Delhi men take to the streets in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence

As the country reels from news of another brutal gang rape, men come out against sexual violence in India

Topics: Sexual assault, sexual violence, Violence Against Women, delhi gang rape, Madhya Pradesh gang rape, ,

Delhi men take to the streets in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence

The brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student on a moving Delhi bus last December sparked a wave of protests across India, and inspired a newly-strengthened set of laws on rape, street harassment and other forms of violence against women. But ongoing reports of sexual violence, and news of yet another gang rape in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, is proof that — in India and everywhere else — there is no silver bullet for sexual violence.

Indian feminists have long argued that in addition to stronger laws, cultural attitudes towards women, sex and consent — and views about the role of men in stopping violence against women – need to change. And while the country reels from another brutal rape case, a group of men in Delhi are trying to start the shift.

As Joanna Sugden at The Wall Street Journal reports:

India For Integrity… met this weekend along with Delhi Bikers, local motorbike enthusiasts, to offer what they called “a public apology from Delhi men to Delhi women” and to commit to change men’s attitudes towards females.

“In the protests after the Delhi gang rape everyone was talking about punishment for the perpetrators but no one was asking ‘How can I change and make Delhi better and respect women more?’” said Jonathan Abraham, 30, one of the founders of India For Integrity.

The group was set up by friends in the wake of the anti-corruption movement in India in 2011.

“The idea of this event is to get men to think more introspectively and to take responsibility,” added Mr. Abraham who is a corporate trainer in the city.

You Might Also Like

A Saturday protest had a lower turnout than organizers had hoped for, but their very presence on the streets was a critical step toward raising the profile of male allies against sexual violence, advocates say. And Geom Abraham, a healthcare NGO worker who attended the protest, told the Journal that he was not disheartened by the group’s small numbers. The movement is young, after all. “The ripple will not end here,” he said. “People will hear about it on the Internet and the conversation will continue.”

It’s a ripple that caught the attention of Sanjay Kumar, a newspaper distributor, who decided to join the demonstration after he came across them on the street. “I saw the topic and thought there had been so many protests but this one was different. Instead of pointing the finger at each other you have to look at yourself and it’s really important for men to start by saying sorry.”

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    DAYA  
    Young Daya has yet to become entirely jaded, but she has the character's trademark skeptical pout down pat. And with a piece-of-work mother like Aleida -- who oscillates between jealousy and scorn for her creatively gifted daughter, chucking out the artwork she brings home from summer camp -- who can blame her?

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    MORELLO   
    With her marriage to prison penpal Vince Muccio, Lorna finally got to wear the white veil she has fantasized about since childhood (even if it was made of toilet paper).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CINDY   
    Cindy's embrace of Judaism makes sense when we see her childhood, lived under the fist of a terrifying father who preached a fire-and-brimstone version of Christianity. As she put it: "I was raised in a church where I was told to believe and pray. And if I was bad, I’d go to hell."

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CAPUTO   
    Joey Caputo has always tried to be a good guy, whether it's offering to fight a disabled wrestler at a high school wrestling event or giving up his musical ambitions to raise another man's child. But trying to be a nice guy never exactly worked out for him -- which might explain why he decides to take the selfish route in the Season 3 finale.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    BOO   
    In one of the season's more moving flashbacks, we see a young Boo -- who rejected the traditional trappings of femininity from a young age -- clashing with her mother over what to wear. Later, she makes the decision not to visit her mother on her deathbed if it means pretending to be something she's not. As she puts it, "I refuse to be invisible, Daddy. Not for you, not for Mom, not for anybody.”

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    SOSO
    We still don't know what landed Brooke Soso in the slammer, but a late-season flashback suggests that some seriously overbearing parenting may have been the impetus for her downward spiral.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    POUSSEY
    We already know a little about Poussey's relationship with her military father, but this season we saw a softer side of the spunky fan-favorite, who still pines for the loving mom that she lost too young.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    PENNSATUCKY
    Pennsatucky had something of a redemption arc this season, and glimpses of her childhood only serve to increase viewer sympathy for the character, whose mother forced her to chug Mountain Dew outside the Social Security Administration office and stripped her of her sexual agency before she was even old enough to comprehend it.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CHANG
    This season, we got an intense look at the teenage life of one of Litchfield's most isolated and underexplored inmates. Rebuffed and scorned by her suitor at an arranged marriage, the young Chinese immigrant stored up a grudge, and ultimately exacted a merciless revenge.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    HEALY
    It's difficult to sympathize with the racist, misogynist CO Sam Healy, but the snippets we get of his childhood -- raised by a mentally ill mother, vomited on by a homeless man he mistakes for Jesus when he runs to the church for help -- certainly help us understand him better.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NORMA
    This season, we learned a lot about one of Litchfield's biggest enigmas, as we saw the roots of Norma's silence (a childhood stutter) and the reason for her incarceration (killing the oppressive cult leader she followed for decades).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NICKI
    While Nicki's mother certainly isn't entirely to blame for her daughter's struggles with addiction, an early childhood flashback -- of an adorable young Nicki being rebuffed on Mother's Day -- certainly helps us understand the roots of Nicki's scarred psyche.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>