We question her even before she is born!

Have you seen the movie ALL OF ME? The hero one day wakes up one morning as a woman - a man within, only his physical appearance has changed! It was funny! But the film also addressed some real issues plaguing our society.

Look around you –and assess for yourselves - is being a woman in our society a reason for smiles or laughter or fun? Be it the Mangalore incidence or the Gateway or the Noida or the Ita incidence with the 6yr old child and the cop? Women being kicked around and manhandled on the pretext of protecting Indian culture?

If this was not enough to bring angry tears to the eyes, you have to listen to men justifying on TV the actions of others because they were only behaving like older brothers?

We take celebrities to task if a black buck is killed, and yet we have seen these women molesters walk away free from jail. We reward men for doing what they have done- not only did they get free publicity on TV they walked away from their one day judicial custody with pride and smirks on their faces as they won their battle against these ‘lose moraled’ women!

In a chat with a handful of so called progressive men of our society I heard one of them justify the actions of the men in the attack episode of Mangalore. I was even more amused to hear a male colleague state that women need to be controlled. Is this a self appointed right I asked? He was indeed very iffy in his reply. Added to this another girl agreed with this progressive male set on why the Valentines day celebrations should be nipped in the bud, and why women should not be allowed love marriages and why women have absolutely no right to think for themselves or take any decisions on their part alone without consultation with a male bread winner of the family.

In our country, a woman’s right to live is questioned even before she is born with pre birth sex selection so rampant in progressive cities like ours. Frankly none of this shocks me - I see sexist stereotypes around all the time. It doesn’t matter which school or college they’ve studied in or the kinds of books they may have read while growing up.

I am not trying to influence men to think otherwise but these are some issues which I think our world definitely needs to ponder over

So coming to this movie I started talking about - in a funny kinda way- this movie depicts how terribly difficult it is being a woman, because you are principally dealing with fragile male egos and age old conditioned minds.


Shvetal said...

This is the sad state of affairs here in India. True democracy can only be acheived if and when we learn to repect life and the right of that life to live freely. All this so called self proclaimed moral policemen are nothing but frustrated people who are stuck in a time warp. What fuels their cause is the unlimited availibility of media attention.

It is time media matures and stops fighting for breaking news and headlines, and stops endless runs on the same story. The moment media glare is out, these guys will lose 50% of the reason to do what they are doing.


lilram said...

The issue of gender equality and that of treating women with dignity has confronted many societies worldwide. Almost all organized religions have had or still have an issue with women priests; in most philosophies God in an anthropomorphic form is almost always a male. Be it voting rights or equal pay, it has been a struggle for women. So in the first place, I would say that this attitude to women is universal and not restricted to the Indian society as such.

On the other hand in India, we have little issues with worshiping female deities, we have been quite accepting of women in leadership positions in public life (business, politics, civil society), we have had women saints, we have sub-cultures that are matriarchal. So some of these aspects are contra-indicative. I could go on with examples.

The recent incidents that are highlighted as attacks on women are really either symptoms of illiberal upbringing (as in the M'lore incident) or of deep-rooted prejudices (as in UP against the poor or underprivileged).

I would argue for greater investment in liberal education that is the only antidote to purging us of prejudices and dogma. To my mind, media reform or punitive action against some culprits will merely scratch the surface of the problem that is deep-rooted. For one, we must recognize the root causes that have to do with a)The traditional or historical roles of women in society from early times that is applicable universally and b) The under-investment in education in India in particular.

Bombay BaNtEr said...

I am amazed to see how everytime i begin to be convinced that our country is progressing forward we seem to take a giant leap backward with such toxic actions. What happened in Mangalore was despicable to say the least.

In today's day and age i think civilized society is educated enough to understand the difference between a "conservative culture" and a place where liberty and equality are unheard of.

I reassure myself with the fact that i know numerous men who believe in the equality of women. Yet, for some reason I've come across tons of women who believe that giving into such proposterous demands is being a "good indian girl".

I am proud to be a woman, i am proud of everything we can fight through and I'm proud to be the (and im going to say it) wiser sex!

Mike said...

horrible. disastrous

Anon said...

That doesn't seem like a very balanced perspective. Those issues of gender-discrimination do not seem to fit this event in Mangalore. I don't want to sound judgmental but maybe you need to consider just maybe those women were probably a growing menace in the neighborhood with cases of drug-abuse and prostitution in that 'lounge' which is probably run by a shady underworld don connected to Dawood Ibrahim or someone like that.
How about considering the fact that the quiet family-oriented societies around the area were at risk of being fragmented as a result of the spread of such luring vices?
Moral policing is one thing..but by condemning are we not directly supporting such bars and lounges which promote human-trafficking, corruption, drugs, prostitution..and hence in fact are we the worst abusers of the female gender than those attackers ever can be- worth considering?

Raj said...

it was a very shameless thing - a handful of gundas beating girls in a pub and harassing them and behaving like animals. For a moment if I agree that western influence is destroying our Indian culture then also….is this was the way to save our values? They call themselves Sri Ram Sena, I don’t know when and where Ram told us to pull girls by hair, hit them and call them with names like prostitutes and whores…All this could be the last thing one can do with girls and especially in the name of god.

Anon said...

I am an old fashioned mom and I would not like my daughter to visit any pub. I agree that closing or banning women from entering pubs is of no use. What we need is to inculcate right values in our children. But most of the moms are busy and the kids are taken care of by teh maids so who is to be blamed. Sneh

Shweta said...

This is how terrorism is given birth to and created .Somebody will suffer till the very bitter end .then he/she will take up the weapon

Shaukat Mohammed said...

You are so right.

But, make no mistake about it, there are a lot of places in India where women wear the pants and the jockey straps.


An uber liberal

Bombay BaNtEr said...

I come from a family where my mom was a housewife and had ALOT of time to raise me and my brother. Lucky for me she understood that there is no difference between a male and a female and she didnt start moral policing on me because i was female. I go to pubs atleast 3 times a week and understand as should citizens across India that its a fundamental right of someone over 21 to do as they choose and drink if and where they want.
Avoiding a pub, or not drinking in public doesnt make someone a better person, or a better indian. Howcome we dont question men about pub hopping?
We need to learn that we cant enforce our culture with force. That just takes away the beauty of it.

Seema said...

ALl these incidents really make me angry. A new serial promos are on air where they show a new born girl being being drowned in milk just because of her gender. it makes me see red...............My aim in life is to make sure that my son grows up to respect women.

gita said...

Mee do you think these people who beat women in the name of culture, religion must have sung - 'Saare jahan se accha hindustan humara' in their life? I just want to remind them of one line in this - Mazhab nahin sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna....
Then why do these people fight on such useless issues which does no good to anyone?

melinda said...

Why does rational sense not prevail over such senas? Ram sena or shiv sena or any other sena I ask?!? I wonder why is it in India people always have so much time to protest/tackle irrelevant issues with no social importance what so ever. Be it Raj Thakarey issue or Shilpa Shetty kiss episode or this current issue? But would these same people ever have the time to protest regarding pathetic roads, uncollected garbage, corrupted bureaucracy and what not. There are hell of issues in India that need immediate attention, but these people have no time for such issues. Some even go to an extent to files cases in courts on senseless issues.

Wonder why it is tough to have rational sense prevail here

Neelu said...

Hey, I missed this one, so here goes.

There is some organisation in Mumbai which arranges workshops for men to sensitise them about women and these workshops are conducted for men from all sections of society. This needs to be done at a mass scale.

Most of the hooligans in the M'lore pub incident were unemployed youth and we have lakhs of these loitering on the fringes, ready to jump in and create mayhem under any pretext.

Let me tell you, I worry a lot for my daughters and am going to sign them up for self-defence classes soon.