Meet the Wonder Man

‘Meet the wonder woman’ is the subject line of a mail I received today. It was from a women only initiative started in our office. It was reffering to our company CIO with whom the meeting was arranged. The things mentioned about her are :

CIO

Doting daughter-in-law

And Of Course a Loving mother and a responsible Life partner

Just take a look at it. Now, let us alter the gender. It will look something like this:

Meet the Wonder man

( That really sounds weird. It is Women who are supposed to handle all the tasks at a time with a smile of course!)

CEO

Doting son-in-law 

(Won’t it be translated to the most dreaded Ghar Jamai or Joru Ka Ghulam?)

And Of Course a Loving father and a responsible Life partner

(Who cares about what kind of a family man he is? He is a successful MAN after all!!)

Note that It is not important that a woman is CIO. It is necessary that she should be a good wife, mother and daughter-in-law first. What makes me sad is that it is a women initiative.. Women here mean Mother, daughter, sister, wife, daughter-in-law. It never means an individual. Our CEO is never introduced to us as ‘Loving father, devoted husband,…’ etc. He is a man.

But, Alas!! I will never get to see this!! A man is an individual after all. His success will not be measured with how much time he spends with his family.

A similar thing was said on a radio station- ‘Sakhi Saheli’ on Vividh Bharathi‘. It was for women and girls all across India. They discussed issues like girl education, careers, house hold tips, cooking, poetry etc. A girl had sent them a letter saying that she doesn’t want to get married soon as it might come in the way of her career. The RJs (They must be ambitious ladies I am sure) said that it was not necessary that you will face difficulties after marriage in pursuing a career. You can always hold a job unless it doesn’t interfere in your role as a motherIt is heart breaking that the first and foremost duty of a woman is considered to be ‘a mother’. And, it is the women that girls will look up to, suggesting this.

When this is the thinking of people upholding women’s rights, a common man would be worse. The people in my family and who are close to me think that a woman is born to have children and to nurture them. They go on and on about various benefits of being a mother (Of course in after life). Tell them anything different about what a woman can achieve, it falls on deaf ears.

Kalpana Chawla  was first Indian-American astronaut and first Indian woman in space. 

So what ? She flew to the space and died. What is the use?…. (Laugh)

So, you gave birth to two or three kids. You will die someday too. You might not even get a chance to fly in an aeroplane before you die. What is the use?

I won so-and-so prize in so-and-so competition

So what is the use of all this? 

Right!! Unless I have, like a hundred children you will not understand ‘What is the use?’

There is no use how successful I become. People will always look at me sympathetically – Ohh.. She doesn’t have a husband or a child.. Actually, my friends do that already. Ohh.. you have no boyfriend…  I do not need a boy friend or a husband or babies to determine my worth. I am an individual. I deserve success without sympathy. I would hate to be the wonder woman! But yes.. I would very much like to meet the wonder man. Someone who thinks of me as an equal and more importantly respects me as an individual. Some one who is a doting son-in-law, loving father and a responsible life partner!

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And here is why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home.

Totally agreed!!

The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

Sharing an email. 

‘Is this love where you want to follow the society more than your children’s happiness?’

Hi IHM ,

I frequently visitor and replier on your post. Your posts have cleared my thought process a lot and seriously I think a lot on marriage. I have written a very long post.

I am not able to understand, why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home.

Sometimes I feel that seriously our parents love us or are we also a social responsibility to be completed? I am not a parent neither I am married so I cannot answer this question. But I am daughter and sometimes I really think that they are simply fulfilling their social responsibility.

In my family we are only two sisters and no brother. Never my parents tried for son. But their expectations are no different from us. My friend’s…

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Marriage conversations

These are the conversations which include the topic ‘marriage’ with my male friends.

This is the most irritating to hear from people who know me well. 

Me : Your girlfriend’s parents are searching a bridegroom for her right?
He : Yeah! What can be done? I cannot think of marriage for at least 4-5 years.
Me : Why?
He : I have to focus on my career. I have to achieve something.
Me : Hmmm.. My parents want me to marry soon.
He : Isn’t it great! Get married then.
Me : I too cannot think of marriage now.
And the guy stares at you as if he has seen a ghost. Or gives you that smile ‘You will be married whether you like it or you don’t.’ And why not?! My only dream should be to get married and stay married. Anything else said or done is considered completely ridiculous.

Here comes one more which I bet every girl must have heard and agreed to (I am surprised at how many girls agree to this happily!!)

Me : Hope I pass the exam/interview.
He : But I have to pass this. It is extremely necessary for me.
Me : Why?
He : We have to get job. You girls have other option.
And the guy will grin thinking MARRIAGE!!

And there are a few who understand that we too are human beings and can have dreams, goals, aspirations..

When I heard my close friend saying that I have other ‘option’, I asked him why does he assume that? I am ambitious and he knows it. Why is it that even then my opinion is chucked aside? He not only stopped passing such comments but intervened when other boys said that to me or other girls. I am proud of him for that.

 

 

 

 

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Thoughts on arranged marriage

We have a great culture that ensures that safety comes first. We are not allowed to talk to strangers. We are not allowed to accept chocolates from strangers. We are taught not to trust any stranger. But it is absolutely fine to sleep with a stranger !! ( In fact, its a must.. What kind of bride refuses sex to her husband on first night?? )

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First encounter with feminism

  We believe in several things because we are made to believe in them. I was speaking to high school girls. They were shocked when I said that my friend was followed when she was in burkha, covered head to toe. They found it funny that old ladies can be raped. One girl said its impossible for them to remain unmarried, after all they were girls. There were similar  comments from many others.

Girls should stop attending school after puberty because … boys will be there at schools.

Oh!! You don’t know cooking?? You are an Indian girl, you have to cook someday for your family.

A two year old got raped – Her life is ruined!

Acid was thrown at a girl- she shouldn’t have provoked the guy!

That boy doesn’t go out and shop things for home?- make him wear his sister’s dress.

That girl wears jeans like boys?- tell her she’ll be raped!

It was very much understandable that she was honour-killed!- she was going to have a love marriage!

You should always cover your breasts, because no matter how good a guy is, he will always check out your breasts first! You should always make sure that boys never know that you have got periods.

You should not make boyfriends, they’ll use and throw you.

That girl doesn’t want to marry?- she must be shy, that is all.

She still doesn’t want to marry? Tell her about that aunt who stayed alone because she was career oriented and now she feels so alone and unsafe.

   I believed all this. I think all girls do. We believe because we haven’t seen anything different or we are not shown anything different. We are in a closed room where we are taught and brought up in a certain way and made to believe that this is the only way to life. When people tell you not to read a particular book, not to watch a particular programme/movie, not to dress a particular way, not to go out at some particular time or to some particular lane, not to make friends with someone…they ensure that you remain in this room so long that you never even have access to any different thoughts. You become what they want you to be. You remain where they want you to remain, in the room, without any knowledge of the existence of any other world other than your room.

 girl-looking finally

  I met a woman who brought a different world to me. A world I never thought existed. She was from London. I must have been 14 when I met her. I didn’t have much idea about what life was. But everything she said made sense.

   She said that there in London, you can wear what ever you want, even short skirts and no one bothers. Here, the more you are covered, the more men try to peep into you/ touch you. I was fourteen and I knew what this was. When ever I went in bus, there would be a hand grabbing my hip or touching me. I don’t know if what she said was true. I will know when I go to London myself. But sure it was a new world to me. It was a world where you could walk without the fear of being molested.

   She told me that her daughter wanted to go star gazing. She thought it was a stupid thing that teenagers did. They went near a beach at night and gazed at stars. She allowed it even if she thought it was stupid. She felt that kids should feel free to talk about anything and everything they want. Her son knew that it was a function for the coming up of age of his cousin. She was proud that he could talk about it. It was a world where you dint have to hide your napkins all time.

   She said she talked to her daughter about love and attraction. She said the best thing I have ever heard-‘I don’t want my daughter to fall for the first boy who smiles at her.’ That’s how I would like to raise my daughter someday. It is a world where you don’t have to hide things. You can love. You can make mistakes and still have your mom beside you. No forced arranged marriage or no fear of honour-killing.

     She asked me how I felt about arranged marriages where you marry someone you met only once or without having met sometimes. I said I haven’t thought about it. She said that I must be too young to understand that. (Now if I think of it, my cousins were married at the age of 16!) She told me of her relative, a woman who was forty years old and unmarried. She would joke about the boys that were lined up for her. She was happy with her life and didn’t want to marry just anyone. And we thought that if girls don’t marry they are unsafe and are under threat of rape and murder. We just didn’t know that there were nuns who didn’t marry at all. There was mother Teresa everyone admired. But no one wished a daughter like her. We didn’t know about the domestic violence and even worse, marital rape which isn’t even a crime. It was a world where a girl was not just a burden, born to be married off and bear children.

    She spoke about how students start earning for themselves to fund their studies and no job was less than any other job. A world where you could make your own choices.

    I ‘m sure there will be many ugly things there too. There is rape and murder everywhere. But I see very few such moms here. I don’t see such society at all. I have started dreaming of a world better than what it is now. A world very different from the room I have lived in. A world where I will not have to account for every breath I take, every thought I have or everything I do. A new world…

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Feminists Are Funny: 13 Quotes.

The best post ever!!!

Paula vs Patriarchy

Contrary to (disillusioned) popular belief, feminists are not always exasperated and screaming.
Well, most of the time we are. But when we are not, we are pretty god damn funny.

  1. “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute.” – Rebecca West
  2. “No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor.” – Betty Friedan
  3. “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” – Marie Shear
  4. “I refuse to believe that trading recipes is silly. Tunafish casserole is at least as real as corporate stock.” – Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
  5. “I think, therefore I’m single.” – Lizz Winstead
  6. “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” – Coco Chanel
  7. “Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive…

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