When POCSO Bill was sent to the then president Smt. Pratibha Patil for signing, I raised an objection with the Hon. President and requested her not to sign the bill to enact it as a law of the land. The law seemed to be gender biased to me while the WCD ministry and the union govt. claimed that the law was gender neutral. My objection was that act in its Chapter II, Clause 3, defines the crime in a gender-biased way and makes only males as criminals. My observation was the act of ‘inserting any part of the body, not being penis into the vagina, urethra or anus’ can be done by women too and even a male can be a victim. Hence, I discarded govt. the claim of the law being gender neutral and thus raised an objection to the definition of the perpetrator as ‘He’ only.
It became more glaring fault because rest of the bill was gender neutral. Terms used to define other related crimes in this bill were neutral terms like ‘whoever’, ‘person’ etc. My worry was that if this was the law then our boys would have to undergo very bad fate and might be termed as rapists when they get raped by older women.
My objection, however, was set aside by the WCD ministry saying wherever in the act it is mentioned as ‘He’, ‘Him’ or in other masculine gender forms, the General Clauses Act will be applicable and hence both genders will be considered as equal criminals but they refused to amend this section in gender-neutral term like the rest of the act.
If the recent incidence of making a 12-year-old Kerala boy a rapist when in fact he was raped by the older 17-year-old girl, the act seems to be working ‘as it was intended to’. With the amendment of JJ ACT in place and when child rapists can be treated as an adult, the situation becomes more critical. But since he is not 16 years or older probably he would be spared from the ambit of JJ Act Amendment. In a recent discussion in IIT KGP’s Gender Justice workshop, I raised a strong objection in this regard that a 16-year-old boy raped by an older woman will now be considered as a rapist and that will be the biggest blot on society. However, the Dean of IIT’s law school opined that boys will get justice under POCSO Act and immediately now we have a burning example that boys will NOT get justice under POCSO Act.
The Kerala incident makes it even more disturbing that Dr. P K Jabbar, Professor, and Head of Endocrinology Department of Medical College Hospital Thiruvananthapuram said that the boy could have a medical condition called “precocious puberty”. The problem with this view of the doctor is he has completely ignored that ‘precocious puberty’ is a growing phenomenon in girls and already a big concern in The USA.
This 2014 study on early puberty shows with evidence that more girls are attaining puberty earlier than boys. This Deccan Chronicle report says 90% girls and 50% boys suffer from this problem. In fact, scientists do not have enough conclusive evidence on boys attaining early puberty has grown to the extent it has grown in girls and all available literature survey points out that girls have this issue in growing numbers. So it is really shameful for a doctor to create a biased view without proper examination before ascertaining what could be the ‘medical condition’.
This shows how as a society we have become so cruel to our boys. Even when they are the victims, feminist controlled society make them the criminal, even when they are innocents our doctors pronounce them having a medical condition. This is how we have made our 12-year-old boys rapists but no one seem to be talking about them.