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Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

Created: 03/27/20

Replies: 24

Posted Mar. 27, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

Lakshmi mentions that she's not ashamed of her work to help women obtain a safe method of contraception. She believes she's protecting women by offering them a safe way to avoid pregnancy. Could this be considered a radical point of view?


Posted Apr. 03, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 356

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

It certainly was considered radical in the society in which she was operating. This was not unusual. Witness Griswold v. Connecticut, a 1965 Supreme Court case which established a woman's right to contraception as part of a constitutional right to privacy. Lakshmi was operating in a conservative religious country in the mid 1950s. Even in the US in the 1960s she would have been considered radical in some quarters.


Posted Apr. 03, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 246

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

For the time it was quite radical and even in some places during the current time it is radical. I think it is consistent with her struggle to assert her independence and thus her desire to help other women.


Posted Apr. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

Posts: 182

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

It was definitely radical in a male dominated society of the 1950's. Since a man's virility was determined by the number of children (especially sons) he had, to allow women the option of not having children was extremely radical.


Posted Apr. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 142

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

Yes, it was radical not only not only for the place and time period, but for a woman to have a choice in how she wanted to live her life at all. Lakshmi was a strong, brave woman that wanted to help other women have more control of their lives.


Posted Apr. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gwenc

Join Date: 07/14/12

Posts: 77

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

To "society" it was radical, but to millions of women it was an age-old practice not openly talked about but certainly common place - in Lakshmi's world and other worlds.


Posted Apr. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 265

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

Based on my understanding of the cultural expectations and financial pressures on Indian women at that time, I could relate to Lakshmi's contraceptive assistance as more of a service to women and not a radical point of view. I can understand how Lakshmi sees herself as being helpful and not controversial.


Posted Apr. 07, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TaraM

Join Date: 07/17/19

Posts: 54

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

I 100% agree with these comments. Lakshmi's actions were about giving women a choice and giving them autonomy over their own bodies. For society this was certainly radical, but as another commenter pointed out, for women it was not.


Posted Apr. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PinkLady

Join Date: 01/22/18

Posts: 140

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

We may all be giving the same answer and that's ok. Think about the abortion clinics that are being closed now using COVID-19 as the reason. Certainly still much judgement about unwanted pregnancies Given where she was living it definitely was radical yet very important.


Posted Apr. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosemarys

Join Date: 05/29/11

Posts: 37

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

I like to think we’ve come so far, that women have so many more contraceptive choices now in comparison to long ago. Maybe contraception has improved but the fight over what to do with an unwanted pregnancy remains the same. I think Lakshima did what women have been doing for centuries. Ancient birth control methods have included ingestion of mercury, lead and arsenic. Lakshima’s sachets were different roots and herbs, which certainly makes more sense. It would be considered a radical point of view if what she was doing was talked about openly in society but it seemed like everyone knew what women were doing, just never discussed it, especially in mixed company.


Posted Apr. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LindaSc

Join Date: 05/27/15

Posts: 8

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

I had zero respect for Lakshmi as she repeatedly facilitated the disgusting behavior of Samir and other men (customers) who used women and then offered them one of Lakshmi's "sachets". How is this protecting women? It only furthers the lack of responsibility of men in the society and continues to keep women in their place.


Posted Apr. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 140

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

This issue has been around, well, forever, and women are the ones often left with dealing with the consequences. I think it was radical for the times but having contraception gives women so many more choices in the world. If there isn't access to safe contraception, women might resort to extreme means to end a pregnancy and end up dying in the process.


Posted Apr. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 381

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

LindaSc, that is the point I keep coming back to as well. Before Lakshmi met Samir, her assistance seemed very genuine in wanting to protect women, who worked as prostitutes- -because they chose to or had no other options. But once Samir realized her "gifts", he persuaded her to move, where she could provide "cover" for him and his married friends who had mistresses. If Lakshmi was a "radical" (and I'm thinking more along the lines of a feminist who supports the reproductive rights of women), I think she would have refused to condone the patriarchal culture in India by making it easier and safer for men to have extramarital affairs. Now I'm wondering if I would think differently if it had been the mistresses seeking out her services, rather than the men... I may have to come back to this question!


Posted Apr. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Elizabeth Marie

Join Date: 05/26/18

Posts: 69

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

Given the cultural context, it seemed radical when discussed openly, but, in fact, everyone knew what was going on. Lakshmi’s view evolved from initially believing she was only helping women to obtain safe contraception, to the realization that she was also enabling the exploitation of those same women by the wealthy men who were their clients.


Posted Apr. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
evelyng

Join Date: 02/07/18

Posts: 49

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

Yes, for the time and for the religious values of where Lakshmi lived, she would be considered radical. She was, however, helping woman, as has been done in many cultures and societies in our historical known and unknown Past.


Posted Apr. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 192

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

Yes for the time period and culture. having said that abortions have been done for a very long time. She felt she was helping the women.


Posted Apr. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 118

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

It depends - the women who came for help - did not consider it to be radical.
And also shows that women have been taking care and making decisions about their body - since the beginning of time.


Posted Apr. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 192

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

Women have been giving advice to women for centuries on how to prevent pregnancy . It may have not culturally accepted on the"face" of things, but it was done. She was helping rich and poor alike.


Posted Apr. 14, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyb

Join Date: 04/14/20

Posts: 76

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

I think Lakshmi was a progressive women. She understood the perils of having a child as a single woman. She also understood the dangers to women having child after child with no choice to stop as well as the dangers and consequences of trying to abort a pregnancy. Her actions would have been considered “radical” in India in the 1950’s but that would not have stopped people from all castes from seeking her help.


Posted Apr. 15, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LindaSc

Join Date: 05/27/15

Posts: 8

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

As long as sachets are provided to men in India, the women will forever remain doing their bidding. I would be interested in learning whether any contraception was discussed or tried. All of these abortions are heartbreaking, as they are here in the U.S. I cannot understand how this is allowing women to "take control of their own bodies" when the fetus they are carrying is not part of their bodies.


Posted Apr. 17, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ilenem

Join Date: 04/17/19

Posts: 29

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

It was a very radical point of view, especially in India. So sad that so little has changed over time.


Posted Apr. 17, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djbshirley

Join Date: 01/05/20

Posts: 6

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

Yes this could be looked at as a radical point of view. Even today it's radical in many places. In January 2020, parts of India amended their 1971 Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act allowing women to seek abortions as part of reproductive rights and gender justice.


Posted Apr. 21, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 353

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

As many others have mentioned, it was about giving women a choice in a land that was not particularly kind to or aware of womens wants or needs.


Posted Apr. 24, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 103

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

It was radical then and is still radical now to some people. It is the same "pro-choice" vs "pro-life" battle going on today, with a whole lot of male chauvinism thrown in for good measure.


Posted Apr. 25, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 169

RE: Lakshmi is not ashamed of helping women obtain safe contraception believing she is protecting them. Could this be considered a radical point of view?

I think it is definitely a radical idea , especially in the Indian culture. But to me, such a brave and empowering role for Lakshmi. I found it especially interesting that she was making the sachets for Samir Singh to pass out. Once again, men having control of womens bodies which is a common theme throughout history and in many cultures, including our own.


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