Gender and Society
Book Report:Seeing Like A Feminist
Feminists and Women
Victims or Agents?
In this section the author tries to explain the various protocols the girl needs to undergo to survive in the so called “society”.Basically she lacks the basic freedom.Like the author took the girl “Moni” as an example.And she tried to explain what the girl undergoes through protocols which are ridiculous and disgusting.Like Moni need to follow the gender behaviour protocol”,follow heterosexual marriage protocol.We got independence in 1947 but the girl “Moni” never got it.Because of so called society protocols.
When we talk about family all we know is they support us during our good and bad periods.And the laws are made such that you are forced fit into this so called family.And fundamental rights are not applicable in family which was made a law by supreme court.Because if we allow fundamental rights in family the structure of family will collapse.There are certain problems which arise due to the name of family.Like caste”,gotra these are the top layers of family.Because of the caste you cannot marry outside your caste and a girl cannot choose a guy outside her caste.And recently we have witnessed the so called trend “Honour Killings”.this happens as some parents or some x is not satisfied by seeing their daughter or son marrying outside their caste(lower caste).
Actually the society decided the work between men and women.Like men should work and women should do reproductive work.And the amount of work which she does in household is unpaid.If the household work done by women is paid then the total economy fails.And there is other scenario where the women is not paid same as her counterpart(men).There should be maternity leaves allowed for women
to take care and nurture their children.
When it comes to hindu family there are three things which control or can be considered as protocols for administration of family.
1)patriachial(power difference between gender)
2)patriliny(property transfer from father to son)
3)virocality(wife should stay at husband’s place).
Here women can be exploited as father can write a will to whom the property should go.DOWRY is one of the biggest problem as transfer of money takes place in between two men in the name of women.Indian government introduced three acts to prevent women to tortured for dowry
And women should change their name which belongs to husband’s family.As article 21 ensures right to life so one women decided not to add her husband’s name to her name and she was successfull in that.
In this section we talk sex and gender.There is significant difference between sex and gender as in sex referes to biological differences and gender is about the cultural meaning attached to the basic difference.The factors from which one cannot escape or they should accept their fate is biological determinism like racism and casteism.Now we can say that feminine and masculine which are considered to be biological are not natural indeed they are developed through child rearing process and environment they have been raised in.And masculine qualities are considered superior than feminine this ideology should change.So body is formed from nature and culture.But men makes their decisions on logic.Here the author talks about “ECO-FEMINISM”
which is based upon humans exploiting the nature concept.In this humans are patriachs and nature is repression of women.
Here the author points that gender pre-exists the body.It is gender which produces biological sex and gender produces sex through series of performance.There is no confidence that our gender identity is secure.
In olympics they used to conduct a chromosome test to deduce whether you are a man or woman.But tests confirmed that chromosome test itself is not enough to tell you whether you are a man or woman.
But you need three things to confirm a gender
Until now we are talking about men and women.Now we will talk about queer gender(LGBTI). Society has created a social trauma of considering heteronormative sexual as natural thing.Others as unnatural.Article 377 bans homosexuals having sex in private.And many ngo’s and others groups questioned about article 377 which is violating article 21″,14″,15.So delhi high court has violated the sub clause of article 377 and allowed gay sex to be natural.Finally the term queer is so important as it indicates transgressive desire of all sorts and questions the supposed naturalness of the heterosexual identity.
The author tries to emphasize on how the sexual violence is understood in our indian society.Like how sexual assault effects the honour patriachial society.And she tries to explain how women are being assaulted in the name of race and class.And she tries to explain how weak our laws which have been in place to curb rape.And alleged rapists are getting away in the place of lack of evidence.The author suggests to remove narrowly defined term rape and use a series of degrees of sexual assault the punishment increasing in severity with the physical harm caused.She said that many instances happended where women sexually assaulted in various places like universities”,workplace”,domestic servants.And how feminists reacted and how analysed the situation and created many campaigns against it.Famous campaigns which took place were pink chaddi campaign. Many instances have taken where sexual violence is utilised like a weapon in the war .Menon says that for women movement in india recognition of rape as a political weapon is a significant part of its politics.
Feminists and women
Menon tries to explain that feminism is not about women but it is about how gender produces human beings as men or women.But she further says that it is not only about gender.But how gender got complicated by class “,by caste”,by queer politics.The author tries to explain the importance of UCC(uniform civil code) which is important as personal laws tend to do injustice to women thus UCC can bring national integrity and safeguard women equality and otherwise you need to fight to get justice.The ban on the veil has major problem for women who follow islam as many european countries doesn’t allow religion in public forcing women to remove their scarf which is against their rules.(BWF)forcing women to wear skirts to attract audience the author points that it is bad as we need to get confirmation from them as they are the ones who are playing and some religion belief like muslims.
Victims or Agents-
Here the author wants to points out the problems women face like trafficking”,exploited when they take up as sex worker in this capitalist regime author said that there was a survey conducted which said women are happy under feudal power rather becoming Sex worker and she said it is so bad when they were treated as commodities in the Process of commodification.And in commercial surrogacy women being exploited as
She was forced to carry somebody’s egg and the mediator will exploit her and it is unsafe for women who are carrying somebody’s egg as she may get effected if the egg has contaminated with hiv.”Abortion” this is so sensitive as author mentioned properly and deeply while talking about this issue.India is far better than other countries which allows abortion under medical termination of pregnancy act(MTP) and it should be done by a legal medical practitioner.The author talked about PCPNDT act which was brought into force to Curb sex-selective abortion which takes place in india.As this led to skewed sex ratio’s in many states.Author condemns this as a serious issue which led to foeticide of female.