Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Poor Mother India

I think this woman's post deserves to be read. I warn you that it is very depressing.

So far I have not commented on the horrible event that happened in New Delhi. All I can think is how very, very grateful I am to have lived only in societies where sexual harassment is seriously frowned upon and can even get men fired. I am grateful that as far as I know I do not know men who hate women, and that I have never before heard of men openly discussing rape fantasies.

Given migration patterns, I seriously hope Western governments put a lot of serious thought into community education and just don't tiptoe around inherited problems. Simply moving to Mississauga or Rochdale is unlikely to change a mindset, especially when reinforced by new neighbours from the old country.

Although many boys already brought up in families where women are equal might get very bored and even feel insulted or emasculated by constant assertions of women's equal dignity and autonomy, such reminders seem to be sadly necessary.

Here's a post by a woman writing about being Single in Delhi. She says she is actually scared.


Urszula said...

This is so incredibly sad, and scary. Especially the link to the Single Woman in Delhi's blog.

I wonder if it is true for all of Indian society, though. Surely there must exist at least pockets of environments where this rape mentality is not so prevalent. I dated an Indian guy from a fairly well-off family for over a year and although things didn't work it, he is truly one of the most caring and respectful people I have ever met. He also was very caring towards his mother. I'm reminded of that since in one of the articles the writer asks about the relationship of these men with their mothers.

I do think these stories are horrific, but the world really needs to learn. I've always wondered why feminists seem to concentrate their efforts in the US and Europe when all over the world there are women who don't have the right to work, decide who they want to marry, or even the right to go outside after sunset and not get abused.

Anonymous said...

Delhi has always been really unsafe for women, as I myself have experienced in my very short stay there. As you go towards south of India, the situation is a bit better. Perhaps education and the lower-levels of aggression have something to do with it.
I was subjected to all this since I started traveling independently since age 11. It’s a horrifying experience at that age to be suddenly groped in a public bus. The perpetrator got off immediately. I was in a state of shock when I stared at him; he broadly grinned back at me. Whatever sense of outrage you feel, you very quickly learn that there’s nothing you can do about it. We’re always encouraged to think of it as “it happens, forget about it”. It is much easier to ignore all of it because any hue and cry raised, the finger of blame would have automatically pointed back at victim. Also, the fear that these men might stalk you, and do something worse.
Anyway, this continued over the years. I think that this abuse gets lesser when women get older, as it is much easier to get away with molesting a child.
Even in a civilized workplace, you have to deal with the stares at body parts, the “accidental” brushings.
Went to a crowded market a week ago. Was groped three times. I did what I always do: ignore and walk on.

---------------Anon from India