What makes some people expect women to overlook some issues that directly concern them, in their everyday life, until some other issues (which may also concern them, either directly or indirectly) are dealt with?
‘Indian Women’ is only a translation of ‘Bharatiya Naris’, and the issues women deal with are all connected. Why insist on dealing with only some of the issues?
Is it because the ‘more important issues’ concern ‘other people’, and the commenter is not inconvenienced by the changes that acknowledging them requires? It’s so much easier to read about crimes committed on ‘other people’ than to be reminded that they must do their share of housework.
What do you think of this comment? [From here] My response in block quotes.
“Empathise with the sentiment but clearly you are an Indian Women bothered about the limited definition of freedom. While there are many many more Bhaartiya Women who need much more help and effort.
Allow me to bring in some much needed perspective.
1. “- not in being able to stay single because you want to. It is when you don’t have to put up a fight to stay by your decision and are not judged based on your status – single, married, divorced, live-in, anything!”
> While you are worried about your single status there are many more women raped daily in our Bhaarat.”
IHM: So until rapes stop, women should not expect to be able to choose if, when and who to marry, live with or divorce?
The fact is, both the issues are connected to women not having a voice. Having a Voice is the most powerful tool against any injustice.
Also, if the society didn’t worry about women Getting and Staying Married, more rapes would be reported, and rapists would not be emboldened with options of offering to marry rape victims.
“2. “- not in a woman being able to go out and work at odd hours or even reach home safely. It is, when the parents, parents-in-law, or the spouse don’t welcome her with hostility and guilt-trip her.”
> While you are worried about not getting judged for working late in night, there are many more women who have to work as day labourers and face exploitation in hands of contractors and builders.”
IHM: Directly connected issues. If the day labourers had better options (like the option and freedom to work late in night and assurance of safety), they would have more jobs to choose from and more hope of finding alternative, less exploitative jobs.
“3. “- not in a husband sharing the household chores, but only when it is not done as a ‘favor’.”
> While you want your husband to not do you a ‘favor’ , there are many more women who are subjected to domestic violence.”
IHM: Connected issues. Domestic violence thrives on the belief that unfairness to women is an unfortunate but unavoidable part of life/society.
Such attitudes tolerate domestic violence. Couples who do not see men doing their share of housework as a favour, are more likely to take DV seriously. We need a society full of such couples/families to combat DV.
“4. “- not in just being able to report an abuse or rape, but only when the guilty are punished instead of guilt-tripping the woman.”
> While you are worried about not guilt-tripping, most cases of rape and molestation are not reported at all.”
IHM: Directly connected issues. Only when rape victims and their families see rapists being condemned and punished (and victims supported, not blamed, named or shamed) would they dare to report; only when they report would the rapists have fear of repercussions.
“5. “- not in just being able to study in a co-education institute or work in a male-dominated environment, but only when you don’t have a moral police telling you when to leave, how to dress, whom you can work with, when to call, when to receive one and from whom”
> While you are worried been able to study and dress up as you wish, there are many more women in our country who cannot attend school..”
IHM: Connected issues. Amongst the reasons for women being denied education is the fear of how it might give them opinions, ambitions, independence and how it might affect their willingness to adjust in their marital homes.
Families of Indian daughters need to see that women’s clothing, careers and social life is not something for which they can be humiliated by random relatives, moral police, strangers etc.
The more women are seen successfully living their lives (working, dressing, eating, drinking, socialising) on their own terms, the easier it becomes for other women to do the same.
This encourages more parents to let their daughters be born and educated.
“6. “- not in being able to drive your car or ride on your bike, but when a collective society does not make a loose, irresponsible comment of how women can NEVER get this one thing right.”
> While you are worried about driving your car freely, there are many more women in Bhaarat who have to venture outside their house only in company of a male companion.”
IHM: Connected issues. More women (and their families) would find it possible to let them step out alone if they do not see women (e.g women car drivers) being targeted just for being women.
“7. “- not in a man ‘agreeing’ to stay nuclear post marriage, but only when the woman is not expected to fall at his feet and worship for bestowing such a huge favour on her!”
> While you are worried about staying nuclear post marriage, many women are sacrificed by their families for not giving birth to a male child.”
IHM: Directly connected issues. This desire for male child is cause by the Patriarchal Joint Family System. If couples live in Nuclear homes, then parents of both, sons and daughters, can visit their male/female children. Only then would we see an end to women being sacrificed for male children.
“8. “- not in women and men coexisting in an environment, shouldering similar responsibilities, but only when the cliched, sexist jokes, supposedly funny, ceases. Not because I think it lacks in humor (it does anyway!). Its just the extent of irony in those and the sheer mockery. Yes, we still find it funny that a man cooks a meal in some homes. A tiny cut/bruise/late attendance at work by the man, is attributed to a good thrashing from the wife. The only good sense that prevails here is that the one relaying the joke is aware that it can only be a joke.”
> While you are worried about not been the end of sexit jokes, many more women are burnt alive by their in-laws over dowry.”
IHM: Connected issues. Sexist jokes make light of misogyny, gender bias and social issues that lead to domestic violence and bride burning.
“Before we start worrying about the first world like problems of Indian Women how about trying to fix some of the more fundamental issues facing Bharatiya Naris?”
IHM: Don’t you think that every step forward helps the entire society? In general, each positive action makes taking the next one a little easier for others?
For example, children who see their parents cook dinner together are less likely to joke about or take at face value, news like, Woman commits suicide over poorly cooked chow.