Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Gender.. cont

Let me continue my previous post on Gender Equality since KK thinks I have been unfair in my opinion. But before that let me state that I am not an FCP and I do enjoy being a mother, a wife and whatever role this world has bestowed upon the female population. It is just that sometimes it is a thankless job and then where else but my blog can I rumble.

As for the mention of religion, your observation is correct but I was under the impression that at least Hinduism with numerous female Goddesses is not thus. But upon reading about Female Foeticide and exploring further: thanks to links provided by and gathered through my blog friends, every religion including Hinduism does play a role in gender discrimination. Now I have no idea about the Hindu scriptures although I did try to read Bhagawad Gita but couldn’t continue for some reasons. I personally have not taken my religion very seriously and hate to be tied down to religious orders and rituals. I may do so just to appease those whom I care for. But I do hope I will be given a fair chance to work this one out with the Almighty when I meet him (?) personally!

The Indian Homemaker writes thus under Simple Patriarchy or Religion in Unchaahi. I love reading her since she makes every subject interesting.

Our dislike of daughters is deep rooted. It's in our culture. Next time you attend a traditional kua poojana (ceremony on birth of a baby boy); see someone fasting for their son's long life; next time you see a woman being blessed to 'doodho nahao, pooto phalo';..Next time you read/watch in our popular epics, how all powerful women are mothers' of sons (anywhere from one to about a hundred sons); next time you read/hear bhajans of baby hood of our popular male gods ask yourself; when did we ever, EVER want daughters? It's in our roots. Women in India had just one purpose, to give birth to sons! Many of them think they still have just that one use.

Check this article out on Female Foeticide in India

Our society is a complex of thousands of years of religious, cultural and circumstantial history. The freedom and respect for women in the vedic and post vedic periods has been eroded by successive waves of invasion and occupation, when victors treated the women of India as spoils of victory. The reaction was to put women behind ‘purdah’ by creating social norms which took away their freedom, rights and liberties, thus putting them at the mercy of men. Their visibility as intellectuals, artists, leaders and fighters disappeared. Thus, while Hindu men continued with their Devi or Goddess worship, the living devi was buried deep by these very same men.

Then here is a link provided by my blog friend Maddy:

Religion, Literacy, and the Female-to-Male Ratio in India
Vani K. Borooah and Sriya Iyer*

Against this background, the purpose of this paper is to propose a new idea: to show that, far from being independent of each other, the sex ratio and family size by
religion are highly related. At its plainest, girls in India may be least at risk with Muslim parents and most at risk with parents who are caste Hindus.

We can brush all these ideas away but as Maddy commented, gender bias is here to stay for a long time and we can continue analysing the reasons for the same. It could be because of various cultural invasions or religious orders and we cannot blame a particular religion for what is happening within that religion too.

Oh.. it is a very complex subject but we need a change.

The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.

Charles Kettering


  1. Well, I think the blog has been correctly finished….we can go on finding reasons and never actually try to make any changes. My only problem was with the quote blaming religion and that religion taught us to be biased against any gender.

    I am not sure which culture the Indian home maker is talking about? Is it the Indian culture…then she is terribly mistaken. I admit to certain gender based discriminatory practices going on in certain parts of our society be it Hindu or other religions. But to generalize it on culture would be a mistake

    Are we talking of the same culture that gave us the concept of Ardanareeswaran ( fusion of Shiva and Shakti )

    Are we talking of the same fasting, akin to that of what a women does for her husband during ‘Karwa Chauth’? Can you compare the mother fasting for her son’s life and the wife fasting for her husband’s life….and to reason it….

    And of the great women in our scriptures, your blogger friend seems to have a problem that they are all mothers ! I am not sure how many mothers reading your blog would agree to it. Also she needs to know not all the women of the scriptures were simply mothers…we had famous wives too !! A nut case called Rama went all the way through an epic to save her from her abductor when he could have simply sat at home and married a hundred more Sitas!! By the way, Gandhari actually asked for a boon for a hundred sons..and again it was 100 sons and one daughter!!!

    And the next time I hear bhajans on our women goddesses?? What am I suppose to do? Cry out loud for the discrimination men face? I guess the Christian clergy rightfully understood what would happen when a few women are elevated to higher clergy and stopped it a few sainthood ceremonies !!!

    A few areas of extreme bias towards women do exist in our society. It would not be justified to ignore it. But to call it part of our culture is not appropriate. We are now living in an era where we need to prove to a court that our God’s existed.

    And very soon the agony of having to make babies would be over considering the number of petri dishes being readied over in the school labs to create humans. I wouldn’t call them children, since they are made in test tubes without any passion and since the mother who would give birth is doing a mechanism ( as per your deductions ! ) and since we can’t be sure the male we are creating might turn out to be a homosexual with female overtones, I think it’s right to call that thing being created by its more scientific name Homo Sapien !

  2. KK.. ur outburst was expected...i think u did not read any of the links completely....it is not only the culture but religion itself.. now the Christian religion does mention it in their Holy Books that Women ought to be submissive to the man..

    ..... it is time we checked our scriptures to see if we can interpret them in a better manner so that those who are ill treated because of this can at least smile, instead of ignoring the truth. The culture in Kerala maybe different as I wrote earlier and which also makes an interesting read.

  3. nd nothing is being generalised... these are only opinions to be ignored or pondered upon..

  4. this topic is indeed a fascinating topic - one we can discuss for ages. we all have a place in the evolutionary and physical concept as well as the tree of life. The culture that we have created in this world is based on our understanding of it. and as we all know humans are extremely fallible. unfortunately we know so little - and the ignorance always shows...i guess we are the biggest source of humor for the creator.


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