‘I have grown up and gotten used to the fact that my parents are considered less fortunate since they did not have a son.’

Sharing an email.

* * *

Dear IHM,

I have been a regular reader of your blog. I thought of writing to you since something recently happened which triggered a turmoil in my head.

Before I write about my thoughts, let me give you a small brief about myself. I have been born and brought up in a small town in a middle class joint family where rules were different for girls and boys. My male cousins enjoyed privileges which did not come too easily to me. I have a younger sister – so you can imagine I have grown up and gotten used to the fact that my parents are considered less fortunate since they did not have a son. I have heard random people giving advice to my mother how she will be able to conceive a boy child. Its atrocious but you would be amazed to see the amount of interest such topic generates specially in a family function or any gathering (could be a prayer meeting for somebody as well) my parents ensured that we had our own lives in spite of all the filth around us. Both my sister and I have done fairly well and did what we wanted to do. Parents support was unconditional but silent. Probably their intelligence convinced them it’s easier to do what you intend to do quietly rather than making a fuss about it and inviting trouble. I have been married for long now and recently my sister also got married. I was completely appalled by the number of people who said some absolutely nonsensical things to my parents

 

  • –          Hun te tusse apna kaam muka baithe ho  (you have completed your duty )
  • –          Ab ganga naha lo , Chalo bhaar utha sir ton ( take a dip in holy ganga, burden off your head)
  • –          My brother in law comes from very rich family – so people actually came and said “Nice Catch”
  • –          Munda Honda taan tussi kamande (if you had a boy you would have earned a lot of money – by means of dowry)

These thoughts were all over my head when I noticed that in the entire marriage ceremony there is not a single blessing directly for the bride—

  • –          Sada suhagan raho
  • –          Sou putravati bhava
  • –          Soubhagyavati raho ( and mind it bhagya comes only with husband or a boy child)
  • –          Khush raho and jeete raho were reserved for the guy only

What troubles me is that the educated lot of my family agrees with these comments and believe that my parents have completed their duty by making sure we both sisters are settled now. At the end it all seems like a façade… you study, do well, have a great career, make lots of money but you are not complete – TILL you get MARRIED/ or have KIDs.

 

My parents still do not take money from me in case I want to contribute- they take it only if they can return it. I feel slightly cheated… it’s not what I signed for. Would it have been so much of an issue  if I was a man!

 

My parents did not stop me from doing anything, I wonder how they would have reacted if I would have told them I don’t want to get married. Or more suitable for me now— I don’t want to have kids- I will adopt in case I wish to have a family with children in future. Deep down I know they will not be ok with this. The issue is that our generation also echoes these thoughts- my countless friends keep asking me when I am giving Good news- as if nothing else in this world qualifies for being a Good news except for child bearing.

 

And this creates a sense of discomfort for me – generations have come and gone but our deep rooted insecurities have remained unaltered. The picture of a perfect life has not changed over years and does not get complete without marriage/ kids….We do have pictures of a single women/a couple who choose not to have kids/ a divorced woman marrying again—- but these pictures are not celebrated like a wedding. And these pictures are not displayed for people to see but are hidden inside out of reach.  

And that’s why I also feel that whenever I decide to have children I would want them to see all pictures, and create their own picture. I wish that people around would also have different pictures on their walls…. A world where every picture would have a different story

 Is it a Wishful thinking???? 

Ananya!!!!

Related Posts:

“I am glad that my parents never thought of raising us as ‘future daughters-in-law’.”

Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

These lines sum up the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India.

Dheeyaan dee maa rani, bhudhaapey bharey paani

Monika wrote about her experience as a daughter of a three ‘dheeyan dee maa’ here.

And Shail’s tells in 55 words, the story of the girls who are allowed to be born.

‘We grew up in a very liberal family. We knew what our limits were and our focus was our education. We never betrayed our parents.’

“But, my only motive in life has been my daughter’s happiness which is now in your hands. I beg you, please keep her happy”

So what could make even the average, selfish, money-minded Indian family welcome baby girls?

An email from an Indian father: I want to place on record my own story as a warning to anyone…

Do you think this video can make Indian parents want to have daughters?

Another email. When an Indian daughter-in-law has no brothers.

Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?

The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…

Difficult daughters, easy sons?

When a daughter refuses to go back…

What do you think of this mother, and this family?

“I know we are teaching our sons to be respectful to both men and women , but what do I teach and tell my daughter?”

Sharing an email.

Dear IHM

I am a regular reader of your blog , and this is something I wanted to share with you and other readers and see if we are all feeling equally helpless.

So we read and hear everyday , about child sexual abuse, rapes in this country , no country for women and other slogans , candle light campaigns, Justice Verma committee and many more. And honestly , nothing seems to have changed, even after last December’s ghastly incident at Delhi . And this scares me.

I have grown up in a very protective background , a loving family where I and my sister were brought up and well educated , and am now settled in a good job. Most  cases of women abuse according to me were ‘oh this happens to under privileged people only ‘ , ‘nothing can happen in broad day light too many people on the road’ , ‘she knew the rapist !, she should have been careful na ‘  and similar thoughts.  Until sometime last year, when I was blessed with life’s most precious gift to me ,my daughter. And things changed. I started worrying about her safety in this country even before she turned 1 ! My norms and thoughts changed , I panicked. And partly it was this panic, which forced me to think of applying  for Permanent Residency in another country and I did.

Ironic, because for the last 9 years despite having many options to move abroad I had not done so , just to be closer to my parents (absolutely no patriotic reasons!).

Now here is why I feel so helpless , is there really nothing you and I can do ? The law , the judiciary is on one side , but as citizens are we that helpless?  I want us to do something , to lead the way somewhere that can at least help the coming generations to some extent , in learning to respect women. But I do not know how , taking to the streets will help momentarily , beyond that it is the mindset and outlook of most Indian men that needs to change , can we drive that change in any  way , that is the answer I am looking for. I know this blog has a variety of readers , some of them are probably already into something on these lines , but is there a way to translate that into a broader and bigger reform movement . I want to know what the other readers think , their opinion .

I know we are teaching our sons to be respectful to both men and women , but what do I teach and tell my daughter , should I panic every time she steps out of the house , should I put this sense of fear in her this early , and advice her not to trust the opposite gender at all ? And the last thought , are all mothers with daughters equally paranoid , or am I over reacting ?

Thank you for listening to my rant..

Related Posts:

What makes women safe on streets?

Of course it was unsafe to ask for lift, but what exactly were their options?

What’s the best way to fight for your rights and freedoms and to prevent Talibanization of India?

Is stalking of girls and women illegal in India?

Would women be in some ways empowered if they saw no shame in what they could risk being called?

“She was warned several times and was used to unethical practices like friendship with boys.”

I do not like reservation.

“I am glad that my parents never thought of raising us as ‘future daughters-in-law’.”

Sharing an email.

“An acquaintance actually came home to tell my father that I spoke to a boy in the bus and advised my father to be careful.”

“Relatives made fun of how my parents were ‘investing too much’ in mere daughters.”

I am sharing my story with you after having read news/posts on how daughters are raised to be wives and mothers, how they are poisoned for not bearing son [A godman declared that she would never bear a boy. Hearing this, in-laws decided to eliminate her], and how few girls themselves feel that they have the right to get money from their parents as dowry and therefore refuse to take up jobs. Yes, there are girls who think they are entitled to receive huge amounts as dowry from parents.

I am sharing this to let people know that there are positive stories and that there is hope if parents treat daughters as daughters and support them without adhering to  the ‘paraya dhan’ concept.

My mother passed away last year. As we all coped with the tragedy, we, three sisters, thought about our father  who would have had to fight loneliness. My eldest sister lives in India and my other sister and myself live abroad and therefore, it was practical for my father to stay with my sister in India. As soon as the decision was made, my sister and brother-in-law made arrangements for my father to move in with them. So after settling things at our home town, my father moved in with them last month. All of us have been very happy with this. He is happy and tells me he is very relaxed and well taken care of by my sister and her family.My father knows he is very much welcome to stay with me or with my other sister.

By the way, my parents were actually consoled by few for having 3 daughters. Few even offered free advice “dont educate them beyond 12th or BSc. They will get ‘spoilt’. I am glad that my parents never thought of raising us as ‘future daughters-in-law’. Education, independence, ability to face challenges – were given more prominence. In fact, my dad had made it clear that all three of us should study until post graduation and earn before we married. “Marriage and motherhood can wait. Please make yourselves strong enough to face challenges life throws at you”, he would say. My mother was a living example of how not compromise with ideals, be strong, have tremendous will power and a very positive attitude.

Let me share the comments that my parents and my sisters and myself had to face: (of course those who crossed limits were given stern responses by my parents and us). Will not include all that to avoid having a very long post.

1. My parents were asked to monitor three of us closely as we travelled to college everyday. This was to ensure that  we did not talk to boys, did not sit next to them or ‘get spoilt’ (read made plans to elope). Of course, my parents never did so.

2. An acquaintance actually came home to tell my father that I spoke to a boy in the bus and advised my father to be careful. My father told that person that he knew the boy and his family and that he had no objection whatsoever if I spoke to boys.

3. When my eldest sister gave birth to her second daughter, a visitor on knowing it was a baby girl sighed “aah!! what to do? Just have to accept the fate”.

4. We were consoled for not having a brother to whom we could tie ‘rakhi’ on Raksha Bandhan day. “Tch tch, if only you had a brother….”.

5. Few  relatives made fun of how my parents were ‘investing too much in us’ . Being in a small town meant we had to be married off as as soon as possible and my parents were asked ‘not to dream the impossible and have so much expectations”.  My mother was asked why she was delaying marriage of her daughters. She did not respond then. But after we finished post graduation, found well-paying jobs and eventually got married, all those who commented admitted that my parents made the right decision.

My sisters and I are following the example set by my parents. Our daughters will be respected and will be  encouraged at all times to achieve what they wish to in their lives. They will not be raised as future ‘daughters-in-law’.

– Sandhya

Related Posts:

Only when raising ideal daughters in law is not their goal, would Indian parents be able enjoy having and bringing up girl children.

Can you be equal if you are not allowed to make equal contribution?

Dheeyaan dee maa rani, bhudhaapey bharey paani

Keeping her maiden name can save an Indian woman’s life.

Skewed sex ratio is not caused by sex selective abortions.

Parents should choose the boy for a girl aged below 21, as it is they who bear the brunt of an unsuccessful marriage – Karnataka HC

Paraya dhan and her limited rights.

This is not the first, or the only time a rape victim in UP has been kept overnight in a Mahila Thana.

A ten year old girl is allegedly raped by a 24 year old man. Her mother takes her to an all woman Police Station. Medical examination confirms the rape. The police allegedly does not write the report. The mother is allegedly driven away away and the child is locked up and kept in the Police Station overnight.

What would have happened if a free lance journalist had not heard about this ten year old rape survivor’s ordeal?

The Police, it seems, is claiming ‘misunderstanding’.

What misunderstanding could there possibly be here? Did they ‘misunderstand’ that the child had committed some crime? Did they also ‘misunderstand’ the child’s age?

There seems to be lesser delay or misunderstanding in reacting to some other kinds of crimes. In Haryana, a rape victim was booked for suicide attempt in Jhajjar

Another video:

Does it look like the UP police has been given clear (or any) instructions for dealing with sexual crimes? (or any crimes)

This is not the first, or the only time a rape victim in UP has been asked to stay back in a Mahila Thana.

Where could this girl have disappeared? [As the victim was to appear before a magistrate the next day to get her statements recorded, she was directed  to stay back at the Mahila Thana.]

But this time there is hope for justice,

Explain how minor rape victim was put behind bars: SC tells UP govt

The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of media reports about detention of a 10-year-old rape victim by the police in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh recently.

The apex court has now sent notice to the state government, asking how the police put the rape victim in custody.

More about UP Police.

Do you remember this murdered couple who made a ‘dramatic reappearance’?

“The rape victim had gone there willingly. She was not lured into it. They drank vodka.”

In Saharanpur UP, a DIG recommended honor killing. [“I don’t have magical power to recover your daughter. But if your daughter had eloped then you should be ashamed of it and end your life…”]

So how does Delhi – NCR Police define Rape?

Keeping her maiden name can save an Indian woman’s life.

I have blogged about how keeping their maiden names can save Indian women’s lives in wombs [link]. Now it seems killing an Indian citizen who carries further family lineage (and is also seen as a budhape ka sahara) is seen as a bigger crime than killing someone who doesn’t.

I have always held [link] that Indian citizens who carry further family lineage are valued more than those who don’t. The more valued they are, the more seriously any crimes against them are taken. So if they value their safety, they must carry their family names further and also be their parents’ budhape ka sahara.

In a country where the opposition goes hoarse protesting ‘Dynasty rule’ – carried forward by a daughter, we still believe only male children can carry the much valued family lineage.

Sandhya shared this link with this message:

So I have no chance of carrying on my lineage, nor do I have any support for my old age, as I have no ‘male child!’ The murder should have been reprehensible in itself, whether of a male or female child. Such statements further propogate the wrong mindsets. 

Death for killing a ‘male child, who would have carried further the family lineage’.

1. “Agony for parents for the loss of their male child, who would have carried further the family lineage, and is expected to see them through their old age, is unfathomable. Extreme misery caused to the aggrieved party certainly adds to the aggravating circumstances.” (link)

2. “Just a week ago, a bench of Justices Sathasivam and F M I Kalifulla had commuted the capital punishment of a man convicted for raping his minor daughter on the complaint of his wife. On release from jail on parole, he axed his wife and daughter to death. Both the trial court and high court had given death to the man.” (link)

Supreme Court saves from noose man who raped daughter and killed her, and also his wife

The man raped his daughter in 1999 and his wife was a witness. In January 2006, he was released on parole when he axed to death his wife and daughter. This time, his second daughter witnessed the incident and testified against him. The trial court awarded the death sentence and the high court confirmed it.

However, after comparing the aggravating and mitigating circumstances, the apex court said it was “not persuaded” to accept that the case can be called “rarest of rare”, warranting death penalty for the man who is now 48 years old.

“It was thirst for retaliation, which became the motivating factor in this case. In no words are we suggesting that the motive of the accused was correct, rather we feel it does not come within the category of ‘rarest of rare’…” the court held. [link]

Related Posts:

So what could make even the average, selfish, money-minded Indian family welcome baby girls?

First name, Unwanted. Second name, Dad’s or Husband’s name.

Can we blame everything on patriarchy?

Only when raising ideal daughters in law is not their goal, would Indian parents be able enjoy having and bringing up girl children.

Paraya dhan and her limited rights.

In Rape Culture, we understand that if the rapist was living alone, away from his native place, he could lose control over himself.

Shree Venkatram linked to this news in her post ‘Rape and molestation, mindset and judgments‘.

The Bombay High Court has reduced punishment for a man convicted of sodomising a 10-month-old girl child, accepting his contention that he lost control over himself as he was living away from his family.

Although the court upheld his conviction under Section 377 of the IPC, it reduced the sentence handed out to Ramkishan Harijan, who worked as a labourer with a brick-trader in Mumbai, from 10 years to seven.

In his judgment, Justice M L Tahaliyani also said that the six years Harijan had already spent in jail be taken into account.

Trial judge was aware of the fact that the appellant (Harijan) was married and (had) two children and his family was staying in Uttar PradeshNo doubt, this by itself may not be a reason for lenient sentence. However, had it been considered in the proper perspective, the learned trial court probably would have imposed lesser sentence than 10 years,” Justice M L Tahaliyani wrote in his judgment recently.

According to the prosecution, Harijan was a neighbour of the victim, and both lived on Mankhurd-Ghatkopar Link Road. On January 10, 2006, he took the child to a deserted place near her house and sodomised her while her father was away.

The victim’s mother came to the spot on hearing the child’s cries and claimed to have seen Harijan fleeing. The child was bleeding from her private parts. Harijan was arrested the next day.

On January 1, 2008, a sessions court acquitted Harijan of charges of rape but held him guilty under Section 377 on charges of sodomy.

Arguing against the quantum of sentence awarded to Harijan, his lawyer Arfan Sait said he was poor and “living alone, away from his native place and therefore probably he lost control over himself”. [From here]

Examine the stereotypes pushed as truth – Men just can’t control themselves. The stereotype is that men always want sex. [Link]

Rape culture is a term or concept used to describe a culture in which rape and sexual violence are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone sexual violence. (Definition from Wikipedia)

In Rape Culture almost everybody sounds like this rapist’s lawyer. They feel the victim has rights, but they can’t help sympathizing with the rapist’s compulsions.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION BELOW TO PROTEST –

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/justice-for-child-abuse-victims/

Related posts:

Does a rapist deserve a reduced sentence because he lost control since he was living away from his family?

So a precedence of leniency had been set in an earlier case…

Parents should choose the boy for a girl aged below 21, as it is they who bear the brunt of an unsuccessful marriage – Karnataka HC

Karnataka High Court thinks marriage of an adult female below 21  should be declared null and void unless it has her parents’ approval. Please note, they did not suggest raising the age of marriage to 21 in Arranged Marriages, only in Choice Marriages. (Generally called Love Marriages).

Why this news bothers me,

1. Indians parents are known to force their daughters to Get Married and Stay married (or die trying).

2. Arranging marriages for daughters is seen as a challenging task and Indian parents need laws to stop them from aborting daughters to avoid these challenges.

3. Indian parents frequently choose creating a good impression on their neighbors over their children’s happiness.

4. And now we know that India is the most dangerous country for a girl child because of the above reasons (and related issues).

Read what Karnataka High Court has to say about choice marriages, when women are younger than 21 years of age. (Link shared by Nish Sivakumar, thanks Nish!)

“In the past one-and-a-half months, in six cases, the high court of Karnataka has asked girls who are over 18 but less than 21 years of age to return to their parents’ home, after being ‘married’.

The legally permissible age for marriage for women, under the Constitution, is 18 years.

Girls over 18 years but less than 21 years of age were produced in court, and told to go with their parents. Evidence of marriage—photographs showing the exchange of garlands and tying of the marital knot — have not helped.

In all these cases, the judgment cited was issued in the high court on May 12, 2011: “We have seen many cases of run-away love marriages and untold misery and hardship of the parents and the girls. All the love marriages are not successful. In the event of failure of the love marriage of the girl, it is the girl and her parents who have to suffer…The girls, later on, realise their mistake that they were hasty in love marriage and repent at leisure. (sic)” [Link]

Please read at the bottom of this post how Indian parents deal with any problems in marriages that they arrange for their daughters.

The Karnataka High Court has proposed that the law be amended to allow arranged marriage for girls at 18 and love marriage only at 21. A division bench of the High Court was of the view that girls should not be allowed to choose their partners on their own till they turn 21.

The Khaps would love this. Watch them say almost exactly the same thing in ‘Izzatnagar ki Asabhya Betiyan’,  a documentary by Nakul S Sawhney. Trailer here.

“In our opinion, the girls below the age of 21 years are not capable of forming a rational judgment as to the suitability of the boy, with whom they are in love. It is relevant to mention that those girls, who are suffering from hormonal imbalance easily fall prey to the boys and fall in love, marry and repent at leisure,” the judges said in an order…

Hormonal imbalance was why Khaps said they were against Choice Marriages. Please note, the same girls can be held responsible for everything else that happens to them.

‘Justice K Bhakthavatsala and Justice K Govindarajulu stressed that the Parliament had not taken into account love marriages when the Bill was introduced. “Since the Hindu Marriage Act does not deal with love marriages, in our view, it is high time that the Parliament take note of the sufferings of such girls and their parents and amend the law suitably,” the judges said.

They suggested that run-away marriages of girls under 21 be declared void or voidable.”‘  [link]

Please read on,

…The court further observed that… “Parents should choose the boy for a girl aged below 21, as it is they who bear the brunt of an unsuccessful marriage,” the Bench said.

To see how average Indian parents ‘bear the brunt of  an unsuccessful marriage’ they have arranged, please check the list at the bottom of this post.

Don’t you think it would be more practical to encourage young women to be self reliant?

🙄

“Terming as void Avinash’s marriage with the girl without her parents’ consent, the court levied a cost of Rs 10,000 on him. “The court cannot shut its eyes even when police fail to initiate action,” the Bench said. On the petitioner’s contention of illegal detention, the court said, “Parents keeping the child with them does not amount to illegal detention.”The girl’s parents had lodged a complaint of kidnapping on February 7, 2011, with the Wilson Garden Police after their minor daughter, a second PU student, went missing on February 2 while on her way to college. Avinash had taken her to Krishnagiri where he married her on March 3, 2011, after she turned 18 on March 1. On returning to Bangalore on March 28, he appeared before the police, who brokered peace between the two families by ensuring that the boy got to meet the girl twice a day and appeared before the police daily. However, when the girl’s parents refused to abide by the deal and denied him permission to meet his wife, he filed a habeas corpus plea. When the matter came up for hearing on Thursday, the Bench lashed out at the petitioner saying, “This is (the marriage) nothing but a case of kidnapping. If the marriage fails, the girl will return to her parents who are the actual sufferers.” The Bench said that parents protecting their child was not illegal detention. “The Hindu Marriage Act is not a contract. It needs permission from parents. (Avinash’s case) is nothing but misuse of the girl and her age,” the court said.Stating that it would take a decision in the interest of the people, the court observed orally, “If it was love, you should wait. Why should you elope? He (boy) will not carry the sin. The girls are the sufferers.” Taking the police to task, the court said, “Police don’t behave like human beings. You cannot decide on such matters. Who are you to decide? You are just adding fuel to fire.” When counsel for the respondents K N Puttegowda submitted that it was the third love affair for the boy, the Bench asked Avinash: “Why did you go to Tamil Nadu? To see tsunami? This kind of people should be hanged.”The court dismissed the matter and directed the Wilson Garden Police to take Avinash into custody immediately.” [link]
The same news is reported a little differently here but the basic point about approval of parents needed for love marriages before a girl turns 21 remains.

“The father of the girl lodged a missing person complaint, and Avinash, in a bid to have his ‘wife’ returned to him, had filed another complaint.

However, in that case, Avinash had not turned 21 at the time of the marriage, so had not attained the age when a man could legally wed. Sanghavi too had not turned 18, when a woman is allowed to marry legally.”

If they were not of legal ages, and if that was given as a reason for marriage being declared null and void, it would make sense. But this is not what is reported.

“Delivering a judgment in this case, on May 12, the judges ruled, “In our opinion, the girls below the age of 21 years are not capable of forming a rational judgment…”

Another  link here.

Updated to add: And this is a law student’s reaction on her blog -http://aneeshamathur.blogspot.in/2011/06/girls-shouldnt-be-allowed-to-have-love.html

And this is how average Indian parents bear the brunt of unsuccessful marriages, they have arranged for their daughters. Andwhy I don’t think parents always make better judgements.


When a daughter refuses to go back…

Overheard at a Beauty Parlour…

When she says she no longer wishes to stay with him, why isn’t her word enough?

If someone dislocated your jaw…

Can a woman marry and change an uninterested (in marrying her) man into a responsible, loving husband?

An email: “But my parents, fearing the society and their reputation begged him to take me back.”

An email: Can a woman be married off with a promise to the in laws, that her father would find a job for her?

The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…

Four kinds of marriages in modern India. Which ones would you ban?

What the Supreme Court has said in the past:

The powers of the protectors.

Marry Or Live With Anyone Of Your Choice.

Only when raising ideal daughters in law is not their goal, would Indian parents be able enjoy having and bringing up girl children.

I knew India was not a very woman friendly place but now it seems, India is the most dangerous place in the world to be a baby girl. (Thanks for the link Dhiren)

The UN report is clear that high girl child mortality is explained by socio-cultural values. So strong is the biological advantage for girls in early childhood that higher mortality among girls should be seen as “a powerful warning that differential treatment or access to resources is putting girls at a disadvantage”, the report says.

“Higher female mortality from age 1 onwards clearly indicated sustained discrimination,” [link]

But, why don’t the Indian parents and society value girl children?

If dowry and finding them a husband is the problem? Then has making laws against dowry solved the problem?

It hasn’t, because parents who just have to get their daughters married by a certain age to a certain kind of man (who must be older, taller and earn more than the girl), have no choice but to give dowry, and accept some ridiculous conditions which appear normal to us because they have become a habit/custom.

It doesn’t matter that the daughter is completely self reliant, she still must marry before she is a certain age. So would it not help is women didn’t see getting married and staying married as their goal in life? I see that as the only thing that can change this horrible disbalance.

Picture life for women if they didn’t see marriage as their sole goal in life.

=>They work to be self reliant and since they have to take care of themselves, they learn to be independent.

=>They choose careers they have aptitude for without worrying about how it affects their prospects for finding suitable husbands.

=>Their parents have no fears about what the neighbours’ think because they are not thinking about what the neighbor’s grand uncle would say to the third cousin’s aunty who wants information about their daughter’s character (romantic life and virginity) to pass on to prospective bridegrooms’ families.

=>So less control of the entire community on who they meet, how they dress, what timings they keep etc – less stress for their parents.

=>Once there is no pressure to marry, they would be themselves. They won’t need to pretend to be what they are expected to be.

=>Once the fear of her reputation marring her chances of getting married is gone, parents would take sexual crimes against women more seriously.

=>Since parents make families, and families make society, this would the beginning of the society recognizing sexual harassment and sexual crimes as serious crimes.

=>Once the society takes sexual crimes seriously, so would the police and the government.

=>And that would result in an honest attempt to to understand sexual crimes, and that sincere effort would bring down such crimes considerably.

Sexual crimes would still happen but then they would not be seen as,
1. A woman’s fault (parents and society won’t tolerate such excuses)
2. As the end of her life,
3. As affecting her reputation.

Only when raising ideal daughters in law is not their goal, would Indian parents be able enjoy having and bringing up girl children.

A sad majority of Indians would then NOT support girl children living lives where they can’t expect equality and justice.

They will no longer pass off injustice as ‘Indian family values’.

Women like Ananya, who suffer from Stockhom Syndrome, would not need to be grateful to their abusers when their slavish obedience and submissiveness is repaid with pat on the head. And what’s more, they will not pass on these slavish values to their sons and daughters. And that would be a positive beginning.

In short, if parents see that their daughters can have control over their own lives and happiness;  that they can have a voice and it’s okay for them to choose if, when and who they marry, then parents would not see raising little women as an avoidable challenge.

Related Posts:

So what could make even the average, selfish, money-minded Indian family welcome baby girls?

Don’t treat the cause, the problem will never go.

This is the root of the problem. Do you agree?

Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

If she was born somewhere else.

Dheeyaan dee maa rani, bhudhaapey bharey paani

Can dowry ensure happiness and security for a girl?

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.

Announcing tomorrow…

Announcing tomorrow, the results for all the categories directly contributing towards making ours a culture that hates girl-children.

Which categories?

Do you think the Indian rigid, patriarchal Joint Family system has something to do with our not wanting to have baby girls (paraya dhan)?

Dowry everyone talks about but what about traditional arranged marriages, which facilitate dowry? In arranged marriages, a daughter’s parents are seen as inferior to the groom’s parents, and the female partner, the bride, as inferior to the male partner. It’s difficult to be traditional and still be proud of having girl-children.

So obviously this kind of marriages don’t make it easier for Indian parents to want daughters, why not just refuse to accept such unwritten, illogical customs ( or Family Values)? Because our  family values mandate that all Indian daughters be ‘married off’ by a certain age, within community and only to a groom who earns more than they do. This means traditional Indian women must do nothing that puts them at risk of not achieving this goal fixed for them.

It doesn’t end there. Another family value, once married a woman must stay married. Being happy for women, is traditionally seen as less important than staying married.

Women wanting happiness and freedom are seen as selfish (“unacceptable behavior”). It’s been like this for so long that one doesn’t even realize that it can and should change. And unless this changes, one will hear more of the disturbing stories in the last post.