Being one of the smallest countries in the world, is found to be in the top ten countries with higher rape rates in 2015 (Zackria, 2017). Sri Lanka was called as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, whereas people in Sri Lanka are well civilized and with high standard of decency (Seneviratne, 2012). And the main reason why people are well civilized and very decent is said to be because of culture. But if the Culture is so strong and efficient, why would Sri Lanka reach the top ten in countries with higher rape rates? What would be the reason behind this? It’s this so called “Culture”.
We Sri Lankans think that our country is having a good name because of our culture. But no. The world today has changed. Today is not the situation we had 500 years ago. And the culture we have in Sri Lanka is obsolete. 500 years ago, the society was a male dominant society (Diaz, 2010), where the male is the breadwinner of the family and the male is supposed to do every activity that should be done in their life in order to survive. And the only role women had was to stay and look after the house, cook a meal for the husband and sexually satisfy her husband. Additionally, she had to look after kids. But today, it’s not like that. Women are learning, getting degrees and get jobs, earn and in today’s society, a woman can live independently. Unlike early, today a woman can drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, smoke joints, and have fun in the night clubs (Diaz, 2010). And that in a way is effective because, the society cannot be a male dominating society, the society should give both men and women equal rights. But Sri Lankans using this old culture to the todays society, will lead those independent women in danger by so many male perverts that is created because of this old culture.
Firstly, let’s consider the Cultural school system in Sri Lanka. Most of the popular schools in Sri Lanka are gender based schools. And according to the Sri Lankan so called “Culture”, a student learns well if he or she is sent to a gender based school. So basically, in a student’s school life, from grade 1 to grade 13, for 13 years, these students aren’t associating their opposite sex students. And the scariest part is; when that student reaches the adolescent age, that student doesn’t have a chance to observe the things that happens in the opposite sex as they won’t be associating opposite gendered friends. They won’t know how to associate, approach, and to build up a chemistry with the opposite sex. That will lead them to build up a huge curiosity in their mind and less knowledge on how to associate. And whenever they get the freedom, they will go and forcefully find answers for their questions because the curiosity is high, therefore leading them becoming perverts.
For an example, during the Trucking in the Big Match Season, Boys’ schools are forcefully illegally entering Girls’ schools and crazily act in front of girls. Why is the reason for boys illegally enter a girls’ school? And the best thing is, Girls are waiting for that season to come, because that’s the only moment they can meet boys and get to know who are. And boys, who also want their sexual desires satisfied, start becoming pervert and do actions with girls. Once someone become a pervert, they will do anything to satisfy their sexual pleasures. Hence, males will start catcalling women and have more and more actions, finally leading to a rape. And another cultural fact inside a school is, teenagers aren’t allowed to get into relationships. At the adolescent age, whereas feelings for the opposite sex is getting emphasized, it is a normal natural fact for a student to get into a relationship with someone. It is true that teenagers aren’t well matured to make decisions, and can make dumb decisions that would lead to not perform well academically. But a teenager would never listen to someone’s advice. They will learn only by their mistakes.
Teachers in schools shouldn’t be blaming a student for getting into a relationship, they should be helping a student to make them know that they have to balance both academics and the relationship. Or whenever that students face a problem and they are about to make a dumb decision that would mess up academics, teachers should be there to help them to not to go do that dumb decision that would lead to mess up the academics. But according to the Sri Lankan Culture, a teenager is not supposed to be in a relationship in the school time. And a teacher is supposed to punish a student if they are found to be in a relationship with someone. When such a rule is present, students won’t learn how to approach a girl and how to flirt with a girl. They won’t learn how to behave in front of a girl. So, whenever they get a freedom to associate a girl, in which it would be after the students age has passed the teenage, they won’t have any knowledge on that. And as they have been waiting so many years sober without answers to their questions, once they get the freedom, they already are perverts, and they will end up going out of control and go off limits, which it finally ends up in rape action. Additionally, in most of the schools in Sri Lanka has the tradition to skip the sex education lesson in their subjects. Sometimes lady teachers are shy to teach about sex in the class, and some elder teachers have the ‘it is bad to teach these things to kids at this age, let them discover about them when they get matured enough’ mentality.
They assume that teaching about sex will encourage them to have sexual intercourses with the opposite sex. But, it actually gives the students the knowledge on how things are happening in the sex organs, how females get their menstruation cycles, how males produce sperms, how does a female get pregnant, how is sexually transmitted diseases transmitted through sex. Teenagers when they reach adolescence and discover changes in their bodies, they get plenty of questions that should be answered. Sex education provides the answers for those questions. But according to the Sri Lankan Culture, traditional teachers skip the lesson even when the text book has provided that lesson, and the student have unanswered questions. As their curiosity is pumped up, they try to find answers for them and get sexually emotional for the little thing that they discover. This sexual curiosity is the main reason people become perverts. And these little things that happen are the building blocks of people becoming rapists. The school culture should change in order to reduce the output of schools giving out perverts to the society.
Secondly, let’s take the society culture into consideration. The Sri Lankan society has a very typical eye on a girl. A girl should behave very calmly, should not be hyper. She is not allowed to go outside the house after the sun goes down as the tradition says “Kalu Kumaraya” is going to possess, for them to prevent them to go out in the night. Likewise, being born as a girl means, she is grounded for her whole life time. There is no freedom given to a girl. A woman cannot talk with a boy in public on a night, people with traditional thoughts will see it in a wrong way. These traditional thoughts have made the whole country a mentality whereas, if a girl walks on the road in the night, she is a harlot. And that makes guys who are walking by the road in the night, when they see a girl, their sexual desires are aroused and end up in raping them.
A video has been recorded by “SL Diaries” whereas they send a girl to stand in the road at night and in the recording, many sex thirsty people can be seen approaching her in pervert moods. Now it can be seen how this Kalu Kumaraya’s cultural story has led Sri Lanka a pervert country. Not only that, according to the Sri Lankan tradition, a girl cannot drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes or party like a man does. According to 500 years ago, in a male dominating society, this could have worked, but in the 21st century, this is not working. If women are given equal rights, why aren’t they allowed to smoke or drink? If a Sri Lankan traditional person sees a girl drinking or smoking, that person will see her as a harlot. And gossip with other people as if she is a harlot. This is very sad, because, a pervert will see this girl who smokes or drinks, as an opportunity to have sex, just because of that cultural thought. And hence result in raping that poor victim. And the worst part is, according to the culture, a girl should dress long dresses and should cover every part of her body. This mentality is the worst, because men won’t be seeing any skin of a girl. But once they start seeing some skin from a girl who chooses the new fashion and dresses a bit short, that guy will start getting an errection. But a person who lives by the beach in a foreign country, as he is used seeing girls in Bikini’s every day, once he sees a girl wearing a short dress in which it exposes some body parts of her, he won’t react for it at all. As I have mentioned above, all this is curiosity. As Sri Lankan men are not used seeing women dressing clothes that exposes a little of their body, they tend to get sexually aroused just by seeing a girl who is not even naked. This is how the culture of Sri Lanka makes people perverts and this is the main reason why Sri Lanka is high in Rape Rate.
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