Men under seige?
India’s sting operation ‘king’ Tarun Tejpal is behind bars following accusations of sexual assault, but India’s new rape laws seem to have ‘scared’ a lot of men. Recently, in an article called ‘Men under a state of seige,’ journalist Palash Krishna Mehrotra wrote that men were ‘frightened’ of the consequences of the new law. Mehrotra’s assertions have created a storm in the Indian media and in Twitter under the hashtag #MenunderSeige. Here are some excerpts from the online battle.
Last year in December, the brutal rape of a young woman shook India. Under pressure from the Indian masses, the lawmakers passed laws that would expand the definition of rape to include several provisions which had been overlooked before, to the disadvantage of women. Apparently, the new laws seem to have frightened Mehrotra. He says,
“Frighteningly, the new law makes it clear that consent given under intoxication does not translate into informed consent. This means that a drunken consensual tumble with a woman can come back to haunt the man the next day, or even ten years later. This seems grossly unfair. And what about demanding sexual favours? Clinton, for example, was clearly demanding a sexual favour of Monica Lewinsky. But if a man offers to ‘go down’ on a woman – is he offering a submissive sexual favour or demanding one? Many Indian men admit privately that they feel they are under a state of siege. The bedroom has been criminalised. Is it going to be impossible to form relationships from now on? Have we as a society, yet again, swung from one extreme to another? “
The Twitterati have been quick to respond to Mehrotra’s acidic attack on a very sensitive topic for Indian women and the Indian masses in general. One thing is for sure. Women aren’t taking Mehrotra seriously.
People are laughing at the very notion that men are under siege #MenUnderSiege
— Uma Asher (@WrenAndMartini) December 4, 2013
Some are pretty sarcastic, like this one:
If by "under seige" you mean entitled, then yes, I'm sure some of you are feeling under seige. #MenUnderSiege
— Becky G (@bloggingbroad) December 4, 2013
Some men are clearly upset:
My boss is a t̶a̶l̶e̶n̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶e̶l̶l̶i̶g̶e̶n̶t̶ woman. #MenUnderSiege
— Siddharth Singh (@siddharth3) December 3, 2013
…and some women are very very angry!
Living in a country that produces 40% of the child brides and where marital rape isn't rape.Yep #MenUnderSiege indeed.
— Anita Jose (@anita483) December 4, 2013
Women in the media have already devised a fitting answer to Mehrotra’s wailing about how men are so disadvantaged. Deepanjana Pal writes:
Gentle and not-so-gentle men of India, I am writing to you in your hour of crisis. You, sirs, are under siege. Chances are you didn’t realise this because you get paid more than women on an average, enjoy greater freedom than women in your demographic, face no gender prejudice, are applauded for your progressive liberalism when you do revolutionary things like treat a woman as your equal, and generally benefit from living in a patriarchal society.
Sadly, as Deepanjana concludes, “Men take pride in sexual aggression in India.” Will the times change or will Indian women have to go on adjusting?
Compilation: Manasi Gopalakrishnan
Date04.12.2013 | 15:00