1. Society will change at its own pace. May be in 20 years. But it will. Till then, you got your body, your life to protect. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t be a coward, but don’t be an idiot either. Little restraint, may cramp your style, but you’ll live a longer life. Ugly? Sad? Outrageous? Yes, but 100% true.
2. If you ever get attacked by 6 armed men, and they try to rape you. Save your life first, and then your honor. Personal and family honor needs to be disassociated from rape immediately. Don’t worry, life goes on. Always, protect your life first. Sex-offender are looking for complete domination – and in cases of gang-rapes fighting back often escalates violence. In front of each other, these men don’t like to be defeated by a woman. They want to prove their macho-hood and will take the struggle with you to any extent. Most get-off on the violence anyway.
3. Unless you are Kiran Bedi, you’ll probably forget the self-defense tips in-time of need. Most victims just freeze from shock. Best defense is to avoid danger. Second best is to run. Running is better than fighting. And scream. Practice a good scream, so you don’t choke with fear.
4. Remember the fact that 70% India is not civilized. Not in western sense anyway. You’re born in a Sexually repressed culture. Internalize this fact. Most men here don’t get any before marriage. Their pent-up testosterone & hypocritical morals have the ability to turn them into monsters.
5. You’re young and you want to experiment with sex. It’s perfectly normal. But make sure, your boyfriend is not a psycho. Young men in India take much longer to mature. And if you’re experienced you know that it’s not easy to break-up with them. Pick a good guy, who has control over his anger.
6. You read about gangrapes by lower-middle class men, but majority rapes are not reported, because the rapist is an acquaintance. That adds to the taboo. You’re more likely to be raped by your creepy neighbor ‘uncle’ or his son. In modern India, trust no one.
7. Sexual-harassment is the first step towards rape. Don’t tolerate it. Talk about it and complain. Learn your rights at your workplace. Make sure your workplace is women friendly and has rules against harassment Be more assertive for your safety. That is your responsibility.
8. You may not like people making rules about your clothing – but be aware of your surroundings. 90% of India is still not skirt friendly. It is a fact. Maybe if more women wear short-skirts, that may desensitize the creep population here. But many innocent women will be raped in that process. You don’t want to be that one.
Note: Blind feminist (or idealists) will take offence on my opinion about the “mini-skirt”, but they completely miss the point. Wearing skirt in India is like putting your leg inside the foaming mouth of a rabid dog and expecting it not to bite. Now, that’s stupid, even for principles. I’m just saying that let’s ensure that there’s a good system in place to kill the rabid dog first.
9. Be more assertive. Your walk and body-language alone tells your rapists if an attack will be successful. Mostly it’s just about appearance. If a potential rapist believes that you won’t go down without a fight, then he probably won’t waste his energy on you. If he attacks you, poke his eyes out, works better than hitting down-south. Practice with small tomatoes, they have more or less the same consistency of a human eye.
10. Remember, children are raped too. Not only is it not reported, it goes on for years before it ever comes out. Educate your child about sex. That little discomfort will save your child’s life. And make them better grown-ups who’re well adjusted with their sexuality.
11. Simple solutions always work. Guns will be used against you. Knives won’t open in need. Maces and chilly powder will point in the opposite direction in shivering hands. The male friend will be beaten or killed, or will flee. A metal-whistle, police on speed-dial or a loud scream will probably work. Avoiding the shady places will definitely work.
12. India is no America. But not a Saudi-Arabia either. With more education and better economy, next decade will definitely be better. Make the best with what’s available. Help the women who are in worse condition than you. Educate men around you. Argue for your rights within your family. India will begin changing from your homes.
India needs to fight against the rapists and the attitude that breeds these rapists. But more than that, we need to fight those who make rape a taboo. Rapes happen in America too, but there you don’t become an outcast as a result of somebody else’s action.
Written by Ishaan Mohan Bagga
Follow him on twitter @IshaanMohan