By Sridevi Narayanan
Would calling your attacker as a brother stop him from raping you? What about saying no to skirts, late night works, cell phones and Chow mien? The dark, sarcastic video ‘It’s your fault’ featuring Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin and VJ, model Juhi Pandey address the women of the world about the phenomenon called ‘rape’ and they say it with a plain smile on their face, “Yes ladies, It’s your fault.”
This satirical video of almost four minutes has gone viral on YouTube with over 23 lakh views since its launch on 19th September. The powerful anti-rape video mocks those with patriarchal mind set who blame women for the rise in sexual crimes in India. It is true if you consider that fact that every sexual assault case in India is followed by ridiculous suggestions like demanding a ban on skirts, cell phones, late night works, and travelling with boyfriend to prevent rape.
Worse still, while our women get raped on roads, in offices, schools, buses, police stations and even in ashrams, there are heated debates over provocative attires that may have resulted in this, the list of which, incredulously, includes burqa and a space suit with helmet.
The Delhi gang rape and the series of reported rape cases which have occurred in different parts of the country have invited many discussions and debates on the reasons and suggestions in controlling rapes. Police, politicians and the law and order sector have come up with remarkable statements in connection with the unfortunate incidents that have happened irrespective of time, space and age of the victim. The weekly sketch show from the Indian comedy collective, All India Bakchod (AIB) had this in mind while making ‘It’s your fault’.
There have also been many other attempts to portray the patriarchal nature of the society. Marina Abramovic, performance artist from New York in her Rhythm series (Rhythm 0, 1974) puts herself in the hands of people for six hours in a gallery as part of her performance. She tries to judge how people, especially men, would proceed if they are given a chance on the other person. As time progresses the people became more aggressive. They cut her clothes and neck, carry her half naked body and drink her blood. The whole heinous act explicitly describes the objectification of women.
“Ladies: Do you think rape is something men do out of a desire for control, empowered by years of patriarchy?” asks Kalki, at the beginning of the video. “You’ve clearly been misled by the notion that women are people too.” Kalki and Juhi are assaulted by different kinds of men, one after the other, as the video progresses. One of the highlights of the video is when Juhi, in a bridal attire, says “If he is your husband, that’s not rape”.
The revolutionary video which has been subjected to many discussions by the media, has gained support from women and men alike on shares and likes on Facebook and through tweets.