When we look back at the creation of genders, millions of years ago, we can answer a lot of questions of today’s society.
A female is required to sacrifice a significant amount of time and effort to achieve reproductive success. On the other hand, males have to do nothing, virtually. While the individual reproductive success being the supreme motive, this drove a reasonable infidelity and an excessive willingness to mate, among males. The willingness reached a level where even a superficially sexual stimulus could’ve led to a sexually positive response. This caused an imbalance between the sexes. The females preferred a partner who would offer support during procreation, while the males were, quite understandably, indifferent to this. Nonetheless, evolution had a contingency to balance this by inventing ‘love’ and equipping females with the ability to identify trustworthy partners. This ability included inhibition to immediate mating and influenced females to make males wait and contribute, in order to screen devious males. (This is also the prime culprit behind the infamous ‘Friend-zone’, but that’s a discussion for another day).
Some point in time, in the realm of Primates, the evolution sought more sophistication in procreation which added more pressure on females. The long gestation periods, menstruation and major part of nurturing the progenies meant increased effort and decreased involvement in resource collection. The hunting and gathering that were shared between the sexes before gradually fell on males. This resulted in males evolving to possess superior physical capabilities (Quite evident in Primates). A male, who had to wait and sweat in order to gain the trust of a female which allowed him a mating opportunity, now could use his (its) physical superiority and a marginal control over the resources to coerce a female to mate.
Things worsened when humans invented cultivation and the nomadic way of life turned obsolete. This offered the males way too much control over the resources which amplified the coercion and drove violent means to control female sexuality. This marked the beginning of, what we today call, molestation or rape (Although the extent of direct violence has reduced, we still see it today and a not-so-violent form of it – Patriarchy^).
We call ourselves the pinnacle of evolution, but some things that came with it are evidently mortifying. We know this fact thoroughly, but we aren’t yet privileged with a wealthy conscious to cancel this in a day or two.
We see a lot of news on this topic that stirs up numerous thoughts and discussions.
This isn’t a blame-game nor is it a feud against men, this is a war against the flawed chunk of evolution. We can’t expect the government alone to handle this. Sure, we can have stricter rules and faster trials, but can it completely eradicate a hard coded human instinct? Why do we still have developed countries like US, UK, France, and Sweden topping the Rape Crime lists?
The point I want to convey here is that we have a shared responsibility in this. By understanding the why’s and how’s, we are better equipped to confront the issue. With a rapidly spreading awareness, I await a quick win.
Until then, let’s ensure we don’t turn our freedom into a vulnerability.
^There are several other factors that shaped the current day Patriarchy. A comparatively stronger male-male alliance made it difficult for females to nullify the domination. Also, at some point in time, the birth of language reinforced the ideologies ultimately leading to religions that are predominantly patriarchal. Patriarchy is not inevitable but prevalent. For instance, Lakshadweep, in India has a matriarchal society.