Friday, March 06, 2015

India’s Daughter, Difficult to Change Culture

Posted by Hannah at 2:37 PM

Culture is a very power thing no matter where you live.  It effects your life, and those around you as well.  Changing culture is a very hard thing to do, and people always are afraid of this change.


There is never anything truly WRONG with my culture, but it is YOURS that is the problem.


We have seen this used against a faith community due to terrorists that claim they represent the faith themselves.  So people condemn them all. 


We see the same thing when it comes to same type of generalizations towards race, and gender. 


You can condemn things easier when you have removed their humanity.  You then can view them as a group, and that makes your contempt, distain, and hate more palatable.   You can learn to live with that, because you no longer see them as human.


They are now just ‘them’.


India’s Daughter


She said, Mum, Dad, Now you don't have to worry anymore. I had been reading recently about an documentary on BBC about, “India’s Daughter’'.  It is a documentary on the brutal gang-rape of Jyoti Singh in 2012, and speaks of the protests and rioting in that country afterwards. 


They wanted to change the culture’s view towards women, and you can feel how HARD that is going to be just by listening to how some of the individuals speak about this horrific crime. 


Jyoti Singh is a perfect example of ‘them’ in her culture.


(You can try to google the documentary, but I get the impression they are removing it as fast as people can upload it online.  I found it on youtube.)


It’s going to be a HUGE uphill battle to change their culture, because their culture has been in place for centuries.  You are brought up from cradle to grave with what they see as acceptable viewpoints towards the female gender.


When Jyoti was born her family gave out candies to celebrate her birth, and people didn’t understand WHY they would do this…you only do that for boys.  Her parents told them they celebrate their children


Your Little girl is a doctor.  Now everything will be fine.

When she was older she asked that they use her dowry to pay for her schooling, and her parents also sold their ancestral land to pay for her studies. 


The culture was astonished that they would throw away all that for this girl.  To her parents she was a good investment, and besides they loved her.


She finished her final exams to be a doctor, and she was on break until her 6 months of what we call ‘residency’ started.  She and male friend went to see a movie that night, and on their bus ride home 6 men beat her male friend…and raped, tortured and left her to die on the side of the road. 


A man that found her described her as a cow after giving birth.  Her organs were coming out her vagina, and he said he was frustrated because no one was helping.  They just watched.


Her mother said her last words were:  Sorry Mummy.  I gave you so much trouble.  I’m sorry.


It seems that God didn't like this.. He ended everything there.


At that point the machines flatlined, and her breathing stopped.


Jyoti was dead.  Her father’s words about her funeral?  You could feel and hear the heartbreak even though he kept his composure.  I’ll leave the description there, so you may see it for yourself in the documentary.


Protests for Change


For FAR to many in India? 


It was assumed that Jyoti was just one of  ‘them’.


Protestors wanted to change that reality for her, and for women in general in India.  They wanted to change people’s minds that she was human, and not a ‘them’. 


They want to give females the humanity that they deserve.


Like many cultures if you listen to the men (most of them anyway) in this documentary they speak of women as more precious than a gem or diamond.


“She should not be put on the streets just like food.  The ‘lady’, on the other hand, you can say the ‘girl’ or ‘woman’, are more precious than a gem, than a diamond.  Its up to you how you want to keep that diamond in your hand.  If you put that diamond on the street, certainly the dogs will carry it out.  You can’t stop it”   - Attorney for Rapists


So, in other words the ‘dogs’ (men) see women as food to carry out, because of instinct.  It can’t be stopped.  So, if you don’t show the dogs outside you have food (your women) they can’t carry it out.


Problem is their ‘more precious than a gem’ women also are attacked within the house by dogs, and that is also their fault.


India Banned The Documentary


Now, India is having a problem with this documentary.  They don’t wish for people to discuss the dogs, nor steps on how to stop them.  They claim that the documentary shames their women, and doesn’t represent THEIR India.


Let’s be honest here!  We all know its not about how this will shame women, and cause trouble for them.  They just don’t like how their patriarchy on steroids has shamed the dogs.  Their entitled to their place, and their women have theirs.


Like I said in the beginning – its hard to change culture.  With progress, education, and changes within their culture?  They will embrace the pride in their country once again.


In the meantime?  They better hold on to their hats, because ‘banning’ the film is just causing people to seek it out even more to see it anyway.  They basically gave the film FREE publicity that they were not counting on.


I pray that their ‘gems’ receive their humanity back, because no one deserves to be a ‘them’.


Additional Resources:

'India's Daughter,' the film banned by India: What did it show?

Indian government remains defiant over ban on BBC rape documentary

Indian Lawyers May Be Reprimanded for Sexist Remarks in Rape Documentary

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Persis on 7:18 PM said...

Thank you for this post. I wasn't aware of "India's Daughter" until now.

It doesn't matter if a woman is called a "gem" or a "flower". It's still the language of objectification and possession, not personhood.

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