24 June 2010

It's pretty difficult being a liberal in a small town!

 Yesterday there was a debate organized at the local YWCA, the topic being cohabitation/pre-marital sex, in the light of a verdict which had been given by the Supreme Court in the quashing of a large number of cases against the actress Kushboo.  [Here is the front page of the Hindu paper after the verdict.]
There were 2 speakers each, for and against 'cohabitation', one a lawyer and one a lay person.  I was the non-lawyer speaker in defence of the Supreme Court verdict and co-habitation.  I can tell you, I was really in a funk at the thought of doing that.  I know that my non-Asian blog friends would probably not understand that at all!! Anyway, at the start of the debate I was surprised to hear the moderator say that she had been specifically asked to clarify that what the speakers say, should not be taken to be their actual opinions.  Now it's true I had worried, but I didn't think it necessary to make such a qualification.  Obviously, the young advocate who was in my team, had asked for that clarification to be made.

Finally, after the debate was over, nobody in the small audience even wanted to vote.  The moderator finally got them to vote by asking everyone to close their eyes and then raise their hands for the side they thought had won.  As you can imagine the other side won.  Later somebody came and congratulated me at having been able to defend the idea at all.  I am sorry to say *in a blue funk* that I did not see fit to disabuse  her on that point.  There was not one woman present, who was even willing to say that it should be left to the discretion of the people getting into such a relationship.  I realised, a little sadly, that there was not a single person I knew, of my age certainly, to whom I would even be able to say what I really thought on the matter--there is just no place for even a discussion on such a topic. I realised too, that I was probably one of the very few women they could get to even ask to defend the topic (something to be proud of ?).

As to my view--I don't know if I would have opted for a live-in relationship in my time, but I very certainly do not condemn somebody who chooses such a relationship, if there is commitment on both sides.  Besides, I truly feel it is none of my @#*...business anyway.  Whatever, here's to being open-minded.

11 comments:

onedia said...

I understand how you feel .... it is always alarming to get that kind of response. I am often amazed at what people think in this day and age here in this area. Good for you that you were willing to speak up anyway.

starry said...

I have to applaud you also.It should be left to the people who are in such a relationship.I know I could not have done that but we do live in different times and we have to learn to accept and not Judge.

Rohini said...

What Starry said. It's great that you hold and express such opinions in that milieu

eve's lungs said...

Well first off I think it was incredibly brave of you to put forth your views and I applaud you for that. In a small town , it cannot be all that easy to have revolutionary ideas even if that town has spawned Arundhati Roy .Therefore , hats off to you Sue .

Dotm said...

Am slowly catching up with some of your blogs. Glad to be finding some of my blog friends again.
Here in America, living together and having children out of wedlock is getting to be the norm. I could never have lived that way, but I also do not feel I have the right to ever tell others how to live their life. I often wonder if this isn`t the result of so many kids growing up in broken homes. That was very rare when I was growing up. I only remember one family with parents who separated and re-married. Maybe kids lost faith in Marriage when their parents divorced. I wonder what will be when my great grandchildrens generation grows up from being shifted back and forth between two parents who live separate lives from each other.

Dotm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dotm said...

I removed the second post because when I was having trouble posting it posted my same comment twice. :)

Beks said...

Hey Amms, I meant to comment on this earlier - I think its cool that you tried to speak up in Kotts, its just sad that like you said, no one is going to admit that its ok and not a big deal.

hillgrandmom said...

Well thanks for the good words friends. But I don't think I deserve them, because I spoke after the clarification of the debate's moderator after all! But I guess people do know that I'm a liberal and so probably the only one who they could have got to speak in defence and then again-as my daughter pointed out, my own kids are all married and so the issue of "How will I get my daughter married if I support such ideas" didn't need to influence me at all :-)
Dot, I agree with you, that so many marriages breaking up maybe part of the reason. But also, when women are educated and can earn enough to take care of themselves, they now want the freedom and right to decide what they want to do with their lives.

3inone said...

@hgm - :) Glad to know you defended the supreme Court's decision and the right to make a personal choice.

Dotm said...

Yes, I agree, education has made more women realize they can support themself and their kids, so they no longer have to stay in an unhappy marriage, and can decide for themself how they wish to live their lives.