On May 7, a few Bangladeshi newspapers published a report saying that a total of 144 female children had been raped in the first three months of this year. At the same time, the reports gave the statistics of the past few years.
In 2016, some 446; in 2015, some 521; in 2014, some 199; in 2013, some 170; in 2012, some 86 female children became rape victims.
These statistics, however, don’t include the women who were not children by definition. We wonder what would be the number if we included them.
The rapist in us all
Can you imagine? 48 children every month! What a valiant race we men of Bangladesh are.
Given this scenario in violating our womenfolk, if we had the statistics of rape since 1972, every man in this country would be responsible for at least one rape on average.
That means, I myself am also responsible for rape crime in this independent country.
The recent alleged rape of two university students has given rise to an inextinguishable anger in me, leading me to be ashamed of myself to be born as a man in this country.
Some men will continue to commit the most heinous crimes and all of us males, have to shoulder the responsibility of those.
In the recent case, the first annoying aspect, to my mind, was that the police, who are believed to be the rescuers, didn’t even want to receive the rape complaint as a case. After long tribulations, the two women could file their case to the police.
Why? Because the alleged rapists were sons of influential businessmen of the country! The attitude that was shown by the police was not at all acceptable.
When a law-enforcing authority doesn’t want to help a rape victim, it shows that they are also equally responsible in this gruesome crime.
Then we heard that the alleged rapists had fled the country. This must be a joke! With the help of latest technology and devices, our law enforcers are chasing radical criminals, but they could find three criminals who have, reportedly, escaped?
Whenever we witness a sexual offence, we tell the victim off and make room for the offender go scot-free by advising the victim to let it go
We’d like to know whether the law enforcers couldn’t really find them, or it was due to their nonchalance that the criminals could flee in the first place.
The second disturbing aspect was how the TV journalists had dealt with this incidence.
A section of television reporters went to the victims’ residences and literally asked: “Is this the house of the dhorshita?”
We, the common people, felt dumbfounded by watching how they handled it on air. We all know how sensitive it is when dealing with a rape victim.
OK, we understand that the reporters didn’t have an idea about how to deal with that situation, but what were the experienced editors doing back in the office?
Why go ga-ga over these two rapes? Why doesn’t our media talk about all those 48 female children who have been raped by our men? Is it because most of the journalists are men?
No one to help
Let me cite an example for why I hold all men, including myself, responsible for the violations that take place in our country.
One day, a lady friend of mine was travelling to her workplace on a bus. She didn’t happen to find a seat in the bus, and was standing while travelling.
There were also other people, men and women, standing inside the vehicle.
Suddenly, my friend felt something hard on her buttocks. She didn’t understand what it was and tried to find out what it was.
To her horror, she found out that it was an erect male genital being pressed on her body. A man standing behind her had an erection and was rubbing it on her body.
Understanding that, she became furious and attacked the man and loudly told everyone in the bus what the man was doing. She sought help from the fellow passengers, but not a single person had helped her.
No one in the bus came forward to help her, as she was fighting a sexual offender. Rather, the men inside the bus were asking her to let it go.
See? That’s what I am trying to say.
When we men witness any violation, we don’t protest, we don’t even lodge a complaint; whenever we witness a sexual offence, we tell the victim off and make room for the offender go scot-free by advising the victim to let it go.
As if nothing has happened.
What an achievement for the men of Bangladesh as fathers, brothers, and sons.
This is exactly what the dads of the recent alleged rapists said. They, like their sons, didn’t feel what those two girls were feeling.
I’m also a father of two sons. What would I do if my sons commit such a crime?
I, as a man, would try to save my boys. But what does that make me?
Obviously, a rapist.
One who protects a rapist is a rapist.
Ekram Kabir is a fiction writer.