In 2 More Horrific Gang Rapes: Why Rage Against Women Is Boiling Over ... Lynn Stuart Parramore argues that India's epidemic of rape resembles Europe's witch hunting, as a way for men in economic and social upheaval take out their frustration on women.

Women have always been the targets of male attacks, but in India today, what could be causing it to boil over into mayhem?

To men with few prospects for social and economic success, the women become objects of hysterical hatred. 

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, rapes in India have increased 873 percent from 1953 to 2011. Higher numbers due to increased reporting do not explain so great a rise.

Like the accused witches of Europe, women in India have become scapegoats.

Looking back a few hundred years in Western history may offer us some clues to the riddle of what’s wrong in India.  

Between the 15th and 17th centuries, 500,000 people in post-medieval Europe were convicted of witchcraft and set aflame like human torches. As many as 85 percent of these people were women.


I have mixed feelings about this claim. On the one hand it seems to excuse monstrous behavior. On the other hand, the larger social and economic context needs to be considered. Does this mean most men turn monstrous toward women when surrounded by turmoil?

Tags: gang rape, scapegoating women

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