Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Holier than thou attitude of ours...

When I say "ours", I am referring to all human beings. I am not kidding but we seem to take unreasonable pride in the way we look and perform our activities. Confused? Allow me to explain...

Last night my husband and I were watching the movie, Men in Black II. It continues to bother me whenever I see an Alien movie that we, humans, seriously believe that Aliens are freaky-looking-creatures. Some times the creatures are down right funny! We have never seen an Alien, yet me make that assumption in every singe movie! Why? Because we believe that humans are the best ever!

"I am better looking than Alien!", would be the first opening line I would presume, if we ever get to meet them. What if they turn out to be extremely beautiful than us? What if they are so beautiful that we look creepy compared to them? Why doesn't movies show any better looking Alien? Here are few pictures which i had taken from various Alien movies; tell me...what gives us a right to portray that Aliens are ugly looking when we have never ever seen them?!

Men in Black II:

Transformers: is this picture funny?!



Koi Mil Gaya

District 9

Ewwww....I am giving up on searching pics on Aliens now. I said Ewww, didn't I!? What a racist. No, not racist. Perhaps "speciet"? I did a spell check and the word doesn't exist in dictionary. After all these gruesome movies, its about time this that this word is introduced in the dictionary.
This brings me back to the real day to life experiences. Even we, sometimes, assume a "God" complex. My husband uses this term for people who think that they know the best, they know everything, they are God. If not everyday, even we are possessed with God complex, knowingly or unknowingly from time to time. Unless we make a conscious effort, we dont even know its we who have that complex.

So, back to the present day. From today on, I am going to make a conscious effort not to fall into the God-Complex category :)

Edit: If the Aliens ever really come to earth, believe it or not, they would be so offended to see these movies portraying them so ugly. Not to forget, I doubt if we would last a single day after they get to see these movies!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Women in Combat Roles

This has been going on in my mind for a long time now. In majority of countries women are not allowed in active combat roles. There are various reasons for this which I will point out one by one. But to start this thread, I do think that women should be allowed in active military roles.

main reasons why women are not allowed in combat roles (according to what I know):

1. Our Paradigm: Yes! its us who is stopping women to enter active combat roles! In olden days, women were not allowed to work. But the perception changed. Its basically our perception which allows us to think that women are not good enough to help protect the country is stopping us from letting women go to active roles in military.

2. Physical Limitations: By no means we can discount the fact that men are more physically strong than women. But, if proper training is given and if any women is in a position to fulfill the requirements of entering into combat roles, she should be given an opportunity.

3. Sexual harassment: No matter how many regulations are in place, it is but impossible to deter a few men. Especially in enclosed locations like submarines, women are more prone to harassment from their male colleagues.

4. Brutal captures: We always believe (rightly so) that we have to protect any woman her self respect. But in event of being captured the first torture method which could be used on them is gang rape.
Of course in today's world, even men are prone to gang rapes but we tend to look more in terms of woman's trauma.

5. Maternity leaves: Military people are expected to be on call 24/7. During pregnancy and post child birth, it is but impossible for women to enter combat. This I think is the major draw back for women to enter combat.

But where there is a will, there is a way. Clauses can be made to provide way for women, if they are interested, to enter combat roles. Even women can be deadly, should there be a need. Israeli army proved so. Give women a chance to excel if she is interested in joining active combat roles.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Should prostitution be legalized?

This is the question which I had been thinking for...forever now. There are always pros and cons for every single situation but in this case, according to me, the cons seem to outweigh the pros. I am not sure how many of you agree with me but nevertheless, this is what I believe in:

Prostitution should not be made legal. I have tried to write what I believe in and I have taken a few references (but most of what I had written is my take) from what I thought are reliable sources (see sources below)....

Prostitution is an act of engaging in sex in return for money. Procuring is operating brothels, soliciting sex, pimping, child trafficking and all other activities which make profit at the cost of someone else (prostitute). I am going to call her a sex worker going forward.

Parties involved:
There are mainly 4 parties who are involved in this occupation, if we are referring to “Procuring”; the sex worker, pimp, client and an organized crime group.

Why does it exist?
Simple, Demand and Supply concept. It also exists because there is poverty. No one in this world would willingly sell their body to a different man every night (sometimes 3 to 4 times a night).
Unemployment, little/no education, few jobs (and that too which require skills), inadequate salaries are some of the factors, which compounded, forces some women into prostitution (willingly).

Statistics in Canada (Sorry, couldn’t find any books about prostitution in India in the local library):
Many studies clearly indicate the relation between sexual abuse and prostitution. Before turning to prostitution, 33 to 80% of prostitutes polled in Québec, in Canada and in Native communities had been victims of rape and sexual abuse.

Direct copy paste: Base:

• According to an international study, 81% of the sex workers have been threatened, 73% have been physically abused, and 68% have been assaulted with a weapon. In addition, 62% claim to have been raped since they began prostitution.
• An international survey establishes that 67% of prostitutes show symptoms of Post-traumatic stress syndrome.
• Although the figures vary, certain studies demonstrate the link between drug addiction and prostitution. Indeed, 75% of the street prostitutes in San Francisco are drug dependent, while 27% are alcohol dependent. In the Atlantic Provinces, the rate of male and female prostitutes who reported suffering from drug abuse is
50%, while in the Prairies, the rate is 42%.

Social and psychological damage: My take….

• We live in a world where a single woman is pried upon. What is the condition going to be for a sex worker? Men would start traumatizing her asking her sexual favors even to let her kid go to school, even when it is legalized.
• Every sex-worker, no matter which part of the world you live in, is subject to violent physical and emotional abuse.
• The level of stress of a sex worker is reportedly greater than that of the Vietnam War and the Gulf War veterans.
• Serious possibilities of contracting STD’s.
• Even if a sex worker survives a STD, she cannot survive in her ‘job’ beyond the age of 30. What is she going to do then? She is back to square one where she actually started; poverty, loneliness, insecurity etc.
• Falling in love, getting married, living a normal human life (unlike a sex-toy, slave, being named as a whore), giving a safe and secure future for her kid, enjoying simple pleasures like sleeping through the night peacefully is a distant dream for a sex worker.
• Try living a life having to shut down your feelings because you need to sleep with a stranger every single night…you will know what I mean. It’s not always about men, lust, men’s-needs, their desires. Stop and think what a woman goes through.

Legalization is not the solution:
Have you ever been to Las Vegas or any other country/city where organized prostitution is legal? Do consider the below points when you say that Organized Prostitution is ‘way to go’. Legalizing something which is not-right does not correct the situation.

The Nevada brothels (organized/legalized) take half of the money in every transaction and on top of that, they charge the women for room, board, the taxi driver who has got the client and every other little thing. Then the government gets in on the pimping by taxing their earnings and charging them licensing fees. How much do you think is left for the sex worker if she charges, say, $300 for 2 hours? And how much of emotional trauma do you think she has been going through? So how did legalization help a sex worker while 80% of her “HARD EARNED” money is going to someone else?
There is no proof to say that it’s the oldest profession. Even if it is, END IT and protect those who have to resort to it because only women who are poor would allow themselves to be willingly violated physically (if they are forced into it, its altogether a different story).
If a man cannot restrain himself sexually and is disturbed enough to resort to rape, what are the chances that he is not going to physically abuse the sex worker (positively none)? Just because men ‘pay’ does it automatically mean that they can treat sex workers like trash? How different is this from any other form of rape?
Police will still get their “share”, thanks to the ever existing vultures who do not miss a chance to touch/rub/make crude jokes to a sex worker (legal or otherwise).
It is masturbation with another body; literally, when there are no feelings involved. Sex/lovemaking is sacred. Let it be the way it is supposed to be.

[Translation from French version ]
Canada, Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution, Pornography and
Prostitution in Canada, 1985.
“I’ve been in this trade for 19 years and I say if men come to see prostitutes it’s because it gives them a feeling of power. They dish out the money, so they’re in command. You belong to them for half an hour or an hour. They simply buy you, no obligation; you’re not a person, you’re just something to be used”.

After all, I did say that human beings were not meant to be sold and that our bodies are sacred and not to be treated as rental property. PLEASE! RESPECT US. SHOW US CONCERN WHEN WE ARE POOR. WE ARE MORE THAN ‘MERE’ FEMALES. GIVE US A LIFE WHERE WE DO NOT NEED TO SELL OUR SOULS ALONG WITH OUR BODY. PLEASE!!
I am not a sex worker. Still the fact that somewhere, something like prostitution exists makes me feels like my body is some merchandise. This is not a healthy sign for any women.

Sources of the facts/statistics:

Prostitution et VIH au Québec - bilan des connaissances. Sylvie Gendron and Catherine Hankins
Canada, Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution, Pornography and Prostitution in Canada, 1985.


Try and do something about poverty which drives women into prostitution.
Try and curb child trafficking and forced entry of young women into prostitution.
Remember that if someone is entering prostitution because it is lucrative (very small percentage of women do this), they still are prone to the post traumatic stress disorders and all other ill’s I have mentioned above.
Again, remember that women are persons. It’s not always about men and their desires.

And most importantly, before anyone starts defending legalizing prostitution, will you allow your sibling to join this profession if its legal?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Life is so...

Life is so…

Beautiful? Unpredictable? How is life? The reason I am pondering over this is; yesterday I was looking through some of our (my husbands and mine) old pictures. It’s been almost 3 years since I had seen them. I took out the picture when I was 9 months old and my husband’s picture when he was, maybe 1 year old. There were no dates, so I am just guessing.
I kept those small pictures beside our wedding picture. I couldn’t help but start thinking about life. How, two seemingly indifferent-to-each-other-kids, have ended up together? Who would have thought that, after more than quarter of a century later we would end up together?

We are already of age when we could be parents. Before (seemingly) long perhaps our kids would look back at these pictures and wonder the same?