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RE: Gender issues



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        >are encouraged to play, "e.g. boys can climb walls and trees,
        >but girls are not supposed to" , the kind of dress children are

        >supposed to wear, with girls being encouraged to wear bangles,
        >ear-rings and so on, which would announce their arrival for
This is true even in west. Barbies are reserved for girls, some thing
else
for boys. Infact we find more demarcated 'toys' for girls and boys
including
dress code like blue for boys, pink for girls in the west than in India.
The
point is, despite all this, women are more free in west than in
conservative
societies. So, all those things like bangles etc are less relevant.
There is
some thing else.

        >Bias operates in choice of career. Bias operates in marriage,
in
        >addition to the  obvious concepts like dowry,  as can be seen
        >from demands on part of the bride to forget her parental home
        >and merge with the marital household, with no such restrictions

        >being expected on part of the groom.

        Only recently ( 1974 ) we have equal ancestral property rights
for
women. People of highest achievements are also not immune from this
social
malady. Malady when there is force . ' Economic adjustment ' for
establishing a nuclear family unit was the case ( atleast on surface-
till
equal property rights) when it is not force. Now I think this bad habbit

(dowry) is predominant in dominant castes where people start taking
pride in
mentioning abt how much they gave or how much they were worth.But a
deeper
analysys shows that it always is in the form of some fixed assets like
land,
house, gold. Again it is 'economic- sharing of wealth between families'.
All
I say is the hang over of this economic adjustment prevailing from pre
1974
times is taking too long to vanish. I also dont think Dowry incidences
are
as many in Bengal, Kerala,Maha Rashtra, as else where .Is it any thing
anthropologically related to  women's worship in Bengal and the freedom
a
Girl enjoys both in bengal and maharashtra,high literacy in kerala, is
some
thing to be analysed by some scientific group. But for those who are not

aware, I will be glad to share that especially in Maharashtra, that is
one
state where a Girl can move around alone or in girl groups, freely even
to a
restaurant ' till late night ' with out any fear of ridicule, of eve
teasing
or the like. Same trend spreading to other areas. This may surprise many
.
My point here is, gone are the times atleast with restect to urban
elite, to
worry too much about Girls' safety and movement other than crime of
extreme
forms in rare cases.But what I say is extreme sensitivity to wards their

movements is history .No need for great purdah any more.Infact
Purdah,Ghosha
were also after effects of invading moghul attrocities towords women.
Even
Sati of Rajastan I will attribute to such reactioanry development ( to
save
their honour, women were immolating soon after hearing about defeat so
that
enemy will be disappointed to see burnt bodies instead of prospective
slaves.Slowly it has gained metamorphosis and acquired various forms of
religious sanction, found its place in religious texts etc, which is
dubious.Predominantly matriarchal society as it was ( India) can not
have
any other explanation than this for current chauvanism. Sikhism is
another
example ofcource of similar reactionary trait after Mughal attacks .

        >>reducing a woman to a commercial object for consumer
advertisements..

        Increasing purchasing power for women may lead to macho
advertisements also. As much feminine appeal works in ads, so much macho

appeal works.This 'commercial object'  type of concern soon should be
gone,
once society becomes more matured in treating women.


                Coming to the point of equal participation in economic
front
and policymaking front, if reservations to SCs STs are any truthful,
        it is equally justified to reserve IN THE SAME SPIRIT, even  50%
of
seats of all spheres for women till they find complete emancipation,
till
society becomes matured enough to handle gender with grace. Most recent
trend in the world in this direction is in France where they have
allocated
greater share like 50% for women in county/municipality level elections,

even though they are not finding candidates readily available, they are
sticking to the new policy, though they are at odds with chauvinistic
lobbies.




        Parameswar










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