We have seen a lot of Muhammad cartoons. But I think burqa cartoons are funnier.
“I’m quite pleased with your new appearance. Now you are finally behaving like a proper woman!”
Pardon the delay, I didn’t know what to wear.
Once upon a time widows were burned alive on their dead husband’s funeral pyres. It was believed that if a widow burn herself to death soon after her husband died, her husband would go to heaven and all his sins would be gone with the wind. Suttee or sati (“good woman” or “chaste wife”) was the Indian tradition of a widow burning herself. The practice of Sutee was banned in 1829.
‘Suttee was sometimes committed voluntarily, but cases of compulsion, escape, and rescue are known. Scattered instances of it continue to occur, most notoriously in the case of Roop Kanwar, an 18-year-old widow who committed suttee in 1987. The incident was highly controversial, as groups throughout India either publicly defended Kanwar’s actions or declared that she had been murdered.’
Religion supports widow burning.
‘The most sacred of Hindu scriptures are the Vedas, and the Rig Veda, the oldest Veda, explicitly sanctions the custom of Sati. The following famous `Sati Hymn’ of the Rig Veda has been recited during the actual immolation of the widow . Rig Veda 10.18.7 : ” Let these women, whose husbands are worthy and are living, enter the house with ghee (applied) as corrylium ( to their eyes). Let these wives first step into the pyre, tearless without any affliction and well adorned.’
Rise, come unto the world of life, O woman — come, he is lifeless by whose side thou liest. Wifehood with this thy husband was thy portion, who took thy hand and wooed thee as a lover. (RV 10.18.8)
The Garudapurana favourably mentions the immolation of a widow on the funeral pyre, and states that women of all castes, even the Candalla woman, must perform Sati. The only exceptions allowed by this benevolent author is for pregnant women or those who have young children. If women do not perform sati, then they will be reborn into the lowly body of a woman again and again till they perform Sati. [ Garuda.Purana. II.4.91-100 ]
* A sati who dies on the funeral pyre of her husband enjoys an eternal bliss in heaven [ Daksa Smrti IV.18-19 ] [ Sm.Samu p.30 ] [ 1200, p.65 ]
* According to Vasishta’s Padma-Purana, a woman must, on the death of her husband, allow herself to be burnt alive on the same funeral pyre
* Yajnavalkya, the most important law-giver after Manu, states that sati is the only way for a chaste widow [ Apastamba.I.87 ] [ 1200, p.65 ]
* The Yogini Tantra enjoins upon Brahmana widows to burn themselves on the funeral pyre of their husbands [ Yog.T. II.303-308 ]. Vaisya and Sudra widows were also allowed to do it. It was prohibited to unchaste women and those having many children. [ 1200, p.67 ]
* The Vyasa Smrti gives one of the two alternatives for a Brahmana widow, ie. either to become a sati or to take up ascetism after her tonsure [ Vyasa Sm. II.53 ] [ Sm.S. p.362 ]
Further, the Vishnusmirti gives only two choices for the widow:
Vishnu Smirti.XXV.14 : “If a woman’s husband dies, let her lead a life of chastity, or else mount his pyre”
— [ Vis.Sm. xxv.14 ] [ Clay.13 ]
Brahma is one of the main Aryan gods, being the creator of the world ( later he was identified as an incarnation of Vishnu ). One of the Puranas is named after him, the Brahma Purana. Like other Puranas, it was composed after the Vedas ( Pandits hold 4000 B.C., Indologists 700 B.C.) This scripture also sanctions sati:
Brahma Purana.80.75 : ” It is the highest duty of the woman to immolate herself after her husband “.
Long life is promised to the sati:
Brahma Purana.80.76, 80.77 : ” She [ the sati ] lives with her husband in heaven for as many years as there are pores in the human body, ie. for 35 million years.”
— [ Br.P. 80.76, 80.77 ] [ Sheth 103 ]
Vishnu Dharmasutra XXV.14 contains the statement: ” On her husband’s death, the widow should observe celibacy or should ascend the funeral pyre after him.”
Remember Rudyard Kipling’s poem The Last Suttee?
Widows are excluded from society.
There is a ceremony during the funeral of husband. Widows smash their bangles, remove their vermilion, colorful clothes and all jewelries they have been wearing. Widows have to wear simple white clothes. They are forced to shave their heads. They are not allowed to eat fish, meat, eggs, milk, onions, garlic and many different kinds of vegetable, animal products and spices. They have to fast many times a month. Widows are not thrown on the funeral pyres these days, but they are thrown on some other kinds of pyres. That is not any less traumatic.
There are more than 40 million widows in India. Most of them are ‘living dead’.
A widow’s family members would be excluded from the society if they didn’t respect to the restrictions society impose on widows. A widow is considered a bad omen, she is excluded from all auspicious events. In some cases even her shadow is considered polluting or offensive to society.
‘In India, widows are an invisible community. Although many widows are treated less harshly nowadays, they still face discrimination and neglect. People treat widowhood not as a natural stage in the life cycle of a woman, they treat it as some kind of an aberration. People accept death but do not accept widowhood. “Because somewhere in the Indian psyche, the woman’s identity is with the man and the minute he’s not there, it’s something that cannot be accepted.” Women are not considered as separate human beings. Your husband is dead, you are dead. The suffering of widows is one of the brutal consequences of patriarchy.
Shunned from society, widows flock to Vrindaban and Varanasi, pilgrimage towns to die. Young widows are often sexually exploited. Older women beg at temple gates. Some go to Ashrams where they chant prayers. For a four hour chant they can earn a cup of rice and 7 rupees( 12 cents).’
‘Hindu widows are not supposed to remarry. With little social or economic status, many become destitute. The truth is, women do not lose their dignity and basic rights when they lose their husbands. But our anti-women society do not like to think about women’s basic human rights.
What happens when a man’s wife dies? Is he treated as a bad omen? Is he excluded from all auspicious events? Does he stop eating certain food and stop wearing colorful clothes? Is he sent to a lonely place where he has nothing to do but to wait for his death? No. Men don’t get abandoned, they remarry young women and start a new life.
You can always watch Water, a great movie. The story of an eight-year-old widow.
“Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice.” — Robin Morgan
I am against pornography because it has many harmful effects: encouragement of sex trafficking, desensitization, pedophilia, dehumanization, sexual exploitation, sexual dysfunction, inability to maintain healthy sexual relationships. Pornography is exclusively for men’s pleasure. Women are used as sex objects. I know some women will say, ‘we love to be sex objects’. Millions of misogynists are out there to support the idea of the objectification of women. I do not have to support this.
I am against pornography, because I am against abuse or degradation. But I am not against erotica. The definitions of pornography and erotica come from Diana Russell.
Pornography: Material that combines sex and/or the exposure of genitals with abuse or degradation in a manner that appears to endorse, condone, or encourage such behavior.
Erotica: Sexually suggestive or arousing material that is free of sexism, racism, and homophobia, and respectful of all human beings and animals portrayed.
I like what Gloria Steinem says, “Pornography is directly linked to sex trafficking. It normalizes degradation and violence as acceptable and even inevitable parts of sex, and it uses the bodies of real women and children as its raw material. The difference between pornography and erotica is clear in the words themselves — porne means female slaves, eros means love — and we can see that pornography, like rape, is about violence and domination, not sex. Millions of lives depend on our ability to untangle pornography from erotica, violence from sexuality.”
Researchers say, “Most female performers are coerced into pornography, either by somebody else, or by an unfortunate set of circumstances. Pornography leads to an increase in sexual violence against women through fostering rape myths. Such rape myths include the belief that women really want to be raped and that they mean yes when they say no. Pornography desensitizes viewers to violence against women, and this leads to a progressive need to see more violence in order to become sexually aroused.”
“The pornography industry is a lot bigger, more powerful, more legitimate, more in everyone’s face today than it was a quarter of a century ago. To the degree that it cannot exist without doing real damage, it could still be stopped in its tracks anywhere by this law. Sexual objectification and violation does not happen all by itself. Real social institutions drive it.”
“Pornography, an industry of woman-hating dehumanization, is implicated in violence against women, both in its production through the abuse of the women used to star in it , and in the social consequences of its consumption by encouraging men to eroticize the domination, humiliation, coercion and abuse of women.”
We should rather Eroticize Equality!
Survey says, “porn does not stimulate men’s appetites–it turns them off the real thing. ‘Not tonight, honey, I am logging on’. Internet porn is everywhere, even ‘nice’ guys are hooked.”
A psychotherapist told us about Myth and facts about pornography. I find it quite interesting. Porn is fake, girls are real.
I believe Pornography and prostitution are not necessary evils, they are unnecessary crimes.
Look what you watch. Porn1, Porn2, Porn3 ….. Do you want to watch more? Leave it. Let’s listen to a song . Let’s change the world