Kanimozhi gets it right

In a State where many women, particularly in the lower socio-economic strata of society, suffer endlessly at the hands of their husbands, its good to see a woman politician stand up and say something right. Kanimozhi did just that in Erode yesterday, speaking at a function organized on laws on violence against women. Apart from stating that men should also be aware of domestic violence laws (as a deterrent, I presume), she went on to question men’s notions that they are the guardians of women. This, in fact, restricts women’s freedom and burdens them as well according to her. She went on to exhort men to, “Leave it to us”! This is a refreshing perspective coming from a Tamil woman politician who is product of contemporary society. And, in my opinion, a step in the right direction.

Before everyone leaps up and claims I’m a dyed in the wool DMK supporter, let me hasten to clarify that I am not. I am making a social commentary here, and seeing something unusual, in fact quite brave, happening in a society dominated by men. Its about time someone, particularly a woman, stood up to point this out. It was reported in the Hindu and you can read the full story here. I have seen the daily struggle for a decent life of our cooks, or maids, over the years. While they work hard to earn a living to ensure food for the family and a chance of a decent education for the children, the husbands have spent the money they earned on drink, only to come home and pick a quarrel with their wives and beat them up. On a regular basis. Kanimozhi’s assertion therefore that men should be as aware of domestic violence laws is very welcome. In fact, I wish the police would distribute information of domestic violence laws to every family in the State.

Another thought provoking article in The Hindu is in the Metro Plus supplement on Feminism, and the need for a balanced approach to women’s sense of emancipation and freedom by Geeta Padmanabhan. You can read it here. Both these made for interesting reading at opposite ends of the spectrum- women who have very little freedom and are oppressed by their husbands, and women who have a lot of it and need to exercise it with responsibility. Such topics need to be given more exposure so that people become aware and sensitive to the issues involved, and spread the right message to those who are not aware. We could, for instance, be a positive influence in the lives of those who work for us. This has been our attempt. I hope it will be for many readers of Chennai Metblogs as well.

7 Comments so far

  1. Parthasarathy (unregistered) on June 30th, 2007 @ 6:14 pm

    It would have been better if stereotypes of battered wives and drunken husbands were demolished once and for all.

    In modern society, women have plenty of choice, and very high divorce rates.

    The Domestic Violence Laws are hugely skewed in favour of females. Domestic violence should not even have a place in criminal offences.

    Nowadays, women prefer harassing their husbands and their families with jail first, before asking for divorce. Divorce invariably comes after the use of domestic violence laws.

    Feminist extremism is unwelcome, whether from the DMK, Congress, AIADMK, or your own wife. Why dont they just make divorces easier?


  2. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on June 30th, 2007 @ 10:26 pm


    The rest of us will just keep on acknowledging that violence in any circumstance is a crime. Whether it is man against woman or woman against man it should not be left behind closed doors, it should not tolerated by any society.

    The law was an answer to a problem. Maybe it is bad answer; many countries these days seem to be in a hurry to pass badly written laws that create as many problems as they solve.

    So… the law needs to be improved.

    Pretending that the problem doesn’t exist doesn’t help anybody; neither the victims of violence, nor the victims of law.

    The fact that there are battered husbands too needs to be recognised. It does not mean that there are no battered wives.

  3. tsk tsk (unregistered) on July 1st, 2007 @ 2:09 am

    In an era where double income is required to buy a house.. alot of these old ideas of a patriachal society are blurring. I guess One positive outcome of globalisation is that women are aware of their rights and exercise it to good effect. But, i still tread the middle part where i feel women need to excericse new found freedom with responsibility.

    i agree that women need safeguards by law. After all in the event of a woman requiring juris prudence, courts can guarantee justice only if there is a written law(In the case of india).

    Still, i feel the situation of women in the weaker and poorer sections of society will not improve for sometime .. maybe 10 odd years atleast.

  4. Poetaster (unregistered) on July 1st, 2007 @ 9:10 am

    Kanimozhi may be a good feminist, but she’s doing much evil to Mother Tamil by translating all the horrendous crap her father churns out in the name of poetry.

  5. Nastikan (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 1:30 am

    “It does not mean that there are no battered wives.”

    That’s a bizarrely grudging acknowledgement of reality. Battered husbands must exist somewhere, no doubt, but the incidence is noise to the blaringly loud signal of domestic violence as a crime against women.

  6. Parthasarathy (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 4:49 pm

    “Battered husbands must exist somewhere, no doubt, but the incidence is noise to the blaringly loud signal of domestic violence as a crime against women.”

    Whether women are harassing men or vice versa is immaterial. Laws have to be gender neutral to be fair.

    No doubt battering of wives exists. You cannot however, build a stereotype of a drunk husband and a battered wife and take to the extent of having draconian laws based on this presumption.

    If you want to know what I mean by draconian, read http://www.498a.org. There are plenty of men and their families being harassed by witches calling themselves women.

  7. ramki (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 12:44 pm

    I think Kanimozhi had told (many months back) that we should have a woman as the next president. But when queried on TN having a woman CM, she replied that JJ should be seen as a political leader rather than a woman and judged accordingly.

    Maybe Kanimozhi should also decide if she wants to be a Politician first or a Feminist first.

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