Of course I share the horror in which the whole world is reeling following that fatal gang rape on an Indian bus. Not just horror but rage. My first instinct is that the rapists should be hanged in the public square and their bodies left as a warning to all who would follow in their footsteps… But even in this most extreme of cases, must not mercy temper justice?
Are we not all complicit? Isn’t our global society partly to blame?
I have never been to India and have no desire to go there. Everyone I know who has visited India has returned with some stubborn infection or dangerous disease. I would rather admire those wondrous temples via a National Geographic TV special.
But I suspect Indian males are subjected to much the same barrage of sexual imagery and provocative stimuli that American or Jamaican males are. And I imagine these sexual triggers are, in many cases, as cleverly camouflaged there as they are here.
I see these displays everywhere – yes, I know the old joke… “everything reminds me of sex” – but I’m deadly serious. From cosmetics ads to designer jeans, from TV sitcoms to blockbuster movies, it’s sex that sells.
Sex and violence.
Poking around in the archives of The Daily Gleaner I once found century-old letters to the editor from my two granduncles, both of whom were Anglican clergymen, decrying the short skirts and provocative makeup of the young ladies of the time. The letters warned that such flagrant invitations to prurience could not fail to have disastrous consequences.
I am sure the Gleaner’s younger readers dismissed my granduncles as old fogies at the time. And I am sure I would receive the same short shrift if I were to warn the youth of today that Mother Nature has her own agenda, and is trifled with at their peril.
Yes, rape is a most horrible crime … worse than theft, a kind of murder, even … Yes, it is inexcusable under any and all circumstances.
And, yes, guru Asaram Bapu (pictured above) is a mischievous fool to suggest the Indian gang-rape victim was partly to blame for the atrocity.
But I have to pause in the general outcry to say a prayer for all hormone-driven young men in this sex crazy world. They are constantly stimulated – by advertising, by TV, by movies, by the Internet – yet just as constantly barred from relief, and they have access to unlimited supplies of alcohol and recreational drugs that destroy their inhibitions.
Do you wonder that football players at a party in Ohio might be transformed into mindless predators in quest of female prey? Are you really surprised when they take advantage of the helpless body of a drunken girl?
Of course they should be socialized enough to control themselves!
But it will take a lot more socialization than today’s civilization offers to protect young women from assault in such a sexually charged environment.
And I see no hint of a decrease in sexual stimuli in the future. The triggers that drive our instincts are researched and emulated in ever-more diabolical ways as merchandisers become ever-more proficient.
When will those who exploit and pervert our natural instincts in search of profit be held accountable?
I suspect the cancer of rape will not be cured until that happens.