"Save Indian Family" - An Anti-Women Organisation?

What is this ad doing on a site like CuteOverload? It's not there now, but I was surprised to see it and even more surprised, when I followed the link and saw it's a site for an organisation for

[drum roll]

Men's rights.


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.



16 comments:

Ravi said...

I like what you have written. I see no reason why you should not be permitted and post in the "Save Indian Family" website. Men who are harassed also have sisters and mothers who are also affected by his state. SIF is not a male only bastion and should not turn into one.

The are bad men and bad women as there are good women and good men. Generalization and assumptions based on gender will only create more problems and should never be used as an approach to such problems.

Situ Mistry said...

Quite interesting...You are using the garb of equal rights and yet imply at several instances that women need more protection as they are more oppressed...I feel using the definition provided by the DV act (drafted by the National Commision of Women)--men are way more oppressed..have you ever been verbally harassed by another woman...they can be significantly more vicious to the point of driving a man legally insane...

too bad you have enabled comment moderation...you will not get a true sample of feedback...take the moderation off...ya some people will misuse it---but moderating it will prevent genuine discussion from happening...(if that truly was your goal)

Anonymous said...

Why you feminists alway tries to find wrongs in goods things. May be you are more like communists who wants to destroy family.

Brown Suga' said...

Situ Mistry -

In the above post, I have clearly said towards the end "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 all for equal rights, but that can only be brought about once women are given the same social status as men. Only when they are granted the same rights and freedom as men will it be fair to penalise them like men. (Yes, I have suffered verbal harrassment by women, but it is nothing compared to the physical harrassment meted out by most men.)

I'll give you an example ... say you have two nephews. You like one nephew better and you give him 500 rupees every year on his birthday while you give the other only 250. But after 10 years you feel guilty and start giving them both Rs.500 to treat them equally. But by then the first one has 5000 while the other has only 2500. So at that point if you give them both the same amount of money, will that make them equal? The first one will have Rs.5500 and the other only Rs.3000. To make them both equal you must first give the appropriate amount to the second nephew.

By the way, I have enabled comment moderation only to delete irrelevant spam. I have no qualms about posting comments that oppose my views. You can be assured that genuine discussion is very much alive on this blog.

Brown Suga' said...

Anonymous-

I clearly mentioned in my post that I was glad to see the site was pro-men until I found out it was anti-women. Please read it again.

However, a humble request - I would like a little more clarification on why you think I'm a communist. This blog is pretty open - you can drop the anonymity and post as long a comment you want. But if you're going to label me as a communist or whatever, I'd like some justification of that.

Anonymous said...

Hi

Firstly SIF is not an anti Women, some of promiment members of SIF are women, you find the venmon becuase most of the men have gone through such atrocties
We are not against the law for protection of women , we are against the misuse of the law and the sorry state of affair is that this laws only consider Wife as the women and ignres atrocities on mothers , sister and children caused due to misuse of this law , there are no laws for the protection of men in India.
As regards to Data , let me tell you this is data collected using Right to Information and hence the authenicity should not be in question ?
We agree that Atorcities on women outnmbers the atrocties on men but that when you frame a law please note that it is cardinal princile of justice that innocent should be victimized is being violated , we are the only country in the world to have a law which says bureden on proof on accused and unless you prove yourself innocent you are guilty.

While i appreciate your views on gender equality , request you to please see the atrocties caused due to misuse of this law. and the stats show that Anti Dowry law has 2% conviction and 98% aquiatal ? is this not enough grounds for some to even think to amend this to avoid misuse

REquest you to think about other women members in the house going through atrocities because of misuse if you cant think of men's problem

UC said...

Save Indian Family is anti-feminist but not anti-women. It is feminists who have dubbed anti-feminism as anti-women, thus shutting up anyone speaking up against the evils of feminism. You may want to learn a little more about the feminist movement and the feminist representatives who hold powerful positions in the Governments world over to understand the damages done to the society by feminism.

SIFF fights to save Indian families from legal terrorism promoted by anti-male and anti-family laws. http://uchalla.wordpress.com/2007/06/08/we-the-siffers/

Attrocities against women have received enough attention for decades, and in fact have even been exaggerated to attract international funding. Plenty of measures to "protect" women have been instituted and are still being discussed. These "protection measures" have, instead of serving the genuinely aggrieved, have become a bigger malady for men and families, because they were designed to cause chaos rather than to protect. Anyone who reads the laws will understand how flawed they are, and far from being the "only ray of hope for women in distress" they cause more harm to women. http://uchalla.wordpress.com/2007/06/07/the-forgotten-women/

Women like the author may be romanticizing about equality of the sexes that feminism promises to bring. The real damage, however, is being done by their radical counterparts who hold positions of power. It is them that SIF fights.

There is no need for women to feel insecure every time SIF voices their concerns about men's rights and protection of their families. It is strange that the lone voice of SIF, highlighting real issues disturbs people, while the indiscriminate onsalught on men and family by a myriad women's organizations seems perfectly fine.

Sandeep said...

1. SIF is not anti-women. It is against "unscrupulous" women only. There's a difference! It is also pro-family which implicitly means harmonious matrimonial relationships. Step back, and understand the difference.

2. Heard of this? "Two wrongs don't make a right". Agreed that we have had an oppressive patriarchal society in the past.

Will an equally oppressive 'matriarchal' society resolve the problem? No!

Only the roles of oppressor and oppressed will be swapped! Its like a see-saw. You need equality at both sides to really get a balance.

3. 80% cases are false? I am told the figure is 98%. Check with National Crime Record Bureau (http://ncrb.nic.in/home.htm). SIF did not build up that database.

4. If SIF is taking a stand against "abusive" women, please tell me why that should bother you. How many feminists distinguish between good & bad men? None! Zilch!! But SIF does make a distinction - you appear to have either ignored, or missed that!

5. Evil NRI husbands? I have many NRI friends across countries - men and women. So far no one seems to be unhappy. There may be fraudsters for sure, but then what makes you think all NRI men are polygamous?

If you indeed want to trivially generalize issues, you should in the same breath say that all women are evil - simply because some indeed are. My fair lady, tell me does that sound fair?

6. Domestic abuse is rampant in India. True. There are no established gender based and unbiased statistics. However, my opinion based on hearsay, and my own experience is that it is the educated women who 'misuse' the laws. The women who really suffer belong to rural and economically backward urban sections. These people are too hemmed in by ignorance & poverty to even know of such laws, let alone use them.

"Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". That is an old adage.

If you have laws that can brand a person a criminal just on the strength of a verbal accusation, then that is absolute power. The moral corruption and greed is a logical and obvious fallout.

Assume that I have the right to brand you a thief on the strength of my words alone. And assume that you have the money to pay your way out of the humiliation, tell me what would I do, if I have the need/greed for money?

Lastly, the vigour in SIF and associated forums is only targeted towards gold diggers. Your claim that these people target all women just because they are committed to their cause defies sane logic!!

But hey, isn't that such a feminist thing to do - brand all men as incarnations of Satan, just because a few were bad?

Essentially, the problem is that the feminist brigade has strength in numbers and their collective cries are therefore heard louder. Also, our history of patriarchy makes the feminist sob stories more saleable.

Times have changed, so has society, but it is not the feminist interest to go with the change.

Feminism is not about equality, it is about superiority!! Agree?

Humanist said...

save indian family is about stopping the oppression of both the sexes, not just men.

it's not only men who are oppressed when a false dowry case or domestic violence act is filed. the entire family of a husband, particularly the mother, sisters, and children are oppressed.

all the members of save indian family are against dowry. is that why they are being oppressed? some call these well-to-do people fools as they didn't demand or take dowry.

we're against the false cases because the false cases are taking the culture back to the custom of dowry. the idea that the false cases are spreading is that if she has not given any dowry, she will ask for sowry. so in order to safeguard your parents, sisters, etc from the ill-effects of your individual decision to marry a girl, demand dowry. why should anybody's parents suffer for a decision that was solely his?

niceguy said...

I think both feminists and communists are alike in a sense they have no respect to the sanctity of the family system.

Anonymous said...

Mam,

Do you have the data to support that more women are suffering compared to men? even if you get some data let me tell you many men do not come and report that they are being harrassed, because our indian society makes fun of a man who is being harassed by wife and MIL.

Feminists had been crying foul since a long time about woman liberation, rights and all.

Woman already have more rights than men ( and its not assumption, at least in my family they do have)..

I would appreciate if you could point me to some govt site where they have mentioned that woman are more opperesed compared to man, and I beleive in numbers and not in assumptions.

Thanks

Kris said...

You wrote - "I agree many men also suffer harassment, but their numbers and the degrees of harrassment are far less."
Need I say more about where you are coming from or where you are going to, in your logic [sic]. All beginnings of fascism will always start with this justification.

When it comes to equality before law, that is that - total equality. Even if one individual is discriminated against, that whole legal jurisprudence is not worth its salt. That small numbers of men are subject to discrimination and harassment cannot be justification for keeping those laws - in fact it is the justification for removing those laws.

Bringing about change in the attitudes of people and socieity is best left to the civil society, within the context of its own milieu and mores. Discriminatory laws will only breed corruption, contempt for those llaws and the misusers of those laws deserve the condemnation from one and all. Those that promote these laws, like yourself, also deserve the same condemnation.

Now coming to the SIF blog, what he is doing is - highlighting the other side, because the mainstream media, under pressure from radical feminists, has blocked out the opinions from the opposite side. I dont see any outrage from you when the whole media repeated the white lie "70% of indian women face abouse". Even after Washington times provided a retraction, I have not seen one Indian newspaper having the courage to do the same.

You are doing a great disservice to the same women you purport to defend. For every false case filed by a woman, there are atleast two to three women who are directly or indirectly suffering untold miseries, for no fault of their own, except that they are related to the accused man.

Lastly, let me dispell another myth/falsehood spread by the protagonists such as yourself - Equate opposition to "feminism" as "mysogyny". Feminism as a philosophy is bankrupt and is already amply exposed time and again - not just anectodally, but scientifically. Opposing this philosophy is not hatred for women. It is nothing but a convenient stick to beat the opposition into submission.

MKR said...

Hi, I have been a member of SIF and wd like to assure that this organization is completely Pro family and does not carry any bias against women. Infact in every family which is impacted by the blatant misuse of the fiercely pro-women laws, there are plenty of women including the old women as well.However the laws are so biased against men, that in order to save us from the onslaught of such laws, we have to adopt the strategies which may look anti-women.In fact most of the people in this organisation are very educated and talented people and they cant believe in the irrationality of looking down at the women or opening a war with them but. However being educated our conscience did not allow us to accept the misuse as our fate and we formed this organization to fight such evil laws and evil women.Rather we welcome the women in our organization and those who are part of this organization have felt that SIF does not carry any anti-women bias.You must understand that it is a materialistic world and people are losing their moral values and ethos. And women are losing ethics as much as men are. In such a scenario if such power to misuse the legal process is given to one section namely women without giving the men even a chance to heard, it is likely to give rise to anarchy. and this is exactly what is happening today.I therefore request you to look at the things in the right perspective and help promote such organization which are helping in bringing the families together rather than breaking them under the garb of women's rights and women empowerment.

Best
Manoj Rawat

Brown Suga' said...

Thank you all for your comments and clarifications, especially the members of SIF.

Let me clarify that I am not a feminist. I absolutely agree that absolute power corrupts and we have several examples to prove that, both among men and women. I simply believe in equal rights and doing anything to foster that. I have repeatedly tried to state this throughout the post, yet I have been misconstrued as being just the opposite, despite my best attempts to word it carefully.

Anonmymous - I have said so in my post and I will say it again: I am sincerely glad someone
is standing up for men's rights, and in that regard I appreciate SIF. It was only upon further reading that I got the impression that it was anti-women. I fully agree that some women have misused the anti-Dowry law and I have mentioned that too. It is just that the tone of the blog struck me as being against ALL women rather than only the ones who committed atrocities.
I take it that you are a member of SIF. If, as you say, the data has been collected using the Right to Information act, and I have got my facts wrong, then please make a point to mention your sources on your site so that readers like me will not mistake it for anti-women propaganda.

UC - If SIF is really against power-craving feminists, as you say, it's okay with me, because I'm not one of them though you seem to have got that impression. I find myself repeating again and again that I appreciate SIF's stand to fight for men's rights, but the rather vociferous tone of the site in regards to the offending women gave me the impression that it is maligning all women. I am grateful for your clarification that SIF fights the radical feminists who do more damage than good in their positions of power (and for the links.) Please understand, though, that I am voicing my opinion against what I [apparently] misconstrued as being against all-women, while I appreciate SIF's noble effort at rehabilitating oppressed men.

Sandeep - 1. and 2.I completely agree that an oppressively matriarchial society would be just as bad as a patriarchial one, hence my trying to scream from the rooftops about EQUAL rights! My first impression of SIF was that it was against unscrupulous women, but it was only after reading a couple of posts that it struck me as desperately trying to point out that all women are misusing the sympathy shown towards them. As for pro-family, I am all for harmonious matrimonial relationships: it's just that I believe that the definition of family encompasses more than just that. The title "Save Indian Family" gives the impression that SIF has a set idea of what a perfect family should be like. I too come from a loving traditional family, and while I feel that is wondeful, I also feel it is more important to be a happy family, one that benefits the parents/ children/ society as a whole, than to comply with just one particular idea of what an ideal family should be. That is the impression I have garnered from SIF's title and site content, and if I am mistaken, I have the guts to admit it. Just as you have mistaken me to be a feminist propagandist from this one post, it is possible that I too may have misinterpreted the content.
4. I am least bothered that SIF is taking a stand against 'abusive' women - in fact I am all the more glad for it. I have neither ignored nor missed the point. My gripe was that SIF appeared to malign all women, given by the tone of the posts on the site.
5. What makes you think that I think that ALL NRI men are polygamous? I too have friends and family members who live abroad and are honest men right down to the bone. I was merely referring to the fraudsters alone as one problem that some women face which is largely ignored. I fully agree that all men are not evil just because some are, and all women are not evil just because some are. In fact throughout my life I have come across the worst kind of examples from both sexes, so you can be assured that I'm not trying to malign men alone. If anything, you may call me a misanthrope (someone who hates all human beings equally, irrespective of gender!) and not a misandrist. There is a difference.
Regarding 3. You must understand that I am not a news reporter, even though I have taken my statistics from government websites as well (I have linked them on the post); this is a personal blog, and time and again, I am clearly stating my preference for equal treatment of BOTH sexes, and I expressed my opinion about a site which I thought was going against that. Please read my post again clearly before you place my statements out of context.
6. Well put, and I fully agree. That's precisely what upsets me, because it's the behaviour of these so-called "educated" malevolent, power-hungry women that leads to genuinely concerned women like me being branded as feminists and man-haters, and it is apparent that not all my wordiness can save me from being branded a supporter of "feminism as superiority"!
Thanks for your input, though.

Humanist - Being a woman, I do not any way support the dowry system. If the SIF members are against dowry, I am glad to hear that. But, I repeat myself - the website gave me the impression of being anti-women because of the way the posts were worded. If you read my post again, you'll realise that I consider false rape/ dowry charges to be as henious as any other crime. I know that defamation can ruin a person's life in a way that it will be very difficult to pick up th pieces again.

Niceguy - Perhaps. But your comment is irrelevant to this post, since I'm neither a feminist or a communist.

Anonymous - Sir, if you read my post again you will find links in the text itself to wherever I have got my data from. I am not some sort of gossip magazine that I take my data from mere assumptions and rumours. And if my data is proved to be wrong, I am willing to concede my mistake. I agree with you fully that Indian society makes fun of men who are harrassed by women, and I am not a part of THAT kind of society. That is precisely why I said I was glad that SIF is standing up for men. In my family too women (including myself) are pretty much on par with the male members.
If you don't believe me when I say that I am as pro-men as I am pro-women, see this article on the "Points to Ponder" section of my blog: No Means No: When A Woman Rapes A Man."

Kris - You are completely right, except for the part where you include me as a member of the "fascist feminism" as you put it. You will agree that were it not for those who misuse these laws, nor for the loopholes that they contain, they would be of great help. You are right that if a law creates a problem for others (in this case, men) then it is a justification for removing it. But my point is, if you're going to remove these laws even before they can help those who genuinely need it, where do we go from there?
"For every false case filed by a woman, there are atleast two to three women who are directly or indirectly suffering untold miseries, for no fault of their own, except that they are related to the accused man" - you are right. But why are the women suffering because of their relation to the man? Because they are dependent on the man. Once his name and livelihood is destroyed because of that one evil women, the women related to him suffer merely because they haven't yet come to the point where they could rally behind the man and free him from the shackles. All because of the social mores they are bound by. And that's what the whole point of my post is - once we bring women to that point where they're completely, totally on par with men, there is no doubt that when a male member of a family is wrongly charged with crime, his female relatives can do more to free him because they will have the same socio-economic power, and thus their voices will be heard above the chaos of corruption.
Your points are all well-stated, but I'm concerned that you've relegated me to the status of a propagandist, and a feminist at that. I am by now hoarse with stating that I'm all for GENDER EQUALITY. Please read my post again properly (and the rest of my blog, if you wish) before judging me on the basis of a few phrases and branding me as something that I'm not.

Manoj Rawat - Thank you very much for your clarification, and I agree with what you have said about the likely rise of anarchy. As I have stated in my post, I am not against your organisation and I appreciate SIF's efforts to help abused men: I just stated my opinion based on several posts I have read which seemed bent on painting ALL women as manipulative evil-doers, and not just the genuinely wrongdoing women, which seemed to go against whatever SIF stands for. Rest assured that if SIF really does stick to its commitment towards gender equality, including relief to harassed men as you say, I will be glad to lend my support. (Though I am curious as to why you are no longer a member of SIF.)


While I thank all the commenters for your inputs, I request you all to please read through my post again carefully before branding me as a feminist and man-hater based on the core subject alone. I am being 100% honest on this post about my opinions (including mistakes if any) and I have no problems with standing corrected if I am wrong. You are welcome to oppose my viewpoints, but I'd appreciate it if you'd use a screen name rather than "anonymous." And to the people who support SIF - if you are members, I would like to see examples of posts that reflect what you say SIF stands for (and if you are no longer members, I would like to know why you quit a seemingly useful organisation.) My suspicions were aroused only after I found that I could not sign in - it looked as if SIF did not want any outsiders to post comments on their posts. I would like further clarifications on that if possible.

UC said...

Thanks for your response, Brown Suga. I do understand where your misapprehensions come from. I was worried too like you at one point. It is probably natural. However, being part of SIF actually gave me a better idea of the bigger picture and why SIF looks and works the way it does. Anyway, it is nice to exchange thoughts with you.

Best wishes

Sandeep said...

I am glad to see you are vocal about gender equality.

If you are serious about this, why don't you join hands with SIF?

Maybe you can bring in a woman's perspective, which may help us in achieving the larger cause.

Interested? Let me know.

Aside, I am curious to know what you are, what you do etc. I am a Bangalore based software professional.

Regards,
Sandeep