Tag Archives: women

Vagina Party

I went to a vagina party Sunday night. A twist on “v-day celebrations,” it was a fundraiser for women’s issues in general, but more importantly, to help curb and destroy violence against women.

As I mentioned in a previous post, gang rape is up significantly. I saw on Twitter that — what? — a woman was kept for 40 days and raped by 41 men? Is that possible? It is, though I can’t say if it really happened. But more and more reports have been coming out. Sunday night I heard a staggering statistic — I was wearing only one of my hearing aids, so I don’t want to go spreading untruths if I heard the specifics wrong, but it was 1 in 7 women are…and 1 in 3 women are… — and these are only reported cases, of course. Who knows how many unreported cases there are.

Having just read The Tipping Point, the only thing I can think about is India has reached it. One Indian woman keeps tweeting with an #incessanthorror hashtag — and it is.

The night of the party my wife wasn’t feeling well, and I had purchased a “couples” ticket, so I tried to get my son to go with me. He declined. Apparently a vagina party doesn’t sound like much fun. And we didn’t know how appropriate it would be to have him there, but there were many kids attending. I would have liked him to have experienced Woman with a capital “W.”

Last week there was a soccer game, made up of boys only. After the game I was telling the losing team players that they had suffered from “best player syndrome;” the best player was down with a fever and so “of course they would lose.” It was all mental. A girl (who I don’t really know but have interacted a few times with — she seems extremely smart and will grow up to be a gorgeous woman) said a pretty intelligent something about why the team lost. One of the boys on the team said, “don’t listen to her, she doesn’t know anything.” She replied, “I know I’m not good at soccer but that doesn’t mean I don’t know anything.” My heart was crushed. It was awful to hear. I sort of scolded the boy and encouraged the girl. It’s typical at their age, sadly. And in the face of the recent violence against women, especially heartbreaking. I’ve said it before: women should be respected.

And so I wish my son, who was on the losing team, had come to the fundraiser. To see what the fuss was all about. I wish the boy who made that comment had also shown up. I hope the girl knows the strength of her gender. I hope when she grows up her inner and outer beauty remain unblemished.

A vagina party should not be necessary. But until it isn’t, I will continue to go to them.

The Rape of India

I have been thinking about the gang rape — and death — of an Indian woman on a local bus last month. The incident made international headlines. Tweets and Facebook posts abounded. An old middle school teacher of mine asked me about it, and I didn’t answer her; I didn’t know what to say.

I wish I could say it was an isolated incident. I wish I could say this is not the norm, that this is not India. The gang and death part may be atypical, but the rape part surely isn’t. A few weeks later another gang rape occurred on a local bus in Delhi. This incident, like many others perhaps, did not make headlines. I have been told that women should not be riding local buses in the big cities such as Delhi. Better take a scooter rickshaw or taxi.

18 years ago I was in India for seven months. During that time I and my traveling companions met up with a college group for a few weeks or so. One student, a woman, was taking a long-distance bus trip when she was sexually assaulted — if I remember the story correctly, gang raped.This may have been atypical in that it was a long-distance bus, but even then, foreign women traveling alone had to be careful for many reasons.

Mother India, they call it. Look at a map — they say the country is in the shape of a woman — wide hips, big thighs, legs together. A mother, demanding respect and reverence. Yet women in India, like in America, are not treated as equal to men. This has been going on for centuries of course, if not thousands of years. The practice of Sati, female infanticide, and other customs play a part in how women are treated today, even in the more Western big-city culture. The issue is bigger than a few women, bigger than all women. It symbolizes the rape of an entire country.

I won’t say perhaps the recent incident will start a revolution — I think the revolution has already begun, slowly, over time; however, perhaps the incident will move it into a faster gear. My skeptical side, which is not very strong — I am optimistic by nature, says that nothing will come of this. But I hope I am wrong.

Personally, I believe the female sex is the stronger sex. Men should stand in awe over women. Why shouldn’t a woman expect to be treated with respect, and why wouldn’t a man provide it?