- Women aren’t safe outside their homes: You are never ever safe outside home as per what elders say… But what about sexual abuse within the house? As a child or an adult? We don’t speak of it…
- Wearing short clothes leads to rape??? Don’t wear short clothes? What will people say? What if you get raped? Why don’t people accept that rape and sexuality don’t go together – rape is about control and mental and physical dominance. The Nirbhaya kand proves it… She wasn’t wearing a mini skirt! (Rape is a simple non-consensual / forced act of having sex. It implies complete dominance of body and decision-making power to the rapist. The brutality is not just on the body but on the soul of the woman – she lives it each day – every day!)
- The Great Indian SLAP : Oh, why is it so ok to slap a woman if she is wrong? Face palm slap across the face? Just watch any serial or movie… Even if she is a villain – why a slap across the face? The sheer violence of it – and then the worst is the acceptance of this violence as “normal and acceptable”. If a halla is made around a slap – the prompt answer is “it’s just a slap”. No one sees it as an act of authority and complete dominance – first to judge you and then to get physically violent with you! And off course the fact that “she was asking for it”…. something commonly told to us to explain away THE SLAP.
- Educated and well-placed women don’t want girl kids: Do you know women who are educated and working with a good salary want ONLY sons? They are fine with aborting a girl child – then it’s not about education and the money you earn – it’s about a DISGUSTING mindset! A mindset which says girls are inferior and a liability! Patriarchy and misogyny! An argument with such women leads to the defense that “don’t you know the status of women in society etc etc, also how unsafe it is…. etc etc” – and somehow they seem to forget that they too are women who were educated by their parents…
- WHY do horrible Patriarchal Marriage rituals still exist? Why do educated women allow for patriarchal marriage rituals like Bidai to happen? It gives complete control to the male of the house – where a father does “kanya-daan” to the husband – as if the girl/woman is an inanimate object. Are you aware that in some places the rituals are preposterous enough where the father of the bride goes down on his knees and washes the feet of the groom to be as a “mark of respect” (for God’s sake the guy is as old as his son – WHY this respect? Lets call a spade a spade – its NOT respect – its all about “DOMINANCE”)
- DOWRY is a CRIME – why do women allow it being given? Why don’t women refuse to marry men demanding dowry or mothers/fathers of the boy demanding dowry? If a man or his family has to be paid to marry your daughter – then why doesn’t he move into your home – after all you are buying him?If it’s about property rights of the girls etc etc – then let there be a property division where the girl gets what’s hers – and NOT the husband or in-laws! This shall ensure that no girl is killed! For if they kill the girl then the property would revert back to the father’s family in case of no heir or goto the child of the dead girl – the husband and in-laws would not be gaining… WHY don’t we push for this awareness?
- Why don’t we shame the rapists??? Why do we always shame the rape survivor? See any immediate hush hush reaction to a rape report! Do you know even the police try to hush up matters… So the moment any girls runs to you or anyone speaking of her rape – the immediate reaction is “Shhhh…. “WHY – shy should she Shhh? She hasnt dont anything wrong! She has been violated in the worst possible way… BTW – in cases of marital rape the Shhhhh is followed by “ye to hota hi hai, its his right” – so the woman has no control over her body?
- India has pedophiles! Why aren’t we acknowledging pedophiles? And creating strict laws and punishments around it? And why are we blaming western culture for everything? We never spoke about it earlier…. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen?
- Why do the women members of a rapist’s family never stand in favour of the victim? Why do they look the other way? Why do they justify the ACT as “boys will be boys”? And push for “mere ladke ki zindagi kharab ho jaayegi” – thus implying that the ACT itself didn’t ruin his life – and possibly that the girl’s life isn’t important enough…
- Domestic violence is an acceptable part of marriage: The family elders – on both sides tell the woman to “suck it up and brave it – it happens to everyone” and further add “You should try to please him and not annoy/anger him”. Adding to this is the fact that the police also tell the women that only…. and add “madam aap kaise thaane ke chakkar lagaogi…. ye sab to hota rahta hai”
8th April late night saw me “rant” on FB about Body-shaming! (the excerpt is below)
WHY did I write on FB ?
- I meant to actually get things off my chest and tell each body shamer I know personally to “take a hike”
- I meant to stand up for myself – and TEACH others around me who watch me – to stand up for herself/himself
I got some very lovely and empowering responses in terms of around 250 plus likes and 65 msgs (this number is still rising)
Sharing a few with you (there were 65 comments):
Drawing inspiration from ALL amazing Moms (and Dads) who are raising amazingly Feminist Sons…
These are normal people from all walks of life, from working professionals, to stay at home moms and a few stay at home dads, to some vibrant parents from the Bottom of the Pyramid…
Dear Mom ,
Please Raise me as a Feminist Son!
Dear Uncle, Bhaiya, Jiju, Chacha, Friend, BF, Unknown male,
Lets all Play Holi CONSENT Waali…
Lets ALL ensure that YOU do not have to ever say “Bura Na Maano Holi Hai….” – this at MOST times simply translates to “Don’t get offended for me BAD/lecherous behavior – after all its Holi”
And ALL you have to do is watch out for the signs of NO – Consent…. and NOT do those actions….
Dear Trolls/People/Media/Politicians/Sports stars (now this one shocked me),
Lets start with clearing a few things:
Gurmehar Kaur may or may not be an idiot
Gurmehar Kaur may or may not be the daughter of a Kargil martyr
Gurmehar Kaur may or may not be an AAP type volunteer
Gurmehar Kaur may or may not be an opportunist….
Gurmehar Kaur …. etc etc…
BUT Gurmehar Kaur is a WOMAN!
This is NOT Gurmehar Kaur! Continue reading Gurmehar Kaur is an Idiot (perhaps) BUT…
A very powerful TED talk by Jackson Katz: “Violence against women—it’s a men’s issue”
I have personally encountered so so many of these in the last 8 years of working with women…and speaking to men who have in turn been intertwined with the lives of women:
It shows so aptly what men and even women do when faced with a situation which can be “gender-charged” just by virtue of the name!
Misogyny is the dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women. But seeing through the misogynistic glass: discussions online and offline with many women and some men leads me to some rather startling facts:
Fighting Patriarchy is a long journey – filled with strife and rigid mindsets. On this journey we need to start empowering the women around us.
NOTE – this piece is for BOTH men and women who do not believe in patriarchy and would like to have gender equality around them!
BTW – men too are feminist if they believe that women are equal. Remember by the simple dictionary meaning – feminism is the belief that women are equal to men. And NO it does not say that men are inferior!
I read this piece around the thoughts of acclaimed Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – on what she thought Feminism was and “raising your daughters right”. She comes from a highly patriarchal society and has faced her own series of struggles and continues to advocate for women’s rights and opportunities.
In one of my favourite quotes Adichie says :