The article “In search of the ordinary woman” (Oct. 11) is right in saying an ordinary woman is normally quiet and docile. Discrimination stems from the fact that a woman is not considered a human being. She is a sexual object, a commodity in the eyes of men. Parents do not want to empower their daughters. Judges are biased in men’s favour.

Family may be a fundamental social unit, but it certainly cannot be a place where violence and harassment of women takes place. It should be a place where love and joy are shared. Till such time as the patriarchal mindset changes, an ordinary woman will remain a soft target at home, on the way to work, and in the workplace.

Aarti Verma,

Jaipur

An ordinary woman is much better than an ordinary man in terms of perseverance, hard work, will power and commitment. We become aggressive in our thoughts when crimes against women take place and discuss the punishment the perpetrators deserve. But we do not address the causative factors, societal mindset being the biggest among them. Indian society is reluctant to empower women.

Prashant Katiyar,

Ghaziabad

Movies and advertisements use women as glamorous dolls and commodify them to make profits. Such portrayal reinforces the stereotype that women are born to satisfy the urges of men. In such a society, a woman is considered “successful” only when she is able to bear the brunt of cruelty by her own family.

Any law that tries to bring about social change is prone to be abused. That must not stop the state from bringing in the necessary change in society.

Madhavi Obbani,

Hyderabad

Much hype is created in society and legal circles that laws are misused by women. In fact, it is far from true. Even today, it is the bride whose family pays a huge dowry. Many cases of domestic violence start with a demand for more dowry.

M.V.R. Prasada Rao,

Visakhapatnam

Everyone wants women to be respected and treated with honour and dignity. But most of us fail to respect the rights of our life partners, mothers and daughters. We treat them as dependents and a piece of property that can be used as per our whims. We have a culture that does not respect an assertive, independent woman.

A woman who suffers in silence is more welcome than the one who severs her relationship with her abusive marital home. We have imprisoned women in the so-called culture of great India.

Chavali Indra Reddy,

Hyderabad

Indian women are normally less proactive due to the fear of social stigma. Many women do not know about Section 498A or any similar law meant to come to their rescue in times of need. Most incidents of harassment remain unaddressed mainly due to the silence of women or their family members.

C.P. Velayudhan Nair,

Kochi

It is well known that women who actually suffer have no access to the law. Very few women who come to the court have genuine grievances, and a sizeable proportion involves cases in which the establishment of guilt remains unsettled.

As for the argument that arrest of senior citizens under Section 498A was only 3.95 per cent, at the preliminary stage of enquiry, all parents are involved. They have to undergo equal insult at the hands of police even if they are not at fault.

Nitin Bhagat,

New Delhi

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