Monthly Archives: October 2010

Social Network ; A review and some sociology

Why then is this movie important?  It is important because it chronicles not so much the technological revolution, but the desperate need for connectivity, for social networks on the part of millions of people, both in America and elsewhere in the early 21rst century. It aptly diagnoses the desperation of the young, the desperate need to be wanted, to be liked, to be ‘friended’.  In a world that lacks love, people will settle for ‘like’ or even just ‘connection’.  But when socializing and even sex becomes just ‘connectivity’ it has been cheapened and trivialized out of all recognition.  It has turned something beautiful into something sad and tawdry, and meaningless.  The paradox chronicled in this movie is in a world of ever increasing connection, there seems to be less and less real love.

Ben Witherington’s review of the Facebook movie. ‘Let’s Face It’– “Social Network” is stimulating.

A story about the founders of the social-networking website, Facebook. Who would pass a chance to keep in touch with long lost friends? But what is it that drives people to display their friendships- traditionally a private affair, for all the world to see is something worth thinking over. I doubt that all of social networking can be attributed to a desire to be loved, but familial bonds and community support is nothing like it used to be.  Keeping that in mind, looking outside families and communities for support is not surprising.

Other reasons why facebook and social networking is so popular are

1. People are capital, the number of friends on FB, the number or and quality of connections on linkedin etc point toward your social worth.

2. Information is capital – it has now become absolutely necessary to keep up with the world.  If you are not “in the know” then you are not important/cool/hip anymore.

3. Everyone is an expert We love showing off our expertise, be it in selecting the best youtube video for our friends or posting the best limerick. On facebook, we have something of a captive audience, and posting cool stuff goes a long way to building our street cred.

4. Connecting with people is fun! let us not be too cynical and technical, I certainly enjoy knowing what my friend in the Netherlands is up to, even if don’t actively stalk her profile.

What do you say?

Has Feminism failed Women?

Feminism is failing in the war against women says Virginia Haussegger in a thought provoking article.

She writes

There is a totalizing ideology on the march across the world, and it’s anti-women. This is not about religion, piety or virtue. Rather it’s about misogyny and a global war against women. It’s about the rights and freedoms of women. The ownership and control over women’s bodies has become the chief battleground.

Examples abound that all the increase in salaries of women in the corporate world has not addressed what happens under the untouchable umbrella of social customs and cultural practices.

In India, we have more than enough of this happening. From governments being mum on ridiculous judgments of khap panchayats and dishonor killings to daily stories of abandoned and battered girl children, we have ample reason to sit up in alarm.

It is not not that the fight against brutality to women is a purely feminist responsibility, far from it. In her book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” Sheryl WuDunn proposes that the

Central moral challenge of this century is gender inequity

You should watch the whole video.

The important thing to learn from the video and from any work that highlights the issue of inequity is that gender inequity is not a womens problem only. Gender discrimination is the single greatest reason we are unable to face some of the greatest challenges of this decade like religious extremesm and HIV/AIDS pandemic.

While some of you might be skeptical that just educating and empowering women might be a panacea for all of worlds problems, for those who care to look and listen, (not just the video) the transforming power empowered women have on societies is fairly obvious.

I know that there are organizations like Bell bajao and CEHAT that work in the area of Domestic violence, but I am unaware of many others and whether these would call themselves feminist.

In the coming days I hope to gain some insight into the role of feminism in gender equity movement in India and hopefully a better understanding of how the feminist movement in India can take up this challenge with the urgency that it requires.

International Post Graduate Certificate course in Health and Human Rights

The 7th International Post Graduate Certificate course in Health and Human Rights will be organized from 10Th January to 19th January 2011, at Mumbai. The 10 days intensive course is organised in collaboration with the Department of Civics and Politics, University of Mumbai. The main objective of the course is to prepare participants to understand and interact with the local, national and international systems relating health and human rights. And to have knowledge of (a) human rights standards (b) the supervisory mechanisms which encourage compliance; and (c) the ways in which practical
respect for human rights is fostered in concrete, practical terms.

The last date for submission of Application forms is 15th December, 2010.

For Application form and other details please visit www.cehat.org /