Is It Okay To Feel This Way?

In a revealing essay by Abigail Matson Phippard called ‘Staring at the Ceiling’ from the book ‘I Call Myself a Feminist’, she talks about her experience of working with victims of sexual violence and how she linked them back to the violence of her past. She shares about how heartbreaking it would be for her to listen to some atrocious stories. What she interestingly points out is that it was a common thing in women to be confused about violence. Abigail says,

I didn’t always want to do it everytime he wanted it. I found it difficult to tell him because he would get angry and upset and take it on his ego. Instead, I would just lie there, stare at the ceiling, I would disengage, offering myself as a hole for them to use.

Image Via Wikipedia: How to Say No To Sex: http://www.wikihow.com/Say-No-to-Sex

Women often wonder if it is okay to say ‘no’ when in bed with their partners. This confusion comes from the fact that we are never empowered to make sexual decisions. Whether it is seeking love or giving, we are to be the ones who are ‘shy’ and ‘can’t speak’ or ’emote’ our feelings about sex. It goes to such greater extent that we forget; that it’s our decision in the end. Cases are worse when it is with your husband because, in a patriarchal society, husbands own the wives, and she should be ready anytime she wants it. Continue reading “Is It Okay To Feel This Way?”

Where is the Love?

Disclaimer: This is a long, detailed, analytical piece about dating, relationships and marriages in India. I am solely responsible for the thoughts within.

Right at the lunchtime, the office bell rings. When the door is opened, you see a handsome dashing guy entering in, with a tiffin in his hands. He hands it over to one of the girls in the office. What follows next is a series of Whispers and giggles. As kids, we used to play this game called ‘Chinese Whispers’ where a phrase was to be told to one person, and a chain of conversation was to be formed with the same phrase. In this case, the phrase that reached me was ‘She found him on TrulyMadly’, giggled the person next to me. The phrase sounded like it was about a product on Flipkart but it was indeed about the guy. TrulyMadly is one of those dating apps. The app offers a number of games like ‘Foodie Funda’, ‘Hocus Pocus’, and vivacious stickers to express things you might or might not be able to ‘describe in words’. TrulyMadly is not alone in the race. Continue reading “Where is the Love?”

No offence but What the Sindoor?

Sindoor, Mangal Sutra, Red Bindi, Huge Green/Red Bangles and Ring in the middle finger- are some of the societal customs that signify that a woman is married. This is not a feminist rant. But two valid questions to think about:

1. Why exactly do we need anything that signifies a married person?
2. And if we really do, why exactly don’t we have such things for men?

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Bangles and Sindoor: Just for reference

 

And if you don’t find a valid answer, please- Think. These customs were perhaps made according to some thoughts by the people in the previous generation. I could call them mysoginists, and we could debate meaninglessly over that. But there’s no point (apart from historical analysis) in trying to find logic in that. But in today’s day and age, there’s no logic why these systems should exist today. We generally put marks and symbols on what we own, like our house or our cows, dogs, other cattle and pets. For a fact, a man does not own his wife so evidently there need not be any symbol representing a married woman.  Continue reading “No offence but What the Sindoor?”

Repeat After Me: Feminism is not Anti-Man and Men’s Rights Activism need not be Anti-Feminist either

Repeat After Me: Feminism is not Anti-Man and Men’s Rights Activism need not be Anti-Feminist either

“The banquet hall in the three-star hotel on the outskirts of Mumbai was crammed with tables and testosterone.”

begins the BuzzFeed article celebrating four women who are working towards supporting male rights. No problem. Men’s Rights Activist conference. So what could be a possible agenda in there? Hmm? Talking about how there are certain laws where men need help. Right. Talking about how to save genuine men who are falsely trapped into domestic violence and other false charges. Even better.

But no, they went ahead to make boards on display, called “Feminism is Cruelty”, “If Feminism was about equality, there won’t be any Men Rights Activist” and the epic: “Mother-in-law is also a woman”.

The debate isn’t about whether Men’s Rights activists are needed. I am sure there are. But here are my precise questions on articles like these: Continue reading “Repeat After Me: Feminism is not Anti-Man and Men’s Rights Activism need not be Anti-Feminist either”