Kya kare kya na kare yeh kaisi mushkil hai!

If a girl wears a short dress.

Society: Where are your sanskaars?
If a boy harasses the girl wearing the short dress.
Society: She was asking for it.
If a girl who was harassed complains immediately.
Society: You look like a slut (as if “slut” is an insult), you were asking for it.
If a girl who was harassed gathers courage and speaks up after a long time.
Society: Why didn’t you speak up earlier?
If a girl who was harassed doesn’t complain
Society: See, it is your fault!
If the girl who was harassed is “attractive” and was wearing Western attire
Society: You are a slut. You were asking for it.
If the girl who was harassed is “ugly” and was wearing traditional clothes.
Society: You are a behenji. Who would harass YOU?
If a girl leaves the office early
Colleagues: I wish I were a girl! I would have left early too.
If a girl stays at office for work till late night
Society: If something happens to you, it’s your fault!
If a girl talks too much
Society: We can’t stand girls because they talk too much
If a girl doesn’t talk much
Society: Hey, why are you so quiet? Women are supposed to talk a lot! Be feminine!
If a girl wants to become a homemaker
Society: Tu toh pati ke paiso pe jeeti hai.
If a girl wants to be financially independent.
Society: You are selfish.
If girls demand separate ladies compartment
Society: You want equality and yet you want special privileges
If girls share the compartment with guys and if a guy harasses a girl
Society: It’s her fault! Girls should sit at home.
If a girl dresses up to impress boys
Society: If something happens to you, it’s your fault!
If a girl doesn’t dress up
Society: Girls MUST impress boys. That is the reason why you are alive!
If a girl dresses up for herself
Society: You are so selfish!
If a girl obsesses about her looks
Society: Girls are so self-obsessed!
If a girl doesn’t obsess about her looks
Society: Be feminine! Act like a girl! You have to impress guys.
If girls are against girls
Society: Girls can’t stand together!
If girls support girls
Society: Feminazis!
P.S. Girls, no matter what you do/what you wear, there is absolutely NO ESCAPE. As you can see, society gives contradictory messages to us, so that we are forever stressed about some IDEAL, which cannot exist (as it is full of contradictions). Doing what you love is difficult and stressful but listening to these endless contradictory messages is injurious to health!

Why Ranveer Singh’s dressing style is revolutionary

I have never understood the fixed notion of ‘gender’. In my teenage, I wondered why women can wear pants but men cannot wear skirts? I never dared to share these thoughts with my friends or family because I didn’t want to be mocked for having such weird thoughts.

Most men are afraid of associating themselves with anything feminine because in a patriarchal society, femininity is inferior to masculinity. In a culture where people say stuff like “Ladki hai kya? Mard ban, be a man!” or “Haath mein chudi pehenke rakha hai kya”. it is difficult to find men who embrace feminine things like nose rings or skirts. It takes guts for a mainstream Bollywood actor to be associated with feminine stuff. It takes guts for a mainstream Bollywood actor to say in his interview that he is hyper-sensitive.

We always think of revolution as something ‘big’. But revolution is also about the small choices that we make everyday. By choosing to embrace things that are associated with women, Ranveer Singh is changing the world, one outfit at a time.

Who are the people whose opinions matter so much to us?

We always worry about what people will think about us but we hardly think about who these “people” actually are. If we analyze deeply, we will find that we are mostly, subconsciously/unconsciously trying to impress white, heterosexual men. We might say that we want to impress our neighborhood aunty but let’s analyze: What if this aunty has a dark skin color and what if she is fat? What if she  is “unattractive”? What if she had body hair? What if she is a lesbian? Will her opinion matter so much to us? Now notice how the beauty standards are constructed. A conventionally beautiful woman is thin, fair-skinned, has no body hair, etc. So we are not looking at the neighborhood aunty for who she is…we are actually looking at her from the beauty constructs of white, heterosexual men.

To the Indian women’s cricket team


Dear members of the Indian cricket team,

No matter what happens today, you all are an inspiration to us. I have seen you playing World Cup matches in front of around 10 people in the stadium. I have read about female players who had to stay in hotel rooms with cockroaches. I have read about the battles you fight every day to be taken seriously. I have read about the sexism that you face everyday. I have read about your low salaries. I wonder what keeps you going. Then I saw your eyes and got my answer: It is your passion. Your passion for the game. Your passion for excellence. It is your passion that has got you through the dingy hotel rooms and the step-motherly treatment. I hope things get better for you all (and also the women’s cricket in general). All the best for the final!

To people who blindly follow Science

Scientists, dietitians, and doctors are also influenced by patriarchal culture.They are not Gods. They are subjective human beings who are conditioned by the society. A good example of this is the way some doctors fat-shame their patients.

Don’t be like religious fanatics! Be skeptical. Do your own research and be aware of bias. Remember that even the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association had once declared homosexuality as a disease!

The problem with ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’

‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’ is a nice movie but there are places where the message of ‘women empowerment’ feels like a joke.

1. Devasena, who epitomizes a strong, independent woman, says things like, “Why are you hiding in the back like women?” In other words, she wants men to stop acting like women (women=weak). This is a classic example of internalized misogyny.
2. The arrows of Devasena have a pink color on them while the arrows of Amarendra Baahubali have blue color. This is a classic example of gender stereotyping.
3. At the end of the day,  Devasena has no identity of her own. Just like Avantika in ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’ (click), Devasena begins her journey as an independent, strong woman but is ultimately defined by her relationship with men (girlfriend, wife, mother). It is all about Baahubali, his kingdom, his child, his strength and his revenge.

Sexism in IPL

IPL is a wonderful tournament but it is disappointing to see only female cheerleaders on the sidelines. There is nothing wrong with cheerleading…The problem is sexism (why can’t we have male cheerleaders)? By having only female cheerleaders, we are telling a generation of girls that they are only supposed to ‘cheer’ for men. Aren’t women expected to do this in every area of life? While the man reaches milestones in his career, the woman is supposed to sacrifice her dreams and ‘cheer’ for his achievements.

Experiment: People’s reactions to ‘Everyday Sexism’

I carry a book everywhere I go because 

a. It makes me feel safe

b. I want to read as much as I can

I am currently reading a book called ‘Everyday Sexism’. I didn’t want to test or judge anybody..that was not my intention (Okay, okay, I was judging people a little bit). But somehow, the book has gained  popularity amongst my colleagues. It slowly became an experiment…I began to understand others by the way they reacted to the book on my desk. Here are some of their reactions:

Colleague 1: What is this book? OMG..’Everyday Sexism’ (in a mocking tone). It’s pretty deep, huh? 

Colleague 2: Everyday Sexism..what is this about (this person seemed genuinely curious)

Colleague 3: This person just looked at the book, looked at me and went away

Colleague 4: ‘Baap re’ expression

Colleague 5: WTF expression

I guess I will be soon labelled a ‘Feminazi’ 😀 (I am a feminist and I don’t care if it is an uncool thing).

Don’t deify your mother

Deifying mothers is dehumanizing them. Human beings are entitled to be imperfect and it is cruel to expect them to sacrifice everything for others. If you really love your mother than stop expecting her to be selfless. Instead, embrace her flaws and her dreams.

Why homemakers are not paid for their services?

​Homemakers are expected to work without any pay because according to society, “the work is done out of love and money exchange shouldn’t happen in matters of love”. And yet, society doesn’t have any problem in measuring love and companionship when it comes to dowry. What happens to “love” when it puts out matrimonials with numbers like height, weight etc?