India: A Dangerous Place To Be A Woman: A BBC Documentry

This is without a doubt one of the best documentaries I have come across.

When you put a face on the so-called “victims”, when you listen to their ordeals from their own mouth, you somehow feel connected to them and the trauma that they must have gone through starts to sink in a little deeper as they are no longer faceless, they become fellow humans.

But, the worst part is there will always be people, who instead of seeing the problems within us when it is pointed out to us, they would rather ignore the entire truth and instead start their mindless allegations on others.

Like one of the commentors commented on this video:

Now Radha also should make documentary about Girls life in UK too,

– What happens with girls after binge drinking in clubs in UK?

– How girls can sleep with anyone to get a baby to gain a council house in UK?

– Why there is teenage pregnancy rate is high in UK?

– Why divorce rates are high in UK?

– Why David Cameron think Britain is a Broken society?

I don’t know if the commentator is trying to say that the rapes, the acid attacks, the killings, the abortions, the sexual harassment etc are the same as British girls drinking, getting pregnant or divorced? How is that even related to topic on hand?

But, there are many times I see whenever we try to point something wrong in the society, instead of agreeing and changing, Indians tend to point five irrelevant things!

My heart goes out to all who have been interviewed. You all (Except the lawyer) are true SUPERHEROS. May you have Justice, peace of mind and strength to put the past behind and make something of your lives.

To the lawer, I would say, may you get sense to see that respect should be earned by men too. Also, agreed that dogs bite (though my Labrador, scooby prefers to lick instead, or maybe he has more ‘control’ over his violent mind than an average Indian Man, eh Mr. Lawyer? 😉 ). Men ARE NOT DOGS, they are humans, with brains, so its unfair to think that men are guided by their bodies and not their brains.

Some sectors of Indians are conditioned in a way that they do not see anything wrong with the attitude of men. They tend to brush everything aside saying Men will be Men, its the women who have to take care and see that they behave! I have blogged in detail about how this conditioning takes place here.

Not only men, but even women are conditioned in a way that they feel men can treat them anyway they like but they have to keep the men in their life happy, it is their only duty in life. I read an interesting blog on Sahil’s nest about this. You can read it here.

These are the books for girls and that are the ones for guys

Recently on my trip to a nearby bookstore I happened to visit the kids section, there I found two types of box sets available, one for girls and other for boys.

Not surprisingly, one was in bright barbie-pink in color and the other was in light blue. No points for guessing which was for which set!

Also, look at this photo:

Its pretty clear on the cover itself which is a book for girl and which one is for boys!

I would like to add that as a GIRL, I enjoyed reading CARZ almost as much as I enjoyed reading about Ariel.

No wonder people grow up thinking girls and boys are different and should never be treated as equals!

I went for a closer look and to my horror, I had read quite wrong books in my childhood, no wonder sometimes I think quite “boyish” thoughts! 😉

The girl books were Cinderella, Thumbelina, Snow White Etc (I remember brother reading these books when he was young, thankfully he turned out quite all right…phew!)

The boys books consisted of Jack And The Beanstalk, Carz, Superman etc.

When we were young, dad would bring books and we would BOTH read it.

The poor little simpletons that we were, we thought it was about the morals that you get at the end of the story and enjoying the process.

No one ever told us that some books were to be read and were written for the other gender.

And to this date, I thought books, of all things, were gender neutral!

Researching on Net, I found, author Maureen Johnson conducted a very interesting experiment of sorts she called in ‘Coverflip’

Some of Maureen’s words that I came across I would love to include are:

When I hear people talk about “trashy” books, 95% of the time, they are talking about books written by women. When I see or hear the terms “light,” “fluffy,” “breezy,” or “beach read”… 95% of the time, they are talking about books written by women.

Have I heard people pass comparable judgments on books written by men? Yes and no. You tend not to hear “light,” “fluffy,” “breezy,” or “beach read.” It tends to be more straightforward–that they liked it, didn’t like it, hadn’t read it, might read it. There are fewer assumptions made. Somehow, we have put books into gender categories.

Another one:

When we’re kids, we learn what good books and bad books are because someone tells us. They tell us in classes, though the selection of the books that are considered worthy of study. When I was growing up, to have a semester, or even a year, of literature classes featuring all male authors was simply taking English class. Taking a semester-long (I never saw a year’s worth) class featuring only female writers was the highly specialized stuff of the Women’s Studies department, or a high-level elective in the English department, one that often counted toward core classes in the social sciences. (Because it wasn’t just literature — it was a specialized demographic.) I never took one.

And, another one:

So, we’re thinking about boys and girls and what they read. The assumption, as I understand it, is that females are flexible and accepting creatures who can read absolutely anything. We’re like acrobats. We can tie our legs over our heads. Bring it on. There is nothing we cannot handle.

Boys, on the other hand, are much more delicately balanced. To ask them to read “girl” stories (whatever those might be) will cause the whole venture to fall apart. They are finely tuned, like Formula One cars, which require preheated fluids and warmed tires in order to operate — as opposed to girls, who are like pickup trucks or big, family-style SUVs. We can go anywhere, through anything, on any old literary fuel you put in us.

Largely because we have little choice in the matter.

And here is why and what Coverflip is all about:

And the simple fact of the matter is, if you are a female author, you are much more likely to get the package that suggests the book is of a lower perceived quality. Because it’s “girly,” which is somehow inherently different and easier on the palate. A man and a woman can write books about the same subject matter, at the same level of quality, and that woman is simple more likely to get the soft-sell cover with the warm glow and the feeling of smooth jazz blowing off of it. If we sell more — and we often don’t — it is simply because we produce candy, and who doesn’t like candy? We’re the high fructose corn syrup of literature, even when our products are the same. It’s okay to sell the girls as long as we have some men to provide protein.

Maybe this idea that there are “girl books” and “boy books” and “chick lit” and “whatever is the guy equivalent of chick lit”* gives credit to absolutely no one, especially not the boys who will happily read stories by women, about women. As a lover of books and someone who supports readers and writers of both sexes, I would love a world in which books are freed from some of these constraints. Maybe we should do boys the favor we girls received — a reading diet featuring books by and about the opposite sex. Clearly, it must work.

One way we can do that quite easily is by looking at the covers. We’re told not to judge books by them, but… EVERYBODY DOES. That is what they are for. They are the packages that get your attention, that give you messages about what to expect.

Which is why yesterday, I proposed a little experiment on Twitter. I asked people to take a well-known book, then to imagine the author of that book was of the opposite gender, or was genderqueer, and imagine what that cover might look like. Because we have these expectations in our heads already.

You can view the coverflip slideshow here and do note how much difference it makes!

Tedx Talk: Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.

Cameron Russell admits she won “a genetic lottery”: she’s tall, pretty and an underwear model.
But don’t judge her by her looks. In this fearless talk, she takes a wry look at the industry that had her looking highly seductive at barely 16-years-old.

 

TRUST: Movie Review

Technology has changed the way we interact with each other.

We meet people online, talk to them, become friends.

But can we TRUST someone we have not met?

Anna, a young girl meets a guy online and falls in love.

But, it turns out the guy is several years older than her.

What happens when she realizes it? How does the parents react? Is it right? Is it love?

or is it Sexual Abuse?

These are the questions that are dealt in the movie.

A really good watch!

 

When Flowers Are Not Enough

A video I came across on IHM‘s Blog, explaining quite simple the complex concept of why domestic abuse is not met with more confidence, why smart women accept the abuse?

PART 2: 

PART 3: 

 

Five People You Meet on WeChat

Recently Indiblogger came up with an interesting contest, we have to list out 5 people we would like to chat on WeChat Mobile App. Here is a link to its youtube channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/WeChatIndia?feature=chclk

So, without further ado, here is my list of 5 people:

1) Ekta Kapoor

I was in sixth standard, pretty happy with the newly introduced Disney Channel. Little did I know that Ekta Kapoor was planning to take away my TV viewing hours in future.

But, she came up with Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. I watched it for sometime,till the first time Mihir died. Then When I left home for College, we had only one Tv for 50 girls in our hostel, and every hour was filled with either Tulsi or Parwati or some other equally irritating person crying her eyes out. And NOT ONCE in three years I got to watch TV.

When we come in contact on WeChat, I would love to ask Ekta a few things:

1) If I want to be a good Bahu, Is it necessary that I learn to cry every five minutes?

2)In order to prove that she is a good saas, will my mother-in-law be rude to me?

3)In order to prove that I am a good person, would I have to wear rich sari and have long hair?

4) How many times is it possible to get married (to same or different people) for people to give a damn?

5) If I get in an accident, which hospital should I go to where I will get not only a new face but also a new height and voice?

6) How to sleep with those expensive sari and jewelry? Is it comfortable?

7) Would love to learn how to wake up every morning with full makeup on looking impeccable and ready to leave for any function.

8) Do some guests never leave?

9) If I am generally good, but sometimes do something ‘bad’, do I have to apply bad-person-makeup that day i.e big bindi, smokey eyes etc?

10) Last, but a very VERY important question, how com none of your characters visit the Toilet?

2) Manmohan Singh

I would really like to connect with Manmohan Sigh, of course if Madam permits him to connect to me.

The reason being I want to know whether he has lost his own voice or he still has it.

Being an Indian I am truly concerned to know what are HIS thoughts, what are HIS opinions, not madam’s or some script writer’s (Remember the theek hai episode?)

I would like to know why we see him speaking up only during elections or for vote-begging advertisements before elections? Does he care for anything other than votes? Even if it is, is this concern yours?

3) J. K. Rowling

I would like to connect with J. K. Rowling not only because I am a HUGE fan of Harry Potter, but because I wanted to ask her a few questions as well.

Questions like:

1) I understand that you HAD to kill a certain people critical to the plot like Dumbledore (thought I cried the whole night i read about it the first time), Sirius etc but HOW COULD YOU KILL FRED? Did not your heart burst into million pieces when you did that? What did he ever do to you?

2) When so many publishers rejected Harry Potter at the start, how did you manage to believe in yourself and your work?

3) Was it hard to not give in to the temptation and end the Harry Potter series at its peak?

4) Is it hard to be down to earth with all the fame?

5) How are your children coping with the fame?

6) THANK YOU for making my childhood wonderful by giving me HARRY POTTER.

4) Henry Detamble

The fourth person I would like to talk to is Henry from the Time Traveller’s Wife.

It would be fun to try to coax out details about my future from him!

In all probability he would not tell me a thing, but it would be fun to chat with him and get him all flustered!

5) Aslan

Apart from the fact that it is oh-so-cool to have a real talking lion for a friend, Aslan would be the go-to figure that is missing in my life.

Any problems, any happiness, any i-just-feel-like-being-alone stuff, I could share with him and he would reply with his infinite wisdom.

And maybe if I make a good impression, he would also send me to Narnia and make me the queen!

Also, no body would mess with someone with a Lion as a friend!

What a wonderful piece of luck that would be!

The type of Person I Am Based On My Blog, Know Yours Too!

ISFP – The Artists

The author ofhttps://thereandtheir.wordpress.com is of the type ISFP.The gentle and compassionate type. They are especially attuned their inner values and what other people feel. They usually have a strong appreciation for art and beauty or things around them that affect the look, taste, sound or smell.

They are not friends of many words and tend to take the worries of the world on their shoulders. They tend to follow the path of least resistance and have to look out not to be taken advantage of.

They tend to value their friends and family above what they do for a living. They genuinely care about people.

They are extremely gifted at creating and composing things that stimulates the senses, such as art, music or food. They often prefer working quietly, behind the scene as a part of a team. They have no desire to lead others and they don’t want to be led. ISFPs are sometimes not good at giving him/herself enough credit for things they did well.

Common satisfying careers: Fashion Designer, Artists, Interior Designer, Landscape Architect, Nurse, Massage Therapist, Botanist, Teacher, Geologist, Translator, Social Worker, Occupational Therapist, Cosmetologist and Translator.

Notable ISFPs: Ulysses S. Grant, Sofia Coppola, David Lynch, Brad Pitt, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, David Beckham, John Travolta, Liv Tylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Nero and Wicket the Ewok.

Find out your profile by visiting here: http://www.typealyzer.com/

 

Today I Pledge that No one will “donate” me

kanya daanam

kanya daanam (Photo credit: mayank ヅ)

In an Hindu marriage, one of the very important part of the ceremony is the ritual of Kanya Daan.

Literally if we translate to English: Kanya means a girl and Daan means a donation. So, donating a girl is quite literally what this ritual is all about.

The father of the bride donates his daughter to the groom.

This is portrayed as a “beautiful” symbol in a Hindu marriage.

But, my question is, why should a woman need to be donated anyways?

The real root of all the social problems that India is facing, specially, against women is because we traditionally never learned to view women as humans with the mind, heart and bodies just like the rest of the population. Women were properties, owned by males in family.

And plus, I feel uncomfortable at the thought that my father, whom I loved all my life , sees me as his ‘property’ and when I will get donated, I will be ‘owned’ by my husband. I don’t want that. I don’t want to be owned by either by my dad or by my husband. I want relationships based on mutual respect and love, and this cant happen with donated goods.

Plus, just like when we donate stuff to orphanages, we never see them, same is the case with the mindset of many Indian parents, who would always advise their daughters to ‘adjust’ to everything, even domestic violence and torture, than bear the shame of a donated daughter coming back home! There are wives who have to take permission from their in-laws to even visit her parents or talk to them over the phone, helping parents financially is actually frowned upon in such households. To read real life examples of women suffering from these problems do visit this blog)

We need to stop treating women like they are owned by men, stop romanticizing the ‘ancient rituals’ and see it for what they actually came in practice for.

So, as my part, I pledge that there is not going to be KanyaDaan at my wedding, obviously NO dowry.

To the guy who would marry me, marry me for ME, not my dad’s money, not to gain ownership of me, not to get an unpaid maid, not to get free hot means on time, not to get free cook.

Hey, if you feel you deserve to be treated like a pati-parmeshvar (husband is god), I deserve to be treated like a goddess (sadly no female name for wife- parmeshwar in Hindi so had to use an English version)

If you want a wife to be your equal than great, otherwise you are in for an EXTREMELY RUDE SHOCK..* devilish loud laugh*

Laws alone are not enough. WE need to change ourselves and our mindsets, embrace what is new, discard what is wrong, even if it is packaged as religion/ tradition.

Lets bring in a CHANGE, RING THE BELL!

(This post is written for ‘ring for change’ initiative in indiblogger. Check out more of this campaign on: www.bellbajao.org. )