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Do we create our own monsters?

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Classical conditioning (also known as Pavlovian or respondent conditioning) is a learning process in which an innate response to a potent stimulus comes to be elicited in response to a previously neutral stimulus; this is achieved by repeated pairings of the neutral stimulus with the potent stimulus.

A rapist is unquestionably unpardonable. The recent Kerala’s Nirbhaya incident created a stir again in the nation.

What also isn’t, is the nurturing of one.

And THAT is where we must bear the collective burden and the shame of systematically building our own rapists.

A new-born is like a blank slate. Minus ideas, emotions and associations. All he’d know is hunger and pain.

And then the training begins.

I know of a couple working in top notch MNCs who had a daughter as a first born. The birth was duly celebrated, but for the strong undercurrents of it not being a boy. A boy was attempted almost within the year. A girl yet again! Nearly two years now, and the pall of gloom is yet to lift.

I also know of an incredibly well to do family who took their expecting daughter in law abroad for a pre-natal and then got the female foetus aborted.

Save girl child; Image credit
Save girl child; Image credit

Also read: Recently a decomposed body of a Gorkha girl was recovered from the river of the Margherita town in the Tinsukia district of Assam.

If this is the state of affairs in even a fraction of the well-to-do families, can you imagine what the scenario would be lower down the demographic pyramid, where the financial implications of marrying off a daughter and thereon no expectations of support from her end, exist? It’s that very moment where the daughter becomes a burden that the difference in the treatment of the male and the female child begin.

Kids being sponges pick up on ALL the subtle clues that families and societies knowingly and unknowingly drop. At every step, they see the superiority of the masculine form as opposed to the objectification of the feminine. The lower down the demographic pyramid, the more pronounced these clues.

Eventually, the children grow up. The REAL formative years begin with the surge of hormones and associated physical changes. The laughable standards of mainstream education further devolve when it comes to sex education. The charge of educating falls on a generation of sexually repressed men and women living in a country where homosexuality is a criminal offence. Needless to say, information, or whatever little of it that percolates, is too little and too late. In today’s day and age where the internet is all-pervasive, kids are initiated into the heady world of physicality through porn.

And if there is one industry that upholds the dignity of women and doesn’t subject them to objectification is the porn industry! #JKLOL
So by the time the guy is formally told about the “reproductive cycle”, he already has a crystal idea of how the mechanics of it work. However delusional it might be. And that’s just porn. Porn is still surrounded by inhibition.

You know what isn’t? Bollywood. Have a look:

If this doesn’t tie things up properly for you, I don’t know what will. This is the stuff that plays on TV all day long. It’s on the internet and it’s at the parties. It’s everywhere and this is what our kids watch.

What happens to a pressure cooker with a faulty pressure valve? It bursts.

Our culture, being one of the most sexually repressed replicates just that. On one hand we allow a steady supply of inequality, objectification and arousal. While on the other, we shut down all avenues of normalisation. Holding hands, dating, kissing in public, or for a matter of fact, even hanging out as a couple are pretty much a no-no. What turns out is a crop of people where the women through the same training imparted (though on the opposite side of the coin) silently endure suffering at the hands of our men.

Men, who turned from blank slates to vicious salivating dogs, as we covered our ears when the bells were ringing.


Text by Aditya Sharma

The author has written a little more extensively on rape on his website, The Antifit.

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