WEEKEND THOUGHTS # 2

CHAKRA

WEEKEND THOUGHT, VOLUME-3, NUMBER-2, JANUARY 17, 1997.


Women Abuse and Women Welfare



Author: Subhas C. Mohapatra

Their Views:

  1. Subrat Mohapatra
    e-mail: subrat@lsil.com
  2. Manoranjan Satapathy
    e-mail: mrs@cse.iitb.ernet.in

From the Editors' Fountain

Dear Readers,

We welcome your personal views on the delicate subject of our present society. Let us try not to hurt anyone's emotion directly or indirectly while discussing this sensitive topic.

Thanking you for your understanding and co-operation.

Regards,

Weekend Thoughts


MY DEAR ORTNETTERS!

I offer my respect to all of you. In a winter evening when the beautiful earth is covering herself with a tasar dupatta and reflectling her pure love of snow white to her children, I am drawing your attention to a global issue of our present days. It's not me but our WT's author who wants to speak to you and to find out solutions to a deeply rooted problem related to the status of women in our society.

Sharing the same culture, we, men and women of different ages are strongly aware of our own merits and demerits. Still we try to show ourselves as the most honest persons in our deals. But, then why such things arise and be our own enimies for years together? What are our needs at different levels (i.e : mental, social, emotional, economical and so on) and how can we really implement our noble thoughts for the betterment of the existing society to create a healthy atmosphere? Since childhood, before knowing myself completely I have been hearing the same topic from many people, but how many of us really have given a try to start from a grass root level to handle such a global epidemic.

In a woman's frame, she bears different forms as an indivisual. Not to a man but also to another woman, she could be at variance. The self born noisy sound waves of an abused woman is beyond the reach of most of the human beings. Who can take the pain of a sufferer when her etched Hanumana's chest reflects the images of thousand Ravanas instead of Rama and Sita? 'Pain' in any form is as private as 'Dharma' & 'Gyana' of a person, which can not be shared by others but can be diluted by adding humanity by being a faithful attendant.

It is a golden oppotunity for Oriyas around the world to have today's article by Professor S. C. Mohapatra, who tries to scan a woman heart's wavelength from his years' long experince. We are proud of our author and our reviewers who have projected their thoughts in a critical and rational way. Again, it is a rare occasion and hence WT thanks our two young reviewers Mr. Subrat Mohapatra (a software engineer) and Dr. Manoranjan Satapathy (a computer scientist and a writer by himself) who talk to us, from their personal views. Hope, WT team brings harmony in this new year.

I, as a woman have tried to analyze this topic from a lady's prospective: Butterfly overwhelms by the petals of a flower - but a Bee accumulates the nectar of her life's span and stores in his caring hives. Man & Woman are two sides of a paper on which Einstein inscribed the highest form of 'Shakti', conservation of energy E = mc^2 ( m = mass of mind, c = velocity of heart's rythm, E = energy of soul). Woman is the life's boat, energy of a man, a source of strength, a power of life's achievements. Woman with her strong driving and loving motivation takes a person to his highest reach; otherwise, the same brings Hirosima-Nagasaki disasters in the life of a man. Power of words, concentration of affection, force of motivation of a woman, springs in the man's heart at his unknown conscience. If our Ornet would be a Kerela for her women then Orissa would be showered with the late summer's raindrops of her learned sons and daughters with their brilliant fragrance as the earth's smell just after the first rain drops.

Uthile naari'e uthibe puruse
samaajara chakra beni
Urnati syandana chaaliba naahin ti
Ekaa nara chakra gheni.
[from a childhood memory]

Looking forward to hearing from you, our readers.

with best regards,

Arati Nanda January 17, 1997
(nanda@INDMATH.UNI-LINZ.AC.AT)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The author is from the Kamakshya nagar subdivision of the Dhenkanal district of Orissa. He came to USA in 1965 as a graduate student and is now a US citizen. He is now employed by the North Carolina State University and lives in the City of Apex, NC.

WOMEN ABUSE AND WOMEN WELFARE


The 1996 volume of The FORUM, published by the IAFF was devoted to this topic. It is distributed free of cost to the attendees of the OSA convention. After the convention, it is mailed to only a limited number of people (no more than 50) who are on IAFF mailing list, but did not attend the OSA convention. After this, The FORUM is put under the IAFF home page for those who might wish to accessed. I was made aware that the above methods make The FORUM available only to a committed reader who has deep interest on IAFF, but not to a curious reader (such as most of the Orneters) who are engrossed with varied other aspects of life. Thus, the above topic in The FORUM has probably escaped the notice of most Orneters. Debasmita, therefore, had asked me to expand on this topic for the WT. What I have done below is combine the old with some new thoughts. Therefore, those who have read the 1996 FORUM, might find some of the following repetitive.

WHY EVEN ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?

One young reader in this Ornet once wrote to me "Do you care about how many men are being abused by women? Women want equality. Men handle their own problems at work place and at home? Why do you have such special consideration for women? Why don't you let them handle their own problems? If you think men are the cause of women's problems, you only know half the truth. More women can be found to be cause of problems for men than the other way around. Do you feel guilty for being a man?"

Another gentle man wrote "There are many books already written on this issue. Why do you want a fresh discussion on this topic? Why don't you read and learn"?

The above were in response to the editorial I had written in the 1996 volume of The FORUM. For those who are interested, the editorial is appended to the end of this WT.

In the foregoing, we have genuine and sincere feelings of three individuals: myself, and two young men. Obviously, the three views do not make a full circle. There may be many other views (and some with no views at all) on "Women abuse and women welfare". Since my view is only one among the millions, does it really matter what I feel? Perhaps not. But if it does matter for any one, then that person should have the opportunity to know them. And how can he/she know? For the Orneters, through the WT. Hence the following;

WHY AM I CONCERNED ABOUR WOMEN ABUSE AND WOMEN WELFARE?

I am a devotee of the God Who created democracy and Who has blessed the mankind of different parts of the world to live and maintain it. To me, democracy, taken literally, could result in anarchy, and, like many other people, I do not like to live under anarchy, just as I did not like to live under monarchy. Therefore, I have a personal role to play if I have to prevent democracy from becoming anarchy. This is where my concern and commitment for women abuse and welfare comes. In principle, my concern for women is no different from my concern for non-Oriyas, children, Muslims, pets and other living forms that can be described as minority from a societal point of view. Here comes another self-contradiction: women a class of minority? Well, numerically speaking perhaps not. But all these constitute minorities in a democratic society from the standpoint of power sharing and power play. I am among those who feel that the first responsibility of a democratic society is protection, care and nurture of the minority (i.e., those who could be victimized by the power of the majority). From this point of view, women as a group have been subjugated by the male-controlled society every step of the way. This starts with not only leaving own family to go to an often alien family but also dropping the family name (I do recognize that in some societies this is not the case, but I am again talking about the democratic majority). In a family, there may be only one male member (e.g. father) whereas the rest are females (e.g mother and many daughters because reproductive activity was going on until a son could be had, without any success). Thus, amidst a numerical minority, the male member constitutes an administrative majority, and he rules the family because he is the "head". These women in a family are not physically abused on a daily basis, but they live with mortal fear of what might happen if they stray from the males "edict"; this is particularly true in a rural setting. If the son goes with a girl and make s her pregnant he becomes "way ward", the pregnant girl "brings shame to the family".

I have seen in the streets of Cuttack many a women of all ages going in rickshaw accompanied with a small boy of 5 to 6 years old because women should not go in the public without a "man". Even in today's world, if a divorced man or a widower with one or more children can easily get another virgin girl to marry (and in some villages to buy) while a divorced girl or a widow without any children is struggling to find another partner for life. I can go on an on with minute details, and I have not even touched the topics of dowry, deprivation, disfigurement, etc. What I mean by all these is "women servitude" at the "feet of men" is alive and well in an otherwise democratic society. We can argue that it is worse in certain countries than others. But no where in the world treating women with dignity has become a part of functional democracy. When I was young I used to say "God has created women for the pleasure of men, just as God has created flowers for the pleasure of women". Today I know better and therefore do not say these things publicly because I have a wife and daughter. But no one knows better than me about my deep-seated feelings about.Both my wife and daughter tell me that my indignity for women comes from the fact that I was raised as a motherless child without a woman around me. But then why so many men with a mother and so many sisters around go on hurting the daughters and sisters of others is beyond me....... and this is what I am still thinking about this weekend even after having my say in this space.


EDITORIAL

"Son! It is a jungle out there"; "Son! It is a dog eat dog world"; "Son! Go out there and be counted as a man"... These are the admonitions and advices reserved traditionally by parents (especially by fathers) for their sons. Daughters are specifically excluded from this because they are supposed to be protected, pampered, loved, and kept inside the house, even as they reach womanhood and become wives and mothers. This historically tender approach toward women gave way to an assumption and presumption of ownership. Thus, among the men, who wins the battle gets the prettiest woman as the caravan of Vikings traveled far to win the West.

Love, tenderness, and loyalty led to such a degree of ownership, that women became properties and lost all human dignity and basic social and personal rights, i.e. until many a women suffragettes struggled incessantly to awaken the awareness of women and conscience of men.

As women still struggle today for equality at the work place, the vast majority of them throughout the world are still suffering from physical, mental and economic abuse at home. Unfortunately, in many cases, one woman ( e.g., a mother-in-law or a sister-in-law) becomes the primary cause of the sufferings of another woman, and we, men, try to get satisfaction by claiming that we are trying to "keep peace between fighting and back-biting women". We, MEN, rarely realize that if it was not for our direct participation or deliberate indifference, fighting women could not harm each other except screaming and shouting. Some of us men have been heard to even argue "when it comes to mental abuse, a woman does not do any less to a man than a man does to a woman; therefore, why so special concern for women?". Some men also argue that if women fight for equality they should also learn to fight against abuse without seeking the help or cooperation of men. IF I WAS ONLY A HUSBAND OR A LOVER, I PROBABLY WOULD ACCEPT THESE ARGUMENTS AND RETIRE TO SILENCE. But, I am also a father, a son, a brother, a cousin, a neighbor, and a friend of many potential and real women victims of domestic and social abuse. Therefore, if I choose to remain silent and indifferent, I have chosen to acquiesce women abuse, even if I do not directly contribute to these abuses.

Having said all these, I find myself totally inadequate to define what constitutes women abuse beyond the obvious physical and verbal acrimony, and how to prevent it. If women abuse consists of only physical violence, perhaps I can come out clean with my wife's blessings. But if the definition of women abuse is broaden to include all forms of abuse, I am not sure if my wife will give me a clean bill of health for every minute of our 30-years of marriage. While I have met socially many a friendly and congenial women, I rarely knew the pain and humiliation they have gone through before coming out of will face it when they return to their houses. While I find myself individually helpless in this regard, can we take collective steps to address this problem?

The CENTER FOR WOMEN WELFARE (CWW) was formed at the IAFF against this background. But before any action can be taken, it is imperative to have a clearer perspective on what constitutes women abuse. The need for this is underscored in light of the article by Kelly Moss given below. If women abuse is defined as every thing other than "I love you", it becomes an intractable problem to even understand, much less seek solution for. On the other hand, if we ignore every thing other than physical and verbal abuse, we are contributing to the perpetuation of the sad state of affairs. Because abuse in any form occurs through the denial of basic human rights, and in many cases hatred, this issue of The FORUM is dedicated to the discussion of related topis.


In the View of: SUBRAT MOHAPATRA

Actually if you go back to the creation of this vast Universe by GOD, HE has created both men and women for certain specific and definite purpose. Generally men are considered to take care of the earnings of the house and protect the family, whereas women are supposed to consider the well beings of the house. This goes with the basic men and women instinct. If you thoroughly study the natural behaviour of small kids, you will see that given a chance a small boy will prefer to play with a gun, a car, airplane etc (more aggresive game) and a small girl will prefer to play with a house, ribbon etc (caring, pacifying game). That's what the study shows, its not my views.

Now in the olden days everything was fine. Less population, less industrialization, pace of work was slow, living style was not that mechanical. But modern days things have changed. Its becoming more and more difficult to sustain a proper family with those specific jobs which men and women were doing in the olden days. And hence the equality turmoil.

I think its more of a division of labor than the concept of equality and power. Men and women by nature have some balanced qualities given by GOD. If we stick with it everything is rationalized.

Men and Women can be equally abusive. So its difficult to generalize.


In the View of: MANORANJAN SATAPATHY

Begin Quote

WOMEN ABUSE AND WOMEN WELFARE

WHY EVEN ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?

One young reader in this Ornet once wrote to me "Do you care about how many men are being abused by women? Women want equality. Men handle their own problems at work place and at home? Why do you have such special consideration for women? Why don't you let them handle their own problems? If you think men are the cause of women's problems, you only know half the truth. More women can be found to be cause of problems for men than the other way around. Do you feel guilty for being a man?"

Another gentle man wrote "There are many books already written on this issue. Why do you want a fresh discussion on this topic? Why don't you read and learn"?

The above were in response to the editorial I had written in the 1996 volume of The FORUM. For those who are interested, the editorial is appended to the end of this WT.

In the foregoing, we have genuine and sincere feelings of three individuals: myself, and two young men. Obviously, the three views do not make a full circle. There may be many other views (and some with no views at all) on "Women abuse and women welfare". Since my view is only one among the millions, does it really matter what I feel? Perhaps not. But if it does matter for any one, then that person should have the opportunity to know them. And how can he/she know? For the Orneters, through the WT. Hence the following;

WHY AM I CONCERNED ABOUR WOMEN ABUSE AND WOMEN WELFARE?

I am a devotee of the God Who created democracy and Who has blessed the mankind of different parts of the world to live and maintain it. To me, democracy, taken literally, could result in anarchy, and, like many other people, I do not like to live under anarchy, just as I did not like to live under monarchy. Therefore, I have a personal role to play if I have to prevent


End Quote

Begin Quote

democracy from becoming anarchy. This is where my concern and commitment for women abuse and welfare comes. In principle, my concern for women is no different from my concern for non-Oriyas, children, Muslims, pets and other living forms that can be described as minority from a societal point of view.

End Quote

Begin Quote

Here comes another self-contradiction: women a class of minority? Well, numerically speaking perhaps not. But all these constitute minorities in a democratic society from the standpoint of power sharing and power play. I am among those who feel that the first responsibility of a democratic society is protection, care and nurture of the minority (i.e., those who could be

End Quote

NOW YOUR VIEWS ???


Click here for some AFTER THOUGHTS posted in ORNET


Your comments are always welcome...

Subhas C. Mohapatra


NEXTPREV
This page has been accessed

times since April 28, 2001.


[IMAGE]

[IMAGE]

Ride back to Home Page...

[IMAGE]