Decoding Feminism #1: Are You Trying to Copy Western Feminism?

Evaluate (Women_Issues_In_Medieval_Europe)

Witch Hunting in Churches of Germany, France, Switzerland and England led to execution of 40,000 to 60,000 people mostly women. These women were burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft. They were accused of worshiping Satan and thus bringing natural calamities. This act had biblical approval. (Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 18:9)

Wife Selling – When a man could not pay his debt, selling wife was a common custom in England until 1850’s. A man would announce the sale of his wife, take her to the cattle market, with a rope tied around her neck and auction her. Though this was illegal, it had Biblical consent. (Matthew 18:25)

Are Women Humans? – A 16th century German book by the title “Mulieres homines non esse” (Are women humans?) gave 50 proofs to show that women were not human beings. It was translated into several European languages. Some say it was written was a satire. 

Evaluate (Women_Issues_In_Modern_Europe)

Less Than A Citizen: Women did not have the right to vote, until they fought for it. In USA women got right to vote 130 years after first elections. Britain took full 220 years to allow women to vote. While Switzerland gave women the right to vote in 1971. The last Swiss cantons gave the women the right to vote in 1990. (In India, women got the right to vote from the first elections itself.)

Ownership: For centuries, European husbands had legal authority over their wives’ savings, inheritance and property. Eg. A Swiss woman could not issue a check without the signature of her man. This was rectified only in 1985. (In India, the women always had their right to Stree-Dhan, which she could use as she wished.)

Abortions: The Catholic Church opposes all forms of abortion procedures, teaches that abortion is immoral, and makes public statements as such. These views have influenced Western law makers, care givers and health care systems. Eg. It was a 2013 Irish Act that allowed abortion if pregnancy endangered the mother’s life. (In India, there are no religious restrictions on abortion.)  

Return (Feminist Movement, Women’s suffrage, Pro-Choice Movements

The Western Feminist Movement has its roots in the problems faced by the European Women, some of which are mentioned above. The problems faced by the Indian Women were of a completely different nature that included – child marriage, child widows, sati, women education etc. The western solution does not address these issues.

The Indian way of living had systems in place that took care of women’s health, nutrition and also gave opportunities to socialize. Here is more about these systems. 


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