Dining Table Education

I came across this article today on FB about a Women’s Wall in Kerala India. It struck me because it was such a short article and yet it was loaded with educational potential. I suggest you read it before continuing reading this article, don’t worry it’s only 182 words long. For starters we have here a wall being presented in the media as a good thing, when most of the time we’re told walls are bad. That by itself makes this a worthy topic of investigation. If I wanted to use this article to educate my hypothetical teenage children about how complicated a simple event like a protest can be I would probably wait until everyone was seated at the dinner table and read out to them this article in its entirety, as it was very short; and then listen to the initial reactions from my audience.

I imagine the initial discussion would be about the logistics and mathematics of organising a fifteen minute long protest involving 3 to 5 million women stretched out over a distance of 620km. Perhaps some doubts about how realistic such a feat is, or acknowledgement that this issue must appear to be important for the people involved. Then I might ask my audience why someone would organise such a protest with so many people like this. What message does it convey? Such a protest is not an appeal to reason, it is an appeal to might: look how many people are against you, see how powerful we are, watch out we are the majority. This is the whole point of democracy: if you can’t win an argument through reason and evidence, you simply “settle” the dispute with a show of numerical superiority. Thus a protest like this is essentially democratic in nature, as opposed to a hunger strike, pamphlet drop, banner march, or self-immolation; each protest method uses a different rhetorical approach. This protest uses intimidation from numbers as its strategy.

Notice that this is a “multicoloured” protest; an absurd detail to point out because it doesn’t matter what country in the world this happens (except perhaps Saudi Arabia) because if you get a large group of women together in one place it will be colourful as women are gifted with an aesthetic sense the world over. An absurd detail to mention unless this is a dog whistle to socialists reading the article telling them they should unconditionally support these women building their wall because it’s a good socialist wall, just like the Berlin wall probably, and not a bad wall like Trump’s. Multicoloured is another way of saying diverse. Socialists promote diversity because diversity creates the divisions in a society that socialists need to justify central control of the population by a large powerful government. It shouldn’t surprise any conservatives that this protest was organised by the Indian Communist Party and several other left-wing political parties.

The social divide in question here concerns a group of Hindu clerics who run a temple in Kerala. This temple traditionally has barred women aged 10-50 from entering on the grounds that menstruating women are unclean. It’s not a ban against women in general entering, just a ban against women entering during a period of their lives. This shrine has operated for over a thousand years and has 17-30 million pilgrims come to it annually. It hasn’t been an issue that women aged 10-50 have been barred access to the shrine until the Indian Communist Party, and their co-conspirators, have been agitating for a divisive confrontation between the government and the temple. In fact, since the Supreme Court of India ruled that the temple were not allowed to discriminate against women aged 10-50 in September 2018 a grand total of 2 women aged 10-50 have entered the complex. One wonders if those 2 women were practicing Hindus or  simply practicing Marxists.

On the question of discrimination and whether the clerics running the temple are allowed to discriminate as to who is allowed to enter, well I would ask my audience at the dinner table if they believed women only gyms were allowed to discriminate against men joining them. I would also point out that women are well known to discriminate against certain men based on their wealth, height, appearance, and social status. Should laws be passed against women who refuse to marry poor, short, ugly, and untouchable men? Since discrimination is bad, surely the discrimination women have towards different men should be equally bad?

It is never even addressed why perhaps women aged 10-50 might not be welcome. Women in this age group do behave differently to other women. Most notably in the level of neuroticism they display and this has been linked to the heightened levels of estrogen women have during this period of their lives. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with these women, but it isn’t an arbitrary distinction just as women’s preferences for wealthier, healthier, more attractive, and high status men aren’t arbitrary either. One of the most important liberties we have is freedom of association and this protest is an extraordinarily aggressive attack on freedom of association. Yet this article explores none of these issues. Rather, it engages with slander towards anyone who opposes them as belonging in a lunatic asylum.

So you see, even a short news article like this presents a great opportunity for a family discussion, a family education, and family bonding. Just researching the background of this article has taught me about the history, culture, and politics of India, but more importantly I hope it has helped to teach others the subversive agenda of any news media outlet.

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