India’s Daughter India’s Reform Part 1/5

If you have not had an opportunity to read parts 1 and 2 be sure to give them a read before reading this final part.

Part 1: https://thesocialparalegal.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/indias-daughter-documentary-thoughts/

Part 2: https://thesocialparalegal.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/indias-daughter-part-2-the-impact/

The last two posts examined why the rapists were brought to justice and the impact Jyoti’s death and India’s Daughter (the documentary) have had in India. It was discussed that India still has a long way to go as a woman is raped every 20 minutes and marital rape is not considered rape illegal in India.  But how can India proceed to try to address the issue?

After discussing the topic of gang rape in India with many individuals, there have been multiple suggestions including blaming the mothers for raising their sons to not respect women and the need to change the mentality of the men in India. Thus, they are arguing that the changes need to begin at a mircro-level and will translate into the bigger picture.  I however, take a different approach.

I believe the change needs to come at a macro-level via the legal sphere, political sphere and media before we can see drastic changes in mentality. Why?

Much of India lives in poverty and parents in dire need of money do not have the time to discuss such matters with their children because they are too busy putting food on the table.  The mentality in India is very different than that of in the western world. How?

Education:

For instance, as a South Asian woman, I know my parents did not want to discuss the idea of sex, dating, rape, gender equality or even sexual health with me. It is an awkward topic to discuss, especially for less educated parents and older generation parents as  those conversations never took place  with their parents.  Fortunately, children born in Canada have sex-education in school where they can learn about their  bodies, healthy relationships and ask questions.  Conversely, India does not have sex-education. The topic of sex is considered extremely taboo.  Moreover, there are no legal pornography stores and homosexuality is illegal.

On the other hand, India has one of the largest prostitution markets in the world. A market that is readily available for interested customers.  A market where men are invited and women essentially fight for a chance with a man to make some money. Women and girls often resort to prostitution in times of financial hardships as the sexual services are always in demand. India is also known to have one of the largest markets for human trafficking which aims at girls as young as 12. I often question if the average male in India knows how women end up in prostitution or about the hardships these women face.

In the Western world we have social sciences to teach individuals about socio-economic conditions that contribute to the individuals choices and learn to empathize rather than exploit the disadvantaged. If there was a mandatory equivalent to this type of education in India, perhaps this could help evolve the mentality of the future male generation.

The first step is to have the younger generation (high school, university students) discuss sex in a safe environment in a mature and non-hypersexualized manner. If teenagers can see that this is a mature subject, they may learn to take it more seriously rather than relying on unreliable sources, such as Bollywood, for self -education.

If the subject of sex no longer becomes taboo, it becomes easier to discuss. If the topic is open for discussion then woman may feel less scared to come forward when they have been sexually assaulted because they will learn to not blame themselves for dressing a certain way, being at the “wrong place at the wrong time” or for any other ludicrous reason. If women and gay men recognize that the male is wrong, they may speak out. This kind of paradigm shift, may take down a couple of bricks in a very high wall. This can only be implemented by legal changes and political pressure.

Make sure to read part 2 of the part 5 series next week.  Don’t forget to “like” the post, if you like what you read. Follow The Social Paralegal

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3 comments

  1. You forgot to add – there s no support system for looking after old family…so many Indians see their sons as their support system, while they see their daughters as another families support system because girl s marry and live with their in-laws. This is changing slowly, as women are educated and get economic independence. And because nuclear families with double incomes often support both sets of parents – the husbands and wife’s parents…at difficult times….however is this a factor that has influenced the way people treat their boy and girl children? I often wonder……

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Eliza. Your comments are a great asset to understanding the contributing factors to the Indian mentality and social structures. I hope to read more of your comments with the upcoming posts. I would love to hear your thoughts on the posts prior to this one.

      I believe that the belief that males will be a constant support system for parents is definitely a contributing factor in the gender imbalance. If you believe that one child is going to support you, you are more inclined to always favor that child and support them as they will one day become your support. However I was unaware of this new cultural shift where women from nuclear are now helping to support both families. That’s definitely some fruit for thought.

      Thank you again for sharing !

      Liked by 1 person

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