Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Chapter 2

[Behind the Beautiful Forevers]

In chapter 2 “Asha” of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo follows Asha, a highly ambitious business woman in Annawadi. While gender inequality is largely problematic in India, especially in the occupation desired by Asha, she is able to use a corrupt system of government to her advantage by working “under the table” for bank loan officers and other city officials.

Boo writes that “The last time Ward 76 had an all-female ballot, Corporator Subhash Sawant had put up his housemaid. The main had won, and he had kept running the ward. Asha thought that he might just pick her to run in the next all-female election since his new maid was a deaf-mute – ideal for keeping his secrets, less so for campaigning” (73).

What did you find most notable about the author’s discussion of gender inequality and corruption in India?

--Kacee Aldridge 

12 comments:

Brianna B said...

I guess what I found most notable would be the way that this corruption was not discussed in a manner that suggested change, but in a manner that discussed further abuse of an already abused system.

Natalie Thompson said...

What I found notable is that there is only one woman that really has any dealings with the leaders and that is Asha. From the reading I think she may be the only female that really has any connection with the leaders. Yes she work under the table, listening to peoples problems and I guess the city officals choose her so people can have someone to relate to. She also states how Asha likes to work for them because she can find ways to fix certain things that I guess would never get taken care of if she was not in that postion. She uses her position to her advantage as well.

Andrea R. said...

What I find most interesting about the gender inequality aspect in relation to the government is the very prominent power struggle that occurs. As mentioned, women with husbands in positions of power were more likely to hold positions of power themselves. Yet despite this "privilege", the men would still try to keep control as noted by the Corporator electing his deaf-mute maid to be slumlord.

Kiana Stevenson said...

I feel as if gender inequality isn't really pushed as much as the corruption in Annawadi is. The author shows corruption as a good thing and pretty much the only way for women, and some men, to get ahead. Asha is very proud of her work and well aware of how corrupt it is.

Breanna B. said...

I agree entirely with Brianna B. The corruption is addressed in a way which seems to call for more corruption. It's quite awful to think about this, but yet we are products of corruption as well.

Shervonti Norman said...

What I found to be most notable about the discussion of gender inequality and corruption was that it was talked about in a tone that made it seem unimportant. I admire Asha for what she's doing. She's making a better way for her children but I don't like that she has to do it all underhanded. For a woman to be at a high rank will always been seen as a good thing but I personally don't feel like pride should be taken into that when you didn't reach the top in the right way.

but at the same time, I know that between men and women there aren't many people that have made it where they are by being completely fair.

Conradette King said...

what I found noteable about the author's disscussion of gender inequality is that it wasn't really mentioned in the writing. While it is true that it would be difficult for any type of woman to get ahead in the Indian Government, but that's anywhere and Asha seems like she will overcome that aspect of getting to the top of her desired occupation. And i also thought it was interesting that the author almost makes the corruption seem like a good thing and a way to improve the lives of the people of Annawadi.

Alex J said...

What I find most interesting about this topic of gender inequality in India is that the corruption continues to occur, regardless of the efforts put in to stop it. Although it was brought up, the way it was discussed made it seem like the topic was not as important when compared to other topics, especially if men were involved.

Anitra B. said...

What I found most notable about the corruption aspect is the way that the author talked about it made it seem like it was necessity to succeed. On page 72, Asha states how to the elite corruption had a negative connotation, but for the poor corruption can provide a lot of opportunities. And this is true in her case. By working "under the table" she is able to live a certain lifestyle, that others can't, and she is able to send her daughter to college, again which other can't do as well.

Belainesh Nigeda said...

In my opinion, it seems as though women are recognizing their abilities. Asha pushes women to realize that they don't have to depend on a man. When using the word "corruption" in the text, it's as if it results in the good consequences for women at least. In the text, it says that corruption provided many opportunities. This is true for Asha mainly (possibly the people she encourages as well).
-B.Nigeda

Mercedes H said...

What I found to be most notable about the discussion of gender inequality and corruption in India is that the tone was very light. While reading, you don't necessarily pick up that this is a "serious" topic as in it is something that should be addressed and fixed. Of course, it is known to be very serious and I'm sure the author knows that but it's talked about as though this is something that will continue to happen if any person wants to get ahead (specifically concerning the corruption). Where gender inequality is concerned, it's admirable that Asha is even able to be a the point she is at. She was able to weasel herself into higher positions just like the men in the town are doing. In that aspect, women just might be able to be seen as equal. They just have to know the loopholes and the ways around being "right" just like the men do.

Jessica Oranika said...

What i found the most notable was the casual nature in which gender inequality and corruption is discussed. Even when specific measures are taken to help minimize the problems, people still take advantage of the system for their own benefit. Everyone seems to realize that there is no end in sight.