Gender neutrality is a very good thing, but I was disturbed by the extremely anti-women tone of the blogs on this site, despite its claims of wanting equal representation of the sexes. I am also very suspicious that only people who log in can post comments on the blog. And I haven't found a way to register yet, which is very convenient.
And the best part? It's called "SAVE INDIAN FAMILY". Is it just me or does this smack of an almost religious zeal to promote what is considered the idea of a "perfect" family?
Now, I obviously don't have a problem with men's rights, but I believe that by and large men are better off, atleast in a patriarchial society like India (and most other countries.) I'm what you would call an Equity feminist. I'm all for women's rights, but not when they go against men. If a man receives a 7-year punishment for murder, a woman should too. If a man is convicted for raping a little girl, a woman who has sexually abused a minor should be convicted too. And I'm all for justice in those rare cases when adult men are raped by women, though I know it will be extremely difficult to prove such crimes, given that under the Indian law penetration alone constitutes 'rape'.
There are definitely a few loopholes in the laws. For example, the new Domestic Violence and Anti-Dowry acts allows a woman to file a case on the basis of complaint itself, without providing any proof, and as a result, many women have gone about filing false cases of domestic abuse. And apparently under Indian law, only a man is guilty of adultery. This is really unfair. Equal representation of both the sexes is what constitutes gender equality.
The flipside of women's rights is that you have feminist extremists crying hoarse when a man abuses his wife - which isn't wrong, but no one says anything when men are abused by their wives. It's true - some really are. When the time comes to implement women's laws, men suddenly get ignored, and that's when sex-specific crimes against men, especially minors, increase. This is why rape cases of little girls get more coverage than rape cases of little boys. So in a way, it's a good thing that someone is standing up to the fact that women sometimes abuse the rights they have got.
But my gripe is with this particular blog. The guy who has apparently founded this organisation and this blog is screaming hoarse only about women abusing their rights, completely ignoring the fact that so many women in India (and possibly the whole world) are abused every few minutes. He has made it a point to publish statistics that show more men than women suffer domestic abuse in India, and that supposedly 80% of all abuse cases reported by women are false! Where does he get all this data from? And he has completely ignored the fact that "Rape" under the Indian Penal Code completely exempts marital rape. He has also ignored all data pertaining to offenses against women, most of them horrific cases of rape and violence. All the links on his website connect to groups which wholly focus on women, especially daughters-in-law, abusing their husbands and husbands' families. There is also a link to a group which is completely against the misuse of these Anti-Dowry and Domestic Violence Acts. The vigour with which these people are out to lynch "unscrupulous" women makes it look like they've included ALL women.
It's a fact that some Indian women married to NRIs are find that they have been cheated after they get there - there's usually an existing wife or girlfriend, or they suffer some other form of ill-treatment. But there seems to be a retort to that too: he claims in one of his posts that Indian women whose children were born abroad (and thus gaining citizenship of that particular country) are being forcibly brought back to India by their mothers!
I completely agree that many laws that are provided are often misused. A fine point was brought up in American History X, when Derek Vinyard's firefighter father tells them how a couple of African Americans got a better job than him solely on the basis of their colour, because it was considered the politically correct thing to do. It is why the recent government reservations in India that slotted 50% of college seats for the poorer classes, was attacked by many students because in the zeal to uplift those students' economic status, merit - a necessity for ANY college, ANY course - was being sidelined. It is honourable no doubt to do something for the oppressed, but not when the result is that undeserving people get college seats or jobs solely on the basis of their economic status. It is also why many women abuse their divorce/ dowry/ domestic violence laws and as a result, genuinely capable fathers in India often lose custody of their children.
Sure, anti-racism laws which worked in the beginning, are being misused to a large extent now, especially in light of the Iraq fiasco. Take the case of the six Imams at a Minnesota airport - this sounds too fishy to be a genuine case of racism - who attracted unwanted attention with their loud prayers and shouts of "Allahu Akbar!" and then claimed they were being racially abused. They tried to play on the empathy shown by Americans towards Iraq and succeeded in scaring the hell out of so many people. WTF? Anyone who prays loudly at a public place or chatters loudly in a foreign language, irrespective of religion or race, is being downright rude to the others around them. Those guys probably deserved it when authorities swooped down on them.
But the fact remains that at the beginning of their implementation, the aforementioned laws actually WORKED. They went a long way in redeeming blacks in America, backward castes in India and rescuing Indian women and children from abusive fathers or husbands. Therefore, to trash such a law right in the beginning of its implementation could be disastrous, since it is a lifeline for many people, regardless of gender, status and age. One must let it take effect for a few months and then correct the loopholes before things get out of hand.
I completely agree unscrupulous women do misuse the laws provided, especially the Domestic Violence act. But the fact remains that they are oppressed to a much larger extent than men are, and while it is a good thing that someone is talking about how many new pro-women laws tilt the balance unfairly in their favour, it must be remembered that women still make up the majority of the oppressed party, and that until a perfect balance is achieved between the sexes in India, pertaining to rape and/ or abuse of any kind (regardless of age or gender) these laws are the only hope for several abused women and children in India.
I am deeply disturbed by the contents of this blog, and I hope that this website is looked into. At first glance I was impressed, since this website seemed to be really gender neutral. But on closer examination of the links and posts I found it to be extremely anti-women. The author claims that the opinions expressed are his own, but as a founder of an entire working organisation, he ought to take more responsibility. I agree many men also suffer harassment, but their numbers and the degrees of harrassment are far less. At the very least, I hope he adopts the very neutrality that he claims to be defending.