In a Country Where Religious Fundamentalism Encourages Men to Rape Minorities is Quitting Bollywood Over Religion That Big of a Deal That it is a Topic of National Outrage?

The Unnecessary And Stupid Outpour Over Zaira’s Retiring from Bollywood Shows How Much India Loves Hating Women.

I seriously just hate to write this post because this is soooooooooooooooooo lame that I have read so much unnecessary outpour that now I am forced to write this as an intellectual and a Muslim Feminist.

Just look at how many comments have these posts drawn:

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And look what matured senior people from Bollywood like Raveena Tandon and Anupam Kher have said:

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So, is it right to hate Zaira over her decision to quit Bollywood?

Abso-freakin-lutely NOT!

She is going back to or being forced to go back to regressive Islamic tradition.

She never said so.

She is supposed to be an icon of women empowerment. By quitting over religion, isn’t she harming the cause of women empowerment?

No. She has been an icon, yes, but in a nation where thousands of parliamentarians have RAPE cases against them, we cannot put the responsibility of empowering the entire womenkind on one 18-year-old girl.

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Also, who says she cannot empower women by doing something else? Can’t she be a doctor, a social worker or whatever else and still continue to empower women?

But the RELIGION interfering with her Bollywood career is a sign of regressive thinking?

NO. Please bother to read her post and understand that she has talked in her post about the ‘spirituality’ of Islam. She mentions her about her ‘iman’ and peace. Who knows maybe being in the limelight at such a tender age, getting all this attention and success, taught her something about the importance of other values or the lack of some sort of peace that she misses because of the attention. She has already achieved plenty by the age of 18 that most people strive for until their 60s. Therefore her maturity about her career should be given due respect too.

Or let’s call it being stupid. So what? When you and I were 18, haven’t we ever made any stupid decisions? She has her whole life ahead of her. Maybe someday she will realize that she enjoyed acting more than other things and she may come back to it. Whatever the case may be, it is absolutely her prerogative to decide.

Would you say the same if a Hindu girl quit Bollywood?

My argument is not based on specifics of a religion but the independence to chose for herself. So it would be the same, regardless of what the religion may be.

So, after quitting Bollywood, would Zaira be the best Muslim, an icon for piety?

Absolutely not! Allah alone can judge people and to be a good Muslim is to be a good human being. Me or you or Zaira have to practice compassion and kindness in our actions, which can be practiced as a poor person and as a wealthy successful Bollywood actress as well.

Those Muslims who are praising her for somehow practicing modesty or ‘being meek to patriarchy’ PLEASE STOP. Don’t make this about your belief that women must stay indoors to be respected. By saying things like that you are demeaning the entire womenkind and the Muslim community as a whole.

She could have faded away simply but why did she make this public announcement?

In an era where people are literally sharing information about what they had for breakfast, you want to blame an 18-year-old girl for sharing a major life decision?

Plus, her decision was a simple Facebook post, not a press conference or a media interview that it drew so much undue attention. Her intention may have been to announce her decision to people who are close to her or who follow her or even those write cinema news. Whatever, but seems like she wanted to let people know that she didn’t become invisible because she was bad at her job or wasn’t getting any offers. She is the one to quit despite being an award-winning actress.

Would you quit a job and let your friends or family think that you were fired or simply unemployable? Of course not. You would want them to know it was your decision.

Her bringing Islam into her decision reflects that she is trying to be a good Muslim which begs to ask if other Muslim actors in Bollywood are bad Muslims?

First of all, no, she did not say anything about other Muslims in Bollywood.

Second of all, I don’t think Bollywood would be the same without Muslim artists. From Dilip Sahab to Shahrukh Khan, from Nargis to Huma Qureshi, Bollywood is an epitome of religious diversity. Being a good Muslim or a bad Muslim means nothing if one is not a good HUMAN BEING.

Each human being interprets and practices religion in their own way and the Holy Quran allows that. The Quran and all the Hadith and Sunnah lay out a ‘way of life’ for its followers in order to live peacefully and have virtues like compassion and patience in times of distress.

The primary line that most extremists would conveniently forget is ‘there is NO COMPULSION IN ISLAM’. None of the prayers or anything matter if you do it out of compulsion rather than free will and love for God.

Also, this line was written because times go by and today the Quran is a book from another century. Times change and so have the meanings and interpretations. For instance, there is mention of treating your ‘slaves’ in a just manner, several times. But in this century, slavery is illegal. So, as common sense would suggest, the rule would apply to any person working under you or anyone from a poorer income/background.

Whether art does not mix with Islam, is an old debate that has been going on for centuries because it serves the extremists. It helps them create fear and hatred.

The reasons Zaira quoted though are more spiritual, rather than fundamentalist.

But let’s assume for a moment that they are fundamentalist, so what? In a nation where fundamentalists, religious extremists literally murder minorities in the name of so-called ‘god’, should our focus really be on a teenage kid quitting Bollywood?

If Sania Mirza wearing skirts for her matches is not wrong in my eyes, if thousands of Muslim artists working in Coke Studio are not bad Muslims to me, certainly one little teenage Zaira choosing NOT to be in Bollywood does not make her a target for outrage. My Feminism won’t be INCLUSIVE and INTERSECTIONAL if I did not respect Zaira’s choices.

The maturity that I acquired by being a Feminist is that I would respect people and their life choices, even if I would not choose that for myself.

For example, prostitution.

I personally would not do sex work. But that does not mean I can disrespect or look down upon those who do or mock some woman on the corner of the street for doing so. I would rather go my own way or if I feel weird, I might bother to ask if she was a victim of human trafficking, if she needed any help from me etc.

But what I would never do is call her names, mock her or feel superior because this is life and no one knows when tables might turn.

I have therefore learned to RESPECT people who are making their life decisions which I may not personally make for myself and having the maturity of giving them time and space to deal with their shit in their own ways.

So, FFS, chill and leave Zaira to discover her own life and her own path and find a better reason for your outrage.

 

 

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Muslim Woman MP + Hindu Husband + Indian Parliament = Disaster

Recently, a Muslim Woman by name called Nusrat Jehan was voted to be one of the MP’s to the Indian Parliament among few others. Kudos for female representation in politics.

But since she is married to a Hindu man, she is being trolled and while they agree on nothing but this they agreed on that this woman deserved to be trolled.

Hindus trolled her for her Western outfit that she wore a few days ago.

Muslims trolled her for wearing saree and sindoor and her marriage to a Hindu Man.

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Although, the validity of those Twitter trolls is questionable it would be far fetched to say that Indian Muslims are so secular that they won’t flinch their eyebrows on the concept of a Muslim woman marrying a Hindu man.

Whatever, but here are my two cents on the debate:

India is a secular country.

Any woman living on the land of India can wear whatever she pleases and marry whoever she pleases or not marry at all.

Muslim clerics giving her lessons in Islamic studies, trying to ‘educate’ her or basically patronize her, giving lessons in ‘how to dress like a Muslim woman’ really should stop propagating this line of thought because besides being a Muslim, they are also Indian.

Indian Muslims are different from Arab Muslims simply because our identity was created on the values of secularity and religious tolerance and acceptance.

There is no compulsion in Islam by the very definition of it but very conveniently men forget this part.

An Indian woman, whether she marries a man of her religion or that of another, has the right to do so under the Indian sky and when you try to lecture her for her choices, you are violating her constitutional civil right.

Plain and simple.

She can be barely Muslim, namesake Muslim, practicing Muslim or a Non-Muslim.

It’s up to her.

As the lady Fatima in the debate show said that this is a Muslim women’s issue- it certainly isn’t.

The one thing that united INDIAN MEN both HINDUS AND MUSLIMS across India is their MISOGYNY AND SEXISM.

No woman has been spared from their filthy graze, patronizing remarks and excessive trolling online and offline.

Rahul Eshwar made a point about people in public life developing a ‘thick skin’ because trolling is part of being in the limelight and suggesting we all take PM Modi as an example.

I want to bang my head on the wall because I don’t know if he is pretending to be an idiot in order to trivialize the issue or if he genuinely can’t differentiate between gender-based oppression- sexism and generic critique.

PM Modi is criticized on his silence on the oppression of minorities, the financial massacre that was demonization and a million other things. Not for what he was wearing or being tagged as a male prostitute which these women were called.

Can’t you see no difference in critique and personal gender-based attacks?

I am not saying women must not be criticized but criticize women for their work and when you say they are incompetent don’t dare say that all women are incompetent.

I personally hated how Hema Malini took some photos in the fields right before the elections and when asked about the work she has done for her constituency, she said that she doesn’t remember.

I shared plenty of memes myself because that is an abuse of power. Critique her all you want but for her and her work alone.

Don’t attack the entire gender, don’t say she is incompetent because she is a woman and when criticizing her, only focus on the work, not what she is wearing or the way her hair looks.

It’s not rocket science. If you want to see the difference, you really will.

 

How Women Find Excuses to Dismiss My Belief Against Domestic Abuse

Men and women have almost equal contribution in the fucked up mess that our society is today.

Undoubtedly, men have played a prominent role as aggressors and oppressors, while women have been the oppressed ones, historically and statistically speaking.

But in most people’s minds, women’s roles in perpetuating misogyny, domestic abuse, and even rapes have been downplayed.

Women make excuses for their abusive husbands, sons, and brothers, among many other awful things that contribute to the oppression of women.

The funny thing that I want to discuss in this article is how while discussing domestic abuse, women dismiss my advice or warnings to suit their narrative.

WHEN I SAY I AM IN A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP WITH A MAN:

Speaking as a feminist who has a man in her life who respects and loves her, my advice or whatever statement I make in a discussion is dismissed.

They say I have a good guy, the rest of them are not like him and since I don’t know what an abusive relationship is like, I cannot understand the risks of living a single woman’s life and which is why they would continue to live with an abusive man.

WHEN I SAY I AM A HAPPY SINGLE WOMAN:

They say that I am a man-hating feminist who never wants to be associated with a man. Over the years I have been awarded many other such titles, dominating feminist, a competitor of men, delusional woman who thinks she does not need men blah blah blah.

I have been in both situations, single and in a relationship.

And not for one second I changed my core belief that

A MAN THAT DOES NOT RESPECT YOU OR TREATS YOU AS HIS EQUAL, DOES NOT DESERVE YOU. 

Domestic abuse has many aspects and leaving a spouse or partner you love/d is never going to be easy. I never said it would be.

But is it easy to be with a man who can break your skull any moment with a bat?

Technically speaking, almost nothing in life is easy. But instead of finding ways to bring down women who claim to be a feminist and advocate equal rights in a relationship also, not just on paper in society, maybe focus on the reason why you are NOT A FEMINIST.

Feminism to me is religion, it is logic, it is common sense. A way for society to move forward and accept all humans as they are. Just because you have failed to Google a simple definition of what ‘feminism’ is, does not mean I would not call myself a feminist to save me from your judgment.

I have the deepest of sympathies for any person, any gender who is in an abusive relationship and needs help. In fact, this blog is for such people and I get queries from all over the world, from all sorts of people seeking advice. I have studied the topics, researched them and written books on them. So, I know my shit. I know what I am talking about.

But these women defending the abuse and saying ‘this is what marriage is’ and ‘I am putting up with this for my kids’ is a total disaster. Instead of defending abuse and abusive men, break the cycle of abuse by not making your kids watch you get beaten.

And I will always be there to help.

Me, the openly feminist, man-hating single woman. (#satire)

 

Free Public Transport For Women is An Excellent Step By Delhi Govt Through a Feminist Lens. Here’s Why:

So, the AAP government in New Delhi, India recently announced that they would like to make public transport (metro rail and buses) FREE for women.

One might assume this would be celebrated by people, right?

Shockingly, NO. People are pissed. Or let’s say, ignorant ones at least are. And they are making arguments to protest against this move. Below, I write about the arguments and why they are absolute garbage.

1- This is not FEMINISM or EQUALITY if only women get free rides.

If you think about equality in such binary terms, you have no clue what feminism is. The picture most commonly circulated on the internet to explain the issue is this one, which illustrates what I mean.

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Equality is the ideal goal but to give people equality, we have to ensure all people have the same starting point in the race. Which is not. We have all sorts of social and economic inequalities within gender inequality. So, if you have read anything on FEMINISM, you would know that things like reservations for the disabled or women or any special privileges given to women are because historically women were marginalized and to CORRECT THAT IMBALANCE some sort of measures will be needed.

2- Don’t bring FEMINISM into this.

Of course, the existence of women and them reclaiming public spaces is very much a feminist issue and if anyone claims to be a feminist for real, they would very much approve and celebrate this move by Kejriwal.

3- Women care about safety and not free rides.

This one too is an ignorant statement from someone coming from a privileged background. Maybe you don’t care about saving roughly 2500 INR per month because your bank account has 50,000. But for someone who barely makes 10,000 or less a month, this 2500 would mean a lot to them.

So, please don’t pretend that all Indian women living in Delhi are so financially well off that they don’t care about saving that money. Secondly, safety is a larger picture, the elements of which are divided into a thousand smaller pieces.

Safety for women is NOT an ice cream that you GIVE women.

Because if that is the case, women suffer the most harassment and abuse in their own homes through their husbands, fathers, brothers, and relatives. Can we isolate all women from their families or place CCTVs inside their homes?

Women’s safety is a very large project and women RECLAIMING PUBLIC SPACES is a tiny element or a building block that would contribute to that larger picture. The key here is for women TO BE SEEN in public spaces, changes the age-old mindset of men that women must stay indoors or only travel at certain times a day.

You may not think it has any impact but research suggests otherwise. Just speak with Mumbaikers. Women in Mumbai may also face harassment in public from time to time but they travel at any time day or night and are not looked at weirdly because the working class women do travel and men have gotten used to the idea of seeing them in public spaces.

I cannot emphasize how important it is for women to BE SEEN IN PUBLIC SPACES, living their lives, doing their thing or just loitering.

4- This is only a political bait thrown by the AAP.

To people who say this, my question is “name one political party in India that has not offered some kind of pre-election treat to people?”

And if those pre-election promises are religious divisions and persecution of minorities, then I think AAP IS NOT ONLY RIGHT BUT also should be CELEBRATED for at least making the bait non-religious, and something that would help the working class women from economically backward society.

5- The metros will be overcrowded and uncomfortable and all sorts of poor people would make it ghetto.

This, of course, is an argument coming from an elitist or upper-middle-class person who wants equality and democracy only above their level, not below.

The people making the policy are not fools. Kejriwal explained how this has been budgeted and taking into account the daily commuters stats, there is not going to be overcrowding as is in Mumbai.

Yeah, the only thing is, wearing your expensive Gucci dress you might have to sit or stand next to a happy maid wearing a 200 Rupee saree, who just might be too busy to notice your fancy presence because her focus might be not on your Prada bag but her monthly wage.

So, if this pisses you off that a poor woman might make a living while you cannot call the metro fancy and a means that caters to rich people any more, then I would say- STAY PISSED, NO ONE CARES.

This is what all of it actually comes down to.

Women from poorer backgrounds might be able to travel far for economic opportunities and in general, the reclaiming of public spaces by women is GOOD and a welcome move.

Kejriwal has got this one thing right and may have a hundred more to go.

But at least its a good start.

Something is better than nothing.

Would A Low Income Husband Really Follow Around His Famous High Profile Wealthy Wife? Thoughts on Netflix’s ‘Always Be My Maybe’.

Netflix has been doing a good job in terms of creating content with diversity and woke perceptions in general.

The latest movie, ‘Always Be My Maybe’ is one such example, staring Ali Wong and Randall Park.

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We have seen these two several times before but rarely as the protagonists of the story with their own fully developed characters. So, absolutely refreshing to see talented and amazing actors like them to come on full display rather than remain side pieces. Their acting was on point, the screenplay and story were entertaining and very millennial, very relevant for 2019. All the side characters were also funny, smart and did an amazing job at moving the story forward.

The theme though, which rarely is seen in English films or any cinema worldwide for that matter is that of a middle-class man, dating a high profile celebrity woman.

The film does a good job of showing how the two different lifestyles just don’t mix and the clashes are hilarious.

Marcus is a very vanilla, very sweet but scared man. Maybe losing his mother at a young age made him stay comfortable by his dad, in that very same neighborhood. He is a talented singer but lacks ambition. He doesn’t want to try new things, do anything adventurous or take any chances.

Sasha, on the other hand, is a celebrity chef who is innovating traditional Korean/ Chinese cuisine and taking it to the next level where a plate costs four figures worth of money. She does not like to stay in one place, she takes chances, she is successful and does not apologize for her money or fame. With all that fancy, high profile life though comes a lot of pretentiousness. She herself has that regular girl vibe but to be at that level of success and deal with a wealthy clientele, she has created a fake fancy version of herself that she blends easily with her real self. She has felt neglected as a kid when her immigrant parents used to be busy working and she had to look after herself. That seems to have made her stand for herself in a good way, though she resents being neglected as a kid.

Sasha and Marcus were neighbors and as kids and had grown fond of each other. So there is already a pre-existing affection there. Maybe this is what holds the story together because otherwise, would we believe that a celebrity hotshot chef is with a middle-class man?

Don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that no wealthy high profile, famous person has ever dated or married a person who is not as famous or wealthy.

What I am saying is that how many times have we seen this for real or in TV and films as fiction? I personally am aware of plenty of women who were great at studies, got amazing grades, medical and engineering degrees and today I see them washing their husbands’ underwear and dishes. If this was just a one-off instance, then I might tell myself it is no big deal. But the cases I see are about 98% approximately.

Speaking of films and TV, we have always seen the wife or girlfriend following the man around. The guy is the one with an important career or a mission. And the woman is the cheerleader standing on the sidelines. Women have always been nurturing wives and mothers who are just a piece in the success of a man.

Take Julia Roberts’ two films for instance.

In Notting Hill, she is the celebrity, the rich woman falling in love with the regular guy Hugh Grant, who plays the role of a book shop owner. The theme of her fame and wealth is constantly in conflict with the man’s ego. Just look at the question on the poster- Can the most famous star in the world fall for the man in the street. Wow. Have you ever seen this question where the man is famous and the woman is from the street? Barely ever, because that is the NORM.

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In Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts is playing the role of a prostitute who is picked up by a wealthy Richard Gere for a night that turns into a week and they fall in love. The wealth and fame of the guy is no impediment to the woman there. She is thrilled at the amenities and luxuries. In the end, you see her going along with the wealthy guy without there being any conflict with her ego or self-respect.

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People say that our media and entertainment is the mirror of our society. It is hard to say that we have these unsaid rules that the man has to be wealthier, taller, older than the woman, were created by media or society first. But they certainly exist in both realms.

If not, why do I constantly hear  ‘no man wants a woman that successful, so dial down your ambitions’? And if and when a woman is more successful than a man, why is the world judgmental and harsh towards the man? Why does the man himself feel small and unappreciated or grumpy about not being in the spotlight?

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Marcus has no ego issues or does he? He feels bad when Sasha refers to him as a ‘regular’ guy, holding the purse of his woman while the world’s eyes are on her.

But you also see him not choosing to follow Sasha to New York simply because his only family, his father, his friends, his band, his dads business, everything required him to stay where he was.

I guess we can say it’s both and it takes a while for him to get used to being OK with standing on the sidelines.

My wish is that there were more men out there who did not crush their women’s ambitions and do not make this an ego or manliness issue that their wives earn more than them.

This theme was slightly discussed in The Big Bang Theory where Amy and Bernadette discuss hiding their money or awards from their husbands so they do not feel that their wives are more successful than them. Similarly, at one point when Penny makes more money than Leonard, he gets weird too.

Time and again we see this thing. Men used to be the breadwinners for their families while women stayed home, cooked and made babies. This was in the past though.

While all our entertainment is highly tilted towards this ‘men being the breadwinner’ narrative, the millennials have made some strides in changing this. The film ‘The Intern’ starring Anne Hathaway and Robert DiNero was one such for instance. Anne was a founder of her fashion brand and her husband was a stay at home dad. And they were happy with their arrangement because it worked.

I cannot put enough emphasis on the importance of changing this ‘man is the higher one, guardian, head of the family, breadwinner’ narrative.

Girls do much better than boys at school, we have seen this for several years in several surveys. Yet by the time they reach college or graduate, their numbers in the workforce decline drastically.

Motherhood takes its toll at one point and lack of proper maternity policies are also to blame. Everything is rigged in favor of male employees. When they make bigger families, they are given more benefits, higher positions and are seen as stable people, as seen in plenty of films and women, on the other hand, are penalized for having babies.

Netflix and a few other movie makers are changing this narrative, whether it is through subtle rom-com type films like ‘Always Be My Maybe’ (which isn’t a serious, in-depth feminist film of a woman’s fight or struggle) or more serious ones here and there. As a woman, I can only hope that this narrative seeps in the societal expectations too. Serious films on themes like this have their own space. But plenty of people get sidelined or purposefully dislike such films as they see it as ‘women-centric’ (which for them is a bad thing). Hence this idea needs to sneak in mainstream films, all kinds of films, like parents, hide medicine in a banana to feed their kid.

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Social changes like these move at a glacial speed and in a world where little girls are exiled to huts while on their periods, one might be thankful to be in some part of the world where we at least get to go out and work. But we cannot get stuck with being satisfied with the crumbs of societal respect. Many men I know, send their wives to work in the garb of being progressive, while their true intent is to benefit from her salary because of the inflation in the economies all around the world. But they show off and applaud themselves that they ‘allow’ their wives to work.

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These same men also flirt with other women because, after work, this wife of theirs comes home, helps kids with homework, cooks food and goes to bed late at night after putting everyone to bed. So, while the man is ‘allowing’ the woman to work outside the home, the entire household is still the wife’s responsibility. The poor woman who was earlier handling all household chores and was the primary parent and primary caregiver to the elderly is now also laboring outside the home. How is this of any benefit to her?

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This Netflix film was an entertaining light note romantic comedy but I think the themes were such that we need to discuss and ponder over and urge people around us to move towards valuing women’s labor in the way Sasha’s work is valued. She is unapologetic about her ambitions, her success, her money and doesn’t give up on that crucial part of her just because the guy is too egotistical to deal with it. Successful women often are put in that spot where they are forced to choose between love and ambition.

Ambition ain’t going anywhere but if the guy really loves you, he would NEVER put you in that spot. Just saying.

 

The loud silence of Non-Muslim Indians on the #NewZealandTerror attack shows hypocrisy towards terrorism

I want you to look at these comments and pause before you read the rest of the article.

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Among all the reactions that poured in after the recent terrorist attacks on a Mosque in New Zealand, most were reassuring.

Being an Indian, it was obvious to see reactions from Indians in my friend lists and networks. Sadly, I waited and waited and there were barely any Non-Muslims who shared any reactions at all on this tragedy.

There are also Indian Facebook groups who are quick to share details and openly condemn attacks when the killer is a Muslim. For example, when the Manchester Arena attack happened, Hindu women in the group were vehemently expressing disgust and hatred towards Muslims, especially immigrants, despite being immigrants themselves.

However, the silence of the majority of Hindus in the aftermath of this terror attack on Mosque going people was appalling. While I was thinking silence is disturbing, I came across the comments from people that were expressive.

Instead of being sympathetic or sad, they were openly bigoted. You saw for yourself in the above picture. And this is just a tiny part of the screenshot. There are several posts under which such hatred and bigotry are flowing.

Of course, I know that this is not representative of all Hindus. My best friends have been and still, are plenty of Hindus and I know plenty who absolutely stand by people of other religions.

But is it only my job to understand that these hateful people do not represent all Hindus? And the non-muslims of the world are free to tag all Muslims as terrorists when one moron goes on a killing spree?

Exactly a month ago when the Pulwama attack happened 40 CRPF Indian soldiers were martyred, apparently terrorism was on the hit list of all Indians. Not one person was silent on their strong stand against terrorism. When the names of the terrorists are Muslim names, the passion and hatred towards terrorism are at peak. But when the terrorist is a Hindu or a white guy, then apparently terrorism is not that important of an issue to be talked about or challenged.

Anyway, the last two days have been unspeakably depressing not just because of the murder of these 50 innocent people but more because of this hateful rhetoric in the air. My mental health has been deeply affected by this because the fear of something like this happening to me or my loved ones is much closer. I’m dreaded to think if such a thing would have happened with me or the ones I love. It’s just something straight out of a violent film, just that this one is actually real life and the blood spilling everywhere is real.

I am a Muslim but I was equally expressive and disturbed when last year there was an attack at a synagogue in the USA killing Jews by a white power supremacist terrorist.

And the same when other innocent people are killed anywhere in the world regardless of the association of the killer. Just hope more people stood for the innocent people and could see past their hateful bigoted feelings.

 

Believe them~believe them not-why fans are finding it impossible to believe #LeavingNeverland & MJs victims of Child Sexual Abuse

Michael Jackson is no more. His legacy lives on, both negative and positive.

#LeavingNeverland is a chilling documentary that has been talked about since its first release in Sundance Film Festival.

And since then, there have been protests of all kinds and people have expressed very strong emotions about Jackson and their love for him.

I personally have been biased towards Michael, I want to admit it openly today.

I was a teenager myself when all this stuff about Michael abusing children first made the news. I purposely avoided watching this. The very thought of my favorite pop star being a child molester was so hurtful that I did not want to confront it. What if it turned out to be true? My memories would be ruined forever, memories of my childhood listening to his songs, dancing to his tunes. All of that would be overshadowed with filth and fear, hence I stayed away from any such news and did not even give the survivors a chance to be heard. It was convenient for me this way.

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Years passed by and I had been molested multiple times during these years. I had PTSD, learned how to make sense of trauma, read books, met victims of assaults, wrote books on the subject and counseled several survivors myself.

At this stage, when I first saw Leaving Neverland making the news, I did not ignore it like I did in my teenage years. I decided to give it a fair chance. It is still hurtful and I am aware that it would still ruin my memories and all those songs I loved growing up would now have to be deleted cause they would only remind me of the survivors. But still, I decided to watch it on TV when it was aired in the UK, two nights ago.

From the very beginning, not for one second, I felt that the survivors were lying. From their descriptions of how they were totally in awe of MJ, to the point where they had Stockholm syndrome and defended him, it was all familiar and in fact, hit too close to home.

My best friend who is also a huge fan of MJ, her and I have been sharing our views about this whole issue and she has been adamant on MJ’s innocence. And no matter what the survivors say, her end remark is just one “MJ is dead now so you can say whatever you want”.

I suppose many fans of MJ would say the same. But here is the thing: yes he died, which means this is not about MJ, this is not about revenge, not about getting even or anything else at all.

This is about the survivors. About their unburdening themselves, about the charming power and influence of a superstar that blinded the parents of a kid.

Child sexual abuse is extremely complicated and I think that is the lesson we need to learn from all of this. It is not as simple as a binary ‘go tell someone’ as people think it is. The depth of this manipulation is so intense that not only you don’t realize you have been abused, you, in fact, think of yourself as a special, gifted person because the molester makes you think that.

And you can only see the abuse for what it is when you see it happening to someone else or imagine it might happen to someone you love.

Like in the case of these two young men. When they had their own sons, their life went down a spiral. As their own children grew closer to that age, they began to have nightmares about MJ doing all that sexual stuff to their own boys.

And this is how things got so bad, they went to therapy and finally made sense of what happened to them. They could then admit it to themselves that they had been abused.

Fans all over social media are arguing whether or not to believe the survivors. To me, there is not a single ounce of doubt that these two young men would be liars. People don’t just wake up one morning and decide to accuse the pop God MICHAEL JACKSON of sexual abuse because it is so much fun to be on the receiving end of all this hatred and trolling from his fans, right?

The mothers of these boys blame themselves and they have to live their entire lives with this guilt that they were not able to protect their children when they needed them most.

The wives of these men, their own children, so many lives have been affected by this. And these are just two. We don’t even know how many others were there who never came out and who still might be suffering in silence.

And when the world is going ballistic against these two men, guess who is standing by them? The feminist! The same people who you accuse of hating men.

Whether you choose to believe these two men or not, it is your choice but remember that every time you chose not to believe a survivor of sexual assault; a woman or a child around you suffers in silence knowing that you won’t believe their story either.

You may have your own idea of what a ‘perfect victim’ looks like or talks like. Just like you have an image of the perfect pedophile or the perfect rapist. But the truth of the matter is that rapists and molesters don’t look like monsters, they look absolutely normal as any other human. And victims also don’t have to have any special skills or characteristics, they are just usual, regular people with human flaws, who trust easy and share their vulnerabilities with us.

The only and only and only reason why someone would not believe these men after watching this documentary is that they are giving MJ the benefit of doubt and they are blinded by the star power of a super talented artist and fail to see the human with flaws that he was like all other humans.

 

Why Women Ask ‘How’s Dinner’ and How To Answer That Correctly

I know some men cook but as surveys, media and my own eyes tell me, women are the primary cooks in every house, in every country.

There is a thing with women though.

While you were busy playing video games, arguing with your mates about politics or watching the latest Die Hard on TV, she was probably slaving in the kitchen, making meals for you, your kids and in case of India, also your entire family.

When women serve you dinner on the table or bed or sofa,

dinner

and you begin eating, they probably would ask you “so, how’s dinner?”

More often than not, they get the wrong answers.

Too salty.

Too greasy.

Too crispy.

Too chewy.

Too burnt.

I don’t like this.

Bla bla

You see, there is a right way to answer it. And that is:

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The thing is, after slaving in the kitchen for two hours, looking after the kids and most probably lots of other chores, when someone still does something for you, they are NOT looking for you to go all judgy-MasterChef on them.

What they want is APPRECIATION.

And since you are too busy watching TV to even notice, she has to ask you if you like your food. Just say thanks and something nice about it and shut it.

You may ask- what if the food is genuinely bad? Salty? Burnt? Crispy?

Of course, in that case, you don’t have to appreciate the food or eat it.

In that case, go to the kitchen and cook your food yourself!

Clearly, she is unskilled in that department and you need to do the cooking.

So, go to the kitchen, cook something nice and bring her some too, cause you know, what is she going to eat if the other food was burnt.

That’s how to correctly answer the question: How’s Dinner. 

What Do Lady Gaga’s Oscar Award Mean For Women All Around The World in (Domestic) Abusive Relationships

So, if you aren’t aware, Lady Gaga is the first person ever to win

a BAFTA

a Grammy

a Golden Globe and

An Oscar.

Watch her victory speech here:

She said that she once had a boyfriend who said that she would be a forever failure, never achieve anything in life. Possibly the guy must have meant a big deal to her since his words hit her so bad and remembered all of that to be mentioned in her OSCAR SPEECH!

But what does this really mean?

She could simply have taken the trophy and thanked her rich friends and family and walked off the stage, right?

Why did she mention that crazy boyfriend and what does that mean to us all women around the world?

That’s because too many of us women in the world tolerate abuse from the men we love in fact we are told and taught to mistake abuse for love.

Abuse does not always reflect broken bones and a black eye.

I think worse than that is the emotional and mental abuse that takes the self-esteem and self-worth of a person forever. Broke bones and bruises take time to heal but do heal even if they leave scars behind.

But emotional wounds are so deep and so permanent, they often remain forever and rarely heal. Of course, there are people like Lady Gaga who heal from those wounds but it’s not easy.

Way more than the women who move out of such relationships, I personally know women who are still staying in bad relationships and often stay in it forever.

And this also remains true for men. If your women think of you as their personal atm’s, and make you feel bad if you cannot buy them one thing or another, then you don’t have to take that crap.

You must have people to love you for you. And love must not hurt.

And if you are in one such relationship, I hope you take inspiration from Lady Gaga and get the courage to realize your potential.

 

5 Reasons Why People Hate Valentine’s Day (I Don’t) ;)

It’s the 14th of February, the day young couples in India are publicly humiliated, beaten up or forced to marry while the chocolates and flower prices touch the sky and cheesy couples share cheesy love messages on social media while sleeping in the same bed next to each other within a distance of 2 inches (yet express their love on social media).

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While you see plenty of people having their first honeymoon phase years together, there will be plenty of unhappy couples and also a ton of singles.

Many single people who have been in awful relationships celebrate their solo status. Others are mad at all the people who are in love and get bitter at them.

 

From what I notice, there are 5 main reasons why those people love to hate Valentine’s Day:

#1 Reason to hate Valentine’s Day- Lack of someone to love, so let’s be mad at those who do

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It’s the same logic that if I don’t have something, I will spread rumors about it and hate others who do. Simple bitterness at its best. Since the advent of Facebook, this has become way easier since our love lives are on display. So people can just spy on other peoples timelines and get jealous in their own home for free. Best time pass for valentines evening.

#2 Reason to hate Valentine’s Day- some moral/religious issues

This one I absolutely despise. People do all sorts of immoral and so-called ‘against culture’ activities and when it comes to two people choosing each other and loving, then all of a sudden the moral fabric and the cultural history is falling apart.

I call BS.

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#3 Reason to hate Valentine’s Day- unable to cope with the pressure of impressing your loved one

There are plenty of people on the fence, undefined relationships. Valentines Day can put a lot of pressure on people because they fear their partner might be expecting something big and if they failed to impress them, they would hurt their partners’ feelings. Or worse, look like a cheapskate and uninterested person. Fair enough.

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#4 Reason to hate Valentine’s Day- ‘why should there be one day for love’ brigade

There are idiots who’d protest against Valentine’s Day to argue that one must love their partner all the 365 days of the year and that celebrating this one day is stupid and meaningless.

I called such people idiots because Valentine’s Day is the death anniversary of St. Valentine who was executed for getting people married in the times when it was illegal. You can Google the history if you already don’t know about this. Hence, this day is celebrated in his memory and has historical significance.

In the modern day, where life has gotten too busy, it is just an excuse to find some moments to spend with your loved ones, to do something special for them. Of course, whoever you celebrate this day with, you love them all through 365 days, that’s obvious, but you don’t go for a date night, or buy them flowers, or gifts every single night of those 365.

It is nice to be reminded that there is love, there is something to celebrate and cherish, so why not?

#5 Reason to hate Valentine’s Day- Capitalism

Can’t argue with that.

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So, my lovely readers, whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s Day, please remember these 3 things:

1- Your first love should be yourself. If you cannot spend time alone with you, then you need to work on that first before even thinking of getting into a relationship.

2- When you do get into a relationship, give it your all. Cherish it and be faithful, no matter what.

3- Love doesn’t hurt, and if it hurts, it isn’t love.

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