Category Archives: Cause & Effect

Gaining independence but losing ground

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I have always loved and read this blog. And no, this is not a feminist blog. It is a blog with strong opinions. But if being honest and having strong opinions means a feminist, you need to read up on what feminism today has evolved to. I read the earlier post  and a girl’s email to it some days ago and it got me thinking.

It is true. We are slowly gaining a lot more ground in terms of economic independence and the capability of making decisions.  I look around and see most of my colleagues and friends who are single which is fantastic as they are taking their time and exploring various nuances to find the right person. When one says right person, I assume, that person means right in nature and thought. Someone who would not want to change you. Someone who would respect your space, especially in a economic context and so on. The manifestations of these (what should be normal but are quite rare) thoughts are things like respecting your parents, not patronizing you, considering your input while making a decision, not forcing  to do anything you wouldn’t want to do. This should also hold true for women I assume.

But what I see instead is that women want all these fabulous traits in men but can rarely spot them. Not because they do not exist but because women might not like how the wrapping looks. Women still want rakishly good looking men who were bad boys till they met these specific men, then, the women would change them and make those men what they want. That is worse because, at least, earlier women were clear on what they wanted and went after what they wanted. They spend their lives changing men (muttering about wars and battles) and that was life for them.

For a single woman, in a society not ready to handle single women after a certain age, this fake  feminism and liberalization can be cloying. Because, then every year someone who knows someone is getting married at (Oh my god! lucky her) 34, the predominant sigh of relief is “Thank god, HER search is over”. Because there are liberated women, as a friend calls them, in control of their shakti, but reduced to all manner of pandering for finding that divorced man, because she herself is now divorced!

Because brides, now, in the midst of their mehendi, turn around and announce that feminism is bullshit, forcing other potentially strong and speaking-their-minds women cowering into a corner. Women who run businesses but struggle to lose weight and achieve the shape they think they should be and wonder why are they unmarriagable. Women are labelled divorced (likening it to something bad) because ‘she feels so strongly about men’.

Have you ever encountered these women?

Opinion or truth?

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Sometimes when I want less clamour, I come to my blog. Which is perhaps not how blogs are projected. But hey, it’s my space.

Recently Twitter and other offline forums have been talking about The Goa Think Fest by Tehelka. So it got me reading.

Here are some links that show you one side of what are presumably many sides.

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Link 4

Link 5

Do remember that these are all opinions, not the entire truth. Remember that when it colours your opinion.

That big, brave world

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Reading this interview made me think how sterile a rape can be in reportage. There is talk of doctors, swabs, semen, DNA and many other technical things but none of them ever talk about what it is actually is, a power trip really. You might want to read this too.. it proves, at least, to some degree that women are the worst critics for women.

Though I have to be honest. When the Shiney Ahuja news broke, I remembered thinking he may be guilty of cheating on his wife but having consensual sex with any other woman cannot be construed as rape just because he reneged on promises he made to the woman. That was my initial thought but since the blogs and media have made the issue murkier and now I do not even claim to know what may have happened exactly.

Even the Madhur Bhadarkar case was fashioned from similar circumstances. It usually pisses me off when women claim rape or any form of abuse because some promise has been reneged on and they have already dispensed with the favours, usually sex. To give Preeti credit, she had filed a cheating case on him but it seemed (through the coverage) that she was accusing him of rape. It seems to be a favourite method to claim the slighting of the Indian culture.

There doesn’t seem to be a conclusion to this in my head but  it is upsetting to see how the real issue almost always gets buried in any form of journalism today, for a better headline, it seems…

Repetition is the way to go.

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Like everything, the Internet is also full of many of many strong opinions. I used to always wonder why does one have to hammer home a point? And here I do not only mean the internet. If I have an opinion and I express it and you and I debate on it (whatever the result), the learnings stay with you and me (expectedly), forming our opinions in the future. No?

Little did I know.

For every opinion or advice that clashes against a deeply held belief (otherwise known as conditioning), expressing (and convincing) once is never enough. It is (and will be) a life long battle where at every opportunity you get and every instance you can, you will ensure that you undo what has taken so many years to form. One line of reason is never enough. It may be for you but when you fight conditioning, repeated reasoning and constant back and forth, where you repeatedly prove you point, only to accept that again in the near future you will have to do that same, is normal.

I feel a familiar rise of ‘oh no here we go again’ every time I hear some trademarked sentences.  I brace myself to use the same sentences and arguments every time, no matter if the people have heard it before. Because sometimes repetition means it will stick. Repetition means some of all the people present will think about what you said. Some may wonder why does she keep saying the same things over and over again. Some may agree and try and change their surroundings. You never know where it makes a difference.

That is why I like this blog so much. She (for most issues) is very clear and constantly reiterates what she thinks, linking and cross linking, patiently explaining her point of view, without grudging repetition and saying the same things over and over again. I used to wonder why. Sometimes when you agree with a certain point of view, you tend to become dismissive of people who aren’t on the same page as you. More so on the internet because it is a relatively one-sided medium. Having come from different groups in my near past who say similar things over and over again and me having to repeat things over and over again has made me appreciate her tenacity much more. And the tenacity of a lot of other friends who knew what they were doing when they were younger and still knew what it was like to fight for a cause.

I was once told to show patience if I wanted to change mindsets and I think I understand that implication today. I may not like it but it could eventually lead to some change. Perhaps that is what it means to give your life for a cause.