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India's apparently been killing baby girls en masse for 20 years.

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BreweryYardRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:43 AM
Original message
India's apparently been killing baby girls en masse for 20 years.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061214/india_nm/india28032...

***
Ten million girls have been killed by their parents in India in the past 20 years, either before they were born or immediately after, a government minister said on Thursday, describing it as a "national crisis".

A UNICEF report released this week said 7,000 fewer girls are born in the country every day than the global average would suggest, largely because female foetuses are aborted after sex determination tests but also through murder of new borns.

"It's shocking figures and we are in a national crisis if you ask me," Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury told Reuters.

Girls are seen as liabilities by many Indians, especially because of the banned but rampant practice of dowry, where the bride's parents pay cash and goods to the groom's family.

"Today, we have the odd distinction of having lost 10 million girl children in the past 20 years," Chowdhury told a seminar in Delhi University.

"Who has killed these girl children? Their own parents."
***

I'll spare you the gory details on HOW they actually dispose of the poor kids. Read the article if you want those. This is sick. I thought only China was this bad.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. And this is supposedly the world's largest democracy?
:argh:
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Waya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yep.......according to Bush
...dontcha just love Freedom?
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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
14. According to just about everyone
This has nothing to do with Bush...They may be a fucked up democracy, but the fact remains that they are one.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
3. Well, at first I thought this was about birth control,
but it's just because girls are liabilities to the men.

Disgusting. Not just another male chauvinistic double standard, but simply disgusting.

Here's an idea, then: If Indian men think Indian women are so worthless, stop having sex with them. After a few peopleless generations they might come to realize women are anything BUT worthless. x(
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. Dads have to cough up dowries for their daughters.
My dad took a trip through Rotary Club to India in the 70s. He stayed with wealthy families and observed how some were different from others. One family he stayed with was pretty westernized-they emulated the british ways, and educated their daughters, the women and men ate meals together, etc. They still would need dowries for their daughters, because that is the tradition there.

My dad also said that grooms' families sometimes kill the wife after they received the dowry, if there wasn't any love involved in the relationship.
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Zookeeper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #12
95. "grooms' families kill the wife"
Yes. From what I've read "bride burning" is still a horrible problem. In India, in 2005, there were over 7,000 confirmed dowry deaths.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowry_death#Dowry_death

Bride-burning is a disputed term used to describe a form of domestic violence practiced in parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries located on or around the Indian subcontinent. In bride-burning, it is alleged that a husband or the family of the husband douses the man's wife with kerosene, gasoline, or other flammable liquid, and sets the woman alight, leading to death by immolation.

There are several reasons that may be cited by the husband and his family for bride-burning. These commonly include the failure of the wifes family to provide what is seen as a large enough dowry, the wife's family falling behind on dowry payments, or the desire of the husband to rid himself of his wife without dishonoring himself. Husbands who participate in these crimes may believe that burning their wife is a good way to remove her without evidence, and may provide for an opportunity to marry again and thus receive a larger dowry.
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ChickMagic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #3
20. Bingo!
The women should pull a Lysistrata on the men. Not only did the women deny sex, but Aristophanes turned it into an anti-war message regarding the Peloponnesian War. Not a bad plan at all!
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #20
49. Have you been reading Z. Budapest's works?
In one of her feminist witchcraft books, she suggests that if women did that, we would be able to end war. I'm not so sure, I know that there are always women who will not participate.

On top of that, a certain segment of men would just use such a thing to justify raping women.
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:08 AM
Response to Original message
4. This is a deeply ingrained cultural bias
and I don't think it's easily changed. Arranged marriages in India are set up by the parents who search for a good family. It costs money to marry your daughter off. When faced with poverty, perhaps the family feels that its better to kill off one than kill off all the children.

When the arranged marriages end, the killing of females will probably end too. Well to do Indian families are very prone to educating their women, so I think this will gradually happen.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:43 AM
Response to Original message
5. They gonna be SORRY....as time goes on...fewer women to marry/have sex with..
the men will have to buy women from other countries at steep prices...\\Them Vinyl wives are cheaper but canardly cook or clean clothes
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Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #5
31. Actually, if you read the story, it seems that what will happen is
that women will gain more power. One family had to marry off all four sons to ONE wife.

Talk about flipping polygamy on it's head!
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #31
55. This has already happened in China....Women are so rare they are kidnapped
and taken to remote areas to be sold to desperate men seeking wives...

Looks like India will follow if not already...bwahahahahaha
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #31
69. Not necessarily.
In China, the preference for boys and the one-child policy led to a high rate of female infanticide. Now the boys are grown up and can't find enough girls to marry, so they go and kidnap and rape young women, to force them into marriage.

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electron_blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #69
70. yeah, sounds like the women lose out either way. They never get the power
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #70
71. Chris Rock had a routine in the 1980s that explains it.
"Women are a lot smarter than men," he said, "so why don't women run the world? I'll tell you why---because we can beat them up! Look at Margaret Thatcher--most powerful women in the world. I bet I could kick her ass!"
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #69
82. The exact same thing has been happening in india for a long time. I ahev already seen
sevral documentaries about the kidnapping and slavery of young girls for marriage in India becuse there is such a shortage.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #31
72. It *looks* like polyandry, but the men are still in charge
The notion of marrying four brothers to one wife isn't exactly "turning polygamy on its head." Instead of one man having four wives, this is four men having one wife; but in neither case is the woman in the position of power. Now you have one woman being forced to service four men instead of one.

It would be nice ;-) to think of the woman as having a "harem" of men, but that's not how this works.

The only thing that may change is that when women become scarce enough, they'll also become valuable enough, the old supply-and-demand economy again. But don't look for it to happen any time soon.


Tansy Gold


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Zookeeper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #72
96. When women are that valuable...
they'll go to the highest bidder...the richest men. Unless they are raped and married first.

There is no way this will end up being a good thing for women.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:19 AM
Response to Reply #96
100. What I left out. . . . . .
. . . . was that when women become "valuable" enough to have men bidding on them (instead of the other way around via dowries), at least maybe some girl children will be allowed to live (just so the parents can cash in on them). And maybe they'll be better treated as wives by their husbands. But of course as soon as there's a surplus, things will go back to "tradition."

Y'know, it's much the same thing with the "differences" between Shia and Sunni (or any other groups on opposite sides of an ideology): it's a tradition based on not much more than patriarchy and/or religious notions of hierarchy. If we could just get rid of this "I'm better than you are because my god is better than your god" or "I'm better than you are because god gave me a penis, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah," the whole friggin' world would be a lot better off.


Tansy Gold, who did not get enough sleep last night


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Zookeeper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #100
113. For someone with a lack of sleep...
you said that very well.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #113
115. (ssshhhhh, zk. don't tell anyone but. . . . .)
(i can write when i'm tired, when i'm exhausted, sometimes even when i'm asleep!)

(oh, and thanks!)


tg


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badgerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #100
114. You would enjoy "Six Moon Dance" by Sherri S. Tepper
It examines a society where there is a shortage of women. Due to a planetary virus that causes about 50% mortality of female births, the women have very high status, respect and value.
And guess what...it's the MEN who have to wear the veils! Honest!
Damn good book... :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #31
74. I read some dipshit's take on the gender ratio in China - that women would marry older men
RIGHT :eyes: 5 boys for every girl and the girl's gonna pick some old fart. In that guy's dreams.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #31
84. Power?
I'm guessing it's a bit closer to slavery.

The wording of that sentence caught me - One family HAD to marry off all four sons to one wife.

HAD to? Really?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #31
97. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
leftyclimber Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
6. And instead of getting rid of the tradition of the dowry
they get rid of the daughters.

Words fail me.
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
43. My thoughts exactly.
:crazy:
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
73. Who's going to get rid of "tradition"?
and how does one go about changing tradition in a country of over 1 billion people, many of whom remain poor, poorly educated, and dependent upon a traditional society and even traditional economy for their existence? Who's going to enforce the laws against it?

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to "prove" that the "gifts" the bride's parents gave to the groom's family were anything other than. . .. gifts?

The murders of women who have been killed after marriage -- so-called "dowry killings" -- are almost never prosecuted. And when parents are threatened by the husband or his family that, if they don't fork over additional dowry/gifts, the bride will meet with an "accident," what choice do they have?

I'm not saying the abortion/murder of girl children is right; goddess forbid, no, it's as wrong as anything can be. But changing a culture like this is a very, very, very difficult thing to do. I'm sure most of us have gone up against a fundie rightwinger here in the U.S. and learned how difficult it is to persuade a reasonably educated person of the error of their ways. Imagine going up against 600,000,000 of them.


Tansy Gold


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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
7. So when are we invading & occupying India?
And Saudi?

And Pakistan?

And all those other "democracies" and great US allies who rape and torture and murder and oppress and suppress?

Maybe we should wait until after we attack India before bush gives them the nukes he's agreed to give them.
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Katzenjammer Donating Member (541 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
8. That's what religion and classism do to people. Breed breed breed
even when you're dirt poor. Can't stop that breeding--it would reduce profits!

So the parents practice infanticide instead.
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #8
91. Classism....
makes me wonder if and how many are Hindu.
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lisby Donating Member (254 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
9. This has been going on in the lower classes there for a thousand years.
And we supposedly enlightened Euro-Americans were still arranging dowered marriages as late as the last century. Yes, it's wrong; yes, it needs to stop, but put it in the correct historical perspective. This is not a new phenomenon.


Lisby
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #9
65. The article said EDUCATED people do it more often
Which is totally mystifying to me.
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #65
78. They're the ones with access to amniocentesis. nt
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #78
79. They should have access to enlightened ideas, as well
And they should realize that the dowry system is getting way out of hand. So much so, that families are impoverished, babies are being killed and India's reputation as a modern state is being ruined.
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
10. And these are the men taking our jobs
Murderers of female babies

Doesn't it warm your heart to know that thousands upon thousands of Americans are struggling to survive downsizing so these folks can flourish and kill more newborn girls?

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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. Yes its the exact same ones
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 10:10 AM by nam78_two
Because you know-it isn't like there is a distinction between Indian men. "They" are all the same...

I mean wow..just wow.... :eyes:
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #17
107. I apologize
My emotions took over, and what I wrote was stupid. I admit it.

I was horrified about the girl baby thing, and I am really, really upset and frightened about job losses and outsourcing. I realize these two things are not connected.

Almost every person in my husband's company's large IT department has been replaced by a lower-paid Indian on an H1-B visa. He's a DBA and has worked there 16 years. He knows he's lucky to still have a job. He works more than 60 hours a week and spends another 10 hours commuting. He's 50 and only has an associates degree.

He doesn't have free time -- or money -- to go to school.
If he gets replaced, it's over for us. There isn't a lot of DBA work available unless he takes a huge salary cut. We've seen friends job-hunt for years without finding another DBA job. I've been desperately looking for a full time job for 4 years, but at 54 it isn't easy, and I don't have money for education to upgrade skills. I'm physically unable to stand for long periods, so retail and housecleaning are out. I work part-time, but lately business has been slow. If my husband loses his job, we lose the house. We have no savings and live paycheck to paycheck. And it's not because we live a fancy lifestyle. On the contrary, our house is entirely furnished in garage sale finds and we eat out once a year on our anniversary. I've seen 2 movies in 10 years. I let my hair grow long because I can't afford to get it cut.

This replacing of skilled American workers with imported foreigners is unfair. If you are Indian, please put yourself in our shoes. Imagine if companies in India began shipping jobs to another country, and began importing workers by the tens of thousands from, say, Africa or China, to take over the jobs now held by middle-class Indians. Can you honestly tell me that people wouldn't be furious? Can you tell me that people who lose jobs would be happy to take lower-paying jobs, and lose their homes and savings?

Yes, it's completely the fault of the corporations seeking cheap labor. But please try to understand why many Americans are upset and frightened for their futures. It isn't a matter of racism. It's a matter of fear that one will end up homeless.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #107
110. I understand
No harm, no foul.. I feel for you and I totally agree about the fears. I have just sometimes seen stuff in the outsourcing threads that makes me feel like there is this undercurrent of fury against Indians in the IT sector, which while totally understandable given the worries about losing jobs etc., is scary to me as a person of Indian origin.

However, I work in biotech and am in an area where outsourcing is not a worry for me at all and I can understand how starkly different it would be for someone whose job is in imminent danger of being outsourced. Its a bread and butter issue for you. My emotions got the better of me too.

Best of luck to you and I sincerely hope your husband's job doesn't get outsourced! :hi:
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I Have A Dream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #10
27. It's not just the men who are doing it. It's my understanding that it's...
very often the women who are doing it because it is considered a blessing to have a male and a curse to have a female. (I'm using "blessing" and "curse" loosely, but this pretty much sums it up.) I read that it's illegal in India to use ultrasound to determine the sex of a fetus, but women find ways around it. The woman is celebrated for delivering a boy, and pitied for delivering a girl. Bottom line: the women are as guilty as the men.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. You are absolutely right
Indian women and Indian men are equally vile...I think it is in their genes.
I think they should all be removed from the gene pool :sarcasm: :eyes:

Poverty, India's history of colonization etc. have nothing to do with anything.

I can't believe the tacit acceptance of such a blatantly racist statement like "These are the same people we are outsourcing our jobs to"-because ya know all Indians are the same.

Good God....
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I Have A Dream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #32
50. I didn't accept that statement. I took issue with men only being...
blamed for what is occurring to Indian females.

I personally don't think that poverty or India's history of colonization has anything to do with what's happening to the females. I think that it has to do with the dowry system and exorbitant weddings that their culture expects.
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Hoping4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #32
54. Gimme a break about blaming colonization for the atrocious
treatment of women in India. Are you also going to blame the caste system and its mistreatment of lower castes on colonization?
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:00 AM
Response to Reply #27
99. Even in America still
it is considered better to have a boy than a girl...

My sister who had a son before a daughter said she was shocked by the number of people who told her "well, now you've had your BOY, you can feel free to have a girl" :eyes:
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Starbucks Anarchist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #10
52. Yeah, that's it.
They do tech support during the day, then go home and kill their daughters.

Idiot. :eyes:
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #10
86. That's a gross generalization
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 08:41 PM by fujiyama
Many of the jobs that are going there are also being taken by women. From what I've heard, women have made great strides in the engineering and sciences (at least in Bangalore and other cities with a high growth rate).

Please refrain from nasty stereotypes like that. What the article describes happening disturbs and infuriates me... and my parents are from India, but at the same time, the attitudes of women that are described are very foreign as well (and would no doubt seem very foreign to my female cousins there as well). It's worth keeping in mind that India is a huge country and very diverse culturally as well, so these attitudes are likely very regional.


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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
11. the indians and the chinese are on parallel course.
10 million or more men in china have no hope of ever being married and it looks like india`s male population numbers maybe the same. the possibly of a major land war between these two countries in this century can not be ruled out because the loss of men in warfare would not adversely effect the future population. frightening is`t it? worse this is the assumption of the military planners in the united states.
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #11
36. More men for war....
:nuke:

Ultimately, the imbalance will destroy them.
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Dulcinea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
13. I guess that's their "cure" for overpopulation.
Kill the baby girls, & all of a sudden there won't be a next generation. This is sick beyond words.

Dulcinea

oldest of 3 daughters & mother of 2 beautiful daughters
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
15. The devil is in the details, but the big picture is that population pressures cause this.
Most of our problems these days are caused by overpopulation--starvation, disease, peak oil, genocides, global warming, religious wars. We're running the planet at beyond its operational parameters. I won't dismiss the horror of what's happening there, but the reality of overpopulation is what's making these horrors inevitable.
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HardRocker05 Donating Member (486 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. but why do they kill/abort so many more girl children? nt
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #21
29. because the girls are liabilities.
the girls family has to supply a dowrie in order for the girl to marry- and many cannot afford it.
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Paranoid Pessimist Donating Member (432 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #21
39. Because in many Asian cultures
sons are considered a blessing and daughters are considered a liability. Sons will take care of folks in their old age, daughters will require a dowry or other arrangements to get rid of. This is such a deep longstanding cultural bias (it has been going on for a lot longer than 20 years) that it will be impossible to change it. We can disapprove and express views such as appear in this thread, and they will simply think that we do not understand their culture.

The only Asian country I know of where men and women are valued fairly equally is the Philippines, where I go frequently. Daughters are valued as much as sons, women work and have careers, and there is a greater degree of social equality between the sexes than in many subcultures of the U.S. The Catholic tradition of the Philippines causes the women trouble but more and more of them are not buying into it, or else they buy into it but do their own thing anyway. The double standard still holds sway there; men having mistresses is accepted but women dare not be unfaithful, but of course some do. In private.

As for India and China, female infanticide will continue until someone invents a magic pill that can change a culture of billions of people overnight.
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Reterr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. I don't know-I have many indian friends
And at least in South India from what I understand they tend to go into professional careers at rates far greater than we have here.

My friend came from an Indian college wher 50% of engineers were women. I think there is a lot of diversity there. This friend was even from a matriarchal family.
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Paranoid Pessimist Donating Member (432 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #41
60. I'm sure you're right
I doubt if the people who are getting educated and going into professional careers are the ones doing the infanticide. Nor are they the ones doing the dowry wife burning that you hear about. If the educated professional classes were in the majority, there would't be these kinds of problems -- that's true nearly everywhere but here.
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I Have A Dream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #15
26. Although these things are truly terrible, I don't think that it has much...
to do with what's happening to India's females. From everything that I've read, it's totally about the cost of the dowry and wedding.

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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #15
77. True enough.
It's horrible and tragic, but nature has ways of working things out. In the next decades we'll be seeing epidemics, mass slaughters, and infertility, and eventually populations will plateau.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
16. Good old-fashioned prejudice and racism here I see
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 10:12 AM by nam78_two
Yes this is awful and like every country India has its own very dark side, but the replies up thread are extreme generalizations considering this is a country with a billion people.

Please remember that it wasn't so long ago that this country allowed people to own slaves. And don't we have the highest rate of capital punishment in this country (I am not sure but we are certainly very high up on the list of countries in that stat)?

I agree about how awful this is, but Americans really need to lose this superiority complex regarding how extremely civilized and wonderful we are and generalizations like "Indian men kill babies" or whatever it was upthread are really disgusting. My father is one such Indian man and you know maybe they all aren't the same :eyes:....And the "civilized Indians" aren't necessarily at all the "westernized ones" who learnt from the wonderful British-India is a very diverse country-one region cannot be used as a generaliztion for every other.

I think the extreme racism against India and China I often see here (if similar statements were made about any Middle Eastern or African nation-i.e. tarring of the entire nation-it would rightly be challenged), is more tied to misplaced anger over outsourcing rather than anything else. Direct the anger over outsourcing at the corporations with unfair practices...not people in some of the poorest parts of the world who will take any opportunity they get.
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HardRocker05 Donating Member (486 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. because *we're* bad we can't criticise such blatant atrocities as the treatment of women/girls
in some parts of the world? screw that. i'll tell it like it is, whether we are doing wrong or someone else is doing wrong.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #22
30. How exactly is saying that
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 12:15 PM by nam78_two
all Indians or all Indian men are child murderers (as some did upthread) any sort of valid criticism?

Criticize the act all you want or aspects of the society that enable it. To make broad brush generalizations about ALL the people there is blatantly racist.
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HardRocker05 Donating Member (486 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #30
61. the OP certainly didn't say that; you're looking for an excuse. nt
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #61
66. If you read what I said, I was talking about the comments upthread
Not the OP.. :eyes:
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #30
90. I don't see any such comments...
in this thread. It appears as if you are trying to change the subject.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #16
80. Ah, I thought there'd be a few posts like this.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 07:31 PM by Donald Ian Rankin
The idea that we should only criticise or oppose evil when it's perpetrated by rich white westerners is a regretably widespread one.

"Direct the anger over outsourcing at the corporations with unfair practices...not people in some of the poorest parts of the world who will take any opportunity they get."

There's no evidence that this thread has anything whatsoever to do with outsourcing, and suggesting that it does is bewildering to the point of being risible.

Killing your children just for being female is evil, and I will get angry at the people who do it, and you should be ashamed of yourself for not doing so.



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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #80
112. Yes-thats right!
Not only am I not angry, I support this practice 100% -in fact I am going to do it myself one day ...In fact I think I will get pregnant and hope its a girl just so I can do this :sarcasm:

Yes killing children just for being female is horrifically evil Captain Obvious....Nowhere in my post did I say that it wasn't. If making broad brush generalizations about a country with a billion people, helps even a single little girl in India it would be worth it. However, I don't think it does. Tell me, have you ever worked with an NGO that deals with issues like this? I have. And hell its not just little girls, if you want to look at the plight of the elderly in India, thats a whole other Pandora's box.

But, anyone who is not entirely ignorant about these things or has researched them at all would know that the causes are not as simple as "Indian men are evil" which was what I perceived in some of the posts up thread and that was what I was responding to. I agree with the OP about how horrific this is, probably more than many who haven't dealt with victims of this kind of thing themselves.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #16
98. sorry nam, but i disagree
i'm indian also and i don't see much racism in this thread. i have in other threads especially when outsourcing issue is brought up and people start throwing out racist insults rather than discussing the issue and holding the corporations accountable rather than the people.

but in this case i don't see any racism . and i think it's a good thing that it's being discussed.

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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #16
106. Agreed
Killing infants based on gender after they're born is a horrible act which I must condemn. On the other hand, I really wonder whether people who are pro-choice have any idea how many foetuses (and their gender) are removed annually in Western societies.

I am pro-choice so abortions are none of my business.
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
18. Before I'm willing to judge India or anyone else
I ask myself why 53% of black men are legally barred from voting.........
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Oh shush -America is perfect
We do most of our klling from a distance.

We only fund brutal rebel armies in Nicaragua, Chile and well pretty much most of Latin America and nothing needs to be said about the ME does it?

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HardRocker05 Donating Member (486 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #18
25. it's not mutually exclusive; you can do both. you seem eager to dismiss gross mistreatment of
girls and women.
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #25
53. I am not dismissing anything.
I am only pointing out that the implication that the whites who run this country are so superior to the browns who run India is misplaced.
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quinnox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
23. The method
It is murder if they kill them after they are born, but I don't see a problem with abortion if that is what they want if it is early in the pregnancy.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
24. Cultures that revere males are pretty wacky, aren't they?
Of course at the other side of this issue is a whole bunch of frustrated, angry young men with limited opportunities to find someone to marry..

What do frustrated, angry young men do? They often become troublemakers and a lot of them join the miltaries..
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I Have A Dream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. Yes, and if anyone thinks that this is something that will ultimately...
give more power to women, I think that they're wrong. I feel that the exchange of money will be switched, and women will then be "sold" as wives instead of parents having to pay for their daughters to be married. Either way, their needs and rights are completely ignored.
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #28
58. They are being sold.
It is a completely dehumanizing type of slavery/misogyny.

"The desire for sons has created a severe shortage of marriageable young women. As their value rises, unscrupulous men are trading them around the subcontinent and beyond as if they were a mere commodity

Tripla's parents sold her for 170 to a man who had come looking for a wife. He took her away with him, hundreds of miles across India, to the villages outside Delhi. It was the last time she would see her home. For six months, she lived with him in the village, although there was never any formal marriage. Then, two weeks ago, her husband, Ajmer Singh, ordered her to sleep with his brother, who could not find a wife. When Tripla refused, he took her into the fields and beheaded her with a sickle.

When Rishi Kant, an Indian human rights campaigner, tracked down Tripla's parents in the state of Jharkhand and told them the news, her mother broke down in tears. "But what could we do?" she asked him. "We are facing so much poverty we had no choice but to sell her."

Tripla was a victim of the common practice in India of aborting baby girls because parents only want boys. Although she was born and lived into early adulthood, it was the abortions that caused her death. In the villages of Haryana, just outside Delhi, abortions of baby girls have become so common that the shortage of women is severe. Unable to find wives locally, the men have resorted to buying women from the poorer parts of India. Just 25 miles from the glitzy new shopping malls and apartment complexes of Delhi is a slave market for women.

The women are sexual "brides" only. Sometimes, brothers who cannot afford more share one woman between them. Often, men who think they have got a good deal on a particularly beautiful bride will sell her at a profit...."

http://www.countercurrents.org/gen-huggler040406.htm


"Human trafficking is not a new phenomenon in Punjab. What is new is the trade being carried on by the second and third generation victims themselves...

As the divide between the landowners and the landless increased , and the sex ratio declined sharply, the landless found it difficult to marry within the community. No one was ready to marry off their daughters to these landless people, who were thus drawn to the touts to buy their wives, mainly for procreation so as to carry their family name forward....

His wife, now Manjit Kaur, informs that she hails from Virat Nagar in Nepal. My brother died in an accident, and within a few months, my mother died of shock. My father married off my elder sister and then remarried himself. Since we were poor, it was my stepmother, who came up with the idea of selling me off, and thus getting money to build their house. I was sold off at the age of 15. I didnt know the language, food habits or the culture here. It took me two years to get used to the place and imbibe the culture. But I am still not accepted here. Now, even my own children have shunned me and prefer not to maintain any contact with me in order to gain social acceptance, she says as she breaks down in sobs."

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20030817/main1.htm
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #24
35. That's going on in North Korea
where there aren't enough women for the men.

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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #24
40. Here's the reason:
"Condoms 'too big' for Indian men"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6161691.stm

Men with small penises seem to hate women.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. Do you have any idea just how racist you sound?
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 01:01 PM by nam78_two
You just made a comment about all the men of a particular race. I am amazed by the racism in this thread.
This place is getting to be no better than Free Republic.

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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #42
46. It was a JOKE!
God - people here need to lighten up.

And if you are going to call me racist, then you'd better go ahead and call the BBC because that's where the article came from.
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lukasahero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. Isn't that what's said to women we when point out sexism?
"It was a joke", "lighten up"? I know it's hard to hear that your words are offensive but the correct response is "You know what? You're right. I'm sorry."
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Megahurtz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #42
64. Racist? Oh please!
You throw around that word as if there are no facts to anything that is said..

All together now, everybody! Pull out your Race Cards! :sarcasm:
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #64
67. Yes what an awesome socio-political analysis!
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 06:22 PM by nam78_two
Indian men have small penises and so all of them hate Indian women! :sarcasm:


I was speaking specifically about comments like that not valid criticism of the societal norms that enable this.

I agree with post #63. If people are going to voice criticism, thats the way to do it. Not because of thinly veiled prejudice arising from the fact that "those hairy, smelly brown people" are taking yer jobs :eyes:...
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #67
109. One more time.....
JOKE.

And the small penis bit is not something I made up, it was an article in the European press.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
33. religious marriage is a root cause


marriage is a four letter word

marriage is a positive for men and a negative for women

is there any place in the world where marriage is a plus for women? and a negative for men?

deep down in their spirit women don't want to murder their baby girls

women would rather not get pregnant then have to murder their baby girls (or have an abortion, but abortion is necessary in many cases. I'm pro choice and anti forced pregnancies)

marriage is a construct that benefits men
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chaska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
34. Coming soon to an America near (very near) you....
This is what happens with overpopulation.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. no it's not overpopulation causing the elimination of females


it's misogyny

mostly religious misogyny
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #37
44. The most striking comment in that article is that EDUCATED people practice this.
"The practice of killing the girl child is more prevalent among the educated, including in upmarket districts of New Delhi, making it more challenging for the government, the minister said."

This isn't a practice solely of the destitute. It is misogyny, even if the roots are religious.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #37
101. no, but
because of overpopulation the practice is more easily tolerated.

The bottom line is, the world does not need another mouth to feed.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
38. Indian women- - stock about to soar.
Sons will have to pay dowry.
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I Have A Dream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #38
68. No, daughters will be SOLD. n/t
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
45. Feminists have written about this (acedemics)- for about 30 years now---
looks like not much has changed.

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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
47. sex-selection via amniocentesis goes on in lots of countries.
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Dastard Stepchild Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
51. I remember wishing that Indian-U.S. adoptions were easier...
At least for the agencies that I would have access to here in my region of the U.S. I was in contact with two of them about adoption possibilities a few years back and they mentioned difficulties with their Indian adoption program.

Things may be better now, and things may have even improved for my local agencies, but at the time I found it disappointing.

Perhaps with Angelina and Brad drawing attention to Indian adoptions, it will become much easier. :)

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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
56. I have a hard time believing world peace can ever happen
when I see how many parents are willing to kill their own child.
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Paranoid Pessimist Donating Member (432 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #56
62. You and me both
The sorriest thing about human nature is the ease with which murder and cruelty can be rationalized. Most of the horrible things done in this crazy ass world are done by people who believe that they are being moral, doing the right thing. In wars, soldiers on both sides think they're "fighting evil" and, of course, if you're fighting evil, then nothing you do could possibly be evil -- or so they think. I once saw on one of the obscure educational TV cable channels an interview with a bunch of ex-South American torturers and without exception they said they thought they were doing good, fighting the good fight.
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
57. only 20? Ever hear of Purdah?
yes, for centuries, triditional Indian wives are expected to throw themselves on the funeral pyres of their husbands.

Traditional societies, in general, are very hard on the females.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #57
102. I think you mean suttee (or sahtee) but your point is still
valid. Purdah is the veiling or secluding of women, taking them out of public view and isolating them from the world at large; suttee, regardless of the anglicized spelling variations, is the most awful of patriarchal, misogynist traditions. Either way, women get treated like shit.

And of course nothing even remotely similar is applied to the men. The widower takes another bride, or just goes on to enjoy the company the others he has left. The widow. . .. well, there are no widows.

What has to be kept in mind is that whether we're talking about suttee or dowry deaths or the abortion/murder of infant girls: often the women themselves are complicit because they have no other tradition to fall back on -OR- they have no choice because the men who control them (husbands on whom they are utterly dependent) expect them to "do the right thing." It's not that these women are "willing" to do this or do so without sadness/grief/remorse.

some references --

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/grhf-asia/suchana/0225/geor...

http://www.equalityforwomen.org/infacide.htm
Venkatramani's article is from 1986, so the "20 years" mentioned in the OP's cited article is a bit off. As Venkatramani points out, the ratios of girls to boys in India have been declining steadily for a long time.

<snip> //graphic, not for the faint-hearted//
There was only one way out of a lifetime burden of bringing up two daughters. And Kuppusamy decided on what they had to do. That evening he trudged somewhat unsteadily into a nearby field, plucked a handful of oleander berries that are known for their lethal poison, and returned home. Chinnammal mashed them into a milky paste and fed her crying infant with the substance. The parents then shut the small door of their hut, sat outside, and waited for the poison to do its work. Within an hour the baby began to twitch and tremble fitfully. Slowly she started spouting blood through her mouth and nose. The parents heard her whining. A few more minutes, and all was quiet. Chinnammal knew that everything was over. She quietly walked over to her mother's hut close by, dug up a little patch of ground inside, brought and buried the dead baby.

I killed my child to save it from the lifelong ignominy of being the daughter of a poor family that cannot afford to pay a decent dowry, Chinnammal said, as she sipped water to keep her voice from breaking. But all the same, it was extremely difficult to steel myself for the act. A mother who has borne a child cannot bear to see it suffer even for a little while, let alone bring herself to kill it. But I had to do it, because my husband and I concluded that it was better to let our child suffer an hour or two and die than suffer throughout life. Kuppusamy, at first reluctant to talk, admitted later during an interview: I get Rs 13 a day as agricultural wages, on the days that I manage to find work. My wife gets Rs 6 a day. I cannot dream of decently marrying off two daughters. Killing girl babies due to fear of the dowry problem is very common in our Kallar community.
<end snip>


TG


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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #102
108. yes exactly, thanks
horrible
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tinfoil tiaras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
59. I've heard about this--and it's very sad
the boy to girl ratio is like 12:1 or something. Sorry if my facts are messed up, I just remember reading that somewhere.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
63. It's OK to judge other cultures by your own cultural standards.
The ideal of equality of the sexes and freedom of expression are, in my mind, far superior to the ideals that give rise to genital mutilation, forcing women to wear burqas, and the abortion of female babies for preferring male babies.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #63
75. True.nt
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Geek_Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
76. I work in the IT field and I find it hard to believe
That my Indian co-workers would support this. I think these atrocities have more to do with class system and extreme poverty in India than anything else.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #76
81. It's a big place with more than a billion people...

and if the numbers in this article are correct, we are talking about 500K per year in a place that has 25,926K births per year (source: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/india_india_statist... )

Of course it is a horrible thing. It is also a highly unrepresentative thing.

To generalize about 1.1 billion people on the basis of something like this, as others in the thread are doing, is wrong.
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I Have A Dream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #81
83. Over 1% is unrepresentative? I think that this is pretty bad.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 07:46 PM by I Have A Dream
I certainly am not saying that all Indians support this practice. That's not what it's about for me. Rather, it's about what can be done to have the society fully see the harm that it's doing to itself and to both its men and its women.

I work with quite a few Indian men (all of whom, to the best of my knowledge, have had arranged marriages), and I've never had a problem with any type of sexism from any of them. I think that this is really more a financial issue for families, so the dowry system and the extravagent weddings that are expected are the problem.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #83
87. Yes, it is horrible
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 09:48 PM by jberryhill
But consider this part of the article:

"It's shocking figures and we are in a national crisis if you ask me," Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury told Reuters.

So the sentiment expressed in this thread that Indians don't care or aren't also appalled, are quite out of order. If their own relevant government official calls it a crisis, then I'm not arguing with him. But I'm not going to argue that it is some national point of pride.

I didn't want to be construed as saying "oh, it's just a small number". It is a backward social behavior, and I doubt that you'd find anyone among the H1-B visa residents here that would support or engage in this behavior. The kind of men with whom you, or anyone else in a technical occupation, works are the same as educated people just about anywhere. I'm too tired to find a link, but I don't believe that marital satisfaction is markedly different between selected marriages and arranged marriages.

On the sarcastic comments about "the world's largest democracy", India demonstrates that one can have a country with an extremely diverse population, and very uneven social development, and still have a functioning democracy.

Finally, your 1% is a ratio of the average annual number in the article to live births. Since the article states that the lowered female birth rate is "largely" due to abortions, then you have to compare the 500K number to the average annual number of pregnancies, not births, to get a handle on the relative prevalence.



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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
85. I'm glad a government minister admitted the problem
rather than denying it.

Hopefully they'll act on this and start enforcing laws, especially in those areas which are especially trying to hold women back. India has a lot of laws on the books (barring dowries as well), but these laws are poorly enforced, if at all in some areas. I remember reading one article about a rural area where an activist was considered an outsider and was shunned.

This is disgusting and barbaric. Unfortunately, it's going to be tougher to crack down on those abortion female fetuses using the amniocentesis screening.

I'm a bit surprised regarding her comment on educated people doing this though. I'd like to see statistics on that also reflecting the region. My guess is this sort of infanticide is regional, and as pointed out in the article, it's more prevalent in some parts of the country than others. It's ironic, because from what I hear from relatives is that many women are entering engineering and the sciences (I've heard almost as many women answering from those call centers as men)...but there seems to be a need for a change in culture among many. This sort of thing will indeed come to bite them in the ass eventually if they keep it up. Humans can be incredibly shortsighted.

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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #85
104. Educated
I don't have a reference for this because I'm relying on memory of a film I saw in school a few years ago -- 1998 or 1999 maybe -- produced by an Indian woman about this specific problem.

Many of the dowry deaths are committed in well-educated, policitally-powerful families because they are no more than one or two generations removed from "traditional" life. Elders in the family -- grandparents, even grandmothers -- see a son as a source of care in their old age and a daughter as a liability. Pressure is put on the younger members of the family: for the son to obtain a good wife with a good dowry, for the daughter to be married off as cheaply as possible. A grandmother may need a new refrigerator or washing machine and so approaches the bride's family for an addition to the dowry, sometimes before the wedding and sometimes after.

Even though a daughter may be educated and have a career that would provide sufficient income for her to take care of her aging relatives exactly as her brother could/would, that would be improper in the traditional culture, and since she is herself a product of that culture, she is sometimes just as likely as a less-educated woman to agree to an arranged marriage. If she has no inkling what kind of family she's marrying into, she may find herself isolated from friends and family, forced to quit her job so her husband's family isn't shamed, and if/when she tries to leave, she's forced back or even killed.

Prosecution is difficult because many of the men involved are as tradition-bound as the perpetrators.

I wish I could remember the name of the film, but I can't at the moment.

Interestingly enough, I was in a conversation just last night at a party and the subject of arranged marriages came up. A friend said she was devastated about six months ago when she learned that a young Vietnamese girl who worked in the nail salon my friend goes to had left because she got married and her husband told her she couldn't work any more. The girl had been born in the U.S. and went to public schools here in Phoenix and was thoroughly "American," but she bowed to demands of her family to marry a newly-arrived Vietnamese immigrant. Supposition was that she provided him with legal immigrant status. My friend was horrified that this kind of thing still went on in 2006 but was assured by the other women in the salon -- nearly all of them immigrants from Vietnam or first-generation American born -- that it was almost universal in their community.

A few weeks ago, my friend happened to go to another salon and found her old nail tech working there. After a brief and very abusive marriage, she said she defied her family and left her husband. It was considered a horrible disgrace and she has been kicked out of the family and not allowed to work in the family-owned salon. She works now in another family's salon and makes considerably less than the family members employed there, but at least she is out of the marriage.


Tansy Gold

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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
88. Isn't part of the problem
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 09:45 PM by snot
that women are not trained for (or lack equal opportunities to succeed in) money-making careers? Dowry or not, I'm no liability to anyone if I can pay my own way.
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Kat45 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
89. I saw a report on that a number of years ago.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 10:43 PM by notmyprez
Apparently, nothing has been done about it as yet. It's disgusting.
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Lipton64 Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
92. Say thank you to the crushing poverty and the stupid dowry custom nt
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:01 AM
Response to Original message
93. Delete.
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 02:06 AM by Xap
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:25 AM
Response to Original message
94. Adoption is also difficult in the country
from what i heard it's also tough for people to adopt kids in India.

but the problem is of course the backwardness of some people there. i'm not sure what to do. i think the government needs to seriously invest in education for ALL . it should be a requirement up to a certain age. hopefully this would lead people to abandon the old backwards practicies like the dowry system.

i just don't see some people there currently changing their views on things. i have given up on a lot of people. it's more about the future generations .
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HuffleClaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
103. *yawn*
i guess the press forgot that only the abuses of EVIL nations like north korea and iran were newsworthy ?


"either before they were born or immediately after" ??? what crap is that? this story is horrific enough without having to toss in 'pro-life' propaganda into the mix.
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Paladin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
105. Unfortunately, There Is Nothing New About This

I had a great-aunt who was a Methodist missionary in India in the early years of the 20th century. Back then, they were leaving baby girls out in the jungle for the tigers......
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
111. Go ahead and flame me. I think this horrible, BUT:
Female infanticide does a lot to keep the population down. That's about the only positive.

However, their cultures would be better off controlling their population with birth control, because having an excess of males is going to upset the social structure.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
116. It's been going on for alot longer than that.
It's very deeply rooted in Indian culture. The British tried to put a stop to it in the 19th century but it was far too deeply ingrained for them to have any effect.

This is an interesting book that deals with the subject.
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