Welcome To Internalised Misogyny : Part One In An Infinite Series Of DoucheBaggerey

What did you want when you were six? I wanted to read Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda‘, beat my brother at Boggle and I wanted a pet kitten. I thought babies came form the sky and parents would ‘choose’ which baby they wanted; thus loving the baby forever. Such were my thoughts at six — a tiny glimpse into my privileged world. Now, I don’t think every little kid my age was as happy or fortunate as I was; I certainly never expected this.

My friend showed me this news exposé last week (linked to Headlines Today) and I got the wind knocked out of me, just sitting in front of my computer screen. Here’s a quick background report -

  • A few reporters noticed a skewed sex-ratio in one of the interior villages of Rajasthan; where the ratio was 23 girls to 19 boys. Far from thinking this is a cause for celebration, this ratio obviously is entirely unnatural as most states of India prefer the Y-chromosome. There are many campaigns and NGOs that try to revert this scale; however we see a clear difference.
  • Upon further investigation, we find these villages have been dubbed as the ‘prostitution hubs’ of the state. Apparently, the flesh-trade is a tradition of this village; as most of the people are actively engaged in it. Like the devdasis, this tradition is only the burden of the Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes; call it a residual gift of the caste system, if you will.
  • The police and other administrative authorities turn a blind eye towards this because this is a ‘tradition’. Many openly acknowledge that the revenue of the entire village is dependent on women’s bodies.
  • This village also has a history of kidnapping girls from all over the country and raising them there. Sometimes, babies as young as six months old are kidnapped and brought to the village. Till about the age of six years old, they are showered with ‘love’, ‘affection’ and even proper nourishment (in fact, boys in this village go malnourished).
  • From the age of six to ten, they are pumped with the hormone Oxytocin. Usually this hormone is injected in cattle to make them yield more milk. The same dose is administered to these girls to make them mature faster sexually so they can be sold off in the flesh trade. This hormone is available over-the-counter for less than a rupee.
  • Oxytocin is also called as the ‘love hormone’ as it induces feelings of love, lust, trust, affection in these girls.

For the last few months, Greenpeace in India has been rallying to make sure artificial hormones aren’t injected in vegetables as it’s not healthy for the environment and neither does it support the goal of a sustainable future. We signed petitions, wrote letters of protest to the Home Minister, opposing the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India bill. We don’t support Genetically Engineered (GE) crops but not a word about this blatant abuse?

These girls are as young as my second and third grade students who will learn alphabets only if drawn inside hippo bellies. Only, their days aren’t spent speculating on just what to do with their crayons. They look like they are fifteen, have the sexual maturity of adolescents while they are six-year old  mentally. They are smuggled to places like Mumbai, Dubai and Gulf countries. They are sold off as sex-slaves. They send a steady income home till they are 30. If they haven’t contracted any STD’s, AIDS and are still alive, these girls come back home to be married off to pimps and other lowlifes.

They don’t have the opportunity to enjoy their childhood, never know just how much fun it is to make bubbles, play with other children their age, never have silly fights, never just be. We make such a fuss about the ‘innocence of children’, read books like Peter Pan and the Little Prince even well into adulthood, reveling in the beauty of the childhood dream. But when faced with this reality, we’d rather turn a blind eye to such mass exploitation.

Prostitution is the oldest trade in the world; that I know. There is nothing wrong with selling one’s body if one has to, if CONSENT is involved. Please note that I’m not condemning sex-workers or the very act of selling one’s body. What is important to see here is the complete and total violation of consent, tainting the very potential of a childhood. Also note, this trade banks exclusively on the bodies of little girls.

Why is it so easy to take away the agency of women’s bodies? Is it because our culture believes the woman’s worth is less than her Y-chromosomed counterparts? Why is the sale of a girl’s body considered a tradition? What gives anyone this right to just take these girls childhood? Have we become this inhuman? If so, I don’t want to be a part of such a world.

P.S. If any one knows of any Human Rights Organizations that can help these girls please contact me here.

(This piece is published in Womanist Musings)

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15 Comments

  1. Sanya

     /  June 4, 2010

    I was crying through out this. I can’t believe this is real. Just can’t be. I saw the Headlines Today videos and it’s knocked me out cold.

    Where is this happening again?

    Reply
    • About 50 kms from Delhi. I was crying while watching the videos too. I’ve had nightmares about this for days now.

      Reply
  2. That is just disgusting. That goes beyond a women’s rights issue, since these are children, not women (even if they have to act like it.) I can’t believe they’re injecting them with oxytocin. I don’t even let my kids eat food that has been given hormones. Sad. Sad. Sad.

    Reply
  3. That’s heartbreaking, jaded16. These girls are being raised like livestock, to be sold as a product.

    Reply
  4. Kate217

     /  June 4, 2010

    Excuse me; I need to go throw up…

    Reply
  5. L.G.

     /  June 4, 2010

    (Okay, this is a third attempt to comment… technologically deficient, much?) I am sorry for loading you with the same post 3 times now!)

    Hi, I have been reading your posts via Womanist Musings, and I’m not sure if these will help, but I am sending you some links of organizations located in India.

    http://www.apneaap.org/homepage

    –> This one does not seem to operate in the Alwar region, but they do try to rescue women and girls from red light districts in bigger centres. They might be worth working through. (P.S. I am full on for doing what I can!)

    http://www.sharedhope.org/where/india.asp

    –> Again, not sure if this is useful or not, but their reports are highly researched and they seem to be working at a grassroots level, although located quite close to Mumbai.

    http://www.yppsa.org/contact.html

    –> These are the contacts for various countries in South Asia who are working to prevent child sexual exploitation. Worth emailing, for sure! I found the link to them through:

    http://www.ecpat.net/EI/Regionals_southAsia.asp

    This next one is based in Kolkata, but may work as a good source/ support.

    http://www.newlightindia.org/index.html

    This next link looks to be the best so far, so here it is!

    http://www.nirvanavan.org.uk/Nirvanavan2/home.php

    Found from:

    http://humantrafficking.change.org/blog/view/oxytocin_speeds_delivery_of_girls_into_prostitution

    I read a report about the use of a similar drug in Bangledash a couple of weeks ago, and realise that the really big issue is to prevent the use of the drug at the site. Oxytocin is also highly addictive, which will add stress to an already stressed rescue system. I’m going to keep looking, that’s for sure, and start emailing!

    I hope this is helpful! Sorry for so many links, and please feel free to email me anytime! I would love to do what I can!

    Reply
  6. Demo : This Is A Troll

     /  June 5, 2010

    You stupid narcissitic bitch! India is nothing like you write about. SHUT UP NOW. I swear if I ever see you, I will kill you.

    Reply
    • See people, this is a troll. Nice and sweet demo. Just posted this as the douche dude here got me to laugh.

      Reply
      • Yes, as laughable their attempts are to troll people, they won’t be seen by the public other than this demo. I personally have experienced trolls for years now. Hah, arguing, or ignoring… neither helps. It just helps to keep slander off the board. Yay!

        Reply
  7. matt

     /  June 6, 2010

    gawd Jaded. This is so horrible. To think girls as young as my sister are sold off, it’s revolting!

    Those trolls are senseless. Don’t let them get you down. Your post is better then them all.

    Reply
  8. Tina Price-Johnson

     /  June 6, 2010

    Thank you for your blog about the sex-trade villages in India. As a result I have contacted Amnesty International to ask them to either incorporate the same into their campaign to end violence against women, or start a separate campaign to raise awareness and help stop the genetic modification and enslavement of women and abuse of children which goes on. I hope they will listen. Thank you again for raising my awareness about this. X

    Reply
  9. Purple Tree

     /  June 6, 2010

    Well Demo: This is a Troll —

    Watch the TV channels. I watched it on TV and could not stop crying and mixed emotions of anger,hate, pity were bothering me. Worst being hopelessness and guilt of not being able to do something. I wanted to make sure an international audience could be aware of it. And then my friend was online and was wondering about the subject for her next post. HAD TO BE THIS!

    Thanks, Jaded.

    Reply
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