, they can’t be named as victim THEY ARE SILENTLY FORCED TO STAY SILENT. India is a male dominating society, they are not even allowed to cry and express their feelings in public, then how come one open about the trauma that has forced him to question about his manliness.
WHAT IS GENDER NEUTRALITY?
Punishment for every crime must be gender neutral it should not restrict itself to certain class or gender, we live in a society where it is assumed that men are powerful and stable enough to protect himself, which is a patriarchy statement in everyone’s mind, one such ideology is about the rape, that it can happen only with the women and not men, why so? Even. JUST BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING QUITE VISIBLE AS MALE RAPE, DOES NOT MEAN IT DOESN’T EXIST.
A man can file a complaint under violence or assault but rape is not the colour for male and even the punishment would be different even when the crime is same. Having the vies in a way like:
- Penile-vaginal penetration is not the only rape situation. Even the rape’s definition in IPC does not expressly mention it.
- Female have committed rapes and there are cases of that.
- Gender neutrality does not encompass anti-womanist.
- Article 14 ensures the right to equality but Article 15 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex. Then, why the male person is not enjoying the right of standing against the sexual abuse.
- Accept that men can be traumatised. They may also have the worse effects of suffering sexual abuse of any kind. And rape? Rape is an attack to the inner soul of an individual, be it a man or a woman. Understanding the fact that it happens and it will happen will make it easier to accept the male victims in the society.
The 174th Report of Law Commission recommended again that rape laws should be gender neutral so that male victims can also be protected.
In 2017, Advocate Sanjiv Kumar filed a PIL in Delhi High Court, which challenged the constitutionality of the rape laws under the IPC. He stated: “Gender neutrality is the simple reorganization of reality men sometimes fall victim to the same or at least very similar acts of those suffered by women …. Male rape is far to be prevalent to be termed as an anomaly or a freak incident. By not having gender – neutral laws, we are dying a lot more men justice than is commonly thought.”
On this reasoning, Senior Advocate and Parliamentarian KTS Tulsi brought a Gender-Neutral Law Bill on 2019 before the Rajya Sabha. He mentioned,
“Laws need to be balanced; the balance has been disturbed. All sexual offences should be gender – neutral. Men, women and other genders can be predators and, women and others need to be protected.”
REAL LIFE CASES OF MALE ABUSE
“I would bleed but keep quite…because what if I wasn’t considered ‘man enough’ to not bear pain” – Harrish Iyer
Harish is one of the male rape survivors who had emerged out with his story. At his time of victimisation he was a child and there was no law even against child abuse.
“My goal now is to be there the best I can for other survivors, and to make space for representation for male sexual abuse survivors”- Lokesh
Lokesh Pawar is a writer now and one of the real survivors of male abuse. He is an activist who tries that the male survivors suffer least denial and ignorance.
1500 male out of which 71 % of men surveyed said they were abused, 84% said they had not told anyone about the abuse and the primary reason for this were shame 55%, followed by confusion 50.9%,
India is a developing country it is still battling with the gender equality, most of the times for women and sometimes for men. Equality is not a solo term for women it does include males. If the country will continue to strive towards the equality issue all the times, then it would be really difficult for our country to run the race and become developed in almost every aspect.
Why isn’t this normal to have equality in all aspects. People need to understand that history changes with time. Future will require to focus on the upcoming contemporary issues. Till when the society will strive to fight for the equality.
It is of no doubt that Gender neutral laws will come and change the situation in both good and bad ways. But changing the primeval ideology will help to eradicate the bad impacts of any law.
Because there is no gender-neutral laws for rape, the male rape cases go unreported. Think of the time when a female rape case goes unreported, everyone sheds tears for them. What about the men?
The Indian Parliament must bring several gender-neutral laws which will make a positive difference in society, one such need is enacting a law for male rape and recognising it in real sense and not making it a taboo saying MEN CAN NEVER BE THE VICTIM.
Citizens need to know that even women are capable of raping, Law should recognise men as victims too and not just the perpetrators. There is a necessity to take the issue of sexual harassment of males to the government, to the society and bring about a change in the stereotypical thinking of society . The pain of male victims needs to be heard because
“Future has no gender”.