(My unedited column for Femina Magazine “The Devi and the Devil”. July 2014. Do pick up a copy!)
Well, rape, as they say, is never out of season. In spite of the incident on Dec 16th, 2012 we are still waking up to brutal gang rapes coupled with hair raising murders.
But, we’ve progressed. We’ve moved on. As each new generation unfolds, we are exposed to new, more horrifying stories of rape. Unlike earlier times, women now have to leave the house, whether it’s to put dinner on the table, or go relieve themselves coz there is no toilet at home. Therefore the anti-rape fashions such as “stay inside the house” and “don’t look anyone directly in the eye” now seem outdated.
Over the years women have been swaddled into various outfits to reduce their insane, over desperation for wanting to be raped. We have worn burkhas and ghoonghats and veils and scarves lest we incite lust in the cherubic young minds of the public. In our modern times, as an avg. Indian woman I have spent about 40,006* minutes adjusting my dupatta, and 32,147* minutes realising that I should have worn a full sleeved kurta instead of this sleeveless one. I am rubbish at math, but I know, that is time I could have spent doing a lot of OTHER things.
Other things, such as watching out for the newest in anti-rape trends!
Welcome to the latest additions in the “Asking For It” collection.
1. An American company has launched the anti-rape underwear, which is lockable and has material so strong its not even cuttable with scissors. With this one can experience the joy of not getting raped, as well as struggling desperately with locks when we feel the need to go to the bathroom urgently. Chastity belt references aside, who doesn’t like a bit of “medival” action?
2. Students with NIFT Kolkata have designed an anti-molestation jacket that contains electrodes that administer a mild electric current to the offender trying to grope you. Like an eel, you can glide through your molestation without having to say a WORD! (Which is how we like our women anyway!)
3. The female condom with teeth in it, distributed in South Africa. The teeth trap the offending penis and can only be removed by a doctor. Now you can get raped AND accompany your rapist attached at the groin to the hospital!
With the current trends I think that the anti-rape fashion industry is only going to see more evolution. The “Asking For It” collection has many more trends waiting to happen.
One that I see gaining immense popularity is the ‘Asaram Bapu Anti-Rape Rakhi.’ No one has the solution to rape better than a man who is accused of the act himself. His suggestion that the Delhi Dec 16th victim should have called her rapist ‘bhaiya’ in order to save herself sent the anti-rape fashion world into an innovative frenzy. The result is a rakhi, and a button that blares “BHAAAIIIYA” every time it’s pressed along with the opening notes of “Phoolon Ka taaron ka.” The rapist will take you for his sister and hopefully not behead you in honour killing style for “asking for it” from him when he was not your brother seconds ago.
If your rapist is more the educated type, they will disappear into a “friendzone” type situation as popularised by Big Bang Theory and will then complain about how you don’t like him coz he’s too much of a “Nice guy.” Because there is NOTHING in between “Asking for it” and being a “Frigid man hating bitch/slut.” The possibilities in this fashion trend are endless.
Why am I so hopeful for the future of the anti-rape fashion industry? Mulayam Singh Yadav, a politician so soft he was named after the primary descriptor of the skin on a baby’s bottom in diaper ads, suggested that even accused of the Dec 16th rape need to go free for because “boys will be boys.”It is therefore the woman’s job to keep up with the evolving brutality by protecting herself and her entire ghar ki izzat that she is carrying around in her pants. The government will not do it, the people around us will not do it, and “boys will be boys.” Instead of asking people to be respectful and cautious in the way they use their guns, let’s ALL roam around with bullet proof vests ALL the time, coz bullets will be bullets . Till these attitudes don’t go out of fashion, then neither will anti-rape trends. “Asking For It” now available everywhere.
(*numbers made up, but is it not enough wasted time?)