So, today I shared a wonderful statement of solidarity written by a student in the Indian American community. It outlines how there are Indians in the US who stay neutral, or even try to distances themselves from other minorities that are not “models” – and that instead, we should all stand in solidarity against all minority-phobias. I was excited that she had articulated the statement so powerfully, and wanted to share it widely.
At around the same time, ironically, a certain Indian immigrant to the US that I know posted this on Facebook:
Women can finally now use their maiden names in their passports in India, and all this person could think to compare that to is to autocratic countries that require males to sign consent documentation for women to travel/etc.? Since when has comparing to the worst ever meant that you are doing well (doesn’t it usually mean you’re doing pretty badly, when all you can compare to is the worst in a distribution?)
And why, oh why, the need to make veiled insults at “that other” – those Muslim countries (by the way, not all, and by the way, go to certain cities in certain Middle Eastern/Muslim-majority countries and you’ll see gender norms and treatment far more advanced than that in Delhi, for example).
Why in the WORLD should we compare the advancement of women’s freedoms in one place to another in the first place? So like, if the government hypothetically used to beat women and now the prime minister said that was no longer allowed, would we then say “less violence against women, delighted. ps: far better than countries where systematized killing of women is happening!” How ridiculous.
It enrages me that this is seen to be another “move” in a competition of who’s best and most powerful, one religion somehow claiming it can trump another. Come on. It’s about universal, basic equality that women in India were supposed to have in the first place, and they’re “getting the right” to put their maiden names in their passports in 2017.