Feminism and the Family – Thoughts on International Women’s Day from Kafila by Nivedita Menon MARCH 8, 2012 - Excerpts from my forthcoming book Seeing like a Feminist (Penguin India/Zubaan Books).
Women have to learn to remake themselves completely, but even more significant is the fact that the entire period of their lives before this singular event of marriage, is spent in anticipating and preparing for this specific future, from choice of career and job options to learning to be adaptable from early girlhood.
As a young girl said, ‘Whenever I ask my mother to have fun, go out, to wear interesting clothes, she says, ‘Now I am married, I can’t do that’. If marriage is the end of life, how can it also be the goal of life?’ […]
The family is an institution that rigidly enforces systems of inheritance and descent, and in this structure, individuals – sons, daughters, wives, husbands – are resources that are strictly bound by the violence, implicit and explicit, of this frame. We tend to take this frame for granted, and it becomes obscenely visible only in extraordinary circumstances.
As feminists we need to build up the capacity and strength of both women and men to live in ways in which marriage is voluntary, and to build alternate non-marriage based communities.
Modern society has certainly tweaked with the traditional model to a significant extent, relying primarily on the willingness of the mother to leave an abusive situation and take the kids with her. In extreme situations, the state itself will intervene to take the kids away from an abusive parent’s custody. Yet the primary strategy is to provide exit strategies for when things go wrong. And of course conservatives are constantly fighting to make those exit strategies more difficult — and to cut off the means to avoid becoming entrapped in bad situations in the first place (i.e., birth control and abortion).
This is where gay marriage is absolutely necessary: at its best, it provides a model for a voluntary union of equals. Unless we’re going to go the full Republic route, it seems that more or less autonomous households are here to stay — and so we might as well have them forming without all the baggage of patriarchal presuppositions. This is the good way that gay marriage challenges the traditional family: by pushing it further in the direction of being a realm of love and affinity rather than a regime of property.
Obviously this isn’t a magic-bullet solution, because gay marriage and the changed marriage norms it can hopefully bring with it do not lead automatically to a utopia in which everyone is good and responsible. Yet the patriarchal model is practically begging the father to abuse his power, and so moving away from it can only be good.
Thus I would say that straight people would do well to make their marriages a little more gay.
Auroville Radio Auroville Radio Newsletter Editor's Notes Dear readers,
There is much hustle-bustle here in Auroville these days with new developments as well as the Bulgarian celebrations in the International zone. And with International Women’s Day just around the corner, you can imagine the excitement as women take the lead in History, Literature, Cinema, Dance and a lot more!
How many Ashrams have we imagined where the inmates, some unmarried, especially women, expose their lower bottom on the body by wearing shorts and go out on the streets, even to the markets? How many traditional Indian ashrams serve non-vegetarian food to their inmates? This is a reality in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and a big attack by some fundamental groups who are plotting a planned and systematic attack to the very essence and existence of its survival. This is the nature of attack… Manas 12:33 PM from: Narayan T Rao firstname.lastname@example.org date: 6 March 2012
'लिव इन रिलेशनशिप' को स्वीकार करें: टीम अन्ना दैनिक भास्कर गाजियाबाद. टीम अन्ना 'लिव इन रिलेशनशिप' के समर्थन में आगे आई है। टीम के सदस्य और पूर्व केंद्रीय मंत्री शांति भूषण ने कहा है कि लोगों को बदलते समाज के सच के साथ इसे स्वीकार कर लेना चाहिए। भूषण के मुताबिक लिव इन रिलेशनशिप का विरोध नहीं होना चाहिए।गाजियाबाद में एक कार्यक्रम के दौरान मीडिया से बातचीत में शांति भूषण ने कहा, 'सामाजिक मूल्य बड़ी तेजी से बदल रहे हैं और हमें इसे स्वीकार करना चाहिए।' विधानसभा चुनाव के बारे में शांति भूषण ने कहा कि अन्ना फैक्टर ने अपना असर दिखाया है और चुनावी नतीजों को देखने से यह बात साफ हो जाती है। (12/03/12)
Live-in fallout of materialistic western culture: RSS Ramu Bhagwat, TNN Mar 17, 2012 Times of India -
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has made it clear that it could never approve of the recent vogue of live-in-relationships. Reacting to events organized in
Nagpur and Gujarat by
lonely senior citizens to find live-in partners, RSS joint general secretary
Dattatreya Hosabale said that it was a fallout of materialistic western culture
and such an act cannot be encouraged.
Hosabale was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the three-day Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha which began here on Friday. The remark coming from him became all the more important as he is being billed to succeed Mohan Bhagwat as next 'sarsanghachalak' (RSS chief) few years down the line. Hosabale said over the last one year the RSS has conducted camps to spread the message about importance of strengthening the institution of family.