It is interesting that in a panel discussion on women and violence/ safety, the panellists are venting frustration about men’s rights activists (MRAs). See the news and my comments below:
HYDERABAD, March 25, 2010
For every woman who is fighting for a law to protect her rights, there are a handful of men who say: what about us?
“Why don’t they struggle for their rights,” asks Flavia Agnes. The fiery women’s rights lawyer was here on Wednesday for a panel discussion on “Women and Violence/ Safety.”
“Men need to stop taking away the gains of the women’s movement,” she said. “Women are fighting for their rights because men and women are not equal. If you make laws assuming they are equal, the law will hardly serve its purpose.”
Comments: So the feminists seem to be frustrated by the activities of a handful of MRAs! Organisations like Save Indian Family Foundation and AIMWA (All India Men’s Welfare Association) have taken the fight for men’s rights into the feminists camp, and they are not very happy that they have to now play football with a real opposition team in front, while all this while they could score goals since there was no opposition team to begin with.
And that point about men and women being equal or not equal. These feminists have guts to say in the same sentence that men and women are equal, and that men and women are not equal. Heads I win, tails you lose!
India’s legal system dominated the discussion – panellists agreed that despite their rigid formality, the courts were the only place where victims of rape, dowry harassment or any other assault could demand justice.
Points to ponder
But for them to get justice, other things would have to change. Stop expecting women to be this or that, said historian Urvashi Butalia. “People seem shocked that women harass women. But we can be as nasty, rude and aggressive as a man. Why should we be expected to behave any differently?”
Comments: Shocked that women can be as nasty, rude, and aggressive as men? Not me! And not the men’s rights activists who believe strongly that the bias in laws in favour of women is just plain nonsense in garb of women empowerment, constitutional provisions for women, and so on.
The law will respond to violence against women when society responds to it rather than merely trying to cure it. “We spend too much time thinking about how to make men better husbands,” Ms. Agnes said. “But the question is why are women committing suicide when they have the option of obtaining a divorce?”
Comments: How people are out of touch with reality. The men’s rate of suicide is double that of women, and in fact increasing continuously since 2002 while the suicide rate of women is stable. Of course, this comment comes from a feminist who believes women ought to be happier living their lives away from men — an assertion most women themselves will not agree with!
When the law offers them a way of exiting their marriage, why do women continue to struggle or suffer? “Is suicide the only choice she can afford to make? We need to ask ourselves that.”
NALSAR professor Dr. Amita Dhanda also spoke.