Skimming the surfaces of sexism isnít enough

The gangrape, which appears to be far more prevalent in India than anywhere else in the world, requires serious examination, and should not be hijacked by extraneous discussions. Of course, all forms of rape are brutal and demeaning ó but most of them are carried out by a single predator, and in privacy. The increasing number of gangrapes indicates specifically peculiar features, significant to our society. They indicate the manner in which young men are growing up, and what kind of value systems they appear to have imbibed within the family structure.

There could be five primary reasons why gangrape denotes the brutalisation of our society and our families in the extreme.

First, the gangrape denotes a "sharing of the spoils", a criminal male-bonding that goes beyond the hours spent together in any other form of "recreation". Recent cases show that it is even regarded as "entertainment", with videos of the atrocity being shared on the internet.

Second, unlike other forms of rape, this has an inbuilt voyeuristic arousal ó possibly linking it to the lack of privacy within most Indian families, in which these young men might have witnessed sexual activity within the household, and possibly an absence of affection towards the female members. Sex thus becomes not a private act, but something to be performed in public.

Third, and most dangerous, is the lack of empathy the gangrapists show towards the woman, demonstrated both in this horrible pursuit, as well as the manner in which they goad each other into becoming more and more violent towards their victim. There appears to be a complete social and emotional disconnect many young men have towards women, even if they continue to live in a so-called family environment with their mother and sisters. They feel neither a sense of shame or responsibility towards them.

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