Violence against Women - A society is judged by the way it treats its women and .....

#1 Jan 28th, 2011, 23:49
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In the thread, Sexual Harassment, in the forum Scams and Annoyances in India, a comparision was made to other cities in US, namely Los Angeles, NYC, and places in the west, with regards to safety and security of women solo travelers in India.

I think a broader and more reflective debate needs to occur to help understand the phenomena and shed insight to seemingly a very serious issue.

Many a people find it convenient to lump general crime and safety issues to that of the dangers perceived by women. It maybe be true, but again we are comparing apples and oranges. It is important to make distinction between crime, and violence. Between specificity of gender-based crime & violence and general violent crimes.

Is harassment violence ? or a crime ? or a nuisance ?

In general, I think a society is judged by the way it treats its women and children. The operant term being "treat". There are many cultures, tribal and otherwise that have through the millenium deified women to a high-priestess at one hand, and abused them on the other.

To begin with, is a multicultural milieu of some of the major cities in US similar to say cities in India ? Namely Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkatta, Bangalore, Lucknow ? If so how, if not, why not ?

Based on statistics (very important ) we know that majority of the violence against women in say New York is Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Women most often get beaten up black and blue. There is also domestic violence (DV) situation. It is an actionable crime in NYC. But when you dig deep into the statistics, it co-relates to education, poverty levels and race/ethnicity. In India you have dowry deaths.

So do women in India get beaten up regularly in a IPV or DV ?

In the US, sexual harassment in the workplace (once common) is grounds for termination, and a civil rights issue !!! Companies try very hard to do in-house sensitivity training constantly and periodically, because for a multi-million dollar lawsuit and federal investigations.

Is sexual harassment in the workplace an issue in India ? Do the Bhenjis and Tais and Ammas get undue attention from their superiors ?

Walking in the streets of New York, or riding the subway, or in the M103 bus, it is very unlikely for a woman to be grouped, verbally harassed or groped or copped a feel. Can one say the same for a DTC bus ? or a Churchgate fast ? or a BEST bus ? Are women more likely to be bottom pinched in Trivandrum than say in Miami ?

Violence against women is systemic and widespread world over, it is a matter of degree. Prejudice and Race plays a factor in some societies.

Cat calls, eve-teasing, verbal harassment in the square, or streets are very unlikely in New York and more likely in parts of India.

Anecdotal narratives are at best interesting, but do not advance the understanding of the underlying phenomena.

And finally, why is sexual harassment concerns amongst solo women travelers to India more pronounced than say Rome/italy ? or Rio/Brazil ? a Pub in London/England ?

Show me that data and explain me the causality (heck give me a strong correlation with acceptable regression co-efficient), everything else is an unfortunate incidents against foreigners, be it in the beaches of Goa, streets of Lucknow or buses of Dilli that would debated by the Arundhutis and Barkhas of the world
#2 Jan 29th, 2011, 00:18
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#2
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I think a society is judged by the way it treats its women and children.
Are you saying that a society is judged by its men? Are you saying that the women and children belong to the men?
#3 Jan 29th, 2011, 05:50
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Are you saying that a society is judged by its men? Are you saying that the women and children belong to the men?
Society the collective. There is no contrary data or history, to indicate that things improved during their reign of queens, or high priestess, or women prime ministers did it ?
#4 Jan 29th, 2011, 07:22
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I have started keeping away from sexual harrassment threads, generally, because I feel that everything had been said and all advice given.

But,
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Do the Bhenjis and Tais and Ammas get undue attention from their superiors ?
In my case, from their inferiors

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So do women in India get beaten up regularly in a IPV or DV ?
Some do. No idea if percentage is same as the US. In a middle class urban setting, unlikely.

Actually, I disagree with the premise (I think a society is judged by the way it treats its women and children) for many reasons- surely a society has to be judged on far more than just that.

And, I think that the OP is framed with a Western perspective- and I always disagree when western norms and values, such as they are, are automatically transferred to other societies if it is with an intent to judge. For example, add drug related crimes against women as an indicator ... Or the level of domestic violence involving a deadly weapon..

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And finally, why is sexual harassment concerns amongst solo women travelers to India more pronounced than say Rome/italy ? or Rio/Brazil ? a Pub in London/England ?
italics mine.

My guess (based on some other threads on indiamike) is that some foreign women will be more concerned in India. My guess is, also, that that has to do with colour of skin of anticipated perpetrators. I have heard foreign women giggling at incidents in Italy- identical stuff in India would have them automatically screaming in outrage and running down a billion people without second thought. I have seen similar fears- and sentiments- in some cities in Africa.

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Is harassment violence ? or a crime ? or a nuisance ?
All of the above.

All that aside, I think that there is too much sexual assault on the streets of India. One can call it mild sexual assault to put a veneer on it, (because serious assault or rape off the streets is still very uncommon), but the behaviour is still disgusting.
#5 Jan 29th, 2011, 08:59
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I used to work for a NGO in Canada, and they did a study on Violence and Sexual abuse among Aboriginal (Native American) women. They concluded that this group of women were more vulnerable to these attacks because of the lack of position or concern for their welfare by mainstream society. I'm not trying to compare them to women here in India, I just think its easier to harass women because they know society as a whole wont do much about it.
#6 Jan 29th, 2011, 14:20
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Bottom line ... if you don't have the money/legal authority/employability/social autonomy to pack up, leave, and take care of yourself (and children?) elsewhere, you're vulnerable.
#7 Jan 29th, 2011, 15:45
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One criterion alone.?
#8 Jan 29th, 2011, 17:06
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Originally Posted by Kingstonian View Post Bottom line ... if you don't have the money/legal authority/employability/social autonomy to pack up, leave, and take care of yourself (and children?) elsewhere, you're vulnerable.
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Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post One criterion alone.?
In human terms yes. It is difficult for many people to wrap their head around the concept of legal authority There is a tribe in the Amazon where a woman has multiple husbands. Some are "training" husbands. Learning how to be good companions

Last year, a simple proposition by Spain to criminalize and bring EU wide sanctions for domestic abuse was not supported (or so I read) by guess who !!! UK and Germany
#9 Jan 29th, 2011, 21:06
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lei_Maria_da_Penha
That is a law what was created in Brasil from a woman what was beated up till get paraplegic.
I'm not comparing here or there, but when happen something like violence/rape/harrassement, is need something formal to protect that persons what were hurted in some sense.
I never gone to India, but looks to me, its not a place different of any other place in the world. Each society need create laws and defend their people. In my point of view, when is an efective law to defend that women and children against that crimes, the society gets more aware about their rights and supports
Talking about Rio, i doubt that, any woman, solo or along with a guy, foreigner or not, walking in the 'calçadão de Ipanema' dont hear some kind of 'flirt'... (but it can happen with the guys, though )
Michelli
#10 Jan 29th, 2011, 21:11
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#10
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is need something formal to protect that persons what were hurted in some sense.
Problem in India is, laws exist but are not (or hardly ever) enforced.

Without trying to condone the behaviour in any way whatsoever, perhaps some of the loutish behaviour can be attributed to India still being a largely feudal society.
#11 Jan 29th, 2011, 21:47
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#11
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Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post Problem in India is, laws exist but are not (or hardly ever) enforced.

Without trying to condone the behaviour in any way whatsoever, perhaps some of the loutish behaviour can be attributed to India still being a largely feudal society.

Maybe because in almost everywhere women still are considered as subordinated to men, and its a behavior what is very hard to avoid still nowadays. Violence against women is a world wide phenomenon, unfortunatelly. Brasil is learning to punish whom abuse of women, but is still a long way to go trhough. Women still feel ashamed to tell they are abused...and please, im not feminst, I'm just exposing some facts about what i read/study
#12 Jan 29th, 2011, 22:14
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Originally Posted by Michelli View Post Violence against women is a world wide phenomenon, unfortunatelly. Brasil is learning to punish whom abuse of women, but is still a long way to go trhough.
What I was reffering to is the Zoe (sp?) tribe in Para ?
#13 Jan 29th, 2011, 22:26
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Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post One criterion alone.?
sorry, I can't read the ellipsis here ...

?do you mean, can I limit it to one criterion?
?Or, is there an identifiable single underlying phenomenon behind the four elements money/legal authority/employability/social autonomy?

If the latter, I'd call it "power", but that word can tend to confuse things further


?Or ... something else?
#14 Jan 29th, 2011, 23:12
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#14
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Originally Posted by nycank View Post Last year, a simple proposition by Spain to criminalize and bring EU wide sanctions for domestic abuse was not supported (or so I read) by guess who !!! UK and Germany
What the proposition was or why it was opposed I don't know, but it is thirty-plus years since UK police used to say that a "domestic" was nothing to do with them. Assault is assault (well, in legal terms its probably actually battery, but that's another whole discussion), and they will and do prosecute.

(As the third-senior-most member of India's diplomatic mission in London was about to discover a week or three ago, except he claimed diplomatic immunity, and India transferred him out.)
#15 Jan 30th, 2011, 03:47
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#15
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Originally Posted by nycank View Post What I was reffering to is the Zoe (sp?) tribe in Para ?
That native tribe is a bit more of 250 persons and they have their own culture. Brasil has some tribes like Zo'e and because of historical reasons, each one with their own different cultures. Many of them has rituals what, for us, are extremely violent, inclusive against their women, and they (the tribe) are protected by a special law, where the usual law cant do nothing against them. Inside of their territory, they can to do what they want, better, what their culture propose/support.

What im trying to say is it, have lots of strange/violent behaviors against women. And I believe in Brasil much more than in India. But maybe here the women might be a bit more 'prepared' to act against that abusers, with support of law.

Im a constant reader of Indiamike, still dont gone to India, hopefully might go this year, on my own, and im sure i will be safe there. It really dont worry me. I think that following the advices what are here each and every day, India is safe as any other place in the world.
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