No doubts, we aspired for a time when we could free the Indian society from the clinches of the suffocating tradition of Dowry, but at no time we wished for something as degrading as selling our daughters or supplying them for a few bucks. However, the sorry state of things is that we have reached that point where we are satiating our monetary instincts via an all-together wrong means. Many states in India are experiencing a skewed sex ratio with a steep fall in the number of girls. A supposedly serious matter like this is being trapped as an opportunity to make money by a few elements. To deal with the scarcity of girls in Gujarat, many ‘middlemen’ have ventured out to supplying wives on monthly and daily basis. Yes, daughters from poverty-stricken tribal families are rented out filthy rich community of the state for a price anywhere between Rs 500 to Rs 60,000 depending upon the desperation level and the extent of poverty of the girl’s family. The brokers, ‘Vachetias’ as they call it are the best earners in the whole deal. A real committed broker end up making anything between Rs. 60,000 to Rs 2 Lakh every month, while the parents of the girl are paid anything between Rs.15,000 to Rs. 20,000. The bride selling business is not just limited to the Indian periphery…we have graduated to the international arena as well. After all, we are selling our daughters to rich NRIs for a few lakh of rupees, closing our eyes to the fact as to what will happen to the poor girl in that unknown place with that unknown buyer of her. Despite the fact that this system is no less than prostitution with only difference that her you are hiring a girl with her parents consent and with the so called stamp of marriage, but still authorities are failing to take any action against, as no one is coming up with a complaint against the activity.
Instead of being of an essentially feminist or of a male chauvinist mindset it is better to seek perfect harmony in balance. To thrive and triumph with the best in both.’ Jeremy Henzel Thomas’ in his article ‘Listen to the Feminine’ has sought to illustrate that if a man is not willing to learn from a woman’s soul he would develop a lot of negative aggression in being dominating and brutish. Similarly a woman not touched by the masculine spirit becomes passive, fragile and completely dependant. It is often said that the kind of man who is particularly attractive to women is the warrior-poet, that is, the man of distinctly masculine qualities, notably courage, who yet has a poetic soul. Conversely, the kind of woman most treasured by men is the woman of spirit who displays actively intrepid qualities without sacrificing her softer feminine nature.’ Diversity is ordained for us so that we may come to know the best of one another and then integrate the differences in ourselves. May the diversities be in gender relations /communities/ nations at large? Integration arises with profound respect for the creative strengths which the other sex or communities embody.
God has already treated them roughly by giving them a mentally retarded life and when some nasty humans top it over with something as heinous as rape and physical assault, they are doing nothing but making their life all the more hellish. This is the situation prevailing in the NHS hospitals, which have been spotted as the hub of more than 100 rapes, sexual assaults, and incidents of sexual harassment, in short span of two years. The convicts in crimes like these are both patients as well as the staff who is supposed to be the savior of these special people who cannot take care of themselves, but, failing to perform their duties, they end up making their lives all the more vulnerable by subjecting them to their malicious intentions. Something that leaves one shell-shocked is that there exists no written proof or complaint of the ill practices taking place right in the premises of a government entity. It comes as a disgust that so far all these figures and data remains unpublished and the government is simply giving a deaf year to all those innocent cries. Why are the authorities neglecting the fact that the mentally retarded women have lost only their metal balance and not the right to lead a safe life? Their mental state gives no license to anybody to play with their bodies and leave them all the more vulnerable inside the so called safe periphery of the mental asylums. If they say that the world outside is not fit for them, then I’m sorry to say the world inside is far more dangerous as here it is the saviors who have turned into the slayers.
Since a very long time, women have been considered as effective advertising gimmick. No matter what the product is all about, advertisers make it a point to have a scantily dressed lass modeling for the ad…and no doubts it actually works! Saying this,I no way support the advertisers as it is actually nonsense to use a female for advertising something as manly as a razor or a bike…but it’s happening and it is being accepted in the society. Off lately there has been a debate about a beer barn on Webb Chapel Road, which is using bikini clad females as a means to attract customers and the residents inhabiting around the barn are sounding anti-outfits. I was impressed when read that people are against such kind of a publicity but all the impression vanished on further reading, which revealed that they were not against using women like this but were actually hassled because it was a place for family gatherings. Since kids accompanied them at that place so they wanted those women to dress in one piece swim-suit rather than a bikini…OH WOW…that’s great! This means they won’t have any problems with those skimpily dressed females had they been at some other place where they were not supposed to be with their families. It was the place and not the awkward style of advertising that’s creating a problem for them…sounds astonishing! And what to say about the advertising gurus…this is simply nothing in comparison to what they have done to women in the past ranging from using them as an accessory to portraying bare breasted women painted with company’s logo as a moving canvas in exhibitions. Therefore, as far as this case is concerned, I would say, there’s no need to create a fuss about the dress at this particular place for there exists a bigger pool of muck that’s required to be cleaned and this is just a little dirt surrounding females. And honestly those men are not concerned about females but the impression on the minds of their kids…so first change your mentality and then embark upon cleaning the society.
Recently, I stumbled across an article ‘Why Do Beautiful Women Sometimes Marry Unattractive Men?’ by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. I cannot but laugh! Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, bases the piece of writing on a new study, which asserts that because of money or maybe for some imperative factor beautiful women marry unattractive men. He is of the view that it maybe because of the ‘supply and demand issue’, according to which beautiful women outnumber men and hence leaving the so called ‘beautiful’ women with no choice than to marry an ‘ugly’ man; if there is any definition that can truly explain the underlying philosophy that governs these two words – ‘beautiful’ and ‘ugly’. Kanazawa resolves this issue stating that by 36% good looking parents are prone to have girl as their first baby, which insinuates that valuable trait for women is beauty. The data for the study was procured from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health done over 3,000 Americans, released in the Journal of Theoretical Biology. I strongly object to the view, after all, ‘beauty is in the eyes of beholder’. How can anyone arrive at such a weird conclusion and brand universally the idea of beauty matching the ‘unattractive’. Majority of the women do not go in for ‘looks’ but for psychological and emotional backup. Women after all do not need support all they require is a life long and genuine companionship that is something innate not extraneous.
Socially and politically, women of South Africa have reached the zenith but the question of security still hangs over them. They are going to celebrate Women’s Day on ninth of this month remembering the historic march of 1965 when an army of 20,000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the capital, to demand an end to laws that violated their individual rights and liberties. After covering half a century, it is to be noted that women of South Africa have acquired all the top positions right from corporate sector to the political arena. Yet women in general (in South Africa) suffer from molestation and depredation. Tina Thomson, CEO of the Businesswoman’s Association (BWA) of South Africa reasoned:The problem is that support systems for women do not yet exist, either in businesses or in the home. Women are as competent and qualified as men, but they still lack resilience to hold on to their position. BLOTCH OF BARBARITY Under the semblance of equality and constitutional commitment, South Africa is harrowing with the blotch of barbarity aimed at the native women. It has not able to face the challenge put forward by the HIV patients. The age-old civilization of political struggle against apartheid is the reason towards women cruelty but the female folk points towards the male dominating society for their harassment. Carrie Shelver, spokesperson for People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), said:We’ve fallen into the trap of formal equality, of saying we have women business and political leaders, but too many women still go home to oppression. We need to change the mindset in the country; we need to transform institutions – it’s not only about writing new laws and thinking that’s enough.Amending South Africa’s constitution is far easier than changing its culture. Women’s Day organizers are of the view that respect and equality for women is far beyond horizon. Nevertheless, the advent may help keep the matter on the political arena.
A fact has become known after all! Swinburne University in Melbourne has come up with a study which states that women are better corporate managers than men are. The reason they gave is their intuition and emotional intelligence. Luke Downey, a PhD student who formulated the study asserts that women have higher emotional intelligence making them easily conquer negative emotions including frustration and come out victorious. Secondly, he says that women have higher intuitive power than men do consequent upon which they can predict the future events. The net result is, women exhibit more leadership traits in comparison with their male counterpart. Studies of 176 corporate women in Australia categorize leadership into three parts: A. Transformational leaders who can easily predict future and have higher emotional intelligence. B. Laissez-faire administrators have low emotional intelligence and offer little support to staff. C. Transactional leaders were disciplinarians who work on strategies. Mr. Downey suggests that if men in corporate sector display traits like empathy towards staff and think in optimistic manner, they too may reach that pinnacle.
Anticipating mothers are supposed to listen to classical music as it can encourage development in their fetus. However, this study is completely rebuffed by mountain biking queen Marla Streb. Three months back she gave birth to a baby girl, Nicoya but even she could not stop her passion for biking. Marla Streb is a three-time national champion and two-time world champion who makes the country’s arduous courses seems as smooth as a Sunday ride. Her entire skeleton system has received major and minor fractures not only her right shoulder collapses at will. However, she does not consider them as injuries. ‘Broken bones are nothing’, she says. It was because of the same spirit she won a bronze World Cup medal in 1997 with an injured ankle. Recently, on Friday at the National Mountain Biking Series race at Brian Head, Streb took a bad spill during the Super D, a short race that tests fitness and downhill abilities, and broke three ribs and suffered a concussion. Even then, she is looking forward to her next biking expedition. Streb has a master’s degree in microbiology and was a researcher in AIDS before she went ahead with her ‘biking’. Throughout her pregnancy, she rode her bike cutting the stony strewn path of the mountains. Six weeks after giving birth, Streb was again gliding through the mountainous grooves landing third at the National Mountain Bike Series at Mt. Snow in Vermont. While others celebrated with champagne, Streb breast-fed. She was on the course of another winning expedition but a rock caught with her front tire and she end up with three broken ribs, one badly shattered, and another concussion. However, she did not take any painkillers, as she has to look after her baby. Overall, she is quite satisfied with her present life.
Jane MacDonald, director of Wellington Sexual Health Clinic who performs forensic examinations in molestation cases is of the view that internet is the cause of increase sexual harassment in the past one year. She asserts that women often felt they could trust men they have never met because they have shared personal information online because of which they find themselves in a venerable position to sexual attack by inviting or going to the person’s residence. It is through internet that the people decide to meet at a particular place. In some cases, they were being forced into having sex, or the sex was consensual but they were underage. Gay men were also getting into risky situations. Internet Safety Group representative Rachel Harrison said people who used dating websites should be cautious about face-to-face meetings and arrange them for a public place during the day. In May, a Wellington jury acquitted a man, 44, who had been accused of sexually violating a woman at her house after they met on a dating website. In 2004, former doctor Matthew James Boyd was convicted of indecent assault and having sex with underage girls, he had met in Internet chat rooms.
A forum on women and diversity in Wellington that was supposed to be held today has attracted so much interest that the venue has had to be changed twice to accommodate those registering. Women from diverse ethnic group numbering 150 are all gathered today to put forward the various issues related to their diversity. The forum on ‘Women Supporting Women: Making Connections’ is being hosted by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs as part of the New Zealand Diversity Forum (NZDF). The event includes keynote speakers and a panel of representatives from the National Council of Women, Pacifica, the Maori Women’s Welfare League, Rural Women New Zealand and the NZ Federation of Ethnic Councils. Other forums attracting major interest are on ‘race versus need’, organized by the Institute of Policy Studies. There will also be a multicultural and multi-faith tribute to Dame Te Atairangikaahu to recognize her strong leadership in positive race relations.