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Girls Burn Brighter


An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against ...
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Discuss Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao:
In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

Created: 02/27/19

Replies: 13

Posted Feb. 27, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2082

In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 265

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

The book reflects male dominance over and cruelty toward women consistent with the #MeToo reporting of women in the present day US. Both women are consistently demeaned and sexually violated, and physically battered, even by Mohan, who is supposed to be the (relative) good guy. This happens both with men they know and with men they don't know. This behavior also crosses cultures - it happens not only in India, but in the US , both among their Indian contacts and with Americans (witnesses Savitha's encounter with the truckers.) Importantly this last experience happens as Savitha goes searching for help -- her planned journey to New York.


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

Posts: 118

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

Going with laurap on this - she has said it very well!


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 265

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

#MeToo has given women a voice against abuse. I don't think our two main characters will ever have a voice in the abuse which has been heaped upon them. However, the book certainly reveals abuses which the women of this world are doomed to endure. Awareness can be a powerful tool to change the world.


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 373

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

I agree with laurap. The theme of this novel is relevant to the #Me Too era. The two main characters have never heard of the movement, but they represent the millions of woman and girls that have been abused, not only in India but world wide.


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
amberb

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 96

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

Like #metoo, this story opens our eyes to what is seen beneath the surface. As we are more and more exposed to realities of human trafficking both within the U.S. and around the world, women are beginning to find a voice and people are starting to become aware of how their sisters (and others) are being enslaved.


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sharong

Join Date: 11/06/18

Posts: 1

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

I agree that the two women would not know what we are talking about when we say the #MeToo movement. They both start out so innocent but they live in an abusive and violent environment. I do believe that their horrible experiences made them both stronger and wanting to live no matter what an finding each other and finally love.


Posted Mar. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiap

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 49

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

I had to do a little research on #MeToo before I could answer this question. I now understand it started because of the sexual harassment attributed to Harvey Weinstein. The movement really 'took fire' in India when many sexual harassment allegations were revealed in Bollywood.

There are so many instances of MORE than harassment in this story. Savitha being taken by Purnima's father starts it all. This is rape, not harassment. The closest we come to harassment is when Savitha gets in the lorie and the driver starts to touch her thigh.

I guess I am saying that the movement is not at all relevant to this story. The girls in it have no ability to consider or start such a movement. Not only that, from the little I know about the movement in India, MEN speak out against harassment too. Can you imagine any of the men in the book speaking out? I don't think so.

I have not read the other comments yet, but will do so now. I just did not want to be influenced on my initial answer.


Posted Mar. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alwaysdaddygirl's Gravatar
alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

Posts: 110

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

One can say it ties this with #MeToo because of mistreatment and abuse of women. This movement started about sexual misconduct in the workplace and in Hollywood. The movement then evolved. Because of evolution, this book is now covered under it. There are valid claims with this movement. However, while it has it good it also ”gone too far.”

In the article, Catherine Deneuve and Others Denounce the #MeToo Movement, a famous actress wrote a letter that is Anti-Me Too Movement and that it has ” gone too far”. The article also mentions other women that supported this actress by signing the letter. The article also addresses the criticism from this letter:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/movies/catherine-deneuve-and-others-denounce-the-metoo-movement.amp.html

(”gone too far ” is from this article.)


In the article, Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash on social media over #MeToo, it talks about
author Margaret Atwood comments she made on social media about being a fair trial when someone is accused and other things. In this article, Margaret Atwood stated: “A fair-minded person would now withhold judgment as to guilt until the report and the evidence are available for us to see.” According to this article it states she received blacklist from feminists because of this. I agree one hundred percent with Margaret Atwood. This is the article:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/books/2018/jan/15/margaret-atwood-feminist-backlash-metoo


While I did not like the ending and some things with this book I do not agree, I like this book. What I like about this book, it brings awareness of the cruelty of human tracking, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, domestic abuse, true friendship, and other causes. Some would be surprised I like this book because I am not a feminist. This does not make me a bad person. I also mix and GOP gal. Being Republican also does not make me a bad person. Nor does my multiple tattoos and piercings also make me a bad person. I strive to keep an open minded. This is one quote I believe in:

“ Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
– Oscar Wilde


In the article, Why I am Not A Feminist, it talks about why she is not, the foundation about it, being attack if your views are different, and other things:

https://www.girlgeekupnorth.co.uk/why-i-am-not-a-feminist/

In the article, Conservative Women Are Women Too, it states about women that are conservative are an attack just because of their beliefs:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/karinagness/2017/12/18/conservative-women-are-women-too/amp/


I had friends in domestic abuse relationships, friends out of it, a friend killed in one, and I was in domestic relationships for twelve plus years. I volunteer at a domestic abuse shelter for a year. I have been through other experiences. This does not make me an expert. I also believed in this quote:

”You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”
-Oscar Wilde

One of the things I see are women that lie about sexual abuse. I see it too many times. Most of us have read about this or heard about this or both. This article, Woman who made false rape claim gets 1 year in jail, talks about a woman who made a false claim and the reason why she did it:

https://apnews.com/47524e930a434068a819bc0cd4646b38

It is a slap in everyone face who dealt with sexual abuse when false sexual claims are made. Men can also be sexual abuse:

https://www.rainn.org/articles/sexual-assault-men-and-boys


Again, the survivors of sexual abuse should be heard. The deceased that were killed or committed suicide because of sexual abuse should never be forgotten. Justice needs to be done. We need justice to also be fair. Most importantly, we need sexual abuse survivors to not feel ashamed and to have justice. This happened throughout the world. The article, Survivors of sexual violence are let down by the criminal justice system – here's what should happen next, talks about how it happens in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Ireland with the ashamed factor sexual abuse survivors are put through and the fault in the legal systems. The article mentions other things:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/theconversation.com/amp/survivors-of-sexual-violence-are-let-down-by-the-criminal-justice-system-heres-what-should-happen-next-94138


"You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until now" —? Anonymous


Posted Mar. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RRO

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 16

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

laurap nicely sums it up, although I believe this story goes farther than #metoo. Shortly after finishing this book I watched the documentary 'Period. End of Sentence.' and immediately saw the male-dominated culture that was prevalent in 'Girls Burn Brighter'. I kept thinking of the book while watching the documentary. It is hard to understand that these cultures continue to exist in today's world, but there was abuse when the girls arrived in America too. I was ashamed, as I was reading, that they suffered the same abuse here as in their native country.


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 210

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

I think there are some overriding themes in this book that draw similarities with the "#MeToo movement. The predominant being that women are at a greater risk of being taken advantage of or threatened than men- -that men are effective at using their power/privilege to dominate. However, this book goes MUCH further as already stated above. This is rape, attempted murder, and human trafficking-all felonies in the United States, as they should be.

What I did not realize is that #MeToo is not new. It was first used in 2006 by activist, Tarana Burke. Her goal was "to promote 'empowerment through empathy' among women of color who have experienced sexual abuse, particularly within underprivileged communities." But how does this affect or include countries where women have always been treated as dispensable? How do we get the message to women living in isolated, rural areas without access to television or the internet? How do you change entire cultures of people across the globe?

Personally, I think we need to keep the movements separate. Unfortunately, there are many who hear #MeToo and think only of interesting hats, poster slogans, and burning bras . Human trafficking, crimes against women, and feminicide, must have their own movements. And men HAVE TO BE involved with them.


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ritah

Join Date: 05/26/11

Posts: 55

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

I am not certain that it is appropriate to put all sexual issues into one basket. The #MeToo movement is centered more upon the more hidden aspects of sexual use of women and I think that rape and sex trafficking are separate though related issues. The minimizing of women throughout history is more than just a violence situation; it is an attitude toward women that is so ingrained that it may not even reach the level of awareness for many. Although sex trafficking may be ignored or denied, it cannot be considered simply a matter of minimizing. Given that perspective, this book may actually detract from the movement, leaving one with a thought of "oh, that sexual harassment incident is not so bad.....look at how much worse this is."


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alwaysdaddygirl's Gravatar
alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

Posts: 110

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

I do not know if this is possible but I wonder if those that go to other countries to provide medical care, can perhaps bring a qualified therapist as well. A cultural anthropologist should be used in training of these groups before they leave to the countries to ensure no one insults another traditions. Again, I am not sure if this is a possibility.


Posted Mar. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 373

RE: In what way is this story relevant in the context of the #MeToo era?

One thing I can safely say about "Girls Burn Brighter" is that it has made the reader think about a topic that we usually stay away from.


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