Choices – so what about them?

You must have seen the #VogueEmpower video directed by Homi Adajania and featuring Deepika Padukone, right? Or at the very least, you must have heard of it. It features 99 women talking about choices. Why 99? Because he would want you to know that the hundredth woman was not free! Her choice was not to be featured!

Overall, the video has some stunning camera & editing work. Throwing in all kinds of faces with a mixed bag of modern to rustic women. If you watch the video on mute, you will think it is some kind of celebration of womanhood. Hair flowing around, hues of blacks and white – it is surreal! Powerful.

But I can’t say the same about the audio and the content. Deepika’s voice seems oddly controlled. Doesn’t really go with the free flowing impactful video.

Regarding the content – I don’t agree with a lot of points. The most obvious is the choice of having sex outside of marriage. I mean that is just bullshit and I don’t even need to elaborate on fidelity. Also, the choice to come and go as one pleases – sorry but I would like to be kept informed if my husband chooses to come home after 10 PM and why not? The video seems to imply no questions asked – I come and go as I please. Then I would say – please don’t get into a relationship! Because relationship is a partnership and does have strings attached!

Though the video has been lauded by many and seen by most, I fail to see what it aims at? There are faces of ultra modern women to tribal women. It covers them all. But does the content cover them all? The choices of loving temporarily, lusting forever, marry or not to marry, having a baby or not are all choices that most women don’t even want. Most want to marry, have kids, love forever and be loved forever. When you cover 99 kinds of faces in your video, how do you address only the select 1/10th of women in the audio? There is no connect!

Then there is the philosophical talk of universe and taming the universe and infinity and capturing the sun in the palm – all of it just flew above me. I couldn’t get it at all! I tried thinking poetically – if it connected to the other content somehow. But nope. May be I am thick!

And the hash tag they gave is #VogueEmpower. I am sorry I did not find the video empowering. At all. I am not inclined to have a choice to have sex with someone other than my husband, neither am I inclined to come home at 4 AM nor am I inclined towards being compared with the universe. Compared to the earlier two Vogue Empower campaigns, this one just failed big time.

I think when our country is still dealing with rights to education, clothing and marry who you love, these choices they are talking about don’t hold much water. May be 50 years from now. May be not even then. But then, may be its just me.

The one verse that I did love was the one that said bindi and rings are just replaceable ornaments. Love is not. So love is what should be treasured above all else. If only there were things as relevant in this “empowerment” video.

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Messages I received on woman’s day!

I am so blessed to be surrounded by such appreciative people. Who send me messages like these:

Here’s to the woman who knows draws strength from troubles, smiles during distress and grows stronger with prayers and hope. 

Well, what if I am not that woman who smiled during distress? Can’t you just say happy woman’s day to you?!

It is hard to be a woman. You must think like a man, act like a lady, look like a young girl and work like a horse. Happy women’s day!

Please! You put 4 stereotypes in one sentence and expect me to be happy that you remembered me on woman’s day?

Maa hai woh, beti hai woh, behen hai woh to kabhi patni hai woh. Jeevan ke har sukh dukh mein shaamil hai woh. shakti hai woh, prerna hai woh. Naman hai un sab nariyon ko jo jeevan ke har mod pe hamara saath deti hai. Mahila divas ki badhaai. (She is a mother, she is a sister and she is a wife. She is a part of all happiness and difficulties of our lives. She is strength and inspiration. Lets bow to all those women who are with us in all modes of our loves. Happy women’s day)

Yes. I am a mother. I am also a wife. I am also a daughter. But I am me too. And that is the biggest part of who I am. Yes, I am there for my family just as they are there for me. No I don’t need you to bow to me for that because you don’t bow to someone for doing what they’re supposed to.  It is not a wives day or a daughters day or a sisters day. It is a women’s day. Let us wish women a happy day only because they are women. Not because they are good wives and daughters and sisters.

And yes, to all the women reading these – Happy women’s day. i.e. Belated. 🙂 Hope you had a good one. ❤

Speechless over how criminals think

Where do I start?

Everybody knows what Delhi Gangrape was. How the girl was raped. Beaten. Violated. Humiliated. Killed. We have concluded that those people who did that to her are monsters. They deserve death. The juvenile too. After all, if he is mature enough to rape, he is big enough to be hanged. But what is the real monster? Rapist? Uneducation? Social setup? Mindset?

What gets me in shock is the BBC documentary. Yes, it was banned. I saw the footage on youtube.

Edited to add: The video has been taken down from youtube. It is not releasing in India, as earlier intended by BBC.

For those who have not followed the case or are international readers: On 16th December 2012, a girl and her friend (boy) were going back home after a movie at 8 PM in Delhi. They boarded a private bus which sometimes drop people if their destination falls on the way. The girl was gangraped by 4 men (who were the only people in the bus apart from the driver – all 5 of them knew each other well) in inebriated state (including 1 juvenile). A rod was inserted in her vagina causing her intestines to rupture and part of her intestines was pulled out. Her friend was beaten up severely. And they were thrown out of the bus. The gangrape saw historic protests and a fast-track court was set up. (It is ironic that even in fast-track court, 2 years has passed and the death penalty given to accused men is pending before the supreme court). The rape is significant in Indian backdrop because of the commonly used warnings given to girls in India to not get raped – wear decent clothes (jeans and skirts are automatically indecent). Don’t go out at night. Don’t have boyfriends, etc. BBC had made a documentary on the case, which was to be released in India on 8th March 2015. But they released it in UK on 4th March. The documentary had interview of one of the main accused. And her parents.

After watching the video, the first thing that hit me was “he is not repentant at all.” (the accused) After being sentenced to death. After having seen what the crime symbolizes in India, today.

He still believes that women are responsible for rapes. That women need to be in their limits. they are meant for housework and things like that. That only 20% of girls are good. (Who is he to judge girls?) That she was wrong to travel alone with a boy at night. That it was correct of them to teach her a lesson. He says that giving them death sentence is wrong because now, the rapists will not let their victims live. They’ll kill them.

It also eludes my pea-brain that these people got lawyers to defend them. Who also blame the victim! One of the lawyers begin by saying some complicated stuff like women are flowers, beautiful performance (?!), pleasant. Men are like thorns. Flowers need protection. I am inclined to believe that this was some code language for saying that he knows men like the people he defends, are thorns and deserve to be separated from the society and destroyed!

He also says something more disturbing. You are talking about men and women as friends. Sorry, that doesn’t happen in our society. A woman means I immediately put sex in my eyes. We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman.

Yes, take that. Digest it. I’ll give you a short break.

Now, back to the rapist. He has two advises for all the women out there. 1. If someone asks you why are you out so late in the night, it is their business to know. Because they are the upholders of our culture where housework is the work for a woman, not roaming at night. and 2. If he were to rape you to teach you a lesson, you have to let him do that and after that, keep your mouth shut. Because then, you get to keep your life. See, simple? Isn’t it?

There’s another lawyer who says If my daughter or sister engaged in pre-marital activities and disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face and character by doing such things, I would most certainly take this sort of sister or daughter to my farmhouse, and in front of my entire family, I would put petrol on her and set her alight.

I want to ask this man what does he mean when he says “lose her face and character by doing such things”. What things? Watching a movie? Being with a friend? I never knew watching a movie was a “premarital activity”. Damn my GK. And on second thoughts, I want to slap that man hard. Very hard. Because even if I had a boy friend and we were out late in the night, it is none of anyone’s business, except our parents’.

But the thing that hits the hardest is: Apparently, there are a lot of people with these thoughts. Who would not have raped the girl or killed her but who still place more importance on the girl being out in the night with her friend rather than the heinous rape. The enormity of the problem stumps me. How is there going to be any change when people don’t put the blame in correct places!

We say education is the key. But those lawyers are educated! In fact, more educated than the parents of that girl. But even then, the parents are in favor of equality and those lawyers are not! Why?

The documentary shows that these men have grown up in a social setup where women are not people. Not important. There is domestic violence, there are rapes, there are red light areas, women are submissive, women are lowest cadre in the social setup. They have seen women being used as commodities rather than persons with feelings. So they think “why us”.

How do we remove that? Education? Social education? Where are affordable schools who can teach this? Apparently, the lawyers studied, got educated in schools that could not teach them that women are people. So what kind of an education are we talking about?

I have so many questions. And no answers. I am angry and I am scared.

Brace yourselves, bad girls..

Please God. Please tell me that my sense of sarcasm has taken a dip down the Holy Ganges and that this was intended as a joke!

(By the way, EC No 69 – lol. This must be a joke)

Can you guys view the image because it is really hilarious!!

Marry a guy who…..

Did you think there are no rules when selecting your husband? That you need to ensure he is a good person and you agree on basic principles? That if he gives you enough independence and enough love to bind the relationship, it is enough?

Well.. You are wrong!

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Facebook just told me I did it all wrong! Simba doesn’t remain awake to look at me smiling in my dreams (so what if I don’t smile in dreams and just lie with my face half buried in my pillow with mouth so open that mosquitos can have a fly-through?!) He doesn’t know how I sip my coffee! I don’t think he ever told me he loves to hear my heartbeats! Though, once he did tell me my stomach grumbles like a drilling machine, but I don’t think that was a compliment! I had a bad stomach that night!

Ok, enough of banter! Quite frankly, I am very appalled by our expectations from spouses! Both husbands and wives! We need to know that romance is not the only thing in marriage and someone who doesn’t want to blink his eyes because he will miss a moment of looking at you is not romantic, it is clingy and obsessive! Remember k-k-k-k-k-kiran? For a change, Bollywood got that idea long back and he turned out to be a villian, didn’t he?

Why can’t we have expectations that are reasonable? Like someone who loves you, not everything about you, but still accepts you the way you are because that’s who you are! Is that bad? He may hate it when you wrinkle your nose but that’s ok because he is not supposed to fall in love with every quirk of yours, nor is he supposed to notice how you blink eyes or how you sneeze or how you poop! sheesh, that’s so obsessive!

A man who thinks every moment spent with you is priceless does not exist. Just as such a woman doesn’t exist. He may select a boys outing over you or his favorite match over you and it is okay. Just as you may select a coffee date with girls or your favorite match over him! (Yes, you can have your favorite match! World cup is coming up, I had to say this)

What I mean to say is “tu saamne baithi rahe, mein tujhe dekha karu” is not possible folks. Neither is it viable. Nor is it healthy. For a minute – may be. Forever seems to be a wee bit psychopathic. 😛 Think about it.

How we stereotype

I was going through some time-pass website and came across a collection of pictures in which little kids were asked grown-up questions. Here are a few of them. What do you think:

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If two people like the same stuff, they’re not supposed to get the chips and dip together before the match begins. It has to be a ‘she’ who has to keep them coming!

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This one of those lame jokes about women wanting to be complimented even when they look bad!

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That it has to be a guy who has to be rich. Meaning he has to be the earning person, the responsible one! Its ok if women are not.

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Sensational journalism and being ashamed of jumping with a gun!

Well, this post is a follow-on post of my outburst in If you’re menopausal, its not rape! yesterday morning!

In that post I had talked about how the Delhi High Court passed a judgment which said menopausal women cannot be raped! And it was based on various news reports, especially the one from Dainik Bhaskar here which strangely is not showing anything right now! The other links are here and here.

Extremely thankful to Shail of Shail’s Nest who brought this link to my notice, which was published by Firstpost in the evening yesterday. By that time, I had already jumped with a gun in the morning!

The original judgment is here. And though all the news reports that I had read in the morning yesterday quoted exactly from the judgment, the meaning thereof sounded completely different than it does when we read the whole judgment.

So here’s an update:

#1 Traces of alcohol were found in the body of the victim and the accused was also inebriated. This is just a fact mentioned. Not used for victim blaming!

#2 What the judgment says is that since the woman is beyond the age of 60, the intercourse may appear to be forceful. But it may (or may not) be forcible. There are no other injury marks on her body elsewhere.

#3 The cause of death is said to be due to the forceful intercourse (which may / may not be forcible).

It appears that the accused was acquitted for want of evidence rather than victim blaming.

Though I have certain reservations with this judgment too, I can no more jump at the judgment and be murderous for it anymore!

Have learnt an important lesson today: News may be sensationalised. We also need to look for alternate sources like the judgment in this case.

I am sorry for having caused a flutter of agitation on this space! Peace!

RIG!

If you’re menopausal, its not rape!!

Women! Please please please, for God sake, learn today as we teach you what rape is:

#1 It is a violation of woman’s ‘purity’

#2 It is forceful intercourse provided that it is done by a person other than your pati parmeshwar and it is within your ‘child bearing age’

Ok? Do you all get this basic concept now? Please don’t confuse it with stupid things like “theft of choice” and “violation of your person” and puhleaseeeeee don’t start with those feminist thingies!

Our very honourable High Court of Delhi has passed a insightful judgment.

Facts of the case:

A woman, 60 years of age, was found murdered. Beside her was found a man in inebriated state. The post-mortem of woman’s body indicated forceful intercourse and alcohol.

Learned judgment:

#1 It is proved beyond reasonable doubt from the postmortem report that the woman too had consumed alcohol before she was subjected to sexual intercourse.

#2 Achey Lal, even if held guilty for causing the offence of rape, cannot be held guilty of murderas he neither had any intention nor knowledge that such a forceful act of sexual intercourse would cause the death of the woman.

#3 As regards the offence punishable under Section 376 (rape) of the IPC, the woman was aged over 60 years, thus beyond the age of menopause. We find force in the contention of the counsel for the appellant (Achey) that even if the sexual intercourse was forceful, it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of the deceased.”

What you need to learn:

#1 If the woman has alcohol, she loses her right to cry foul.

#2 Since the poor man did not know that forceful sexual intercourse would kill her, he can not be called a murderer.

#3 Since the woman was menopausal, it is not forceful even if it was.

Links to this learned judgment are here, here and here.

Do I even write beyond this point? I don’t know!!! Am I shocked? Am I utterly baffled? Am I feeling murderous? Am I losing my sanity? What the fuck was this! Not considered forcible even if it was forceful because the woman had attained her menopause!!!!

What do these blind idiots think rape is?? What a woman is to them? A child bearing machine? A commodity? If she has lost her ability to bear children, it is not rape!!! Just like theft of a non-productive machinery from some factory is not theft because it was useless to the company? I feel sick to the gut! Where the hell is our country moving?? I can not even think properly!

Men and women, as facebook wants us to believe!

I have read zillion posts on what a woman is on facebook! Today, a new entry found its way in – what a man is! Well, here’s my take:

This is what a woman is:

Tomorrow you may get a working woman, but you should marry her with these facts as well… Here is a girl, who is as much educated as you are; Who is earning almost as much as you do; One, who has dreams and aspirations just as you have because she is as human as you are; One, who has never entered the kitchen in her life just like you or your Sister hasn’t, as she was busy in studies and competing in a system that gives no special concession to girls for their culinary achievements. One, who has lived and loved her parents & brothers & sisters, almost as much as you do for 20-25 years of her life ; One, who has bravely agreed to leave behind all that, her home, people who love her, to adopt your home, your family, your ways and even your family ,name One, who is somehow expected to be a master-chef from day #1, while you sleep oblivious to her predicament in her new circumstances, environment and that kitchen One, who is expected to make the tea, first thing in the morning and cook food at the end of the day, even if she is as tired as you are, maybe more, and yet never ever expected to complain ; to be a servant, a cook, a mother,a wife, even if she doesn’t want to ; and is learning just like you are as to what you want from her ; and is clumsy and sloppy at times and knows that you won’t like it if she is too demanding, or if she learns faster than you. One, who has her own set of friends, and that includes boys and even men at her workplace too, those, who she knows from school days and yet is willing to put all that on the back-burners to avoid your irrational jealousy, unnecessary competition and your inherent insecurities. Yes, she can drink and dance just as well as you can, but won’t, simply Because you won’t like it, even though you say otherwise. One, who can be late from work once in a while when deadlines, just like yours, are to be met ; One, who is doing her level best and wants to make this most important relationship in her entire life a grand success, if you just help her some and trust her. One, who just wants one thing from you, as you are the only one she knows in your entire house – your unstinted support, your sensitivities and most importantly – your understanding, or love, if you may call it. But not many guys understand this…… Please appreciate “HER”

This is too long to comment upon individually but hey! Does this sound like: appreciate her if she meets this criteria? To me, it does. It says that the woman you marry should be as much educated as you are + earn almost as much as you do! No matter that she doesn’t know how to cook, she will get up before everyone in the house and take up the responsibilities of a master chef before leaving for work, manage the home when she comes back, take care of your family, who should not learn faster than you because you’d be jealous?!, leave her family behind, leave her friends behind, especially guys because you’d be jealous again!, she should work to make this marriage succeed because well, it is supposedly the most important relationship of  her life! And what are guys supposed to do in return? Give her support (to carry out all of the above, give reminders?), be sensitive (i don’t know how you’re gonna be sensitive if you let her do the above!) And appreciate her!! WTF!

And probably, to counter the above with equally irritating post is this: what a man is!

A man is a beautiful part of God’s creation who starts compromising at a very tender age. He sacrifices his chocolates for his sister. He sacrifices his dreams for just a smile on his parents face. He spends his entire pocket money on buying gifts for the lady he loves just to see her smiling. He sacrifices his full youth for his wife & children by working late at night without any complaints. He builds their future by taking loans from banks & repaying them for lifetime. He struggles a lot & still has to bear scolding from his mother, wife & boss. His life finally ends up only by compromising for others’ happiness. If he goes out, then he’s careless If he stays at home, then he’s a lazy If he scolds children, then he’s a monster If he doesn’t scold, then he’s a irresponsible guy If he stops wife from working, then he’s an insecure guy If he doesn’t stops wife from working, then he’s somebody who lives on wife’s earnings. If he listens to mom, then he’s mama’s boy If he listens to wife, he’s wife’s slave Respect every male in your life. U will never know what he has sacrificed for you. Worth sending to every man to make him smile & every woman to make her realize his worth!

What is he? A sacrificial goat? I read too many ‘sacrifices’. And frankly, none of them are what just men do. e.g. chocolates for sister? Well, my brother snatched from me and I did from him and we love each other nonetheless! dreams for parents? No I don’t think so! pocket money for girl-friend? And girl-friends don’t spend their pocket money? I remember gifting Simba Ray-Ban glasses after saving for it for an entire month! I also remember a friend gifting her boyfriend 21 shirts on his 21st birthday because he was to start his internship and did not have any shirts! So shut up!! sacrificing youth by working late for children and wife? But meanwhile, the wife is doing the above, no? Waking up before everyone, cooking, cleaning, dressing, going to work, coming back, cooking, cleaning! So is she not sacrificing her youth? Building future by taking loans and repaying for a lifetime? Well, nowadays both husband and wife take loan and repay them for their children’s future! And hello, you gave birth to them because you wanted children, right? Nobody has the right to say that I am doing this that for my children and they will have to repay me in my old age! Oh come on! You knew fully well what having children means! scoldings from mother wife and boss? wife also takes it from his and her mother, you and her boss!

If he goes out, then he’s careless If he stays at home, then he’s a lazy If he scolds children, then he’s a monster If he doesn’t scold, then he’s a irresponsible guy If he stops wife from working, then he’s an insecure guy If he doesn’t stops wife from working, then he’s somebody who lives on wife’s earnings. If he listens to mom, then he’s mama’s boy If he listens to wife, he’s wife’s slave!

All this are Patriarchal stereotypes which exist for both men and women. And hence, Patriarchy sucks! Men, get it? We need to forget what people will say when we exercise our choices! And be responsible and fair in our relationships with each other, both husband and wives. And yes, don’t forget to show the middle finger to anyone who tells you shit like this!

I don’t think anybody should have the right to dictate your financial decisions (after you and your spouse have discussed and agreed upon something). Who stays at home, who does the grocery, who puts the laundry and who takes the kids to school is not a gender-specific job. Just like who works/earns, who takes the car to the garage, who runs errands isn’t. Respect your spouse not because they carry out things that gender stereotypes tell them to, respect them because of he/she is a good person. Why should anything other than being a good person, compatible, fun to be with be a criteria for respecting/appreciating your spouse! Right?

Am I wrong? This post may sound all messed up because I want to write so much on this. But I end here. Please let me know what you think!

I want a world without feminists..

No seriously.. I am not kidding.

I want a world without feminists.

Why, you ask? Well, because the world would be a better place. Don’t you think?

No women shouting for their rights, independence, freedom. No more protests. No more blogs that talk about stupid (basic) things like equality equality and equality!

Because the feminists will cease to be when the world is truly equal. Truly balanced. Yin and yang restored. Ardhangini will truly mean what it literally means – better a half. (In Hindi, ardhangini means the female half of a couple i.e. wife!)

If we’re so fed up of listening to these droning social media posts on equality and gender policing and fairness and independence, let us be truly fair and may be, we’ll live to see a day without feminists!

Just like there are no freedom-fighters today, because India is, well at least democratically, a free country. So let us rid this country of feminists as well. No? 🙂

In response to a facebook posts that says: “Fed up of equality n feminist posts on mah feed. Whats’ wrong with women thez dayz?!” which is apparently liked by a few and commented “you go dude!” “yo man” and “right buddy, m fed up too!” by few morons. Apart from the annoying and irritating use of ‘z’ and wrong apostrophes and the ‘cool’ sms lingo and of course, the equally annoying ‘hip’ replies, also irritated by the obnoxious post!