MLA PC George has been booked for insulting the modesty of the nun at the centre of Franco Mulakkal case. The nun who alleged that the Jalandhar bishop had raped her on numerous occasions had been called a prostitute by George. The MLA had said, “No one has doubt that the nun is a prostitute. 12 times she enjoyed it and the 13th time it is rape? Why didn’t she complain the first time?”

In response, the nun filed a complaint against George with the superintendent of police, Kottayam. Now the police has registered a case under Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code against him, for making obscene comments against the nun and outraging her modesty. A man who slut shamed a nun on camera deserves legal action. This will also send out a strong message to other people, who do not think twice before questioning the character of a survivor of a sexual crime.

Slut shaming women in our society comes with zero accountability.

It is a common tendency to question the woman’s character whenever she alleges rape or harassment. So defensive are they of patriarchy and male entitlement, that they cannot believe that a man can sexually violate a woman, without her “asking for it”. Just like they did to the nun in question here, we saw it happen to actor Tanushree Dutta too. Especially in cases where women don’t report an assault immediately after it happens, people confuse their silence as their consent.

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • Kerala MLA PC George has been booked under Section 509 for making obscene comments against the nun who had accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal.
  • Slut shaming women in our society comes with zero accountability. It’s a common tendency to question the woman’s character whenever she alleges rape or harassment.
  • It is a crime to accuse a survivor of indecent conduct and protect the actual perpetrators. 

It is so easy to drag a woman’s morality through the streets and shame her, when she is most vulnerable. People know she will be too preoccupied dealing with her own ordeal to fight their remarks. Of-course calling out a fault in their own social structure and mentality is way more difficult.

We not only let men get away with rape, but also justify their behaviour by questioning survivors’ character instead.

Plus, this open degradation of survivors’ character seldom comes with consequences for people. Be it an MLA or a faceless troll on social media, people get away with such insensitive remarks. They never put a thought about the impact such comments have on survivors. Do they deserve to battle slut-shaming, while they fight battles on sexual, legal, emotional, mental and physical fronts? Which is why there is an immediate need to create awareness about accountability of such remarks.

It is high time that people like PC George realise that slut-shaming anyone comes with legal consequences. It’s a crime to accuse a survivor of indecent conduct and protect the actual perpetrators. Slut shaming makes you a part of the problem and the crime. And if you refuse to accept your role here, then the law is there to get the point across.

Picture credit: dnaindia.com

Also Read : How Easy It Is To Call Rape Survivors ‘Prostitutes’ In Our Country

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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