Who needs Feminism?

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Read it here and wanted to share 🙂 A brilliant write -up and an excellent effort to bring about change.

Identify yourself as a feminist today and many people will immediately assume you are man-hating, bra-burning, whiny liberal. Perhaps a certain charming radio talk show host will label you as a “Feminazi” or “slut.” Even among more moderate crowds, feminism is still seen as too radical, too uncomfortable, or simply unnecessary. Feminism is both misunderstood and denigrated regularly.

A group of 16 women on Duke campus pursuing Professor Rachel Seidman’s course on Women in the Public Sphere have decided to fight back against these popular misconceptions surrounding the feminist movement. The popular perception that society today doesn’t need feminism is challenged. They assert the importance of feminism today.

1. I need feminism because I shouldn’t feel required to carry a knife when I walk across campus every night, just to feel safe.

2. I still need feminism after all this time, because the greatest struggles in my life have always being about being heard and understood, empowered and supported, respected and valued as a woman, as a mother and as a person- both in my career and my marriage.

3. I need feminism because people still ask me if I keep my hair short because I want to be a boy. I’m just as much a woman as long-haired women.

4. My fiancee needs feminism because: He shouldn’t be judged for not caring whether or not I

– shave my arms or legs

– wear makeup

– dress “pretty”

– have an “ideal” body type

– audibly burp and fart

5. I need feminism because, It doesn’t matter what I choose, It matter’s that I choose.

6. I need feminism because liking pretty pink ponies doesn’t make me gay, a woman, or a pedophile.

7. I need feminism because every single time I defend my opinion in Politics, I am told that my opinion does not matter because I am female (By my own mother).

8. I need feminism because he didn’t ask, and when I was too ashamed and manipulated to verbally say no. I need feminism because the man I love implied it was my fault until he wintnessed a sexual assault first hand. I need feminism because a friend , who never experienced sexual assault personally, told me I should’ve said no, as if my physical resistance was consent. I need feminism because I should not have to justify my feeling. I am not to blame! It was four years ago. I just want it gone. To a sexual assault victim, feminists are supportive of my story and recovery.

9. I need feminism because i’m entitled to feel safe walking down the street.

10. I need feminism because I have never been able to believe a single person who told me I was beautiful.

11. I need feminism because we are all fundamentally equal. Men could not exist without women just as women could not exist without men. Due to this simple fact, neither sex should be held superior. it is time to break all barriers that rest between. Men and women both have the right to explore what society deems “masculine” and “feminine” without being judged. If a woman prefers to let her body hair grow, so be it. If a man enjoys ballet, there’s nothing wrong with that. We are all human being alike. Stop dividing us with stereotypical gender roles. We are one. It is time the world treats us that way.

12. I need feminism because I shouldn’t need a reason for not shaving my pits (I’m not making a statement; it’s just more comfortable).

13. I’m tired of getting beaten up because women don’t understand and men are intimidated.

14. “I need feminism because I’m tired of living in a country where women are treated as if they’re undeserving of making decisions regarding their own bodies, they’re made to think they don’t need to be compensated equally for the same work, and they’re raised to think that slurs like ‘bitch’ and ‘slut’ are okay”

15. I need feminism because I hate myself.


Letter to Dost

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I have meaning to write this post from long. However, I was struggling with words and wanted it to be close enough to describe what I feel everyday.

To Dost,

I never really thought that there will be a day when I wouldn’t know where you are, what you are doing, what you ate or how many cigarettes you smoked? I always believed that whatever happens, whomever I meet in my life you are one permanent pillar. Standing right beside me, protecting me, listening to me, accepting me and encouraging me.

All this suddenly changed. For the first time, we didn’t talk for eight months. Do you know what eight months mean?

I derive so many beliefs, principles and thoughts from you. I derive my strength from you. Now, when you are not with me, I feel I am weak. I feel there is a part inside me which wants to cry bitterly and badly but can’t because you are not there to comfort me. I want to talk about so many things, share so much that my memory has started aching keeping a track record of what to remember and what not to. I want you to give me those full of love visits to my college, taking me with you and not giving a damn about your work.

I want you to discuss your fears and worries with me. Plan all those big business ideas. And the best part, you preparing tea for us at your home. I loved it when you got the room on the second floor in the twelfth standard. I remember meeting Patel there for the first time. I loved it when you described to me on phone how he proposed his girlfriend.

I don’t know why dost, life seems dull without you. I feel incomplete. I had this stupid confidence in myself because I knew you believe in me. I thought I am smart, because you felt the same. I am no more confident, forget feeling smart. I think people around me are so much smarter, confident, luckier than me. I think its only struggle written all over my kundali. It’s been a year since I last saw you. I atleast upload pictures on facebook, you don’t even do that.

I always told you that I don’t like it when you drink (I know I am sounding like a typical female here), but now you always talk about your drinking adventures. I feel so alienated with the kind of life you are now leading. I can’t even understand your love for alcohol or smoke partly because I don’t consume it and partly because you know I won’t ever consume it.

Also, I feel defeated. I feel that I haven’t been able to live upto your expectations. You have no doubt always lived upto mine. You are the perfect friend, the patient listener, the strong shoulder, the comforting pillow, the cute kid, the mature man, the strict teacher, the one person I can rely on blind folded. Popsy and you always defined man for me. How both of you take care of people surrounding you. After breaking up with axe, it was you whom I could confide in with my fears.

After four years of knowing you and growing up with you, it’s high time that you must know YOU ARE IRREPLACEABLE.  Nobody, I am very sure can ever take your place. If I could, I would have folded your body and kept you with me whole my life in a suitcase so that you can’t escape. I still feel I have not done justice with this post, I also feel I have never done justice with our relationship.

I miss you everyday, every second and every micro second of my life. I know you will read this and call me up and tell me that where ever we are, with whomever nobody can never change anything between us. And, I know you will try and be with me even if it is not possible for you. But, I never wanted us to end like this. To be with each other only in the times of need. Honestly, I have never wanted us to end. You left and a part of my good luck also went. I won’t ask you to come back, dharm sankat hai tujhe I know. That is why, from now on I will write letters to you describing from how my day went to what you shouldn’t eat when you catch cold to I don’t like Malaika Arora Khan.

Just know that a girl in some part of the world loves you and cares for you.

Love.

Not Proud

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A 16 year old teenage girl was molested publicly by a mob of 50 men. She was beaten, stripped and groped. Police reached the scene after thirty minutes. The people on the streets watched and did nothing. A media person shot the whole episode. Police makes the first arrest two days after the incident, even after having first hand evidence.

The worst part is that the accused are charged under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code. I will tell you what it says,

“Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with impris­onment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”

The offence is bailable and provides for imprisonment for a term of maximum two years. This section has been in force from the British Raj days. Not amended for almost a century, it throws light on the plight and distress that an Indian woman has to go through if her case falls under the same or if at all she decides to get justice by legal means. The Indian Legislature has already proven in many cases before that it doesn’t care to what happens to half the population of their country. Women are raped, beaten, molested, burnt or murdered if born.

People take pride because they belong to a country of rich diverse cultures and tradition. They believe India is a great nation, no matter what.

But, I am ashamed. Heavily ashamed because I belong to a nation which doesn’t respect women.  I feel harassed, I feel helpless, I feel my own dignity is at stake, I can’t even think of how that young girl would have survived the trauma for thirty minutes. I am more than angry. I am agitated.

Rash says that he doesn’t want to live here because is desh ka kuch nahi ho sakta. Until yesterday, I didn’t agree with him. But, today I get this feeling that maybe he is right, maybe all the sayings that education changes ones mindset and thinking are not wholly correct, maybe 21st century isn’t that modern, maybe men still need to accept the fact that they are here because a woman decided some years back to let them be here and not kill them just because they were born male.

Apart from being agitated, I am also scared. I am scared for every female I know. I am scared because tomorrow I might have a daughter and she wants to go out and have fun and I stop her from living her life the way she wants to because the it is not safe out there. Because there are men whose penis operate their brain, because there are men who cannot argue or discuss forget accepting defeat they only know to rape, because there are men who earn more than enough but still harass their wife to bring along dowry, because there are men who neither have the guts nor the values to stand shoulder to shoulder with a woman and let her be.

I also understand, that no amount of social counselling is going to bring any change. Changes are rare and they only come when there is zero political ground. What we can do as public is not to tolerate such incidents. Reaction is what will bring the administration on its toes.

React when you see a woman being beaten (do not leave it on them as it is their private matter), react when you are molested, react when a man tries to feel you in a bus, train or on a road. Shout, abuse, kick and kill if needed.  Hit them where they will feel the pain most. Teach them a lesson. Be proud to be a woman !

Nice Read :)

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I decided this sometime back that I will adopt a girl child and this is something I won’t compromise upon.

Gappa gave me a link to an article written on mother’s day which I really liked, so thought I should share the same.

Read it here.

Help!!

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Phew!!!

I narrowly passed two papers of my last trimester. Two more are to be shown and one is going to be shown tomorrow. And I am very sure I am going to flunk. I am a commerce student and the paper to be shown tomorrow is accounts. And yes I am going to flunk accounts after teaching the same subject to four people around me with science background. By the way one of those four people scored highest in the class. Irony of life and hats off to my teaching skills. 

But, it’s going to be such a shameful situation if I fail in the subject I studied in school for two years straight and the fact that I taught it to other people makes me feel so ridiculous and embarrassed at my own intelligence (I even doubt if I have any). 

God, please do something. I need only passing marks. I don’t want to score good. But, no repeats. They charge Rs.300 (don’t laugh, I am still a student) for each repeat. I don’t want to pay the greedy administration. I promise I will study like anything from this trimester. Please save me, this one last time. Momsy would be so horrified if I fail. Popsy would be so disappointed. And Gappa, I don’t know she is going to visit me the coming sunday, she will throw me out of my own room and I don’t know maybe disown me. 

I won’t abuse anybody, I won’t pray that my ex is eaten up by some dinosaur like creature or worse murdered by me, I will start writing some paper related to academics, no more facebooking. Just save me please 😦 😦

First Love

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ahhhh.

I don’t know if I should write about this. I chose to write because I think this is a part of my life and I don’t want to pretend that it didn’t happen.

This post is about the first time I thought I am in love. I was in a long- distance relationship for four years, not that I find it necessary to mention it was a long distance relationship, but I suppose it is customary to do so.

So, the guy I would call him “axe”. I came in contact with him through a common cousin. This cousin although never came to know about our relationship. Anyways, we started talking on phone and then one day he just proposed me, out of no where. I wasn’t expecting it and I didn’t want it. I said no again and again, but he kept on insisting and convincing. I discussed it with a friend and although she didn’t approve of it totally. she suggested me to give it a chance. I thought fine everybody has boyfriends nowadays. Big deal!

So, I said yes. As I have mentioned it, it was a long distance relationship. We depended on telephone a lot and there were no probable plans of meeting. I was in 12th standard then. Eventually, the calls started becoming lesser and lesser. The first break-up happened in the first six months. I never called him back. Never texted him after that. After, three months or so I was even over him. But, then he had to encroach again. So, he did. This time it was going fine but then after one year we broke up again. This time because of the reason of his friend who called me up in the middle of the night (not for random chit chat) and she told me she is dating him and I shouldn’t interfere. I was shocked, taken aback, hurt and angry. I swore I will never talk to him again, but I still wanted an explanation as I thought he owed me one. He gave me some random shit and conveyed he doesn’t want a relationship.

I don’t exactly remember why and how he again contacted me after some time. After the second break up, things eventually started getting sort of better. There were no fights, no arguments and no short term break ups for a long time. I got into college and he opted for CA.
At this point, when everything was normal, I (the stupid woman that I am) started believing that our relationship would make it through all the ups and downs. I thought he is the one I am supposed to marry and settle down with. In all, I had fallen for him. Not, that he deserved any of it. He came to Indore for his coaching classes and since I was in Bhopal, we were virtually closer. I also noticed some big time changes in him. He was much more caring now. He took interest in whatever I was doing. He listened to me. You must be thinking what so great about all this. Every guy who loves you does that. However, this was not at all or in any measure normal or obvious for me. Ion the other hand, during this time turned very impatient. I fought a lot and never listened to him. I till today believe I shouldn’t have acted that way because he was changing for me.

My relationship was not a very sweet relationship. I loved him dearly. But, there were too many loopholes, too many downs to counterbalance the ups and the traditional time constraints. He always gave me the reason that he doesn’t have time, although I knew he doesn’t really do anything (forget studying). I never understood why can’t he take out time for me, what he does all day long, and how can he be so irresponsible not to talk to me for atleast once in a week.

He is a rich lad. And never failed to express it. The biggest mistake I made of course after choosing to date him was to introduce him to gappa. She hated him, still hates him. I wonder sometimes why I didn’t listen to her, why I didn’t dump him when she told me he is not the right person after talking to him for just once. I now know why. I was too afraid to let go of all the hard work, time and effort which I invested in him. I thought and waited and hoped he would change for me. Change his ways of talking and dealing with me. Be a little respectful. But, then I was too afraid, too scared to let him go.

And, then I think even god had had enough. He by mistake once gave me his facebook password to make some changes in his settings. I logged into his account, and thought I am his girlfriend and I can read his messages, as until then I thought he tells me everything. I went through all the messages one by one, tears started pouring like tsunami out of my eyes (a tear or two still trickles down as I think about it). He was cheating on me. Not from a month, six months or a year. But, from the very beginning, from day one. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Hoped this is a nightmare and is soon going to end. Wished he didn’t give me his facebook password. I was crying like hell, called Crazy Shopper. She came to my room horrified. Found me in a terrible state. Went to bring water. I was so shocked that I didn’t believe in any of it, when it was all in front of me.

I called him and asked for an explanation. He didn’t receive my call for three days at stretch. I don’t even remember the number of nights I spent crying, actually wailing. I didn’t go home for some time of the fear what if someone saw me crying. The crying part still haunts me sometimes although its more than a year when I last talked to him. I am very sure, I won’t ever be able to love someone like that again, I won’t trust someone ever again, he just killed all the emotions and dreams, the worst part is the more I try to forget him, the more I end up crying over him. I can’t forgive him for sure. I never had that in my nature.

Sometime back someone told me that I don’t have close friends because I am too selfish and self-centered. I am telling them now, yes I am selfish and I think about myself over everybody and everything because I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t want to cry all night and give reasons for my swollen eyes the next morning. I don’t want to end up being a bitter woman. I don’t want to fall in love. I believe it is something that strikes only people lucky enough and I don’t belong to that category. I would never wish that something like this ever happens with anybody. I didn’t really share the details of what really my relationship was like, because I am too embarrassed and ashamed. I hate axe. I hate him like anything. I know I am ranting and being ridiculous, but I curse the day he was born.

Snake Shake

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What I fear most on this earth and in the entire universe is one creature. I fear snakes like anything. I am very sure that if I am facing a dinosaur and a snake, I would definitely run in the direction opposite to the position of the snake. My fear of snakes is so so much, that I can’t watch them in a zoo, or in movies or television, forget in real life in front of me without any border or fencing between.

I am back to my hostel and recently shifted to a new room. The room is decent and we have got a huge common balcony . So, everything was going well until today when while talking on the phone and randomly moving in the balcony, corridor, washroom I suddenly realised there is something sitting on the top of the shit pot in the common washroom. At first instance, I thought it is some thread or rope lying there, but on careful observation I realised its a snake. Oh my god! What do I do? Scream yes, I did that on the top of my voice running in every direction I could and imagine the snake was lying there peacefully with no knowledge of my apparent minor heart attack.

I ran screaming on the phone with Rash continously asking and laughing and asking and more laughing thinking that I saw a lizard and I am scared. But, when I told everybody while running and screaming about the still, peaceful, I don’t give a damn about what goes around me attitude snake one of them went and called the watchman. I went inside one of my friend’s room and locked the door, panic struck and with this bad bad sinking feeling inside my stomach, waited for people outside to announce that its now safe. But, no the watchman came out with a smiling face and told us “wo nahi nikal raha madam.” I almost died. Then he went out and called another guard and they both successfully managed to take the snake away. Although I don’t know how they did it, since I was hiding in one of the rooms.

I will never use the second bathroom ever in my life. I am so scared and tried so hard but my stomach wanted to ease out at that particular time only. I waited and tried to calm down the pressure rising by every second. I was almost successful but then Rash says you should never do that. He believes going to washroom and coming out all empty is a blissful feeling and I fail to understand this.

Anyways, this episode has left me all uncomfortable and scared. I don’t know how will I manage to sleep today. How will I bathe tomorrow. God, please don’t let this happen again. Please Please Please !!!