25 October 2010

‘Undesired’

Some time ago I was speaking to a colleague of mine who was from India. He was telling me about how his wife back home was pregnant.  My first reaction was to ask what to me was a pretty automatic response, “Are you going to find out what the sex is?”

His response at the time caught me off guard.  “Oh no, it’s illegal to do that in India.”

Wow.  Really?  At this point I wanted to dig deeper, but as my relationship with this person was strictly a work one (not to mention the fact that I wasn’t sure I really wanted to know the answer), I filed this in my subconscious for another day.

That conversation came flying back to me when I watched this video.

(Full disclosure:  This video eff’d me up.)

As a son, a husband, and a father, I watched this knowing fully well that things like this have been happening for ages.  It’s one of those things you acknowledge on the side, but never put your whole focus on it because you really don’t want to know the whole story behind it. 

I don’t want to believe that we can still live in the dark ages… and yet in some ways we are.


In India, all women must confront the cultural pressure to bear a son. The consequences of this preference is a disregard for the lives of women and girls. From birth until death they face a constant threat of violence. See the project at http://mediastorm.com/publication/undesired

Recently, any discussions I’ve had about India have revolved around one of three things:  food, outsourcing, and movies.  As with most things, there’s a dark side that’s hardly ever spoken of.  This is one.

To be fair, this video does seem to paint a pretty one-sided picture.  However, knowing that it happens at all is enough for me to push this along, and tomorrow when my daughter wakes up I’m gonna hug her until it hurts.


[via Asia Society: 'Undesired' Women in India]
[MediaStorm: Undesired by Walter Astrada]
[MediaStorm: Mothers of a Hundred Sons: India's Dying Daughters]

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