Rolling

Rolling
Location
India
Birthday
December 03
Bio
Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom...

MY RECENT POSTS

JANUARY 15, 2012 1:38AM

Would YWCA please NOT refuse people help on grounds of Age?

Rate: 6 Flag

They need a "consent Letter" from a "parent" or "guardian" to let a boarder stay at the Young Women's Christian Association in Lucknow.

Since I did not want to argue with the warden, and I desperately needed a place to stay at, I nodded my "consent" at the disturbing request.

If a place is meant for sheltering "women and children" and for extending support to people that need help, why do they need "consent" letters?

Suppose a woman wants to get in there because her husband is abusing her or her parents are trying to sell her off to an Arab sheikh, who the hell would give her a "consent letter" and without it how on earth would she get to a safe shelter?

A forty four year old woman that doesn't have a father, brother, husband, or mother, or relatives, where would she get a "consent letter" from when she needs shelter? 

And those who do have someone to "consent" to actions designed for their wellbeing why on earth would they need the Young Woman's Christian Association's charity?

O and how do people around the world define "young" or "women" ? 

A woman that works eighteen hours a day like everybody else, maintains herself, is single and without family support and without male relatives and is living in a new city in India - is she "young" enough, vulnerable enough, helpless enough to qualify for "support to empower women from all walks of life irrespective of caste creed or economic status"?

If YWCA has an age bar, isn't that discriminating on grounds of age?

YWCA Lucknow refused a forty four year old single woman a seat on the ground that they do not give shelter to women over thirty. There was an empty seat, she paid up, agreed to all their rules, got permission to move in and then she was told, they cannot take her in as she was over forty and they refused to take her form, which she then left with a room mate as she had to leave town the next day.

Does Christian charity demand that a person be of a certain age to get shelter, and is an age bar fair and just and reasonable and ethical and even common sense with respect to the idea of "women's empowerment", especially, in countries like India where there is nosupport system whatsoever for urban working women and what there is too limited and even unsafe for women?

If you want to empower women, dont we need to be opne to provide a safe shelter to people that are otherwise financially independent and could be a help to the YWCA to forward their cause in their own ways?

Food, clothing and shelter are the three basic necessities of life and when you deny any of these to one in need, are you being charitable? 

Hindus are repressive about their women, and so some of us have no other option but to turn to Christian charity to stay on course and keep our lives together. 

Am not looking for a revolution. I am only thinking INCLUSIVE. And am thinking "young women" are all that are working and are otherwise capable of supporting themselves and others around them provided they get some ground under their own feet first. Empowering such women might be empowering other women and children and vulnerable people, through them?

The world is already wracked with so many barriers, why let another one (like an age bar at YWCA shelters) put already at-risk women's lives at even more risk?

YWCA is a world organization. Where vulnerable groups like women and children are concerned, can we not have some blanket rules that is the same wherevere in the world one might be in? And especially in developing countries, or in repressive countries like India where peole ask you your caste or whether you are vegetarian or non-vegetarian  before they would let you have a rented room, where the number of poor women far exceeds young urban working women, and where support for such groups is very limited, can YWCA not be slightly more open and accommodating is all am asking?

The YWCA New York website has to say this about their vision mission goal statement:

 

<i>Mission

YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Vision

The YWCA-NYC envisions a day when the diverse women of New York City, once seen as at risk or working poor, can sustain themselves and their families, and are empowered to define and attain their own unique goals and aspiration, contributing to strong communities, building a better New York for everyone.

7. Inclusiveness, Diversity, and Respect

The YW has a policy of promoting inclusiveness, diversity, and respect for all people. To that end:

  • Our employees, volunteers and Board members reflect cultural diversity and promote respect, tolerance and justice for all people;blockquote</i>

The page also states:

  • Our organization respects and tolerates diversity of opinions;

I understand that YWCA Lucknow might have their own policy of restricting shelter to under thirties and they have the right to deny a forty plus woman.

However, when this 'respect for diversity of opinions' clashes with the universal idea of "justice for all", "empowerment of women" (and women all over the world are 'at-risk' group actually however you might want to look at it, it is a matter of degree of difference in the rights they enjoy, along with men, for even in Sweden or the US no one has heard of absolute equal rights as yet) and supporting women's "ability to sustain themselves", should not the whole world and especially the Americans that are raised to expect and assert individual's rights and liberty to pursue a safe and life of dignity, come together in solidarity to design for change, that TRULY accommodates ALL kinds of women, and is truly INCLUSIVE?

To do charity, one doesn't always have to spend money or give things, sometimes, being charitable is just posting a letter or making a phone call to a place far away, supporting someone you believe needs a little support.

The world started with and ends with the "word".

In countries like India there is no infra structure to specially support women, no half way homes, no shelters, no social security, they do not have things like "grants for middle aged women going back to school", they do not even see that middle aged women might be needing help and support or have dreams and aspire to live safe lives, lives with a little bit of grace in them and singles are shunned and looked down upon. There are few or no laws to protect her.And where there is, she doesnot have easy access to that kind of help. 

So - would YWCA come together to extend support to forty plus working womenin India? For am sure not all YWCAs refuse forty pluses hostel facility and in the rule book that was given to me, it does say "women and girls" but since "who is a woman" is not clearly defined, there is misunderstanding and confusion? Would YWCAs from around the world come together to help sort this out please?

If there is "word" now, you would be leaving a lasting legacy of help and support for hundreds of young urban women in developing countries around the world and there would be change for the better, for everyone, not just this one woman that raised the issue.

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
~shaking head~ All I can say is EEK!!! Rated!
OMG how the best of world is changing and sometimes all we can do is scratch our heads and wonder what the heck is going on? Thanks for the POV.
:) thanks for your support Tink and Algis
Rules, red tape, boundaries and all sorts of 'isms' are still very prevalent and restrictive in this crazy world we live in.

All we can do is support and fight for the rights of each individual, no matter the age, ethnicity, sex, class or origins. Not enough people do however.

Well written and researched.
I hope you have found a safe place to stay. This stinks. I think you are calling for a revolution, but it will be a good one. There are women like you everywhere and we need to unite. A new social group for single childless women over 40. No more marginalization. We can call it Rolling Hotcakes. Wadda ya think?
Yikes...The YWCA has generally been pretty progressive over the years. This is not right.
Thank you for bringing this up, my friend; I wish for more exposure. Excellent post. R
I have to wonder what the YW's 'Christian' justification could be for denying access to women over 30. Here in the US, 'Christian' ethics is working to prevent women impregnated through rape from terminating their pregnancy. These actions do not speak well of 'Christianity', and yet even those Christians with healthy spiritual lives do not object to how their professed faith is so often used as a cudgel to harm others, especially those who are of different faiths.

Thank you, Rolling, for offering a glimpse of what life is like for you. We do not learn about such things otherwise. Be well.
Phyllis, when I find a safe place I would not bother to waste precious time by posting about it, internet is still a very expensive commodity in India, you know, but probably you do not know, and we do not get bundled offers with the phone or TV service, yet, we pay by the thousands every month for our dial up or the broadband services we use. If I had found a place I would be at work right now and not be at home, my dear friend. What I think? I think you are slightly immature, and miserably out of touch with the world at large despite the fact that you reside in a first world country and have better access to information.

Linda, well actually, you could do something, you and your girl friends could call your local YWCA, share this story and ask them to mediate perhaps? Am sure, if and when the YWCAs become aware of what is going on, they would take some action. You are in the part of the world where the movement originated, and a phone call from you to a local YWCA bringing this to their notice could definitely make a difference in a big way!

Thoth, Bob, yes exactly - but maybe the org has grown so big they fail to keep tabs on what goes on at other centres around the world, so maybe if you guys write about this, or make calls to your local centres, this might get sorted out? I shall continue to write until they stop asking for a) consent letters from adults that are their own guardians, b) age is made a bar to getting a seat at a place that claims to be working for the empowerment and welfare of "women and girls".

Orin, you surprised me again! Yes, thanks, I shall take care and hope you keep writing. Maybe one day, when you are done with writing about your own country, you would write about other countries and their social problems. You are a powerful writer (and this I mean for Thoth too who also has a powerful voice) :) and that might make a difference. Thank you ALL for your time with this.
Phyllis, I think you are hopelessly and miserably out of touch with the world at large despite the fact that you live in the first world, and have better access to information and also that you fail to understand thw gravity of the situation here in India, so it appears to be like a joke to you.
Linda you and your friends could actually make a phone call to your local YWCA and share this story and ask if that is indeed the "rule" as they claim here.
Linda, after all the movement originated in the West and a Western voice in support counts in a big way :) you have more powers in these matters than you realise, my friend, thank you for the rate, read and your concern, it makes me feel better.

Thoth, thanks, yes, please help redress this unnatural request for a) consent letters from parents for adults that are middle aged and their own guardians and may have long lost their parents! b) for being a certain age to get assistance or only have a certain kind of a job - if it means to help, there should be no kinds of bars, that restricts, limits, curbs life. I can understand "men not allowed in YWCA" but not age bar, job bar, common bathrooms etc.

YWCA India doesn't house poor women, they charge rates that only working women and middle class women can afford!
Linda, the movement originated in the West and a Western voice in support counts in a big way :) you have more powers in these matters than you realise, my friend, thank you for the rate, read and your concern, it makes me feel better.

Thoth, thanks, yes, please help spread the word in your inimitable way, you and Orin could do magic with your stories. I want to bring about redressal for this a) unnatural request for consent letters from parents for adults that are middle aged and their own guardians and may have long lost their parents! b) agebar to get assistance c) have a certain kind of a job to get assistance.

If YWCA means to help, and empower women and girls, please let us have no age bar or job bar.
Orin, you surprised me and you are welcome. Hope one day you take out some time to write about other country's problems, and a magnum opus like "City of Joy"?

Thank you ALL.
Phyllis, I think this was a bad time for humor, I also feel that you fail to understand the gravity of the situation here in India, so it appears to be like a joke to you. Yes, there are thousands of women like me, but NOT here in India, is why I seem like a weird bird. In India women still marry for security. In India women do not date or stay away from parents, or are allowed to rent an partment and have guests if they are single, the whole community watches them, when you get some time, read writers like Taslima Nasreen, she recounts how no one would rent her a room when she was med student in Bangladesh bec she was a woman and bec she was single! Today am an exception but yes, very soon I shall be the norm, and then the problems would cease! But right now, bec am alone and the weird-bird is why I seek support and help unless you want me to give in and submit to rules that violate my rights as an individual, as a human being.

Do you realise when they say "wont give you a house on rent bec you are single" they are violating human rights?

Do you realise when they agree to give you the house but say "you cannot have guests, especially male guests, you have to tell us right now what male relations you have bef you take the house so there is o trouble later" they are violating your individual right, human right to live as you please, plus insulting you?

Do you realise, when I do take up a house on rent in any city in India, I have to tacitly agree to not invite people to my place for lunch or dinner bec am single and people are watching if MEN come to my house?

Do you realise that we are FORCED to live abnormal lives despite the fact that we earn, we pay taxes, and live responsible decent lives?

How would you feel if your landlord came down everytime you came home with a male friend, or colleague or if they turned away a male colleague that came to give you medicines when you fell ill?

How would you feel if you had to lose your job bec your landlord took advantage of the info you gave them about where you work and went and said bad things about to twist your arm in paying them more than what you had originally committed?

Do you realise how unsafe women are ?

Here in India NO women and even men do NOT move around alone!

In malls markets you would always always see TWO men shopping together or eating together and TWO or more women together, you would never or very rarely find a woman watching a movie alone or eating alone at a restaurant herein India bec soon as they spot you they think you are fast and available and they start making trouble for you!

Just bec someone decided not to marry or sleep around or have a boy friend, does not mean they cannot expect to have a NORMAL life!!!!

I do not sleep around, I dont smoke drink or live a criminal life, I am an ordinary single woman that chooses to stay asexual and alone - WHY the bloody hell should I so many problems, with the society especially WHEN the society does not feed me, clothe me or look after me when am ill?

That is the issue here, if you have not realised. And why on earth shd YWCA encourage that when they are professing that they do what it takes to EMPOWER women?

How does it empower a woman if they refuse her a seat bec she is forty plus? How does being forty plus make a woman less of a woman and undeserving of their help?

How does it empower a woman if YWCA of all people insist on getting a CONSENT letter from a parent or guardian bef they give you a seat despite the fact that you are an adult and your own guardian?

Dont you find that insulting? What if the woman does not have a guardian or a parent?

Does YWCA then turn her away?

These are the issues my dear Phyllis. And if I had a safe place, I would be back at work not writing this at home and wasting working hours.
Phyllis, you have a social security system in place, in your country individuals have rights, women have rights, and your police and shelters help, you have no idea what it is like living here in India! So yes, YWCA is like a silver lining in the murk here and if THEY start discriminating, pulling age bar and job bar etc then life becomes unbearable. That is the point I was making.

And yes, a new social group for childless women of forty is essential in India, because here that is the way the culture is. In the US I guess these group would "single unattached men and women WITH children living away from them" or single people with the responsibility of bringing up these children. We are in the same boat then, needing some social support system - people can't live alone!

And as for being "hotcake" - that is precisely what I DONOT want! Here in India we do not consider it respectful if men call us 'hotcakes', we like respect more than sex appeal here in India, if you study the way we write our blogs, the way we dress, you would get that.

The Indian single woman's ambition is not to become more appealing to men, (we are already fodder or possession the moment we are born) but the struggle is to make men realise, we are INDIVIDUALS and HUMAN beings that want the right to CHOOSE!

And live alone with dignity and in comfort and not be "hotcakes" for anyone, men or women!

Getting a man here is no problem (there are only about 800 women for every 1000 males), Phyllis, but trying to AVOID a man, is the problem.

In fact, even our single men are not exactly well. They do not start having sex while they are in school. It is not allowed. There are hundreds and thousands of men of forty that never ever have had a woman in their lives even once, Phyllis. The men that do have liasions are usu not ordinary men, from next door, and they do not need help.

And that is why there is so much unhealthy suspicion and restrictions, don't you see? Things are changing, but not fast enough. We need YWCA by our side that is all, I had tried living outside, when I could not manage it on my own, as a last resort I had turned to YWCA is why am concerned. If they do not help, we have nowhere else to go.

Because our communities disapprove of women that are intelligent, independent, women that want to change rules, women that refuse to take any man (I would marry if and when I find someone I like and want and not someone just bec they happened to ask! or bec my family approves), women that want to travel alone, are not the norm. They are the Joans of Ark they want to burn at the stake and destroy, you see? Both men and women are against such women, women envy us bec they think we are getting the most of things that are denied to them, men bec they think we are defiant and available.

The fight here is for human right, dignity, choice - and the freedom to be the woman I WANT to be and not the woman that the world wants me to be.
my comment that would not post

Reply
Forward

libbyliberalnyc to Rolling
tried to post this comment. maybe it is slow and you will get lots of copies of it eventually. i hope not. but in case it never goes thru here is the second attempt I made:

[r] I just mysteriously lost my comment. will try to sum up what I had said. you make a strong case for YWCA to expand its age parameters, especially where you are. I was wondering if sister charities could help or could pressure the YWCA? I can understand mission goals and financial logistics for organizations, such as Covenant House in NYC being available only for homeless youth, and there are adult alternatives (though never seem enough), but you make the case strongly. And yes, single women are vulnerable in all cultures, economically, but especially in your environment it is clear. Two suggestions. A site I quickly googled that has a list of organizations for women in India, and this might be worth sending to correspondent Ann Jones, an awesome journalist who champions women's rights and causes overseas. Here is the site I found. libby (hope this time the comment goes thru)

http://www.distel.ca/womlist/countries/india.html
my comment that would not post

Reply
Forward

libbyliberalnyc to Rolling
tried to post this comment. maybe it is slow and you will get lots of copies of it eventually. i hope not. but in case it never goes thru here is the second attempt I made:

[r] I just mysteriously lost my comment. will try to sum up what I had said. you make a strong case for YWCA to expand its age parameters, especially where you are. I was wondering if sister charities could help or could pressure the YWCA? I can understand mission goals and financial logistics for organizations, such as Covenant House in NYC being available only for homeless youth, and there are adult alternatives (though never seem enough), but you make the case strongly. And yes, single women are vulnerable in all cultures, economically, but especially in your environment it is clear. Two suggestions. A site I quickly googled that has a list of organizations for women in India, and this might be worth sending to correspondent Ann Jones, an awesome journalist who champions women's rights and causes overseas. Here is the site I found. libby (hope this time the comment goes thru)

http://www.distel.ca/womlist/countries/india.html
Test comment.
mishima666
January 16, 2012 11:11 PM
trying to repost Libby's comment that came by m,ail, for the seventh time:

libbyliberalnyc to Rolling

tried to post this comment. maybe it is slow and you will get lots of copies of it eventually. i hope not. but in case it never goes thru here is the second attempt I made:

[r] I just mysteriously lost my comment. will try to sum up what I had said. you make a strong case for YWCA to expand its age parameters, especially where you are. I was wondering if sister charities could help or could pressure the YWCA? I can understand mission goals and financial logistics for organizations, such as Covenant House in NYC being available only for homeless youth, and there are adult alternatives (though never seem enough), but you make the case strongly. And yes, single women are vulnerable in all cultures, economically, but especially in your environment it is clear. Two suggestions. A site I quickly googled that has a list of organizations for women in India, and this might be worth sending to correspondent Ann Jones, an awesome journalist who champions women's rights and causes overseas. Here is the site I found. libby (hope this time the comment goes thru)
Forgive my humor. I do understand what you are going through, maybe not firsthand but I am not uneducated. And we in the US have our own discriminations to work through. Given the length of your response, you probably don't care if I apologize, but I am sorry to have offended you, and feel free to delete my comments.

And as far as my avatar and name, a hotcake is a pancake. Food. Not a woman.
trying to repost Libby's comment that came by m,ail, for the seventh time:

libbyliberalnyc to Rolling

tried to post this comment. maybe it is slow and you will get lots of copies of it eventually. i hope not. but in case it never goes thru here is the second attempt I made:

[r] I just mysteriously lost my comment. will try to sum up what I had said. you make a strong case for YWCA to expand its age parameters, especially where you are. I was wondering if sister charities could help or could pressure the YWCA? I can understand mission goals and financial logistics for organizations, such as Covenant House in NYC being available only for homeless youth, and there are adult alternatives (though never seem enough), but you make the case strongly. And yes, single women are vulnerable in all cultures, economically, but especially in your environment it is clear. Two suggestions. A site I quickly googled that has a list of organizations for women in India, and this might be worth sending to correspondent Ann Jones, an awesome journalist who champions women's rights and causes overseas. Here is the site I found. libby (hope this time the comment goes thru)
Rolling
January 16, 2012 11:34 PM


thank you Mishima.
Rolling
January 16, 2012 11:35 PM


The world started with and ends with the "word". Good point and honest reply.
Algis Kemezys
January 17, 2012 03:03 AM


Charity, hm? It has come to mean almsgiving,
but what it REALLY means, or used to mean, is
the highest and most divine form of love.
The Christian formula is:
"God is Love"
and "Love your neighbor as yourself".

Jesus did not say, "Love those under 30 as yerself,
and the rest, fuck em."

Real charity, "charitas", seeks no reward, but earthly
charities have budgets and benefactors and rules, rules, rules.
"the rule book that was given to me, it does say "women and girls" but since "who is a woman" is not clearly defined, there is misunderstanding and confusion?"
(ha. it is pretty easy to figure out who is a woman & who aint)
Mission statements are grandiose, mostly.
Missions dwindle when met by stubborn stupid reality.
James M. Emmerling
January 17, 2012 09:51 AM



An important post. I can't think what their reason for barring people would be.
elegant mistake
January 19, 2012 12:44 PM



As long as I was standing there, I would have written her a consent letter. They obviously just like the paperwork on file.
Dianne Schuch - Lindsey
January 22, 2012 09:04 A
Is this what you had cried out abt even on FB? Shame. But then I am not surprised....in India everything is male-based. You are either your father's daughter or your husbands wife. A baggage of sorts either way. I am sorry. Why are you in Lucknow...not that it matters where this happens..its an outrage! Thanks for letting em know.