Review of the movie Section 375
If you were hoping to get some great legal analysis to understand how consent is defined and interpreted in legal parlance in rape cases because the title of the movie says ‘Marzi ya Zabardasti’ (or “Consent or Coercion’) you may be disheartened and left more confused after watching the movie Section 375. Even though you may hear Akshaye Khanna in his lead role of a defence lawyer stating some statistical facts that many MRAs would like everyone to know; make no mistake, this movie is nothing but harmful feminist propaganda as I shall explain now.
Movie Starts With A Feminist Lie on Nirbhaya Case
The movie starts with a blatant lie coming from the very character of the defence lawyer, Tarun Saluja that the juvenile was most brutal in Nirbhaya case that caused her death. Which is a carefully nurtured feminist lie about the Nirbhaya case and this version is already proved false in Delhi Sessions court. But neither media nor the general public (except we MRAs) promoted or remember that. Chances are ripe that those online news items are deleted by the media as well.
But the question is, why should the Nirbhaya case be reminded to the audience at the beginning of the movie? For the simple logic of making them hear feminist agenda out of their emotion. You remember the brutality of the Nirbhaya case and then your emotions are moulded well enough to make you agree to whatever shit feminists show in the movie.
Rape is a Rape
I know what you are thinking now. Rape is a rape, irrespective of whether it is done like Nirbhaya in a very brutal way or done the way shown in the movie. The first depiction of the rape of the victim is indeed cruel, however, the narration from the accused was not. But the final message of the movie was to say that even though the girl had a previous sexual relationship with the man, he had no permission to rape her.
Did that remind you of popular feminist rhetoric that, “even if I am (naked/prostitute/slept with you earlier/… etc) you can’t rape me”? I am sure many of you were just thinking about that? But the problem here is even though these are termed as rape, Nirbhaya and other cases are not the same. What feminists tried to show in this movie was to draw a similarity between these cases by reminding people about Nirbhaya case first, so that the audience also draws similarity. However, two people knowing each other and getting into a sexual relationship and then the man getting a rape case because the woman didn’t like the intercourse is way different than the cruelty expressed by media description in the Nirbhaya case.
So, we need to understand that not all rape cases are the same, and rape is not rape in many cases.
The Meninist Statistics of Rape
Akshaye Khanna’s character in his opening statement in the court provides meninist statistics about rape to refute the claim that India is not the rape capital of the world and only about 1.8% women in their lifetime may get raped in India. I am sure many of you would have thought at that time, “why even 1.8% of women need to get raped?”, ‘what about the feminist claim that only 1% (some say 20%) of all rape cases get reported”? etc.
Now let me tell you why you shouldn’t make a mistake here that the makers of Section 375 movie wanted to present the MRA views here. NO, they didn’t. The reason Akshaye’s character mentioned about Nirbhaya first and then presented these statistics that MRAs would love to quote everywhere was actually to debunk these MRA stats based on your emotions. And that is why immediately after you heard those statements, you would have thought of counter-arguments and debunked those in your mind.
Blame Goes to Patriarchy
As I mentioned earlier the sole purpose of the movie Section 375 was to attack patriarchy and show how much the Indian patriarchy is oppressing women. Not only Filmmaker Rohan Khurana raped a junior assistant by applying force, after getting raped the victim was shown to be beaten by her brother as well. An elder brother who was so angry that he instantly found fault with his sister (why did she go there alone?) and used force on a brutalised sister to show his masculinity.
If you have remembered the recent Gillette Ad on Toxic Masculinity, you would not be alone. A feminist myth is thus created that the family members of Indian rape victims are so insensitive that they end up beating their own daughters when they are violated. Something that even you will realize is far from the truth but while watching the movie it might have seemed too real.
There were other ways feminists tried to show patriarchal brutality as well and all these come under a popular feminist theory called – ‘Secondary Victimization of Rape Victims’.
What is “Secondary Victimisation of Rape Victims”
The feminist theory called “Secondary Victimization of Rape Victims” states, it is not only that only 1% (some say 20%) women report cases of sexual assault against them (Note the statistical discrepancy here. Any lies can’t be corroborated by them for long. I wonder where do they get such statistics unless they themselves are involved); when they do report such cases, they don’t get justice at multiple levels.
The movie depicts exactly the same feminist rhetoric. It shows, first the victim gets punished by her own family members as they fear a social backlash. Tarun Saluja, the defence counsel for the accused, made an argument against the brother of the victim in this line. He said, “a boy can return to his family unscathed after raping a girl, but a girl getting raped is stigmatized for life”. Whereas the reality even today is that a rape victim’s identity is always kept secret and that of the accused is made public. So, there is no chance of the public to know her identity. But in all likelihood, you as an audience would have believed in this feminist rhetoric because your mind was conditioned at the beginning of the movie.
The second set of instances where the movie showed patriarchal injustice to women were in the process of medical examination of the victim. The way the male doctor asked insensible questions and the body language displayed by him was another show of patriarchy for you to believe. Many would feel disgusted by seeing the medical procedure and I am sure many of you would have thought at least in your mind that this procedure should change. Yes, that is what feminists wanted. In reality, you shouldn’t have forgotten that this was only a drama, and the movie was only overdramatizing this part so that in future many of you think it is legitimate for the feminists to demand a relaxation of this process as well. Let me warn you of the consequences now if you ever fall for this feminist trap. The medical examination of the rape victims does not surely happen the way it was shown in the movie. Even male doctors are trained to be sensitive in these matters and no one behaves like a complete asshole as the movie showed.
The third set of injustice that feminists wanted you to see was the injustice of asking the victim to repeat her rape details in every forum. To police, advocate, different courts, and doctors. It seems a never-ending process of remembering the horrific tales of one’s violation that one would not want to remember. And in this process if anything goes missing or if any discrepancy is created then there is every chance of the accused getting free. I know you felt extremely disgusted to see our judicial process and would have got angry. Let me remind you that feminist just wanted you to get angry so that now they can start demanding some of these be taken off from the judicial process and ruin your own future.
Feminist Intention in Section 375 movie
Now that you understand the complex feminist theory of ‘Secondary Victimization of Rape Victims’ because you are shown this elaborately in a movie, you are bound to demand a relaxed process for these rape victims and feminists win the next battle there.
Feminists have already changed the laws, moved the rape section to such an extent that now the accused need to prove that he didn’t commit the act of rape (whereas in other criminal cases it is the prosecution or the victim need to prove that the crime happened). There are many procedures related to the rape trial that has already been modified and now feminists want to relax a lot of other parameters so that a woman’s statement given once becomes of supreme importance. The implications of these changes can be far-fetched, especially when you know that the 75% of rape cases that turn to be false are because many of those victims admit in the court that they were not raped or wanted to take revenge. This is not because patriarchal police officers are tampering with evidence as the movie Section 375 wanted to show.
#MeToo is Not Dead
The movie Section 375 also tells us that the #MeToo movement is not dead. As I have observed recently during my interview with a British media, in a Harvard Business Review Article and also in this motion picture; feminists now want to revive and substantiate their campaigns like #MeToo, #HangTheRapist, #NameAndShame etc. This movie tries to directly promote the #MeToo movement and tries to portray that these are regular incidents and women are getting raped every 20 minutes (make no mistake, this figure comes from the number of rape cases filed in India and NOT from the number of cases that are proved to be true after full trial). Feminists wanted to make you believe through this movie that in different industries women are constantly getting raped by showing them false prospects of progress.
The Reality of #MeToo
Now (under this feminist emotional blackmail) you may be thinking how real is #MeToo and how women are getting raped by their seniors in workplaces. I will ask you to remember the statements of many female actors after Indian #MeToo movement. They clearly stated that in Bollywood there may be these sexual relationships for mutual benefits. Until the time woman continues to get the benefit, she doesn’t complain about rape. Those who can’t get benefits, start complaining of rape.
I have one friend who is a celebrity photographer now and he tells me that women models are more than willing to have sex to get more work or to get introduced to relevant people and he doesn’t yet work in Bollywood. The truth in all such cases of friendship for mutual benefit raises a BIG question about the victimhood in rape cases that feminists want to portray in movies like Section 375.
Coming back to the movie as it is shown if the woman was raped once (as alleged by her in the movie), why did she go back to same person’s home after that incident and didn’t raise an alarm? After all, no matter how junior a woman is, she knew how to shout and how to report. Because we can’t forget the basic fact that even only the brave people get justice and you need to fight hard for justice. If one doesn’t raise any complaint after being violated despite having all the legal framework in her disposal, it becomes her personal matter and she should not expect justice in the first place. For instance, if I am beaten up today and I don’t raise any complaint or shout it out, then probably I am not interested in getting justice. Crying foul at a later stage (as #MeToo is largely all about) is of no value.
If you have seen the movie Section 375, you may feel relaxed that the rape accused was indeed sent to prison in the end. Most people except a few of us would feel happy about this ending. Only until you closely watch the statement of the victim at the end, “Sir was right. What he did to me was not be rape. But it was no less than rape”.
You will understand feminists’ intention from the above line. Initially they have emotionally blackmailed you by reminding you of Nirbhaya incident, by reminding you of a juvenile who was so brutal (complete lie) that the victim died, by showing you that at every stage of rape trial how victims are further victimized, and then when your mind is sufficiently moulded, they told you through the victim that it was not rape (and probably it was consensual) but she still filed a rape case, as she felt that ‘sir’ (Rohan Khurana) might be exploiting her all through. And our question remains, why didn’t she raise a complaint first time even at the risk of losing her job, because there is really no dearth of filmmakers in Bollywood or other career options for a designer?
It’s only a few of us the MRAs who understand the danger and the flurry of feminist demands of relaxing the legal procedures further coming our way due to this movie.
Message for the MRAs
I was utterly shocked when I saw Akshaye Khanna saying – “75% of rape cases are found to be false, so let’s talk about false rape cases first”. It was the exact same argument I used to shut off around 50 feminists in a national workshop on Gender justice in IIT Kharagpur. I might have used the same argument in some of my earlier articles.
Well, feminists have given the reply now and MRM should be deeply concerned about the new developments rather than feeling the pleasure that the movie #Section375 promotes men’s rights cause because it showed false rape and the lead character spoke MRA language.
For those who didn’t understand this feminist reply, what feminists said in #Section375 is something like this –
“Yes, let’s talk about false rape cases first.
– Let’s talk about all those cases where the victim family starts victim-shaming first and tries to stop her from reporting such cases (so you know why they say only 1% rape cases are reported);
– Let’s talk about all those cases where the victim’s family first abuse her more for her ‘fault’. The harmful masculinity in the form of an angry brother victimizes her further;
– Yes, let’s about all those cases where the investing officer thinks he did a great favour by registering the complaint without judging her first (that means normally police won’t register such complaints, which is a feminist lie);
– Yes, let’s talk about all those cases where the victims are denied justice because the IO messed up with evidence or spoilt everything for the victim as he didn’t take the right action in time;
– Yes, let’s talk about all those cases where a complete asshole came as a male doctor and asked a bunch of insensitive questions in the name of the procedure and intimidated the victim;
– Yes, let’s talk about all those cases where the presence of women during medical examination only remains a formality as the patriarchal society is eager to ogle at the woman’s naked body (remember how the doctor asked her to undress in front of everyone and in the most insensitive manner.)
– Yes, let’s talk about all those cases where the victim is raped every time she is asked to repeat the same story and remember her agony time and again;
– Yes, let’s talk about the difficulty of remembering the minute details of the case so that the victim doesn’t portray the same information every time she is cross-examined and the accused wins the case on technical ground.
So, that 75% statistics is mere number. It shows at what level these women victims are discriminated against.”
This movie also supports #MeToo movement and justifies it. If you remember victims last statement to her lawyer, “he might not have raped me, but what he did was not less than any rape”. You may be thinking that supports MRM views and shows false rape, but it does not.
What it shows instead is that many times these women have no choice but to allow their bosses to violate them and continue violating them because they may want to retain their jobs. Because losing their job may be disastrous for them. That is how it shows, –
“Even if a woman is not saying ‘NO’, even if she might have had a prior sexual relationship with her boss, even if she had undressed herself during sex, that doesn’t mean she was not raped.
She might still be raped if it was her job at stake on the other end. So she was just desperate to save her job. That is why #MeToo movement is so justified”
If this movie even remotely was intended to support men’s rights it would have shown – a favourable family instead of Toxic masculinity; a considerate police officer who didn’t think the case was false from beginning or messed up with pieces of evidence,; a considerate doctor who behaved like a sensitive human being and considerate lawyer who was not in the ‘business of law but in the business of upholding justice’.
Guys, don’t live in fool’s paradise by thinking that this movie wanted to promote men’s rights even remotely. This movie is a clear signal that the MRM argument that “75% of rape cases are false”, is debunked. Now it has become a feminist argument.
I see the worst coming soon.
*For all movie reviews see – here
[This post is part of Modern Feminism Series as well. In This series I explain all important feminist theories.
Read all articles under ‘Modern Feminism’ – here]