Boys Will Be Boys

Laxmi was sweating. She was doing the dishes and finishing her daily chores. Today marked the payday. Generally, people are ecstatic about this day, but not Laxmi. She was getting flashbacks of the same time last month. She was well aware of the drill.

She would finish work and go home. After a tiring day, she wouldn’t have the luxury of even sitting down for a cup of chai, but will directly get to cooking for her hungry 2, 4, 7, and 10-year olds – all of this while avoiding the eyes of Ramu, her husband sitting with a bottle yelling abuses. She doesn’t want the day to get over, her husband to hit her, to snatch the money, and to give double the pain after the children have slept than all of it put together in the day, for him to sleep with a smug face. While no one is out there to listen to the cacophony in her heart.

Because we live in a country where “Boys will be boys” is a valid undertone, and ‘raping wife’ is not even a reasonable concept!

*******

It was about 10 pm. Little black dress, tall black drink. It was just supposed to be a super-chill evening at a high-society club – a treat to herself at the end of a hectic successful week. She was in the middle of the dance floor, matching her movement with the music.

It was then that she felt a grip. She was disgusted. She tried to free herself, but the hands were too firm for her tipsy brain. She tried to resist, to shout, to struggle. No! Don’t! Leave me alone! But to no avail.

It’s only when she woke up she wailed. It was a cold parking lot, with her clothes torn, her hair awry, her heart yowling in pain, in disgust, in weakness.

Because we live in a country where “Boys will be boys” is a valid undertone, and holding a drink is an invitation.

*******

raf750x1000075te5d6c5-f62bbf65ee-u4Hanging her school bag, she was waiting for the rickshaw to come. For her, the day is darker than the night. Every morning is a struggle, to accept something that disgusts her as a norm.

Every day she is touched by the driver in the ways she doesn’t even holds her dolls. She doesn’t like it, she doesn’t understand what is happening, and she knows it is very painful, but she doesn’t know a way out.

After all, she had tried telling her Mum about it when her uncle visited. But her Mum shushed her and told her to not tell anyone! The sooner you accept, the better it will be for you. Playing with her dog she always wondered how wonderful her life would have been had she been able to switch it to that of the dogs’.

Because we live in a country where “Boys will be boys” is a valid undertone, and being a GIRL is living a life that of an object!

*******

Because “Boys will be boys” till someone teaches them to be more.

War On Women

We live in a country where female feticide exists- and in a much larger way than we can even imagine. We live in a country where one half of the population lives in fear. We live in a country where “boys will be boys” is a justified excuse for rape. And then they say feminism is bullshit.

Feminism: (n) A radical belief that women are people.

In a jiffy, feminism is exactly just that. But now this word has various connotations, various reactions, various perspectives, and largely a very mocked about implication. If you believe women are as human as human beings can get, you are a feminist! If you say you aren’t a feminist, then the only explanation to that is that you don’t believe women are people – which includes Kim Kardashian. And there is something majorly wrong with that – not Kardashian, but the belief!

But clearly, feminism has a clear PR problem. There is a whole lot of confusion in the way this movement has been executed, and understood – and that according to me is responsible for its downfall. There are two kinds of feminists:

  • Anti-man: You don’t have to be anti-man to be a pro-woman!
  • Anti-woman: You don’t have to be an anti-traditional-woman to be a pro-feminist (only modern haan.)

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As women you are not supposed to do everything that men do – that just validates the fact that what they do is what people must do (men people) – and then the movement is against the people who are a part of that movement. Do you see how much confusion that creates – like, even in that sentence? So, stop! Stop doing everything that they do – just to prove a point. Do it if you like it. I mean why not, go ahead and make the whole world double meaning in your head. But because you want to, and not because they do and so I would too!

I think only women can make this entire world women-friendly, while they are also the most important section that is not letting this happen. I mean I know women who would say – “I am a feminist. I earn my own money. I am not a housewife”. You have got it all wrong, woman! Feminism is about respecting individual woman’s choices – that ranges from occupation to clothing. It’s not dictating it. That’s what the movement is against, remember?

It is we women as mothers and/or grandmothers who have enforced time restrictions on our daughters and not on our sons. It is we women as mothers-in-law who do not wish to seek happiness in the choices that our daughters-in-law makes, just because we didn’t have the liberty in our time (college raging mentality). It is we women as a friend, a confidante, an acquaintance or a stranger judging other women’s choice of fashion, choice of lifestyle, and choice of occupation.

People do not realize you can be a feminist and pro-life. You can be a feminist and a stay-at-home mom. You can be a feminist and choose to adorn a burkini. You can be a feminist and be calm and peace-loving.

WeMen

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Happy Women’s Day, Ladies!
That was last week, I hear you say!
Ain’t it our day any other day anyway? I can hear some laughter. Oh those are from the men, women giggle! Some of you are agreeing. Some don’t mind it, since you are anyway availing to a weeklong women’s day offer almost anywhere you go! While others so busy calling themselves WeMen that they forgot to celebrate their womanhood! Wohoo to you, feminists!
Which of the above are you? Or are you like me, who wonders how can people not see the hidden mock that women’s day is all about? All round the year we cry about feminism, want to be equal with men, but don’t see how off the track women’s day is!
Anyway, there are various ways in which people celebrate women’s day! Apart from the fact that it is a very corporate way of approaching something to hide your views about the same (that you practice all round the year), it also formulates a great marketing strategy. Amidst various rallies, get-togethers, kitty parties, award functions, felicitations, and discussion, I was a part of a women’s day program held at NEC, Nashik.
The program constituted of various panel discussions around the plentiful hassles and numerous aspects in the life of a “working” woman.  It is just sad when even today we have to classify a woman as per her daily schedule, and there is not even an ounce of acceptance of the fact that they are at par with anyone or anything, and that this discussion needs to rest for a bit!
The topic of one of the three panel discussions was Work-Life Balance of a working woman, or a working “mother” so to say. As if a working man is not a working “father” at all! There was a lot of discussion, ideas, and life-hacks, et al. on how all of them on the stage and a few people from the audience tackled this society-induced problem! Few of them insisted on prioritizing, a few spoke about marrying a “supportive” husband (ha!); some were of the opinion that “one cannot have it all.”-which, by the way, is saddest and the most oh-I-am-so-victimized kind of a response that I know of!
Amidst all this mumbo-jumbo, I couldn’t help but think how all these women couldn’t notice what the real issue was and who the hidden culprit was:
It is WE WOMEN as mothers, or as grandmothers, who have raised our sons to succeed in life, and our daughters to multi-task housework while succeeding in life!
Isn’t it?
If we have taught our son to differentiate between “worldly” responsibilities, and “household” responsibilities, how can we expect the husband of our daughter to have an open mind about it? A few recent advertisements on TV have really tacked this issue well, and I cannot emphasis more! It is only when we change our teachings, our upbringing, our lifestyle, can we imagine living in a place where there is no different concept of a “working-woman” and a “house-husband”! I hope to see that day. Amen.
P.S. – Happy Left-handers Day today! Point-less? So is Women’s day!