Sat 30 Nov 2019 4:16PM

Constitution amendment: Our position on women's freedom

PP Pirate Praveen Public Seen by 44

I saw this post -> https://mastodon.social/@aworldinpages/103225247650283334 on Mastodon today and I wanted to have this as one of our basic principles.

Since we have to start somewhere, I am suggesting these words, but I'm sure we will come up with something better during discussions.

"Mainstream opinion on women's safety seems to put women solely responsible for their safety and always tend to blame the victim when any violence on women is reported. When society accepts it's easy to blame and treat women (the way people do) and get away with anything, that contributes to the violence women have to endure. We firmly believe it is the responsibility of the entire society to ensure safety of all women."


Pirate Praveen Sun 29 Dec 2019 9:27AM

Night Walk for women seems like a good initiative from Kerala govt.



piratekp Sun 15 Dec 2019 8:39AM


Pirate Praveen Sat 7 Dec 2019 5:49AM

One video shared by @Kannan V M https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=V9ohcyWCTu0 on our matrix group. I think we should do a public demonstration (just hold placards with these points at a park). This will highlight points missed in the mainstream media and photos of actions on the street has value in online campaigns too. If we get connected to other people sharing these views, that is a bonus.


Bady Thu 5 Dec 2019 7:06AM

@michael john sinclair. hi, this issue is already being discussed here at https://www.loomio.org/d/F1Viy6Ll/constitution-amendment-remove-second-item-from-goals. it's better you reply there.


michael john sinclair. Thu 5 Dec 2019 6:51AM

I see 2 non inclusive words here,

Educated and Citizen are both a bad choice. If we replace with people young and old it could solve the dilemma


Akshay Thu 5 Dec 2019 6:00AM

Basic principle: Indian Pirates stands for gender equality.

Specific action items/policy changes can be taken from SDG5 https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5

Specifically, there is "Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation"

How one should do that is a question that takes deliberation and deep work which we can do once we form the government.


Bady Thu 5 Dec 2019 4:53AM

The entire structure of Indian society’s attitude towards women is rotten to the core. If you really want to make India safe for women, then watch your own behaviour every single minute of every single day and change it.



Pirate Praveen Wed 4 Dec 2019 3:14PM

Agreed. I suggested to go ahead since there were not much comments from others. Now that @Kannan V M brought up an important angle, we can take more time.


Aiśwarya KK Wed 4 Dec 2019 3:11PM

I feel it needs more discussion before becoming a proposal. I would like to wait for more opinions before making a proposal.


Pirate Praveen Wed 4 Dec 2019 2:46PM

This is good. Indian Pirates's goal is to connect people together in a platform without hierarchies. Each person having the rights to initiate policy changes and activities without needing to get approvals by a governing body. Those who are interested can just join in any activity. It is something we understand well in Free Software communities, but trying that model in a political organization was difficult.

So create 2 proposals here. We usually give 7 days for people to vote. If required we can close and recreate it or update it. At this level everyone can participate giving a chance for new people to get involved. But if we can't get a consensus, then we move that proposal to Associates sub group (people who publicly accepted the Indian Pirates constitution) and if it fails to get consensus we move that to Members sub group. All members have equal rights and votes.


Aiśwarya KK Wed 4 Dec 2019 2:19PM

human beings is better than living beings in this context. Indeed seperate thread is much better as the topic is big.

For gender friendly learning spaces, I (me and my friends) have tried a few things in the past:

'Break the curfew' campaign- to extend the ladies' hostel curfew with all the needed safety like street lights in the campus, emergency fire exits in hostels etc

women hackathon- It was a program by SPACE to build a community of women with better technical skills. I redesigned the program by adding different aproach. Added discussions and games related to gender issues together with technical classes. And chose resource people who embraces learning process and not people who want to excercise power.

take back tech- (for various reason it only lasted few weeks) weekly gettogether (not only women) to discuss politics and tech. Not only discuss sometimes watching movie or creating a game whatever. But it was to ensure interaction between genders and try to build good discussions. (it was also in SPACE)(I am adding these here now because I will be travelling during the coming days so I cannot participate much in the discussions)


Pirate Praveen Wed 4 Dec 2019 1:45PM

Thanks. We need to separate this into a basic principle, which is short and then add each points you mentioned in detailed in our manifesto https://pirates.org.in/manifesto

Assume we as a group is elected to form a govt, so what exact laws, schemes, campaigns we will launch. We don't have to do all of it at once, we can build this gradually one by one.

How about we add a Section 4 to Article 1 as "All the living beings are born free. But then in the process of growing the society build chains inside us. Each individual should realize their possibilities. So what we need to do is to create an 'environment' that help each individual to understand their chains and break it." Should we change "living beings" to "human beings"? Now with that as basic principle. Lets go into detail of each of the ideas you listed. We can add "We will create better gender friendly learning spaces" in the manifesto, but we should add more details as to how we are going to do it. Same for each of the other points you mentioned and possibly more we can think of. May be creating separate threads here for each of the items is better.


Aiśwarya KK Wed 4 Dec 2019 1:16PM

Now about freedom. Definitely I think all the living beings are born free. But then in the process of growing the society build chains inside us. We need to do things not to 'give' freedom to women because we are noone to 'give' freedom to another person, but each individual should realize their possibilities. So what we need to do is to create an 'environment' that help each individual to understand their chains and break it. The blog post from 2012 that you pointed has good material like you said. Other suggestions:

  1. Better gender friendly learning spaces

  2. Promote gender sensitive art

  3. Women in different caste and class have different issues, so identify it from community. For that there needs to be representations from all the possible levels. (Issues of poor Dalit women are highly different from rich brahmin women)

  4. Sex education for all

  5. Good mainstream discussions on related topics.

    Each topic has lot of subtopics. And if I think more it can be continued.


Aiśwarya KK Wed 4 Dec 2019 3:50PM

Women feel safer if there are enough number of women in the street and no harassment. Bring more women in the street makes a loop. Both men and women should be educated to stop harassment and not to be traumatised by harassments. Men should learn to respect women as human beings and women should learn to understand it's not her dress or attittude that create the violence but the perpetrator's mentality.

If we propose police security during the night to ensure safety it's again another nightmare. As police is also part of the society which embraces the 'purity', they try to be parent of each women or try to make them again scared. During day time I guess women are more confident to stay in the streets.

Of course, enough street lights and rapidly responding police helpline are good to feel safer. But that doesn't stop domestic violences or violent mentalities. It may create a feel of security.


Kannan V M Wed 4 Dec 2019 3:01PM

On considering the women safety-freedom question. We can connect this fear on a dangerous minority with the mindset of a majority.

The base of this mindset problem is, a majority in India believes, women hold some form of purity (which is of course designed according to the "culture and tradition") and its the women's responsibility to hold that purity intact. The idea of purity may vary with people and location, but mostly its lost when women don't follow "traditions" and in worse cases, occasions of sex (consensual or not) with non husband person. In later case, their life considered lost.

With this concept of purity and and with perspectives of looking women as property (and others), can give a feedback to a rape culture, which is not in general with other possible victims.

The point i would like to make is, this is an immediate safety issue, because only if people feel the streets are safe they prefer to go outside, which eventually make the streets safe and is a long term social problem that asks for programs to change people's above mindset (structural solutions like policies and projects to improve accessibility, empowerment and independence for women will give an indirect impact and awareness campaigns can give direct impacts).


Aiśwarya KK Wed 4 Dec 2019 2:25PM

I think Section 2 is ok as it is now. Adding that as different section is better.


Pirate Praveen Wed 4 Dec 2019 2:11PM

Should we replace second sentence in Section 2 (currently "We will fight to ensure these rights are not denied to anyone.") to "We extend our support towards people who suffer from discrimination, has threat to safety, faces harassements, faces exclusion and faces inequality, in particular women." Or should we add that as a separate Section (Section 3)? You can use "Proposal" button at the bottom to propose it. If others suggest changes, we can always update it.


Aiśwarya KK Wed 4 Dec 2019 1:57PM

I don't think it is okay. In the first place those words project the world full of dangers for women, which is again a very mainstream thought. It's absurd to project that in the world of Kashmiris, Rohingyas, all other minorities etc. etc. My suggestion is something like (definitely needs editing):

We extend our support towards people who suffer from discrimination, has threat to safety, faces harassements, faces exclusion and faces inequality, in particular women.


Pirate Praveen Wed 4 Dec 2019 1:03PM

Do you think the wording I proposed at the start is okay? or can you suggest a different wording that can be added to the constitution of Indian Pirates under basic principles? You can see the current version of the constitution at https://pirates.org.in/constitution


Aiśwarya KK Wed 4 Dec 2019 12:52PM

Topic seems better now. Indeed women are at the recieving end of violence than men. But while we give a picture of women are always in danger (which is false), we are doing a big mistake of making women scared again and stopping them from even trying out things. And their male friends are also being stressed while women start to do brave things. Instead we need to accept that violent people are very small proportion of the population. We have choice either to be afraid of that small portion and rest inside our bubble or build confidence and start exploring (it's not easy but doable). If it is the male counterpart then choice either to be stressed about women's safety and control dear female friends and transmit fear in order to 'protect' them or try to support in a way the friend feels better.


Pirate Praveen Wed 4 Dec 2019 2:00AM

Or do you think women already have same freedoms as men and we need not do anything about it?


Pirate Praveen Wed 4 Dec 2019 1:56AM

I changed the topic to women's freedom from women's safety. Is it better now? I agree these restrictions should not be there. But should we not consider the proportion and severity of violence against women compared to children or other genders into consideration? Are you saying violence against men and women happen equally? My intention in this discussion is to come up with some basic principles and frameworks when we talk about women's issues. It is not to add even more restrictions but explore challenges to realizing women's freedom. What all do you think we need to do for women to get the same freedom as men?


Aiśwarya KK Tue 3 Dec 2019 3:40PM

I am not sure that there are safety issues only specific to women. But for sure, the society play this scare tactics and use those terms to make stupid laws like time restrictions for ladies' hostel. If it is about sexual violence against women, then the name of the topic is not women's safety. Sexual violences are also not women specific, unfortunately children and other genders also suffer from that.


Pirate Praveen Wed 4 Dec 2019 1:59AM

My attempt here is to come up with some basic principles and direction to help in our campaigns. What do you think those basic principles should be?


Anupa Ann Joseph Mon 2 Dec 2019 7:47PM

Safety of women from 'whom' or 'what' is the question that troubles my mind. The whole point of the discussion was to stop blaming women for being 'unsafe', then instead of blaming each other let's start an awareness campaign to give more power to them.


Anupa Ann Joseph Mon 2 Dec 2019 7:32PM

That's a good writeup, thanks for sharing. Let me make it clear to you that my intention was not to blame anyone, but I think I had a point when I said the mentality matters. The mentality like, the safety of a prison is better than the freedom you get in an unsafe world, must be changed. The whole society has set it a norm that women are unsafe everywhere and its her responsibility to make sure she stay safe. Whom should I blame here? I don't think all men are rapists, but ofcourse the state that anyone can easily get away with whatever they do is highly dangerous. This is what we should change, that assurance of being free and safe at same time is what we need to provide. Yes, the cost of rebellion is high, but most of us giveup without knowing it was a war. Well, I can't talk for everyone but only from my experience, which is limited.


Pirate Praveen Mon 2 Dec 2019 5:20PM

Also do you see the words suggested for inclusion in constitution problematic?


Pirate Praveen Mon 2 Dec 2019 5:03PM

Thanks for sharing. It'd be great if you can encourage more girls you know to participate here. I don't think blaming women entirely for it is not good. Isn't the cost of rebellion too high for women? Do all women get exposure to see what it means to be really free? When someone is told all their life that they should be caged for their own safety and they see the same behaviour all around them, how can they be blamed entirely? I think they need exposure to these ideas and role models that inspire them. Read https://livewire.thewire.in/gender-and-sexuality/have-your-cake-but-do-not-eat-it-feminism-and-indian-society/ for another perspective.


Anupa Ann Joseph Mon 2 Dec 2019 2:28PM

Hi, myself Anupa Ann Joseph. For those who doesn't know me I'm a 'woman' currently working at River Valley Technologies, Thiruvananthapuram. I'm taking part in this discussion as it was brought to my notice that the women participation in this thread is nil. As I am part of the community activities to support Women in Free Software, I've come across many girl students at various engineering colleges who couldn't get out their safety boundaries drawn by the society. I had personal discussions with women who would like to come out of this golden cage, but couldn't due to the safety concerns of their beloved ones. They have restrictions for travel, for late night outs and even jobs that may have night shifts, all of which the male citizens of this society enjoy without any restrictions. But I do agree with Abraham, all these discussions raising concerns about 'Freedom of Women' end up being the discussion between some men who have concerns about their fellow beings. Not just women, everyone should be safe. Everyone should have the right to speak up and to be heard, if their Freedom and Safety is violated. Unless women value their Freedom and right to stay safe wherever they are, 'we' are happy within the safety cage we are bound to be in. The fear of being judged by others can be a reason. Well girls, you should speak up to be heard.

PS: I don't have any intention to generalize my opinion, this is based on the discussions I had with Women across Kerala, where I have met some strong Women who enjoy their Freedom to the fullest as well. That makes me think its something related to our mentality towards this. And I do appreciate the effort by Indian Pirates to raise this issue to the public notice. We can work towards a better society.

Pardon me for the long note, couldn't make this any shorter.


Pirate Praveen Mon 2 Dec 2019 12:18PM

A series of toots on this I found today https://mastodon.social/@zigzackly/103237775008784698 we can take some from it.

Original blog post from 2012 https://zigzackly.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-problem-is-us.html?m=1


Pirate Praveen Mon 2 Dec 2019 4:54PM

I agree about reaching out to other places. We need to plan it.


Abraham Raji Mon 2 Dec 2019 1:05PM

Again these suggestions are from my limited knowledge and understanding, I'm sure others can come up with other, may be better ideas. @Bady @Kannan V M @srud @Aruna S


Abraham Raji Mon 2 Dec 2019 12:54PM

Most people here came to know about the party hearing it from an existing member. My understanding is most members here are from the IT field which again comprises mostly of men (even though that is changing) and that can be seen here. So we need to try and reach out to other places in the society where there is more woman than men. I may be wrong about this and if I am please do correct me. We need to reach out to more places. I know political discussions are shunned upon mostly but we could try. Also, we should ask existing members why they're inactive and what they'd like to see from the party. I'm sorry I thought I'd posted this comment along with the previous one.


Pirate Praveen Mon 2 Dec 2019 9:39AM

Agreed. Do you have any specific action items we can try? I thought talking about women's issues will help attract more women.


Abraham Raji Sun 1 Dec 2019 4:04PM

It is also worth noting the noticable imbalance in the male to female ratio in Indian Pirates. We should take measures to even this out too.


Pirate Praveen Mon 2 Dec 2019 12:19PM

I agree, but what can we do about it?


Abraham Raji Mon 2 Dec 2019 9:47AM

I don't think we can avoid discussing it at this point. But it would be great to have at least a few woman join this conversation.


Pirate Praveen Mon 2 Dec 2019 9:38AM

I agree to half of it, we need women participation. But can we completely avoid discussing women's issues? Is not discussing it a better outcome?


Abraham Raji Sun 1 Dec 2019 4:02PM

If we are doing this we need active involvement from the woman in Indian Pirates. Otherwise we'd yet another group of men with an opinion on how woman should be treated or taken care of.


Pirate Praveen Sat 30 Nov 2019 6:18PM

Basic principles are for general principles, for specific changes based on these principles, we can use manifesto.


piratekp Sat 30 Nov 2019 4:34PM

Twoot is an opinion.
But when it comes to our position, what are we proposing here? Is it legal law changes for women safety?