Being angry, smart, ‘unwomanly’.

It’s not that I was unaware of the attitudes towards women. But events of the last few days have reminded me of them again, and i realized that in what little way I can, I have to dispel some notions of ‘protective measures’. In the last few days, I read Tehelka’s sting operation report on how police and other authorities think its the woman’s fault when she gets raped, I saw the Satyamev Jayate episodes on fighting rape and policing, I read the Huffpost report about Jenny Coller being asked not to perform because the orgnaizers of the event she was invited to did not want ‘too many female comedians’. Oh, and I also read about an Indian case where a woman who was gangraped, was abducted from police protection and raped again and the police said that ‘her injuries are not serious’. I googled world rape statistics, and although US tops the list, its only because of their reportage. Saudi is notorious for not looking at rape as a crime often, higher rungs of society getting a free reign, and sometimes, the victim herself getting punishment sometimes. But hey, they are at least vocal about it. In India we punish the rape survivor in the name of pity and justice.

Added to the above, some other classroom discussions have summed up the expectations from women that people at large seem to have-

Fall into one of the four categories – motherly, nice (wife/sister), hot/blonde (girlfriend), smart (boss/wife/sister), slut, timid (all women).

Oh, and often, all women have to be all categories, with different people.

Dress modestly.

But don’t be boring/ behenji

Sit at home.

Be outgoing, meet me in dark/shady places.

But don’t get raped.

If you do, don’t expect help.

Don’t make the police/court work for your problems while there are important issues like politician protection to work on.

Why do you sit at home and nag me? if you work you would know.

Why do you work? look you spoiled our children.

We will pressurize you at home and work but please don’t get anxious during pregnancy and give birth to a weird kid.

If you do, don’t expect everyone to be ok with the kid. Also, be ok with the blame.

Always be up for sex.

But, kids should not know we had sex.

Take care of your in-laws.

Don’t study because it gives you ideas.

Why did you not go to college? you are so slow and dumb.

Don’t have aspirations.

You are so aimless.

Don’t think so much in the relationship.

I gave you so many hints about the breakup, were you not thinking?

What do I have to say? 

Well, fuck you.

You put someone under so much pressure and give them so many conflicting messages, they are bound to be depressed and anxious. No wonder that depressive, anxiety and somatization disorders are much more common among women.

But here are some common myths about protective strategies –

1) Clothes cause rape/ covering prevents rape –

If we work with the assumption that young women who show skin are raped, why are neonatal kids and 90+ women raped?

Stats show that in India, majority women who were raped were wearing burqa/ saree/ shalwar kameez.

If covering helped, there would be no rapes in Saudi.

Also, if skin showing leads to attraction, and if we assume that causes rape, we are assuming that rape is about sexual urges. It is not. It is about power and dominance expressed through a sexual means.

Also, no matter what twisted sex fantasies you have, you don’t insert bottles and poles inside a woman if you feel sexual about her. That’s plain heavaniyat – this urdu word is the only one that fits the act. I can’t call in animalistic because animals don’t do this to each other.

2) Western = modern –

I sadly see many women falling pray to this along with men. They think that adopting foreign ways is the only way out of these dehati problems. But sex discrimination and sexism is everywhere. And hollywood and bollywood have rigid gender roles and other advertising gimmicks that promote the perception of some plastic women who looks good all the time, is smart but not smarter than the man.. the usual drill. In fact, Barbie, the doll most girls play with, is the distorted version of a woman, its not even a doll.This is what Barbie would look like if she represented the actual woman – http://time.com/12786/the-new-barbie-meet-the-doll-with-an-average-womans-proportions/

Many women I know, seek fitness not for themselves, but often for the admiration of others, often men. Fitness is still ok. Women go on crash diets, starve, and still complain. Body dysmorphic, self-image and eating disorders are far more common in women.

The alternative yo-yo effect is also seen, where women do all this to get married/get a relationship, but overeat once this age is gone.

Both aspects are extremely harmful to both body and mind.

What kind of modern is this?

3) If at all education is given, give it sparingly –

The first step strategy is to not educate women. But this leads to ‘less demand’ in the marriage market, therefore now a bachelor degree is required to get a good groom. Good groom = someone who will support you, with some harassing in-laws, in return for a bungalow, a vehicle, lots of gold and most of your self-respect.

So we do give education these days. But we want women to do conducive jobs. Instead of making family and married life conducive to a woman’s aspiration, she is expected to take the ‘mommy track’, or give up the job. Often, her female boss will ensure this. How dare she imagine she can have both kids and a job like her husband does?

And we say that we are less sexist than dehati people.

Not letting women learn, or putting a stop to the learning by creating a glass ceiling on the job, are ways in which the foot is still kept on women and thus the perception of women being weaker continues. You never let them be strong.

4) Shun all p words –

Pregnancy/ periods/ (meno)pausal –

There is so much silence and mystery surrounding these. Imagine if men bled 5 days a month, would they keep quite about it?

A humorous take on the subject by Gloria Steinem – http://www.haverford.edu/psych/ddavis/p109g/steinem.menstruate.html

But really, how far from the truth is she?

If a woman is angry or moody, its either pms or pregnancy related hormonal imbalance, but its ok for a man to be angry following slight insult and its all put under the table with the tag of ‘male ego’.

All of this makes me wonder where we are headed. There were hardly any female prophets, leaders of an older time, and how many female leaders of a new time do we have? How many of these leaders were either forced to ‘take the mommy track’ or be known as ‘iron ladies?’ It’s as if you have to fit into one box or another.

I do not hate men. But I am appalled by how many men, who seem to have more agency in a patriarchal society, have made peace with being silent spectators to this daily violation of ‘the fairer sex’.

Image

Advertisements

New Beginnings.

She looked at him, his face, radiant, brilliant. He was ready to leave. 

“Do you have to go?” 

“You know the answer”

“You do. There’s no other way. We decided. When the time comes, I let you go”

He smiled with understanding. And then, each particle of his face, his entire body, shown with white blinding light, and particle by particle, he drifted skywards, the heavens took him, and she could not take her eyes off. 

Someone was shaking her shoulder. “Maam?”

yes? 

“Are you Mrs Kapil?”

“Its Miss Sneha actually, Mr Kapil is no more.”

“Yes, well, the donation procedure is in place, you need to sign this form. We got a recipient for your husband’s eyes”.

Yes, please, let’s proceed. 

Sneha looked at the young doctor, he had a friendly face, but felt awkward in the situation. She smiled at him. Was this a new beginning? He who had left would say so. 

——

This story was inspired by my readings into some parapsychology and philosophy. I realized that I needed to let old burdens go, and lean in towards the things that make me happy with full force. (Speaking of which – http://20days20artworks.blogspot.in/) That’s the only way I’m going to have enough energy to have what I want. 

Crockery Conversations – Part 2! (a co-authored post)

And The Manor lived by another day. Its members and inhabitants doing what they were supposed to do. Live on, do their daily work, blissfully unaware of the existence of talking crockery. And just like these members, lived the Crockery of that Manor, the sun went down, lights went out and the Crockery came to life, like always. Slowly, gradually, trying to shake off the stagnant daily life off them, and shedding the darkness. Beginning to talk and move. This day had been quite eventful. Hell, not just eventful but full of hectic work and excitement. It was Neelofar’s birthday. Neelofar, the middle child of one of the brothers of the Manor, was celebrating her18th birthday. Every event, like a birthday or a marriage, at the Manor was a huge, ‘talk of the town’ sort of event. The magnificent Manor would be lit up like the Sun, covered by unbelievable and brilliant decoration, making it truly look like a wonder. Richie rich guests, friends and family, all occupied the Manor for Neelofar’s birthday, to get together and meet up, greeting each
other, the party being a reason for another social comparison, who was prettier, who was richer, and by how much?.

While the legally living greeted outside, the pseudo non-living prepared them to serve their guests with exquisite food and beverages. Dishes of many varieties and kinds were served on them, to cater to people of every type .For a manor this big, serving a family this royal, the amount of Crockery in the kitchen had to be humungous and unbelievable too. Years of serving the royal blood and friends, they had tasted almost every dish, every drink and every stain. They would show off, about how many dishes they have served and which the best was. Surprisingly,
these were the things who had tasted more than any man could have (or woman. We no sexist, bro.)

Shaking off the memory of the day, Mrs Potts, the all mother, the oldest, announced it was safe for everyone to come out. With her permission and assurance, all the unboxed, unchained Crockery came out. Cluttering on their way through the counters, hopping, rearranging themselves, and finally walking down from cabinets, and the strong ones jumping off heights, they all gathered around Mrs. Pott.

Mrs. Potts, with her favourite pots and cups, started chatting about how the day had gone. What went wrong and what was new and what all happened. Comparing everything to how they did it before. Condemning some new things and praising some. While the pots and cups kept on with their chat, two imported, English plates, brought specially from
England, argued with other Indian plates about a recent game of cricket between India and England. David, one of the English plates said, “We invented the game, we play it the best. Everyone else came and cheated from us and learned it. We own cricket!” To which, a furious Indian plate, Rex, replied, “Yeah, and who stole hockey? Don’t you people play it, too? Everybody in the world does. That’s our game. Give that back to us and you can have the
right to lecture me about owning cricket.” Disgusted at being levelled by a comment equally valid, David had to give in and cluttered back into his stand, stomping angrily, giving Rex the meanest of looks. Rex continued to talk to the other English plate, Harrison. Harrison was rather a calmer, more reasonable plate. Now, that’s the kind of personality a plate should have, Rex thought approvingly. He would talk is way out of people but never fight. Taking David’s place, Harrison started talking to Rex and everyone, the other Indian plates knew, Rex was going to succumb to Harrison’s way with words. Thus they popped open their ears and patiently waited for it to happen. Knowing that this night, was going to be all about it cricket and Harrison.

Only, they noticed that one of Neelofar’s friends had forgotten her cup at the Manor, and it simply wouldn’t talk! This was pointed out by the very observant kettle, Jaya. Then it struck her that, *maybe* only the crockery which has been in this Manor can talk! And that spun all kinds of questions – Was the manor bewitched? Were the owner’s wizards? This would explain the incident of last time, when they thought morning came too soon! Do time and other fundamental things behave differently in this Manor? The uproar that went around was magnanimous! But how much of it was true? Only time would tell! (Whether it behaves fundamentally normally, or not.)

{ This blog was co-authored along with Adam Fredie, in fact, the post is mostly him. Do encourage him by comments 🙂 }

Origin Of The World

No, this is not some great thesis, or its synopsis. This is just a satirical short story that takes a dig on all ‘ists’ and belief groups. So here goes 😀 –
The world began in a cardboard box. You know, those big brown ones. A snail, a bug and a rat were the three beings that lived in it. The bug was not any ordinary bug, it was a lady bug. The snail being the male counterpart. And the rat, well, it just lived to eat. It’s eyes would shine in an evil manner every time it saw a tasty scrap of food.
As is evident, there was a lot of competition in the box, especially for food. Something which this new kid on the block, Charles, calls ‘Survival of the Fittest’.
The rat gorged every little morsel of food that grew in the box, and the snail was too slow to compete. The only one who could match the speed of the rat with her own unique skills was the lady bug. She could give out an over powering scent, like different perfumes fused together. They would have smelled great individually, but together, they were torture. The rat, who had a keen sense of smell, had no choice but to stay as far away as he could from the lady bug. But she could use this ability of hers only once a day, and thus, she chose her time wisely.
As she would secure the food to be devoured later, she could not help looking at the snail. He was a nice creature, slightly slow, and slightly proud, and that too of abilities he did not have. But altogether, not so bad.
She gave him a share of the food, and smiled lovingly at him. Hesitant at first, he eventually accepted it. Soon enough, they became a team. She provided for him with her humble and maternal instincts. And he, though slow, was a help in two ways. One, his proud appearance, united with the abilities of the lady bug, kept the rat at bay. Moreover, them being a team due to his presence, kept the rat as far away from them and their food as possible.
Things continued in this fashion for quite a number of days (or years, whatever, time is relative after all). Then one fine day, this neat little boy called James was riding his bicycle in the room in which the box was kept. Now being new at this whole cycling thing, James bumped into things and beings quite often. Just so he banged into the Box too..Some dramatic folks call it The Big Bang, but it’s all overrated really.
Well, anyway, continuing, what happened inside the box was this. Now since the box world had just begun, everything wasn’t as stable as it is today. And all the three, namely, pro, the lady bug, to, the snail, and zoa, the rat, fused together. And became Pro-to-zoa. Protozoa.
Ah. Now you know.
Well, you know what comes next, the boring part..some explain it with evolution, some with religion. I don’t believe in beliefs so I’ll just say that it was like an interval in between two great movie halves. As you know, that later it got divided into Man and Woman, with more to in man and more pro in the woman, and equal amounts of the materialistic zoa in both of them. Only, the roles reversed with woman becoming subdued with her kindness being talent for weakness. But all that has changed. And will keep on changing.
All this while, you might be wondering who the ruddy hell am I. Why, I am What Comes Next, of course.
Just wait and watch. Not like you have any other option, frankly speaking.

Exactly.

House of the Pretty (a.k.a The Ladies’ Room)

If  you have ever wondered how girls look so pretty and perfect most of the time, think of the time when they said,in almost a whisper, ” i’m going to the ladies room/washroom. Be back in a jiffy!” with a captivating smile.

 

Thats right. That is the room that i prefer to call the “House of the pretty” . Practically everything, from a touch up, to changing one’s hairdo, to wiping off the Smeared mascara after an emotional moment…or readjusting one’s lipstick after a passionate one [;)]  are taken care of , in that humble place.

Personally, i also enjoy going to the washroom in Inorbit Mall, Vashi, beacuse the music they play there is better than the stuff they play in the Food Court. Seriously!

And that is perhaps the reason why the ladies’ washrooms are all hip and swanky in malls…and guess what? Lately they include a “baby change section” too, where a mother can tend to her baby, change diapers..and so on.

So, in a way, it is the ultimate hotspot for women.

Once i asked a guy friend if their toilet trips were as eventful. He gave me the blankest look possible. In fact when a group of both male and female friends go out, the male counterparts keep wondering why girls have to “take a leak so often” so as to speak. That is before they understand, what really goes on.

But, underlying this phenomena, is a fact that applies to most things. For example,The green room, is the place where artists are themselves, without the masks. Similiarly, for once, women don’t HAVE to look  beautiful in a washroom, but can be themselves for a while, and after gaining their presentableness, back into the world of faces.

Also after a lot of shopping, women generally go to the washroom, why ? Well, if they bought a lot of clothes to make them look good, a pretty face is certainly necessary for the complete picture. Why not soothe the ego from now itself, a constant reassurance, that the face is worth the clothes (and the money spent on them) and vice versa.

These observations might not make sense to everyone, but the next time you go to the loo, think if it as the “house of the pretty” and they just might. Happy Relieving ! 😛