One of India’s many never-should-have-been-elected politicians decided to victim shame young women, yet again. On New Year’s Eve, in Bangalore, India, several women on Church Street, MG Road and Brigade Road were molested, despite the stringent security measures.

And the politician decided it was because the women were wearing ‘western clothes’.

He believes that the young women’s echoing of western culture is the only reason they were molested. Not because perhaps the men were never taught to behave. Not because people are expected to have respect for one another. Not because those men were not entitled to the woman’s body, and they could not recognize that.

No, it was because of ‘western culture’.

He fails to realize that if we had really absorbed Western Culture to a proper extent, these men would be facing much harder repercussions. That maybe #NotAllMen would not be trending in India. That maybe there are a lot of things we could learn from the West, not just short dresses. That maybe politicians shouldn’t blame the victims for everything.

(I know the West isn’t perfect, but it seems less backward than here)

Another politician chimes in, blaming the women for going out alone, without male family members with them. He does not seem to recognize the fact that the perpetrators of the crime could have been members of a family as well, and still do not accord respect. He also doesn’t recognize how unsafe he is condemning the streets to be, while doing nothing to rectify it.

I love India. I’ve lived here for years. My friend and I nearly went to Church Street to look at the crowd, turning back because of the scary leers from a group of men passing her house in the neighborhood. Those women could have been us.

Some friends of ours did go, and their shock that nothing happened to them is despicable, because it’s a reflection of just how unsafe, backward and frankly stupid this country is.

“During days like New Year or Christmas Day, there are women who are harassed or treated badly. We take precautionary measures. But unfortunately, on days like New Year, a large number of youngsters gather on Brigade Road, Commercial Street and MG Road. And youngsters are almost like westerners. They try to copy the west, not only in their mindset but even in their dressing. So some disturbance, some girls are harassed, these kinds of things do happen,” – G Parmeshwara, Karnataka Home Minister