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In Support of Women
Vasu Reddy from Chicago
I came across an email from a woman who is working on filmmaker Satish Menon’s documentary about battered immigrant women (included in this article as is) and via email and telephone communicated with her asking her permission to write about her efforts, and having received a positive response, I thought of finding ways to introduce the touchy subject with a few of my own words and then let Shruthi’s email do its own talking.
If women were stronger and taller and controlled property and wealth they would probably not harass men. They would probably still be caring and understanding as they are today. They would probably be able to appreciate the strength of society’s laws that favor the strong, and use them to support the weaker human form. They would probably create a society to be more compassionate and cater to the men, to show that strength is a virtue for empowerment, rather than suppression.
Some weeks ago I wrote about the age old problems with dowry in our society, and its continued role in today’s society. Violence against women being verbal or physical is a common place with all societies. It goes unnoticed, unresolved, unpunished and unattended to by the society in general. We all advise on making adjustments to the relationship, ignore the obvious pain and suffering of women, and ask for women to be patient and men to not to do it again.
In the USA or in India or any other place on earth, a relationship cannot survive with adjustments unless a woman and a man are truly respectful of each other and make self-adjustments to meet each other’s needs and expectations. Unless such relationship exists the relationship doesn’t last or thrive. In case the relationship doesn’t survive, there is no need to be in the relationship, especially if it is abusive. And immigrant women in the U.S. face even more difficulty, unique challenges and barriers to escaping violence due to the triple binding effect of gender, ethnicity, and immigration status.
I know I cannot preach fundamental changes to how men want to react to every given situation. It is impossible. Our inabilities make us angry although very illogical and when we get angry we do stupid stuff. Threats instead of love, abuse instead of understanding and stupidity instead of appreciation are often causes that lead to mistreatment of women.
Lotus Rising Foundation and everyone involved in organizing this benefit in support of the documentary about battered immigrant women need to be applauded and supported. This is not just an Indian issue. It is a serious global issue that can be dealt with compassion, and certainly warrants continued attention.
Here is the complete text of Shruthi’s email, and I request everyone to support her in her efforts.
I am writing to solicit your support for Lotus Rising Foundation’s September 3, 2004 fundraiser to benefit the documentary about battered immigrant women, which I have been working on with filmmaker Satish Menon for the past year. 800 guests from Chicago's diverse ethnic communities will have an opportunity to screen Satish Menon’s award winning feature film "Bhavum: Emotions of Being” (www.bhavum.com), followed by a Cocktail Reception & Silent Auction.
Individuals, organizations, and institutions supporting this project and event include: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky & her Office, Mayor of Chicago & his Office on Domestic Violence, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan & her Office, Apna Ghar (Our Home), Mujeres Latinas En Accion, the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), and the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network, among many others.
Date: September 3, 2004
Venue: Drake Hotel
Time: 7 pm to midnight
For more details, please contact:
Malini M. Byanna, President
Lotus Rising Foundation
847.517.7117 (ph.) 847.517.7126 (fax)
Help Us By:
(1) Purchasing tickets for the event or making a donation online, no matter how small
(2) Passing this request onto all of your contacts, urging them to support this project
(3) Including this invite and information in all of your newsletters and listservs
(4) Connecting us with potential corporate and/or individual sponsors for the event
(5) Connecting us with silent auction donations (i.e. art, theater tickets; dinner for two)
(6) Connecting us with press, media and other opportunities to help publicize the event
(7) Can’t swing $100? Sell tickets to people who can’t attend and come in their place.
Documentary Project Purpose:
A brief summary follows here, but please see www.lotusrisingfoundation.org for more details. This documentary will bring to light the issues of battered immigrant women who are dependent on their abusers for their immigration status. Due to limited resources, language barriers, and in some cases, uncertainty of their immigration status, these women are predisposed to avoid seeking help from any individual or institution, including police and hospitals. Besides the obvious human rights issue, this is a grave public health hazard. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has been watershed legislation by allowing some of these women to self-petition for legal status. However, facing the triple binding effect of gender, ethnicity, and immigration status, many of these women continue to face insurmountable barriers in their arduous struggle to escape violence. This documentary seeks to (1) raise awareness of these issues, (2) challenge the prevailing status quo, and (3) engage in a debate for stronger legislative initiatives that would protect the lives of these women and help them attain violence free lives.
Now that you can see why I believe in this work with all my heart, I hope you will support this cause. Your contribution, no matter how small, will add up to make this important community project a reality. I look forward to seeing you at the event and having your support for this documentary. Thank you.
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