Trying Times

So, here’s a telling point about where we are in our scale of liberation. Two reports in this morning’s paper, one about the US and the other about India. Both concerning rape…

Obama’s government expands 8-decade old definition of rape

The Justice Department said the crime of rape will be defined as “”penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim,” CNN reported. “This long-awaited change to the definition of rape is a victory for women and men across the country whose suffering has gone unaccounted for over 80 years,” said Vice President Joe Biden in a statement released Thursday, USA Today reported.

Meanwhile, in India, a man’s sentence for sodomising a child is reduced, because he may have had justifiable reasons for his act of ‘shame’:

According to the prosecution, Harijan was a neighbour of the victim, and both lived on Mankhurd-Ghatkopar Link Road. On January 10, 2006, he took the child to a deserted place near her house and sodomised her while her father was away…On January 1, 2008, a sessions court acquitted Harijan of charges of rape but held him guilty under Section 377 on charges of sodomy…Arguing against the quantum of sentence awarded to Harijan, his lawyer Arfan Sait said he was poor and “living alone, away from his native place and therefore probably he lost control over himself”.

Where are we headed?