Do women still need protecting?

pink-chaddis“You’ll only have one glass one wine won’t you?” is the question that my mum usually asks before I leave for a night out. I’ve grown up with the idea that women shouldn’t drink, and if they do then one glass is more than enough. Many of my Indian friends drink and party till the early hours but most of their parents are not always aware of what they are up to.

So when I learnt about recent events in South India, where a right wing group of activists beat up a group of young girls drinking in pub I was shocked, but not surprised. It got me thinking about attitudes towards women in my culture, and why it is that despite being born and bred in Europe, many of my Indian friends still find it hard to be entirely open with their family. Despite the fact that more and more women are going out to work and becoming financially independent, it is still difficult to stray away from the “norm”. Elders of the family say they are just looking out for us, and I often find myself annoyed at the fact that my partner is not overprotective. It’s been the norm for me throughout my childhood, but do I and other women really need protecting?

The men who attacked the young women in the pub were angered by the fact that they were drinking alcohol, mingling with men and wearing clothes that they called “indecent”. The leader of the party, Pramod Muthalik said that his party were the “custodians of Indian culture” aimed at stopping women from “going astrayThe fast growing Facebook group, The Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women, is encouraging women to “walk to the nearest pub and buy a drink” on Valentine’s Day tomorrow. The group has nearly 30,000 members. Is this about protecting women’s rights or protecting women from negative influences of society?

A recent survey in Turkey found that 64% of women interviewed said they did not think it was a big deal for their husband to beat them.

This writer in Qatar feels that women should stop trying to be like men and just accept their position in society. “Given my privilege as a woman, I only degrade myself by trying to be something I’m not — and in all honesty — don’t want to be: a man. As women, we will never reach true liberation until we stop trying to mimic men, and value the beauty in our own God-given distinctiveness.”

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, made no secret of his views on women and rape earlier this year when he explained that he was planning to send 300,000 soldier’s onto Italy’s streets to protect them. He added that  Italy needed many soldiers because Italian “women are so beautiful”.

In an age when women aspire and often gain equality, why do they need protecting?

Madeleine adds: I’m presenting tonight and just wanted to add a few more thoughts. As Nate in Oregon notes below, controlling can often be dressed up as protecting. It’s an interesting thought.

There are different levels of protection too: there’s the big stuff like protecting women from violence, or protecting women from discrimination. There’s the protection from so called ‘negative influences’ like drinking that Krupa explained so well. But there’s also the little stuff. For example when we’re walking on the pavement my husband generally walks on the side closest to the road, an old-fashioned habit I think designed to either stop me falling on the road, or stop something on the road from hitting me. I’ve never asked him to do it, in fact I’ve told him gently it’s not necessary, but he still does it because he wants to feel as though he’s protecting me. Do women need some degrees of protection but not others?
And while we’re at it, who does ‘protecting’ women actually benefit? The woman herself? Or the man who gets to feel as though he’s doing the right thing? And could it be just that vulnerable people deserve protecting, and that who is vulnerable changes depending on circumstance?

165 Responses to “Do women still need protecting?”

  1. 1 Anthony
    February 12, 2009 at 16:50

    Whether you look at it in a religious sense, or evolutionary sense, women need to be protected (especially from other men).

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  2. 2 Ramesh
    February 12, 2009 at 16:53

    It is just one of the many confusions immigrant children had to face in western culture. What surprised me is you raised only the topic of drink! It is probably the simplest confusion to deal with. The first thing you have to realize is that not all women in western societies are big drinkers. I know an english woman who has gifted 24 wine bottles she got as gifts for Christmas because she doesn’t drink even wine, forget about other alcohols! My point is what youngsters like you should realize is that you need not try to imitate local culture. At the same time you should not be stubborn either. Elders support is crucial during times of such confusion.

  3. February 12, 2009 at 17:07

    Well one also needs to understand the local culture. If 80% of your population is backward, it doesnt make sense instigating them. I would like to emphasis that I condemn the attack on the women, there is no ready solution when most of your country is uneducated and backward. These are the people who elect the government and the Political parties will not do anything to antagonize the sentiments of the masses.

  4. 4 Bob in SW Florida
    February 12, 2009 at 17:18

    Short of special laws to prosecute rapists I do not believe that women need protecting. I believe in equality for all and have a hard time with cultures that dictate either by law, religion or tradition that women wear certain costumes or are restricted in some way that differ from males. All that kind of discrimination is just nonsensical mumbo-jumbo.

    I come at this by having been raised in a family where my mother worked and was for all intents and purposes the main breadwinner. I also had two younger sisters who rejected out rightly any brotherly protection. In my occupation I worked with and reported to many women most of whom could be easily classified as bi….s or as castrating females.

    Today we see women in the armed forces, police forces and fighting in wars.

    The idea of special protection for women is from a bygone era and is obsolete.

  5. 5 Ramesh
    February 12, 2009 at 17:26

    Regarding the so called custodians of indian culture, they have been widely condemned as attempts to talibanize indian culture. I am not sympathetic to their cause at all. But caused me distress is the fact that the girls that were attacked haven’t come forward to make a formal complaint with police, obviously because of pressure from parents. My question is when they can not gain freedom from their parents, how can they expect freedom from the entire society. The girls attitude was like “if we get freedom, we make use of it but we have no intention of making the freedom as our right”. I just want to say “Shame on those girls”.

  6. 6 Jennifer
    February 12, 2009 at 17:33

    As a woman I think, yes, there are times that women still need protecting. However, the men who assaulted the women went too far. It is one thing to be reasonable but to overstep boundaries is another; especially if there is no familial or other close relationship with the woman.

    This is interesting:

    “Given my privilege as a woman, I only degrade myself by trying to be something I’m not — and in all honesty — don’t want to be: a man. As women, we will never reach true liberation until we stop trying to mimic men, and value the beauty in our own God-given distinctiveness.”

    I agree with all of that except how true liberation can be reached. That will only happen when women realize that other women are not enemies if they make different choices.

  7. 7 Ramesh
    February 12, 2009 at 17:35

    Mumbai, with all respect, I would like to point out that neither those who attacked nor those who were attacked can be termed as backward.

  8. 8 Nate, Portland, OR
    February 12, 2009 at 17:57

    Its funny how “protecting” seems to manifest itself as controlling. Certainly women sometimes need protecting, but only in the escort down a dark street sense. The goons in S India you mention are attempting to maintain their position of control. The woman in Turkey is clearly happy with her role in society, which apparently comes with a good deal of security in exchange for limits on her personal freedom. That doesn’t mean her role should be forced on all others.

    I think the sort of protection these more conservative cultures are offering comes with a great burden on the woman to remain “pure.” My Indian (India born and raised) wife was harrassed by a neighbor boy when she was young, but she never was able to tell her parents or brothers for fear they would blame her. What sort of protection is that?

    The burden of protection should be a collective one bourn by all decent men and women. The individual woman bears responsibilty not to engage in extremely risky behavior, but always the societal costs of a failure in the protection should fall entirely on the assaultor. The woman in such a situation has suffered enough.

  9. 9 Sergio
    February 12, 2009 at 17:59

    If there was equality between man and woman there would be no need for protecting womans but this in not the case, so what need tho change is the difference in treatment. unfortunately protecting womans is almost necessary as protecting childrens or old people.

    February 12, 2009 at 18:34

    i think that women sometimes needs protecting!!

  11. 11 Krupa
    February 12, 2009 at 19:02

    Ramesh you seem to be under the impression that I am one of many confused immigrant children. Do you not feel that many of my concerns are shared by women in modern India who are becoming more and more socially and economically independent? Or is it that women in some communities and circumstances need protecting more than others?

    I also do not feel that I am trying to mimic local culture or being stubborn by not listening to my elders. I have adapted naturally to my environment and feel that I am very priviledged to have the best of both European and South Asian culture. I am lucky that I am able to confide in my mother who is extremely independent and has inspired me to look after myself.

  12. February 12, 2009 at 20:46

    Every woman experiences painful cultural double standards. The same person may at one time persecute you and try to hold you back and at another laud you as the hero of their better self. Women need safety, not indoctrination. We need respect and space to grow and make mistakes without being physically or psychologically stoned to death.

    It is not so easy for the quick minds of the young who need intelligent community. You talk to an elder but what is wisdom and what is prejudice handed down? Sometimes the village has driven all the thinkers from the pack so you have to look for elders. Sometimes the elders are brilliant and sometimes the elders are full of it.

    Sometimes you need a good self defense class. Sometimes you have to make community with others to weave your own safety net.

    Danger comes with self-determination. It has always been so, yet we wake up and give it a go each day.

  13. 13 Ramesh
    February 12, 2009 at 21:21

    Krupa, I am sorry about the wrong impression which might probably because of the first few sentences of your writing. When I was saying those words, I was actually visualising many indian and pakistani immigrant friends I had when I was in Europe(for 6 years). some of them were really a confused lot. I apologize for making it look like directed at you. I used the word “Stubborn” keeping in mind some friends who looked reluctant to mix with western culture in which they were living.

    The issue of financially and socially independent women in India is really an interesting topic. Even for such women there are many bigger problems to worry about than about drinking in pubs. Coming to the girls that were attacked recently, they may be financially independent because they hail from rich families. In all probabilities their parents were not aware that their girls actually go to pubs. What I am disappointed about them was they didn’t looked independent personality wise. I don’t think any women of indian origin in UK would not complain to the police if they were attacked like that. I would have considered them as symbols of modern india, if they dared to complain to the police. They should fight for justice when their freedom is put in jeopardy. They didn’t do it. That was the biggest disappointment to me.

  14. 14 Maccus Germanis
    February 12, 2009 at 22:41

    If you should decide, as it is your decision, that you need protection then you should feel free to ask. Otherwise, moralists must either assume that young women know what they’re gettting themselves into, or be content to warn such women without resorting to violent intervention. The women that were beaten in India, could possibly have been taken advantage of at some time during the night, but they were surely beaten.

  15. February 13, 2009 at 06:24

    These battles were settled in the U.S twenty-five years ago.

    Not treating women as absolute equals is sexist.

  16. 16 Zainab from Iraq
    February 13, 2009 at 12:37

    Oh, yes indeed, woman needs protecting from the SOCIETY that imposes upon her to be like a wax mannequin.

  17. February 13, 2009 at 13:12

    Men still stick to their sense of superiority to women. It is no wonder if the majority of men prefer for their marriage a woman who is less old, less tall, less rich, less educated, less situated in work than them.

    Some women, if not the majority of them, take pride in marrying men superior to them to show themselves and their surrounding how valuable they are. In a sense, women brandish the equality law just to have a status in society and to be independent. When it comes to relations or marriage, it is nature that dominates. A man feels pride in protecting a woman and she, too, takes prides in being protected. A man seeks protection from a woman emotionally, rather than financially.

    When it comes to relations between men and women, it’s better to let nature work as long as there is mutual respect between the two sides. What hurts is when a woman is cruelly dominated by a man and a man is cruelly forced by a woman to be protective beyond his means, especially when it comes to financial matters.

  18. 18 Abhay Dang
    February 13, 2009 at 13:12

    The only people who can protect women, are other women – namely mothers. They are the ones who have to treat their sons and daughters equally from Day ONE.

    I wonder whether these men would dare to beat their own mothers and sisters. They have no shame. They are idiots.

  19. 19 michelle
    February 13, 2009 at 13:16

    I am white British myself but Feel that it is about time that young Indian and other women in their same situation have someone to stick up for them when they are being bullied and abused, especially by their own family, just because they want to fit into the society of where they live! It is not fair to expect a young woman to live the rules and culture of what would be in the family in India when they live in Britain! Im sorry but I am going to be blunt and many will not like what i will say but I will say it anyway! If these families and people oppossed to the life these young girls want to live dont like it then they should not live in Britain. Full stop! Im not saying that a family should be ok with their daughters acting wild and drinking all night ofcourse, I just mean girls who want to live a standard European lifestyle and as They are European citizians themselves having being born here then they have every right to live how they please. If they are over 18 then it is their live and the family should respect their decisions.

  20. February 13, 2009 at 13:53

    Women need protection from societies which still consider women as a sex symbol and as a weaker sex born to help men only to produce children and help them in their daily life. But there are women who have taken up arms as equals to men in fighting for their rights to freedom and capable of fighting for their rights from this part of the world are exception to the average women of the world who are depressed of their rights. In the absence of free media aid workers and less reported out side the world as pointed by UN secretary General in this deadly conflict area killings of innocent children women and elderly are happening everyday in the dark. Appointment of a highly placed former defense minister by the UK govt to negotiate peace in this deadly ethnic conflict is rejected by the Srilankan govt which is accused of crack dawn on media freedom by the killings of journalist and burning dawn of broadcasting studios.

  21. 21 Ramesh
    February 13, 2009 at 14:03

    @michelle, I can’t agree with you more especially in the european context. However, from debating angle, I doubt your view may clash with the phrase multi-cultural society. When you can have multi-cultural society, why not multi-life style society? I am just trying to understand whether culture and life style do clash in Europe. What is standard european life style? Is it any different from standard christian european life style? So many issues to ponder…..

  22. February 13, 2009 at 14:33

    Hi Zainab from Iraq
    Our women need help and courtesy. How else can they advance and improve in a male-dominated society?
    There are so many talented girls in our country that it is tragic to see them go to waste. They need equal opportunity in the work place, respect at home and a chance to become financially independent. They can’t travel alone, they can’t leave the country without parental or husband approval and they can’t book a room in a hotel.
    If protection means some sort of legal framework against physical abuse of women; not being pestered on the street, or in a cab; and stringent laws setting out their rights, yes.

  23. February 13, 2009 at 14:48

    @ Portland mike:
    if you feel the issues involving women were solved here in the us ages ago, you must not know any women. Ir will take women of all ages to stand up for one another until we will know that we need no outside protection. As soon as elder women say the way they, or their daughters or grand daughters have been treated will no longer be acceptable only then can change begin.
    I’ll pass on a piece of advice my mom gave me: without women the world stops. that’s real power, with hold everything until you get what you want.

  24. 24 John in Scotland
    February 13, 2009 at 14:51

    Surely women can only gain real equality when the instituitions ,religious and social, are seen for what they are …. a means of control and exploitation .

    Go to the source , and make the change ……theres nothing to loose this time … but everything to gain.

  25. February 13, 2009 at 14:51

    James the Kenyan

    Yes Yes Yes and its not about making them feel like a weaker sex the fact remains a drunk woman is more vulnerable to rape or abuse than a drunk male. You see protection doesn’t mean caging a woman its about watching for her in times of vulnerabilities. Here in Kenya women are not night watchman’s men are I rest my case.

  26. 26 Ibrahim in UK
    February 13, 2009 at 14:54

    Yes they do. I think women are having difficulty in defining a realistic role in society. In the “East”, their role is Wife and Mother; anything extra is challenging the tolerance of male-dominated expectations.
    In the “West”, their role is the same as a successful man plus wife, mother and supermodel; anything less is challenging the tolerance of female-dominated expectations.
    Living in the West, I find that the interpretation of “equal rights” has come to mean “identical rights”, treating both sexes as a homogenous group. The profound differences between males and females (physically and emotionally) and their respective unique traits are being ignored. At a basic level, protection from physical abuse is the right of a woman and the responsibility of the phsyically stronger male. This relationship has being eroded.

  27. 27 gary
    February 13, 2009 at 14:57

    While violence directed toward women is horrific, a society in which women need protection has bigger problems than violence toward women. Any group that must enforce its beliefs with violence has no beliefs worth enforcing.

  28. 28 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    February 13, 2009 at 14:58

    Many years ago, Hillary Clinton said we shouldn’t be talking about women’s rights, we should include women’s rights in the general discussion of human rights.

    Yes, women still DO need protecting, however; we need protection from backward, misogamist, patriarchal men.

  29. February 13, 2009 at 15:02

    Women still need protecting…. Because the bankers and speculators are out to get them.

    But seriously, but will always throw caution to the wind. There is no helping them.

    They prefer the jerks, not the nice guys. And this is their downfall.

  30. 30 Bob in Queensland
    February 13, 2009 at 15:04

    Isn’t there a major contradiction here? If men take the view that women somehow NEED protection, isn’t that in itself perpetuating the image as a lesser, weaker sex. However, if men were to view and treat women as equals, wouldn’t that remove the behaviour they may need protection from?

  31. 31 G.K.Edusei, Accra
    February 13, 2009 at 15:41

    The case in Mangalore and other parts of the world where women are treated like secondclass citizens and physically and mentally abused or worse, shows that women still need protection by constitutions from such lawlessness.Having said that,i think women would do well to behave with decorum,prove themselves through education and not expose themselves unnecessarily.

  32. February 13, 2009 at 15:43

    Women have all the power. They also are the only ones that can actually protect themselves.

    They used to carry really long hat pins that could be used to good advantage against preditory men with no respect.

    They also can dole out justice in rather stark ways. Imagine young and foolish street thugs trying to intimadate a good looking woman who is street wise. In America women fought for their own standing. I personally know women who shot and killed abusive boy friends. Their stories held up in court and they walk free out there, as deadly barriers to stupid people who will not live that long, because they simply do not know how dangerous women are who have been educated about it actually being a dog eat dog world. It really is a food chain out there and some people deserve to be stopped in their tracks.

    Muslim women can carry handguns quite well under their loose fitting garments.
    All they really need is the attitude to scare the gonads off the religous police and rapists who would dare try to intimidate them.

    It takes courage to protect yourself sometimes. The trick is to always win and believe you are the winner against true evil.

    troop on the Oregon coast

  33. 33 John, Salem
    February 13, 2009 at 15:43

    You should do your homework before asking a question like that. In it’s original concept chivalry was a code of honor between nobility and had nothing to do with protecting the weak. A member of the landed gentry would offer the women of a village under his jurisdiction to a visiting noblemen or throw it’s families out into the snow if the visitor and his party needed rooms for the night. Walter Raleigh may have thrown his cape on the ground for the queen but NEVER for a common peasant woman.
    In any case, the women I know would laugh at the idea of needing a man for a protector simply because he is a man – if alone in a dangerous situation another woman would work just as well. There are no rules in self defense and women are the nastiest fighters I know.

  34. February 13, 2009 at 15:44

    Weaker people do need protecting. I protect my children and the older people I know, but I have also protected some men. You can not always infer that women are weaker. But, I do believe that you can not own people, which is how I see a lot of the relationships around the globe where people say “women need protecting”. every man I know owes his life to a woman, now, if that woman would only teach him from BIRTH that he can never own a woman, but she should be held in a special place in his mind, then the world would see things differently. Women would not have to give up everything that makes them female. nor would men.

  35. February 13, 2009 at 15:52

    Women still need protection by law because they are vulnerable to any form of malhandling and molestation.

    Equally so, they should not mind that and go into astray, for it will give way to their falling into mess.

    From Mohammed Kondawa

    Monrovia Liberia

  36. 36 Paul
    February 13, 2009 at 16:13

    To my male mind,
    Protecting a person from vicious physical violence means:
    contacting our well trained, well equiped,
    and well paid police department.

    And over the last 45 years,
    the few times our Huntington Woods, Michigan
    Police Department has been asked for help,
    the response has been exceedingly prompt
    and positive.

  37. 37 Mukul, Parsippany, NJ
    February 13, 2009 at 16:23

    Who started the debate on culture, imitating culture etc.? It is not a question of culture. It is power grabbing in the name of morality.
    Anyone who cannot win a physical contest needs protection. It could be women, children, elderly, minorities, artists, the list is long.
    What culture ( to the gentleman who is championing the virtues of Indian culture) says hurt the weak.
    People are unjust when they want to dish out street justice like the one that happened in India and even worse are the people who seek to rationalize the act and worst are those who remain quite.

  38. February 13, 2009 at 16:45

    I thought women are now equal to men! They no longer need protection.
    They can take care of themselves!

  39. February 13, 2009 at 16:54

    It bothers me that this question puts the oppression of women in terms of ‘protection’. Mandie in Cape Coral gives a much better definition of protection.

    There was nothing protective about the despicable men who assaulted the women drinking in the bar. They must despise women, to treat them so. Nobody said the women were ‘drunk’; they were simply enjoying the company of other women over a glass of wine. Had they been drinking tea, would they have been assaulted? It’s possible the men objected to them simply socialising independently in a so-called man’s environment. What is the real issue here?

    How I wish this assault had been tried in court. Presumably the women did not press charges because their parents also disapproved of them. If so, they were let down by their own families.

    Berlusconi for the second time in a week demonstrates his unsuitability for high office. If I were an Italian woman I would view with alarm the presence of so many ‘protective’ soldiers on the street.

    I hope that 30,000 women will demonstrate the stupidity of this issue.

  40. 40 Zainab from Iraq
    February 13, 2009 at 17:14

    Salam alycom Akbar Javadi,
    I’m sorry to tell you that what you’ve mentioned above is nothing comparing to what women are confronting in all over the world (WITH NO EXCEPTION AT ALL), please take a look on any magazine, or watch tv, or you can simply browse the internet and you’ll see thousands of women who are shown like a copmmodity, like a product.. a thing so to speak.. they are being dehumanized.
    Women need to be protected from the humiliation they are in. they must be treated as a full human being, as a brain not as a body.

  41. 41 viola
    February 13, 2009 at 17:18

    Everyone needs protection from bullies. Would that question be asked if a group of older men beat up a group of young boys to “protect” them from themselves or their society’s unjust expectations of them? Canada

  42. 42 Anthony
    February 13, 2009 at 17:44

    Women are not, and will never be equal to men….but we must remember this goes both ways. It’s people who put the negative connotation on women being women. I can never have a child in me, and am jealous that my son was formed in his mother. Women have different parts and different chemicals, therefore will NEVER be equal…but what’s wrong with that, they have great attributes that men will NEVER have either.

    Just because an apple will never be an orange and visa versa, that doesn’t make one better than the other. The orange shouldn’t paint itself red and try to compete; it should take joy in its differences.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  43. February 13, 2009 at 17:56

    The issue of women protection isn’t clear cut as it depends on the fabrics and the mentality of the societies in which they happen to be. When it is taken for granted that women in free societies can get top positions and have a free life, in some countries like Afghanistan, girls aren’t even safe to go to schools. Recently there have been incidents in which their faces were attacked by acid.

    Here it isn’t just the question of drafting and enacting laws to protect women from abuse and bullying but also from reactionary views. As Zainab from Iraq has just mentioned, there are aspects of the exploitation of women who are lured into thinking that it is right to lead their lives in whatever manner. Treating a woman as a person who needs guidance for her self-esteem and safety isn’t the same as treating her as a (sexual) object and making her belief that her strength lies in her charm and not in developing competences to compete with man an to stand for her rights.

    After all, both men and women need protection when faced with ignorance. Both can be victims if they aren’t warned about the negative aspects of what they are doing.

  44. 44 Dale Smith
    February 13, 2009 at 18:06

    Hi Madeleine,

    Who is protecting men from so-called “negative influences” ?

    I always thought a lot of men are a shady clandestine lot. As women suffer violence from the men who are generally closest to them, clearly the “negative influences” are men themselves.

    Men who think beautiful women “need” protecting must surely have very perverted minds because any risk is surely only in their own sick imaginations.

    Seems it is men who need protecting from themselves!

    Women are NOT trying to be like men. It would be nice just to be free to be themselves! A basic human right I would have thought.


  45. 45 Steve
    February 13, 2009 at 18:08

    I asked this question in the past, and it was read on the air, and it basically protects by enabling. Enabling is just as bad as beating someone up so that they don’t act immorally.. The question I asked in the past, was that “if you knew you couldn’t get an abortion, would you go out and have unprotected casual sex with a complete stranger?” and the guest said “no”. So by having legal abortion, we enable irresponsible behavior. So we indeed “protect” women from their poor decisions, and in family law, the courts are very biased in favor of women. Women only recently have started to be held accountable for their crimes, hence why we read more and more outrageous behavior from women that used to be swept under the carpet.

  46. 46 Erika
    February 13, 2009 at 18:09

    I can’t even believe that the BBC is asking this question. How is this even a topic for debate? Why does the BBC continually ask questions on women as though it is even a topic that we, in this time and place, need to ask? They would never ask these same questions: “Can blacks look after themselves?” “Can Muslims look after themselves?” “Do minorites need protection from immoral behavior?” The bigger question should be “How do we get men to learn appropriate behavior?”

  47. 47 Andrew
    February 13, 2009 at 18:09

    Of course women need protecting, from stupid and narrow-minded men!

  48. 48 David in Florida
    February 13, 2009 at 18:13

    Judging by the almost even split of men and women in a recent class I took to obtain a concealed weapons license I would have to say women can take care of themselves and are making the appropriate arrangements.

  49. 49 Mike in NY
    February 13, 2009 at 18:13

    Its not that I believe women need to be protected but they should not automatically receive certain jobs.

    For example, If you there was a burglar in your home or you were trapped in a burning building would you want a female police officer/ firefighter or a male police officer/ firefighter?

  50. 50 Linda Marie
    February 13, 2009 at 18:13

    A show about whether or not women need protecting, and the first two guests are men? Let’s start with that.

  51. 51 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    February 13, 2009 at 18:14

    My 20 year-old daughter and her friends occasionally have a drink in a bar. They are all schooled in martial arts. If any gang of reactionary men tried to molest them, they’d wipe the bar room floor with the gang members’ beards.

  52. 52 Mike in NY
    February 13, 2009 at 18:15

    Its not that I believe women need to be protected but they should not automatically receive certain jobs.

    For example, If there was a burglar in your home or you were trapped in a burning building would you want a female police officer/ firefighter or a male police officer/ firefighter to save you?

  53. 53 kris
    February 13, 2009 at 18:15


    I am from india, male, i am very much against these people who are behind this

    This is just a theory or idea of a person or a idea of 2 or 3 people, and trying to spread, with support of people who do not have any other work,

    other than that i think this is a group of people who are jealous seeing people enjoying, or having fun



  54. February 13, 2009 at 18:16

    The only protection women need is protection from violence and unwanted sexual advances. Trying to enforce ones personal belief system on any other person is wrong. Equality between men and women should not be an issue.

  55. 55 Dale Smith
    February 13, 2009 at 18:19

    Quote: Abdelilah Boukili in Morrocco “…in some countries like Afghanistan, girls aren’t even safe to go to schools. …”

    I suspect it isn’t safe for schoolboys to go to school either.

  56. 56 Steve
    February 13, 2009 at 18:19

    I posted a statistic, that wasn’t approved, that 40% of domestic abuse victims are men, being abused by women, yet on air, your guest makes it seem like 100% of domestic abuse is by men against women. I think we need to be honest here if we’re going to have this discussion.

  57. 57 Sue from Ohio
    February 13, 2009 at 18:20


    You summed it up superbly!!!

  58. February 13, 2009 at 18:21

    Amos is the type of man that needs to be fought against. His attitude is horrific but I blame it on his mother!

  59. 59 Bridget
    February 13, 2009 at 18:22

    The premise that women are delicate entities that need to be protected is not only insulting, but insidious. To suggest that women need the protection of men infantilizes them. Yes, it is true that women are victims of violence at the hands of men at alarming rates globally. The idea that women are weak and incapable of functioning in society without men only further fosters a social climate where rape and battery of women is the norm.

  60. 60 David
    February 13, 2009 at 18:23

    It seems to me that the phrase “protecting women” is just a euphemism for “controlling women” … even in America … I can’t believe the patronizing and chauvenistic attitude from your male guest …

    Portland, Oregon

  61. February 13, 2009 at 18:24

    ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.’
    — Irina Dunn, distinguished Australian educator

  62. 62 Mandy in Portland OR
    February 13, 2009 at 18:25

    the only thing that women need protection from is the male attitude that women are weaker and therefore need protecting. If men put the effort they seem to feel is necessary in protecting women, into changing their attitudes towards them, maybe women wouldn’t have anything to worry about. If men are convinced that women are weak and inferior (“weak beings”) and they cling to this as justification for their attitudes of superiority…well, this is what women need protection from. we need preventative medicine here.

  63. 63 Wil Geier
    February 13, 2009 at 18:25

    Is this a joke? I’m hearing a man dismissing women as weak, emotional, and irrational. I’m waiting for the punchline.

  64. 64 Anthony
    February 13, 2009 at 18:27

    I don’t think these are the best people for this discussion, hehe, the male is very condescending, and the woman IS acting a bit emotional. I don’t think they are getting to the guts of the discussion, which is that if women and men work together, they will work much better than separate.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  65. 65 Steve
    February 13, 2009 at 18:27

    @ Cure

    unwanted sexual advances? So women should be free from men they don’t find attractive from coming on to them? Please. They are grownups and can say no.

  66. 66 Peter
    February 13, 2009 at 18:29

    Everyone was excited that to i ‘ve sons . I was not . My sons generation needs to be protected from women. The law must change to safeguard men. Women are vicious.

  67. 67 Steve
    February 13, 2009 at 18:29

    I’m a bit shocked that people are denying that women are emotional. I don’t know about you, but I’m sure every guy who has ever been on a date, let alone had a relationship with a woman, knows that women are incredibly emotional, they reason with emotion (though men can think with their genitals which leads to poor decisions as well), and change their minds constantly and don’t know what they want. Anyone who denies this is just flat out dishonest.

  68. February 13, 2009 at 18:30

    Amos, you are so condescending and sexist. Your ideas are ignorant and medieval. Your so called African ideas surely can’t be the mainstream thought of a modern Africa.

  69. 69 Steve
    February 13, 2009 at 18:30

    ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.’
    — Irina Dunn, distinguished Australian educator

    If that’s the case, then end all alimony payments.

  70. 70 Justin
    February 13, 2009 at 18:30

    Clearly the problem is not men in general, but the cultures that perpetuate sexist and unequal roles.

  71. February 13, 2009 at 18:31

    As an African woman, I’ve always been of the view that Africa would have fared better if we had more women presidents, and more in places of leadership, but then, this probably belongs in a different forum.

    Women only need protection from bad men. Otherwise, they are very capable of taking care of themselves, their young and good men.

  72. 72 Phil Callicrate
    February 13, 2009 at 18:32

    Women and Men need protecting by laws that preserve thier rights. But ut takes the agreement of the culture for these laws to be enforced.

    In the USA we have laws that protect men as well as women.

    The comments of the African Man in your studio are designed to provoke and control. Fisrt of all here is nothing wrong with getting emotional in an argument. Secondly men provoke each other all the time in normal conversation. Especially when they disagree. Men are very emotional I guess this man needs to be protected.


  73. 73 Kya
    February 13, 2009 at 18:33

    I’m listening this new right now, and some man is saying that women need be protect because they are emotional and men are rational…well, it may be true once we see men killing people, men in wars, men destroying our world. If men were most emotional the world wold be better. How rational was Hittler ?

    I think men and women should help each other and not fight against to, once the both together make an equilibrium.

    we are in the same world, for heaven sake, let’s be together!

  74. 74 Dale Smith
    February 13, 2009 at 18:33

    When women are still getting beat up for simply having a drink in a bar then this is going to be a very emotive subject. hat the men who bullied the women in India were very emotional when they were “angered by the fact that they were drinking alcohol, mingling with men and wearing clothes that they called “indecent”. The leader of the party, Pramod Muthalik said that his party were the “custodians of Indian culture” aimed at stopping women from “going astray”
    The man in your BBC studio seem to disregard the fact that anger which leads to these men were emotional, not rational when they acted and said what they did.

    Quote: Erika “I can’t even believe that the BBC is asking this question. How is this even a topic for debate? Why does the BBC continually ask questions on women as though it is even a topic that we, in this time and place, need to ask?”

    This is a topic for debate because women are even today are not accepted as equal in the minds of men and I don’t mean just in India!

  75. 75 Susan
    February 13, 2009 at 18:34

    I am listening in Central California on the Internet and wonder who has given credence to Amos to speak on behalf of “African” “rational” men.

    Please take him off the air and put someone who is not so insulting.

    Such comments are not acceptable for any group of people.

    If this were a talk about whether “blacks” needed protecting, we would not allow him to say such things. They would be considered racist.

    I agree with Erica that it is the behavior of men that needs to be discussed, not whether women need to be protected. The “elephant in the corner” is the question: Protected from whom?

    I’m turning off my radio now because this is making me ill.

    I expect a better organized conversation with more direction and less allowance of insults from the BBC mediator, herself a woman!

  76. 76 Sandeep Singh
    February 13, 2009 at 18:34

    Women do need protection. But question is, protection from whom? If woman need physical protection than so our Indian politicians or VIPs. Therefore women need to be protected from conservative fanatics who are ready to seek violent means to achieve their political goals.

    Sandeep , New Delhi

  77. 77 Eric in France
    February 13, 2009 at 18:34


    Emotional women! Men are rational!
    Never heard such emotional stupidity. If men were rational, there would be no no wars around the world.
    For what is Africa, I have worked there (west africa) 4 years . Often the one really working is the woman. She is the one who is carrying the tens of kilos for the family. The man tends to spend his time in speaking, talking about the women, and spreading his seed.

    If there are bad influence on women, then I guess it means that men have bad influences on women. Therefore it is those men that should be put aside rather than half of a society.


  78. 78 Rose In Florida
    February 13, 2009 at 18:34

    A comment for Amos (radio guest)…
    I cannot believe that Amos would call a creature who can birth something the size of a watermelon as “Weak”

  79. 79 Tom D Ford
    February 13, 2009 at 18:38

    All people need to be protected from Conservatives!

  80. 80 Mandy in Portland OR
    February 13, 2009 at 18:38

    Regarding the desire for chivalry from men to women…..I know men like the same romantic considerations from women. These considerations are just people being considerate and romantic and respectful to one another. And the chivalry thing was just a way of curtailing a bunch of marauding violent soldiers when there was no war to fight. “chivalry” is a myth.

  81. 81 Anthony
    February 13, 2009 at 18:39

    @ steve

    You’re correct, and I’m proof. I got hit in the face, kicked, and even sliced with a knife, but never once struck my ex-wife. Our society says thats ok, but one smack to the face and I would have been looked down on for sure. Women only want to be equal in certain parts, and not equal in others.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  82. 82 Carol
    February 13, 2009 at 18:39

    Spectacular arrogance, condescension and a perfect demonstration of male insecurity by your guest Amos in the face of a strong and confident woman Bertha. Women only need opportunity and they can equal men in every arena. Go Bertha! You represent reality.

  83. 83 Katharine
    February 13, 2009 at 18:40

    BBC is asking the wrong question.

    When men say that they need to protect women, they are actually talking about controlling women. As soon as you understand that, it starts to make sense why men would beat up women who refuse to be “protected.” And men like Amos who talk about women as irrational flowers also make it clear that they want to control women. He may say that non-Africans can’t understand his cultural context but there are plenty of men in western countries who have the same attitude.

  84. 84 Steve
    February 13, 2009 at 18:40

    Actually, the feminization of boys is leading to very weak males that women dont’ desire. There will be more and more of them in the future, and men will have to unlearn what they were taught about women to become desirable to women again. The so-called nice guys are basically feminized men, that women do not desire. The message from this show will lead to more weak men, that women won’t want.

  85. 85 Patti in Florida
    February 13, 2009 at 18:40

    I can’t help feeling a little sorry for men. As the world has changed, I wonder if they feel superfluous and not needed? After all, we can work, have children take care of the children, take care of our selves, etc. Do men feel like they have just become sperm donors? I’m not talking about abusers and cruel men, I’m talking about the rest of them, the good guys, the average guys. Do we make you feel unecessary?

  86. 86 Sue from Ohio
    February 13, 2009 at 18:40

    Due to the astonishing stupidity of the male guest, I have to turn off my radio. And that’s a first for me.

  87. 87 Rose In Florida
    February 13, 2009 at 18:40


  88. 88 J. Potter
    February 13, 2009 at 18:40

    The way to stop violence against women is to punish the men who perpetrate it. Men like your in-studio guest who are so insistent (and aggressive) in advocating their “right” to control “their” women are the worst perpetrators of all. Women don’t need looking after — which is code for controlling, oppressing and imprisoning. They need and deserve the full protection of the law, and to live under laws that recognize the legal equality of all people.

    Happy V Day!!

  89. 89 Venessa
    February 13, 2009 at 18:41

    My body is the problem? I need to be regulated on how I dress? What is wrong with Amos?

    How about men believe women need to be protected from men that wish to control them.

  90. 90 Tom D Ford
    February 13, 2009 at 18:41

    From a scientific point of view, all thoughts are connected to emotions. So no-one is un-emotional! Your male guest is apparently ignorant of this fact.

  91. 91 Nancy in Oregon
    February 13, 2009 at 18:41

    Pulling up to the curb in rain is courtesy, not chivalry. When I’m driving, I pull up close for my husband and family to keep them out of the rain. When he’s driving, my husband does the same for me! Please don’t make this a male/female issue.

    The only thing women need protection from is men — men who feel they need to keep women down to control them.

  92. 92 Lena
    February 13, 2009 at 18:42

    How weak is a man that he is ‘provoked’ into raping a woman?

    It seems to me if it is that easy to create a response from a man – they should be the one needing protecting.

  93. 93 Venessa
    February 13, 2009 at 18:42

    revised, I meant women need to be protected from ment that wish to control them.

  94. February 13, 2009 at 18:42

    This African man is a joke. Are you coaching him to provoke us all? Liberal thinker? Typical African? If he is, God help the women in Africa.

  95. February 13, 2009 at 18:43

    It is only right for women and men to fulfill their gender own roles in their own society, and that is the responsibility of everybody. Women must be allowed to do what they’re good at, given protection only when necessary. Women and men are equal beyond their own biological composition. Everyone is similar in their own differences, everyone has their own strengths.

    Billy Soh, Singapore.

  96. February 13, 2009 at 18:43

    We are presented with a false dilemma here: women,being human being, have the fundamental right to behave and develop as any human being, so, as well as men. They are not a different species after all! What’s all this nonsense about them being so very different – in fact, people like Amos in the Nairobi studio could perhaps do with some more emotion, perhaps it would make them better fathers, husbands, and colleagues. Many of the reasons mentioned for the so called ‘protection’ are meant to retain certain privileges in the hands of men. As human beings, women do need protection, as well as men, the basic protection in society to go and do everything in order to be a citizen that can contribute his or her best qualities to society and to enjoy life as long as it doesn’t curtail other people’s freedom, which is exactly what some patriarchal men are trying to do. (A good thing too the presenter is able to restrain Amos from repeating those nonsensical prejudices and displaying this patronizing attitude.) Wake up boys, this is 2009! The Middle Ages were quite some time ago.

  97. 97 Lena
    February 13, 2009 at 18:43

    Amos states that women of his country are ‘fine’ with being beaten by their husbands….are they really fine, or just to scared to say anything to the contrary?

  98. 98 Jessica
    February 13, 2009 at 18:44

    I am perplexed that you are giving this man the right to broadcast hate speech against women. Would you have a skinhead on the air? A Ku Klux Klan member?

  99. 99 viola
    February 13, 2009 at 18:44

    Amos is saying outrageous things in what he considers a reasonable way. Nobody is being taken in except those who agree with his outrageous opinions. Canada

  100. 100 Venessa
    February 13, 2009 at 18:44

    Steve ~ I absolutely agree that women are typically more emotional as men. That doesn’t mean women are stupid or need a man to tell them what to do. That’s just another excuse as to why sexist men want women to believe they are inferior.

  101. 101 Greg
    February 13, 2009 at 18:44

    This Amos fellow is so incredibly offensive. We don’t have a charter of ‘Human Rights, According to Specific Cultural Customs,” but an “International Declaration.” No one deserves abuse, regardless of culture.

  102. 102 Sammy William
    February 13, 2009 at 18:44

    Women are Special. And the best protection men can offer them is to appreciate them respect them and offer them support to be the best they can be. Protection is not control but Liberty! Men need to appreciate that and look a little bit deeper to realize that a world without women is a world without men!

    Sammy -Karen Nairobi Kenya

  103. 103 Eric in France
    February 13, 2009 at 18:45


    women needs men to protect them. The society needs rules to protects them stories written like 20 years by Salman Rushdie and so on. Life is change. But it is true that many thinks that we need to be protected against thought like the ones on evolution of species.

    I think that all those systems that expect to protect us are just avoiding one truth: man and woman have a good and a bad side, which means that they are able of the best and the worst. Split the atom and you get either energy to for the good of our home or a bomb.

    Protection of women is just a protect to a few to give themselves good conscious.


  104. 104 Rose In Florida
    February 13, 2009 at 18:45


  105. 105 Jack
    February 13, 2009 at 18:45

    People need protection, not just 1 gender specifically. If men truly believe that it is their role to protect them, then they should do so without violence or oppression.

    I feel the reason why there is a debate about this, in the past century with the feminist movement many men feel displaced… being raised with a role and to see that their role (purpose) doesn’t exist, it can be confusing as to what role men should play…the loss of a cultural identity can make one feel useless and these negative feelings can turn into anger and in turn we have men performing hateful acts toward women…this doesn’t excuse it, but explains the reason.

    I feel we should be able to freely take roles as we choose and be recognized for it… I know I would rather enjoy it if a woman would want to open the door, ask me out, move my chair, by me flowers, etc. and all those other “typical male” acts men are suppose to do… but it isn’t so appreciated by them in general… really the only chivalrous thing I can do with out any insulting feelings from a woman is put the toilet seat down.

  106. 106 jade
    February 13, 2009 at 18:45

    This is for amos. I am of Asian origin and from a conservative up-bringing that respects women, that they need to be educated and given as much opportunities to work and be productive in societies. I don’t need protection. Men like you don’t like independent women. Men who are ashamed to shed tears or to “lose face” are hypocrites and really not very bright. You do not know the meaning of the word “liberal”. Maybe you mean “stupid”?

  107. 107 Tom D Ford
    February 13, 2009 at 18:45

    Search out “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and The Convention On The Rights Of A Child”. Rights are well defined.

  108. 108 Sandeep Singh
    February 13, 2009 at 18:47

    I ashamed of the Bangalore incident, if this is the situation in one of the most cosmopolitan city of India then God help the woman who lives in remote village of India. Who claim the protectors of Indian culture, they must relearn the age old Indian culture which gave the world famous Kamasutra and Khajuraho.

  109. 109 Tod in Atlanta GA
    February 13, 2009 at 18:47


    As a fellow African man, I find you to be incredibly ignorant, stupid and barbaric in your thinking. YOU ARE A PIGHEADED JOKE and an utter EMBARRASSMENT. If you have it in you to look at things differently, you may want to give it a try. One other thing, stop saying that people don’t understand you… we read you loud and clear… we just disagree with your line of thinking 150%.

    Get a life!

  110. 110 Lat
    February 13, 2009 at 18:47

    I am a guy but I don’t believe man should protect woman. This is just being selfish by satisfying their self-proposed regulations upon other human beings. No… No to that Muhamud guy… sorry

  111. 111 Adam
    February 13, 2009 at 18:48

    Unfortunately, a lot of cultures (but not all) have historically treated women as being weaker than men. I think it’s because women’s strengths are much subtler than men’s. But this doesn’t mean women are weaker, it just means that men’s strengths (like aggressiveness, physical strength, etc.) are more obvious and don’t require much thought to recognize. Women’s strengths (emotional awareness, etc.) are more difficult to understand and recognize and it doesn’t help that even Western cultures don’t discuss women’s issues as much as they should.

  112. 112 Ralph
    February 13, 2009 at 18:48

    It seems to be that it is us men who are oncontrollably emotional emotional and not rational if we require women to dress in a particular way so that we do not rape them!

    We all feel that we need protecting from time to time. Women should be in control of saying when they feel they need protecting, and when they don’t.


  113. 113 Ladib ismail
    February 13, 2009 at 18:48

    As far as i’m cocerned, women are still in need of being protected. They can be in danger in the street, in their work and ,in fact, every where. just because they are deared and loved to men; and also because of their nature.

  114. 114 Steve
    February 13, 2009 at 18:50

    Should the girl who is engaged to Drew Peterson (alleged to have killed his two prior wives) be protected from her own decisionmaking?

  115. 115 Deborah in Ohio
    February 13, 2009 at 18:51

    We should all protect each other… Women more correctly need some support and enough protection to become empowered enough to stand up and support themselves, just as anyone else might.

    Those who try to use ‘protection’ to dominate someone, or to smother and prevent growth should be ashamed. Before slavery was abolished in the US, one of the shameful ways the white man tried to justify it was by saying that slaves needed the protection of that institution because they could not live on their own, what’s the difference?

  116. 116 Jonathan (dazzling San Francisco)
    February 13, 2009 at 18:51

    Women need to be protected–from the destructive hypocrisy that burdens them with shame at every turn. Forgive my language, but why is “slut” an insult while “stud” is a compliment? They mean the same thing, except that one is a woman and the other a man. Women need protection only from violence, discrimination, and impossible rules, all inflicted by men.

    San Francisco

  117. 117 Paige
    February 13, 2009 at 18:52

    I think protection and chivalry should not be bound by the rules of “gender.” If I love someone and they love me, they are welcome to protect me, or open the door for me, and they will know how I will react to their behavior, be it a man or a woman. But if it is a stranger trying to enforce “protection” upon me, it will always be extremely unwelcome.

    All people need protection sometimes when it is welcome. As far as a world community view, men should not feel entitled to protect women, nor should any group feel entitled to protect any other.

    Equality can coexist with protection, but only when it is mutually understood, and welcome.

    How about Amos admires the beautiful flower, instead of calling it emotional? He’s risking making all “typical liberal thinking african men” look bad.

  118. 118 Rose In Florida
    February 13, 2009 at 18:52

    Women have NOT ALWAYS been dominated…that is a falsehood…

  119. 119 Bob
    February 13, 2009 at 18:52

    Women DO need protecting – from men who create cultural systems that regard women as possessions and prevent women from realizing their full humanity. If you say this treatment comes from God, then play me the tape so I can hear God saying it to me, too.

    BTW, to say that women causes her own rape because of the way she dresses doesn’t say much about the man as a rational (not emotional, as Amos says women are) actor in a civilized society.

  120. 120 Steve
    February 13, 2009 at 18:54

    Wow. I’m amazed by some of the guests. A lot of women LOVE attention. Being protected is a form of attention, hence why they LOVE being protected. That’s how you can contemplate that some women enjoy being protected.

  121. 121 Andrew from U.K in Seoul, Korea.
    February 13, 2009 at 18:55

    My mother bought me up on her own. She took care of me. Here in Korea middle aged woman are seen as extremely strong and hard. Don’t most men think of thier mothers as strong? Who do most men think of as stronger, thier mother or father?

  122. 122 Vijay
    February 13, 2009 at 18:56

    Amos ,Why don’t you look at Womens rights in the context of universal human rights?

    If my culture says it is ok to have slaves then I should have slaves I will send someone to capture you and make you work in my field,is that OK ,er no.

  123. 123 Wil Geier
    February 13, 2009 at 18:56

    I don’t understand how a male person can be so condescending and patronizing towards females and other males. Women aren’t inherently emotional or “vicious.” They are people and need just as much protection as men. Women should be able to say “I don’t want your protection,” or “I don’t want your help.” There are people called “police” to protect the peace; it is their job. Men shouldn’t attach themselves to a woman just to “protect” them. Women should be able to wear that which they wish, and not be forced by popular culture to wear overly revealing or overly concealing garments. Women aren’t weak. They’ve got more dexterity than the lumbering male stereotype. The men who take advantage of women need cultures that don’t encourage protection from other men and make an environ where sexual assault is excusable. They also need counseling and healthy relationships. Women should be punished just as much for assaulting men, but men assault women much, much more often. Women aren’t animals that need protection and are overly emotional. Amos is wrong.

  124. 124 Rose In Florida
    February 13, 2009 at 18:56

    YAY SIMON!!!

  125. 125 bluemountain78
    February 13, 2009 at 18:57

    Hi I have had the priveledge of living in a developing world and an developed one i must say the only time i felt i needed to be protected was when i was in the developed multi cultural world where my right to speak was thought of as condescending and not to be taken seriously …. if that is going to be your thought on the matter then no wonder you think they need protecting.

  126. February 13, 2009 at 18:57

    That is very right, women must be respected!

    Billy Soh, Singapore

  127. 127 joe in corvallis, or
    February 13, 2009 at 18:57

    why has no one mentioned that men often view protection as protecting their right to the woman and to access to her sexually.

    so that what men often mean by protection is to portect male property rights.

    its a womans body and she carrys the egg and baby.

  128. 128 April from Oregon
    February 13, 2009 at 18:57

    People, not only women, may require protection when in an repressive situation. Certain instances involving women warrant their protection, indeed.

    For example, in the use of rape (and spread of HIV) as a weapon of war in certain parts of Africa.

    Women are often identified as vulnerable in displaced populations as well – women-headed households are more likely to have their children abducted and used as child soldiers.

  129. 129 Jonathan (dazzling San Francisco)
    February 13, 2009 at 19:00

    Actually it goes like this:

    “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle” — attributed to Gloria Steinem.

  130. 130 Jennifer
    February 13, 2009 at 19:00


    If interrupting = emotional and irrational, then there are many, many emotional, irrational men all around the world.

    -Jennifer, Portland, OR

  131. 131 viola
    February 13, 2009 at 19:03

    This discussion harkens back to others about violence against women. Yes, women need to be protected by laws against men who think they have an inborn right to tell women what to do and how to behave up to and including those men in India who used violence against women and used the excuse that they were protecting them. It’s a crock. They know it and so does everyone else.

  132. 132 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    February 13, 2009 at 19:08

    I was outraged when the WHYS moderator let Amos pontificate on and on, until Imram came on the line and showed himself to be a thoughtful, just and caring man in the face of Amos’s condescending and arrogant attitude. Amos is exactly the kind of man that women, if they DO need protecting, need protection from. Should Amos ever come round to Imran’s way of thinking (fat chance), the need for so-called protection will be history.

    Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I’d like to ask all female WHYS listeners: If, tomorrow, both Imram and Amos proposed to you, which proposal would you accept?

    I predict that Imram would win, hands down, with hearts and flowers all over.

  133. 133 Younis Nizamani
    February 13, 2009 at 19:08

    Well, the islamic point of view women has equal right as man has. So it means women should be under cover of (Parda), It mean they have cover there body and face with the black cloth or. women shouldn’t show there face or body. if they are not covering it that men has eyes and There are different people live with their negative attitude but it is phenomena of human being that sex is the one of need. according this views is this meaning!

  134. 134 viola
    February 13, 2009 at 19:09

    Furthermore, that incident in India is just another example of the way in which men attempt to protect themselves against the possibility that they will do harm to women if the women do something they don’t approve of. The blinders have to come off and men must see that the women are not the problem here.

  135. 135 Patti in Florida
    February 13, 2009 at 19:12

    I think people who enjoy, or get some kind of satisfaction from violence will always find a way to justify it, even under the guise of “protection”.

  136. 136 Adam
    February 13, 2009 at 19:13

    Carol, I agree, but partly disagree. Women should not try to equal men in EVERY arena. For instance, men will always dominate in sports (if you look at the pure numbers, men always outperform women and always have), but why should women try to be the equal of men in sports? It just facilitates insecurity and damages progress for women to try to equal men in arena’s such as this. Women should instead change the international conversation about their gender’s strengths. They should try to bring to light all the areas in which women are better than men and stop focusing so intently on being man’s “equal” (in the obvious sense). Women are ALREADY man’s equal, but it’s because they have their own unique strengths. The reason women haven’t traditionally been recognized as man’s equal is because women’s strengths are subtler and their roles have been historically repressed and downplayed by culure. So all women have to do is learn to highlight their strengths. Then they’ll realize that they’re already as strong (or stronger) than men.

  137. February 13, 2009 at 19:26

    On a light note:

    An English professor wrote the words, “Woman without her man is nothing,” on the blackboard and directed the students to punctuate it correctly.

    The men wrote: “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”

    The women wrote: “Woman! Without her, man is nothing.”

    From this punctuation exercise, it seems that each thinks being important to the other. Each needs to feel secure through the opposite sex. I may be wrong in my interpretation.

  138. 138 pdxer
    February 13, 2009 at 19:28

    I have always worked in jobs that are dominated by men, because they pay well! I am a valued employee, but often customers are surprised that I am doing the dangerous work that they think of as a man’s job.

    I am much happier to do a dangerous job and earn my own fortune so that I don’t need to seek out a man to “protect” me. There are too many strings attached to men’s protection. Many men are so emotionally attached to being in charge that it prevents them from respecting and enjoying the company of women as individuals.

    To the question of men being rational: I have yet to meet a man capable of earning and saving his money in a rational way. The structure of our economy was built and dominated by men encouraging risky and totally irrational investing, always pushing for having more and more rather than focusing on having and owning what you need to make you happy. In my experience, women are much more likely to be conservative investors, focused on building a livable and home– the value of which can’t plummet in the stock market.
    (No offense intended to those men out there who don’t fall into this category. I am by no means saying everyone is one way or another.)

  139. 139 Diane
    February 13, 2009 at 19:29

    What a reductive, ridiculous conversation.

    The only people who still cling to the notion that men are better than women, or whites are better than blacks, etc. are those sad little fools who are grasping for some natural sense of superiority. That way they don’t have to work to become great; they believe they were born that way.

    Are we seriously engaging these knuckle-draggers with their hackneyed beliefs about women now, in the 21st century? Do women still need protecting? Are you kidding me with this question? The only interesting question is, “What can be done to protect women from violence?” Why is the BBC more interested in provoking than edifying?

  140. 140 Ramesh
    February 13, 2009 at 19:56

    Can I please refer to a significantly encouraging development from India? Please check the link
    I guess right wing extremists too would think about their mistakes if they are protested properly.

  141. 141 Randal
    February 13, 2009 at 21:21

    Amos is a hypocritical fool. The world is in chaos because of male driven wars and greed, yet women are considered to be “emotional and irrational”. Spare me.

  142. 142 Harold
    February 13, 2009 at 21:43

    There is no justification for mobs of cowardly men attacking women because they disagree with their behavior. Hopefully, the men of the world have come to recognize and accord women with the equal rights that they expect. It is a dark and despicable day when the men of the world feel that they are sole arbiters of the behavior of women from which he was sustained 9 months of his early life.

    Roseville, Minnesota, USA

  143. 143 TeeJay
    February 14, 2009 at 01:06

    So much depends on the culture, religion, and country we are talking about. Nate makes a good point…. ““protecting” seems to manifest itself as controlling. ”
    Controlling may be more needed for men unable to control themselves.

    We ALL need protection from less than civilized members of society, (any society), The degree of protection is probably closely related to the degree of ‘civilization’. More protection is needed in more barbaric societies.

  144. 144 Shivahari Prasain
    February 14, 2009 at 07:07

    I dont think woman need any protection .To Patronize them is , in my view ,is to dominate them .Its the patriaechal mindset which define what woman should do,act or behave .Today’s woman r as capable,independent and smart as men so why should we inferoeize them?

  145. 145 Roberto
    February 14, 2009 at 09:47

    RE “” I learnt about recent events in South India, where a right wing group of activists beat up a group of young girls drinking in pub “”

    ——————— Weak men often look for weaker victims to pick on.

    Obviously the poor dears wouldn’t fit the definition of gentlemen, being more like ill mannered sissyboys, but that seems to fit a pattern in certain parts of every culture, particularly in 3rd world or developing countries where men routinely beat women.

    “Dogs in America get more affection than women in most Third World countries.” as dog whisperer, Cesar Millan noted once.

    That being said, plenty of men out there need protection from women who are obviously the missing piece of the puzzle. In the western world, women have great deal of room to display their charms and set traps for naive and unwitting victims. Lot of successful men felled by women, and a lot of innocent men serving time after being unjustly accused and convicted of victimizing women.

  146. 146 Keth from Jamaica
    February 14, 2009 at 13:25

    Listening to the exchange between the African guests yesterday brought out so may ’emotions’ in me. Being a student of Anthropology and Sociology I recognize that this argument will be won and lost in our varied cultural spaces and societies across the world.
    For instance, the average Jamaican women would not need to be protected from anything or anyone for that matter because she has been socialized to protect and fend for herself. This is a character trait that has been reinforced through our cultural practices.
    Your male African guest would be in for a culture shock if he visited my island and found that we Jamaican women would not need his protection; rather, he may need protection from us. If he’s interested, he could get a taste of our spirit by reading a poem entitled ‘Jamaica Ooman’ written by our poet Louise Bennett.

  147. 147 Shakhoor Rehman
    February 14, 2009 at 13:29

    The law should protect and advance women’s rights and responsibilities which, more or less, it has done for the past century worldwide. That is not to say that everything in the garden is rosy for women. There are still plenty of weeds that need husbanding.

  148. February 14, 2009 at 14:58

    the hindutwa party and its foolowers who sided with who hacked ,slitopen pregnantwomans belly and killed her in gujarath and raped a nun in broaddaylightin orissa,burninglive grahamstains and his twolittle kids in a jeep, are now camafloughing as moral police of indian culture ?what a paradox..this kind of perverts called muthaliks and his partymenwho sides with him are the curse of our country ..monkeys compared to them look far better in character after what happened in mangalore and other places?

  149. 149 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    February 14, 2009 at 16:43

    Hi WHYSers!

    Specifically, at Madeliene and Krupa (Just saw this today on Valentine’s Day!) and wanted to thank you for the question. However, I feel that Madeliene’s last set of questions best position how I would like to respond to this.

    Firstly, the notion that ‘women need protecting’ shifts based on where we are, both in terms of what protection means, as well as who is a woman. The truth is that, there is no universal agreement on the categories of womanhood and manhood, even while there are certain biological bodies that occupy these spaces. Interestingly, there is an ad running on Cable TV here (in Jamaica) where a young woman from small town USA goes into the army and her father is heard saying that at first he was concerned because she was a little girl from a small town. Now, (that she is in the army) she is a soldier!

    The obvious reading is that, being a soldier is a strong, gender neutral category upon which America’s security is currently hinged. In that context, there was no undercurrent of the need to protect a woman so much as it was the woman who was the figure of protection. Very forward looking ad by the US Army! Kudos to them.

    Now, onto Krupa’s point about open-ness for Indian women, in particular, even while she is European by birth and nationality, speaks again to the shifting locus of expectations based on gender. It is interesting that even though you (Krupa) point out that you have a partner and that you drink, that you also say that some of your friends’ parents do not know what they get up to, while they are partying and, presumably, drinking till the early morn. Is that one of your expectations?

    Or, is it the case that based on how you negotiate your gender (roles) that, in built into being an Indian woman, even away from the sub-continent, is the idea that caregivers and lawmakers (in this case parents, etc.) should (at least) know what their female charges get up to, in that regard? If that is so, then the issue of protection is not a one-sided discourse, at all.

    If however, it is not then that is an interesting point you raise, in part because it shows how ideas of what constitutes being a woman shift based on location, age and expectation(s), etc. So, perhaps it is that women do need protecting (still?). The question is, which women? And, if there are some women who need protection (still?), how do we determine that? Is there an objective measure? That brings us back, in a way, to Madeliene’s last two questions.

  150. 150 Cynthia (Texas now, born and raised North Carolina, USA)
    February 14, 2009 at 18:31

    I am a relatively young American woman (23) who has attended college and moved 1,000+ miles away from all of my family to live in a completely new setting among strangers. In doing so I was never fearful of being attacked or beaten because I had no one around to protect me. The laws of my country and the laws of my society protect me. Those laws say that as a citizen (not a man OR woman) I have the right to move around freely, wearing however much or little bodily covering I choose (with the exception of being nude), speaking to whomever I choose, and drinking and eating whatever I choose.
    If I wear a swimsuit in public will men stare? Yes. Will they feel excited? Perhaps. Will they attack and rape me? No. While I have read claims that women provoke men into a sexual frenzy by appearance alone and therefore they are to blame for the attack I argue that while some emotions are strong, they are not beyond control. A person who cannot control or channel their emotions enough to refrain from hurting another is not fit to be among society. The ability to control emotions is one quality that defines an adult. As such, any man who cannot control himself is a child and deserves neither the title of ‘man’ nor ‘adult’, much less the pleasures of sexual intercourse.
    Do I like being protected? If I ask for protection then yes, otherwise people should assume that I have the situation under control. Do I like for a man to be chivalrous (ie. open doors, walk on the street side of the sidewalk)? Sometimes, but these acts are not performed out of necessity, they performed as tokens of kindness and respect. Tokens which I insist on returning. So while he may open one door for me, I open the next for him. As equals we exchange tokens of kindness and respect using the same tools. In other cultures I see this done, but the tools are different for each gender: the man opens doors and makes decisions for his wife and in return the wife obeys her husband’s wishes/decisions and serves him. While this is not right or wrong (and may even be considered sweet within the culture), it does restrict both parties in terms of their acceptable actions. The man cannot converse intellectually with and consider his wife’s/daughter’s/aunt’s/mother’s opinions even if he wants to (at least he cannot admit this to his male peers). The woman cannot offer a suggestion that conflicts with her husband/father/brother/friend’s choice, even if he would benefit more from it. In this way, the two people who love each other cannot serve each other completely. That is what I consider all relationships to be: pleasurable, rewarding, honorable partnerships in which both serve the other for mutual gain. If this is not your purpose in having a relationship, then I would argue that you ARE using the word ‘protection’ as a cover for ‘control’. Thus your only remaining argument is that women need ‘protection’ so that men can continue to validate taking their childish temper-tantrums and mood swings out on us guilt free. By the way, selfishness is also a childish trait…consider getting yourself an escort, because you are the one that needs to be controlled.

    This is all just my humble opinion…thanks for considering it.

  151. 151 Asif
    February 14, 2009 at 21:12

    i think A woman Always need a man to protect her becuse God has created a woman physically weak as compared to Man.its reality that both man and woman cant live without each other but its a duty of a man to protect woman and she aslo feel protection in the his prsence.If a woman can protect her self then why the Majority of rape cases and other brutality cases are reported for woman
    Presence of a man is just like a lifeguard

  152. 152 faysal
    February 14, 2009 at 21:38

    Is this a shame if women need protection? Does the need of being protected deprives the female of her natural and instinctive power? ay the protection put her in contradiction with her role? Is the need of protection a sort of submission? To those who have said NO, what’s more positively effective, to have unneeded protection, or a missing protection?

  153. 153 Adam from Portland OR
    February 15, 2009 at 05:34

    I am going to have to agree with Shivahari, women don’t NEED protection, they need and deserve respect. To say that they need protection presupposes that women are weak. Most women I know are very strong, intelligent, and capable of anything.
    Also, the comment that Amos made about men being provoked to rape women because of the way they dress is completely preposterous. Women should be able to dress however they would like and never have to worry about a man harming them.

  154. 154 F.M.YOUSIF
    February 15, 2009 at 09:30

    Look, women want to play an unfair game. They want to enjoy their ‎freedom to the extent to go around naked. And in the same time they ‎want to be protected, by men, from men, and they want to be equal to men. ‎I believe there is some kind of irrationality in this way of thinking.‎

  155. 155 kristian
    February 15, 2009 at 11:25

    Of course, they need to be protected, millions of girls are being cut in their sex genitals with razor blades every year and in the western world we have a castrating industry. USA castrate 700000 women every year. Europe follow their pattern.

  156. 156 Francisco Rivera
    February 15, 2009 at 16:50

    I would like to have this article about Women Protecting electronically, how to do so? Click on the “Ros Daily email” but seem as if that window for the email daly receival which is fine to me but this one specifically this one how to have it.

    Tahnx a lot,
    Fracisco Rivera

  157. 157 karen jones
    February 15, 2009 at 19:02

    Everybody needs to be protected from things which are damaging. It is quite different to ask whether a 23 year old woman who is having a couple of drinks in Havana needs to be protected or or a woman in Darfur needs protecting. Does a young man on a hockey team in Canada who is being raped by his team coach need protecting? You bet he does! Any one who is in danger of harm, regardless of gender or age needs to be protected.
    And as for the woman who is touched because her husband insists that she walk on the inside of the sidewalk should know that the origin of that habit is so that when someone throws the contents of a slop pail unto the street it hits the person waking on the inside! So he would be protecting himself it this was the 16th century.
    The question itself is far to general. Everyone who is in danger needs to be protected. Yes, we have to say everyone.

  158. 158 Johanna
    February 15, 2009 at 23:58

    Were women ever protected? They have been raped, looted and abused throughout history. Their resilience and inner strength has sustained them through time. Perhaps the question is being asked at a time where the treatment of women has changed in some regions of the world hence increased awareness of the abuse many women still endure. Yes women need protection. Yes women need special attention from lawmakers until such time women are safe to go about their lives without the threat of violence & abuse. It is the duty of women and men who have the privilege of living in countries where women have rights to a decent and dignified life to protect and stand up for the rights of women living in countries where these fundamental rights are denied to them.

  159. 159 Ogola Benard
    February 16, 2009 at 01:19

    247! women are only supposed to be protected from violence like any other man and there should be no discrimination as to what kind of oxygen she should breath in,what kind of food she should eat and the kind of car she should drive and not forgetting her choice to marry a man! These are just some selfish back behaviors. I was shocked days back to watch on TV a female constable in Bangalore beat up couples in their valentine mood?

  160. 160 David
    February 16, 2009 at 16:26

    For how long has this protectionsm been?

    Steve in this forum said:

    “I posted a statistic, that wasn’t approved, that 40% of domestic abuse victims are men, being abused by women, yet on air, your guest makes it seem like 100% of domestic abuse is by men against women. I think we need to be honest here if we’re going to have this discussion”.

    My question is, who will protect men?

  161. 161 CJ McAuley
    February 16, 2009 at 18:55

    There is ABSOLUTELY NO excuse for hitting anyone(let alone a woman), except in self-defense! Leaving is the only sane thing for any woman to do(I speak as a male), in Western “democracies” anyway. All this makes me hope for is a day when the entire human race will be reset, however it may come to pass!

  162. February 17, 2009 at 09:39

    all of us are fragile and so need to be handled with care.if my security were threatened and they even wanted to cut MY,i would give her a knockout…what i wouldnt do is let some gang beat to nearly kill some mad man who wanted to hit me with a shoe.


  163. February 17, 2009 at 11:20

    I agree with Bob from Florida, yes the idea has been obsolete in our society for more than half a century and and only impedes the unfethered sexual dialogue: the era of owning a woman is a long long time bygone.
    People may like to make themselves saviours of women or unborn inocent kids in their blessed wombs in order to feel morally superior (I emphasise ‘feel’ – in fact you may find surprisingly different practical actions of these saviours or preachers of good and evel – this is only a mask for what they really do and how they think – completely antisocially or even cruelly) should be given as little publicity and attention as making them visible is part of their goal (the protection of something is an extremely rare really existing reason for human activity – well apart from HUMANITARIAN BOMBING).

    A very very good topis – keep on doing your excellent service people who delight in open unbiased discussion of low key or hidden topics. Fine BBC, admiration to all your team goes from my bedside PC to Bushhouse London
    in varietate concordia

  164. February 19, 2009 at 16:25

    Throughout our long history societies, foundations and all kind of traditions have been bringing up men with the certainty of their superiority and the cosequent need to hold the hand of a vulnerable, extremely sensitive woman. This could be interpreted in gentle everyday gestures that could also be made out of love and care, yet they were a bit coloured with the protection philosophy. Nevertheless these action even indicative of what men think of us ,yet stand on the first side of the coin-the other side, the darker one is indeed to endanger our very own personality, our rights even our pysical condition. When this philosophy consults in abuse and control over one woman’s life, then it is safe to say that her rights are not just violated, they had never before been recognised. Physical or psychological violence abolishes the woman’s existence and insults all the efforts, the fights to get our rights recognised. Men will always act so protected by the ongoing philosophy and encouraged by the laws supposingly giving us maternity facilitations just to indicate once more that we cannot handle alltogether our responsibilities. It is up to us whether we can prove what we are capable of. Not indulge in a man’s protection, not give up on responsibilities we could take up, not stop emphasizing the fact that we have always been fighting for rights that seem self-explanatory for a man to enjoy. We do not need to reject a gentle gesture because this is not important itself. It is important that whatever we do-housewives, businesswomen, both, will be the result of our education, philosophy and most importantly will. If we want men’s respect to our lives, we should point out to them that they are not the only creatures god gave the mind and thinking.

    In conclusion I would like to say that i come from a country which has been trying to form an elementary democratic form, and we therefore could never understand the choices, the options of women in other countries where the patternal pattern is indeed strengthened by religious or social foundations. It is not easy to speak about fights for we are not aware of the fear , the terrorism these women have to deal with every single day, and not by onle one father, husband, brother, yet by the whole of male society itself. It is hard to fight yet not impossible. We ought to support each other throughout the world and remember that if we are capable of changing one habbit, one tradition, one law, then we can change further more in favour of our right to claim the ownership of our very own lives.

    February 20, 2009 at 09:50

    it is important to protect women though they seek equality in present day. Religious belief/ culture has for long relegated them to the background. protection of women would promote family life and enhance societal wellbeing. however “Absolute freedom” should not be encouraged.

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