The news broke last Tuesday that four men were found guilty of the notorious rape case in Delhi in December that had India and the rest of the world sickened to the core.
Similar to global events that have changed the world forever – Princess Diana’s death, the 2004 tsunami off of the coast of Thailand, Haiti, 9/11 – the story of the 23-year-old woman who was violently raped and assaulted by a gang of men on a bus while they drove around Delhi shocked entire nations. The woman died two weeks after the attack due to her injuries.
Today, some may feel like justice has been served and indeed, in a legal way, it has. Four men will be sentenced on Wednesday and the case has sparked the introduction of stricter laws to punish sexual offences. A victory of sorts, some might say.
The problem, however, is what led these men to commit such a heinous act in the first place. What were they thinking? How could they live with themselves after abusing someone so violently, so intimately? How did their families feel, their mothers, that these men could do such horrible things?
More crucially, how do we live in a society where something like this even crosses a person’s mind?
In our journey to create a more balanced world, a feminist world, we seem to be celebrating and empowering women but failing the men of our society. There is clearly a very large gap, a huge flaw in the masculine identity and how certain men are finding ways to feel like more of ‘a real man’, often in violent enactments. Forget locking up men who commit these violent acts of rape and abuse, we need to start mending the problem at the source.
How do we do this? How do we change such deeply entrenched flaws?