Thursday, April 1, 2010

Building women-friendly nations…

There’s so much talk about importance of eco-friendliness in anything and everything – from decreasing carbon footprints to reduced use of plastic, controlling fuel emission to switching off all lights to mark the Earth Hour – that I sometimes feel optimistic, maybe we still can be salvaged – environmentally, that is.

However, and I regret the awful comparison, I strongly believe we are not doing enough to make this world a better place for women.

Hang on, no, I am not campaigning for the Women’s Reservation Bill – I do not trust the ideology behind reservations – Equal Opportunities - YES. Quota reservations – NO.
Reserving seats does not ensure deserving candidates; more women candidates in governing bodies does not necessarily translate into empowerment for all women. But, that is a whole new debate outside of what I have in mind today.

This article on Iceland’s highly successful endeavors in almost eliminating the sex industry in the Nordic country provides a heartening ray of hope. Ignore the dig at the probability of the prime minister being a lesbian. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with feminism, and we can discuss that later.

Unlike in a hypocritical country like ours, where women drinking in bars out of their own free will attract more protesters than young girls forced into prostitution, Iceland, as a nation, unites to stand up against commodification of women. Men finally get the first most important lesson in humanity: You buy your drink at the pub, not a woman.

It is outrageous, when the politicians in various countries try to argue on the benefits of legalizing the sex trade – This is sheer regression. Instead of working towards upliftment of women we are trying to justify institutionalization of derogation of women, making it a systemic part of the legal function. Why?
Retarded men and women defend it by making tall claims such as legalization would help reducing crimes such as rapes against women, many women treat this as a serious occupation and feed their families from it. Some even go the extent of stating that such a measure would help freeing men from their repressed frustrations. WTF!
Other WTF defenses include that prostitution has been a part of Indian culture – yeah right, so has bride burning, killing of the female infant, and other such atrocities against the so called “fairer and weaker” sex. So what do we do, legalize these as well?

Strip clubs, lap dance bars and red light areas make a lot of business sense – for the pimps and the middlemen – not for the “objects” that are put up on sale at such places.
Majority women are forced into prostitution by poverty-stricken families or heinous captors; they do not join the flesh trade for want of glamour, as many claim. These women are abused, physically and mentally tortured, not paid adequately, deprived of medical assistance – basically forced to live in the inferno of hell.
There is no hope of escape for generations together. These women are not the entrepreneurs they are made out to be in some countries – they are exploited to a degree that should put our entire civilization to shame.

Moreover, statistics claim that there is no correlation between legalizing prostitution and decrease in the crimes against women. In fact, most of these countries, such as The Netherlands, have seen a sharp spike in child prostitution post legalization of this form of “male violence”.

I really wonder when the world will awaken to the need to collectively and proactively work towards building women-friendly nations.
Why can’t we have Copenhagen summits like we did for the environment?
Why can’t world leaders come together and act together like they did for the economic crisis of 2008?
Why can’t more countries follow the Iceland example?

We have miles to go, and it pains me that try as much, I can’t even list the various forms of sexual exploitation alone that a woman is subjected to – child molestation, eve teasing, gang rapes, marital rapes, human trafficking, prostitution, sexual slavery, the list goes on.

Where is feminism, an often misunderstood and misquoted term, in asking for an end to all this – isn’t it Humanism instead?

Right to equality, Right to freedom from exploitation – Our fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian constitution, remember anyone?

17 comments:

  1. Very well written. And about legalizing prositutiton...its for the benefit of men! Today if you are caught you have to struggle with the law. Tomorrow when it will be legal, you have nothing illegal to worry about. You're not going to be behind bars even for one night and wont run around lawyers etc.

    Legalization doesn't benefit the sex worker. She will still be living in sub human condition, contracting AIDS, getting beaten up, giving away her money to the pimps!

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  2. Brilliant...One word that comes to my mind after reading your article. They way u have presented the thought really strike the chord.I completely agree with your point what you have mention. Not only society but each man has to change its perspective.He need to give the respect what every female on this world requires. The way life is changing and people are changing i am really started worrying a lot coz 7% growth on one side and on another the way we are degrading respect. Does it match..I don't think so..

    We need to change our thinking..

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  3. @Maria: Agree with u completely, I wonder why is common sense so uncommon!

    @Niraj: Thanks. And yes our growth doesn't mean much if we continue to treat women like we do!

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  4. No amount of laws can change this status.The society has to wake up to reality and come forward and it is the women who must take an initiative.
    Men will always say--it is the oldest profession in the world.
    A few determined women, a few clean politicians and support from the society is what can help.

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  5. I differ with you only in 1 point

    I support reservation bill because that is the only way you will get good representation. Dont worry about quality it aint good even now. It cant get any worse.

    As far as drinking goes I feel both women and men shouldnt drink. I know it is their personal decision but that is my view.

    Another point I wanna stress is If the thief doesnt want to change you cant stop theft. The Strip clubs, prostitution thrive because people want it and there are people who do it. One of these groups stop, rather than point fingers at each other or justify what they are doing.

    Was a very thought provoking post indeed. We are a very young country and we are getting there

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  6. @Chowla ji: I agree with you, the mind set needs to change - only then laws are useful.

    @Venky: thanks for sharing your thoughts. maybe reservation will help better representation, maybe not. We can only hope for the best. I agree with you regarding the attitude change in the people required.

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  7. When Venky remarked that India is a young country, I was wondering whether it is really? When dams can be built destroying a whole community, roads laid by cutting millions of trees, why not have the laws that enable women to feel protected and safe.

    Long ago Gandhi argued that he would see India as a free country only when women are able to walk in the middle of the night without any fear. But achieving that alone is taking so much time.

    Yuvika I like the way you have titled the post. Your arguments flow quite logically. I am glad that you have started this awareness.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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  8. Nice template. :) White flower is awesome! :)

    Very well written.

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  9. @Susan: Thanks Susan. Yes, where is freedom when the women can;t exercise their basic rights?

    @Chandrika: Thank you!

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  10. @susan

    INdian has been under democracy only for 63. For centuries we have routed by invaders.

    People talk about America, American democracy is more than 2 centuries if i am right old realistically speaking we need time we are young

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  11. Loved your blog. Your writing strikes a chord, brings a smile. That's enough for me. Following you (your blog I mean!!! ;P)from now on.

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  12. Well said Yuvika. This has almost been my stance for quite sometime much to the annoyance of so called women activists!
    Legalising prostitution can never be the solution for crime against women!
    Prostitution being an old profession can be good for argument, but even if we consider that to be true (just for an argument), it was still not forced upon women.

    It should be upliftment in the actual terms! I agree that poverty is pushing some women into such acts, or women are being forced into prostitution. I think this should draw the attention of the entire nation in a different angle. Have some responsibilities and start thinking about the ever increasing population!

    Give some credits to our great Government dear friend, for they have still not legalised bombing or shooting (with guns of course) to show reduced number of terrorism activities!

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  13. I really like this post! I agree with you on making the world more women friendly. I hate it when men justify their demented primitive actions with ridiculous excuses. But I also would like people to see the danger in the over-sexualisation of women in today's society. Many women reduce themselves to objects because that's what sells products, gets them noticed and they feel that that's how they must express girl power and display their independence. I think a lot of them have gotten it wrong because by objectifying themselves, they're making it more and more a man's world.
    Will send you a link by an author who writes amazing articles on these topics.

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  14. the law can never make the changes! its the people that it breaks down to!wil b cying yu around:)

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  15. @Anju: True, some women too put themselves to use. The thing is I would rather somebody do it out of personal choice than coerced violence. Waiting for the link :)

    @HaRy: people can definitely do a lot but atleast laws should not be perverse to social living. Thanks for dropping by, keep visiting :)

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I appreciate you taking out the time to share your valuable opinions! They mean a lot!

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