Can A Woman Ever Really Have A Room Of One’s Own? Sasural or Mayka, which one? Neither?

When Virginia Woolf might have written about the need for a woman to have a room, a corner, a place of her own… I am not sure if she knew how relevant this idea would be for years after her.

A friend of mine who is considering divorce recently was talking about her ordeals and how she felt like an imposter, a bother in her husbands home where she lived for about 5 months after they got married.

She was told what to do when to do and during a fight, her husband threw at her face that she ate £500 worth of breakfast in that first month after their wedding. (while he ate most of it because of his manly appetite but good to blame the wife)

Unfortunately, she is not the only one, the only woman who feels like an imposter in her husbands home. This isn’t much of a surprise coming from women who are married into joint families (its the Indian family system in which the guy gets to live with entire family while the women are supposed to leave their parents homes and settle in their in-laws’ homes).

But is the freedom of a woman as restricted when she lives with just her husband, as a couple?

Apparently so.

One woman I know tells the tales of her husband literally locking her inside their home as he feared she might go out and cheat on him. Don’t even get me started on the physical abuse and the whole ordeal of pain.

But there’s another very weird but real case.

This woman lives with her partner and they have been together for about 8 years. There is no physical abuse. They have some issues, they sometimes fight but there is no ‘fear’ of the man as such.

However, since she isn’t the earner in the house, she doesn’t have that authority. The guy feels like he can say whatever, do whatever, make rules and she is supposed to follow because he is ‘right’.

A few days ago, her partner went to see his family for about a month. Before he left, she cried in secret because she knew she was going to miss him.

When he left, she did miss him.

She felt that silence around the home and she often talked to herself out loud.

But something really weird happened that she had not expected.

She loved the freedom.

She watched whatever she liked on TV (there was no struggle like every night where he puts on blood and violence despite knowing she gets nightmares).

She cooked whatever she liked just for herself (she has to make two separate meals because her partner eats bland food so every night she first cooks for him and if there is any time left, she quickly whips up something stupid for herself, survives on junk or eats frozen leftovers because she puts him first). Being on her own was easy.

She often did not cook when she didn’t feel like and ordered food which she enjoyed eating for 2 days. There was no judgment for ordering food or rants about money wastage, it was all up to her.

Having insomnia, she sleeps at weird times and her partner being away, she was free to wake up and sleep when it naturally happened and the quietness in the house was a big factor for uninterrupted sleep.

She loved being on her own despite the few extra responsibilities.

She loves him, missed him terribly, was on the phone all the time and flew into his arms when he got back.

They spent a few very happy together and some weeks in… it was back. The rants, the small things that people don’t talk about because they are not life-altering acts but it does make a difference in the life of someone who goes through it.

Having to watch whatever you like on TV, is FREEDOM.

Having to cook anything you prefer or not cooking at all is FREEDOM.

Sleeping and waking, whenever you like, is FREEDOM.

While the majority of the women in the world are suffering from domestic abuse, lack of basic education, basic human rights, and choice, it might seem like a grand luxury to demand or dream a ‘Room Of One’s Own’ OR more sensibly a HOUSE of one’s own (because a room inside the house of a controlling man is still under his power and doesn’t have much freedom).

Since the moment an Indian baby girl is born, she is reminded constantly that her husbands home is her actual home and she is merely a temporary passerby at her parents’ home where she grows up and builds her earliest memories.

However, she is forced to leave that home and go live with her husband (and often his family) however far that may be.

Only if all this was worth it.

Only if all these sacrifices gave a woman that place where she could be free. A place where she could breathe free.

One may call it selfish and that even to live with a friend or any other human, one would have to make compromises.

I ask, why does one need to live with someone at all in that case.

To have a room/home of her own is something women are promised as soon as they are born and they die like fucking unwanted guests but they never get to live in any place that they could feel like is their own.

Single women rock this ish. I guess they got this figured.

 

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Why Piers Morgan Shouldn’t Have Asked If Co Host Susanna Reid is Doing The Janu-hairy thing #GMB

Let me begin by explaining what is Januhairy month.

Body positivity has become sort of mainstream, albeit very slowly but thankfully it is at least talked about. One part of it is body hair. Every normal human being has hair, all genders.

Yet while no one bats an eyelid on men like this

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women, on the other hand, are socially shamed for keeping their body au natural.

This double standard towards body hair is pervasive and sexist and hence, Januhairy is a body positivity movement in which women are sharing pictures of their unshaven bodies on social media and breaking the taboos, showing off to the world their natural beautiful selves without the ton of grooming.

As you can guess from the expression on Piers’ face from this image below, he looks disgusted:

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Piers made it personal and asked co-star Susanna if she personally would take part in the movement and go unshaven for the month.

While on the surface the question might sound logical and straight forward, but it is absolutely idiotic and offensive and let me explain why.

I personally hate this idea that women have to follow such a strict rule of beauty standards and keep their bodies certain ways in order to be not looked down upon in the society. But this wokeness or sense of self came to me when I was over 25.

Sadly, since I was a teenager, the messages I received from the society and friends were the stereotypical white skin color preferring, highly damaging beauty ideals very common in India. This involved going hairless.

Although I never did bleach my skin to lighten it, I was forced to get my eyebrows shaped by my sister who also introduced me to waxing and stuff.

In conclusion, I did groom my eyebrows and shave elsewhere. The grooming became a habit so routine that I cannot go 5 days without removing the hair now. And if I don’t remove the hair, I cannot fall asleep at night due to the irritation and the pokes of the stubble.

As much as I love this idea of embracing our body in its natural form and not shaving any hair to please the people around… I am now eternally under the curse of it.

This is why asking such a question to any woman is a highly offensive thing because you are asking a woman to reveal her grooming habits to you-who the fuck are you, who gave you the right to ask a personal question like this?

You are allowed to support a social movement without actively participating in it. Same goes with religions and cultures. You are and should appreciate other peoples religious practices without practicing them personally. Because there may be more hiding underneath the surface. Like my case in which I support the movement, and I would want to participate but unfortunately, it is too late for me because now my body is already in such a stage. But this is my individual case.

Other women, especially younger girls who are developing body hair must not fall into the same trap as we did. Hence it is absolutely crucial to talk about and spread the social message of the body positivity movement and take a strong stand against body hair shaming in order to save young girls.

It is very simple if you think about it. Society has always had different rules for men and women and when it comes to beauty, men have always gotten an easy pass while women have gone through painful procedures and expensive hectic beauty regimens in order to look beautiful and young because physical appearance is how a woman’s worth was/is judged in our society.

It’s 2019 and this notion of a woman’s worth based on her physical attributes alone is still very much prevalent. The Januhairy movement is a very tiny body positivity movement to tell women they don’t have to follow such ridiculous rules in order to look beautiful.

And then there are people like Piers Morgan. I used to adore this guy but he has just lost his respect in my eyes lately.

Single Mothers Are Everywhere But Where Are The Single Dads?

My best friend and I were having a conversation about someone today. She seemed to be worried about the daughter of one of their family friends. That little girl, about 12-3 years old is raised by her grandma.

My friend began her conversation by asking –

“How can mothers be so selfish and awful?”

And then she went on to diss the woman who is allegedly a bad mother because she fell in love with some other man and divorced her husband and left the little daughter behind.

While I don’t want to comment on that mother who left the daughter with the husband alone, because I don’t know her side of the story… let’s assume she is a bad mother because she abandoned her daughter and moved on in life to live with some man she fell in love with.

To call such a mother selfish and narcissistic would be fair. But not once I heard from her a word about the man. She only continued to claim what a loving father he is.

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I asked how. The father lives in Abu Dhabi and is a busy man. The daughter who is now a teenager is raised by the grandma.

I asked her why doesn’t the father keep the daughter with him in UAE. And pat came the flood of patriarchal excuses that has been giving an easy pass to men when it comes to raising children or caring for the elderly.

He is a busy man.

He has a job.

He often travels.  Bla bla bla

I asked her if a single mother, any single mother who has a job abandons her kids to be raised by grandparents, would you feel the same?

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My own sister and her daughter when she was 4, were abandoned by her husband five years ago. My sister although lives in my parents home but has been raising that little girl on her own. My sister struggled, tried doing business, appeared for several exams, interviews and has few opportunities waiting to come to fruition while she is teaching in a school, just to raise some money so her girl has some sort of sustenance from one parent at least.

My sister is also about to go to UAE for her job and two years before this happened, she was already researching schools, creches, babysitters etc and whatever hurdles he might face as a single mother.

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I know several other women who either got a divorce or their men abandoned them and they are proud single moms. They work outside, earn a living as well as raise their kids. Sometimes with the slight help of relatives, friends or paid sitters and other times all by themselves.

Yet, I am not aware of one man, a single man who is a single dad, raising kids on his own.

When a woman abandons her kids and moves on in life, she is selfish but when a man does the same, we don’t even bat an eye. Why is that?

My friend started her conversation dissing the mother but by the end when I asked her all these questions, she was provoked to consider why can’t a man keep his teenage daughter with him if he claims to love her?

No one can replace the love of a parent. No matter how much the grandma and the uncles and aunts love her, the emotional security she can avail with her father is incomparable. Yet, his excuses are all we hear.

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My friend also said in his defense that she doesn’t think he would do that on purpose. That made me point out the life of a single man where he is free as a bird, date, do casual hookups, do anything as he pleases. But having a teenage daughter at home is responsibility. You got to feed her, get home on time in the evening, check up on her school, homework etc and a million other things that countless moms do every single day like a boss. But men… no way.

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Men have this ingrained in their brains that child-rearing is not their job. They totally see themselves as separate from this responsibility and do the talk talk talk… All words and no actions are BS.

Think about it- how many single dads do you know?

 

Reacting to ‘Faye D’Souza & Barkha Dutt speak on India’s Me Too movement | Times Lit Fest Delhi’

I loved watching Faye and Barkha, two of my favorite journalists, speaking about #MeToo in India. Tavleen had some rather weird ideas about the movement and was brave enough to say them out loud in public.

Until the end though, she didn’t seem convinced, so here I summed up the objections and answered them in the most straightforward way possible in two sentences or less. She didn’t seem to get it but here is another attempt.

Why do women not slap a man who tried to kiss her or go into a room with a man where he is in his underwear?

Many do, plenty don’t. Its called the ‘freeze’ reaction. It’s the Neurobiology of Trauma. 

We had to go through Sati and the likes. And you young women can’t stop a man from kissing you. Why?

Every generation has its own problems. We didn’t have to fight for voting rights, doesn’t mean we don’t value them and doesn’t mean our struggles are less important.

City women are hogging the space with their unimportant agendas and protests against sexual harassment when there are issues like sex trafficking that are more pressing and need more attention. Why not focus on them?

It’s like saying when there are diseases like cancer, why are you researching flu drugs? Stupidity is all.

Why didn’t they just kick M.J.Akbar, why not get him sacked, why become a victim and use the ‘victim card’?

When you aren’t believing them now in this advanced age, with years of experience and professional history to their credibility… would you and others have believed them back then? Plus, there was no technology.

‘#Me too’ only empowers the elite class?

First of all, every woman in every class of society has a role to play in women’s rights struggle. And secondly, why don’t Tavleen and the likes of her do something for the non-elite and lead by example? Just because one lives in an apartment doesn’t mean she has to lay the onus of cleaning up the filth on women’s rights on the most oppressed women. What logic is that? Each person can play a role and its got to start somewhere.

Men like women. What’s wrong with it?

Like whoever you want but treat them like humans- with respect and decency. Akbar employed women journalists with the hidden agenda to hit on them and take advantage of their fragile advancement. Here comes the faux feminist the suffragists had warned us about.

Why are not men included?

They are. Watch Terry Crew’s #MeToo speech. And guess what happens when men come forward with their stories and who supports them? It’s people like you who mock men and disbelieve that a man can be assaulted and its feminists who stand with those men and fight for their rights.

Why didn’t women speak earlier?

Many did. They lost their careers, lives, trust in humanity. Plenty didn’t because they saw what happened to those who did and didn’t want to deal with the consequences. Plus, if you don’t believe them now, you won’t believe them in the past. You’d have found another excuse to discredit them. Why Didn’t Tanushree Speak Earlier?

Why doesn’t #MeToo recognize the difference between groping and rape and treat them both differently?

When has anyone ever said that a rape convict should get the same punishment as that of a sexual assault convict? The boundaries of what’s a violation and what should or shouldn’t be included are arbitrary in the movement but one thing that’s for sure isn’t arbitrary is CONSENT. Being groped or violated in other ways physically has life-long damaging impacts on a person’s psyche. Why is their trauma not worth our attention?

Why media trials? Why not just go to the police?

Oh yes, because we know how prompt and efficient is the justice system in India. Besides, if the #metoo was not a movement and had the media not talked about this constantly, would big shots like MJ Akbar ever be taken down? Watch SPOTLIGHT film to know the true powers of investigative journalism.

We all have women like Tavleen in our lives who will do everything possible to tear down other women instead of simply being empathetic to survivors. And they are such exhausting people to deal with because no matter how much you try and explain, they will keep changing the goal post of their argument and never admit that they are causing so much harm.

Tavleen claimed to have sympathy for the 5-6-year-old poverty stricken rape survivor but guess what will happen when such girl would go to Tavleen and share her story? She’d say “where is the proof?“, “why didn’t you kick him and slap him?”, “why were you alone with him, where are your parents?”.

When you say victim blaming statements like these, all the women around you are internally thinking they can never trust you with their traumas. You just don’t deserve it.

The Sexist Stereotype of Women’s Obsession With Shoes Needs to Die. Here’s Why.

How many times have you been criticized for buying shoes and bags?

How many times did you yourself think you are crazy and obsessed with shoes and bags or any other such item?

We live in a society that is literally built on targeting women and using any and every opportunity to label women as crazy, psychotic and obsessed or worse money spenders because women in many households in the past and even today are not earning money, so they obviously do not understand the ‘value of money’ (or so they say).

BREAKING NEWS:

It’s a horrible stereotype that needs to die. 

Have you ever in your life, on TV, on social media, in films or in general conversations, heard about men’s obsession with sneakers?

And I’m not talking just about a pair of jogging shoes… I’m talking $800 and up shoes that go up to $8000???

If you haven’t then check this out:

So, when I saw this TED talk, the first thing that came to my mind was that how come I have seen women criticized for buying shoes countless times but not once have I ever heard someone criticizing a man for owning $800 plus sneakers or owning more than 500 pairs at a time?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that owning 500 pairs of shoes is a great, a healthy habit or spending $800 on a pair of shoes is a wise decision. Not talking about its value as an investment either.

And I don’t even want to go into the morality of how much difference could be made in someone’s life with that kind of money. Because we live in times where the self comes first and owning a lot more is rewarded while owning too little is mocked.

But what behooves me is the double standard of it all. The hypocrisy and audacity of men to mock and criticize women when you are no better.

We all have passions, (hopefully, that rely less on addiction and hoarding) but nevertheless, we do have things we love and like to collect. That’s awesome.

Yet, blaming women for liking something while calling your ‘hoarding’ a passion and a hobby is beyond disgust.

The next time you hear this stereotype, please show this video and level the playing field in the area of shoe obsession and money wasting.

Hoarders equality!

I Had Never Told Anyone ‘You’ll Die Alone’ But Today I Did & I’m Not Sorry

It takes a lot of anger and outrage to yell at someone “you’ll die alone”.

I have had my moments of rage, sparsely scattered throughout my small life but I have never ever hated anyone that much to say such a mean and cruel thing to someone.

Today I did, however, break my rule and said it. And I am not sorry at all and the reason I am sharing this with you over a blog post is:

1- Misplaced blame makes you say things you never thought you’d say.

2- Once an abuser, always an abuser. 

So, let me cut the suspense, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you know this guy.

Yes, this is the idiot stalker I wrote about in the past and also shared his stupidities in a video. 

He got married about 10 months ago. For some weird reason, he contacted me on my work email from his work email to tell me about that and asked me to speak to his fiancee. I asked him why and he never had a proper response but he kept insisting that I just introduce myself to her as a friend. I didn’t.

Last month, I got an email from him saying he was very depressed and in a lot of trouble.

I got worried and asked what was up.

Drunk as he usually is, he blurted a lot of bullshit about him loving me and all. And then he insisted again that I talk to his wife.

It was the middle of the night in India. I was confused, why would I talk to his wife.

Then he revealed a little.

He said that she and he had a fight and she was in the room either sleeping or pretending to be asleep. He asked me to talk to her and calm her down or something.

This was all totally weird but considering how some strange woman was locked up in a room with this psychopath, I really got worried about her.

I instantly told her that it was not my place to say anything but if she isn’t alright, she could share. That night our talk did not go too far but I got the jist of it.

He is a drunkard, abusive, narcissistic asshole who is beating his wife since day 1 of their honeymoon. 

The next day she got in touch with me privately and told me several other dirty secrets of his house that I as a friend never knew obviously. But those were the things about his background, why he has become such an asshole and the role his parents have played in making him that misogynistic monster– all credit of which goes mostly to his mom.

My heart broke into a million pieces listening to her pain. Ultimately she asked, what should she do. She was at her parents home that night because the fucker had fractured her wrist in the fight from last night.

I suggested what any sane, logical person would. Either seek professional help, set boundaries, give him a deadline to control his alcohol and abuse OR simply walk away from a marriage that is literally breaking her bones.

Through these last couple of weeks, she gave him chances and he has failed to keep his promises for more than 120 minutes!!! That is how long-lasting his sanity is.

Anyway, the reason that blew the handle and made me say the worse of things is because of what happened last night.

At about wee hours of the morning, Indian time, he was calling me.

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Look how he is attacking me ‘teaching his wife’.

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My DP these days btw is about divorcing in order to not set a wrong example of marriage in front of your kids…Something like that. It pissed him off as expected although it was not directed at him.

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The audio I forwarded him is the one in which he was blurting out that he loves me.

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These images fully opened are below once this conversation finishes.

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I feel weird now but I totally lost it when he tried to blame me for trying to create a rift between his wife and him and now that I encouraged his wife to stand up for her rights, he is attacking me saying my intention is wrong.

I had no faith in him and never expected any sense of decency from him anyway. But the only reason I spent my time speaking to his wife is that I can empathize with that poor woman trapped with him in this abusive marriage. 

And this is the second woman whose cries I have heard this past week who is being abused by her husband.

Should I feel sorry for these abusive morons who abuse these innocent women?

Nope. I don’t. 

I really never thought I would ever say “you’ll die alone” and other mean things I said above… but this was the height of my patience.

I have tolerated a lot of BULLSHIT from this moron in the past that I have shared in the blog and video, but the most I did then was just BLOCK HIM.

But getting to know how he is abusing his innocent wife, I cannot ignore his stupidities and simply block him without giving him a piece of my mind.

BTW below are the images I reminded him of who is in love with whom.

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Turns out, once an abuser, always an abuser. And that marriage and commitment do not change violent, abusive men.

 

How to Not Be A Hateful Bigot With This Easy Tip [for dummies]

I came across a video today in which Katie Hopkins and the radical right-winger Tomy something was expressing angst towards the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy that happened in London last year.

Then they showed a video of a mock Grenfell Tower and set it on fire. I could go on about the filthy messages there but I can’t out myself to deal with the hatred.

So, this ‘othering’ is not just between migrants and citizens in a state. Color-based, religion-based, caste-based, gender-based… you name it. Within a religion itself, you will find people believing in small differences and judging others that have a different point of view from theirs.

It is super easy to focus on those differences and hate the ‘others’.

So here is a simple and easy tip-

When you meet someone, first look for the similarities. This shall give you some level of assurance that they are just like you in n number of ways and the ‘othering’ concept would not set in so quick.

Look for the similarities.

Are they human like you?

Do they breathe and eat and sleep like you?

Are they fearful of others just like you?

Well, there you go. That’s 3 similarities already.

Then you could think about other things like-

Do they want to be happy like you?

Do they want a decent wage and dignity?

Do they want the same human rights, shelter, food, and safety?

When you find all these similarities and get to a comfort level being around them, then you can look at the differences with an open mind and learn to appreciate them. Enjoy the diversity and see what can you learn from their culture, experiences, stories, and habits. I bet there will be plenty to learn and they might be intrigued about your stuff to learn from you.

All humankind can be traced back to African origins, from where they migrated to the rest of the world.

So technically the whole world’s population is refugees except for the people in Africa.

Think bigger than borders and boxes.

The world needs more of that.

Men Are Angry & It’s Killing Them aka Heart Disease. Here’s How To Help.

We live in a society that idolizes angry men.

Just look randomly at a bunch of men’s magazines. How many do you see smiling and happy?

Its considered sexy on men to be angry, gloomy and gangster.

While this look may work on a magazine cover or a seductive perfume ad or a movie poster, but in real life it is killing men.

Penn psychologists did this amazing research study in which using big data, they analyzed what words people use on their social media and is there any link between those words/moods with heart disease.

I know it sounds like two different things but stick with me. Here is the word cloud that suggested the most used words from men’s profiles.

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Notice the use of cuss words. Overall the use of these words does not suggest positivity or a beautiful, meaningful life. In fact, from this word cloud alone, we can sum up what we have taught men:

1- Use cuss words and be angry at petty things, that will make you look masculine.

2- Guns, warfare, military type hobbies or interests that will perpetuate violence.

3- Competition and fight are good but not sharing and caring.

This worries me deeply for my unborn sons. I do not want to raise little boys to be violent, disturbed little creatures whose only self-worth depends on being hurtful to others and themselves.

On the other hand, let’s see what the word cloud from women’s profiles indicate:

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Looking at the word cloud we can see these are the things women care about:

1- Relationships

2- Loving, caring and doing things to keep up the home.

3- Shopping because let us be honest when women take care of the kitchen and the household, of course, they are the ones who pick groceries because they would know what to pick for the day to day running of the household.

4- Food. Women like to express there love for food.

5- Feelings play a big part there. And positive feelings of happiness and joy.

Now let’s look at the link:

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The world oppresses women in many different ways but can we just agree that TOXIC MASCULINITY is literally killing the men in our lives and can we stop idolizing angry men already?

How many male suicides is it going to take for people to realize that boxing up your emotions and not sharing will ultimately kill?

If you are a guy who has some worries or just feel angry and depressed, there is a lot you can do.

Firstly, you can join a local support group or a FACEBOOK group where you can share and listen to others in a similar situation.

Secondly, you can seek proper therapy through a certified professional.

Thirdly, if it all seems too overwhelming, TALK TO ME. Yes, I am a non-judgmental stranger who has a solid background in emotional trauma and is also a student of Positive Psychology. I am not going to be a replacement for a therapist but can be a listening ear, sometimes that all we need- to be heard!

Got a #MeToo Story? Here’s What To Do According To A Criminal Psychologist

#MeToo has been exploding in India lately and has already shaken some very solid foundations in Hollywood, academia, and journalism worldwide.

I have not met one woman in my entire life who has not faced some sort of sexual harassment in her life. These experiences worsen among women of color.

New advancements have been rising yet most of them are ineffective and unhelpful to the survivors of assault.

When it comes to sexual harassment reporting and suing, one of the major obstacles that can make or break your case is the reporting of the assault. Julia Shaw, a criminal psychologist in her TED Talk recently shared some life-saving information on the best way to report and take action after going through an assault incident. You can watch the talk here but in a jist, this is what you must do or in other words,

How to turn your memory into evidence:

Get into an isolated location and write these things down immediately even before talking to anyone because judgment and reactions can tamper or distort your memory.

1- Timing- write about the incident as soon as you possibly can.

2- Type- a handwritten note won’t have a date and time like a note on your phone or computer, that would later be crucial in your testimony. So use technology to your advantage. Make it time stamped.

3- Relevance- write down things most relevant to your case. It is easy to get distracted and write an emotional account of what happened because of course, it is an emotionally overwhelming experience. Yet, try to think of the most relevant details that can help your statement.

In other words, this is a list of things that your note would need (a screenshot from Julia’s TED Talk):

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Julia says just as easy it is to write it at that moment, it is incredibly easy to forget as time passes. Also because our brain is such it tries to block out the bad memories to survive. Hence, she introduced an ANONYMOUS ONLINE REPORTING SOFTWARE called SPOT!

Please check it out and introduce it to your workplace and try to get it integrated. If your employers are genuinely interested in taking a stand against sexual harassment, they will make good use of it.

We all think sexual harassment is never going to happen to us until it does. And I know how scary, confusing, humiliating and stressful it is to recall what happened and process it.

Yet, it is high time the perpetrators have been taking advantage of the silence of the less heard in the workplace and SPOT is a weapon that can help survivors deal with their pain a little better.

I hope it helps survivors and makes positive changes in organizations.

3 Happy & 3 Sad Feelings About #MeToo Reaching Google…

So, today:

#googlewalkout #google

Google employees walk out to protest alleged sexism, inequality

As I watched the news pouring in, I had strongly mixed feelings.

The sad part first- 

1- It makes me sad to see that in 2018 women are unsafe in the worlds most highly rated and recognized corporate organization. Not just unsafe but also not equally paid.

2- Its also sad to see that the internal policies and corporate cultures aren’t inclusive at all because if they were, this protest would not be needed.

3- The problem of sexual misconduct and gender pay inequality is universal across the globe, which means not one country, not one culture, not one office is immune to these issues.

The happy part is-

1- Googlers saw this as not just women’s issue like most of the society typically sees it but they saw it as a worker’s issue and both MEN and women walked out in protest. I can’t express how much admiration I hold for men who are true allies when it comes to sexual violence in society. I know, this is the basic standard of behavior, men wouldn’t get any brownie points if they came out in support of climate change. But sadly, our society is in such a place that it is so rare to see men taking accountability and for once not siding with the bros and standing up for what is right.

2- No particular location of Google office decided to ignore this in order to save jobs or get in the good books of the senior management. In my book, Lean on What, I have written in depth about how power dynamics within the STEM fields play a role in keeping women oppressed and how their only option is to quit. No person wants to talk let alone protest on these issues for the fear of losing their jobs. The fact that Googlers all over the world participated in this protest is a sign of pure revolution and a positive one.

3- If giants like Google will start taking sexual assault seriously and pay their employees equally regardless of their gender, the rest of the world might follow them and even if at a glacial rate we see change, it is still worth it.

Google’s reactions and the efforts that are being put in place now some relief and if there is follow through, this would be a true leadership move on part of Google.

Respects to all Googlers around the world who walked out today and created history.