Sanjay Rajoura Is the Indian Feminist Man Every Woman Wishes Would Have Around

Sanjay Rajoura. The man.

This recent stand-up video from Aisi Taisi Democracy is a total hit.

In the video, Sanjay talks about super uncomfortable issues like #MeToo, toxic masculinity, sexism, blaming women for awful habits, the self entitlement of Indian men and a whole lot of other things.

In fact, this is less of comedy more of hard-hitting satire.

The rare thing about Sanjay Rajoura is that for as long as I have watched his videos, Sanjay has actively used his male privilege in the INDIAN society to raise awareness about women’s sufferings. He has spoken about derogatory customs and traditions that keep the Indian women oppressed while thinking they are being the ‘good girls’.

I have met Indian men before that claim to be feminists. But 2 minutes into a conversation with them and I realize that they caught the word feminist from some celebrity social media account or some trendy T-shirt and that is all they know about feminism. They have neither read nor researched a single problem of a woman’s life yet have distorted views and often long misogynistic attitudes.

Watching Sanjay in this video, seeing him using his space and privilege to self reflect and talk so blatantly about the rotten habits of Indian men, without pulling any punches is a rare thing in the Indian stand up/ content creation scene.

We need more men like him who acknowledge their gender and caste privilege and have no hesitation in accepting the oppression and persecution of others by their class.

Before you start the #NotAllMen argument for the millionth time, yes I know not all men Sanjay refers to are molesters, rapists, and sexists. But that is not the point.

That never was the point.

The point is that ALL MEN have been disproportionately advanced at one place or another due to their gender, such is the Indian society and most of the world too.

Thanks, Sanjay for such honest self-reflection and commentary on your species 🙂

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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.

 

 

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)

 

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.

 

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,

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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.

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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. 

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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We Need To Talk About Men’s Entitlement to Women’s Explicit Photos & Videos

“A recent study has shown just how common it is for teen boys to coerce or threaten girls into sending nude pictures: an analysis of 500 accounts from 12- to 18-year-old girls about negative experiences sexting found that two-thirds of them had been asked to provide explicit images — and that the requests often progressed from promises of affection to “anger displays, harassment and threats.” In an article about the study for The New York Times, psychologist Lisa Damour writes, “Teenagers are drafted into a sexual culture that rests on a harmful premise: on the heterosexual field, boys typically play offense and girls play defense… Most schools and many parents already tell teenagers not to send sexualized selfies. But why don’t we also tell adolescents to stop asking for nude photos from one another?”

‘Send Nudes’- A New Study Shows How Often Boys Pressure Girls For Explicit Photos

While I was ending school, personal mobile phones were becoming common and home video cameras were still a luxury for some but gaining a place in society slowly.

As the use of technology grew, so did the pressure from men. Sometimes this would be for sending explicit pictures, sometimes to do video chats in skimpy clothing and other times just sex chat with explicit language.

I always had reservations and never, ever gave in to such pressure simply because I am a shy person and never felt that the pressure and threats from the man in question were a reason enough for me to withdraw my personal boundaries. In fact, I blew off several guys who were pretending to be ‘friends’ but turned out were just perverts that today we call ‘fuck boys’.

Years passed and now I am in my early 30s.

But guess what?

The pressure from men has not gone down.

Recently, I was catching up after 10 years with a guy friend who I had never met but had text and Skype conversations with at times. This guy had revealed his liking for me in the past and asked if I would consider marrying him.

Considering that I am still single and have no plans to tie the knot, you can imagine how ridiculous the idea of marriage was to me back then.

Anyway, he got married and now has 2 young daughters about 6 and below, the pictures of whom he often shares on his timeline.

Catching up with him after 10 years on FB Messenger was a delight. I thought it would be good to know how life has treated him and exchange some grown-up talks on a lazy evening.

Unfortunately, he had different ideas.

For him, the conversation was about how awful his wife was despite working as a teacher and looking after the household chores entirely alone. And then it came down to turning the video camera on and posing.

I agreed to talk on a WhatsApp call after a ton of please..please and begging.

And while we talked he was worried that if he wanted to talk the next day, would I still take his call. Actually, his wife was visiting her parents for a few days and he wanted to make the most of his time by flirting with women.

The next day when he called, I was in the bathtub and when he began pushing for the camera, I told him I cannot and knowing about the bathtub his pervert inner self just jumped out of his balls and he began pushing madly to turn the camera on.

The guy is blocked till eternity so that was the end of that. But did it really have to go like that?

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Why do men feel it is OK to bluntly ask women to send nudes or sext or come on video and worse, why do they handle the rejection so bad?

The article I talked about in the beginning was about teenagers but even as grown-ups, that entitlement from men does not stop, does it?

And I have no words for the manipulation they try to trap you in when you say NO.

They will appear all sad and try to make you feel sorry and pity for them.

Then they will try anger and the ‘I won’t talk to you either’ threats.

And ultimately when they go out of patience, they even abuse and say all sorts of curses because they did not get their way.

We are talking about teenage men but grown-up men, father of two young daughters… when they have no respect for boundaries and exploit every second the wife is away to flirt and fuck with other women, what can we expect them to teach the younger generation of men?

 

 

3 Things Men Must Learn From Liam Neeson’s Rape-Revenge Fantasy and Racism Row

I’m sure you may have come across this news about Hollywood actor Liam Neeson’s comment on a movie junket about this deep revenge urge.

Basically,  a friend of his who was raped about 40 years ago had confided in him and Liam talked about his reaction to the news.

And his reaction had 3 major points:

1-The urge to lash out
2-The need to defend her honor
3-The desire for revenge

Before we go ballistic on him criticizing him, calling him a racist, let’s focus on the fact that Liam was not ‘caught’ being racist. He in fact admitted to having this hatred that he felt. There are 3 things to note:

1- Admitting the fact that this happened
2- Willingness to change and learn (still continues)
3- Sought help after

Trevor Noah has the most logical take on this issue which summed up to: people have taken it more seriously than they should because it’s Liam Neeson. Also, Liam going around saying he’s not a racist is just making it worst.
Of course, it was racism, hatred against the entire community for the crime of one.
Muslims would secretly be muttering “been there, felt that”!

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But the point here is that aside from the race aspect, the most important thing is absolutely undiscussed.
What help did he offer to that friend?
Did she visit the doctor?
Did she get the appropriate help from the police if she reported?
Could she report it?
What was it /would have been the consequences of openly admitting to being a rape victim?
How did his Catholic community treat rape victims and what help was provided?

Just like this incident, a million movies are made where the rape of a woman is used merely as a plot point that unleashed the wrath of the powerful male protagonist and women are reduced to mere props and eye candy.

What men need to learn from this incident is that this is NOT ABOUT THEIR REVENGE THEIR FEELINGS, THEIR HONOR OR THEIR WOMEN.

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It’s about the woman in question and for once in your lifetime just please take the backseat and ask what does she want. How she feels. What could you do to help?

Don’t make it impossible for her to share her pain with you because she may already be feeling guilty (as society does a very good job of blaming women for rape) , upon that when you lay the burden of a revenge murder or revenge rape on her, she may take her secret to the grave but never share it with you as she may fear you going to prison and that would also be somehow upon her.

Does that make any sense at all, guys?

What Liam did well was:
Admitting his act
Talking about bigotry
Urging to have difficult discussions on race and toxic masculinity
Willing to learn and look for the teachable moment

The 3 things you should thus learn from this incident are:

1- When a woman confesses her pain to you, keep your savior/knight in shining armor cape aside and just be there for her, empathize with her.

2- After listening, ask what she wants, what is her wish, how does she want to deal with it. Don’t force her to tell the police or family and neither force her to hide. Let her take the wheel of her life and let her decide what she feels is best for her.

3- Don’t lash out to hurt other people in order to take some sort of ‘revenge’. Not against the people of that race/religion and not against the women of the rapists family either.

I had a friend who once confessed to her husband about her rape incident and the husband was insistent that he will have revenge by raping the sister of the rapist.

Ultimately, it is an innocent woman who will suffer the consequences of a man’s actions. Please don’t fulfill your rape fantasies and justify them as ‘revenge’ for the pain caused to your wife/girlfriend.

Yes, it is awful to see your friend or wife as a victim of rape, traumatic even.

But remember you are not the primary victim here. Try to be there for the rape victim who actually suffered that trauma instead of acting out in a way that is the opposite of helpful.

Why Both Hindus & Muslims Need To Shove Their Judgments About Khatija, A.R. Rahman’s Daughter

So, only if you live under a rock, you may not have heard the song Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire movie and be unaware of world-famous musician A.R.Rahman.

These days his daughter is in the news and not for the reasons one might expect.

She was spotted in a complete Hijab in a couple of places and people took notice.

She was also invited for a show on TV where she interviewed her Dad in a hijab.

Quint had a blog story about it.

Both Hindus and Muslims in India had opinions on her attire and both need to just f”””k off, excuse my french.

Just take a look at the comments under the Quint article.

 

 

 

To sum it up for you, Muslims defend her hijab because ‘a woman is a pearl, chocolate, gold (some object that needs protection).’

And for non-Muslims, the judgment is all for being non-progressive, anti-women and offensive.

IT IS NEITHER!

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Khatija is an enterprising young woman who is very much capable of making her own choices and decisions. And her hijab is NOT FORCED by the males in the family.

It is as normal as a man wearing pants to work. Whether women wear skirts, saree, pants or hijab, it is great as long as she is the decision maker behind that attire.

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And for non-muslims, please focus on your religion because not one religion in the world is without sexist traditions and customs. So let the woman do what she wants and please get this stupid notion out of your mind that every woman who wears a hijab is somehow living under Al-Qaeda. THEY ARE NOT!

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Muslim women are NOT forced by Islamic laws to wear a hijab.

Islam prescribes ‘modesty’ and respect for the opposite gender, which is mandatory on BOTH GENDERS and not just women.

So inquire first before passing judgments, they just make you look stupid.

And lastly, as a believer of equal rights and feminism, if you demand women’s rights to wear what they want, I hope those rights include a woman’s right to wear hijab and a man’s right to wear skirts… not just white girls in bikinis.