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With the recent Bengaluru molestation incident, one thing is clear: We're willing to blame anything except the patriarchal system we live in.
With the recent Bengaluru molestation incident, one thing is clear: We’re willing to blame anything except the patriarchal system we live in.
The state’s home minister blames the women themselves — after all, since when have women been allowed to have fun? Even well meaning, feminist articles blame the parents of the molesters.
There are the usual ubiquitous theories blaming mothers or feminism (and of course, the women, who chose to be out at night in a public space — how dare they claim space that men have always laid claim to?).
Apparently, the molesters themselves do not deserve blame. Oh, you’re looking for a bigger reason, a deeper significance to this? Here’s one: patriarchy.
The idea of women being equal — equally powerful and equally safe — scares us much than a world where women are routinely molested, raped, and killed — our world. Feminists have been acknowledging — and combatting — the problem for many decades, yet we still live in a world where feminists are scarier than rapists: we would rather not even legally prohibit marital rape, for instance, for fear that women might have “too many rights”.
What then is the solution? It will involve multiple interventions and initiatives, over many years. Give women equal rights and equal representation in government, in workplaces, in non-governmental organisations. Let children grow up seeing their mothers and aunts and grandmothers as equals to men, as powerful.
Parents should ideally also pass on feminist views, but feminism in the home is not enough without a more equal world outside. A big part of this is sensitising media messages — no more glorification of masculinity, no more jokes about emasculation or rape or violence or sexuality or non-gender-conformance. (Not coincidentally, feminist activists and organisations have already been working on all of these solutions.)
But the government has never been interested in the difficult work of creating systemic solutions to systemic problems, choosing instead to provide “provocative” (read vile) sound bites.
We aren’t even ready to acknowledge the problem, to name it. Finding solutions can only come after.
Unmana is interested in gender, literature and relationships, and writes about everything she's interested in. She lives in, and loves, Bombay. read more...
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"I chose to go out into the remote, wild, unknown, and make it home," says entrepreneur Kiranjeet Ahluwalia Chaturvedi, who owns Birdsong & Beyond.
The story of my mountain home Birdsong & Beyond started taking shape in 2009, on the internet, the way many stories do these days.
My childhood fascination for a life in the Himalayas led to an internship with a central Himalayan NGO instead of a much prized corporate assignment. But when they offered me a full-time job, I refused. I was overcome by fear and a lack of confidence.
My other longings pulled me away – the longing to fit in, to earn validation from others. By my mid-30s, with all the trappings of a middle-class urban life in place, the call of the snows couldn’t be ignored anymore. So I got to work on it with clearer intentions and a stronger sense of what I needed for myself, and why.
Many Indian elderly are firm believers in enslaving a daughter-in-law in the name of tradition which is actually a tradition of oppression and not of religious faith.
Albeit, the popular culture has interpreted scriptures as suggesting that Kanyadaan is the supreme form of donation given to someone, the connotation that the word donation alludes to definitely objectifies the girl.
Even when the exegesis justify the act of giving away the daughter, considering it a ritual to mark the initiation of the daughter into her husband’s gotra and her becoming the part of his family tree.
There is no denial of the fact that this initiation is not required on the part of the groom thereby formally denoting the end of the filial ties with the daughter as it was popularly instructed to the bride during the Vidai ceremonies:
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