Women in India

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Energon, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    So I'm sure numerous people must have come across this article in the Guardian talking about how India was voted as the worst country for women among the influential G20 nations. Clearly it is important to have a discourse on this poignant issue which would have technically affected 50% of the population had women not been selectively killed.

    It is extremely unfortunate that there are no female representatives contributing to this discussion because it would have made for a far more balanced discussion. Nonetheless we can consider this to be a discourse from a male point of view.

    ****I'm not a mod, however since I'm starting this thread I would have to assume some responsibility were it to turn nasty. So I'm going to lay down some ground rules and request all of you to follow them. At any point if this thread goes to $h!t I will ask the mods to shut it down.
    Ground rules:
    • I want the basis of the thread to a discussion of solutions and not merely the problems. Please try and tell us what you think should be done to resolve problems instead of just listing them
    • Please do not attempt to mitigate the issue out of nationalist pride by using inherently flawed arguments of drawing parallels with violence against women in developed/Western countries and/or Pakistan (which isn't in the G20 list).
    • Please refrain from personal attacks. Everyone has the right to disclose their opinion (as ludicrous as it may be) provided it is not an attack in of itself.
    • It is already evident that this is a social issue and not particularly a religious one, so please do not go down that line.
    • Keep in mind that this topic is about the state of women in India, so do not go on tangents about other nations/cultures (especially Pakistan) unless you can directly tie it to the argument at hand.
    • Please do not keep harping on the details of the torture that you feel ought to be meted out to the perpetrators.
    • Use common sense and don't act like @$$holes.

    Misogyny in India seems to come in two forms, one being a vestigial plague of the past and the second being the increasingly turbulent outfall of a rapidly changing society with a large population under the age of 30, which is not to say there's no connection. However I think tackling the issues by those categories might be more affective.

    It is highly disappointing to see the state of women in India and it certainly ought to be a national embarrassment. However what makes India special compared to many other third world countries is that there are actual mechanisms in place to resolve issues, its just that those mechanisms remain deactivated unless they are jolted. This explains why things actually happen once an incident like this draws widespread attention. This is also why I think the initial objective of the movement to protect women ought to be forcing the implementation of the system that's already in place (even if imperfect) instead of attempting to conjure up new policies that will only be added to the list of things to be ignored. For instance, there are clear cut laws about violence against individuals, yet in light of such incidents the "solution" ends up being idiotic legislature to "ban"all nightlife. So instead of better implementation of the laws already on the books there are new restrictions put into place further diminishing the freedom of citizens. Which means instead of using the police to curb violence (the actual crime) they are used to "crack down" on all partying. This is patently stupid. Furthermore it actually has a negative impact because there is now a shady illegal market supplying nightlife to a country that has a high number of young people who are increasingly urbanizing. This new black market is entirely based on corruption facilitated by an already corrupt police force and given its illegitimacy it is now free of moderation from actual crime prevention.

    I think the primary factors behind this idiotic logic are political in nature. First, to placate the largely ignorant conservative (voting) adult populace who support moral policing because they never had the opportunity to be worldly themselves which in turn made them very insecure. And second, to facilitate corruption that is highly beneficial to corrupt politicians themselves. This is also why I'm convinced that the solution cannot possibly be left to the political machinery but instead has to be fueled through well organized civil movements. After all, soon the demographics will go in the favor of the younger generation.
     
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  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    I read the article. This was the "vote" alluded to.

    What the hell is a "gender specialist"? I submit that anyone who labels oneself as a gender specialist has an ax to grind right off. I question the methods of the survey.

    You can find it here:

    Canada best G20 country to be a woman, India worst | Reuters
     
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  4. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    As per the article the cohort asked the questions included: "aid professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, journalists and development specialists with expertise in gender issues to rank the 19 countries of the G20 in terms of the overall best and worst to be a woman."

    This was a survey among people who have expertise in the field of gender studies. And yes, they do exist, I happened to live with one. Speaking of which there's also this bloke that goes by the name Amartya Sen who falls into this category, you may want to look him up.

    Actually these gender specialists spend their entire lives studying complex gender issues either in an academic setting or in harsh field conditions for crappy pay; this is after getting their MD, MPH/MPA, JD, PhD or whatever terminal degree is required to enter into the field. And no, they don't necessarily have an "axe to grind."


    Regardless, we are digressing from the topic at hand. The point isn't the ranking system itself, but rather the fact that the second most populous country in the world that is rising up the economic ranks happens to unequivocally be a sucky place for women. Question is how to tackle this issue?

    After all unlike many other societies Indian culture isn't bound by any definitive scriptural or constitutional law which relegates women to an inferior status. Which subsequently means that change may be easier to bring about. What are your thoughts on this?
     
  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Uh, Oh :shocked:

    Ok, seriously. I would would be more inclined to trust a poll of actual women in the countries sampled, not a poll of people who study postulated problems. How could such a poll be designed to get meaningful results?

    Do you mean prostitution?

    I wanted to add that The Guardian article was mostly a highly emotional description of a gang rape. Why that was necessary to write about the poll, which was actually the subject, is not clear to me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  6. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    This is akin to saying one can really only trust opinions on the cardiac pathology of adolescents with sickle cell disease by questioning children instead of bothering with pediatric cardiologists and hematologists.

    How can one possibly be an expert unless that person spends years and years analyzing data pertinent to women's issues; data which mind you is painstakingly gathered in the field from real women. Furthermore how can you give credence to opinions on comparative analyses (in this case between 20 nations) unless the people opining have a very, very good comprehensive understanding of the topic? For instance, the person I was referring to earlier wrote her PhD thesis based on data she collected over a span of almost 6 years in the field in 14 different countries on three different continents. I went to her thesis defense, and trust me, she knows what she's talking about. If I want to know whether pre natal care afforded to women is worse in Mali or Haiti, she would be the person to ask.

    Look, I can assure you, we need not argue about the veracity of the opinions. These people know what they are talking about, and honestly it doesn't take a genius to realize the deplorable conditions for women in India. Don't believe me? Ask anyone in the medical professional stateside who has worked in India, heck you never know I could be one of them.

    Again, we're digressing from the actual topic at hand... the condition of women in India.
     
  7. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    No, it is not. The issue is how women are treated by the society they live in. Surely women can be trusted to express their own opinion. Can only the meritocracy can speak for them?

    I'll leave it at that. We need more posts from other members here.
     
  8. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    You have entirely missed the point of this discussion. Also have you actually read the whole article? The introduction merely highlights a high profile case which has once again brought into light the plight of women in India. And no, it wasn't just emotional descriptiveness of a single assault because the rest of the article makes references to Unicef data, crime bureau statistics and other examples of high profile cases.

    Also if you read the body of my post you'll see that the reference to the article is there only to kick off a discussion on much wider topic, the condition of women in India. I'm sure you can appreciate the fact that the problem extends beyond one girl being assaulted by a bunch of chauvinist degenerates.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Also no, I don't mean prostitution. Financially independent young adults in urban areas want to congregate when the sun goes down. Bars and clubs provide those services in places like Ghuati, Mumbai and Delhi just as they do in the lower east side of Manhattan or downtown San Fransisco.

    This particular case involved a woman exiting a bar who was assaulted by a group of men. The crime being the assault. Logic would dictate that in order to mitigate incidents of assaults against women, local authorities would increase the presence of police in areas where such attacks take place. Instead the idiotic solution materializes in the restriction of all nightlife based on the equally idiotic notion that nightlife is the root of all moral failings which leads to incidents such as these. Now the police force instead of interdicting assaults are busy shutting down bars and clubs thereby inconveniencing a crap load of people who genuinely want to have a good time with their friends.

    So to answer your question.....
    The remaining sh!t ton of financially independent young urban people still want to congregate when the sun goes down. Shady characters now step in and open illicit clubs and bars to fill this huge demand, and they do so by bribing cops and local politicians to look the other way. Now that these select operations are free of any legal oversight, anyone who genuinely wants to engage in illegal activity such as selling heroin or soliciting prostitution can do so with impunity. These activities then lead to turf wars, more violence and systemic corruption.
     
  9. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    As a woman, it could be misrable for her to live in any developing country, no matter india, China or brazil, etc.

    What really shocks me is the public responses described in the article: blaming the girl more than those criminals! It seems that the majority of the community doesn't realise: women should enjoy the same rights as men.
     
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  10. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    No argument on the first point, women by and large have it really rough in developing nations.

    And yes, the ludicrous chauvinistic outlook of many is both shocking and shameful. This again is where the culture clash within a rapidly changing society comes into play; mind you this very much applies to China as well. Years of isolation prior to liberalization resulted in a grossly distorted perception of Western culture among many Indians. One part of the dogma being that West = immoral/ shameless/ vulgar vs all things Indian = hallow; and most of all, Western women= sex starved sluts vs Indian women = supremely virtuous. The second part of the dogma being: accents/ tighter fitting clothes/ display of material wealth/ drinking imported whiskey = Western = cool. Now obviously anyone who has spent enough time in the Western world knows both of these notions are categorically crap. Nonetheless one of the outcomes is that the utterly insecure self appointed moral guardians such as the perpetrators of this incident end up taking the taliban route.

    The second part of the metamorphosis phenomenon is that the divide between the people who have the means to Westernize (or at least ape behavior they think is Western) and ones who don't. Income gap and age gap obviously are the two biggest factors in this divide. This results in people justifying these blatantly criminal talibaneque acts, and ample support for stupid measures like "shut down all this immoral club and bar nonsense." Again, both of these things are wrong.
     

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