What Happened Next? After I called out on a married guy trying to hit on me…

If you have not read how it all started, here is the link to the post Married, yet available: why single men think it is their fundamental right to flirt with single women?

So, after he flirted and I responded, he pretended like nothing happened..

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Saying HI like nothing happened…

And then came my blog post of his nightmares!

Which lead to his response:

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Please note how easily he tried to navigate by his deed asking “can we move ahead”?

Yea, like I would just ‘move on’ like someone accidentally stepped on my shoe.

And then ” I need you as a FRIEND”, yea like men like these ever see women as friends…..

And sometime later…see how his words change…..

See how worried he is that I wrote a blog about him…he is so concerned about his reputation and image. I could have very easily NOT HIDDEN his name and details but as you can see in the last post as well his name was hidden through out. Yet, because he has this fear, he thought his name was out there. He is lucky I didnt HASH TAG him.

Moreover, the word RESPECT coming out from the mouth of this man…naaaaa I just don’t buy it. Its more like HITLER fighting to be the next United Nations Secretary General.

So, here is what I did next;

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I could have simply blocked him after he flirted but I wanted to share the post first and give him the time of his life. After he read the post, there was no remorse whatsoever and he continued to defend himself.

I hope reading this post, more women call out on married guys who try to flirt with them instead of just getting manipulated by these pathetic loosers.

Cheers Single people! And to married despo guys-

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Married yet available! What gives married men the idea that it’s their fundamental right to flirt with single women?

Being a single independent woman, living life on her own terms in her 20s, is one of the best things life has to offer. It’s peaceful inside and outside. There’s no desperation to ‘be found’ by a prince charming and no desire to ‘be the perfect daughter-in-law’. Life has challenges and opportunities and somewhere within I know it’s all going to be alright. I’m no more specifically sad or happy; rather in a state of gratitude to the Lord for giving me a life where I decide whether I color my hair pink or blue, go out after dark (yes, it’s such a big thing) for a scoop of ice cream and not having to wash a sink full of dishes and laundry, day in and day out for a man who thinks this is why I exist.

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And then something like this happens…

A married man, who is also your sister’s ex prospect (who she was about to marry but denied because of personal reasons), and who is currently a father to a one year old girl, flirts with you and thinks it is his fundamental right to do so.

It began like this…

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There have been subtle signals of flirtation in his previous talks which I ignored questioning myself that he is a married guy, how can I doubt his intentions. The reason I ever spoke with this guy in the first place is because despite my sister rejected him, she always spoke highly of him and said he is a very decent guy. It’s no surprise then that when I came across him years later, on social media, I connected.

Our recent conversations have been about married life and love life and how crappy his was. After witnessing domestic violence in my sisters marriage and abuse in those of my friends, I always encourage men, (all men, unknown or known) to sort their married troubles. Communicate and make things work or call it quits once and for all.

I might be too modern to think this but I don’t believe that marriage is an institution wherein you are bound to another human being. Instead, I believe that marriage is just paperwork that you fill for the society and the courts. If there is a holy relationship between two people, it’s only when they care for each other. A relationship where you don’t just ‘fulfill your duties’. You do it and a lot more just to give your best version to your partner. And who wants to spend their entire lives in an ‘institution’ or ‘bond’ anyway?

This guy had been complaining since last year how his wife and he are miles apart. She is the typical Indian housewife watching daily soaps and raising their little girl, while he is a career oriented, outgoing fun loving, Hollywood fan. It might sound like a weird combination for a marriage but hey- he choose it for himself. It wasn’t forced to marry this girl. This brings me back to the question- why did you get married to someone who is not your type in the first place?

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But, no matter how crappy your married life is, what makes you think you can flirt with other single women, WHO KNOW YOU ARE MARRIED AND A FATHER, and say it is your fundamental right?

Few reasons come to mind-

  • A single independent woman must be easy to flirt with,
  • She wouldn’t mind male attention combined with flirtation
  •  Her care or ‘being friendly’ might just be the signal to flirt
  •  Simply because she isn’t married so she would be desperate and even thankful
  • I’m a man so I’m entitled to flirt with as many women as I may please

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How about this:

  • May be she is single and independent because she has high standards
  • She might be into men who are emotionally matured not emotionally disturbed like you
  • She might be polite to people who she respect not because she wants to flirt
  • She might be offering help because she may not want other women to go through what women in her family have gone through
  • Her kindness might turn into rage if I cross the line and then turn into a blog post like this?

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This is not the first married man who has made a futile attempt to get into a romantic relationship with me and nor would he be the last one (I can only hope but I am realistic that way).

What naively shocks me is that how EASYYYYYYYYY it is for a man to approach any woman when he has taken those oaths and promises of matrimony to be with his wife. How simple it is for this man to just take those promises for granted and cheat on his wife. You cheat on GOD and his commandments when you disrespect them. It doesn’t take them a second to kick their wife out of their mind and life, the one who they were supposed to be loyal with. And guess what? To satisfy this guilt he says he is ‘working hard’ day and night to ‘fulfill his duties’; pay the bills.

Who told you that a husband’s only duty is to pay the bills? That’s it? Throw money on your wife’s face and you are done? I think a prostitute has better life than your wife that way. It’s the same thing don’t you think? You pay her and you pay her. Both transactions involve just money! The only difference is that the prostitute doesn’t cook, clean, wash your dirty laundry, suffer and give birth to your children, raise them waking all nights when you are busy flirting, tell the society how great of a husband you are and yes, a prostitute can kick you out of her house as and when she likes but your wife can’t.

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Seeing all these unhappy relationships around me just breaks my heart. It’s not about me because my frustration has now been channelized in the form of this blog. There is a lot more in my life to think about and incidents like this don’t mean anything to me. But I deeply feel pity for the wife and the little girl who depend on this guy for love and care. And all he has to offer is money and infidelity.

Been there, felt that, I proudly tell my readers that it is far better to end an unhappy relationship than to be in one where you feel nonexistent. Give your 100% to your partner. Make genuine efforts to appreciate each other. Analyze what your partner has to offer and examine your own offerings. Do everything possible from seeing a counselor or taking retreats.

But sometimes, it’s just not meant to be. And if it’s not working, be honest about it. Be man enough to own it and say you married the wrong woman and say it to her face. I don’t think there is an apology I heard which says something like this:

“sorry, I married you because I was in a rush to show my ex that I have a long queue of women waiting for me after she dumped me, hence I got married to you in a hissy fit. I know it will be hard for you to be a divorced single woman but don’t worry I can PAY you for your troubles.”

I know how pathetic that sounds, right?

But still, it’s less pathetic than approaching single women and saying

“it’s my fundamental right to express what I feel and I’m giving a genuine attempt on you”.

Genuine men don’t approach women when they have a wife and a child to love. And if you do, you are not a genuine human at all.

Sex: Let’s talk

ideas.ted.com

The talk. The excruciatingly awkward conversation when parents explain to their kids, um, how sex works. But … why is there just one talk? Sex ed teacher Al Vernacchio (TED Talk: Sex needs a new metaphor. Here’s one … ) and entrepreneur Cindy Gallop (TED Talk: Make love, not porn) believe that good sex should be an open, honest and ongoing conversation. In this exclusive TED video, they meet at Cindy’s house to talk about how to talk about sex — and the dangers of letting porn and movie sex do the talking for us. Because as Vernacchio says: “Talking about sex is no different than talking about anything else — no matter how much you want it to be.”

Below, some other quotable moments from their conversation:

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You Think Like a Rapist- The most important take away from the documentary #Indiasdaughter

Quick thoughts and arguments:

I miss the times when India was known as the land of snake charmers.

Being known for call centers and tandoori chicken was also not demeaning.

It was way better than the ‘land of rapists’ that we have shamefully earned.

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Watching Sunny Leone dance to vulgar songs is not obscene.

But a documentary about the misogynist mindsets of Indians is obscene.

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Net picking things like ‘she was good in English’ is said to be a symptom of ‘an attempt to reflect white supremacy’.

Looking at the context of the scene, it was mentioned to describe that Jyoti Singh (the victim) was able to work at a call centre because of her language skills.

The film is an attempt to ‘shame India’ globally. I thought India is already quiet ashamed, wasn’t it? And if it isn’t, then with or without the documentary, INDIAN POLICE AND JUSTICE SYSTEM as well as members of society must be ashamed.

India did not reach here because of one horny man. It’s the collective thinking of Indian men and women; a generation divide is a fairer word. A generation that taught us that men are superior and can enjoy freedom while women are nothing more than flowers for decoration and gems to be kept locked out in the locker of a bank.

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What did Indian politicians think? Can they really put a ban on a movie and in this age of internet, people wouldn’t have access to it in other ways?

If the director was not Leslee but an Indian woman residing in India, by now her family would have been attacked, she might have raped or attacked and in fact she would never have been able to come this far. Not because Indian women lack talent but they definitely lack access to freedom. They lack access to respect from authorities whom Leslee would have approached for bureaucratic permissions and paperwork.

Banning this film is in itself an act of misogyny, shutting down the movement that reflects attitudes of Indian men towards women. What an irony?!?

The Defense Lawyers compared women to gem, flowers, everything but human being. I wonder which school he went and what would be the life of his daughter and wife like?

My question to the lawyer is;

If you think women are flowers, why don’t you keep your wife in the temple instead of home?

If you think women are gems, why don’t you keep your wife inside the locker of your bank instead of home?

Because if she is in a temple or inside the bank, how would she pick after your dirty dishes, cook you food, wash your dirt and provide sex, right?

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Condemning rape is not enough. Many people I spoke to were horrified at how dangerous Indian men really are and said that they wouldn’t let their daughters out. If you think that way, congrats again, you have done exactly what the rapist wanted. Teach women a lesson for thinking they are free.

So it takes two hands to clap is the excuse to rape?

Well if one hand wants to clap and another doesn’t, then you cut off one hand from some human being and hit your hand on it to clap? And then blame the slaughtered hand for being involved in clapping?

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If you agree that women must be blamed for rape, good news: YOU THINK LIKE A RAPIST.

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You may not have known that before, but now you do. You are part of the problem. Chose your sides wisely.

A woman’s worth is not flowers or gems or gold or god damn diamond. A woman is worth any other human being. Period!

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‘India’s Daughters’- Ugly, ‘white supremacy’ or Sour Truth India Cannot Deal With???

To honor the International Women’s Day, a major documentary is about to release this March 2015. The documentary called ‘India’s Daughters’ made by Leslee Udwin, a British Filmmaker.

The documentary has received extreme criticism and is about to be banned from broadcast in India because of the controversial rapist interviews.

I had extremely mixed feelings about this documentary because of the aggravating content. So, I decided to write about the good, the ugly and let you decide for yourself.

The first problem that I have is the attention this rapist is getting from the media. It is a rapist’s comment; what else would he say other than blaming the victim. (I don’t want to give him more importance by quoting him here, you can read his quotes if you want to here.) Activist Kavita Krishnan rightly points out that amplifying the voice of a rapist is actually counterproductive to the immense amount of hard work Indian men and women have done until now to fight for women’s safety in India since the December 2012 gang rape.

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My personal reaction was weird itself. When I saw the news that there was a documentary on the brutal rape, it gave me the feelings that can’t be described in words. I am enthusiastic to know more about what had happened and the details of the protests in hopes that this would lead India to make tangible changes. At the same time, I feel bone chills, shock and aggravation at the disgusting event and I do know it will trigger my PTSD and keep me in a disturbed mental state for days if not weeks.

The only hope I have from this movie is that it would show us Indians a mirror and see how ugly we look defending patriarchal norms. The bigger risks of this however are that the rapist could be a hero for the misogynists and get much more fame and attention that he doesn’t deserve.

Speaking particularly about the rapist, is there really a need to know why he raped? There was a defenseless human being and he was in a group and he raped. It is as simple as that. In fact every single rape that occurs has only and only one reason- the existence of a rapist. Does it matter what he thought? NO. Why? Because it doesn’t matter if he slept walk into raping the woman, she is dead now and nothing can change that.

Why his thoughts don’t matter? Because he made a conscious choice to rape. You cannot expect to hear Buddhist teachings from his mouth now because if he practiced it, he wouldn’t be where he is. And mind you, this was not only rape but also one of the most brutal acts done on a woman that make my heart sink when I hear about it. Let’s say he feels sorry now for the R.I.P brave girl who didn’t stop fighting. Let’s say he apologizes. What does that change?

But after listening to her interview, I can some how see why Leslee met and interviewed these rapists. She wanted to know what can possibly be the reason for this brutality which a normal human would not wish upon his/her worst mortal enemy. May be we already know the answer. Yes, its because he did not value the life of a woman or any of her rights. And who told him that?

His mother? His father? His teachers? All of them???

Other points of criticism against Leslee Udwin are regarding her not being an Indian but a white woman who has just attempted to show how pathetic Indian men are. Well, any woman who feels for a cause must not be judged for her nationality but her efforts. The other way to look at it is that a British woman spent two years of her time running around Indian jails and streets to throw light on a subject that needs attention. Whether we regard it as ‘white rescue mission’ or ‘white supremacy’, we cannot disregard her effort and intention.

Yes rapes do happen in UK and USA. A documentary on Campus rapes in the USA, called Hunting Ground has won several awards for similar work recently. But just because the filmmakers were Americans, they deserve credit and if they were Indians they wouldn’t? For me, her nationality doesn’t matter until I see any major flaws in the film that show something that does not belong to Indian culture.

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Every feminist knows this but for the last time it bears repeating that- no, it was not the victims fault. It needs two hands for a clap does not apply to a criminal situation because only this rapist wanted to clap while the woman didn’t. So if there is no other hand to clap, you cut it off from someone’s arm and clap. That’s what exactly a rape is. She could have been out on the 25th hour and be alone and dressed in any damn thing, she didn’t deserve this. No woman does.

About the attitudes and mindsets of Indian men- activists are unhappy that Leslee Udwin commented on it and said she was shocked at the brutality. May be Indians feel ashamed that now the world would know what their wives and mothers have been keeping quiet about since forever. May be Indian women who silence the activists and other rebellious women would feel the shame. Yes there are Indians who are voicing and protesting but there are billions who don’t and are making efforts to shut the activists down. A global outrage is very helpful in our situation.

For Indians-as Kavita said, it is no shock to hear that the rapists’ comments were exactly the same as those of Asaram, a so called god man who proved to be the devils assistant. So, we Indians know how normal it is for our men to think that way. That is what we expect from them and we are not surprised. However, a non Indian woman would most certainly be shocked. You can call it rape-culture shock.

Rape culture shock is when an Indian woman who has no autonomy over her life sees or hears about a woman in the West getting raped after she was drunk. For a middle class Indian girl, living under tight restrictions at her parents’ home, it is anything but imaginable to have that kind of autonomy to be able to 1.go to a club, 2.consume alcohol and 3.out in the night! Rapes occur in all parts of the world but under different environments. The only thing common in every single rape incident in every part of the world is- the rapist.

I don’t believe that stereotyping all Indian men as misogynists is a solution. Yes, there are great guys out there, I know many and I would hope to believe so. But global research and personal experience says there are many more men and women that really have brutal feelings towards women. If I wouldn’t personally know people in family and friends circles who actively blame the victims of rape, I would never believe that people can be like this. But admitting rape is wrong and blaming the victim at the same time is less than helfpul.

If a woman fights back, they say, you should have let it happen so your lfie would be spared.

If she does not fight back, they say you allowed it, you wanted it. You could have screamed if you were a ‘real vicitm’.

This also perpetuates marital rape. Just because you are his wife, you cannot be raped?

I wish this sounded just as ancient and backward to others as much as this sounds to me…

Being an active feminist, I explained those myths and facts to people who know and trust me. And after hours of explanation, they ask-

“but why did she go out in the night wearing jeans?”

India’s problem is not  rape but the patriarchal mindset that Leslee talked about, that allows rape and many other violent crimes against women. The root cause of the disease as she said, is not the rapists. They are the symptoms of that disease.

I don’t know whether the film would help challenge or simply narrate those mindsets with no actual outcome. Frankly speaking we need to challenge those anyways, with or without this film.

But do we have it?

Yes, I believe we have what it would take to change it.

My worry is- HOW?

As an Indian, I admire Leslee’s work and do not feel it is a white rescue mission and non Indian femisnists must stay away from. Plus I personally believe that an outsiders perspective can be very helpful many times. It helps us see what has become normal to us.Her film can be criticised on many points but not on the basis of her nationality. What do you think?

Wishing you equality and rights,

Shahla

PS.

Watch Leslee’s interview here.