Friday, June 26, 2009

STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!!!!!!

To say that I am appalled would be an understatement.
Recently one of my friends (who happens to be educated and working as well), who is seven months pregnant was forced to undergo a sex determination test by her in laws and husband.. The result was not surprising….its a girl child and my friend has been told to give up the child to her husband’s sister who cannot have children….
What’s the argument and logic behind this forced decision of theirs on her?
Well my friend can have another child after some time. And she has to deliver a male child otherwise the marriage is over. And since the relative in picture cannot have any children, so she would be happy even with a girl child.

Now I know the husband very well, he’s a software engineer working for one of the biggest IT companies in the world and that is what has traumatized me even more. What forced him to behave in this inhuman manner is something which I’m not able to take…does having a son mean so much that you can go to such extents as to give up your child ? Which father does that and which husband forces his wife to give up their child and not feel remorseful about it….The day the child is born will she not tug at her fathers heart??? I asked my friend this question...Here is what she told me
The husband has already told my friend that he does not wish to see the child!!!!!
And what about you....I asked her....
Well, she said, she does not have a say in this matter, if she rebels the marriage is over.....and she would not like to burden her parents who still have two more daughters to marry....
Iwonder what will that girl feel when she grows up and comes to know that she was given up by her own father for a brother????

I am so upset that I don’t even know how to react…I mean if people from such affluent and educated back grounds can resort to all this then what hopes do we have for the girl child??? When I was told all this by her I asked her why did she agree??? Isnt it high time that we women stand up for our rights ? Who are they to tell us that we cant keep our daughter with us? Isnt it time that we stop abusing our bodies just to produce a male child??? What if thenext child is also a girl….do we go in for third???? And if that too is a girl then what???? How can we let someone do this to us???? Whats the use of education and financial independence if we, women are just looked upon as procreating machines and that too with specifications (produce only male child)???? Ha!!!! Has not education, self empowerment, opuurtunities and financial independence helped us to overcome these prejudices. Looks it has not, otherwise you and I would not have heard of this thing happening right in front of our eyes.

I don’t know why my friend gave in to this kind of pressure??? Does this marriage mean so much to her that she is ready to give up her child for its sake???? I told her, you are educated, you earn well, you can look after your daughter and yourself and not be a burden on your parents....She asked me that she does not wish to live with a social taboo of being known as a divorcee and what will she tell her daughter about her father....that he left her mother because of her....what impact will this have on her as a person???? She asked me, what if she blames me when she grows up and knows all this....she told me that she would not be able to tackle all that so its better to put and end to it right now.... I was a little taken aback with her reasoning but then how much can you question and argue with someone who has already made up her mind....Even friendships have limits...

All I know is that we cannot do this to ourselves…we owe it to us to stand up against this. What is even more unbelievable is that all this has been done knowing very well that this is a punishable offence under IPC. Inspite of knowing it these people went ahead with this. I am ashamed to say that this is status of laws in our country. None of this will get reported, no action will be taken against the doctor, the husband, the inlaws, no one…..

Speaking for myself, I know that I will never undergo a sex test no matter what happens. And if producing a male child is the be all and end all of being married I refuse to be tied down in this sort of matrimony where I am looked upon as nothing but a child – excuse me – a male child producing machine. I’d rather walk out of such kind of marriage where so many prejudices are harboured against the woman and girl……I will not give up my identity as a woman just to sustain this relationship which anyways will be a farce if it comes with this kind of baggage...Thanks but No, thanks......

I just wish my friend had the guts to stand up against this but today I’m praying that God gives her strength to overcome this and also courage to stand up for herself in future. Because if we dont stand up for ourselves no one else will!!!!!!!
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44 comments:

hitchwriter said...

I am absolutely shocked... !! this happens still... !! even our kaamwali bai... who has a female child has more dignity... she proudly sends her child to school... and she is most determined to not give her a life that she herself has... infact we buy colouring books for her... and help her out with her studies... !!!

I cant believe what that guy is making your friend do... and your friend should not at all put up with this... not at all...

SGD said...

Shocking but so very true.
As you rightly pointed out, what's the point of an education, financila independence, pseudo progressiveness if the mindset is regressive.
If the upper strata of society do not change (and i mean REAL change not the superficial cosmetic changes), how will change happen in the rural backwaters ????

Indyeah said...

I am shocked, appalled, hurt and yet happy and proud in equal measure..shocked and appalled that this is being done in today's India..the 21st century India..hurt that people can think like this...a father can bear to give away his child to someone else?
if not kill the child (which is what he would have done I am sure ,,female foeticide)

proud and happy becasue I am GLAD to read your words Gunmeen...



((((((((((hugs))))))))))

Because if we dont stand up for ourselves no one else will!
I SO agree!!!!


hats off girl for this wonderful searing post!
that raises some uncomfortable questions and makes us think..

Qi said...

I agree completely. Women only have to stand up and say "NO".

Aniket said...

Don't know what to say...

I know how overwhelming is the pressure of society and relatives up here. Everyone likes to gossip about each others lives. And the consequences are unimaginable. I just hope she realizes she would only be spoiling two more lives if she stayed with him.

Still thinking said...

OMG! I'm just shocked, totally and utterly shocked!

Whatever her reasons, I just want to know, can she ever respect and love her husband now after all that he has said and the way he is behaving? Can she ever think of this marriage as anything but a sham? Then what the hell is she staying behind for?

I'm sorry but this definitely does not make sense to me. Your friend is educated and she should know better. She owes her child every damn thing. Can't she understand that her child will eternally love her for loving her, supporting her and being with her forever? Can't she?

Really sorry for the long comment.

Latin Sardar said...

Totally appalling...
And what about your friend, isn't she educated and independent enough to just walk out of something that clearly deserves to be dumped by her? Doesn't she have any self respect? Why is she so dependent on this man and his family?

If she is not self reliant and/or financially independent then she is equally guilty in my opinion.

Solilo said...

I am SHOCKED, APPALLED and going through all kind of emotions. I just can’t believe that even in this day and age and that too in educated families this happens. The couple is going to simply give away the child because it’s a girl!!!

Since its 7th month they know that an abortion is not a choice so now they resorted to this thing. I am sure if it was 4th month then they would have aborted the child.

Female feticide is bane in our society. What do these people want? Do they for once think that finishing of girl child means no future generation? Why don’t they get their sons marry another guy? They hate female gender anyways.

I am glad you blogged about it, Gunmeen. What can be done? Hope your friend gets some sense and also support from her family and takes a strong stance. What’s the use of education if one can’t even stand up for own child and her rights?

Ashwathy said...

truly shocking!! I am horrified to know this takes place even today... but it is a sad reality...

If it was happening in the slum areas, I can understand the illiterate mentality... but this is too much!!

Can't your friend stand on her feet and get away from this guy?? What's the point of her continuing in such a marriage where her identity or interests aren't considered? Let me ask you something... what if she gets pregnant again and again with the girl child only? Won't the in-laws ask the husband to get rid of her and marry a girl who can "produce" boys??? What will she do then? Adjust some more so as to not burden herself on her own parents?

Tell her to stand on her own two feet and think with some brains! If not, this kind of emotional torture is going to continue. If she feels compromising is the only solution, then she is going to learn the hard way that it is not so...

Mampi said...

It indeed is totally shocking. The lame excuses that the woman is giving are all bound to bounce back in the mind of her child and herself one day.
hope she sees sense enough that the marriage is already over.

Winnie the poohi said...

I do not understand why the onus of maintaining marriage falls upon a girl?

I mean she is educated.. she is working.. and yet if she thinks this way.. what hope do we have of upliftment in our society.. n more importantly..

Why would anyone in the right mind would want to be married to such beast of an husband?

And what if she has a girl child again?

Abortion ?

And then when she is incapable of giving birth coz her womb is too weakened due to repeated abortion.. then what ?

Being killed by them.. or forced to agree to a second marriage ?

Is that what she wants?

And even if she does give birth to a male child.. what values would that child get in such household.. how can she ever be sure that she will be treated well ?

This sucks big time.. And she sucks too Really!

Psych Babbler said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they ban doctors from telling parents the sex of the child some years ago in India??? (I think I'm wrong!)

This is a disgusting story though and I still fail to understand a woman giving up a girl child for the sake of a boy!? Sigh. So much for 'education'.

Just on a different note though --- something I've often wondered since I was a teen --- why do they blame the woman for having a female child when the determining chromosome comes from the male???

Varunavi said...

Its really shocking to hear that a educated guy is doing to this to his wife who is also educated,with this i feel how much ever one is educated their desire to have a son and disown a daughter will always be there.

Why he wants a son?? his son is a insurance policy so that in his old age his son will takecare of his father??? I have seen many sons who disown there fathers in a old age home because they are not able to manage him,cant provide a 2meals to their father.

i am what i am said...

thank you everybody for writing in about how you feel regarding this...a thing like this happening today indeed calls up for some kind of soul searching among the society today....all of you have condemned thgis thing and rightly so.....please pass this onto to everybody so that the message gets across that no woman in todays world should succumb to this kind of societal pressure of producing a son....lets all raise our voices against this....we are not going to leave a safe world for our progenies if this is allowed to happen unchecked....women and girls everywhere please stand up for yourself.....because like i said....if we dont, no one else will....thank you so much all of you for sharing your thioughts on this public platform...all your posts have beeb forwarded to her....lets see if we can knock some sense into her thick head

shilpadesh said...

Shit this is so sad. Like other commentators have said, even uneducated people have more sense than these educated people....sad

How do we know said...

Sure everybody has condemned it and all that.. but what is the girl's choice.. if she walks out of the marriage, the societal pressure will be on her. I know of a girl who walked out on an impotent man.. and still people gossiped about her.. not the man.. thats the other sad truth of our lives.

Ask your friend to ask her husband what will he do if the second child is also a girl? Who will take her then? She is avoiding the thought right now.. but really, she should not. If he says that they will abort the baby in that case, ask her to say that she wants to start by aborting this baby. She is not ready to give her child to anyone else. It is easier to live with the death of a child than to live with a child tugging at your heartstrings all your life.

And tell her one more thing - these people are REALLY cruel - cruel enough to kill the next girl child she bears, and cruel enough to actually push her out of the marrige if she does not relent. So basically, her choice is between killing the first child and the second child.

If she is financially independent, she should give him a choice - either keep both or neither. He will keep her, if only for the money that she brings in every month.

Ms. Neha Gandhi said...

whoaaa... m shocked....such things still happen???
i cant even imagine the plight of your friend...imagine how will she react on seeing her sister-in-law with her own child...
this is outrageous... i hope and pray that in the next two months your friend gets the courage to speak up for herself...

Rajee Sood said...

I am a mother of a lil' baby girl ... and she is all I ever wanted ... and having said that ... I have to say ... life shows us a lot of things we don't believe can be true ... I hate everytime I read stories like these ... my heart goes out to that unborn child ... and honestly I don't know what to feel sad or angry about women like your friend ... but a matter of factly truth is that in face of reality ... our conditioning fails us ... She definitly does not have a supportive family and life long conditioning is making her think she is doing the right thing ... Sigh ! I am disgusted at the people who can live with themselves ... after ruining the life of an unborn child .I am sure there's a special hell they go ...

Smitha said...

I am so shocked and appalled! I knew that this sort of things happen in remote villages - but amongst the educated! And your friend seems to be financially independent too!!

1. How can the husband even think of it - forget about forcing it on his wife? Does child signify only SON? It is shocking that an educated man thinks like this.

2. Even more shocking that your friend despite being educated and working, herself is giving herself excuses to continue this farce of a marriage! Does she not realise that today, it is her female child tomoroow it will her - who will be changed/divorced to make way for another wife -if she, for some reason is not able to 'give him a male child'!!!!

I just hope that she stands up for herself!

And your words are so right!

' Because if we dont stand up for ourselves no one else will!!!!!!!'

Arnav said...

sad but that the harsh side of our society .. WE need to bring the much needed change in our society ...
Your friend despite being educated and financially independent did not have the confidence of living alone ... i thinks thats because she was inculcated with the thought that she cannot live independent and that a divorcee is a taboo... had her parents been more strong her story could have been different....

We need to bring this change, we need to inculcate the feeling of independece , self respect in the next generation so that atleast the next generation women are spared and they can live a life of self respect ...

Please do read - http://arnavspeaks.blogspot.com/search/label/women

Keep writting ....

Balvinder Singh said...

This incident is shocking in many ways.

Firstly that a father is willingly ready to let her daughter take birth and then give her up.

Secondly that the mother will unwillingly give away her new born to be brought up by some one else.

And lastly that it is going to happen in a family of educated people who must be earning well but are feeling it a burden to bring up a girl child.

indianhomemaker said...

This does happen, and women don't mind it strongly enough to walk out of such marriages. Reminds me of Miss India we have blogged about, her mother refused to give up her child, and she did fine for herself.

A friend of mine had two daughters and was under pressure to give up the second one to her husband's brother, she was tortured with guilt - but we talked about it, and she told her in laws how it was impossible for her to even consider this, later her brother in law adopted a baby girl.
What I remember the most is her feeling of guilt. Your friend is probably made to feel the same way. This is unbelievably sad... :(

Everything is summed up in And since the relative in picture cannot have any children, so she would be happy even with a girl child. We are shameful when it comes to our girl children....

Swaram said...

I am shocked ... can't just believe this. At times when we think the situation has changed, there are still people, that too so-called educated people dng this sort of a thing? If I wud hv been in her place, I wud hv def. walked out with my child. I know its easier said but what use staying with such a husband who just does not respect the female sex - he just views the wife also as one who will give him his son?

May the Lord grant him n others like him gud will soon.
Aren't those who conducted the tests n gave the results punishable too?

i am what i am said...

@how do we know: Personally, i dont agree with your thiught process - because your logic is similar to the logic which my friend gave it to me...to tell you honestly, the only right thing to do is to walk away. at least you would have your dignity and self respect intact...living with this kind of injustice is shameful to say the least....

@neha gandhi: yes i hope so too neha...thank you for penning down your thoughts

i am what i am said...

@rajee sood: i agree completely with you when you say that its our conditioning which fails us...i really dont understand why its drilled into a girls head that you are nothing if you are not married....

@smitha: 1. it is indeed shocking...i would say its shameful for a father to harbour such thoughts for his own flesh and blood.....2. yes, that might happen to her too...and yes smitha i truly believe that if i dont stand up for myself no one else will....

i am what i am said...

@arnav: rightly said so arnav....its very important to bring in the change we are talkin about....and more important is to implement that change in our lives....


@IHM: was waiting so eagerly for you comments.....hugs and welcome back....missed you....
yes IHM we are indeed shameful when it comes to our girl child....just imagine saying that usko baccha nahi ho sakta to wo toi ladki se bhi khush ho jayegi....relegated to this kind of position in the society what hopes do we have for the girls in coming years is what frightens me to death.....

i am what i am said...

@Mr Balvinder Singh: yes sir this is truly shocking...infact i think that shocking is too mild a word to describe this incident...its a horror that such things are happening in an urban setup, where educated people indulge in this kind of petty acts....its an act of gross injustice taking place in front of our eyes and we are unable to do anything about it....we are letting everyone who's a party to all this go scot free....and allowing them to act in this ghastly manner again if such a situation arises again....truly disgusting and shocking....

i am what i am said...

@swaram: yes those who conducted the test are equal partners in crime...but such is the state of laws in our country that this too shall go unreported just like lakhs of other similar caes....tell me who will report...the husband against the doctor or the doctor against the husband...both will go to jail...so who will report theincident...well neithe the doctor nor the husband...and as for the womannn....she cant stand up for her child...how will she report this....so there goes....

i am what i am said...

@indyeah and solilo: a little late in thanking you but nevetheless thank you bith for your encouraging words....i'm glad too that i was able to blog about it....

withinaninchoflife said...

Hi!... I found the link to your blog through Indyeah's
I'm not shocked... this does happen in India and it's a reality... If you go into the small towns of Rajasthan or up north, you will see, how openly quacks in the name of doctors, trade their service of sex determination... foeticide, infacticide, all this is open, without a fear of the law...
Yet, I'm wondering what your friend is thinking in a modern, educated, liberal, independent world?

partywithneha said...

A software engineer is doing this? We people keep on saying education can transform India. Can it? Has it?
Whenever I read something like this, I feel so angry. My blood is boiling right now, more so because I feel helpless. How can you make such people understand??
How?

Uma said...

shocking bt true..that 2 frm educated well to do ppl...i mean wht is the use of hving such a person as ur husband..

Badz said...

I'm not supriced that such things take place in India BUT I am shocked it takes place in well educated family. I thought they call the daughter as the goddess Laxmi (well they certainly do in my family) and say she arrived into the home.

I really do hope, and pray, that your friend gets the strength to not sacrifice her baby and stand up to her husband and inlaws.

shraddha said...

my sis is gyno in india...she has told me about such incidents before too...

very tragic..

Sandhya said...

Came here, via Smitha's.

OK, the man says that he is not going to have a look at the newborn child, but the baby will grow as someone else's child and that too their relative's - what feeling will he have when he sees his baby growing up - as an intelligent beautiful girl? What will happen if he fails to have a second child, male or female? Nobody know for sure, what the future gives us.

"She asked me that she does not wish to live with a social taboo of being known as a divorcee and what will she tell her daughter about her father....that he left her mother because of her....what impact will this have on her as a person???? She asked me, what if she blames me when she grows up and knows all this....she told me that she would not be able to tackle all that so its better to put and end to it right now.... "

I know a family, where this is happening. The daughter is getting married in 7 months. She has got 3 sets of parents now - her mother and step father, her father and step mother, her future in-laws. The in-laws like the girl very much and they know both her families. Now, the children and father want to have a marriage - a hindu marriage with all the fun and rituals. The mother is in a very good job and has spent equally for her daughter's education and now is going to spend 50% of the cost, for this wedding. But she has agreed for the father to conduct the wedding rituals on the wedding day, but she wants to do the previous day's rituals for her daughter with her current husband. Now, the husband is ridiculing her - what your daughter will have one gothra, the previous day and another gothra, the next day (Hidu reader will know about this gothra and nakshatra - Gothra is, it is said that we Hindus are descendents from some 7 rishis/saints. We should not marry into the same gothra(Saints name), because we will be brothers and sisters. The girl who is born in one gothra, goes into another gothra - her husband's gothra, after marriage). Now, we are worried if the girl will have a happy marriage function or the mother and father are going to fight and the girl will remember only this fight and might blame the mother/father.

I had been asking her to conduct an Arya Samaj wedding which hasn't got rituals and then get it registered, give a good reception. The father and his relatives are against it and the children want to have fun of the Indian wedding. All are living abroad. What is the solution?

For visiting here, first time, this comment has taken the place of 10 comments, sorry! You have presented this problem, very clearly. Nice.

i am what i am said...

@withinaninchoflife: yes, that's what i'm wondering too....

partywithneha: i so so identify with your dilemma that how do you make such people understand....neha, we cant...thats the sad part...

i am what i am said...

@uma: true

@Badz: i pray for the same badz...i'm just hpoing for a miracle to take place now...

@shraddha: yes your sister is right...this does take place

i am what i am said...

@sandhya: thank you so much sandhya...i so so loved your comment...please do write in more...and you're right, the girl should just go in for the registered marriage....that would put all the bickering between the relatives to rest...

How do we know said...

Hi Gunmeen: U dont agree with the idea that she should tell him to keep both or neither?

Let me explain: She is not strong enough to walk out of a bad marriage, yet is being advised here to not be weak enough to put up with having to part with her child. Which IS the right advice.

So what are her choices? Walking out is one. Telling the husband to shape up or ship out is another. I think both choices are fine.

J P Joshi said...

This is very shocking and more so when it is happening in the educated, upper middle class segment of our society. Your post is really heart felt and heart rending. Yes, standing up is the right thing to do. I would like to highlight two other facts.

One, the sex of the child is determined by the father, and the mother only bears the child - if I understand medical science correctly.

Second, most of these cases are initiated by mother's - a woman again. Can the woman folk all unite and stand up to stop this inhuman and irreligious practice in our society. This has to STOP.

masood said...

When is this going to end?!! :(

Something similar happened with my friend too. In her case, it all started after she gave birth to her baby girl. Read more here
http://logicalobscurity.wordpress.com/2009/03/25/isnt-a-baby-girl-your-child-too/

It saddens be always to hear such stories :(

Iya said...

omg, this is outrageous. is your friend financially independent? cant she take a stand? Comeon i am sure something can be done..

Srivatsan said...

Shocking!
coming to the point,is it illegal to determine gender while baby is in womb?? That doc should be punished first.

She (your friend) should have questioned her husband that 'if his grandpa did such kinda acts,will your mom be born or will you be here?'!

As for me,I will prefer a girl baby.Though there is nothing in our hands!girls are more energetic and more affectionate to dad's than boys.
And whether it is prevalent or not,I dunno - But many men prefer girl child and women prefer a male child.If you observe every family,it is the mother-in law who demands male child ,more than others.And 'some' moms scold their girl child and envy her neighbours who have male child.But the girl's dad protects her.

This female infanticide will end up with increase in love marriages..cos parents need not spend amounts,dowry,etc etc..again dowry is illegal.I think judiciary needs an alarm clock.
Still, parents want to arrange marriage and spend out of their capacity,just to show their status.Very bad for people who have grown up so much!:((

Anrosh said...

i have often heard this question, " what should i tell her about her father".

Father is not a person who has conceived the child.
a father is a man who is bold enough to fulfill responsibiliites for the child

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