“I see you have used the word “equality”. I`m just curious, enlighten me if I am wrong.”

Have you ever been asked this question? How would you respond?

This is a comment in response to this post: “Are these advises and suggestions possible for an Average Indian Woman to even consider? Will she be able to think that way… educate me” 

The comment:

‘I see you have used the word “equality”. I`m just curious, enlighten me if I am wrong.
Can men and women be really “equal”? They are different biologically, and that starts a chain reaction. Physical strength will tend to affect mental strength, thought process, actions, habits, behaviour, and the whole personality. This is how nature is. If you are a theist, this is how God is. Instead of striving for “equality”, isn`t it sensible and important to find a way to “co-exist”, “complement each other” etc inspite of the obvious differences?’

IHM:

In a fair society, everybody, an old widower, a young dad, a teenager, a blind man, a dalit rape victim, a farmer, a village Sarpanch, a factory worker are, all, equal.

Gender, age, wealth, caste or marital status, do not take away the right to equality.

More on Equality below:

And if a woman demands equality, she should behave exactly like a male…

Can anyone guarantee that absolute empowerment of women thru feminism will improve the social balance and not give rise to new social problems?”

India leads in sexual violence, worst on gender equality: Study

What is equality?

Why Scandinavian women make the rest of the world jealous.

Do Indian women see socially reinforced gender inequality as a problem in the first place?

“…Or are they the first to point the finger at women who try to be equal to their husbands/partners/men in general?”

An email from Garima.

Dear IHM,

As a British woman with an Indian background, I wasn’t particularly interested or up to date with Indian sociology. However all of this changed a little over a year ago with the terrible case of the Delhi bus gang rape in December 2012. That was about the time when I stumbled upon your blog. I want to share my experience with you of how saddened and confused I am that the currently generation of women in my family do not seem to embrace female empowerment.

My paternal grandparents were big feminists. They were progressive, kind and strong people, who not only educated their sons but their daughters too and encouraged them all to peruse hobbies outside he house and made sure that my dad learnt the basics of cooking and cleaning when he was still single and living alone. Without meaning to be dismissive or pompous, out of the 4 female cousins on my Dad’s side of the family, I am the only one with a professional future, which I know would have deeply saddened my Grandad if he were alive today.  One gave up work when when she got married, another gave it up when she had a baby. A third never worked and went straight into a marriage (arranged). I am quite a bit younger than them at 21 but I am a medical student and like to think I have a well balanced life – I love playing hockey, long distance running and cooking in my spare time. I can look after my house that I rent with four of my friends, do my laundry and generally take care of myself, which I think is important regardless of if you’re a man or a woman. Now what I find concerning is the attitude of my female cousins – a lot of things they have said (bar the eldest one, who has spent some time living abroad and is a more balanced person) seem to me that they are enforcing the stereotype that women must serve their husbands first and that “Indian culture” is of paramount importance. For example, I received this (terribly typed) joke from one of them this morning:

Wife On Husband’s Birth’day:
Kya Gift Dun.?
.
HUSBAND:
Pyar Se Dekha Karo.
Izzat Karo.
Tameez Se Baat Kiya Karo.
Yehi Kaafi Hai.
.
WIFE:
Nahi. Main To Gift Hi Dungi..!!!!!

😝😜😝😜😝😜

Husband & wife dining in a hotel:

Husband : I wanna tell you something.
Wife: It’s not good manners to talk while eating.
.
.

(After Eating)
.
Wife:Now tell me …
Hubby: There was a cockroach in your biryani!

Aur copy karo angrezi culture…!

Izzat? Tameez? Many people would praise the husband in this joke for asking his wife to simply be a good wife. But words like these draws parallel with the wedding vows that were the norm until about 15 to 20 years ago where the wife promised “to love, cherish and obey” her husband, while her simply promised “to love and cherish”.

Why should a wife elevate her husband onto a pedestal as if he is her master? But more importantly, why does my cousin not question this? In fact, why are they scoffing at the idea of the wife to do something nice for his husband as “angrezi culture” and not questioning the husband’s demands? It may be that as Hindi is not my first language, I am taking the joke out of context. I am most definitely offended that they are looking down on “angrezi culture”, which I would regard as MY culture. I think the message that a nice gesture for your husband is an alien concept and that the best thing an Indian wife can give to her husband is her subservience is a dangerous one. Unfortunately it seems that my female cousin agrees with this and doesn’t think twice before perpetrating this idea. This brings me to my question – do Indian women see socially reinforced gender inequality as a problem in the first place? Do they want to remove double standards and expectations? Or are they the first to point the finger at women who try to be equal to their husbands/partners/men in general?

Best wishes,

Garima

Related Posts:

“Please help! How do I prove to my guy friends that women are equal to men?”

And if a woman demands equality, she should behave exactly like a male…?

RESULTS: Tejaswee Rao Blogging Awards – 2011

This is the last and final  (and much delayed) part of TRBA 2011. My heartfelt thanks to all the judges and to blogging friends for all their support and ‘nudges’.

Some sub-categories added, because some very relevant posts fitted in these categories much better.

And finally here’s the final list of winners of Tejaswee Rao Blogging Awards Badge (Thanks once again for the badge Suranga!)

The two cash prizes are yet to be announced. Which two posts out of all the posts here do you think made an impact on you and deserve the cash prize?

Feminism is good for the society.

Biology vs. Culture DEATHMATCH!  - Nandini

The dreaded “F-word” – Chandni

Honor Killings

My honor is my curse. - Bhavia

Make the Khaps leave India – traitors to the Constitution. – Bhagwad Jal Park

Motherhood

Mamta: A perspective on roles of Indian Women. – Careless Chronicles

Woman,un-role yourself! – Usha

The judges also liked,

A little bit of laudanum in my life - Braja

Motherhood is worshiped. And mothers? (Category added later)

Motherhood Pain – SuKupedia

In the Name of Culture – Crescentia Kalpana David

Sexual Violence.

Convoluted sense of justice: Violence most foul - Shree Venkatram

Rape and dishonour- Usha

Sleeping with the enemy - Gounder Brownie

Street Sexual Harassment (Eve teasing)

Blank Noise -  Unmana

Stop calling it “eve teasing”. You are being molested, not teased. – The Restless Quill

Outraging the modesty – Usha

Its Time To Speak Up, To Act!! – Momofrs

Adjust – Shail

Do men believe that women ask for it? (Category added later)

Eve Teasing and why everyone is suffering coz of it - Aditya Nayak

The Woman’s Fault for dressing provocatively? - Bhagwad Jal Park

Slut Walk – Bikram

Insensitivity of the Society - Yogesh

Do men face sexual harassment?

The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking  – The Quirky Indian

Working Women

Sad but true – Chandni

The last bastion - Amodini

The judges also liked,

Why are there so few women leaders at the top of the workforce? – Richajn

Grrrr - Rs Mom on Women’s Web

Surviving in a man’s world – Meera’s reflections

Homemakers/ SAHM/ Non-earning working women

The ‘home maker’ stereotype – Sangitha

Conversation Starters- Stars in my eyes

Never! I don’t want his money! – Preethi  (Women’s Web)

How much are you needed? – starsinmeyes

Domestic Violence

How Abuse Begins? - Desi Girl

Some thoughts on Domestic Violence - Shail

Girls learn to say No - TBG

Special mention: http://vawawareness.wordpress.com/

Marital Rape (Category added later)

The darkness of marital rapes – Madperiodwoman

My experience with domestic violence-  Vidyut

Female Sexuality in Patriarchy (Category added later)

The Dirty Picture- Female Sexuality vs Patriarchy - Towards Harmony

Relationships Gyaan

I only get jealous because I love you  - Preeti Shenoy

Awww – Grounder Brownie

Your Rights in A Relationship - A Desi Girl’s Guide to Relationship Survival

A woman is a woman’s worst enemy?  (Category added later)

Desi Bahus :Gladiators in an arena - Desi Girl

Desi Women’s Friendships: Explore the Dynamics – Desi Girl

All the Old Knives - Gounder Brownie

Animal Rights

Animal Torture – I’m a Nazi…and so are you – Bhagwad Jal Park

Aggressive dog? Tips to handle… – Kalpana Mishra

No discrimination. - Sangitha

Oppressive Customs

Feminism and ‘Seven steps in the sky’  - Haresh Patel

“This is how we have always done it in this family.” – Usha

Of ritualistic torture and sadistic priests - Jiamata

A Happy Period? (Category added later)

Have a Happy Period – Imp’s Mom

Worshiping while Menstruating – Why not? - Deeps

Widowhood (Category added later)

“May your husband live a 100 years!” - Hamsini Ravi

The way women are viewed is still vaguely reminiscent of the sati days in some form… – Madperiodwoman

Inspiring Stories

Pickled and Preserved………जुनं मुरलेलं लोणचं … - Suranga Date

The Lady of Many Smiles -  Kamini Dandapani

LGBT Issues. (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender issues)

Wish - Pawan

Where do I belong? - Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury

Encounters of the Touchable Kind – Suranga

The way a woman dresses…

Clothing the women - Shail

Yes means yes, no means no – The Slut walk - Chandni

Dressed to kill - Yuvika Chaube

Media and crimes against women.

Delhi girls are easy?  – Careless Chronicles

Contraception.

Let’s Talk about Contraception – Sue

No sex education for us. We’re Indian – Amodini

Social Crimes Against Women – Posts that cover social issues like widow burning, FGM, sex selection, Dowry, victim blaming, honor killing etc

Legalizing prostitution? - Sangitha

Remembering the half-saree – Usha

Child Abuse and CSA.

CSAAM April 2011 – Books as aids to empowering a child to stay safe from sexual abuse - Sandhya

Recognize Child Sexual Abuse - Desi Girl

How are we protecting our children?- Starsinmyeyes

Speak up! – Usha

And a special mention to – http://csaawarenessmonth.wordpress.com/

A list of blogs that deal with Gender issues.

This list will be updated.


1. Blogs that deal only with Gender Issues

Towards Harmony - Prathama

A Desi Girl’s Guide to Relationship Survival

Naari (Hindi) -  Rachna -

Divorced Doodling
Careless Chronicles

Chaya Path – Nisha

Madperiodwoman
2. Feminists in the Indian Blogosphere

Real Virtuality – Allytude

cynically.engineered

The charade goes on…

Gounder Brownie

A lot Whimsical,Just like me!

Unmana’s Words – Unmana

Shail’s Nest

To read all the winning posts in 47 categories, please click here.

Congratulations to all the winners.