#India – Tribal girls going under knife for virginity #Vaw #Patriarchy #WTFnews


Kelly Kislaya, TNN Apr 26, 2013,

RANCHI: Conservative India‘s preference for a blushing, untouched bride is now making a mark in tribal societies, where virginity was never really an issue in the past. Hymenoplasty, or hymen repair surgery, which has for long been popular among women in metros has made its way into the tribal heartland. Though there have been only four queries and two such operations in the city in the last two years, but it is definitely is a start of a new trend in this tribal-dominated city.

Dr Anant Sinha, a plastic surgeon and founder of Devkamal Hospital, the only place in Ranchi that offers hymenoplasty, said: “The first query regarding hymenoplasty came to me around two years ago, but I managed to convince the girl not to undergo the surgery. Since then, I have handled four such cases -I managed to discourage two girls, but had to perform surgery on the other two as they were adamant. The last operation I performed was in October 2012. It is a one hour procedure and costs Rs.15,000.”

Interestingly, three of these four girls were tribals. Sinha said: “I did not ask them too much about their background or why they wanted to get operated, but I did manage to convince one tribal and one non-tribal girl not to get operated. The two operations that I have performed were on tribal girls.”

Tribal girls opting for hymenoplasty has come as a surprise to many as virginity has never been an issue in the tribal society. Giridhariram Gaunjhu, former head of Ranchi University‘s tribal and regional languages department, said: “Tribal societies never questioned a girl’s purity. Many tribes practiced polyandry and promoted widow marriages even when they were taboo in the rest of the country. These girls who opted for hymenoplasty are exceptions and have been influenced by the so-called modern society.”

The influence Gaunjhu is talking about is evident on media and social networking sites, where posts like ‘In the year 2013, a virgin wife is more important than dowry’ are common and underline the message that a man always wants to be the first one to conquer the female’s body. Such messages only create pressure on youngsters to conform.

A 24-year-old girl said: “I have been a sportsperson all my life and my hymen might have ruptured. I just pray that I bleed when I have intercourse with my husband for the first time. This could just ruin my life.” Piyush Lakra, a 28-year-old, said: “One of my friends recently got married and all his friends asked him if his wife was a virgin.”

Sinha said: “Girls want to get hymen restored so that they bleed during their first sexual intercourse after marriage thus giving an impression of being a virgin. People fail to understand that hymen rupture has nothing to do with virginity. A hymen can rupture while doing excessive physical work or during sports like cycling, running or horse-riding.”

 

Does Facebook have a problem with women? #Vaw #WTFnews


Facebook insists there’s no place on its site for hate speech or content that is threatening or incites violence. So why do images that seem to glorify rape and domestic violence keep appearing?

Facebook

Does Facebook have a problem with women? The question has been around since 2011 when Eve Ensler and Ms Magazine drew attention to the social networking site’s failure to remove misogynistic images that seemed to glorify rape and domestic violence.

Then the issue came back again with users taking to Twitter in recent weeks to express their anger at Facebook’s refusal to remove images that tried to make a joke of rape. Two in particular were widely circulated. One showed a woman bound and gagged on a sofa and a caption that read: “It’s not rape. If she really didn’t want to, she’d have said something.” The second showed a condom, beneath the words “Plan A”; an emergency contraceptive pill, “Plan B“; and then “Plan C”, a man pushing a woman with a bloodied face down the stairs.

The site’s community standards state: “Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech.” What is not clear, in spite of several high-profile campaigns and a Change.org petition that garnered more than 200,000 signatures, is how it makes that distinction. Over the past few years, women say they have been banned from the site and seen their pages removed for posting images of cupcakes iced like labia, pictures of breastfeeding mothers and photographs of women post-mastectomy.

Yet images currently appearing on the site include a joke about raping a disabled child, a joke about sex with an underage girl and image after image after image of women beaten, bloodied and black-eyed in graphic domestic violence “jokes”. There are countless groups with names such as “Sum sluts need their throats slit” and “Its Not ‘rape’ If They’re Dead And If They’re Alive Its Surprise Sex”. One of the worst images I came across in a brief search shows a woman’s flesh, with the words “Daddy f*cked me and I loved it” carved into it in freshly bleeding wounds.

A Facebook spokesperson insisted: “There is no place on Facebook for hate speech or content that is threatening or incites violence.”

Jules Hillier, executive director of policy and communications at Brook, the young people’s sexual health charity, says: “Social media can be brilliant, giving young women and young men a space for debate and discussion and giving organisations such as ours a route to provide information and advice. But it’s a double-edged sword. I only wish that facts and support circulated half as fast as myths, misinformation, bullying and abuse, all of which social media also opens up opportunities for.”

When I contacted Facebook to get a comment on the two images circulating on Twitter, the entire page (charmingly named “Butthurt? well. GET the FUCK OUT”) had been removed by the time they rang back. A spokesperson said it was not because the images contravened its terms, but because the administrator had failed to publicly associate his or her profile with the page. I can find no mention of this requirement in Facebook’s community standards, and it hardly mitigates the publication of such material anyway.

When I asked if the banned cupcake images could have been removed in error by an automated image scanner, the spokesperson said it was very unlikely. So it was a human decision to ban the image of a cupcake. Just as it is a human decision to allow pages such as “Teen SLUT pics” to continue to publish images of very young-looking girls, with no evidence they gave consent for their photographs to be used.

“We take reports of questionable and offensive content very seriously,” said the Facebook spokesperson. “However, we also want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others. Groups or pages that express an opinion on a state, institution, or set of beliefs – even if that opinion is outrageous or offensive to some – do not by themselves violate our policies.”

There is a common argument that these pages are “harmless”, and those who do not like them should simply not look at them. But anyone whose friend “likes” one of these images can find it popping up without warning in their newsfeed timeline. Each image normalises gender-based violence, sending the message to both victims and perpetrators that ours is a culture that doesn’t take it seriously.

Feminist writer and activist Soraya Chemaly says: “It’s not about censorship in the end. It’s about choosing to define what is acceptable. Facebook clearly accepts representations of some forms of violence, namely violence against women, as qualitatively different from others.”

The Facebook spokesperson said: “It’s not Facebook’s job to define what is acceptable. We work hard to keep our users from direct harm, but in the end, censorship is not the solution to bad online behaviour or offensive beliefs. Having the freedom to debate serious issues like this is how we fight prejudice.”

For those who believe there is no relation between the treatment and perception of women in the real world and the cultural norms promoted by the most used social networking site on the planet, here is a selection of comments. Some are from those “harmless” Facebook pages. Some are from real women’s experiences, reported to the Everyday Sexism Project. And some are examples of the abuse that I have received, as a woman daring to write about women online.

“You have a choice to have sex, I have the choice to rape you.”

“If you don’t stop giving me shit I’ll pay four of my friends to gang rape you.”

“Go ahead, call the cops – they can’t un-rape you.”

“The only reason you have been put on this planet is so we can fuck you. Please die.”

Can you tell the difference?

 

• Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project

 

Dharmadhikari panel wants curbs on FB, mobile phones #Vaw #Censorship #WTFnews


Rosy Sequeira TNN

Third Interim Report Submitted To High Court 
Mumbai: The Dharmadhikari committee, in its third interim report to the state government, has suggested restrictions on social networking sites as they “corrupt adolescents”. 
A copy of the January 16, 2013, report with 31 recommendations was submitted to a Bombay high court division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anoop Mohta on Thursday. The committee, headed by retired high court judge Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, was constituted by the government to recommend measures to curb atrocities against women.
The panel has recommended enlisting men who train at akhadas and gymnasiums for protection of women. “This must be given serious thought,’’ it said.
The report in Marathi says there should be restrictions on “networking, Facebook, mobile phone and vulgar and indecent conversations and exchange of pictures”. The trend has increased among adolescents, which has been revealed by a recent survey, the report said. Another measure to ensure women’s safety, it said, would be to publish and upload on websites names and details of people convicted by courts for atrocities on women.
It suggested putting up such details on an independent website and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. “This is mainly to create awareness and prohibit such crimes,” the panel said.
The committee also recommended prosecution of those who witness atrocities but do nothing. The report said some people do not inform the police on helplines and remain mute spectators, which helps criminals. “Being a mute spectator is a crime. Such persons should be considered as accused and similar provisions should be in the law to consider them as so. It seems crimes take place due to silent consent of such people,’’ it said. The report stated that the Constitution mentions that it is the duty of every Indian to protect women. It recommended amending section 39 (public to give information of certain offences) of the CrPC and sections 177 (furnishing false information) and 202 (intentional omission to give information by person bound to inform) of the IPC.
Also suggested was a ban on advertisements depicting women indecently. The committee mooted an independent authority to ensure laws are implemented.
It suggested thought be giving to one-sided talaaq, as expressed by the SC and it felt political parties should not give tickets to candidates involved in offences against women.
DHARMADHIKARI REPORT IN HC

•The Dharmadhikari panel, appointed by the state to suggest steps to ensure women’s protection, has submitted its third interim report

•It wants curbs on networking sites like Facebook, cell phones, vulgar chats and sharing of photos as they “corrupt adolescents’’

•Says details of people convicted for atrocities against women should be uploaded on websites

• Suggests law to make stalking and blackmailing serious offences

Maha govt tells court it is making women feel safer 
Mumbai: The Maharashtra government told the Bombay high court on Thursday that it was taking steps to make women feel safer and said now there was a central ordinance making offences, including molestation, assault and even stalking, non-bailable.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anoop Mohta was hearing a clutch of public interest litigation for the safety of women. Advocate-general Darius Khambata submitted that Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 promulgated on February 3, 2013, has made several Indian Penal Code sections non-bailable.
Advocate Rajiv Chavan for Help Mumbai Foundation earlier told the court that the third interim report of the Dharmadhikari committee has been submitted and was under the government’s consideration. “This period should not be too long,’’ he added.
Khambata submitted that counseling centres have been established, including helpdesks in offices, of the commissioner and superintendent of police. To the court’s query on whether people manning the desks were sensitive enough, he replied that the government was trying its best but cannot guarantee the behaviour of individuals. “In a given case, if any complaint is brought to our notice, we’ll replace such persons,’’ said Khambata.
The judges have asked the government to state how many women officers are there in police stations across Maharashtra. They have also asked the railways to state why it was unwilling to pay the state for women home guards to be deployed on railway stations, pending recruitment in the RPF. The next hearing is on February 28.

Fatwa prohibits uploading photos on matrimonial, social networking sites #WTFnews #censorship


Twitter

Agencies : Bareilly, Fri Dec 21 2012, ,IE

An organisation of Sunni Muslim clerics here have termed as ‘haraam‘ the uploading of photos on the internet for matrimonial purpose and on social networking sites.

The fatwa issued by Madarsa Manzar-e-Islam of Dargah Aala Hazrat came in response to a question posed by a man from Kanpur.

He had asked whether it was appropriate according to Islamic laws to post pictures on matrimonial and social

networking sites.

Mufti Syed Mohammad Kafeel replied that this action would be considered ‘haraam’. However, he said bio-data could be posted on the internet without photo.

Imam of Shahi Jama Masjid Mufti Khurshid Alam said a fatwa of Mufti Azam Hind was already available in which he has termed photos without necessity as ‘haraam’.

He, however, said a photo can be used for passport and other application forms wherever it is necessary.

 

Ethical hacker tells how to beat censorship


 

Ankit Farida author of the book 'How to unlock everything on the internet" released the book ,in Hyderabad on Tuesday. - Photo G. Krishnaswamy.

 

Ask Mr Ankit Fadia, the 26-year-old ethical hacker, to sign his book for you, he would scribble ‘Happy Hacking’ before signing it. For him, hacking is ethical and a tool to settle scores if someone restricts your freedom. He feels that it is like arming the disarmed.

If Government or any private or public agency tries to restrict Internet access, Mr Ankit says, “you need not lose heart. You need not keep mum and suffer silently.” It is an antidote for censorship, which he feels, not fair.

“You can always press ‘undo’ button in such cases and enjoy surfing whatever way you and get connected with the world,” Mr Ankit, who wrote his book when he was 14, said.

He is part of E-Secure, a security consultancy firm that hacks into companies’ networks (after it is engaged for the job) to highlight the chinks in the armour. The firm has advised 50 companies so far.

In Hyderabad on Tuesday to promote his latest book How to unblock everything on the Internet, there is nothing on the Internet that can be blocked. The book, his 15th one till date, contains information on how to unblock the blocked sites.

Censorship

Referring to recent moves by the Government to force social networking sites to pre-screen the content before it gets published, he said cyber laws would do to tackle unlawful activities.

“Putting restrictions on sensitive information is okay. I am against all other restrictions. You can always pull up the wrong guy and put him to task,” he said.

Ethical hacking could be a good career option.

“There are good guys and bad boys out there. Knowledge is like a knife, it all depends on how you use it,” he said.

 

Source- Hindu Businessline , Jan 31, 2012

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