Friday, 13 March 2015
Democracy ~An Illusion If You Have Ovaries.
Democracy ... we throw that word around in a glowing light. We North Americans learn about other countries and their political stances and when we learn one is democratic, it changes our view of that country. Take India for instance. Google says it's the "most populace democracy in the world".
Democracy is defined as a system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected individuals.
Wow that sounds great doesn't it? But it's an illusion.
I mean, by that definition, you'd expect to see husbands and wives making the walk or drive to the polling stations to cast their vote. But would you expect to see the women walking BEHIND the man on their way home? I mean, I'm so blinded by the equality my parents shared, that in my mind, a free and democratic society would see hubby & wife walk together. But that is a rare site there.
Would you expect to see groups of women, wives at that, walking together while their husbands discuss important things like who their daughters will marry?
Would you expect, that in a democracy, certain individuals would see other individuals as less than they on the importance scale? On the scale that awards their rights? But in India, democracy isn't a word used to give women equal rights. At least not all women.
Periodically we hear about abuses, rapes, and attacks on women in India. For a while, I just imagined that there were groups of toxic men doing this. I imagined that most would be appalled. I mean, it's a democracy!! And yes, rapes and attacks happen in Canada and the US though they are democracies. But not usually in groups.
The lone wolf attack is one thing, but group attacks show a deeper divide in societal respect.
A documentary recently came out discussing one such gang attack on a woman in India. This one happened on Dec.16th 2012 in South Delhi, where a 23 year old physiotherapy student was gang raped and killed on a bus.
How do we change, fix, correct this thinking that seems to be ingrained in some men? It's also ingrained in many women there and all over the world. If you are told from birth that you are less, then you grow up to believe you are less than your brother and all males around you.
As one of the rapists said in the documentary:
"housework and housekeeping is for girls".
Is that all that girls are for in this the worlds most populace democracy? Surely this is wrong. But not all democracies are the same. We think they are, but India sadly proves that they are not. Elitism in "caste systems" still decides who gets educated, employed, and placed in positions of influence where the world-wide spotlight shines. Women are not equal here, though it's a democracy.
This post was inspired by a story in the news today that my hunni told me about. Check it out here.
This marriage, like most was pre-arranged and the bride and groom had spent little or no time together. Initially I actually celebrated when I read that she refused to marry that man. But I see now that that choice also was not likely her own. I'm quite sure her father demanded that she ask that question so as to get out of the ceremony and the promise. That entire article shows an illusion of free choice that that bride will never know. Never has known as long as she has lived ... though she has voted democratically many times over.
The inspiration for this blog is in the second last paragraph that briefly describes another ceremony that suffered a sudden-stop because the groom had a pre-existence health condition that the bride's family could not accept. So her father chose another groom for his daughter. Right there, right then. Did he say "eenie-meenie miney-mo" do you think? Was there any thought as to what man his daughter would like?
Not a thought. Not one. What India's daughters want doesn't matter. What too many daughters want means nothing.
And that exists in many worldwide democracies.