This morning I was strolling around the internet, checking Facebook and looking for something to post about. My usually jam of late night videos and trailers didn’t have a lot to offer. But I did find this post about a new controversial documentary that Meryl Streep supported with a candlelight vigil at the Manhattan premier.
So what was the controversial topic? Immigration reform? Gun control? Euthanasia?
Nope, it’s about Jyoti Singh, the 23- year- old Indian woman who was raped to death in 2012. Which is a horrifically difficult story to hear. So with all due respect to the author of the post, maybe she meant “What’s the Terrifyingly Depressing Documentary That Meryl Streep Is Supporting?”
Because the documentary itself doesn’t sound controversial. It sounds like a much needed exploration of gender inequality in India, and the tragic consequences that stem from it. And a Delhi court’s decision to ban the movie isn’t controversial, it’s just censorship.
These statements made by one of the rapists and his defense attorney aren’t “controversial.”
“A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night,” The New York Times quotes him as saying. “Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes.” A defense lawyer adds, per the L.A. Times, that women are “like a diamond,” and says, “if you leave a diamond out, a dog will take it.”
I understand that “controversial” has come to mean “someone said some stupid bullshit in public.” But the implication is that there is room for debate among controversial topics. There is no debate here. The rapist and his equally disgusting lawyer didn’t say anything that needs to be discussed before dismissing. They exposed themselves as horrible human beings who deserve to be ignored outright.
These statements are shockingly misogynistic examples of two people’s ability to dehumanize women. They are proof of some people’s disgusting indifference to another person’s worth and suffering. And they are flat out, 100 percent, completely wrong.