Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pink Gang-up

I have always wondered what would happen if a group of fed-up but courageous women rid their towns of domestic violence and corruption? Things might change, right? Well, we don't have to wait to find out the answer any longer. The WSJ (1-25-08, p. B6) commented on an Asian Sentinel article about a group of women taking back the night in just this way:

"A group of feminist vigilantes has taken it upon themselves to use any means necessary to stop domestic violence and expose official corruption in one of India's poorest regions. The so-called Pink Gang--named for the color of the saris they wear--has about 200 members (including a few men). . .the group formed in 2006 with their first act of vigilantism: beating up a man believed to have dragged his wife through the courtyard by her hair. Since then, their tactics and their targets have expanded in a region where poor women have few freedoms and domestic violence is common."

The commentary does not say what effect this effort has had. However, I would imagine that it has created a metamorphosis in the region not only in the men, who might think twice about beating their wives and daughters, but in the women and girls who now can turn with hope to a group ready to defend them. While it might be hard for some to ever advocate violence as a solution, this might be a case where violence is the only answer at this particular time and place.

It strikes me as potentially a very enlightened solution given the dire circumstances of the victims, who are using this group as a means of self-defense. Group action as self-defense is nothing new, but it is new to these rural, Indian women and could reflect a leap in the evolution of their collective consciousness--part of that accelerating change chronicled in this blog.

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