Tag Archives: women issues

The Subtle Irony Of being A Woman!

 

Sanskrit, the mother of all Indian languages describes women in the following manner:

“Karyesu Mantri

Karmesu Dasi

Rupesu Laksmi

Ksamaya Dharitr

Snehesu Mata

Sayanesu Vesya

Sadkarma Nari Kuladharma patni (Pillai)

By which, the saying literally means that an ideal woman should be a minister in practical affairs, a slave in action, Goddess Lakshmi in beauty, mother earth in patience and  a prostitute in bed and so on.

This is how women have been treated for years and years. We have crossed centuries and ages in India, behind the myth that women here, are treated as Goddess Lakshmi, the four armed goddess of wealth, often depicted holding lotus flowers and an overflowing pot of gold. But where exactly have we reached? We have definitely ‘evolved’ from living as saints and hermits to a well civilised person, but this mythical concept of an ideal woman never changed. Do women get the same freedom? Think about it. Surely, we have come from using pigeons as a source of postman to email’s and messages, but the treatment of women never changed.

The very fact that I have to say ‘treatment’ of women is proof enough that we live in a gender biased society. She isn’t a commodity; she is a separate human being who has her own rights and freedom, who never needs to ask her father, brother, husband, boyfriend, fiancé, father-in-law or any male relative for that matter for any single thing. She has the right to live the way she wants to.

It is her life, it is her choice!!

As a male, we tend to get offended by this. Why not? It hurts our ego. We have stuck with this Sanskrit concept of an ‘ideal women’ only because it suits us and not her. We never stuck up with the concept of

‘Tvamev Mata Chapita Tvamev

Tvamev bandhu sakha tvamev

Tvamev vidya dravidam tvamev

Tvamev sarvam mama dev dev”

This virtuous concept we don’t accept and keep with ourselves, but the concept which should have changed years ago, is still with us. How many of you would dedicate this shloka to your parents today? I mean, yes you love them, and for now you might say that yes you would say this for them but honestly, think of it, would you literally go and say this to them? That you are everything to me?

But this other definition of ideal women seems to have stayed with us longer, way longer than it needed to be with us. The shloka was written ages ago, we have come a long way from it and we truly need to let that belief go. What happened in the yesterday, was in the past, it no longer needs to be with us. This has been our belief always, in everything except for this matter. Sure, women have been done wrong for ages in the past, but it does not need to remain so! Change is the constant!!!!

We don’t follow the old age rules any longer mentioned in the books of Manusmriti, Ramayana, Mahabharata or any other epic or myth then why do we still stick up for this age old saying.

In reality India’s women are discriminated against, abused and even killed on a scale unparalleled.

It’s a miracle a woman survives in India. Even before she is born, she is at the risk of being aborted due to our obsessions for sons.

As a child she faces abuse, rape and early marriage, and even when she marries, she is killed and abused for dowry. If she survives all of this, as a widow she is discriminated against and harassed for no fault of her own.

Any single one of you cannot deny that this does not happen in India, with or without the statistics.

Oh don’t even start me on statistics. You say that the numbers are reducing. I don’t believe it, because the old school person that I am, still likes to read newspapers instead of apps, and every day that I open the paper, I find headlines with ‘3 year raped and murdered’ ‘Women gang raped and dumped’ ‘A 100 year old raped, found dead’. We have crossed all boundaries, my friend. The gender doesn’t matter to men, but so does the number. These psychopaths have not spared any one, they select their predators from varying ages, from months old baby to a century old woman, and they have no guilt inside of them. A little girl who doesn’t even know that she will be able to speak one day, goes through something, which she will never know was wrong, and a woman who has seen everything, has greyed over all shades of life, sometimes is yet to see something more gruesome.

Seriously, are we evolving or are we simply going back to becoming animals?

Oh, no, I am not pointing at you, I am just stating the facts. You might not have done anything wrong.

But have you stopped anyone from doing this wrong?

Coming to an absolutely different perspective. I am still ashamed to see that we still have people blaming women for the things that occur to her. I mean, she gets raped “She was wearing obscene clothes”, she gets molested, “She was talking to men on the road, late in the night.” I mean if talking to someone in the night, or wearing revealing clothes is the issue then why are men never raped when wearing shorts or talking to a female in the middle of the night?

They talk of lose values. I don’t understand what are exactly loose values? The fact that a woman wears jeans or the fact that a man stares at her in a way which makes her uncomfortable to a point that she feels horrible to be born as a woman?

For god’s sake, and it is not even about wearing jeans. Bring me one woman, who says that she wears only sarees and suits and has never been mistreated and looked upon with hungry eyes.

Molestation and rapes are an issue here, accept it, and the sooner we change it the better for us.

Come to think of it, the trouble is not only from the unknown males; the women are not safe inside their own homes. Now, where do you think the problem lies?

“Don’t wear this, don’t go there. Don’t do this.” What if someone says this to a man? Would he follow this? Wouldn’t he be angry?

Yeah? Then women feel so too. It’s as simple as that.

A man wouldn’t like to be told what he should do, what he should wear, what career options he can pursue, what is the time by which he has to get home, then how would a woman like this?

She is just another human being whom we need to respect, that is all. She needs nothing else from us. She can be secure in her own regard, only if we as men change ourselves, because I don’t think she needs any kind of change in herself. She is marvellous.

She is beyond colour, shapes and sizes, beyond the colour pink, beyond kitchen walls, beyond the way she speaks and dresses up, she is who owns power, she is who can never be suppressed. She is who keeps on fighting. She is a free bird who celebrates herself every single day.

She is the woman, of whom, some men have been afraid, which is why they have been suppressing her.

We as a society need to stop this dominance, and let her fly of her own will, and accpet her as she says, she is.

I am a woman.

I am black, I am white,

I am wheatish.

I am a woman beyond colour.

A woman that you don’t desire.

 

I am fierce, I am wild,

I am not feminine, not masculine,

I am a woman, beyond qualities and quantities.

 

I am fat, I am too thin,

I have flappy breasts and heavy thighs,

I am a woman beyond any shape and size.

A woman that you don’t desire.

 

I am emotional, I am sentimental,

I, may be cry a lot,

I am a woman, who speaks her heart out.

 

I am a woman, not a commodity.

I have my own rights and decisions,

I am a woman who owns power.

A woman that you don’t desire.

 

I am beyond pink, beyond the kitchen walls,

I am beyond the dresses that I wear,

I am beyond the qualities that the society wants me to bear.

 

I am self-sufficient, relentless,

I am happy, I am sad.

I am a woman that has in her all.

A woman that you don’t desire.

 

I am a woman that has been smiling,

I am a woman that has been celebrating herself,

Every single day, not only on this women’s day.

 

I am a woman that you have been mistreating,

I am her, whom you have been supressing,

I am a woman who has still always been fighting.

A woman that you don’t desire.

 

I am a woman, you fucking idiot,

I can never be owned, never be chained,

I am a free bird.

 

I am a woman that you are scared of,

I am a woman that you can’t ever celebrate,

I am the women you always wanted to destroy.

A woman that you don’t desire.

 

Well, I do not care.

I am a woman of resilience.

I am the woman that can fly,

I am the woman, who pines to reach heights,

A woman that you can’t desire.

 

In conclusion, I would only say that I might not have brought forward any new point here, but all I hope in return is a new outcome the result of which would be a happy and free woman.

PS: This post is written form a male point of view, as a hope and belief that there are some men who think this to be true, and want to see the change which women have been dying to see since ages!!

*

Th post was originally written as a guest post for Mona and the poem was written in the event of celebrating Women’s day last year.

Advertisements

The Time I’m My Period.

Just the other day I shared a very powerful poem ‘Half World’ by a Telugu poet, and here I am today, sharing yet another AMAZING piece by a Tamil writer K. Geeta. Again I had to find the translation in English to read it, but here it goes.

The Time I’m My Period. (I am not sure with the title, my translation version says so.)

When the whole body is frozen into an abscess

When a private mount explodes silently

I make efforts vain to catch the pain in my grip

All of a sudden it gives a jolt

I in myself, solid becoming liquid

Then become a solid again

And then shattered to pieces.

Every month, having no other go

I transform myself into pain

Dead

Unable to plaster the wound that would’nt surface

Unable to grind the ribs into powder

Even unable to draw myself into a bundle of cosy sleep

Embracing the thirty-six hours of turbulence

Unable to remain a forced untouchable

Walking forward a few paces in civilisation

Becoming gasping leaps and sprints

Desiring to flatten the spine on the anvil

Toying with the idea

To bundle this bother with chains of iron

Again and again, once in every thirty days

Taking rebirths one after another

The period when crushed in gut-twisting agony

This period …

The problem does not lie only when people shy away with the topic, but even today their are many myths and beliefs associated with it. Not going into the details much here, I’d safely say that those beliefs should not be thrown on women, it’s on them if they believe in it or not.

Even today we have people who shy away with the topic of menstruation, and it is indeed a powerful poetry that I strongly stand by. Some people tend to take it so casually, never understanding the amount of pain that a woman’s body goes through and those hormonal changes which she is herself unaware of, in those days, every single month, almost her entire life.

The Subtle Irony Of Being A Woman!

Hello fellow bloggers and readers,

Today, I am thrilled.

The only reason for this is, a dear fellow blogger, PSEUDOMONAZ had invited me to write a Guest Blog Post for her page, and she has accepted and published my simple and very plain thoughts. She has a category “On the other side of silence’ where she posts wonderful pieces of writing concerning women. Do, visit her.

This being my first blog post, I am ecstatic.

Now, without boring you much, I will share the direct link to the post here, and if you do get a chance to read it, please let me know what you think about it.

https://pseudomonaz.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/on-the-other-side-of-silence-the-subtle-irony-of-being-a-woman/

Thanks!!

Half World!

Reading Indian Writing, I came across a wonderful Telugu poem. Unfortunately my lack of knowledge in language, forced me to read the English translation.  Nonetheless, it definitely reached my favourites.

I could not find it over the internet, but I take the liberty to share the translation here, which I found in a Pdf file.

 

Half World

Arthanareeswara – half woman, half Eswar

You say, or, half of the sky

Both sound the same.

Cleaving the globe vertically into two

Half light and half darkness

Darkness is only the shadow of light

That’s the lesson taught at school in childhood.

 

Three rooms in our home:

Drawing room, bedroom, and kitchen

One half is mine

For my hubby the drawing room

For me the kitchen

For us both, the bed

Responsibilities we share half-and-half

Bearing the baby mine,

Giving the family name, his.

 

When dusk falls

Shivers in the spine

Wailing hearts

On being raped

As though rising from graves

Before lamps run out of oil

Spent matchsticks

If these snigger and tease

If wan and feeling wretched

The differences aeon-long

Are those of light and dark.

 

Groping in the dark

Claiming half world as mine

How long can I feign Urmila’s* sleep?

Not in the answer sheets in the exams alone

For life too should a margin be given.

Life should be securely held and protected:

Even from the one to whom the heart is given.

 

(*Lakshmana’s wife in the Ramayana. She spends all her life in sleep during his exile.)

 

-S. Jaya

This reminds me of so many poets, Plath, Kamala Das… And all I can do is read this again and again.

 

Re-visiting; Re-reading.

I read this following poem time and again, very often, so often that by now I have most of the lines by heart and yet I do not get enough of it.

How can I? Because every time I read this, it gives me, well I won’t say new insight but the very same old feelings that I live with. The feelings are always there, they are ever present, only they come out or I let them come out not too often. These are the feelings I live with, most women live with.

Though there are some days when they flow so rapidly that I fail to control them, or give them a direction and on those days, I read, I read anything, and everything, I read poems, novels, stories, plays. I read this poem all over again.

Today is one such day, and I will share this once again. Because, I am flowing, I am hurting, I am smiling, because it’s all mine, because I am I.

An Introduction. 

I don’t know politics but I know the names
Of those in power, and can repeat them like
Days of week, or names of months, beginning with Nehru.
I am Indian, very brown, born inMalabar,
I speak three languages, write in
Two, dream in one.
Don’t write in English, they said, English is
Not your mother-tongue. Why not leave
Me alone, critics, friends, visiting cousins,
Every one of you? Why not let me speak in
Any language I like? The language I speak,
Becomes mine, its distortions, its queernesses
All mine, mine alone.
It is half English, halfIndian, funny perhaps, but it is honest,
It is as human as I am human, don’t
You see? It voices my joys, my longings, my
Hopes, and it is useful to me as cawing
Is to crows or roaring to the lions, it
Is human speech, the speech of the mind that is
Here and not there, a mind that sees and hears and
Is aware. Not the deaf, blind speech
Of trees in storm or of monsoon clouds or of rain or the
Incoherent mutterings of the blazing
Funeral pyre. I was child, and later they
Told me I grew, for I became tall, my limbs
Swelled and one or two places sprouted hair.
WhenI asked for love, not knowing what else to ask
For, he drew a youth of sixteen into the
Bedroom and closed the door, He did not beat me
But my sad woman-body felt so beaten.
The weight of my breasts and womb crushed me.
I shrank Pitifully.
Then … I wore a shirt and my
Brother’s trousers, cut my hair short and ignored
My womanliness. Dress in sarees, be girl
Be wife, they said. Be embroiderer, be cook,
Be a quarreller with servants. Fit in. Oh,
Belong, cried the categorizers. Don’t sit
On walls or peep in through our lace-draped windows.
Be Amy, or be Kamala. Or, better
Still, be Madhavikutty. It is time to
Choose a name, a role. Don’t play pretending games.
Don’t play at schizophrenia or be a
Nympho. Don’t cry embarrassingly loud when
Jilted in love … I met a man, loved him. Call
Him not by any name, he is every man
Who wants. a woman, just as I am every
Woman who seeks love. In him . . . the hungry haste
Of rivers, in me . . . the oceans’ tireless
Waiting. Who are you, I ask each and everyone,
The answer is, it is I. Anywhere and,
Everywhere, I see the one who calls himself I
In this world, he is tightly packed like the
Sword in its sheath. It is I who drink lonely
Drinks at twelve, midnight, in hotels of strange towns,
It is I who laugh, it is I who make love
And then, feel shame, it is I who lie dying
With a rattle in my throat. I am sinner,
I am saint. I am the beloved and the
Betrayed. I have no joys that are not yours, no
Aches which are not yours. I too call myself I.

Kamala Das. 

Three Day Quote Challenge; Day1.

I have been recently nominated for “Three Day Quote challenge” by the_aestheticspirit from- https://ecstacy49.wordpress.com and Natasha Tungare from- https://natashatungare.wordpress.com

The quote I am going to share is something that I read recently and have no idea as to who has written it, but I must say that I stand by it, 100000%. Some might agree with me, and some might just not stand to even give a little thought to it. But I will share it no matter what.

123

I don’t need to say anything else.

“Who am I?”

Preparing an essay on feminism I came across something which made me thinking, well, a lot of thinking happened after this. Nothing new, right? That is usually me, who keeps thinking on anything and everything.

So this is what I read today, a simple description on how women are depressed and what Friedan writes-

“I’ve tried everything women are supposed to do- hobbies, gardening, pickling, canning, being very social with my neighbours, — I can do it all, and I like it, but it doesn’t leave you anything to think about- any feeling of who you are. I never had any career ambitions. All I wanted was to get married and have four children. I love the kids and Bob and my home. There’s no problem you can even put a name to. But I am desperate. I begin to feel I have no personality. I am a server of food and a putter-on of pants and a bedmaker; somebody who can be called on when you want something. But who am I?”

I read a lot of things today, a lot which struck my mind and touched me but this dug something deep in my sub conscious mind.

That feeling, where you are absolutely helpless, when you don’t know what to do; when you question your own identity; that is absolutely depressing. And I do not have the courage to live with it. The point is I don’t ever want to have that kind of courage.

What would be the point of my life if I have to question my own identity?

You would say, why abruptly I am thinking so much, and why the question of identity? Nothing is wrong with my life, but this moved deep chords inside me.

I have never been too ambitious, no I won’t say I had no ambitions, I don’t even want too much from my life. No, I don’t want to get married and have four children, maybe I don’t even want to get married at all. May be I don’t even know what exactly do I want. But I just don’t want this feeling- the feeling of being desperate, the feeling that you can’t even name your problem, I don’t want to be that person who loses her personality, who just becomes a person who can be called on.

I cannot begin to think what it would be like to live where you don’t have anything to think about. Can you imagine, me, having nothing to think about?

I have always said, I have unending questions, that I am seeking answers, that I am searching for myself. This I can live with, a quest that might not end, where I am still searching for myself. But I might not be able to live with the question, “Who am I?” It is not even about living with that question. I don’t ‘want’ to ever live with that question.

maxresdefault.jpg