Dr. Mitu Khurana: the fight goes on


by Rumbold
4th October, 2010 at 9:38 pm    

Dr. Mitu Khurana, whose case Pickled Politics covered extensively here and here, is facing new obstacles in the fight to gain permanent custody of her two daughters, Guddu and Pari.

Dr. Mitu has been battling her husband and in-laws for years. Her troubles began when she refused to have an ultrasound (which is illegal in India due to the fear of female foeticide if the mother is found to be pregnant with girls); this upset her in-laws, who poisoned her and took her to a hospital in order to have the ultrasound done. When it was found she was pregnant with twin girls, she was pressured to have an abortion. She refused, and when they were born, she was expected to give them up for adoption. She did not want to, so her in-laws started conspiring against her, with her mother in-law pushing her then four month old daughter down the stars on one occasion.

Dr. Mitu eventually left the house with her daughters for good, and filed a complaint under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act, the first individual to do so. Since then her in-laws have taken her to court in order to gain partial custody of her children, an action she believes is merely a ploy in order to get her to drop the complaint against them and the hospital. Numerous officials she has encountered have been unsympathetic or downright hostile. A high court judge even told her to reconcile with her husband and in-laws after they had tried to kill one of her daughters.

Now, with the court case dragging on, Dr. Mitu was shocked to find that her husband has applied to take custody of the now five-year old twins, whom Dr. Mitu is forced to bring to every court session (about once a month) for no apparent reason.

Rita Banerji has been coordinating a petition in support of Dr. Mitu.


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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,Sex equality






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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Dr. Mitu Khurana: the fight goes on http://bit.ly/cHw7nA


  2. earwicga

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: Dr. Mitu Khurana: the fight goes on http://bit.ly/cHw7nA #India




  1. Sarah AB — on 5th October, 2010 at 7:29 am  

    It sounds an awful case – I do indeed remember it from previous coverage here.

  2. douglas clark — on 5th October, 2010 at 8:23 am  

    Rumbold,

    As Sarah AB says above, this is an awful case. Why do folk care about the sex of their child?

    I have three kids and the only thing I cared about – when they were born – was that they didn’t have an obvious defect. Y’know six fingers, gills or such. I wasn’t in the slightest interested in their sex. What is going on here?

  3. earwicga — on 5th October, 2010 at 9:15 am  

    What is going on here?

    The patriarchy.

  4. douglas clark — on 5th October, 2010 at 9:31 am  

    That is just cruel, earwicga.

    I am no more a supporter of the patriarchy than I am of the matriarchy. And, if you were a bit more honest with yourself, there isn’t much to chose between them. Is there?

  5. earwicga — on 5th October, 2010 at 9:34 am  

    The patriarchy is cruel douglas. It means dead babies and women. It means 4 month old babies are kicked down the stairs because of their sex. I’m not sure why you’ve taken my comment as a personal slight though. Where have I ever advocated a ‘matriarchy’?

  6. douglas clark — on 5th October, 2010 at 9:54 am  

    earwicga,

    Heh.

    Time out!

    ________________________________

    What I am saying is that women buy into the ideas of men, to the disgusting extent of attempting to control whether a foetus that might be their daughter comes to term or not.

    You choose to express that as a patriarchal expression of society. I am saying that it is frankly nothing of the sort.

    It is an expression of a complete societial meltdown. Men and women are both complicit. Hence matriarchy as well as patriarchy.

    ___________________________

    But you don’t appear to be able to see women as complicit, do you? They are the eternal victims….

  7. douglas clark — on 5th October, 2010 at 10:01 am  

    No child of mine will be a victim to a man.

    And I’d hope that no-one that is a woman that comments here would be either.

    That is all.

  8. earwicga — on 5th October, 2010 at 10:10 am  

    douglas – you are putting words into my mouth that do not fit. Clearly you don’t understand the term ‘patriarchy’. I seriously can’t be bothered with this conversation.

    Rumbold – thanks for posting.

  9. douglas clark — on 5th October, 2010 at 10:15 am  

    earwicga,

    Not really, these are the words you say. They are mental, but they are your words.

    And, equally, you don’t understand the term matriarchy either :-)

    I can’t take you seriously when you just play around with words and definitions.

    You make good points sometimes, sometimes you strike me as a complete utter idiot.

    The fact that you ‘can’t be bothered’ says a lot more about you than it does about me.

  10. douglas clark — on 5th October, 2010 at 10:37 am  

    Which was pretty plain on your own thread:

    ISN 239 Aamer, Shaker (UK-Saudi Arabia).

    The lack of any sort of contribution from you was a tad apparent.

    ‘Can’t be bothered’

    Indeed.

  11. douglas clark — on 5th October, 2010 at 11:01 am  

    Rumbold,

    I have signed the petition, despite having no faith in petitions.

  12. Rumbold — on 5th October, 2010 at 8:54 pm  

    Thanks Sarah.

    Earwiga and Douglas:

    Thank you both. If seems there are some crossed wires here. Both of you care deeply about the oppression of women, and both of you agree that at times women themselves can assist in the oppression of other women (“footsoldiers of the patriarchy” as Mrs. Rumbold calls them).

    So I think there is just confusion all round.

  13. persephone — on 6th October, 2010 at 12:18 am  

    The thread about matriarchy & patriarchy is interesting.

    I read a book (think it was called when women ruled the world) which related that pre-christianity women were valued & Mother Nature was worshipped – all things female were seen as positive, nurturing & venerated. Then more formal religion was created as a reaction against this – a response from men who wanted to throw off this mantle & god was seen as a man and womens position began to be eroded & usurped by male dominance.

    It did make me think that did we just swap one dominance over another…

  14. KJB — on 7th October, 2010 at 1:04 am  

    Rumbold – I love you.

    Apparently, patriarchy means ‘the rule of the father.’ For me, it is a word which serves as shorthand for: racist, sexist, disablist, homophobic, transphobic, intolerant-as-we-know-it society.

    Douglas can interpret it however he wants, but for feminists and womanists, that is what patriarchy means. A society in which everything which is not white, male, and middle-class is sorted into a hierarchy of Others. Whilst women are indeed complicit in it, the fact is that men could do a lot to make life better for them – but all too often don’t. When push comes to shove (ironic expression!), I have seen men online frequently react against the possibility of real fairness by threatening to use physical force against women.

    Simone de Beauvoir, in the introduction to The Second Sex (which I had to read for uni!) makes the point that “the woman’s effort has never been anything more than a symbolic agitation. They have gained only what men have been willing to grant; they have taken nothing, they have only received.”

    Depressing though it sounds, I think that this is very true of feminism. The still-common unacceptability of lesbianism – the only sexual mode which excludes men altogether – is testament to this. The truth of it is also shown by the fact that there have been repeated backlashes against feminism, and counter to other areas of life where modernity generally meant progress, it’s now often verboten to admit to being a feminist – ironically, given what I just said, because it’s seen as being man-hating, ‘angry’ and quasi-lesbian, i.e. not appealing to the boys and not a proper girl!

    Douglas – Whatever your personal interpretation of ‘patriarchy,’ it is absolutely the reason why Dr. Mitu is in the position she is in, and why I am a feminist. Indian society is one of many that doesn’t value women, and it was the realisation that I’m apparently taking up space I shouldn’t that made me who I am. Please, don’t make me bring out the recommended reading list again!

  15. Sarah AB — on 7th October, 2010 at 7:06 am  

    Aeschylus’ “Eumenides” can be read (though perhaps shouldn’t be!) as a kind of dramatisation of the defeat of matriarchy by patriarchy. Athene, who judges that Orestes’s murder of his mother shouldn’t be taken too seriously because women are only incubators not proper relatives, is definitely a ‘footsoldier for the patriarchy’.

  16. KJB — on 7th October, 2010 at 1:18 pm  

    Sarah AB – that sounds FASCINATING. Though depressing, since the ancient Greeks were a seriously woman-hating bunch.

    You’ve made think about Oedipus Rex now, and how surely, it isn’t right that Jocasta should be the one to die? Shouldn’t Oedipus have been, given that he’s the one who committed the crime of incest? Although arguably a life of blind solitude is preferable to instant death? Too many questions!

  17. Ravi Naik — on 7th October, 2010 at 2:16 pm  

    The still-common unacceptability of lesbianism – the only sexual mode which excludes men altogether – is testament to this.

    I always thought that society is often more tolerant of lesbians than with gays, because heterosexual men are actually aroused by the thought of women getting intimate with each other, while they are often threaten by gays due to their own sense of sexual insecurity. It has always been accepted women kissing and even holding hands, but not men. Again, the patriarchy.

    Whilst women are indeed complicit in it, the fact is that men could do a lot to make life better for them – but all too often don’t.

    The mother-in-law in this story doesn’t just seem like a complicit, she seems to be an active partner in all of this. And one could imagine that if she was strictly against this sort of barbarism, then Dr. Mitu would be far better. This is a backward cultural phenomenon which requires a social shift, not just men.

    However in my mind, I am wondering what sort of grandparents want to harm their own flesh and blood? Is this an exception or the rule in Indian society?

  18. KJB — on 7th October, 2010 at 8:12 pm  

    I always thought that society is often more tolerant of lesbians than with gays, because heterosexual men are actually aroused by the thought of women getting intimate with each other

    That’s because lesbianism is frequently not taken seriously. The notion of a sexuality that completely excludes straight men must be ridiculed, because otherwise it’s threatening. That’s why ‘lipstick lesbianism’ is the only acceptable mainstream depiction – two women who conveniently suit male ideas of attractiveness performing for a male audience, and of course, deep down all they want/need is a penis. This is what fuelled the corrective rapes in SA, and what’s led to attacks on lesbians elsewhere. How often do you see butch lesbians in porn, or anywhere else in the media, for that matter? The handy association of butch lesbianism, ‘man-hating’ and feminism has also fed into it. It’s no wonder so many celebrity women are reluctant to call themselves lesbians.

    This is a backward cultural phenomenon which requires a social shift, not just men.

    Oh, of course. What would you expect? A divine revelation from heaven, suddenly resetting the decades of patriarchal conditioning? Give me a break. Mitu’s parents-in-law and husband are all complicit in this case, and I’m not sure it would make much difference if her MIL WAS on her side, though it would be better. If anything, the support of her husband would make much more difference. When women fuck other women over, it is because they have been shown through decades of conditioning how they are expected to behave by men. The whole structuring of the performance of rituals, for example, where men leave it up to the women to do everything, makes it ideal for older women to abuse their power over younger ones. In quite a few HBV cases, women HAVE been on their female relatives’ side, but does it make any difference? No. The threat of violence is simply turned on them. If men started to turn round and say ‘NO, we don’t want this – I don’t want to live with my parents, I want you to leave my wife alone,’ then that would make a MASSIVE difference. However, they don’t, because they are groomed to expect wives who are their second mothers. Give up being spoilt and pampered so that the women they marry can catch a break? Show some guts, so that they don’t end up marrying women they don’t care about? How very singular!

    Is this an exception or the rule in Indian society?

    Why don’t you find out?

  19. KJB — on 8th October, 2010 at 12:38 am  

    Incidentally, this might be useful for some of the men on PP…

    http://gts-kjb.blogspot.com/2010/10/sexism-and-self-education.html

  20. Ravi Naik — on 8th October, 2010 at 1:11 am  

    The notion of a sexuality that completely excludes straight men must be ridiculed, because otherwise it’s threatening.

    When women fuck other women over, it is because they have been shown through decades of conditioning how they are expected to behave by men.

    You seem to say that bigotry against homosexuals and violence against female infants in India stem mainly from men, and women are only “conditioned” to do this. Why don’t you say that men are conditioned to behave the way they do by their mothers?

    I have no doubt that patriarchy – in particular stemming from Abrahamic religions – is responsible for the injustices you mention. But what you have is a generation molding another generation and perpetuating these injustices: both men and women. Indeed, high-profiled women have been active against gay rights – old and new.

  21. douglas clark — on 8th October, 2010 at 1:22 am  

    Rumbold @ 12,

    Perhaps.

    Try this on for size.

    Earwicga is a personality, not a sex. She personalises sex into two clear and distinct folk, them and us. Men = bad, women = great. It is that sort of weak and stupid analysis that Earwicga tries to apply to everyone that reads or writes here.

    And it is nonsense, it is like no-one here has a daughter. Like me, for instance. It is frankly insulting to me.

    And anyone that disagrees. The analysis is everything, and the analysis is exclusively from a feminist perspective.

    Some of the feminist perspective I accept, earwicga’s nonsense I reject.

    Let’s be clear about this. Some men = great, some women = bad. It is not as simplistic as her frigging textbooks tell her.

    I am quite annoyed.

    So, there is no confusion. As far as I can see, Earwicga treats me as a ‘man’, and men are hateful fools. I treat her as an exceptionally lazy adult and I am some sort of patriarchal dominant shit?

    Really? Is that how you or KJB see me?

    I am sick and tired of her pathetic whingeing. I treat all men and women as equal as I can. And I am sick and tired of her

  22. douglas clark — on 8th October, 2010 at 1:52 am  

    KJB @ 14,

    Douglas can interpret it however he wants, but for feminists and womanists, that is what patriarchy means. A society in which everything which is not white, male, and middle-class is sorted into a hierarchy of Others. Whilst women are indeed complicit in it, the fact is that men could do a lot to make life better for them – but all too often don’t. When push comes to shove (ironic expression!), I have seen men online frequently react against the possibility of real fairness by threatening to use physical force against women.

    C’mon, I am not linking to any sort of patriarchy or matriarchy shit.

    As far as I am concerned too many people look to the past and play games and matriarchal or patriarchal games.

    Which is what earwiga does – it is more to the point to aim for a future.

    You say:

    Douglas – Whatever your personal interpretation of ‘patriarchy,’ it is absolutely the reason why Dr. Mitu is in the position she is in, and why I am a feminist. Indian society is one of many that doesn’t value women, and it was the realisation that I’m apparently taking up space I shouldn’t that made me who I am.

    Have you ever seen me argue against female emanciptaion or rights?

    No, you haven’t.

    I am just a bloke, and I am as angry as you about what is happening to Dr Mitu.

  23. douglas clark — on 8th October, 2010 at 7:13 am  

    Partriarchy? Matriarchy?

    Piffle!

    There are good people, and then there are people that try to analyse them.

    here you go KJB:

    Douglas can interpret it however he wants, but for feminists and womanists, that is what patriarchy means. A society in which everything which is not white, male, and middle-class is sorted into a hierarchy of Others.

    Is that me? You and I have met in the real world. You know I am not the caricature that folk probably think I am. And neither are you.

    You have met me, and to be honest, you did not leave me expressing those ideas about me.

    “We hate him ’cause…”:

    Whatever.

    White, check.

    male – check.

    middle class – certainly not!

    This divisive stuff, what earwicga specialises in, is almost as bad as the divisive stuff Brownie specialises in.

    Everyone is a bit different from their stereotype.

    I am me. You are you. Earwicga is she. Brownie is an.., sorry, got carried away there, Brownie is a he. None of that matters, frankly. What matters is whether you have compassion for all of us or not.

    I think you do.

    Question.

    Pick one other person from the trio left, Brownie, Earwicga and me and tell me who cares about being human? Who gives a fuck and isn’t up their own arse?

    Feel free to reference every available comment from all of us…..

  24. Rumbold — on 8th October, 2010 at 9:26 am  

    Douglas:

    I think you are top notch. As does Earwiga and KJB. KJB’s point about white, male, hetrosexual and able-bodied being the default wasn’t an attack on you (nor on me, given that I fall under this catagory too). What she was pointing out was that there is a tendency to ‘other’ things which don’t conform to this type. It is an attack on the systerm rather than individuals. In fact, given that you and I both call for people to be treated as individuals, we are her allies, as we all want people to be judged as individuals and not as stereotypes.

  25. Rumbold — on 8th October, 2010 at 9:29 am  

    KJB:

    I think you are being a bit unfair on Ravi. Whilst your wider point is correct in some cases (about people asking questions but not listening on feminist/womanist sites), the way I read Ravi’s comment was one in which he was asking the question of everyone (“I was wondering…”), not specifically of you.

  26. Ravi Naik — on 8th October, 2010 at 9:30 am  

    And anyone that disagrees. The analysis is everything, and the analysis is exclusively from a feminist perspective.

    Douglas – I think it is accurate to say that a system, which favours boys and looks at girls as a financial liabilities, is a patriarchal one. It doesn’t mean that women are not guilty of perpetuating this injustice.

  27. earwicga — on 8th October, 2010 at 9:42 am  

    douglas –

    Earwicga is a personality, not a sex. She personalises sex into two clear and distinct folk, them and us. Men = bad, women = great. It is that sort of weak and stupid analysis that Earwicga tries to apply to everyone that reads or writes here.

    There is no such thing as two binary sexes. Ditto for ‘gender’. Ergo, I cannot do as your comment suggests. It is not possible.

    And anyone that disagrees. The analysis is everything, and the analysis is exclusively from a feminist perspective.

    Some of the feminist perspective I accept, earwicga’s nonsense I reject.

    There is not one homogenous ‘feminist’ perspective. I find much feminism problematic.

    Let’s be clear about this. Some men = great, some women = bad. It is not as simplistic as her frigging textbooks tell her.

    Perhaps you could look back on PP and find out my views on academic feminism? Or continue to use your imagination.

    So, there is no confusion. As far as I can see, Earwicga treats me as a ‘man’, and men are hateful fools. I treat her as an exceptionally lazy adult and I am some sort of patriarchal dominant shit?

    Up until this thread I had seen you as a PP commenter who made some interesting comments and some not so interesting comments.

    I am sick and tired of her pathetic whingeing. I treat all men and women as equal as I can. And I am sick and tired of her.

    Again, there is no such thing as two binary sexes. Ditto for ‘gender’. And feel free to scroll past my comments. I shall do the same thing with your comments.

    Back to Dr Mitu Khurana and the laws which exist to stop the situation she is in but are not being applied.

  28. earwicga — on 8th October, 2010 at 9:49 am  

    Adn what Ravi says @26.

  29. Ravi Naik — on 8th October, 2010 at 9:54 am  

    I think you are being a bit unfair on Ravi.

    I quite enjoyed her article (#19), which is a fascinating look at STFU feminism.

  30. KJB — on 8th October, 2010 at 11:09 am  

    You seem to say that bigotry against homosexuals and violence against female infants in India stem mainly from men, and women are only “conditioned” to do this. Why don’t you say that men are conditioned to behave the way they do by their mothers?

    Well, do a little reading and you’ll see that it does stem mainly from men. The Hindu fundamentalist movement, for example, is overwhelmingly male and the VHP only created a female wing in the ’80s or ’90s (I forget when exactly). Men are conditioned to behave a certain way by their mothers – so why don’t their fathers step in more, and take more responsibility for how they turn out? Why should the blame be entirely on the women? Furthermore, given that Indian men are frequently encouraged to pursue their careers, whilst women aren’t, (meaning they have far more power than women generally do, because they have the prospect of economic independence) and have more sway with their mothers than their wives will, why don’t they stand up for their wives more? Many women serve as footsoldiers of the patriarchy not because it is in their interests to do so, but because there was no way out for them when they were young and they sincerely believe that it will be the same for their daughters. My mother is a prime example; she genuinely thinks she’s doing us a favour by raising us the way she has. The fact that it’s destroyed our self-confidence barely even registers with her. She’s not so much malicious as damaged and clueless. Some women ARE malicious, but it’s hypocritical the way men constantly call out female misogynists rather than acknowledge or analyse the system that rewards those women.

    Oh, and it’s not ‘STFU’ feminism. Shutting up and listening is true of most modern feminism, besides maybe radical feminists. Modern feminism tries to unite anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia, anti-transphobia and the disAbled movements. This means welcoming a lot of different people, and listening to what they have to say. I myself have learnt to STFU and listen to what African-American womanists have to say, even though it can jar me at times

    Douglas:

    You are a working-class man, so you are not necessarily at the very heart of the hierarchy, but your body is still valued more than mine. I respect that you think what you think, but it’s hardly polite of you to then harangue myself or Earwicga about what WE think. Why don’t you read up on feminism, rather than make assumptions? There’s a link to Feminism 101 in the post I linked to. You are doing the classic male thing of taking offence and making what Earwicga and I believe all about you. It’s not all about you, it’s about Whiteness. Rumbold has understood perfectly what we believe, because he has actually talked to feminists and paid attention. I have a great deal of time for you, but you need to stop jerking that knee and hear what I’m saying. You might believe that everyone is an individual, etc. etc., but not everyone does. The whole point of feminism/womanism is to accept that what you think is not necessarily how the world is, or sometimes – even should be. It is not about hating white males – drop that stereotype – but is a continual learning process which requires engagement with historic and latter-day injustices and a lot of humility, self-restraint and respect.

    Rumbold – I wasn’t trying to imply that Ravi was a troll. He’s asked me about things before, but I’m not sure he’s actually bothered to see what I said in response. Hence I simply used him in this instance to create a teachable moment. As a feminist ally, I’m sure you know the value of teachable moments – despite the stereotype that we are ‘man haters’ and ‘reverse racists/sexists’, feminists and womanists WOULD end up hating privileged bodies if they had no way to express why certain things are offensive and wrong.

  31. earwicga — on 8th October, 2010 at 11:34 am  
  32. Ravi Naik — on 8th October, 2010 at 11:36 am  

    Well, do a little reading and you’ll see that it does stem mainly from men.

    That’s your point of view which is reinforced by the books you read.

    Oh, and it’s not ‘STFU’ feminism. Shutting up and listening is true of most modern feminism

    In a dialogue, you need both people to listen – and not assume that one knows the Truth and provide teachable moments, and the other should just shut up and take it. You can understand why people get turned off by this sort of activism.

  33. earwicga — on 8th October, 2010 at 11:40 am  

    Ravi – much real life feminism is reinforced or rejected by talking to/reading about the lifes/opinions of real life people (blogs etc.) rather than from academia/books.

    Agreed, feminism HAS to be about dialogue. There is no one ‘Truth’.

  34. BenSix — on 8th October, 2010 at 11:45 am  

    Men are conditioned to behave a certain way by their mothers – so why don’t their fathers step in more, and take more responsibility for how they turn out? Why should the blame be entirely on the women?

    I’m not sure Ravi was making a fact claim. I think it’s more: if women are conditioned why can’t men be too? (I don’t disagree, by the way – we’re all conditioned (with a dollop of nature thrown in)!

  35. douglas clark — on 8th October, 2010 at 12:55 pm  

    Earwicga et al,

    I am frankly insulted that you see yourselves as a better feminist than I. KJB has me down to a tee when she says:

    The whole point of feminism/womanism is to accept that what you think is not necessarily how the world is, or sometimes – even should be. It is not about hating white males – drop that stereotype – but is a continual learning process which requires engagement with historic and latter-day injustices and a lot of humility, self-restraint and respect.

    I am quite willing to learn, I am not willing to be insulted…

    Despite meeting two out of three of the categories. Which are ridiculous categories anyway. What am I to do about being white? What am I to do about being male? Well, I am not middle class, so what if I was? You are defining folk by definitions too. And they are not, necessarily your enemies. It is people like me that are open minded about sexual politics that you need to persuade, not hate.

    However, your predjudice, contrary to everything I have ever written here, is to assume too much. Which is what you do. All the time.

    Seems to me.

  36. douglas clark — on 8th October, 2010 at 1:41 pm  

    And, earwigca, you are lazy. You put out an arguement and you fail to defend it.

    That is who you are.

    Sunny Hundal loves you. I do not know for why.

    There are far better people than you commentating here, like Rumbold, like Jai. etc. Yet you get the ‘Family’ status.

    What the fuck is that about?

  37. KJB — on 8th October, 2010 at 4:31 pm  

    That’s your point of view which is reinforced by the books you read.

    Gosh, well I had no idea Sumit Sarkar and Geraldine Forbes, respected scholars of history that they are, were looking to reinforce my point of view!

    In a dialogue, you need both people to listen – and not assume that one knows the Truth and provide teachable moments, and the other should just shut up and take it.

    I’m sorry – did you not read the blog post? It only becomes a dialogue when the silenced person is allowed to speak up and add their voice. People like yourself ask questions – as you did – and we answer them – as I did. What exactly is so hard for you to swallow in that? You are the one who’s bandying about words like ‘Truth’ and ‘take it.’ In my post, I talked about accepting the reality of others. For those of us who are not white and male and/or middle-class, it is very clear that the world does not privilege our bodies in the same way.

    Furthermore, no-one has asked you questions, made assumptions about what you personally believe, or harangued you – whilst you are busy passing judgement on what I believe, even as you ask me to explain/define it. I have not pushed you to define what your Catholicism means to you, and yet I constantly find myself having to explain what my feminism/womanism means to male commenters on PP.

    You can understand why people get turned off by this sort of activism.

    Well, I’ll stand by what I’ve said in the first part of this comment. If you’re forcing yourself that hard to hear and accept what someone else has to say, then the problem is with you. My goal is not to convince you that I am right; nor have I asked you to be a feminist ally. Feminism/womanism is about our right to assert ourselves in the face of a world which mocks, marginalises and ignores our concerns. To quote Thea Lim of Racialicious:

    This kind of hey-let-me-help-you-achieve-your-goal-by-suggesting-you-be-more-radio-friendly response totally misunderstands (and appears disinterested) in the anti-racist project, because it assumes that anti-racism is all about convincing white people to be nice to people of colour. In other words, it assumes that anti-racism revolves around white folks. Like everything else in the world.

    Anti-racism and people of colour organizing is not about being friendly, being appealing, or educating white folks. While individual anti-racist activists may take those tacks to achieve their goals, the point of anti-racism is to be for people of colour.

    This serves as a model for how we deal with multiple types of oppression. If you replace ‘anti-racism’ with ‘feminism/womanism’ etc. and ‘white folks’ with ‘men’, that summarises what I was saying about what feminism/womanism means to me (and many others).

  38. KJB — on 8th October, 2010 at 4:34 pm  

    Ben:

    I’m not sure Ravi was making a fact claim. I think it’s more: if women are conditioned why can’t men be too? (I don’t disagree, by the way – we’re all conditioned (with a dollop of nature thrown in)!

    I’m not disputing that, I was merely contesting his very typically male response. I’m fed up of men turning attention off the power they hold by blaming women and pointing to women’s involvement. Ravi may not have meant to do that, but he nonetheless doesn’t seem to have taken what I said in my blog post on board much.

  39. BenSix — on 8th October, 2010 at 4:51 pm  

    Fair enough.

    (By the way – and this probably isn’t an argument we should have here – how does one have “power” simply by virtue of being a man? One might be likely to have power but once one’s born that needn’t apply. I think there was a post on this somewhere – rather hope you’ll know – but I’ve lost the blasted thing.)

  40. earwicga — on 8th October, 2010 at 5:10 pm  

    BenSix – I don’t know if this is the post you are thinking of, but it’s a bloody good one nonetheless: http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist/

  41. Ravi Naik — on 8th October, 2010 at 7:26 pm  

    Furthermore, no-one has asked you questions, made assumptions about what you personally believe, or harangued you – whilst you are busy passing judgement on what I believe, even as you ask me to explain/define it. I have not pushed you to define what your Catholicism means to you, and yet I constantly find myself having to explain what my feminism/womanism means to male commenters on PP.

    You know – this is the first time anyone in PP has complained about me asking questions about their point of view. It is of course part of a dialogue, of me trying to understand the other’s perspective. You do often bring “feminism” in your comments, but when asked about it, you see it a sign of aggression because the person in question is a male – and that can only mean one thing.

  42. BenSix — on 8th October, 2010 at 7:31 pm  

    Cheers – that’s the one. I still think it needn’t to apply to someone but, yeah, a lot of it does to most.

  43. Notfromroundhere — on 9th October, 2010 at 8:56 am  

    KJB #18 – That was great

  44. KJB — on 9th October, 2010 at 8:15 pm  

    you see it a sign of aggression because the person in question is a male – and that can only mean one thing.

    No – I don’t. Again, did you not read my post properly? I said that repeatedly asking questions is disrespectful, as is the assumption that too many men have, that it’s OK to try to find out about other political affairs (especially if there are other men watching), but when it comes to a woman-centred movement, suddenly finding out about it on your own is just too much like hard work and you can find out what you ‘need to know’ by constantly asking feminists/womanists.

    Getting defensive arises from the way in which I am addressed more than anything. You generally try to remain polite, but not everyone does. Some of the claims you made here did, however, get my back up a bit. It seems to be a very common debating tactic of men, that they make assumptions about the other’s position to goad them into defending it: ‘You seem to think ___’ as you did. That’s probably just because men tend to inhabit political/online spaces more, but it gets annoying and frankly, it is quite rude. If you want to know why I think the way I do, you can ask directly. My partner finds my views very interesting, but he’s stopped using that tactic on me because he can see it’s rude and that it doesn’t move me to explain myself in the least. As I’ve mentioned before, I can be contacted via my blog if you’re really curious.

  45. Ravi Naik — on 9th October, 2010 at 10:36 pm  

    I said that repeatedly asking questions is disrespectful

    What puzzles me is that I only asked what “feminism” meant to you *once* and I do not think I have ever went beyond that, which is why I still do not understand why you implied otherwise when you wrote:

    Furthermore, no-one has asked you questions, made assumptions about what you personally believe, or harangued you – whilst you are busy passing judgement on what I believe, even as you ask me to explain/define it. I have not pushed you to define what your Catholicism means to you, and yet I constantly find myself having to explain what my feminism/womanism means to male commenters on PP.

    I am not your caricature of a typical male.

  46. KJB — on 10th October, 2010 at 12:43 am  

    What puzzles me is that I only asked what “feminism” meant to you *once*

    Yes, I never said that you were repeatedly asking questions, you simply inspired me to post on why doing so is rude!

    I am not your caricature of a typical male.

    None too sure what you’re on about here, but I was referring to your posts #29 and #32, in which you are passing judgement on my feminism/womanism, even as you ask me Qs elsewhere in the thread. You’ve hurried to make assumptions about what I think (#20), accused me of trying to tailor facts to fit my agenda (#32), ignored or failed to engage with a great deal of what I said after that, and then implied that I am some kind of man-hater (#41).

    I’ve told you repeatedly to read my post again and pay attention this time, or talk to me direct if there’s something that requires clarifying.

  47. Ravi Naik — on 10th October, 2010 at 10:35 am  

    Yes, I never said that you were repeatedly asking questions, you simply inspired me to post on why doing so is rude!

    So, let me get this straight. I only asked you once about something you repeatedly bring up, but even so it inspired you to write a post about how rude the typical male is for harassing you with questions. Have you paused for a moment and think why you did that?

    You’ve hurried to make assumptions about what I think (#20)

    Yes, I made an assumption based on what *you* wrote, and you did confirm it in #30 in your first sentence.

    Let’s see what you did. I clearly asked a rhetorical question in #17, and it inspired you to write a whole post, for a teachable moment of course, how typical males ask too many questions to feminists, and should STFU.

    I mean, you are so off the mark and so full of yourself, that yes, I am fascinated by all of it.

  48. earwicga — on 10th October, 2010 at 10:50 am  

    BenSix – I don’t think that all points on privilege lists are applicable to their target groups. I have particular problems with abelist privilege lists for example. They can be very good starting points for thought and discussion, but usually if one questions something then it is held up to be an example of their privilege which is particularly unhelpful.

  49. KJB — on 11th October, 2010 at 1:23 am  

    I mean, you are so off the mark and so full of yourself, that yes, I am fascinated by all of it.

    Says a man who’s reduced my post on several issues to being ALL ABOUT HIM! Must try harder, Ravi.

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