Tag Archives: People

Boundaries

9 Mar

~This is the first post in a series of posts I’ll be writing for People Against Violence Org

Certain issues around the globe have come to the attention of the average reader, for a few reasons. First for an awareness cause, and then also for the shock factor, but never purely for the sake of action. I’d like to posit that the two go hand in hand. You as the reader are potentially saying, “Of course.” But few people actually take the steps to take actions, posing the argument that they are powerless to do something, so awareness is the best aid they could possible give.

I don’t agree.

I was reading an article from The New York Times about the surprisingly high rates of violence against women the U.N. is still finding. Still. The article states that the evidence is ubiquitous, that despite the many “gains” for women in education, health and political power, violence against women and girls worldwide “persists at alarmingly high levels,” according to a United Nations analysis that the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to present to the General Assembly on Monday. 

The article goes on to explain that 35% of women worldwide (more than one in three) said they’d experienced violence of a physical nature in their lifetime. The report says that one in 10 girls under the age of 18 were forced violently to have sex. The topic is under heavy scrutiny as delegates gather at the U.N. to evaluate how well governments have done since their meeting in 1995 in Beijing, China.

Now, here are my thoughts on the subject; while strides are made, only those that have benefitted the middle class have even been remotely successful. Only those women with moderate amounts of money have benefitted from whatever regulations created. I know. I know it, because I lived in an apartment in Beijing, China, under a family who threw out their daughter-in law, simply because she said her husband, their son, was hurting her. BUT how could her husband, the man who brought them their “golden” grandson and the man who was their child beat their daughter-in law. Their logic therefore lead them to believe that their daughter was lying. Out she went.

The family eventually took her back. And then it was as if nothing had happened. I met her in the stair well and her face was vacant, resigned to what she’d have to live with for the rest of her life. Divorce is not popular in China, the woman is wrong. The common belief is that the violence against the women in the home was a problem that only concerned the family involved. Outside involvement mean the loss of face.

Cut to me here, sitting at my computer reading the article about the U.N. finding “alarmingly high” levels of violence against women, and I find a series of photographs:

Pittsburgh-based photographer Allaire Bartel’s series ‘Boundaries’ captures what it’s like to experience male entitlement from a female perspective. The model’s vacant expression alludes to how “how conditioned we as women have become to accept this atmosphere as excusable and even normal.” You can find more photography here.

In respect the above, it is no surprise to me that the U.N. is finding the amounts of violence “alarmingly” high. It’s due to the simple pure fact that we as woman have taken it to mean strength if we grin and bear it. The women who have a little power (money) have the confidence to say something, but even then, I believe they’d sugar coat it. Women who indentify with a lower standard of living, with no prospects, and rely on their husband’s family, have an added difficulty of clipped wings. In China such as, if a census were taken women would say they are treated properly, while most weren’t. The woman thrown out, couldn’t tell her friends, they’d say it was her fault, obviously she isn’t pleasing her family enough, that must be why he beats her. Right?

Of course that’s not right. But these are the facts. It’s going to take more than government sanctions to dim the amount of violence occurring against women. I’d posit, awareness, action, empowerment coupled with government sanctions. But that won’t be enough either if the violence stems from tradition, habit or mindset. The solution? I’d like to say I know. But honestly we’d have to answer the  two questions:

1. What goes deeper than government regulation?

2. How do you instil the want in people’s will to follow something which goes against tradition?

*Below you’ll see a three part poem “~toxic”, written about toxic relationships, and the confined space they create. 

IMG_4926

Poetry about a toxic relationship. Instagram: https://instagram.com/tmariadm/

Thank you and Good Afternoon.

Currently a new App is in the developmental stage, that will allow anyone to alert authorities should trouble arise. We are spreading #uAlert everywhere. Please see more by clicking here.

~TriciaMaria for People Against Violence Org

…expectations

25 Aug

I thought that when I had started this trip I would have been inspired to write tons and perceive insight from everything that I have learned so far. But as it is I am too caught up in the moments to stop and write something down.
Silly me, as a writer I should have already learnt to set aside time for the day to look back and reflect or think about something…anything. But alas I have not, my mind and soul are to free to stick to any regiment. Or perhaps I am just forgetful…perhaps that is the actual cause.
But here is what I have discovered about myself do far on this trip. That I need to calm down. Almost everyone I have met has told me that I’m a little uptight and need to let loose. Then I think to myself that of course I’m letting loose. Aren’t I here on this trip, learning and freeing my mind? But then to some people I am the over planner. I know exactly at what time things need to be done and at exactly what time I need to be somewhere.
I know my mother at this point would say, “There is nothing wrong with that.” and of course there isn’t but there is something wrong in not letting yourself go with a flow and see what happens. You never know who you will meet in your travels.

Staying at Jaisiyaram in Vrindavan…

I just finished having dinner at the ashram and it was delicious and silent too for that matter, because we were all busy eating.
The boys (various boys from families too poor to support them), sat in silence also at the other end of the table. Every once in a while I look over and smile at them and they smile back and shyly look down at their plates. They live here and go to school here, their life is here. And they are so excited by the simple things in life that it shakes my senses and almost stirs me to tears.

Yesterday I sat beside Naniji, and with my handy-dandy iPad asked her how she was that day. Well there must have been a mistake because when her grandson came to translate, she said to him “How can I tell her that I am 90+ years old?”
My foolish mistake in accidentally asking her how old she was…of course she was not embarrassed, but I was. But she lovingly patted my back and shook her head as if to say nothing shocked her anymore in this life.

What else have I learned here in this journey?

1. I’ve learned that no matter how hard you try you meet people, amazing people. They’re everywhere and are so ready to meet you and get to know you.
2. I’ve learned that fear and regret are only as big as you let them get, and no matter what the world spins and life goes on. So forget about fear and regret…move on with life and live it.
3. I’ve learned that even in the most chaotic places (like India) there is a rhyme and there is a reason, I’m just too foreign to see it.
4. Stress, when it plagues you…is obviously never a good thing~ duh.
5. Sing and smile while you work, it makes it more enjoyable even in the nastiest jobs. There is a man at the ashram who is always smiling, they call him Baboo (spelling). He serves our meals, and anyways, he is always quite the happy camper.
6. Be down. And by this I don’t mean on the ground…I mean be up for anything. Someone wants to try something new? Don’t say no, say yes and see what adventure you might have. You never know what will happen.

Hmmm that’s all I can think of thus far, but I will keep the list running, keep the thoughts flowing, and all that jazz. But until I do, here’s cheers from me in India 🙂

Jaisiyaram

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