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Chup: Breaking the Silence About India’s Women Hardcover – 8 Mar 2018
Hardcover, 8 Mar 2018
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About the Author
Dr Deepa Narayan has spent her life working on economic development issues from the perspectives of poor women and men. She was senior adviser in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management group of the World Bank from 2003 to 2008. Recipient of many awards, she was named one of the 100 most influential global policy thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine and one of 35 Great Thinkers by India Today. Author of seventeen books, Dr Narayan leads groups in deep conversations about outer and inner change. She is founder of the Gender Action Lab.
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Author Deepa Narayan has decided pen down her research work about the conditions and circumstances a large number of women are facing, especially in India.
The book has to be read as a study paper and one should not consider it against India or male in general. In fact, the author herself recognizes the contribution of her male family members and other friends. Well, we may or may not agree with many things of the book but we must understand that it is a result of research work. one can argue anything for or against the book, but actually one cannot deny the fact that women in general has often experienced gender based discrimination.
Of course, there are exceptions in both the genders, but in general it is not an easy world for women.
Actually, women were considered as the equal and there is a well-respected word “better-half” for the spouse. So, the culture was diluted in the medieval times. No matter what is the root cause of the same, we can update it and make a healthy society only if we care to do so.
The book is not a light read and it brings some of the important topics, we often avoid to answer, but are important ones. So this book is for those who can read it with positive attitude, and try to put in his/her efforts to make the world a better place
The book could have been written in interesting manner or by weaving the stuff in stories, and the price could have been less.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The author Deepa Narayan has bravely published a book that shares detailed interviews with thousands of women, about the suppression of females in India. Her book is timely and supports a Feminist Movement that began long ago. Narayan’s interviews describe the layers of subtleties where inequality goes unnoticed and unspoken, and her clear writing tells the stories of many Indian women and their secrets, which have been suppressed, as a part of the cultural conditioning in her country.
Narayan’s interviews show us that from a young age, women in India have been trained to: Be Quiet, Be Nice, Please Others, Be Dependent, and Have No Individual Identity. Like a few religious cultures I have had an opportunity to be involved with over the years, they also have taught these ideas, that to be ‘good’ is to be in service to others. Their message was you should have no personal needs but always put others first. This lie has kept women trapped and powerless. And despite the advances we have made with women’s educational pursuits and women’s professional careers, this lack of support for women to have any kind of ‘self’ or personal needs, has led many into depression or a deep personal sickness.
Mothers and daughters, as well as fathers and brothers, should read Chup, so they can understand the subtleties of how sexism works, and how the male figure can hold power in any culture. I could see how my own Catholic upbringing supported many of the good girl trainings that Narayan talks about in her book. Also questioning why women could not be priests or leaders in the Catholic church, or, not being able to choose a form of birth control for my own body but following a man’s rules from the church had its own form of cultural conditioning. In India, there are many overt opportunities for Narayan to discuss these oppressive issues in detail, because of the cultural systems that have been in place forever. We should be thanking Narayan for her commitment to take the time to help many women tell their stories, in a culture that does not support women sharing their truth.
The reality is, this is a book for women (and men) from all countries, not just India. As depressing as it can be reading chapter after chapter of these stories, it will truly inspire you to want to talk about the existence of gender equality that persists in subtle and not so subtle forms throughout our world.
In the midst of our own renewed examination about how women are exploited and silenced through the contemporary ME, TOO movement, this book is critically important for parents and women from all countries to read because it reveals the societal messages that are passed down from one generation of women to the next to be silent, to obey, and not to develop into strong, powerful contributing members of our society. It is these very messages, delivered lovingly by families, that create the conditions that make sexual exploitation possible.
Narayan’s book is beautifully written, straightforward, and unapologetic for revealing what no one wants to acknowledge – the deep-seated training that is designed to make women feel like silent servants in their own families and communities. After revealing each of the habits which persist in women’s training, she suggests thoughtful solutions. Please read this book and give it to your friends and daughters and mothers. If we can change the way women are raised, we can perhaps eliminate the internal messages that diminish women’s ability to stand for themselves in the face of exploitation and enable them to create a more just and humane society.