A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.


The Law's of Manu

Compiled over the years between 200-400 C.E., the Laws of Manu  are thought India's most famous and earliest legal code.  The text
itself deals with four subjects: 

  • the origin of the world, the sources of dharma, 
  • the rules of the four varnas (social orders) 
  • four asramas (spiritual orders)
  • karma-yoga. 
Mythology  claims that Manu was the first man who ruled justly and wisely over his subjects.  However, some of these laws pertaining to Indian women have been pointed out as paternalistic and chauvinistic arrogance, but a good number of them also reflect the freedom and respect that women in ancient society enjoyed. The laws found therein are obviously not modern. Thus to be fair, they should not be compared to modern laws, but rather to socio-religious rules that pertain to an ancient culture. 

Here then is a selection of some of his more famous laws that touch the lives of women:

*"A girl, a young woman, or even an old woman should not do anything independently, even in her own house. -In childhood a woman should be under her father’s control, in youth under her husband’s and when her husband is dead, under her sons."

*“A husband should be worshiped as a God.”

*“If the female members live in grief, the family is destroyed. If the female members are happy, the family flourishes in all directions.”

*“Women shall receive one-quarter share of the inheritance of their parents. If a man has no sons, his daughter may inherit everything he had.”

*“Brothers should give one-forth of their inheritance to their sisters for their sisters’ dowries.”

*“A father sins unless he marries his daughter off when she reaches puberty.”

*“A man can leave a barren woman after eight years and one who only gives birth to daughters.”
*“Women do not care for beauty, nor is their attention fixed on age; they give themselves to the handsome as well as to the ugly just for the fact that he is a man.”

*“A woman should not go to a meeting place; and they should not dance like the young, but sit at their proper places.”

*“A wife, a son, and a slave, these three are declared to have no property. The wealth which they earn is acquired for him to whom they belong.”
*“Women must particularly be guarded against evil inclinations, however trifling they may appear to be; for, if they are not guarded, they will bring sorrow on both the families. Considering it the highest duty of all castes, even wealthy husbands must strive to guard their wives....lest the seed of others be sown on your soil.”

*“It is the nature of women to seduce men in this world, for that reason the wise never remain unguarded in the company of female.”

*“A virtuous wife who after the death of her husband constantly remains chaste, reaches heaven, though she have no son, just like those chaste men.”

*“If a woman should happen to merely to overhear recitations of Vedic mantras by chance, hot molten glass should be poured into her ears.”

1 comment:

  1. so a male person wrote law so what can we expect.again dominancy.