Posts

Are the 2 ‘Queens’ of our Entertainment Industry Feminist Icons?

Image
Source: www.filmitadka.in, CC BY-SA 3.0, LinkSource: Bollywood Hungama,CC BY 3.0, Link

Are all influential women automatically Feminists?
I have been wondering about this for a while.  Of course men can also be Feminists. But do we confuse power with Feminism when it comes to women? Let us try and figure this out by taking examples of two women who are at the top of their game: Ekta Kapoor – the undisputed Queen of TV and Kangana Ranut- Queen of the Hindi film industry (in more than one way)
I must confess that I love listening and/or reading interviews of powerful women of today. It gives me a lot of motivation to follow my own path. While Kangana Ranaut has been in the news very often owing to her outspokenness, it was a recent TED talk by Ekta Kapoor that made me realize that Ekta Kapoor also has had to break some barriers to reach the position she is in right now. She may be rebuked for her regressive serials and her intense beliefs in religious rituals, astrology and numerology

Patriarchy's Deep Roots

Image
Possibly a system that emerged out of insecurity,
An attempt to protect now is authority.
The father is supreme and the son gets the property.
Rules and norms further intensify the disparity.
Independence and equality shall be doom, is the prophecy.
As they whistle and stare they also preach morality.
Rape is the culture that worships virginity.
Can’t see the gaps in rights, pay or opportunities?
Humiliation, guilt and blame are tools to tame the temerity.
You know we are talking to you. Spare us the insularity.
*The above poem has been written in the Acrostic style of poetry where the first letters of each line spell out the word.
Patriarchy is an invisible monster and as a society we need to put an end to the power struggles it propagates. When we trust and believe in one another, we will all be able to grow. It’s not idealism, it’s practicality. More women in the workforce will only lead to more prosperity. 
As per this year’s Economic Survey, we have made significant improvements in gender …

One for all and all for one: Feminists & the Queer (Poem)

Image
Equality does not discriminate.  The rights of the woman or man  Or the queer one’s fate  Is not for the supreme power  To calculate. 
There is need to educate.  Being born as a girl  And not a boy, does not make you inadequate.  Being queer is natural,  It’s not a joke or illness, so don’t humiliate. 
We must contemplate.  Why the queers are not allowed  To procreate.  They also can’t marry or parent  Lest they contaminate? 
Accept, don’t differentiate.  Let her race wearing her spikes Or lead in her heels in a corporate She can choose to marry or not Or celebrate her same sex soul mate.
Recognize talent that’s innate. 
Why stare at her assets  Or laugh at his effeminate voice to subjugate?  Equal pay for equal efforts  Should be a basic mandate. 
Victory is but a stalemate.  Misogyny and Homophobia  Reduce us to slave state.  The same traditions and customs  Also make you suffocate. 
Time to embrace and liberate.  Aren't we all Just as ‘queer’ as we are straight?  Ditch the binary. Adopt the plural.  Let us give…

In the 'Name' of Gender Inequality

Image
We are not born with a name. It is a social construct. But it forms a huge part of our identity. Ideally it is only in unavoidable circumstances that one would change it. 
What are the reasons why men would change their name? 
1) For want of a better name: Parents named you Chintu? Simple enough reason for a man of legal age to change his name! 
2) For easy pronunciation: Indian names with many syllables are very difficult to pronounce making it difficult for its bearer to want to survive abroad – so Kalpen Suresh Modi split his first name to become Kal Penn. I wonder if Chan Kong-Sang would have been as famous as the Jackie Chan if he had not changed his name! 
3) For a certain gravitas: Of course we know a lot of Hindi film actors who changed their names to add some persona to their names: Harihar Jethalal Jariwala became Sanjeev Kumar, Jaikishen Kaku Bhai became Jackie Shroff (Jackie seems to be a very lucky name but err...did not work for Jackky Bhagnani did it? Oh but …

The Woman Who Cried Marital Abuse

Image
‘She is a woman with loose morals. She tortured me. She has no respect for me.’ If you hear a man say these words how would you react? 
Now what if I just change the perspective – 
‘He is a big flirt. He tortured me. He hasn’t treated me like a wife.‘ 
Has your reaction changed? 
These were the words that Hasin Jahan, wife of Indian cricket speedster Mohammed Shami uttered. And the world has declared her a liar. At least in the Aesop’s Fable ‘The boy who cried wolf’, the shepherd boy is given 3-4 chances before he is considered a liar. 
Why is a woman who claims of having faced marital abuse labelled a liar right at the outset? 
Nobody knew who Hasin Jahan was until she came forth regarding a domestic violence and adultery against Shami. (Read about the case details here.) On the other hand, her husband is an Indian cricketer and hence a celebrity of sorts. So there could be only one motive she could have had: to get publicity. 
Celebrity men can do no wrong 
And if we consider the reverse…

All are equal in the eyes of the law...or are they?

Image
In this blog post I will try and as comprehensively as is possible in a blog post, assess whether our Indian Legal system reflects the true spirit of Feminism or not. In case you would like to know more, please click on the hyperlinks throughout the post for in-depth study.

Purpose of Law
The law of the land is meant to guide people along the path of acceptable behaviour. Those who stray from the path become liable for punishment. It also upholds the rights of all of its people. 
The Origin: The Constitution of India
The Constitution of India is the holy grail of the Indian Legal System. It is the supreme law. It bestows Equality, Freedom, Fraternity and Justice upon the citizens of India. It lays down the basic framework based on which every other law in India has been enacted. No law can be passed in our country if it does not agree with the Constitution of India.
Now Article 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India touch upon Equality
Article 14:Equality before Law
“The state shall no…

Is Feminism killing Femininity?

Image
Through this post I would like to answer the important question: Is Feminism killing Femininity?
What is Feminism really?
Feminism believes in Equality. It anti-injustice
Feminism questions gender norms. It condemns patriarchy and empowers women
Feminism does not propagate supremacy of women. Neither is it anti-men. Nor is it against our culture. 
Now let us see why some people think that this egalitarian principle is considered anti-feminine and whether this assumption holds any water. 
Feminists don’t like girly things
Here is the first paragraph from Wikipedia on Femininity
Femininity (also called girlishness, womanliness or womanhood) is a set of attributes, behaviours, and roles generally associated with girls and women. Femininity is partially socially constructed, being made up of both socially-defined and biologically-created factors. This makes it distinct from the definition of the biological female sex, as both males and females can exhibit feminine traits.
It sure seems …