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  #26  
Old January 27, 2010, 10:32 AM
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Tigers_eye Tigers_eye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samircreep
...
So what's the best way to fight misogyny? Education, more presence of women in public decision making processes, economic empowerment of women, etc are all great ways, and there is no one silver bullet of course but a barrage of them. But somewhere down the line, I think we're sometimes targeting the wrong people. There's so much education, opportunities, and incentives given to women, and this is all great, but it's not the women who have to change but the men.
Excellent post samir.

I think the only way the half who has the power and manipulates everything can be controlled is through "fear of the unseen". Religion is the only place where even the mighty can be humbled. This would be much easier in our society than the western world. The religious figures must step up. No "Imam" can attest any rape if they are believers. I would like to write to 'apnar giggasha' and other news media to address this issue. "Shalish" is fine, if justice is preserved. Otherwise great danger awaits.

Religious education is next to nil in our society. There lies most of the porblem.
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  #27  
Old January 27, 2010, 09:57 PM
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shaad shaad is offline
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Samir, you'll note that I had already listed education and an improved quality of life as solutions in the long run (it's in the first line). The other suggestions were explicitly described as a short term remedy.

You've already covered some of the reasons why education and quality of life is important, so I shan't go into them in detail. I will, however, suggest that some of the misogyny observed in Bangladesh stems from classism. We are, unfortunately, still a very class-conscious society, and some of the attitudes that Bengali males have towards females are not qualitatively that very different from the ones that they have towards those perceived to be of "inferior" class. Your third example, with the friend that has no problem firing his pregnant workers, illustrates this; I would submit that he is perhaps not as cavalier when it comes to women of his own "class".

In the case of your driver, the first example, can you be certain that it isn't just class envy on his part? I know of very few female chauffeurs in Dhaka; the reasonable conclusion is that the female driver he and you saw is an upper-middle class individual. While an outright statement of class envy by your driver would never be uttered, unconsciously couching it under a veneer of misogyny might well be quite acceptable.

Again, I am not saying that misogyny doesn't exist in Bangladesh; I am suggesting that it is often intimately associated with concepts of "class" in our society.

The village elders in the case discussed here not only abused the poor girl, but also her parents (as in extorting money from them). This a reflection of class/power imbalance, not just misogyny.

It's one of the reasons why I listed improved quality of life as part of the long term solution. As (hopefully) our middle class grows larger while our lower-income groups shrink, there will be fewer individuals that one can conceive of as inferior and abuse with impunity.
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  #28  
Old January 28, 2010, 02:00 AM
samircreep samircreep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaad
Samir, you'll note that I had already listed education and an improved quality of life as solutions in the long run (it's in the first line). The other suggestions were explicitly described as a short term remedy.

You've already covered some of the reasons why education and quality of life is important, so I shan't go into them in detail. I will, however, suggest that some of the misogyny observed in Bangladesh stems from classism. We are, unfortunately, still a very class-conscious society, and some of the attitudes that Bengali males have towards females are not qualitatively that very different from the ones that they have towards those perceived to be of "inferior" class. Your third example, with the friend that has no problem firing his pregnant workers, illustrates this; I would submit that he is perhaps not as cavalier when it comes to women of his own "class".

In the case of your driver, the first example, can you be certain that it isn't just class envy on his part? I know of very few female chauffeurs in Dhaka; the reasonable conclusion is that the female driver he and you saw is an upper-middle class individual. While an outright statement of class envy by your driver would never be uttered, unconsciously couching it under a veneer of misogyny might well be quite acceptable.

Again, I am not saying that misogyny doesn't exist in Bangladesh; I am suggesting that it is often intimately associated with concepts of "class" in our society.

The village elders in the case discussed here not only abused the poor girl, but also her parents (as in extorting money from them). This a reflection of class/power imbalance, not just misogyny.

It's one of the reasons why I listed improved quality of life as part of the long term solution. As (hopefully) our middle class grows larger while our lower-income groups shrink, there will be fewer individuals that one can conceive of as inferior and abuse with impunity.

Absolutely agree. Discrimination in general in BD is a cocktail of misogyny, classicism, and plain old ignorance and it's impossible to isolate one from the other, although methinks there are certain elements that are stronger than the other. As you've rightly pointed out, my examples contain a whole bunch prejudices all mixed together.

I also agree with you using a burgeoning middle class as an indicator of progress is society. One other indicator that I use to guage women's emancipation is how many women feel comfortable living alone. Although this is a very small percentage and mostly concentrated around fringe areas in Dhaka, I see more and more working women living by themselves. This opens up a two way freedom street: women having the means and motivations to live by themselves, and also, more importantly, landlords having no problem with single women living in their premises--although I can assure you as a bachelor, it's really hard for me to find my own apartment in Dhaka!
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  #29  
Old January 28, 2010, 02:11 AM
samircreep samircreep is offline
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By the way, I'm not a big fan of "education" as means of ameliorating misogyny or any other form of discrimination. This has been touted as a solution for generations now and I just don't have too much confidence in it. First of all, what the heck does education mean in the first place. Do we mean awareness? or literacy rates? madrasa education? a combination of all? it's just too vague.

Worst is, a big chunk of atrocious acts in Dhaka are committed by really educated people everyday. Open up any issue of Prothom Alo and you will see educated husbands, brothers, brother-in-laws, mothers, etc carrying out god awful things on women. A couple of months ago, there was case of a senior director of a bank who poisoned her own daughter in law on because she was a doctor at DMC and was working late night shifts with other male doctors. I mean the irony! A full fledged career woman killing her own young daughter in law only because she wanted to have a career for herself!

This is why I said that crimes against women are carried out with such impunity. You seriously can get away with anything as long as your victim is a woman, preferably poor (brings out the class element discussed). But the bottom line is a poor man still has more social currency than a poor woman.
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  #30  
Old January 29, 2010, 08:49 AM
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Turns out my dad HAS written on this before, last year when a similar incident occurred.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesig....php?nid=90383

He says the government eventually provided this girl with financial support for her medical costs during her recovery. It's not enough though.
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