Marathon in support of Gender Neutral Law in Kolkata

News Desk

On February 17, 2019, a 5-kilometer Marathon shall be held in support of Gender Neutral Law (GENATHAN) at New Town in Kolkata. It will start from the New Town Business Club. This even is organized by Forum for Social Justice and Development (FSJD).

According to Nandini Bhattacharjee, president of FSJD, over three hundred online participants have already confirmed their participation in the marathon. A number of NGOs, human rights groups, women and children rights groups, LGBTQ community and people from all walks of life are also participating in the marathon.

Nandini Bhattacharjee said, “We are working for ensuring men’s rights similar to those of women rights and formation of law in protecting and saving men from being made victims of numerous forms of harassments by the females.

As the marathon organized by FSJD is all set to take place, a 36-year-old woman in Indian state of Kerala was booked for allegedly raping a nine-year-old boy by the Thenhippalam police officials. The victim he claimed he was abused for around 12 months. The alleged rapist is the wife of the paternal uncle of the boy.

Leading Indian newspaper Times of India (TOI) reported the incidence came to light last week after the boy narrated his ordeal to a local doctor.

Meanwhile, the doctor of the local clinic then alerted the childline and recorded his statement. The complaint was then forwarded to the police authorities.

The police have booked the accused woman under the sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The TOI report claimed that the boy was subjected to sexual abuse for more than a year. The childline had confirmed that the boy was sexually assaulted by the woman for several months which has affected his mental health.

It may be mentioned here that, incidents of women raping men are rare and are hardly reported, mostly because of the social perception where woman are always seen as victims instead of being ‘predators’. According to report by the Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC), men and boys are increasingly falling victim to rape, with 26 men and 29 boys being reported to have been raped in 2012. The number of victims are increasing year-on-year while it is believed, almost 95 percent of those male victims of sexual assaults or rape do not report the incident mainly because of absence of required law and adverse social system.

Although there is fierce debate stating men cannot be raped by women, in Zimbabwe, 3 women were arrested in 2012 for forcefully attracting semen from men.

Reporting on this incident, CNN said, “most of the men said the women would offer them spiked drinks or force them have sex at gunpoint”.

A Zimbabwean sociology professor told CNN that the harvested semen was used for ritual purposes. “The thinking is that it can be used for regeneration of life, since they are a source of life (biologically). Some people think that they can ward off bad by using semen. I am sure that explains all what we have been witnessing”.

Catherine Mbaum, a counselling psychologist with Arise Couselling Service, says there is little difference between male and female rapists.

“Male rapists are aroused by inflicting fear on women. So, women are no exception. It is a pathological way of seeking sexual satisfaction. Alternatively, the women could have been raped when young and vowed never to be victims again. They rape before they are raped,” says Mbaum. The psychologist also noted that a man can be raped by his wife, although there are no studies to establish that. She says that, “It could happen with couples who have gone for long without sex. The woman could ‘rape’ the man, if only to win him back. But she would have to be a very dominant partner in the relationship”.

According to the Center for Civil Society, India’s law should recognize that men can be raped too.

The Psychology Today said, “An analysis of 20 studies over the last 30 years indicates that between 31% and 57% of women have rape fantasies, and these fantasies are frequent or preferred in 9% to 17% of women. Considering that many people are ashamed to report rape fantasies, these stats are most likely lowball figures”.

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