When I read about rape cases and see the news channels flashing lurid details of such heinous acts, I go through a number of emotions at once. There is this feel of shock and sorrow, emotions that are collectively shared by the entire nation. I also feel a general mistrust towards mankind especially after discovering that quite often the perpetrators of such crimes turn out to be the very people who were meant to be the protectors and the guardians of the victim. And when activists raise slogans against men and when the girls in my FB contacts post statuses directed against the male populace, I feel ashamed that I am born a man.
But at the same time, I feel dejected that the entire male population has to go through this guilt for the crime committed by a few sinful men. It is also a bit unfair, to be honest, that men, in general, are condemned for something which is amongst the most barbaric crimes in the world. I feel guilty for something which I haven't done, though someone else from my sex has done it and is making me pay for it. It is ironic in a way as quite often the actual perpetrator walks free while the rest from his community carry an aggrieved soul and walk with their heads hung low.
I do not say that the women are wrong in generalising the issue. With protectors turning predators, prejudice is bound to slip in even against those men who are clean in hearts.
But being a man myself, I can draw a parallel between suicide and rape in this context.
I have observed that those who have a tendency to commit suicide often go ahead with the act even for relatively flimsy reasons. On the other hand, some people have this mental block against it and no matter how troubled their life is, they will never be able to commit suicide. They may contemplate doing so, but they will not find that inner push to go ahead and get it over.
I can say this coz my own life for most part of the last decade had been plagued by severe depression and hopelessness with little motivation to live and with every reason to end my life. On umpteen occasions, I contemplated hanging myself by the rope or popping up an entire file of sleeping pills. My family, knowing of my mental state, would never leave me alone at home.
But even though I could have ended my life easily by simply plunging on the railway tracks before a speeding Metro, I could never commit suicide. And deep down I knew that I will never do it simply coz I am not programmed to do it.
Rape, just like suicide, is chiefly dependent on the way a person's mind is programmed. Some men will never commit rape, no matter how big a flirt they may be. On the other hand, some men who never quite planned doing it, may do it during the heat of a moment when the power of their lust overrides the power of their conscience. They will rape, irrespective of their social status, the degree of their education or the volume of clothes worn by their potential victim. They will do so because deep inside, they find it an acceptable act as their mind does not present any block towards this crime.
Again, without generalising, I would say that I personally may feel aroused at the sight of a peek-a-boo bra or the fleshy thigh poking out of the underlinings of a skirt, but despite all the titillations, I will never rape, though I may very well try to make advances and try to impress the woman and obtain her consent. I am not programmed to rape, just like I am not programmed to commit suicide.
I guess this holds true for other men as well.......