Male fantasy | Sunday Observer
Behind the Mask

Male fantasy

5 September, 2021

I am going to tell you about an event that took place in India in 2010.In December of that year I attended a seminar held by the National Judicial Academy in Bhopal. The theme of one session of this workshop was Offences in Sex Trafficking.

Rekha Arya, a lecturer at the National Law School of India and Monica Zakrani, an activist in the struggle against sex crimes, attended the event. Central to the conversation was prostitution, which is a serious problem in India, and therefore, the risk of the spread of AIDS.

I had read an article in the Hindustani Times titled “Sex, Laws and Asange”, which was received every morning in the living rooms of the academy where we were staying.

The article was written as an analysis of the sexual offences against Julian Assange, the founder of Wiki leaks. One of the allegations against Asange was that he had intercourse with a woman using a damaged condom.

Liberal laws

The article went on to analyse how liberal sexual laws in Sweden differ from those in American Law. Thus, a woman in Sweden can withdraw her consent even in the midst of sexual act.

(A friend of mine, a lady judge, who heard this comment, whispered in my ear “Oh, poor fellow!”). Because of these liberal laws, a woman can even reject a man who is not wearing a condom.

When I asked this female activist, Monica, if the introduction of such liberal laws in India would not be a cure for the spread of AIDS due to prostitution, her face turned red.

I wrote the above description as an access to say that sex crime is a fantasy definition of men. At one point in this training session, the director of the academy, Professor Mohan Gopal, presented us with an amazing test that reveals another aspect of the matter.

He gave us some facts about rape and asked us to write down our inference on a piece of paper. Those facts he stated as follows: A man and a woman with previous acquaintances meet on the road. It was late night when they were talking and the woman was warm- heartedly invited to come to his place. She accepts the request.

At the lodge, he invites her to drink beer.

While drinking beer and having a friendly conversation, he takes her to his bed room. Although she refuses to have sex, the man takes it as her half–hearted desire.

The woman, who was leaving the scene after sexual intercourse, went to the police station and complained that he had raped her.

Now this is the question we are asked. Is there any rape? In other words, can the man be convicted of rape?


In India as well as in Sri Lanka, part of the legal definition of rape is sexual intercourse that takes place against the consent of a woman or by force or deception of her consent.

Many answered that it was not rape. She went to his lodge voluntarily. Many did not want to admit that a woman who went to a man’s lodge in the night and drank beer did not want to have intercourse. Professor Mohan Gopal was of the opinion that it was rape.

What would have happened if that man had met a male friend instead of a woman on the high way that day? The friend would go to the lodge with him and drink beer and leave.

The problem for the man here is that he was unable to accept the woman in the same way he maintains relationships with his male friends. In Sri Lanka, the situation is even worse.

A woman being alone at the Pettah bus stand at 12 in night is different from a man being alone in the same place at the same time.

The outdated attitude in society about a woman who goes to his friend’s house to meet him at night alone is that she is not virtuous. The end result of all this is that most men do not have female friends.

Such is the male fantasy of female and sexual abuses. Newspaper reports on rape incidents reflect male fantasies. Here I am reminded of the short story Delhi 1981 by Indian writer M. Mukundan.

This short story is about a woman who is raped.

A beautiful woman is walking through a deserted area with her husband and infant. She is raped by two rogues who beat her husband and tied him up.

Two young men on the balcony of nearby house are watching the scene. They enjoy it immensely. Mukundan ends the story by saying that these two young men have become a mass. He said that their room had transformed into an auditorium.

It is true that there are readers who enjoy reading news about rape and sexual harassment in the newspapers.

They are no different from those two rogues who enjoyed looking at the rape in that story. The newspaper report will create an audience for hundreds of thousands of spectators for the event.