I have realized that the majority of my posts on this blog are me complaining about how much it sucks to be female in a male-dominated society. Even though this does get on my nerves at times, I know the rights I have here in America are so much better than what I would have in most other countries.
When I visited home this weekend, I showed my parents my blog, and they had a lot of interesting remarks to make about it. Specifically, my dad spent a lot of time elaborating on why a country like India treats women as poorly as they do. He made a lot of good points that I’d like to elaborate on further. So brace yourself, fellow classmates, here’s a post where I give you all some real, hard knowledge, instead of bitching for 900 words.
In India, unlike most South Asian countries, women legally have the same rights as men. They’re free to go out in public by themselves, drive cars, work, smoke and drink, and do basically everything else men are allowed to do. However, very few women actually end up doing these things because of the social stigmas put in place. The reason India is so lacking on these social rights for women is because of the immense poverty and lack of education. These men, the ones who commit all these terrible attacks against women, are for the most part, uneducated. They live in shacks or on the streets and their main concerns are finding food, water, and places to sleep, not how to respect women. They are focused more on fulfilling their own needs instead of how their actions affect other people. This behavior reminded me of a theory I learned last year in AP Psychology called Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow’s whole theory basically states that an individual does not care about fulfilling their higher needs until their most basic needs are met. For example, most teenagers in America are usually in the need for love and belonging stage of the hierarchy. This is because most teenagers have their safety and physiological needs met. Their families provide them
shelter, safety, food, and water, so as a result, they are able to focus on their more abstract needs, like being accepted by their friends and classmates. This is not the case in the poverty stricken parts of India. Most sex offenders are caught between the first and second stages of the pyramid – fulfilling their own needs to stay alive. What these men do to innocent women is certainly not acceptable by any means, but it makes more sense knowing that there is a reason they act this way.
So what can people do to improve the rights of women in countries like India? Eliminate poverty and improve education seem to be the obvious answers. Most of the problems these third world countries face are directly linked to poverty and lack of education. Although there have been plenty of programs implemented to solve these issues, the only way they will really be resolved is if the Indian government takes the initiative to create change.