Saturday, 24 July, 2021

End Sexual Violence

Bini Dahal

It is always quite shocking to see and hear of how much girls and women suffer because of their gender. From domestic and sexual violence to extreme gender stereotyping, our society has continued to portray female as an inferior gender. This might be a reason why new incidents are emerging with men being the sole perpetrators.
When I first heard of the use of digital spy cameras being placed in toilets and changing rooms of shopping malls in South Korea, I was very shocked. These places are considered to be much safer at least in comparison to external environments. Yet, the existence of such a spy camera made me feel really insecure. I would question the safety of our own public toilets and changing rooms here in Nepal.
The incidents related to these devices don’t end here. Spy cams have been used to film sexual activities between two consenting adults without the knowledge of the girl. One of the most highlighted news about the same matter is that of a K-pop star. Popular Korean singer and artiste Joon Joo Young was found recording girls and sharing videos with his friends.
When his former girlfriend came to know about that and tried filing a case, she had to go through extreme trauma by people around her and the social media. In an interview with the BBC, she stated that the whole process was so humiliating and intimidating that she had been wondering if she had actually filed a case against an innocent person.
Fighting against a well-known celebrity was not easy for her and even the police personnel were not supportive of her. Though this so-called celebrity now has received a jail term of six years for gang raping drunk unconscious women with his other popular celebrity friend, the amount of suffering all the women involved have faced questions if the jail term was enough.
But not just the South Korean law, globally, national laws have not been very strong when it comes to supporting the victim women. This is why perpetrators are highly confident about their deeds. What is more horrific is the strong fear of judgment among victims. Aren’t the victims defined as someone who has suffered as a result of someone else’s actions or beliefs? Why is there an interchange of thought between the victim and the perpetrators?
Not just as a girl, but as a human, I feel quite dejected and helpless to see so many loopholes in our laws. Women are always expected to protect their social and family prestige and any distasteful act can bring harm to them for their whole life. The spy cams are an indication of a higher level of objectification of women through the use of sophisticated technology. If this continues, the confidence of perpetrators will increase abruptly. And there will be no point regretting this.
Let us not create more victims and prevent all such instances. Privacy matters and no one has the right to click pictures or make videos, sexually objectifying others. Limits should be set on what is appropriate and what is consensual. Such limits should be respected not just by people but also by the police and other law enforcement agencies. Even if the society does not support it, the law should act as a strong wall to ensure safety for the victims.