The country cannot and will not forget Nirbhaya and the shocking rape. But I keep coming back to why rape makes a man feel so powerful? Then I read all the suggestions to cover up the women,keep from tempting the man and how to make sure “her modesty is not outraged” or “honour is intact” and I begin to ponder.. What if we did not make such a big deal about a women’s virginity in India?

Our traditional Indian culture tell the girl to dress in a way to not seek attention, sexy is a bad word and our virginity is a gift to our husband, not to mention all the build up about the first-night. This pressure is what the rapist exploits. The fact that he can teach her a lesson..her whole life is apparently ended because he managed to rape her? Why? What happens when a girl is in a car accident? Or even if she is robbed of her jewellery? Would you consider her tainted..her honour lost..or just a victim of an unfortunate tragedy?

We need to wake up and change our perspective as a society and let go of this undue hullabaloo about virginity and modesty. We are strong women. Sex should be a choice. Rape is a crime, an act of violence. It has nothing to do with our honour and modesty. We are seeking punishment for a crime with our heads held high. Anyone suggesting that our lives have ended after a rape, should be considered abetting the crime!

This is exactly what Nirbhaya has done. A heartfelt salute to this courageous girl who made sure these heinous criminals did not get away with this act and in the wake of it, shook the spirit of a nation of women, who have long accepted these degrading double standards.

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