Gender Bias in the Indian Legal Systemby Adhi Adhury

Over they years, our legal pendulum has swung to yet another extreme. Gender bias runs rampant in our legal system. In the 1970's women, fought hard to get laws passed to protect women against dowry demands and domestic violence. It took many painful years for our legal system to recognize women as victims of dowry and domestic violence. Since then, dowry, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment laws were passed and enforced to protect the “true victims.” In those days, many women lived through dowry demands and domestic violence; some died. Others went to jail for homicide; some were later pardoned. We, as women, finally got society to recognize violence against women.

Shame on all those women of the 1990's who now use these laws to their advantage in India to bring men to their knees; and to erase fathers from the lives of their children! False allegations by women of dowry, child abuse, domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment and stalking are almost never questioned by judges for fear of being politically incorrect.

Women who feel justified in punishing men use these false charges indiscriminately. Children are forgotten and have become our newest victims with full cooperation from our legal system (that has turned it into a money making racket but claims it has no option but to follow government directives).

Urban women have become super-educated in the ways of our legal system. A study purports women are filing 70% of divorces today. Urban women know that by filing dowry demand, domestic violence,and child abuse accusations, they are almost assured of winning and there are no repercussions to filing false accusations. The unfortunate person against whom false allegations are charged must prove their innocence while a accuser has to prove nothing. As a woman, I am no longer proud of those of the female gender who abuse our legal system.

An innocent husband involved in a nasty divorce from a woman who vows vengeance is helpless in dealing with the Indian legal system. Our legal system condones whatever the wives allege,accuse, and dictate to control husbands/ex-husbands. Should a husband make the mistake of remarrying,further angering his ex-wife, a second wife's income is used as “a way to show ability to pay.” The mother of their children, on the other hand, can marry/live with another man. The “other man's” income is never used to lower child support. Court's rationale – “they are not his children, not his responsibility.” Since when did a mother bear no responsibility for her children? Today's women are earning more, and are becoming a majority in our workforce. The stay at home mom of the 80's rarely exists today.

False allegations of dowry demands or child abuse by a vengeful wife devastates not only children, but fathers and their parental family. The wife files a false dowry case first to take advantage of all laws passed to protect true victims of abuse and violence. The wife charges everything from dowry demands, domestic violence to stalking to child abuse. Courts almost always believe a woman over a man today. I know of many men who were falsely accused of dowry demands,domestic violence and child sexual abuse. By the time they were found innocent, they lost their jobs,reputation, and everything they owned. Recent statistics do show women are becoming our primary child abusers, and yes, even killers of our children. Yet our legal system consistently believe,”the mother always makes the best parent.” Some mothers today emotionally blackmail and intimidate their children into fabricating abuse by their father. I know many men who fought years to get custody of their children from a proven mentally ill mother who abused their children. Each time the court insisted “the mother is the best parent.”

A large number of children are ordered to see a child psychologist when divorce is filed. Counselors and psychologists are encouraged by our system to give bad reports against a father. Fathers are automatically presumed capable of abuse before any mother.
Mothers are intentionally denying visitation to loving, child support paying fathers, who then waste more money and time in court trying to get visitation enforced. I know a man who hasn't seen his child for years, but religiously pays his child support. He stopped pursuing visitation in court when the mother threatened harm to the son. Is this fair? Why is there no press on “intentional denial of visitation”? One of the saddest true stories I know about a child who was put in a mental institution by his mother until the child stopped saying, “I want to see my daddy.” There are too many stories of children committing suicide. I have heard about a woman who kept her teenage son up night after night crying about her divorce, repeatedly telling him “children ruin marriages.” Her son turned to drinking, drugs, and dropped out of college.

Divorce is a reality. It is currently a multi-crore a year business. Everyone wants gentle answers to harsh reality. There are none unless we all recognize the gender bias against males perpetuated in the legal system today, and the undeniable damage it does to our children.

Years ago the poor, illiterate rural women had a disadvantage in our legal system. Consequently, laws were created in an attempt to protect these rural women. These laws have most certainly not benefited the rural women but have been misused by most urban educated women to get away with almost anything. These urban women can manipulate child support into “backdoor alimony,” deprive their children of their fathers, and ruin their husbands and in-laws.

Yes, we have come a long way. Women can be proud of the laws they fought hard for 30+ years ago. I am personally grateful for these laws. Let us not blaspheme those women who died for the very laws that many women are abusing today. We must stop abusing these laws, or one day our legal pendulum will swing back and our true victims will not be believed again.

You think you are beating men?
You are beating yourself; destroying your children; and making the racketeers in our legal system rich. You are creating a generation of children who think love is conditional and possessive; who learn that violence by proxy and misuse of the law will make you a winner. I will never be associated with any “feminist” movement which advocates false dowry/domestic violence/child abuse allegations, destroying children, and eliminating good fathers (and grandparents). Let us remember that it is the children, and not the women, who are the real victims of the gender bias in our legal system.

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