Sunday, 24 January 2010

Girls are important

This story is amusing

However


(Click for embiggerance)


Notice that all the important people in this particular advertisement are men.I realise that the government have issued lots of public-service ads in the past highlighting the idea that women are actually worthwhile, contributing members of society and that we might want to keep them around... but this? The girl child is important because she may some day give birth to boy children who are what really matters. Never forget that that is what we're here for.

7 comments:

MagicMadzik said...

Hm. Agreed, but you're thinking past the target audience here. This ad obviously isn't aimed at you, a thinking, liberal female who is passionate about gender equality- it's aimed at men who might not recognise any other influence except the male influence, who do not recognise discrimination for what it actually is and who think the problem doesn't concern them at all. This might be the only message that can get through to them at this level. It says to them: "You think you're so great, well guess how close YOU were to not existing at all because of close-minded beliefs. Not some random woman, YOU, the important male. This affects YOU."

If they start thinking about that hopefully deeper thoughts will also germinate?

In short, you can't always talk smart to stupid people :P

Rahul Siddharthan said...

(came here via Nanopolitan)
Great post and I don't agree with MagicMadzik that you are thinking past the target audience. The preference for boys is driven almost entirely by economics. Unless the economics changes, the bias won't go away. What the government should be doing is tell us how girls can be productive, independent, self-sufficient members of society, who are capable of earning their own income and supporting their parents. What the government has decided to tell us is that girls are good at giving birth to boys who can turn out to be achievers. How is that supposed to be convincing? A poor farmer or a rich South Delhi businessman wants a son: he doesn't want his daughter's son, who will anyway, in the traditional setup, be part of another family, not his.

rgc said...

how about an ad that shows how a woman can earn money and contribute to economics of a household?
but yes, silly ad...

MagicMadzik said...

Damn. Forgot it's another culture I know nothing about, again. Sorry, I withdraw what I said. Stupid all around.

ramesh said...

oh come on now .. you are going overboard here .. (repeat what magicmadzik said) .. when you are a man/ woman who hates girl children showing them pictures of women will not help at all (not that it will make a difference by showing pictures of successful men) .. i think the whole female infanticide is an embedded social evil and these people will never change until the day comes when they have no one to marry .. it's already happening in haryana where they have had to 'import' and 'buy' wives from other states, brother sharing wives etc. etc. .. it is a generational thing, if the kids in school are swayed by the liberalism of the times then only things might improve .. till then it is hell out there ..

Aadisht said...

I never realised they were all male; the sheer WTF-ness of "don't kill your girl infant because we need breeding pairs" stopped me. And also how clunky the tagline was.

I also don't think there was any thought quite as deep as target audience - the ministry needed to spend its budget and hackworked the first ad it could.

Aishwarya said...

Madzia - No, you have a point. But also, as Rahul said, the traditional family set up in India pretty much makes your daughter's kids less of your business anyway. Plus (and I'm going to generalise wildly and unforgivably here) Indian men - and Indian culture in general- is not very good at making the connection between mothers and women!
(Please don't not talk on this blog!)


Rahul, rgc - Agreed, and agreed.


Ramesh - I'm uncomfortable with the idea of applying supply and demand to women in society. Women are treated enough like commodities as it is; I can't see them suddenly becoming respected and valued the minute things get desperate. You've said it yourself - in places where the number of women is really low, people have responded by trafficking women and forcing them to be shared by multiple men. I don't know if you've seen Matrubhoomi, but it makes the point (very clearly) that life is only likely to get more hellish for the few women left.


Aadisht - I suppose those of us who are less likely to breed should be culled now, then. Oh well, I had a nice life, while it lasted.