Rape is commonly described as a crime committed by men against women. It has been conceptualised as the sexual victimisation of women by male preparers who manifest rape-supporting patriarchal culture. In fact, however it has been discovered that there are a large number of rapes and that other victims of sexual assault are male, but the belief that rape cannot happen with men has distanced these survivors from the study spotlight. In a culture that has a derogatory connotation by heterosexual men, rape of males is treated as a taboo.
The rape of males is often viewed from the viewpoint of manhood and masculinity. As a result, most women were reluctant to report sexual attacks they witnessed. They are usually afraid that people would doubt their sexual orientation and mark them gay or call them unmasculine if they open up to attack.  This paranoia has driven thousands of male victims to conceal and refute their victimisation, resulting in thousands of rape reports that have not been documented. Men’s myths of culture have played an important part in this. The different myths are that (1) Men are not vulnerable and nobody can harm them (2) Men always want sex and cannot be raped (3) Men cannot be traumatized
Why society consider that men cannot be raped, they cannot be vulnerable, after all we all are humans. Is it very difficult to realise or to understand that men can be on receiving end too?
The answer of these questions are Yes. Not only society thinks this, but even Our policy markers, judiciary and constitutions thinks this.
In the United Kingdom, originally, the ‘Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, 1994,’ made amendments to the rape statute that omitted the buggery from the law and introduced the word ‘non-consensual anal as well as vaginal penile penetration. This act was the first time that attempts were taken to acknowledge the rape of males in the UK legal system. Later, the ‘Sexual Offences Act, 2003 (England and Wales)’ redefined it further, covering even non-consensual penetration through the lips, and abolished the ambiguous provision of indecent assault. But there’s no such changes in the definition of rape according to current definition. US law also now acknowledges that rape of an instrument may be as extreme and distressing as non-consensual penetration of the penile. “The US was the first country to associate object penetration with penile penetration and to consider it rape, unlike other countries where the penetration of the object is considered distinct from the penetration of the penis and usually has separate statutes for it”.
Despite the reforms in violence and sexual crimes in countries like US, Canada, Northern Ireland and Scotland and etc , there are still countries like India, Pakistan, where rape tends to be treated as a gender crime.
There is no reason that cases of sexual abuse on a male child should be viewed differently from comparable crimes committed against an adult male. If we made allowance for the rape of a male girl, so why can’t we make the same provision for men as well? The fundamental premise behind this is that men in India are perceived to be invulnerable and to use their strength to manipulate women. However if we consider the ground reality expressed in Insia Dariwala’s study of 1500 males, of whom 71 per cent of men surveyed said they were raped, 84.9 per cent said they had not told anybody about the violence, and the primary reasons for this were embarrassment (55.6 per cent), followed by confusion (50.9 per cent), anxiety (43.5 per cent) and remorse (28.7 percent ).
In 2017, a PIL was filed at the Delhi High Court by adv. Sanjiv Kumar, which challenged the constitutionality of the rape laws under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). In his petition he stated:
“Gender neutrality is a simple recognition of reality — men sometimes fall victim to the same or at least very similar acts to those suffered by women…Male rape is far too prevalent to be termed as an anomaly or a freak incident. By not having gender-neutral rape laws, we are denying a lot more men justice than is commonly thought.”
On the same reasoning on July 2019 KTS Tulsi, a senior lawyer and Parliamentarian in the Rajya Sabha also brought a gender-neutral bill (“Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2019”) before parliament to make the rape laws gender-neutral in India. As per him:
“Law needs to be balanced. The balance has been disturbed. All sexual offences should be gender-neutral. Men, women, and other genders can be perpetrators and also victims of these offences. Men, women and others need to be protected.
Over the years, we have observed the reform of criminal law in India by lawmakers to fulfil the requirements of society. Over the years, the amendment has been an effective mechanism to address the hour’s needs. We can see that the changes to the sexual crimes against women since the onset of the Nirbhaya case have added greatly to the welfare of women. It remembered numerous crimes that were not offences of the past, thereby allowing any woman survivor access to justice, but because the bill is restricted to women only. The need for the law on gender neutral rape has been a need for an hour. Consequently, the purpose of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2019 is to make such progress as it calls for a gender-neutral portion that punishes any sort of sexual harassment.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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