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Archives for : October2013

THE ILLUSION OF MARRIAGE – WHY MEN NOW HAVE MORE CHOICES THAN EVER BEFORE

THE SYSTEM HAS TURNED MORE & MORE MEN AWAY FROM THE UNION OF MARRIAGE BECAUSE OF THE CHOICES AVAILABLE TO THEM NOW

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It seems that fewer and fewer people in general are getting married these days, and even fewer men seem interested. Men no longer see marriage as being as important as they did even 15 years ago. “According to Pew Research Center, the share of women ages eighteen to thirty-four that say having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in their lives rose nine percentage points since 1997–from 28 percent to 37%. For men, the opposite occurred. The share voicing this opinion dropped, from 35 percent to 29 percent.” Why?

In the course of researching my new book, Men On Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – And Why It Matters, I talked with men all over America about why they’re avoiding marriage. It turns out that the problem isn’t that men are immature, or lazy. Instead, they’re responding rationally to the incentives in today’s society. Here are some of the answers I found.

1. You’ll lose respect. A couple of generations ago, a man wasn’t considered fully adult until he was married with kids. But today, fathers are figures of fun more than figures of respect: The schlubby guy with the flowered diaper bag at the mall, or one of the endless array of buffoonish TV dads in sitcoms and commercials. In today’s culture, father never knows best. It’s no better in the news media. As communications professor James Macnamara reports, “by volume, 69 percent of mass media reporting and commentary on men was unfavorable, compared with just 12 percent favorable and 19 percent neutral or balanced.”

2. You’ll lose out on sex. Married men have more sex than single men, on average – but much less than men who are cohabiting with their partners outside of marriage, especially as time goes on. Research even suggests that married women are more likely to gain weight than women who are cohabiting without marriage. Men’s Health article mentioned one study that followed 2,737 people for six years and found that cohabiters said they were happier and more confident than married couples and singles.

3. You’ll lose friends. “Those wedding bells are breaking up that old gang of mine.” That’s an old song, but it’s true. When married, men’s ties with friends from school and work tend to fade. Although both men and women lose friends after marriage, it tends to affect men’s self-esteem more, perhaps because men tend to be less social in general.

4. You’ll lose space. We hear a lot about men retreating to their “man caves,” but why do they retreat? Because they’ve lost the battle for the rest of the house. The Art of Manliness blog mourns “The Decline of Male Space,” and notes that the development of suburban lifestyles, intended to bring the family together, resulted in the elimination of male spaces in the main part of the house, and the exile of men to attics, garages, basements – the least desirable part of the home. As a commenter to the post observes: “There was no sadder scene to a movie than in ‘Juno’ when married guy Jason Bateman realized that in his entire huge, house, he had only a large closet to keep all the stuff he loved in. That hit me like a punch in the face.”

5. You could lose your kids, and your money. And they may not even be your kids. Lots of men I spoke with were keenly aware of the dangers of divorce, and worried that if they were married and it went sour, the woman might take everything, including the kids. Other men were concerned that they might wind up paying child support for kids who aren’t even theirs – a very real possibility in many states. On my blog, I polled over 3200 men to ask how they would react to finding out that a child wasn’t theirs after all. 32 percent said they would feel “anger and fury at the mother,” 6 percent said they would feel “depression,” 18 percent said “anger and depression,” 2 percent said “none of the above,” 32 percent said “angry at the system that forced them to pay,” and only 2 percent “didn’t care.” One man commented that his ex-wife had taunted him with the knowledge that his 11-year old son wasn’t actually his: “I was angry at the mother…I severed all ties to the boy. Some may see this as a failing. I see it as self-preservation, and to those that ask the question of whether or not the courts will make a non-biological parent pay child support, pay attention: YES THEY WILL! They see you as nothing more than a source of cash for the child. It seems that a person in these situations should be able to sue the real father for child support.”

6. You’ll lose in court. Men often complain that the family court legal system is stacked against them, and in fact it seems to be. Women gain custody and child support the majority of the time, as pointed out in this ABC News article: “Despite the increases in men seeking and receiving alimony, advocates warn against linking the trend to equality in the courtroom. Family court judges still tend to favor women, said Ned Holstein, the founder of Fathers & Families, a group advocating family court reform. “‘Family court still gives custody overwhelmingly to mothers, child support overwhelmingly to mothers, and courts still give almony overwhelmingly to mothers and women,’ he said. ‘The family courts came into existence years ago in order to give things to mothers that mothers needed,” he said. ‘The times have changed and the courts have not.’”

7. You’ll lose your freedom. At least, if you’re charged with child support that you can’t pay, you can be put in jail – and if you can’t afford a lawyer, you don’t have the right to have one appointed because, according to the Supreme Court, it’s technically a civil matter, never mind the jail time. Fathers and Families found that it’s the men who are jailed rather than women: “A new report concludes that between 95% and 98.5% of all incarcerations in Massachusetts sentenced from the Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts from 2001 through 2011 have been men. Moreover, this percentage may be increasing, with an average of 94.5% from 2001 to 2008, and 96.2% from 2009 through 2011. It is likely that most of these incarcerations are for incomplete payment of child support. Further analysis suggests that women who fail to pay all of their child support are incarcerated only one-eighth as often as men with similar violations.”

8. Single life is better than ever. While the value of marriage to men has declined, the quality of single life has improved. Single men were once looked on with suspicion, passed over for promotion for important jobs, which usually valued “stable family men,” and often subjected to social opprobrium. It was hard to have a love life that wasn’t aimed at marriage, and premarital sex was risky and frowned upon. Now, no one looks askance at the single lifestyle, dating is easy, and employers probably prefer employees with no conflicting family responsibilities. Plus, video games, cable TV, and the Internet provide entertainment that didn’t used to be available. Is this good for society? Probably not, as falling birth rates and increasing single-motherhood demonstrate. But people respond to incentives. If you want more men to marry, it needs to be a more attractive proposition.

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WHAT TYPES OF WOMEN SCARE OFF MEN HIGHLIGHTED IN THIS VIDEO

LADIES DO NOT BECOME ONE OF THESE WOMEN…

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Henry Sapiecha

WHY FEWER MEN WISH NOW TO GET MARRIED-VIDEO SHOWS

IF WOMEN WANT MEN TO GET MARRIED, THE MALES NEED NOW TO MORE THAN EVER BE GIVEN A HIGH UPSIDE TO THE PROPOSAL AS THEY HAVE TOO MANY MORE OPTIONS BECAUSE THE SYSTEM FOR MEN IN A MARRIAGE UNION IS FAVOURED TOWARDS WOMEN

A VISUAL VIDEO EXPLANATION ON WHY MEN DO NOT WANT TO GET MARRIED

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Henry Sapiecha

THE INSEMINATING OF A MAID BY WOMAN WITHOUT HUSBANDS CONSENT

Women have rights with baby issues, but should this be against the law??

sperm image www.goodgirlsgo.com

A New Zealand woman has been accused of secretly injecting her husband’s sperm into the couple’s maid, in a bizarre Dubai court case.

Dubai-based Egyptian businessman Mohammad Fouad has sued his wife, whose name has been suppressed, for injecting sperm into their Filipina housemaid’s womb, Gulf News reports.

Mr Fouad said his wife carried out the procedure secretly, taking his sperm to the hospital where she worked, without his knowledge.

The couple met in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and married in 2008 in Auckland.

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The New Zealand woman found she could not conceive, and arranged with Fouad to have a baby through surrogacy.

Fouad said because surrogacy was illegal in the UAE, they decided to find a woman outside the country.

As the couple searched for a surrogate, the New Zealand woman hired a maid, who moved into the couple’s home in 2010.

In March that year, the New Zealand woman asked for Fouad’s sperm, and took it to her workplace at the hospital for “testing”.

“She took the sperm on four separate occasions. A few weeks later I left for Egypt,” Mr Fouad said.

When he returned, the maid was visibly pregnant, he said.

“I was aghast … when [my wife] blurted out the truth. Here was my wife who had used my sperm to impregnate a woman she had hired to do our dishes. And she did it behind my back.”

Mr Fouad claimed his wife had signed a contract with the maid, and tried to get him to sign it as well. He said he refused because it was illegal.

His wife allegedly told Mr Fouad she would make sure the baby was born in New Zealand to avoid prison time for the maid and the unborn child.

In December 2010, the maid gave birth to a baby girl at an Al Ain hospital.

When she gave the New Zealand woman a written consent to adopt the child, the Kiwi refused to take the child.

Mr Fouad said he got the child an Egyptian passport and sent her to a third family in Egypt.

“There was nothing else that I could have done as I cannot look after her on my own,” he said.

“Since her biological mother is unmarried, the local health authorities refused to issue a birth certificate.

“Eventually I had to prove my paternity through DNA testing and get the certificate issued through the court.”

New Zealand’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) said it was aware of the case, but could not confirm “the veracity of the claims being made”.

“The New Zealand consulate Dubai provided notarial services as part of a consent for adoption process,” MFAT spokesman Adham Crichton said.

“It is not the function of New Zealand embassies or consulates to authorise surrogacy agreements.”

Mr Crichton said the ministry could not release any more details for privacy reasons.

 Fairfax New Zealand

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Henry Sapiecha

THE WOMAN POWER OF 49%

WOMEN VOTING AS A BLOCK CAN ENFORCE CHANGE WORLD WIDE

Comprising 49 per cent of the electorate, Indian women could easily skew the general elections any which way they like, says Averil Nunes.

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Women form 48.46 per cent (as per the 2011 Census) of the largest democracy in the world. How does that translate into 11 per cent elected representatives in the Lok Sabha (as per PRS Legislative Research) and a mere 14 per cent of women in senior management positions (as per the Grant Thornton 2012 International Business Report)? We could blame patriarchy, we could debate the reservations policy, or we could do something to change the status quo.

“Work as a block, vote as a block,” suggests actress and activist Gul Panag. “Dalits vote as a block, Hindus vote as a block, Muslims vote as a block, Communists vote as a block. Why can’t women vote as a block to effect change?” The question then becomes, can women unite despite the diverse cultural, communal, regional, and religious beliefs that often define their identities? We’re skeptical on that front.

“We want women to understand the power of their vote and to use it wisely, based on how political parties respond to their issues. Women’s votes in India usually go to the party that the men in the family vote for, but the issues women face are different from those that men face. Logically, there is no reason for women to always vote with the man. The Power of 49 campaign is also a message to politicians, that women can make or break them, because in India they form the single largest voting block,” explains Vikram Grover, Vice President, Tata Global Beverages (TGB), the company branded by the popular Jaago Re campaign.

Yet, is there a party or even a single candidate with a vision to change the way things work for women in this country? The candidacy of women in the general elections has been less than 10 per cent in the past. Should more women be contesting the elections? “Women would certainly be better leaders. They are far more caring, compassionate, patient and non-violent than men,” says socio-political activist Sudheendra Kulkarni. “They have proven their capability through the one/third reservations at the Panchayat level. There are 1.5 million women representatives in local self-governing bodies. Through micro-finance and self-help organisations, they are already making a difference to their families and communities. But the shackles—family restraints as well as gender biases in political parties—need to be broken for women to play an active role in public life.”

The idealistic Jaago Re campaigns are generally followed up with practical measures. For instance, a voting campaign prior to the 2009 elections led to over six lakh voter registrations on Jaagore.com. Another Jaago Re anti-corruption campaign “Khilana band, pilana shuru”, resulted in two lakh people pledging never to bribe again. And then, there’s the famous, “Bade badlav ke liye, choti shuruvat” ad released on Women’s Day, 8 March 2013, where Shah Rukh Khan vows to list women before men in his movie credits. An oath he honoured with the Chennai Express credits. Will the Power of 49 campaign make a difference to the women of India before the upcoming general elections? As cause partner for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) 2013, the campaign garnered a lot of support from the stars of India’s favourite city, Bollywood.

Chances are these stars will come out to make the Power of 49 come alive, in the run up to the elections. The plans are hush-hush for now. So we’ll have to wait and watch. Or better still, apply our minds on ways to take the Power of 49 from concept to reality.

The Paradox
Women form 48.46% (as per the 2011 Census)of the largest democracy in the world. How does that translate into 11% elected representatives in the Lok Sabha (as per PRS Legislative Research) and a mere 14% of Indian women in senior management positions (as per the Grant Thornton 2012 International Business Report)?

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Henry Sapiecha

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THREE PROFESSIONAL WOMEN IN INDIA SHARE THEIR SUCCESSES WITH YOU HERE

THESE WOMEN GIVE THEIR OPINIONS ON MATTERS OF CONCERN TO ALL WOMEN

Aishwarya Nair
Corporate Food & Wine Consultant
The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts(Mumbai)

Aishwarya Nair

Women make excellent leaders because they communicate effectively and have more patience than men who bring more resilience and assertiveness to the table. In my opinion, it would be wrong to compare the sexes. Both women and men have their own strengths and shortcomings.

The food and wine department in the hotel industry usually features fewer women due to the long hours the job demands. I am an extremely positive person and tend to use my challenges as opportunities. This gives me the ability to let my skills do the talking. A glass ceiling does exist, but definitely not for me. There are several women who do not get top jobs like men do. Even statistics show that women don’t get paid as much for doing the same work. However, there are a growing number of women putting this trend to rest across different industries, which is encouraging. Values such as being true to oneself and always being willing to listen to others have been instrumental in shaping my life.

Honesty, getting straight to the point, and politeness are virtues that I hold dear. Life has taught me never to take myself too seriously.  Success is turning my ideas into reality while gaining respect from the people who matter to me the most. And to achieve that, I closely follow three mantras: persistence, speed and imagination! Habits shape your road to success. I believe in being proactive, and using synergy to create win-win situations. I maintain a positive attitude and face challenges by always looking at the bigger picture.

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Devita Saraf
CEO, Vu Technologies (Mumbai)

Devita Saraf

Leadership depends on personal talent, capability, and sometimes situations. Leadership is gender neutral. The biggest challenge in being a young woman in a man’s world is that there is difference in energy levels. Men have more physical energy and can put in longer hours without burning out. The rest depends on the  industry you work in and your personality. It’s very easy for my male subordinates to take orders from me. I am a decisive leader with vision and discipline. I am driven by values that teach me to constantly look forward and innovate. Also, I don’t work with people or companies where there isn’t mutual respect. Kindness is one virtue that is more important than confidence, intelligence and personality; it is your kindness that will make people want to work with you. This doesn’t mean you are a pushover, it just shows your consideration towards employees, customers and suppliers without getting a bad deal.

I am constantly learning to re-invent myself. I get bored easily and I am driven by the idea of being a new Devita every 2-3 years. To me, success is making my parents proud and comfortable. The success mantra that I live by is—however far you’ve come, you can always go further. In times of adversities, I allow myself to wallow and vent. Then I snap out of it and take action. I stay calm during panicky situations. Habits are important to climb the success ladder. I believe in being proactive. Even on the dullest day, I do not wait for things to happen, I make them happen.

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Apurva Purohit
CEO Radio City,
91.1 FM (Mumbai)

Apurva Purohit

I think both men and women have unique skills and capabilities as leaders. In a woman-led organisation, younger women, who see role models in their women leaders, feel more confident of holding on to their career than giving up. I believe that women need to feel empowered and realise that they are as capable as men. This can only happen when you treat them on par and have the high expectations of them. There is always a way to understand and work around different types of people and different genders. Ultimately if you are a leader with sound strategic sense, great implementation and team building skills, and can create an enabling culture, it doesn’t matter what your gender is, you will be respected across the board.

I strongly believe there is no substitute for hard work and perseverance. I believe in being grounded and having a strong in-built moral compass which guides you in separating right from wrong.

My success formula is simple. Focus on the critical drivers for the business, teach the team to manage the rest and play with a straight bat! Create an empowering and fair culture and make your people the central focus of your strategy. Balance strategy and implementation equally and take decisions quickly. Everything else will fall into place. We face challenges big and small all the time. The way to deal with them is to not get into a victim mentality but to look at them positively and with a solution-seeking mindset.

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Henry Sapiecha

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INDIAN WOMEN’S LOT IN INDIA EXPOSED

India A Dangerous Place to Be a Woman BBC     documentary 2013 Video

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Henry Sapiecha

GOOD GIRLS DON’T DANCE…!! A FILM FOR THE MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL

Oh really? Padmalatha Ravi’s 15-minute documentary presents prejudice at its worst. Rama Sreekant attempts to decipher the ‘good girl’ checklist.

Padmalatha Ravi

16 December 2012 is a black date in Indian history. Angry voices, national outrage, high decibel prime-time debates and a case that set a precedent on how the judiciary responds to cases of rape. It was not the first rape we, as a nation, witnessed; it was not the last either. While most of us engaged in online rants, armchair conversations and dinner-table discussions, Bangalore-based Padmalatha Ravi decided to walk the talk.

GOOD BUT BAD
A journalist, by profession, Padmalatha who has written extensively on gender-related issues, was pushed to the brink after the Delhi rape. That the pen is mightier than the sword may be true but Padmalatha wanted a voice for her words, a voice that would question the stereotypes, the moral policing and the misogynist attitudes. “The debate on whether the victim was right in stepping out at night that too with a man she was not related to, was loud. I had to understand why this was so, hence the film,” she says.

Good Girls Don’t Dance, a 15-minute documentary, is Padmalatha’s first independent crowd-sourced film that questions the notions of society’s reactions to sexual harassment, molestation and rape.

Released earlier this year, the film attempts to understand why victim-blaming is so rampant. It explores how individuals define  ‘good girl’ and ‘bad girl’ through interviews with 45 people from Bangalore, across age groups, social and economic backgrounds.

The list to check off while attempting to be a “good girl” is long. But the don’ts outnumber the dos. “The conversations in the film will tell you that our reactions depend on whether the woman is considered good or bad. Notions of good and bad are ruled by morality and patriarchy, which are so deeply entrenched we don’t even realize it,” says Padmalatha.

THE BLAME GAME
Long after the Delhi and Shakti Mills rapes, questions like ‘Why did she go out so late in the night, what was she wearing?’ are still being asked. And being asked by the fairer sex, as well. In a recent interview, actress Gul Panag had categorically stated, “Women, in India, are their own worst enemy.” But Padmalatha refuses to understand the urgency to blame women for their own plight. Women, she says, are a part of the same society that has confined them to gender stereotypes for several ages. In her opinion, the question to ask is, “When will men realise that women are people too; and that women need not be a means to show off their machismo?”

Just like the hijab has, in France, a special power to inflame public debate, in India too, what women should wear has been a point of argument, for decades. Can clothes  really be a yardstick of virtue? Padmalatha firmly believes that this is the biggest myth that has been perennially recycled. “Sexual violence is never about lust, it is about power and domination. It will happen no matter what clothes women do or do not wear, as long as the man thinks it is normal to subjugate a woman,” she explains. Campaigns such as Pink Chaddi and Sampat Pal’s Gulabi Gang were born of these attitudes.

While both movements garnered an equal amount of brickbats and bouquets, they have often been trivialised by pseudo-moral conformists. More recently, actor Kalki Koechlin and VJ Juhi Pandey hammered home with a satirical online video, Rape, it’s my fault!, which lamented the deep-seated patriarchal belief system wherein women are invariably held responsible for inviting sexual harassment. Sustained campaigning is the need of the hour, according to Padmalatha. Many outspoken traditionalists have openly declared that women should cover themselves, not go out after sunset, be ‘good girls’ and obey other moral bindings.

It’s a matter of perspective, she says. “Many of the dance forms that we are so proud of today were once considered immoral. In the early days, only Devdasis and courtesans performed, not women from ‘decent families’. Today, we respect artists and revere their art forms,” she elaborates.

Good Girls Don’t Dance, was recently nominated to be a part of the Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival. While it didn’t win an award, Padmalatha was moved to see that, “young women took away the fact that you cannot be blamed for what you are wearing.” She now plans to have screenings of the film at various colleges and start a sustained discussion. While a well-known college in Bangalore turned her down, “because the subject was too controversial,” Padmalatha continues to be hopeful.

When will men realize that women are people too and that women need not be a means to show off their machismo? — Padmalatha Ravi

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Henry Sapiecha