On The Grounds Of Being A Woman

Posted on May 28, 2011 in Politics at Play

By Kriti Pal:

Res ipsa loquitur.

After all those years of wanting equality, wanting to thwart gender discrimination, wanting to be levelled with the males, this is what it comes down to? Kanimozhi’s arrest spurred a nationwide debate on whether she should be given special treatment on the grounds of being a woman? Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar were named co-conspirators in the 2G scam by the CBI. Both have been inmates of the Tihar Jail since May 20.

Kanimozhi’s lawyer Ram Jethmalani argued before the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in New Delhi that she should be granted bail as she was a woman and was not involved in the day to day operations of Kalaignar TV. She had approached the high court seeking relief citing the “need to look after her school-going child who is devoid of the care of his father working abroad.” Yeah, like there are no fathers in jail with children left alone at home.

This kind of request shows a clever hypocrisy. How we want to be treated equal to men but how the fact that we are fragile and vulnerable be put to use according to the circumstances. Especially for an urban woman who is educated and independent enough, this request comes as a real shocker. Her plea was rejected by the High Court.

It is, however, a fact that she’s not the first woman to be arrested. Thousands of women have been arrested in the past. The scene of their arrest, if not worse, has most certainly not been pleasant. Then be it the moral police pulling the women by their hair or Shiv Sena activists taking up the case of bar-tenders. Never has the kind of treatment those women received brought to notice. Sure her crime cannot be compared to that of a woman like Sadhna Praggya but corruption is a big one in itself. Ergo, she is as much of a criminal as the other women present with her in that 10 by 15 jail room.

I am a woman but if I ever become a part of some abomination, I’d never want people parading for me because I am that.

This case can also be put under the category of the oldest preferential treatment given in the book: The Royal Treatment. Why Kanimozhi is special is probably because why other actresses, politicians, entrepreneurs are special; because they belong to the high society (so to speak). Those things tend to trigger a partial treatment. And when the person’s a woman, it becomes a double bonanza.

The plight is pitiable nonetheless. After years and years of shouting in the name of ‘feminism’ if we cannot stay true to what we’ve said then it all goes down the drain. I hope the women who love to jump a line, get someone to do their work, or even get ahead of others on the basis of their gender are listening. It’s time to woman up to what we do, then be it touching the skies of success or accepting our follies.

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