Are You Celebrating Valentine’s Day With The Wrong Person? These 5 Facts Will Answer Your Question.

Yes, it’s February. The month when the snow starts to melt and the layers of wool from our bodies drop. With all the pre-Spring chirp in the air, there’s also thoughts and plans for Valentine’s Day.

For couples its about planning what to gift, how to celebrate, where to visit… is that a proposal I smell (wink wink) and for the single ones its either a night at home watching ‘Orange is the new black’ for the 11th time

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OR a brunch with family and friends.

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Now, I’m not going to educate you about the history and significance of St. Valentine and the importance of this adorable day (I’m guessing you already know about it)but I’m going to talk about LOVE in a very different light.

LOVE is the cure for all aches and what we all seek. Without LOVE, there would be no art, no songs, no poetry and no humanity. But there’s more to LOVE. Before you set out your LOVE plans this Valentine’s Day, spend a few minutes to pause and reflect on these aspects of your relationship…

1- LOVE has no dark sides but people certainly blame LOVE for their darker side.

Love in the purest and simplest form of emotion is just that; LOVE. When people in relationships become jealous, aggressive, possessive, outrageous or even criminal… its not LOVE, its their insecurities. Even if you were not in this person’s life, they would still be this insecure person and someone else would be the victim. Or probably you experience those insecurities and blame them on LOVE.

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Reflect. Ask questions to yourself. Do yourself a favor this Valentines’ Day.

2- LOVE is one of the single biggest MANIPULATING factor in abusive relationships.

As mentioned above, LOVE itself is the most awesome emotion that exists but LOVE is used in abusive, unhealthy relationships to manipulate the poor person who believes that their perpetrator loves them. If you are being hurt and pained in your current relationship, stop for a moment and ask yourself this;

Would you still be in touch with this person if this person wasn’t your spouse or partner?

Usually, when we get even the slightest of insult or disrespect from a friend or family or acquaintaince, we abruptly react and either confront or never see them again. Why then in the most important relationship, should one be bullied and hurt? If it HURTS, it isn’t LOVE SWEETHEART! You gotto move on.

3- LOVE needs to be explore, investigated, understood and practiced. 

OK, I’m not saying that an illeterate person cannot LOVE and all literate ones are LOVE gurus. I’m also not saying that it takes a PhD in Lovology to be in a relationship. But I’m suggesting that there are 3 factors here; you, the other person and the glue called LOVE. Although it sounds weird but self awareness is NOT something we learn naturally. Most of us rank extremely poor in it. Here’s a quick rapid fire:

Who are you? (not your job, not your father’s kid, not your degree, just you)

What is it that you want from life?

What makes you feel loved and why?

These were just a few points to get you thinking. Now the other person… you can spend an entire life getting to know someone and still know only 20-80% of them. Unless the other person trusts you enough to unravel theirselves, you would never know who this person is. How can you LOVE someone who you don’t even know?

Lastly comes the emotion of LOVE. Human Psychology has made several scientific advancements in the filed of LOVE and actually there’s a lot that we can learn.

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I suggest read books on self awareness, relationships and love.

The more you educate yourself, the better are your chances of experiencing LOVE, the real deal, the true thing…not a CHEAPER FAKE COPY!

4- LOVE has some accompanying buddies without which LOVE is NOT LOVE. 

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Think of the following words-care, trust, respect, loyalty and humility. These are like the 5 pillars of LOVE. Even if one of the pillars is missing, you are not experiencing LOVE. These are actually very good red flags or indicators in abusive relationships. Ask yourself if your relationship has all 5 of these pillars.

5- If all year your relationship has been in the dumps, Valentine’s Day will not change that.

Valentine’s Day is not about flowers, cards and candle-lit dinners. It’s about the above 5 pillars, remaining sturdy, ALL 365 days a year. I know a gentleman (if we can call him that) who abuses and swears at his wife all year round except for 2 days; Valentine’s Day and her birthday. In fact he throws a great party, invites his kids and grand kids and showers his wife with gifts and the most special treatment that makes other women feel how deeply this man loves his wife.

TRUTH?; It’s all for 24 hours, twice a year. Once they come home from the restaurant, he is back to swearing and beating his wife. But its nice to show off to others what an ideal husband he is.

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If this sounds like your story… please beware. It’s a horror story and the sooner you end it, the better it is.

In conclusion, I want to say that LOVE is out there, even if you don’t believe it now. No relationship is all roses and chocolates either. There will always be arguments, tiffs and getting mad and heartbreaks.

But if there’s no heartbreaking, how will there ever be HEART-MENDING?

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The one that mends your heart is the LOVER you need to be with.

Do celebrate Valentine’s Day, but don’t be so desperate to celebrate it with the wrong person. You deserve better. Like Jenni says:

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With Love and Peace,

Shahla

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Even Women Are Not On Women’s Side (3 Evidences)

There are two major assumptions about women in our society:

The first one is:

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And the second is:

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The TRUTH:

Good women that support others (both men and women) exist AND so do awful women exist who find happiness bringing everyone down.

However, as a feminist, it seems so logical that as a woman I’ve got to be on MY side, right? How can I be a woman and NOT be in support of equality for womenkind! Totally absurd.

But as absurd as it sounds, there are women that I come across everyday who not only have no idea how they are being oppressed in the name of tradition, religion and trends… they actually are high on victim blaming for rapes and domestic violence. One might expect women to understand the pains of other women simply because their experiences might be similar and hence they might have compassion.

But as much as its wrong to assume that all women are enemies of each other, it’s also a mistake to assume that all women would understand each other’s troubles and fight for equality.

Millions of evidences exist, here are three:

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Read this: 9 Female Celebrities Who’ve Bad-Mouthed Feminism

The second is:

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And last among the million others is because:

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If that wasn’t the case, this show wouldn’t be so famous in India. Read Why I Stopped Watching Comedy Nights With Kapil years ago, here. More like Patriarchy Nights With Kapil.

Friends, in a misogynistic society, we all need to develop our critical thinking skills and EDUCATE ourselves about things that make an impact on us. Women are half the humankind, why would we not support their equality and human rights, regardless of our gender?

If you do come across such demeaning jokes, messages or incidents, please do your due diligence and become an active bystander. Begin by learning from videos like this:

What to do when you see gender violence around...

Please share your thoughts and stories.

Love,

Shahla

3 Reasons The Bhilai Gangrape Victim Committed Suicide And Many More Will

In case you didn’t see in the news, a victim of gangrape from Bhilai has committed suicide after constantly being tortured and denied justice by our great Indian Legal Justice system.

You can read the whole story here but in short this is what happened:

This poor girl was gangraped by a doctor and two police constables and was harassed post rape. They blackmailed her saying they had made a video of hers while she was drugged in the hospital and after being constantly failed at her court hearings (guess what- the judge was absent in all five of them) and being discouraged by her lawyer, she finally ended her struggle and left behind a suicide note that says at least now people won’t call her a prostitute. 

No one in the world can imagine her pains and pangs of her trials that led her to end her life. Most people will judge her and immediately say blunt things like “only cowards suicide” or ” she should have fought for justice” bla bla bla.

But the truth is, no one commits suicide for fun. Here are 3 reasons why I believe she committed suicide and I request you to honour those reasons too.

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1- Double PTSD

Rape itself is an extremely traumatic event whether or not it involves physcial injury. Research says that different victims have different reactions to rape. The most common one that the society expects a victim to have is to cry and isolate herself from the world. Though it happens but not always. Many victims do not cry much. Many are in shock. They have a cold, frozen face and they disassociate themselves from the reality. Several other things happen that are summed up by medical professionals as the PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In a Indian society though, one PTSD is NOT enough. The victim is forced to shove another dose of PTSD down her throat by the society that taunts her. It takes a long time and therapy and support usually for a victim to come out of the first trauma. But when the people around do not let you come out of it, you’re in for a double dose.But why does that happen, don’t we all have sympathy for rape victims now? That brings me to my second point.

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2- Condemning Rape For The Wrong Reasons

Can there be wrong reasons for condemning rape? Yes, most certainly. Indians condemn rape because it is an act of taking away a woman’s honor or dignity. The phrase ‘izzat lootna‘ literally translates to ‘looting or robbing one’s honor’. 

The act itself is hateful but believing that a woman’s honor can be taken away by a jerk and after the rape her honor is lost forever is ridiculous and outright caveman thinking. If anything, the rapist looses his honor for doing such a henious crime.

Rape is wrong because it’s inhuman ; that’s reason enough. Adding all this useless baggage of honor and dignity only increases the trauma of the victim and makes a mountain of an already big cancerous mole. By hating rape for the wrong reason, you’re NOT helping the victim in anyway.

3- Hypocrisy of Indians

Being an Indian myself, I cringe at comments and rape jokes from friends and family. No matter how much you explain, people plainly refuse to see the connection between all the misogynistic comedy, the sexist attitudes and the oppressive cultural practices they follow blindly. When they see a rape news, they would all abuse the system, sympathize with the dead victim and feel sorry for her family. But when it comes down to taking action, NO ONE even sees the need to react.

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Whatsapp groups are filled with rape jokes. How difficult is it to realize that rape isn’t funny. But people- including women, share and laugh like it’s so normal.

This so called funny act from Comedy Circus featuring superstar Govinda as judge for example-

One guy cries and says “my girl friend’s honor has been looted”.(rape)

Police constable replies “you must take revenge”.

Guy responds “I’m blind, I’m thinking of rather taking PAYMENT”. 

Watch the clip here from 5:25 to 5:45. The title of the video says BEST OF KRISHNA AND SUDESH! Ya, this is the best we can expect from Indian men, right?

The noteworthy thing is that this video has more than 3 MILLION Views, more than 3100 thumbs up and 159 comments, NONE of which got offended by those lines…???????????

And you’re telling me these people have sympathy for rape victims? Or this society has any support or place for a victim to survive?

No wonder she committed suicide and I wouldn’t be surprised if every one of them did because that is the kind of environment they are forced to live in.

We can put rapists in jail but what punishment is there for the society that perpetuates rape? That laughs at such disgusting and offensive jokes about the most chilling crime that can be done? 

Hence that poor victim from Bhilai wrote in her letter that now they won’t call me a prostitute. Imagine the extent to which women are forced to go to prove their innosence and that’s how men see the act of rape- something that can be compensated like a commercial transaction?

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These 3 million people who laughed and moved on- what if their moms had been through rape, would they ask the rapist for payment?

Why can’t their bodies tremble and fists tighten when it comes to other women? Are other women not human? Why should a female be related to you and only then you would feel sympathy for her?

Unless we begin seeing each and every female as human first, there is no shock if more victims keep ending their lives.

If you want to do them a favor- PLEASE STOP LAUGHING AT RAPE JOKES AND TAKE A STAND WHEREVER POSSIBLE, TO RAISE YOUR VOICES AGAINST SUCH CRIMES. 

May her soul rest in peace.

Peace and love,

Shahla