One Sunday afternoon, a young woman, a school teacher, is abducted from near her house by two men in a car. She is taken to a secluded area, where she is raped by the men. She is unable to identify the men as they wore masks.
Within 24 hours, the police arrest the rapists. They are the driver and cleaner of the school bus by which the young woman commutes to and from school. They had raped the young woman to ‘teach her a lesson’ for reprimanding them for using abusive language while on duty.
The young woman’s marriage had been scheduled to take place about 6 months later. They had first been introduced to each other about a year back by an amateur ‘matchmaker’, a mutual friend of both their mothers. Both her parents and her fiancé’s parents had wholeheartedly approved the marriage plans.
A few weeks later, the young woman’s fiancé meets you and informs you that, following the constant advice from their families and close friends, his parents want him to call off his marriage. He had himself decided that he would go ahead with the marriage once his fiancée was ready to do so, but his parents’ words have shaken him. He seeks your advice.
What would you advise the young man to do under each of the following situations?
1. You are the young woman’s sibling.
2. You are the young man’s sibling.
3. You are the young woman’s cousin/uncle/aunt.
4. You are the young man’s cousin/uncle/aunt.
5. You are the young woman’s friend.
6. You are the young man’s friend.
7. You are a friend of both.
8. Both are not known to you.
Is your advice the same in all 8 situations? If not, why not?
It is very likely that you are unable to come up with an honest answer, even to yourself.
Ideally, what should the young man do? How do we bring ourselves to the situation where each of us would advise him to do that, irrespective of how or whether we are connected to both or either?
Other posts on Humanism and Sexual Harassment:
If a girl is being sexually harassed …
Thwarting sexual harassers, Reducing sexual harassment
If a woman tells you she has been raped …