“While navigating my own relationship to Delhi and home, it has been infuriating to read Orientalist renditions of South Asian women needing saving from barbaric South Asian men. South Asian women, we are led to believe, are all subjected to honor killings and dowry deaths, coerced into arranged marriages and into killing their female babies. Cultural imperialism has essentialized communities of color as innately reactionary towards women, who are themselves constructed in inherently infantilizing ways devoid of any agency. Maintaining the myth of Western superiority requires a facade of gender equality ‘at home’ that invisibilizes, for example, the gruesome gang rape in Steubenville, Ohio, and US representative Todd Akin’s comments about ‘legitimate rape,’ and the ritualized colonial violence against Indigenous women murdered at alarming rates, and Black women in prisons and migrant women in detention centers, and women of color, poor women, transfolks, and sex workers.
Low conviction rates are thrown around as somehow unique to India, ignoring equally low conviction rates in North America and Europe. Media reports also fail to mention how India’s legal regime is a colonial legacy from 1862 that sets strict evidentiary requirements on a survivor.” - Harsha Walia