Abez sez Assalamualaikum!

Yes, the rape stats in the US are MUCH higher than here in Pakistan. True, not all rape is reported in Pakistan, but nor is all rape reported in the US. If we’re going to compare the two rape rates, we can’t just compare America’s reported rape to Pakistan’s reported and unreported together (that would be biased, no?). Either compare both reported+unreported for both countries or just compare the reported.

To say that rape has nothing to do with lust and desire is like saying theft has nothing to do with acquisition, or murder has nothing to do with killing. True, a man can still feel desire for a woman who is modestly covered, but there’s a big difference between him lusting over a covered woman as compared to an uncovered one.

A man lusting over an uncovered woman is like a guy walking down the street and seeing a diamond lying out in the open, so he picks it up. Yeah, technically he’s stealing it, but the burden of responsibility for the theft rests on both him and whoever left the diamond out. The fact that the diamond was just lying there may not make what he did any more acceptable, but it sure makes the job for his defense lawyers easier! I’m sure the analogy is fairly straightforward. Though there is no excuse for the man to have stolen/raped, one wonders at the wisdom of the diamond owner/woman who left what was precious lying out in the open for others to covet.

A man lusting over a covered woman is the equivalent of a thief in a museum circumventing all the high-tech security devices and stealing the diamond that he purposely sought out (as compared to the diamond he just found lying on the floor). The owner of the diamond has done the best she can to keep it hidden and well-protected, and if someone steals it, the burden of blame does not lie with her in any way. She did all she possibly could, and if something precious was taken from her, it’s because someone maliciously sought it out, not because she was careless about it.

Logically speaking, if there were no diamonds lying about and tempting potential thieves, there would be a lot less opportunistic theft (rape). There is a big difference between premeditated crime and spur-of-the-moment crime. Unfortunately, modesty will not deter a man who is predetermined to rape a woman, who has premeditated the crime for whatever reason. Fortunately, what it will prevent is an incident like the Puerto-Rican National Day Parade in New York, in 2000.

The Puerto-Rican National Day festivities are notable for the fact that the women go there in the smallest, more revealing clothes possible. The young men go there with video cameras specifically to see these women. What happened that year began pretty normally, women in bikinis and cut-offs strutted around and the men whistled and hooted, and pinched, and horsed around, and then sprayed water, and then sprayed beer, and then surrounded the women and tore off their clothes, assaulting them in broad daylight. This mob of men went on a rampage for four hours, surrounding women and doing a lot more than just harassing them. A French tourist in New York on honeymoon had every stitch of clothing torn off her body. A woman roller-blading by in shorts was knocked over and assaulted. Another woman who had gone there in a bikini was stripped of her clothing (if you can call a bikini clothing) and…I’m sure you know where I’m going.

Could this have happened if the men’s testosterone hadn’t been stirred up? Would the men have been this out of control if there had been nothing there to excite them? Would this have happened if the women had been dressing and behaving modestly? Probably not. The men bear full responsibility for what they did, ( I think they should’ve been castrated) regardless of what the women were wearing. But the women also have to bear responsibility of what they were wearing. If we don’t take responsibility, we sure as hell better be prepared to take the consequences.

One may argue that a woman is a scarf attracts attention, making the scarf counter-productive. To that, I would say that the attention that a hijabi among uncovered women gets is the same attention that a yellow sun-flower would get if it were growing in a field of red poppies. It’s the contrast that catches people’s attention. But this contrast does not culture lust, just curiosity. A man glancing over and seeing a hijabi at a bus stop would probably go, Hmmm? As compared to a man seeing a woman in a mini-skirt at a bus stop, he would probably go, Mmmm…

It’s a biological fact that men are attracted to women. (I’m not going to talk about the exceptions, [homosexuality] I’m just going to talk about the norm.) The norm is that men are attracted to women, and the reality is that not all men control themselves. Therefore, to preserve order, the men have to try to behave and the women have to try not to make it hard for them. I’m doing my part, dammit. You better do yours!

Any other questions? As a hijabi I’m well prepared to talk this subject to death if necessary. 🙂

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