Most people say, women choose to wear the burqa. Why hasn’t a single man ever chosen to wear the burqa if it is a matter of choice?
I have heard that under the burqa it’s an Italian woman who recently converted to Islam.
How can they bear such a humiliation! Is it because they, too, believe that women are born with the wrong gender!
They are women, inferior beings. They are slaves, men’s private properties. They have to feel ashamed of their bodies. They have to hide their bodies because they are objects who can stir men’s sexual thoughts. Every woman is a potential inducement to sin. Women are filthy, faceless. They are mobile prisons. Islamists, apologists for Islam, and some human rights organizations including Amnesty International are against burqa ban. They think women’s prisons are women’s freedom.
Let’s help women who are forced to wear the burqa, a symbol of oppression. Let’s help massively brainwashed women who wear the burqa for different silly reasons: Religious obligation, cultural tradition, religious freedom, exhibition of political Islam.
Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:
I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
I hope you’ll take a moment to watch the conversation, consider it, and weigh in yourself on behalf of marriage equality.
I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.
But over the course of several years I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.
What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.
Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn’t dawn on them that their friends’ parents should be treated differently.
So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.
Dear Alom Shaha,
Thank you for sending me your ‘The Young Atheist’s Handbook’. I haven’t started reading the book. But I’ve listened to your interview today. I understand what you have said.
I was thinking of Sam Harris’s recent article while listening to you. You probably have read the article. Sam Harris said TSA screeners at airports should not waste time screening old people, children, and others who do not look like Muslims and they should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim and they should be honest about it. Sam Harris’s Muslim-profile-program is more dangerous than the notorious Homeland Security program in the Bush era!
I never feel bad when I am asked to take my shoes, my belts, my jewelry, my scarves, my coats etc. off and to go through metal detectors repeatedly. I feel safe when I see people of all ages, of all colors, of all ethnicities, of all nationalities,of all genders, and of all beliefs get screened. I feel safe when I see a 2-year-old baby’s sandals and an 85-year-old wheelchair lady’s orthopedic footwear are removed for screening, for these are the things terrorists would think of using as shoe-bombs because these are the things people would not be suspicious about. It will scare the crap out of me if I see only ‘Muslims and Muslim-looking people’ are going through security screening and others are free to board a plane. If I see that Sam Harris without being properly screened is going to board the plane I am supposed to board, I would most likely decide to cancel my flight because I would be afraid of him. I would think that he accidentally carried a gun, and he would accidentally shoot people on the plane and I would accidentally die. I do not want to take any risk. Who knows, for he might get suddenly mentally sick and start thinking that all ‘Muslim looking people‘ are terrorists or they all are Osama Bin Laden and it is better to finish them off. I would not trust Muslim looking people, and I would also not trust Christian looking people, Jewish looking people, Hindu looking people, Jain looking people, Buddhist looking people, or any other religious looking people! How would I know about their plans!They may have some secret plans! Muslims have been terrorizing and killing people in many parts of the world. It is Muslims who become suicide bombers these days, but faith-heads of any religion can become suicide bombers. I would not trust even die hard atheists and die hard atheist looking people. They might think of blowing up the plane, because the plane is full of fucking believers! You never know.
We both look like South Asian. South Asian Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs,Parsis, Jews, Bahá’ís, Bramhas, Animists as well as atheists look more or less the same. How would Sam Harris identify Muslims? It will really be a tough job for him or anyone else. If we are identified as ‘Muslim looking people’, then we will have to spend more time going through rigid security checks than Sam Harris inasmuch as he does not look Muslim. But we are not any less godless than Sam Harris! The question of identification of Muslims is very much related to the color of skin.
It is true that fear, hatred, and hostility of some Western people toward Islam and Muslims helped to make Muslims all over the world more religious, more fundamentalists, and more terrorists. We who were born into Muslim families but became atheists and have been fighting Muslim fundamentalism for decades know very well how difficult this fight has become.
We know there is a conflict. But the conflict is not between the West and Islam. Or West and East, or Christianity/Judaism/Hinduism and Islam. The conflict is between secularism and fundamentalism, between rational logical minds and irrational blind faith, between innovation and tradition, between humanism and barbarism, between the future and the past, between the people who value freedom and the people who do not.
Atheists need more enlightenment to become humanists. I dream of a day when all atheists will be free from racism, misogyny,homophobia,megalomania and other silly things.
Gloria Steinman speaks about how her personal experience inspired her strong presence in the Women’s Rights Movement.
Gloria talks about Human trafficking, porn v. erotica,the contagion of rights movements etc. http://www.makers.com/gloria-steinem/
‘The church is a terrible engine of oppression, especially as concerns women.’–Elizabeth Cady Stanton
‘I have endeavored to dissipate these religious superstitions from the minds of women, and base their faith on science and reason, where I found for myself at last that peace and comfort I could never find in the Bible and the church…The less they believe, the better for their own happiness and development…
For fifty years the women of this nation have tried to dam up this deadly stream that poisons all their lives, but thus far they have lacked the insight or courage to follow it back to its source and there strike the blow at the fountain of all tyranny, religious superstition, priestly power, and the cannon law.’ —Elizabeth Cady Stanton
”We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn’t been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best mids at the stake.”–Catherine Fahringer
”The tragedy is that every brain cell devoted to belief in the supernatural is a brain cell one cannot use to make life richer or easier or happier.” —Kay Nolte Smith
”It is impossible to exaggerate the evil work theology has done in the world.”–Lydia Maria Child
”There is yet another consideration which is fatal to the Christian religion, and that is its persecuting spirit. It calls in the aid of Ecclesiastical and civil laws, and the iron hand of custom to condemn, and if possible to punish those who may express different opinions to its own…Perish the cause which has no more rational argument in its favour than that which the stake or prison can supply.” —Emma Martin
”Christianity is an insult to the wisdom of the nineteenth century. To place before its progress and development a leader, ruler, king, saviour, god, whose knowledge was less than a modern five year old school girl, is an outrage upon humanity.”–Ella E. Gibson
”Possessing no proof of its (God’s) existence, the church has ever fostered unintelligent belief. To doubt her “unverified” assertion has even been declared an unpardonable sin.”–Matilda Joslyn Gage
”There is no book which tells of a more infamous monster than the Old Testament, with its Jehovah of murder and cruelty and revenge, unless it be the New Testament, which arms its God with hell, and extends his outrages throughout all eternity.” —Helen H. Gardener
”Less power to religion, the greater power to knowledge.”–Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner
”Let us inquire what glory there was in an omnipotent being torturing forever a puny little creature who could in no way defend himself? Would it be to the glory of man to fry ants?”-Charlotte Perkins Gilman
”A believer is not a thinker and a thinker is not a believer .”–Marian Noel Sherman
”Ethical teaching is weakened if it is tied up with dogmas that will not bear examination.”–Margaret Knigh
”The greatest contribution nonbelievers have made to the world has been the Constitution of the United States. Consider how very heretical to a religious world was the idea of a Constitution predicated on “We the People.”‘-Siver Queen
“The religious scriptures are nothing but rules and laws made by men. Whatever you hear from the priest, may have been the opposite to what a woman priest would say. No one can say the religious Scriptures are really the revelation of God. Men has advertised them as the revelation of God to keep the womankind in dark.”–Begum Rokeya
”There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages.”-Ruth Hurmence Green
”It’s an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death. Even corporations with their reward systems don’t try to make it posthumous.”–Gloria Steinem
The great feminist Robin Morgan is talking about the importance of separation of church and state.
Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, Anne Royall, Harriet Martineau, Lydia Maria Child, Ernestine L. Rose, Margaret Fuller, Emma Martin, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy N. Colman, George Eliot, Susan B. Anthony, Ella E. Gibson, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Lucretia Mott, Frances Wright, Betty Friedan, kate millett, Germaine Greer, Katherine Hepburn, Sonia Johnson, Lois Waisbrooker, Elmina D. Slenker, Lillie Devereux Blake, Marilla Ricker, Annie Besant, Susan H. Wixon, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Helen Gardener, Ellen Battelle Dietrick, Josephine K. Henry, Clara Zetkin, Etta Semple, Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Voltairine de Cleyre, Emma Goldman, Zona Gale, Margaret Sanger, Marian Sherman, Dora Russell, Meridel Le Sueur, Margaret Knight,Katha Pollitt, Barbara Smoker,Polly Toynbee,Joan Smith, Jennifer Hecht, Queen Silver, Vashti McCollum, Ruth Hurmence Green, Catherine Fahringer, Susan Jacoby, Meg Bowman, Barbara G. Walker, Rosalind Franklin, Sherry Matulis, Kay Nolte Smith, Sonia Johnson, Louise Antony, Meera Nanda, Gisèle Halimi, Barbara Ehrenreich, Ayn Rand, George Sand, Gloria Steinem, Robin Morgan, Andrea Dworkin, Nawal El Saadawi, Lucy Parsons, Antoinette Fouque, Eve Ensler, Meredith Tax, Begum Rokeya, Sukumari Bhattacharji, Maitreyi Chatterjee are among tens of thousands of atheist feminists and female atheist writers/philosophers/playwrights/actresses/artists/astronomers/physicists/scholars etc.
You can see the biggest and brightest full moon of the year tonight. The moon will be only 221,802 miles from Earth and 15,300 miles closer than average. Last year’s supermoon was 240 miles closer than this year’s. Next year it will be farther away than this year’s. So, don’t miss it tonight.
Does anyone believe in full moon myths? Come on, full moon doesn’t cause bizarre behavior!
Lilienfeld, the author of “50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology”, said, ‘If something unusual happens to occur during a full moon, people who believe the myth take note and remember, even telling other people because it confirms their ideas. But when another full moon appears and nothing out of the ordinary occurs, they’re not very likely to remember or point it out to others. So in the end, all they remember are the coincidences.’
Insomnia, Pregnancy, Heart attacks, Suicides, Violence, Crimes, Psychological problems, Epileptic seizures etc. have no connection with full moon.
Don’t be lunatic tonight. Just appreciate the beauty of our universe. Next supermoon won’t happen until 2029. Many of us will not be here to see the super duper spectacular moon!
And don’t forget to read a super article on moon illusion and supermoon silliness.
”You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci. Two reasons; first of all, I think he’s a good actor. Ok. To me, that counts. Second; he looks like a guy who can get things done. Joe Pesci doesn’t fuck around. In fact, Joe Pesci came through on a couple of things that god was having trouble with. For years I asked god to do something about my noisy neighbor with the barking dog. Joe Pesci straightened that cock-sucker out with one visit. ” — George Carlin
The USA has a bizarre thing called National Day of Prayer. It is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Its constitutionality is being challenged in court by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
“The Freedom From Religion Foundation is urging President Obama to protect freedom of conscience by ending the unconstitutional National Day of Prayer. The Foundation needs 25,000 signatures before May 31.
Please sign ‘We the People’ petition. ‘We the People’ is set up by the White House to offer the public a way to petition the President.
End the unconstitutional National Day of Prayer, which violates the 1st Amendment. God and government are a dangerous mix.
Congress, in 1952, abridged freedom of conscience when, at the instigation of Rev. Billy Graham, it designated a National Day of Prayer, ordering the President to proclaim “a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”
The U.S. President has neither the moral nor the constitutional authority to dictate to Americans to pray, much less to tell citizens what to pray about or set aside an entire day for prayer.
Whether to pray, or believe in a god who answers prayer, is an intensely precious, personal decision protected under our First Amendment as a paramount matter of conscience.
Don’t let Christian evangelicals hijack our secular Constitution.
A globalized stupidity. It’s called ‘World Day of Prayer’. The sad thing is, it is organized by women. Prayers are contagious. There is a Global Day of Prayer too. They have funny prayer alert. If the USA continues to celebrate National Day of Prayer, many countries will be influenced by the USA and will start celebrating prayer day by violating constitution.
Many countries mix gods and governments. But the separation of religion and state is urgently necessary. We do not need god’s inhuman, barbaric, unethical laws. We do not want anyone to say that god created some people rich and some people poor, to justify the gap between rich and poor. We do not want anyone to justify women’s oppression by saying men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other.
I respect Jessica Ahlquist for her fight to get a prayer banner removed from her school. We need more Jessica. We need organizations like Freedom From Religion Foundation in every country. We need to fight ignorance. We need to secularize the world. No sane person wants a National Day of Superstition.
Here is a list of suggestions/demands ‘the League of the International Rights of Women’ made. I support their ideas. What about you?
”Universality of the Olympic Charter
The Olympic Games will open in London on 27 July 2012
“The Olympic Movement has always been about more than just a sporting competition” [IOC (International Olympic Committee) President]
The only Law that governs the Games is the Olympic Charter based on universal values which each member of the Olympic Movement swears to observe (Olympic Oath).
The Olympic Charter proclaims:
• A goal: ‘to contribute to building a better world’ (Chapter 1, Rule1.1)
• Universal fundamental ethical principles, such as: ‘Any form of discrimination [including gender discrimination] is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement’ (Principle 5)
• A commitment to equality: ‘implementing the principle of equality of men and women’ (Chapter 1, Rule 2.7)
• Neutrality in sport: ‘No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted on any Olympic sites, venues or other areas’ (Chapter 5, Rule 51.3)
The Charter as a lever for the rights of women:
Where cultural and/or religious traditions govern political institutions and social mores, women are still subject to constraints linked to gender stereotypes and taboos.
In the stadium, under the same law, wearing similar attires, women athletes share with men the joy of exertion and striving for the highest goal.
1. To ban countries that exclude women from their delegation (Principle of non-discrimination):
In 1992 a feminist association the Atlanta + Committee (an offshoot of the League of the International Rights of Women)
denounced the absence of women from 35 delegations to the Barcelona Games: South Africa was excluded from the Games for 30 years for racial apartheid. Why has sexual apartheid not received the same treatment? The foundation stone laid by the Atlanta + Committee has now become part of Olympic history:
‘On the eve of the centenary celebrations of the modern Olympic Games, entirely new demands have been put forward by a European-founded feminist coalition. Quoting the Olympic Charter, which bans any form of discrimination in the Olympic Movement, the Atlanta + Committee publicly urges the IOC to exclude from the Atlanta Games any delegation that comprises only male athletes’ (extract from Vol. III of A Century of the IOC).
The number of delegations that do not include women has shrunk from 35 in Barcelona in 1992 to 3 in Beijing in 2008, thanks to pressure from the Atlanta + Committee. But why do the Games still accept countries that so openly violate the Olympic Charter?
2. To ensure neutrality in sport by banning the wearing of political or religious symbols (Rule 51 on the neutrality of sport):
As far back as 1994, Tehran delegates at the Brighton conference on ‘Women and Sport’, asked for the rules governing sport attire to
be amended to allow the wearing of garments that are imposed on all women by the Khomeini regime. In 1996 an Iranian woman athlete took part in the Atlanta Games clothed from head to toe. In 2008 at the Beijing Games, 14 delegations had veiled women: an athlete from Bahrain took part in the 400 m race totally covered, openly demonstrating a political and religious stance. In 2010 in Singapore, at the first session of the Youth Games, the IOC accepted – with the approval of FIFA – the participation of female Iranian football players covered from head to foot.
3. To stop supporting separate Games for women, which institutionalize sexual segregation in sport (Principle of non-discrimination):
Since 1993 and every four years, Iran has organised Games – replicating the Olympic format – for women from Islamic countries.
There is one major difference: the total absence of the media or male spectators. Since 1995, the Atlanta + Committee has
denounced the presence of IOC observers at these Games. The IOC justifies this by claiming that it is a step forward as it allows these women to take part in competitions. However, during apartheid in South Africa the IOC had declared that competitions organised for Blacks only were unacceptable. Why does it now approve segregation that goes against the Olympic Charter?
4. To demand effective parity between men and women within Olympic disciplines and events (Principle of non-discrimination):
Age-old disparities… The Modern Games (1896), as conceived by Pierre de Coubertin, excluded women, apart from a few disciplines that were considered secondary (golf, tennis, sailing) .
Thanks to Alice Milliat’s (one of the first women sport managers) and others persistence, in 1928 women were finally admitted to track and field events.
Since then, a long battle has been waged on two fronts: to increase the number of female participants (29% in 1992 in Barcelona, 42% in 2008 in Beijing) and to widen the range of sports open to women.
At the London Games the introduction of female boxing will open another door.
Although they show some progress, global statistics still hide the persistent lack of equality.E.g. at the Games in Beijing in 2008:
• There were 1704 more male athletes than female athletes.
• 165 medals were given to male athletes compared to 127 to female athletes because of a lower number of disciplines opened to women.
…still hidden in the ‘details’
There is now parity as regards the number of sports open to both men and women. There are discrepancies, however, as to the corresponding number of disciplines and events. Examples of disparity: in boxing, canoeing and wrestling there are fewer events for
women, e.g. canoeing has three events for men and only one for women.
5. To observe the minima determined by the IOC and increase the number of women participating in the decision-making bodies (Commitment to the promotion of equality)
Women are still a small minority in the governing bodies of the Olympic Movement, such as the IOC, NOC, OCOG, International and National Federations.
At its 105th session in Atlanta in July 1996, the IOC decided that the NOCs should allow women at least 10% of the seats in all decision-making bodies by 31 December 2000. This rate should have reached 20% by December 2005.
We are still very far from this goal! Here is a striking example: of the 19 members of the 2012 London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), only one is a woman: the Princess Royal.
6. In and around the Games: eliminate gender discrimination based on sexual stereotypes (Building a better world)
To fight against sexism, homophobia and transphobia.
• In the Olympic Movement sport has an educational role and contributes to the building of identities.
Within the framework of the Games, it is important to reject gender stereotypes and the sexualisation of the sportsman’s or
sportswoman’s image. The wording is also important: for example, describing an event as a ‘women’s event’ but not describing an event as ‘a men’s event’ is a way of saying that sport is first and foremost for men.
• Everyone has the right to take part in sport
Only a small number of sportsmen and women openly declare their homosexuality. These Games must demonstrate that the Olympic movement is aware of this issue and ready to make a lasting commitment to fight homophobia in sport at all levels.
The 2012 Games must be a secure and welcoming place where everyone must be able to take part without fear in respect of their sexual orientation.
In the same spirit, why not include the paralympic events in the Olympic Games so that all athletes can benefit from the same public and media exposure!
Fight against organised prostitution around the Olympic sites
During every large sporting event, prostitution increases dramatically. It would simply be unacceptable for London if, once again, a sporting event were accompanied by organised prostitution, as was the case at the football World Cup. Buying sex is not a sport, it is downright exploitation.
7. To pay homage to women pioneers in sport: the Marathon Gold Medal should be given to both the male and female marathon winners by the IOC President (Principle of non-discrimination)
The Marathon is still at the heart of the Games: before the closing ceremony the only Gold Medal personally given by the IOC President is to the (male) Marathon winner.
Why not to the female winner?
At the first modern Games in Athens (1896), Stamatha Revithi, a Greek woman also known as Melpomene, was refused the right to compete in the Marathon because she was a woman.
She persevered, ran a solo race, finished it in a respectable time and became a legend!
Why not organise the Marathon for both men and women, the latter starting their race before the male competitors so that the winners of both sexes can share the applause?
Our message addresses everyone but especially the Olympic Movement
This is a reminder
• to those who argue that ‘these demands are outside their remit’:
In 1958 in an open letter to the President of the IOC, Olav Ditlev-Simonsen, of the Norwegian NOC, was the first to request the exclusion of South Africa because of its apartheid policy.
• to those who prefer to compromise with requests, devoid of any connection with sport, made by certain countries:
The Olympic Oath they have sworn makes them ambassadors of the Olympic values and not of their own country’s policy.
The IOC’s only response to our many requests has been:
To welcome the growing number of women athletes participating in the Games.
This answer avoids the truth: women are still excluded, as a matter of principle, from certain delegations, just as Blacks were from the South African delegation.
The IOC never argued with the antiapartheid movement that they should be satisfied with the growing number of Black participants from other countries. It acted according to the Charter.
To keep silent on the breaching of Rule 51 and other rules of the Olympic Charter.
Enough is enough!
Why is it that what was considered by the Olympic Movement to be intolerable for Blacks is tolerable for women?
We demand an end to gender-based discrimination and stereotypes.
London must mark the turning point:
Great Britain is the birthplace of modern sports based on standardised rules and their application;
British feminism has left its mark on the history of modern societies and on democracy;
The Games are taking place in Europe, where it is claimed an ambitious plan is being developed
The 2012 Olympic Games provide a historic occasion for affirming the rights and duties of women and men in sporting competitions and for reminding participating countries of the obligation they have to respect that equality. ”
We fought against patriarchy and religion for our sexual freedom. We now fight against multi-billion dollar sex industries to stop sexual exploitation of women. We fought against religion for our abortion rights. We now fight against misogynistic patriarchal societies to stop sex-selective abortion. It seems it is a never-ending fight.
”The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, ‘It’s a girl’ ”– Shirley Chisholm
Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize winning economist said in 1990, that more than 100 million women are missing. ‘In India, China and some other countries in the world , girls are killed, aborted & abandoned because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of gendercide. 50 million missing campaign fighting gendercide in India. Gendercide is war on women.
We know at birth boys outnumber girls, there are 105 or 106 male children for every 100 female children. But later women outnumber men because women are more resistant to disease, and tend to live longer than men even if men and women receive similar nutritional and medical attention and general health care. India and China are having skewed sex ratio at birth. In some places of India there are even less than 700 girls for 1000 boys.
Abortion is legal, but sex-selective abortion is not legal in India. Some people have tried to talk about law. Those women who have killed their own female fetuses, cried out, ‘law, what is law? Will the law come to my aid when my husband throws me out of the house or kills me for giving birth to yet another girl! Will the law help me when my husband marries again in the hope of a son? Can the law change the way society looks at me because I have no son! ‘
If the woman cannot provide a son, her life is torn asunder by strife. To put it bluntly, the message flashed by society – and this is what people really think, no matter what they say – is that, if you have two sons, you have two eyes. If you have one son, you are blind in one eye. And if you have two daughters, you are completely blind.
The women who support female feticide also say, ‘why should we let them live? We do not want any girl. Should we let girls be born so that they suffer the way we are suffering? They say, what good does being alive do to us? It is better that an insufferable life ends before it can begin. It is better to go straight to heaven than stay alive and endure the kicks and blows of the world.’ Are they wrong in saying this?
Once upon a time, people in patriarchal society would run temple to temple and pray to god for a son, they would spend extravagantly on saints and hermits, but now there is no need of magic charms and spells, a medium even stronger than god has come to India – science. Scan machines, amniocentesis and other scientific tests reveal the sex of the embryo in the womb – if the sex is not right then it is got rid of. The right sex is masculine, the wrong sex feminine. The healthy sex is masculine, the disabled sex feminine.
Girls are quickly disappearing. Anti-women traditions have been carefully preserved over the ages. There are quite a few communities, which regard sons as only offspring, and not daughters. Till 1980, infant girls used to be killed after they were born. Feticide had not caught on. Despite being banned, the incidence of feticide is on the rise. It makes one afraid that as long as the status of girls in society does not improve, there is no way these murders, this bloodshed, can be prevented.
We say, if women are educated and self-reliant, then female infanticide and female feticide will stop. Most people believe that these occur among the poor and the uneducated. But, in fact, the opposite is true. The study shows in India the ratio of girls to boys is the most skewed in South Delhi, a place where the rich and the educated live. It is here that the maximum number of girls go missing. Down from 904 to 845 in just 10 years. 24,000 girls disappear from South Delhi every year. The Patels of Gujarat are a wonder. Traditionally rich peasants, there is no trace of girls in their villages. It’s femicide, the systematic killing of women. A holocaust going on against girls across the country. A pogrom.
Sometimes I think ‘educated’ people can plan the murder of their fetuses with much more skill than uneducated people. ‘Educated’ girls can learn patriarchal system much better than uneducated girls. They sure have better learning ability. They even practice it better. Misogyny can not be wiped out through conventional education that does not teach gender equality.
Since infant girls have been murdered over the ages, female feticide today does not go against anti-women tradition. It is like weeding – plucking off girls from the soil of the womb reserved for the production of sons. There is nothing surprising about murdering daughters in a race that has always been thirsty for sons. Killing of girl children was probably in vogue from the ancient Vedic age. The Atharva Veda says, Let girls be born elsewhere, let boys take birth here. Son is wealth. Son is a blessing. The son will be the father’s strength in old age. The father will go to heaven if the son lights his funeral pyre. It is the son who will rescue the father from hell.
Female feticide is causing social imbalance. Now brothers share a wife. The murder of girls has led to such an acute shortage of girls that an exchange system has been initiated. According to this system, parents agree to give their daughter in marriage on the condition that the groom’s sister marries the bride’s brother. “Bride Trafficking” has started. Men are now ‘recycling’ the use of women for sex and reproduction.
Now a days men want educated wives. So girls are getting educated so that they can sell well in the marriage mart. An educated wife can do the shopping, pay the bills, look after the children’s studies, and solve problems at school, all on her own. A man said, my wife has a postgraduate degree in Maths, all the better since she can help the kids with the homework. So I don’t need to engage a tutor for them. And why should my wife work outside the home? We don’t need any extra money in the family. She has a lot to do at home.
The money women earn is known as extra money. University degrees are meant to help the kids with their homework, nothing else. The norm is that middle class girls will not work after marriage.Only those girls, who badly need money for survival or those girls whose money husbands want, get permission to work outside the house.
Alas! So much for education! Educated girls have to pay more dowry. The more educated a girl is, the more educated husband she demands. And thus the amount of dowry required also escalates. Many people think that a handsome dowry enhances the dignity of the girl. However, dowry never improves the status of a girl in her in-laws’ house, rather it results in loss of dignity. The more dowry is paid, the more the girl’s status at her in-laws will deteriorate. The husband is not supposed to pay dowry, no matter how educated the girl is, no matter how grand the job she holds. The ‘Brides Wanted’ column is clear testimony to the value of girls in this society. Wanted: A fair complexion, beautiful, educated, homely girl from a respectable family. ‘Homely girl’ means a girl who will spend all 24 hours of the day on domestic chores, one who will not hold a job. ‘Respectable family’ means a family that will pay a handsome dowry. If the groom comes from an affluent family, it does not mean that a poor dowry will do, rather the dowry must be all the more generous. When this is the condition, why will people not believe that the birth of a girl means entails huge expenses! Girls are an inferior race – this belief is ingrained in both men and women across India. And since a girl belongs to an inferior race, dowry is needed to get rid of her.
The abortion clinics display an advertisement. Spend Rs 500, you’ll save Rs. 50,000. In other words, kill this one. If this one lives, you’ll lose Rs. 50,000 in dowry. For those yearning for a son, the sex determination clinics are modern temples.
Women have had to struggle for decades for the right of abortion. Acquiring the right of abortion was a huge event in the history of women’s emancipation. However, when in India, a foetus is aborted by virtue of belonging to a certain gender, and that gender is the feminine gender, then such abortion has no relation whatsoever with women’s liberty, but is inseparably related with the tragedy of women’s subjugation.
The law has not been able to eradicate the dowry system. It can never be eradicated as long as every member of the family continues to believe that a girl cannot be as economically powerful as a boy. Society needs a lot of change. Society must understand that girls are very important members of the society, not burdens for whom dowry must be paid, not machines for the production of sons. If women and men do not unite in the attempt to transform society, female feticide will continue unabated.
This society is not a fit place for girls, so it is better not to allow them to be born. This logic is something like this: there is too much shouting and screaming all around, the noise pollution is giving one a headache, so it is better to chop off the head. Many claim that if women themselves choose the gender of the child before giving birth, then they will be saved from many undesired pregnancies. How helpless she must be not to have the slightest control over the fetus growing inside her womb! Women are compelled to yield to societal as well as many kinds of family pressure and opt for abort a female fetus. An undesired pregnancy is not as terrible as this forsaken, helpless, undignified, disgraceful condition of women.
If the practice of female feticide continues as they are now, it will not be very many decades before there will be not a single girl in the country, only men. The good thing will be that men will find no more girls to torture, trample, rape and kill.