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'The Rapist is You!': Global Anthem Against Sexual Violence is Making Its Way to India

But that's not India alone, rapes know no country or border. It's a blatant display of sexual dominance, which is pervasive in worldwide.

News18.com

Updated:December 7, 2019, 10:17 AM IST
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'The Rapist is You!': Global Anthem Against Sexual Violence is Making Its Way to India
Video grab. (YouTube)

One feels furious, vexed and violated at the recent rape incidents, which have been rolling out in waves.

According to a National Crimes Bureau Data, more than 32,500 cases of rape were registered in 2017. While the Indian courts disposed of only about 18,3000 cases, more than 127,800 cases were left pending.

From the recent incidents of the gruesome Hyderabad rape and murder to the Unnao rape survivor being set ablaze, India is dotted with plenty of cases in-between. But that's not India alone, rape knows no country or border. It's a blatant display of sexual dominance, which is pervasive in worldwide.

Maybe that's the reason for the global success of the anthem “The Rapist is You!” — the creation of four performance artists from a Chilean feminist group which has turned into a mighty roar against sexual violence.

The women from the group called “Las Tesis” said they never imagined their protest anthem, and its powerful message against macho violence, would be so quickly and energetically echoed around the world.

First performed in the port city of Valparaiso on November 20, in the space of a few weeks it has been replicated hundreds of times around the world, and videos of flashmob performances have gone viral.

Around 10,000 women of all ages from around Santiago, dressed in black and wearing red scarves and blindfolds, converged on the city’s national stadium Wednesday evening for the biggest such performance yet after a call-out on social media.

“The fault is not with me, nor where I was, nor how I was dressed... The rapist is you!” the women sang, stomping their feet and waving their arms in a choreographed routine being rapidly adopted around the world.

“Patriarchy is a judge who punishes us for being born and our punishment is violence that you don’t see,” went the rhythmic chant.

Similar performances have been staged by women as far away as Paris, Barcelona and Mexico City.

Initially planned as a small part of a bigger artistic event about rape, LasTesis said they decided to release the performance early after complaints of police abuse of women emerged during a crackdown on recent social protests in Chile.

“The song came out of a call from various artists in Valparaiso to generate protests in the streets,” the group said in an op-ed in Chilean weekly magazine The Clinic.

“It seems that worldwide we perceive the same feelings about our bodies and our life experiences and this has transformed into a great song,” said the group, composed of actresses Sibila Sotomayor and Dafne Valdes, designer Paula Cometa and wardrobe artist Read Caceres, all aged 31.

The four women make up what they define as “an interdisciplinary collective of women who, through performance, address gender issues from a feminist perspective.”

“This is a truth that is repressed all over the world,” said Carmen, a 60-year-old biologist who took part.

With it's far reaching global impact, it wouldn't be wrong to wander that India should soon reverberate the same. And that's happening.

The Indian chapter of it — 'A Rapist in Your Way Intervention India Chapter In Solidarity', — is scheduled to take place on December 7, which calls for women to join the flash mob that'll add onto the global movement.

For LasTesis, the performances have become a lightning rod for women’s anger over sexual violence.

“It’s devastating that the issues addressed in this song are still transversal on the social level, here and a little everywhere,” the group said.

With the recent instances of gruesome sexual violence against women in India, the anthem has become all the more meaningful.

( with inputs from AFP )

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