Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Woman's Cry !!

A married woman set ablaze by her husband and in-laws…. A woman raped, harassed and killed….
A woman stripped and paraded naked in front of villagers….
A baby girl killed at birth….
Husband beats up his wife to death….

Does this sound familiar? Or are these just myths borne out of my vivid imagination?

I am not a feminist or an Atheist, but why am I sometimes forced to question the existence of god? Why am I forced to feel misery, pain and empathy for my fellow women? This is one of the ironies of life.

Women have been subjects of undue oppression, be it in the pre-historic times like the Mahabharatha or the Ramayana where Draupadi and Sita were made the victims of man’s insatiable greed to now when we hear horrendous stories of women being subject to misery every other day.

It is not just the Indian or the Afgan Society that has not yet woken up to women, the Western Culture is not a free society for women either, no one, not even stringent laws or a broadminded society can prevent a woman being harassed mentally and physically abused.

Female Infanticide has been an omen that has been rampant for long, particularly in the third world countries like India and China. It is by far one of the most brutal and arguably the most appalling of anti-female bias that pervades our societies. Mothers killing their new born daughters on the pretext that she is a liability to the family is no uncommon scenario. The statistics of such death is equally shocking. When demographic statistics were first collected in the nineteenth century, it was discovered that in "some villages, no girl babies were found at all; in a total of thirty others, there were 343 boys to 54 girls….! In Bombay, the number of girls alive in 1834 was 603’.

Dowry deaths and killing of women according to an article in Time magazine, have increased 15-fold since the mid-1980s from 400 a year to around 5,800 a year by the middle of the 1990s. Killing women or domestic torture for dowry and the like is by far the most questionable of all evils. My only question that comes out of this is…. Are women mere objects of Trade between the Father and Husband or are they assured of an identity of their own?

Rape and molestation of women is one more of the evils that plaques our society today.
Not one woman can be confidant of herself even in today’s free and broadminded society. Using force on a woman is not an act of showing a man’s prowess but dastardly behavior of an absolute loser who cannot call himself a man!!!

Irrespective of being educated, good looking, having a strong position in society, women are being subject to all forms of violence within the four walls of her home, she is reduced to a victim status not very different from women not so well provided for as her. Why do women tolerate the intolerable? Why is it that baring a couple of them, none have the voice to raise against the society, the system and the world that takes women as lesser beings. The reasons are far too many and complex. But even if this has an answer, the reasons why men hit and abuse their wives is something for which there can never be a reasonable explanation or a generalized answer.

If a woman wants to raise her voice ……what are her options? Will the law come to her aid? Before 1983, there was no specific law dealing with domestic violence. Women were expected to produce witnesses to prove that they were the victims of abuse. Between 1983 and 1986, several amendments were made to the Indian Penal Code such as the introduction of Section 304B where the death of a woman from unnatural causes within seven years of marriage had to be investigated as a dowry-related death. What is funny is does the woman have to die before she gets JUSTICE???

There might be arguments that ‘Todays Woman’ has all her rights and is getting her due recognition. But one cannot deny or ignore the fact that this is but a pure myth.

A woman’s innate physical weakness has become her biggest enemy. Her spirit, her compassionate heart, the love that she is capable of giving and her clear soul is no bargain for the brutal strength men are endowed with. Men of integrity and men who are secure of themselves will only be able to understand the beauty in the soul of a woman. A woman is made not to be the slave but the companion of a man. She resides not at the feet but the heart of a man. She is a mother, a daughter, a wife and a sister, and she deserves her due respect.

There is a change that is required to be made, and that is in the mindset.
Will that be possible?!?


Anonymous said...

It is some good stuff on women.
but people who suffer do not have internet and this wont reach out to them. We gotta make an effort to reach out there.People from our generation surely will not be part of such cruelties.
but it is good stuff.
keep up the good work


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

To change this oppression guys must be educated. While some have changed most others still think that women are lesser mortals. I heard a person telling that women today want to keep legs on both boats(career n home)which is not possible. Now this person is a highly educated one and in a very responsible post. But still has this attitude. This shows that our system has not still been successful in making the "educated" guys aware, then how can we expect the ignorant ones to understand?


Prakhya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prakhya said...

Thanks Malini, i couldnt agree more with what you said! Well educated or not, most men have it driven into their heads that women are lesser mortals, and should be confined to the walls of their homes. This is the very point i wanted to high light, everyone is under the misconception that educated men treat their women well... but that is definately a myth! Beause i have seen many educated men behave and talk in a way that can put illiterates to shame. What is even more shocking is that women are sometimes reponsible in driving this notion into men! What is required is a change!! A Change in the way we bring up our sons and daughters! A change that will make every man respect every women in this country. Ours is a country where even our nation is referred to as a woman (Bharat Mata), yet we have women treated so badly. A change is definately required, and that is in the 'Mindset' and the 'Attitude'!!!

Kiran said...

A very good post Prakhya .. and i agree with the call for collective soul-searching. I have written something similar here

However, this is not the end of story. As you mentioned in the comment above, in some cases women are (in no minor part) responsible for this state of affairs. Also, there is the issue of the odd woman-with-skewed-ethics taking advantage (for example of the domestic violence act).

I plan to write a blog on this "other side" soon, and shall post the link here as a comment.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with Prakhya.
Most of the times, it is the upbringing of men with attitudes. Irrespective of educated/uneducated, the framework about typically women and what men "expect" from them etc. Most of the time, it is again women re-emphasising this "idealogy" of women on men. Generally, most men with those attitudes are confused personalities. They are typically worried about their own images if they are seen treating wives as companions/friends. Other times, the ego and jeaslousy sprouts seeing the better halves' ability. Rest of the time, they would be struggling to fit women in the framework which has been inculcated in them by women.
But, the big difference is that things are changing, there are lot of current generation men who have the right attitude. But, unfortunately, it should not be a scenario where women are going with skewed-up ethics. Hopefully, the right balance will soon evolve. The current period seems to be the transient phase.

Anonymous said...

I do not agree with the statement "there are lot of current generation men who have the right attitude". I am not if the current gen guys are really ok with girls surpassing them in terms of career and salary esp peers, wives, sisters. Still many feel that the girl is responsible to take care of the house irrespective of her working or not working. Max most of them do is "help" them in little chores. The major burden still rests with her.