Despite certain reforms over the last few decades, India's rape laws are still oppressive and perpetuate discriminatory gender roles. At a time when several nations around the globe are progressing towards gender-neutral rape laws that recognise someone of either gender as a possible victim, survivor, or suspect, India maintains a statute focused on the concept of male vaginal penetration. This is a toxic assumption that can deprive a segment of society of justice, citizenship, the right to life, and freedom.
The notion that males are the only offenders of such a horrible offence stems from the traditional belief that men are biologically better than women, and that sexual harassment is the exercise of dominance by men over women. The patriarchal belief that men are too strong and powerful to be victims stems from the same patriarchal belief that men are too strong and wealthy to be victims. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code unfairly categorises only women as claimants, thereby providing them with defence, thus utterly disregarding the other sexes in our community.
Despite the fact that societal disapproval towards non-consensual sexual acts is on the increase, the law reinforces unfair, regressive gendered assumptions regarding male and female sexuality, which are troublesome for virtually all.