Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Women of strength

For those of you who aren’t from where I belong, my country n in recent times, my state has been in the news for attack on women. Sexual attacks on women. Rape. I am a mother of a girl child and things like this shake me up very very badly. When things like this happen in places you are familiar with, you just look up and thank god that its not happened to people you know or love. Thats our problem too. We dont act up until it happens to one of us and from where I come from, even if things do happen to one of us, the ones close to us will just blame it on fate!  Fate, my !@@$. So what do we do?
I dont want to start a post on going into the mind of a rapist. I am just going to say they dont have a mind even, forget heart. How can I make sure my girl grows up to be a strong, independent woman, capable of defending n protecting herself if n when the need arises. Asking her to cover herself fully isnt going to do the trick-WHAT IF HE IS LISTING LOOKING AT HER EYES?  Asking her not to be smart and bold may not work either – WHAT IF HE IS LOOKING FOR A SOFTSPOKEN, GENTLE WOMAN AS HIS NEXT VICTIM?  Asking her not to reveal her religious identity even may not come handy – WHAT IF HE IS AN AETHIST?  I even thought of home schooling my daughter and never letting her out of my sight-but again, what if he is just around the corner, waiting to come into my house to hurt my child or the people I care about or myself!
A regional movie I happen to see recently had one dialogue in particular that made me think. It goes somethin on the lines of if you are a small girl and someone tells you that you are a nice, obedient, softspoken girl, dont pay heed to it. Do not grow up thinking that you are the above mentioned. Its a trap. It is told to you so that you convince yourself and grow up to actually be a poor, softspoken, naive girl who will never have the guts to stand up to an eve teaser, a letcher or an abuser. You will be that person who silently suffers all the abuse and torture met out to you and cry when nobody is watching. You will always be abused by one or the other and you will silently bear the brunt of it all. Thats the problem, isn’t it? Most of us keep quiet if a man intentionally touches us inside when we use public transport, if a man letches looking at us, we bear the abuse in a marriage all the while thinking that we are to blame. Why should we keep mum n suffer the pain n trauma.
Everytime you keep quiet, you are encouraging the abuser in him.  He thinks that girls will silently take it all in, no matter how much damage he does n so he commits rape too. He starts with the ‘bad touch’ and slowly n stealthily moves to being a serial abuser n finally to rape. He kills the girls who fight back because he is only used to the girls silently taking the torture. So am going to bring up my girl by asking her to speak out. To speak out no matter who is listening and without thinkin what people will say. She will speak her mind and be gutsy. She will hit the man on his face if he misbehaves.She will stand up n shout if she needs to be heard but she will not surrender n sit silently. The next time someone says how naive and innocent she is, I’ll make sure they take back what they said.
Let us, mothers, help make a world safe for our girls. Lets make our daughters empower themselves. Lets make sure they trust us enough to speak to us about anything small or big n let’s ensure that they trust the power they hold.
Women of strength,
Lets know them
Lets raise them
Lets be them.

For you, my ami.

image

Advertisements
Posted in Interesting Reads

If men could menstruate-Gloria Steinem

Living in India made me understand that a white minority of the world has spent centuries conning us into thinking a white skin makes people superior, even though the only thing it really does is make them more subject to ultraviolet rays and wrinkles.

Reading Freud made me just as skeptical about penis envy. The power of giving birth makes “womb envy” more logical, and an organ as external and unprotected as the penis makes men very vulnerable indeed.

But listening recently to a woman describe the unexpected arrival of her menstrual period (a red stain had spread on her dress as she argued heatedly on the public stage) still made me cringe with embarrassment. That is, until she explained that, when finally informed in whispers of the obvious event, she said to the all-male audience, “and you should be proud to have a menstruating woman on your stage. It’s probably the first real thing that’s happened to this group in years.”

Laughter. Relief. She had turned a negative into a positive. Somehow her story merged with India and Freud to make me finally understand the power of positive thinking. Whatever a “superior” group has will be used to justify its superiority, and whatever and “inferior” group has will be used to justify its plight. Black me were given poorly paid jobs because they were said to be “stronger” than white men, while all women were relegated to poorly paid jobs because they were said to be “weaker.” As the little boy said when asked if he wanted to be a lawyer like his mother, “Oh no, that’s women’s work.” Logic has nothing to do with oppression.

So what would happen if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?

Clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, worthy, masculine event:

Men would brag about how long and how much.

Young boys would talk about it as the envied beginning of manhood. Gifts, religious ceremonies, family dinners, and stag parties would mark the day.

To prevent monthly work loss among the powerful, Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea. Doctors would research little about heart attacks, from which men would be hormonally protected, but everything about cramps.

Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of such commercial brands as Paul Newman Tampons, Muhammad Ali’s Rope-a-Dope Pads, John Wayne Maxi Pads, and Joe Namath Jock Shields- “For Those Light Bachelor Days.”

Statistical surveys would show that men did better in sports and won more Olympic medals during their periods.

Generals, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation (“men-struation”) as proof that only men could serve God and country in combat (“You have to give blood to take blood”), occupy high political office (“Can women be properly fierce without a monthly cycle governed by the planet Mars?”), be priests, ministers, God Himself (“He gave this blood for our sins”), or rabbis (“Without a monthly purge of impurities, women are unclean”).

Male liberals and radicals, however, would insist that women are equal, just different; and that any woman could join their ranks if only she were willing to recognize the primacy of menstrual rights (“Everything else is a single issue”) or self-inflict a major wound every month (“You must give blood for the revolution”).

Street guys would invent slang (“He’s a three-pad man”) and “give fives” on the corner with some exchenge like, “Man you lookin’ good!

“Yeah, man, I’m on the rag!”

TV shows would treat the subject openly. (Happy Days: Richie and Potsie try to convince Fonzie that he is still “The Fonz,” though he has missed two periods in a row. Hill Street Blues: The whole precinct hits the same cycle.) So would newspapers. (Summer Shark Scare Threatens Menstruating Men. Judge Cites Monthlies In Pardoning Rapist.) And so would movies. (Newman and Redford in Blood Brothers!)

Men would convince women that sex was more pleasurable at “that time of the month.” Lesbians would be said to fear blood and therefore life itself, though all they needed was a good menstruating man.

Medical schools would limit women’s entry (“they might faint at the sight of blood”).

Of course, intellectuals would offer the most moral and logical arguements. Without the biological gift for measuring the cycles of the moon and planets, how could a woman master any discipline that demanded a sense of time, space, mathematics– or the ability to measure anything at all? In philosophy and religion, how could women compensate for being disconnected from the rhythm of the universe? Or for their lack of symbolic death and resurrection every month?

Menopause would be celebrated as a positive event, the symbol that men had accumulated enough years of cyclical wisdom to need no more.

Liberal males in every field would try to be kind. The fact that “these people” have no gift for measuring life, the liberals would explain, should be punishment enough.

And how would women be trained to react? One can imagine right-wing women agreeing to all these arguements with a staunch and smiling masochism. (“The ERA would force housewives to wound themselves every month”: Phyllis Schlafly)

In short, we would discover, as we should already, that logic is in the eye of the logician. (For instance, here’s an idea for theorists and logicians: if women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn’t it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? I leave further improvisation up to you.)

The truth is that, if men could menstruate, the power justifications would go on and on.

If we let them.

Posted in m@dness

Ten Commandments to satisfyin a woman

I am sure most of you thought I was gonna write about some other type of satisfaction. Sorry to disappoint!I am getting married. Oh not so soon maybe but yes, in another 4 months I AM getting married. So everyday my friends n I keep talkin about everything converning marriage and we seem to come to this consensus concerning the relationship men and women have!  Women and men are as different as chalk and cheese. Men always find it difficult to understand women. Or so they proclaim.But believe us, we are not that difficult to understand. Just try to keep the communication channel open and see how things fall into their place. Here’s a guide of some of the things women wish men automatically understood and remember it’s neither rocket science nor micro-biology.

And the Ten Commandments are:

1. We know men are low in EQ (Emotional Quotient) but make an effort to understand emotions. But remember we don’t like men who can’t control their emotions. Cry babies (oops men) are not what we are exactly looking at in life! We’ll do the crying, you solve the problem!

2. When we talk, pay attention to what we are saying. Don’t just nod your head and continue watching the cricket match on television. Listen dont just hear! Most times, we are trying to catch your attention!

3. Your mother might be great in the kitchen and can whip up gourmet dishes in no time. But sorry we can’t go on listening to your running commentary on her remarkable culinary skills. Appreciate us, once in awhile. Tell us where you want us to improve.

4. We believe in the power of communication. So, talk, fight but don’t just go into ‘silent’ mode. Leave that mode to your mobile phones and us;)

5 All of us  completely love a dash of chivalry in our partners. So be courteous and show us that you are well brought-up.

6 Don’t brag. Showing off really acts against you. Be subtle about your fat pay packet, your swanky car and the like. That shows your class.

7. Don’t think that you own us. So, behave accordingly. Like men folk, we also like our own space.

8. Romance comes naturally to us just as sex is natural to you. We love it when a man expresses his love. So, please show us that you love. Say it through flowers, dinners, gifts and of course count surprises as an important element of our DNA. Understand these basic points and act accordingly

9. Don’t try to give us lessons on moral science. And for heaven’s sake don’t comment on a low-neckline dress that we wear and comment on how sexy the other woman in a similar dress looks!That’s a very cheap thing to do. However, if a dress doesnt compliment our body, SAY IT!!!!!!

10. Don’t crack jokes on our family members, close friends. Show your great sense of humour with a touch of sensibility.

 

Posted in m@dness

Beauty and Men~

Disclaimer: The post is based on my very limited knowledge of the folks from mars. The gents in my life are a rare species. So this post is nOT about them. Its about the normal men. And my Married Girl Friends and Single Chums, please forgive me:)

Men are not born slobs. In fact, till around the age of 12-13, men and women are equally clean. Then, unfortunately, puberty hits. No matter how hard men try to be clean, its like someone planted a weed on their body. You shave in the morning, and at 5 o’clock – its back again!

After months of struggle, men realize that resistance is futile. Nature intended them to be this way. There’s simply no fighting it! They give in.

You may be wondering – doesn’t puberty hit women too? Then why is it that they aren’t slobs?
The answer to this lies in the sheer ingenuity of women. A long time ago, they held a secret conference to solve this very problem. The result – the beauty parlour. 😛 🙂

The sheer simplicity and beauty of this invention is to be marvelled at. It allows a woman to be clean, and also allows them a private haven where they can discuss future courses of action.

Men, however, came up with this invention very recently.
Of late, however, some men have managed to create a pseudo beauty parlour concept of their own. However, these are a minority group and are generally regarded as androgynous by the male community.

If food was the reason marriage was created, beauty parlours are the reason why they fail.
This development of pseudo beauty parlours is more common in developed countries rather than developing countries. Unfortunately, when men invade this female bastion, they see things that they should not see. This aggrieves the female of the species to such an extent, that they are forced to break the food contract……sorry, “marriage”.

It is now obvious why the divorce rates are much higher in developed countries rather than developing countries.

So, the reality we have to live with, is this. If food is the raison d’etre of marriage, then the slobiness of man is what keeps it going. The moment men enter beauty parlours, they risk losing their source of edible food. Hence, if society as we know it has to survive, men need to continue remaining slobbish, or learn how to cook (yeah, right!).

Posted in m@dness

The Married Friends

Boys mean friends when they say friends. Ask them what do they ‘mean’ by it and they would shrug? I asked!

They wouldn’t call everyday but be there the day you called.

They wouldn’t know what exactly to tell you about the color of your nail enamel but they’d never see just the dark circles over tears.

Guy friends after they get married are another story. Actually they are pretty hard to interpret. My closest/best guy friend is married to my closest/best girl friend so its alright. It kind of balances. Then, there other friends of mine who have got married and literally gone into invisible mode. They call ONLY when they need something or when they think their wives are not going to give them an answer or when suddenly they get reminded of your existence. Bah! It is quite irritating when people kind of push you away from their lives once they enter into matrimony. Its like they are scared of their wives! Ugh!!!!

Girls have best friends. Many of that. Ask them what it means? They would gush.

They’d exchange bands in school but forget voices that once held forbidden phone cradles and sneaked to console a broken heart.

They’d wait to have lunch at the canteen in college but wouldn’t bother taking a girlfriend for a lunch date.

They’d cry over the ‘Titanic’ sharing tissues but wouldn’t shelter an abandoned girlfriend.

Girlfriends after they married are a paradox. Do I need to explain more?!

Dear future husband, please don’t do that with your girl friends after you get married to me. I don’t want them cursing me. I trust you completely 🙂