A Lack of Feminism

Becky Stanley, a missionary, works to help women feel valuable and important to society in India

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A Lack of Feminism

Women in India face difficult circumstances in their daily lives.

Women in India face difficult circumstances in their daily lives.

Becky Stanley

Women in India face difficult circumstances in their daily lives.

Becky Stanley

Becky Stanley

Women in India face difficult circumstances in their daily lives.

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Dusty air fills the streets. The musky smell of curry, sweat, and waste cling to the throng of people making their way through town. Broken down houses slouch next to wealthy neighborhoods as cows roam free along the countryside. While this is one major difference between the United States of America and India, the treatment of women is another striking contrast. 

Rebecca (Becky) Stanley works for her father as a missionary in India. In May of 2019, Becky came to the United States, passing through St. Louis to raise support and awareness for issues in India. She and her family live in the state of Tamil Nadu, where they work for the India Gospel League to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to those who need to hear it. However, Becky is also invested in helping elevate women’s status in India.

“In India, women are seen as mistakes and less than men,” said Becky. In fact, Becky’s adoption of her daughter shows just how unwanted girls are in India.

“One day a man brought a baby girl to the church and gave her to my father,” said Becky, “He said that if my father wouldn’t take her, he’d kill her because she was a girl. My father brought the baby home, and she became my daughter.” 

Becky remembers that most of her many siblings became part of her family in the same way as her daughter. 

“We’d be eating dinner and hear a knock at the door and find a baby on the step for us. It became a regular occurrence, and we didn’t think much about it but just took the baby in, and they became part of our family,” said Becky. 

India is known for its caste system which is brutal to all people in lower castes, but especially dangerous for women. 

Redress Information and Analysis, an organization that focuses on injustices occuring around the world, reported that women in the lowest caste in India (the Dalit caste) are often subjected to “stripping, naked parading, caste abuses, pulling out nails and hair, sexual slavery and bondage.” 

As Americans, we can hardly imagine the horrors and injustice that women face in India. During a time where radical feminism is becoming more and more prominent, it can be easy to forget just how fortunate American women are in comparison to women living in India. In today’s world, extreme feminists are offended by issues they find important (like patriarchy), but they do not realize that they experience much more freedom and respect in America than in other countries.

“There is so much more respect in America for women. In India, the men always eat first while the girls serve, and if there is not enough food, then the girls don’t get to eat, which reinforces the idea that they don’t matter,” said Becky. 

Thankfully, there are people like Becky who are working to help women feel and be more valuable to society. Becky does this through a program that loans money to women so they can start their own business. These small businesses usually sell rice, clothes, rags, and spices. 

“When women are bringing in money for their family through their small businesses, they become instantly more valuable. Men start to treat them better and with more respect because of the extra income in the household,” said Becky.

When girls are taught from a young age that they are a mistake, disgusting, or worthless, then they have no confidence in themselves to think that they can be valuable to society.

Becky’s mission is to provide those girls with an opportunity to help bring money to their families and to catch a glimpse of their true value in Christ. As Becky helps these women start businesses and take out loans, she is also sharing with them the story of the Gospel so that they can hear, for probably the first time ever, that someone loves them, values them, and wants them.

“Women in America are privileged enough to have equal rights, wear what they want, and have a man open the door for them. Not to say that gender discrimination doesn’t happen in America, but the degree to which it happens is miniscule compared to what women face in India,” said Becky. 

Becky’s story and the abuse of women in India should be alarming to those living in America, especially females. When it comes to radical feminism in America, women can know that they have it much better than those living in countries like India, and then can be motivated to help those women living in oppressive conditions. 

 

 

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