There is rarely a woman who has not subjected to sexual abuse or rape or offences snatching her dignity in her whole life. The first platform she prone to the same is at her house and family. Have we ever thought of men undergoing the same and given importance to the trauma he has gone through out the time. Often men are portrayed as emotionless species and are trained to withheld their emotions to retain the manhood. According to survey conducted by a media in 2018, 54% of the population agrees that sexual abuse, violence and rape happens to men too. There are many instances where the men are sent back by the authorities by discouraging to institute complaint against victimization for the sexual offences may be at home, or at the street or at the workplace.
Considering the status of women in India in the immediate independence, many laws for crafted for the protection and development of women but at the same time a large majority of men were also been victimized by the sexual offences done either by the persons having dominance over them. There is nothing interesting in clinging on to the history; rather to understand the present utilization and interpretation of feminine laws in India. #Metoo is one of the major movements globally happened, intended to console and stay solidarity with the women victims of sexual offences. Even though many offenders were exposed, there were many fake cases instituted against men based on the complexity of consent given by the women and portraying herself as the victim.
In fact, men are so much deterred to interact with women as they doubt who will be booked when, even without committing such offence. This is wrong and against the system of justice. The misuse of feminine laws not only limited to this. Now it is a trend to file 498-A IPC against the husband and in laws to snatch compensation and traumatise men who are innocent in nature. The treatment of feminine laws by women has taken to next level that its very complex to understand and recognize the genuineness of the case come in front of the Police Authorities or before the Bench at the respective courts.
Recently the Apex Court has ruled “woman cannot allege rape when sex is consensual”. Also, in another case the court ruled that the spouse has to maintain husband if the husband is not financially able to maintain himself. It is to be praised that the judiciary has commenced weaving for over utilization of men by women by misusing the feminine laws. If this is followed, it will take snail time in attaining justice to the men who fight or preventing miscarriage of justice.
The society has recently embraced the concept of mental harassment and online sexual harassment which are actually a thin line trigger which depend on mental and thought process at that moment or later. This has actually paved way to institute fake cases on men by women whenever their words don’t match for each other.
The concept of equality and feminism are now a days are drifted to such a mode that the dadagiri of women is made possible, which is bad. Article 15 of the Indian Constitution has a concept called intelligible differentia and rational nexus where the unequal is to be lifted to equals and then treated equally. The situation in the immediate independent has changed now and therefore the laws has to be changed. Then the women were treated unequal is now over lifted to a position that the men are frightened even to get married because of the fear of alleging marital rape or domestic violence according to the whims and fancies of women. Equal protection under the law does not mean over protection but equal means equal just like “No means No”. I think the feminine laws are like over grown fringes that is becoming a barrier to proper eyesight.
I am not saying that all women are on same boat to misuse the feminine laws but a lot are contributing towards it, which has to be stopped. Respect towards each other matters a lot. And I don’t recommend for lifting of all feminine laws. Rather I recommend for gender neutral laws for sexual offences and violence. Let all gender enjoy the equal status and rights apart from protecting one too much and penalizing the other without actual cause.
What exactly the gender-neutral laws are, is a dilemmatic question for common people. Gender Neutral law means the law which applicable to all genders in balance and not give special consideration to any community as such. That is if a man is victimized by sexual harassment from a woman or a man or third gender, has equally the right to get justice before the law like what now woman gets through the activation of justice system. Also, in case of offences of violence men shall be given equal consideration like woman presently enjoying under the justice system.
Offenders irrespective of gender shall be treated equally under the law for the sexual offences and offences of violence. It is already high time to take action for the same and let all genders come and hold hands together to prevent fake allegations with respect to these offences posing gross betrayal of dignity and smooth life.
The author is Advocate practising at the Supreme Court