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Is It A High Time For Gender Neutral Rape Laws?

Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.- Frances Wright

This essay will explore the researcher's view on gender-neutral rape laws including all genders, rather than just women which also includes transgender, and homosexuals, and counter a few common arguments that are against the gender-neutral rape laws.

Suffering is incomparable; it is universal. The entire definition of rape in the IPC is focused on rape against women, with no provision for rape against men. I am convinced that gender-neutral laws are desperately needed in India. The law should recognize men as victims as well as perpetrators. Survivors, whether male, female, or trans, experience the same physical, mental, and emotional pain. However, because of the use of gendered language, a male cannot file a rape case against a woman. A man can file a case under violence or assault but not rape, and the punishment will not be the same even if the act is the same.

There are a few common arguments advanced by activists in opposition to the issue of gender neutrality in rape laws. The first is women's historical oppression, which necessitates compensatory special protection in terms of anti-rape laws. Another argument is that changing rape laws to be gender-neutral would open them up to abuse against women, who are frequently the victims of rape.

Firstly, historical oppression and statistical analysis can support affirmative action policies in which marginalised groups are given preference in employment, education, and government. They cannot, however, be used to justify not recognising crimes committed by an individual from a historically oppressed community against a historically oppressive community, no matter how few in number they are. The argument regarding the misuse and filing of counter false cases is a serious one but even in the current gendered context rape laws.

More than 60 countries have gender-neutral rape laws, and the world's largest democracy must have them as well. A single law that applies to both genders and defines rape as a crime committed by one human against another, rather than just a man against a woman, will undoubtedly result in a more just and egalitarian society.

Men's suffering must be heard, too!

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