#MeToo

So often its written about sexual harassment and about being abused as a child. I believe social media will set us free in many ways and bring a lot of taboos out of the closet. I realise not everyone can speak so openly and freely about it. But we’ve all experienced it.

The guy who smacked you hard across the chest as he went by on the bike so that you secretly nursed a purple breast for weeks. The man who just randomly thrust a hand between your legs as you climbed up ahead of him into the bus. The doctor who under cover of his stethoscope, felt up your non-existent 11-year-old chest. The colleague who always insists on bending over you and trying to look down your shirt. The uncle who pulls a 21-year-old girl into his lap and strokes her thigh, calling her beta all the while. The lecherous cousin your parents insisted would chaperone you to tuition.

There are plenty of people wondering how the #MeToo tag helps. Who think it is a waste of time. It helps because women who would NEVER have acknowledged it, or written about something of this sort have shared it today. And that is a big deal for them. It frees them from the burden of what feels like a deep dark secret. I’m watching the #MeToos pop up on my Facebook wall and I’m not surprised. And yes, there are men too.

No tag, no effort is perfect and complete in itself. So if this made you talk about the effectiveness of such a campaign, if you came up with the idea that people who have harassed other men or women should run a me too campaign, whatever, then that too, is proof that it worked. Just like an #IceBucketChallenge gave birth to a #RiceBucketChallenge.

Let’s not bitch about why something doesn’t work. If it’s made you think, then *you* improve on it. *You* start your own hashtag. *You* change your DP on Whatsapp. And it would have achieved its purpose.

Solidarity, strength in numbers, gaining and giving others the courage to speak out, a hashtag could do a lot – sure, it’s not “the ultimate solution” but it’s one more step in breaking the culture of silence, which in turn perpetuates the problem. And it speaks of the magnitude of the problem, which it says it has set out to do.

Change will come, slowly but surely.

#MeToo and a #MeToo again for those who can’t.

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Diagnose a crime

Many of my friends are initially going to be upset with what I start out saying, but it will make sense if you read it to the end.

The killing and mayhem at the concert in Las Vegas was heinous, brutal, evil, despicable, and should be categorically condemned by every decent human being. The incident elicits revulsion, horror and terror, *but it is not terrorism*.

I believe that the law enforcement agencies may be correct in not categorizing it as an act of terrorism. This has nothing to do with whether the mass murderer was white, black, yellow, brown, or fifty shades of beige. It has to do with the definition of terrorism, and subsequently with how law enforcements need to deal with it.

Terrorism is not about inflicting terror. It is not about the scale of the mayhem, but about motive. Terrorism, by definition, is about inflicting terror *as a strategic means to a political end*.

In the world of law enforcement, categorizing an incident does not end with identifying the act, but is a beginning towards enforcing (and amending, if necessary) the policies, frameworks, and activity to anticipate, detect, and prevent such incidents in the future.

The frequency of such events in the recent past is frightening. These are symptoms of a new disease that must be diagnosed correctly so it can be eradicated. The reason I find this more frightening, is because terrosim has context, connections, threads that can be unravelled and followed to the source. This is much more frightening, and the measures to counter this will necessarily be more invasive and intrude further into every individual’s personal space.

To misdiagnose a crime is to initiate the wrong preventive measures. To society, it is as fatal as misdiagnosing a brain tumor as a migraine.😥

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Problem Child??!!

It always breaks my heart when I hear someone described as the “problem child” in their family. It has been my experience that the rest of the family are usually the (creators and) maintainers of the undertow that pulls the “problem child” under. Problem Child expresses all the family dysfunction.

Sometimes, someone who gets labeled as that has issues that have nothing to with what someone else did or did not do or for or to them and to blame “the family” for that is sometimes unfair. That said, I’m not fond of the label.

I’ve read somewhere that in family therapy, many times the dysfunction of a child is a manifestation of the dysfunction of the parent’s marriage, and you have to treat the marriage in order to adequately address the child’s issues.

Yes!

It’s a matter of changing the reasons for your behavior to fit within your value system, so you’re doing it “for you” and not “against anyone.”

Not that anyone needs to justify their behavior to anyone, but if pressed to explain, it’s often far stronger to draw boundaries by explaining that you’re doing it for yourself and not because of anything the other person is doing.

The phrase: “it’s not you, it’s me” often seems like a cop out when you’re breaking up with someone, like you’re trying to preserve someone else’s feelings, but when it’s honest, it does reflect a firmer foundation for action when your motivation comes from within. It reminds me of the extrovert who didn’t want to marry the introvert and used the Netflix incident to call it quits when “it’s me it’s not you” would have worked more strongly and blocked appeals for second chances.

As people age, they have fewer life choices. Some respond to this by becoming more adamant in those decisions. They see questioning those choices as judgment on their competency to make those decision.

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Double standards

Many people in India lead double lives, have double standards, and use words which often have double meanings. There is nothing different or unique being a Marwari, Gujarati, Bengali or Marathi (and other castes which exists in India). The women have been subjugated for centuries to lead a life of secondary status and denied the freedom to pursue their own interests. This article could well be applied to any one of these with equal ease, without the tag of being a Marwari or Gujarati or Bengali. Why should we become judgemental on a particular community and feel ourselves superior?

I don't speak for others or for any community. All I know is that each one has to decide where the limits to hypocrisy and double standards as well as freedom are in one's way of life. It is not fair to paint a picture of a few instances and make them a general representative of an entire community. Mind you, I am not disputing the truth of these incidents; they exist. I know several families where older generation is far more liberal and tolerant in its attitudes towards dress, religious beliefs and food etc than expected by the younger newly married daughters-in-law in the family but they are not written about as they are not representative of the entire community.
It takes time to get rid of hypocrisy in a conservative society and accept everyone on an equal basis, particularly in our country where prejudices and restrictions against females are deep-rooted in several aspects of their life.

But it is happening…one day at a time!!

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Conquer 

Women CAN and DO dream, achieve, inspire, celebrate, EXIST, LIVE, ENJOY around the world. And they do all this without any assistance from men.

This post is for all those who think men are superior than women. The truth is simple. Apart from them being biologically different from one another, and leaving physical attributes aside, there is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE in the way they think, act, react or what they can do. 

They’re equal. They’re independent, they’re strong, they’re very aware of their surroundings and they’re not ready to be bogged down by regressive ideologies. The world would cease to exist if any one of them would cease to exist, then how can we not treat them equally?

Women command respect JUST like men, and they WILL get that respect. NOT just on this day. 

Let’s pledge to give everyone equal respect, equal opportunities to grow and prosper, so that the world grows as one unit and conquers as one unit.

And irrespective of these hindrances & many more. Some of us still conquer. Imagine what we could do if we had equal rights in society..!!

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Anxiety is hopelessness..

Anxiety is thinking you have everything under control,It’s feeling like your on top of the mountain,
Today you can handle anything, today you will conquer it all,
It’s assuming that everything will be okay because it is,
It’s getting out of bed, taking a shower, getting dressed doing your makeup,

It’s being prepared to leave the house,

You practically skip to your car,
You get in, close the door, and you glance in the mirror,
Oops.
Anxiety is the rapid and sudden loss of control,
You slipped and now your rapidly spiraling back down the mountain,
It’s smashing into a brick wall that goes on forever,
It’s a flip of a switch and it doesn’t always make sense,
..I was just okay..I am okay..
It’s waking up with your heart pounding your breathing rapid,
There’s a golf ball in your throat,
You can’t breathe around it,
It’s the shaking hands,
Can’t look anyone in the eyes,
Begging someone to come help,
But praying no one comes near you,
It’s a sudden reeling loss of control,
And you just don’t know what to do,
And there’s nothing anyone else can do,
It’s the tears you won’t let fall because they won’t help,
It’s begging god for a sedative. 
You are okay but you are absolutely not okay,
There is nothing okay about how you feel,
If you don’t have anxiety you cannot understand what it feels like to have absolutely no idea what to do,
Regulating your breathing but your fingers and toes are tingling.
A war in your head you don’t always understand.
You know you need to breathe in for four hold for seven out for six,
You know you need to breathe all the way in and in again,
You know it’s just a panic attack,
You know you are okay,
You know it will be okay,
But you don’t know what to do.
Anxiety is getting your breathing under control,
Regulating your heart rate,

Plastering on a smile,

And pretending everything is okay,
Even though there’s a thundercloud behind you that you just can’t escape.
Pretending you aren’t barely holding on, to what?
It is wanting to claw at your skin and crawl out of your body because there is no reason for things to be this overwhelming and wrong.
Anxiety is the pure joy of feeling like you have control,
And the depression of being thrown back to the sharks,
Constantly trying to balance your racing mind and react the way you should if you were okay,
It’s learning how to smile just right, laugh just so, tilt your head and nod like your listening but you just can’t focus,
It’s so desperately wanting to just be normal, 
It’s knowing you should be enjoying something but you just aren’t,
It’s choosing not to go out, not to get up, not to move forward.
It is your mind creating irrational fears of things you don’t need to fear,
Anxiety is hopelessness,
But it’s not hopeless.

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Accessibility denied!

England is old. Like centuries old. Millennia old. It didn’t surprise me one bit that much of it was essentially inaccessible to wheelchair users. In fact, I was much more often surprised at the extent that so many businesses, and individual people, went to in order to be accessible. Same with France. They have lifts in the Louvre! I don’t even know how old that palace is, but I know it ain’t easy to retrofit lifts into a building essentially made of solid marble.

I find it infuriating that in this day and age a wheelchair user is unable to gain access to public points of interest. You hear every single day about being politically correct about race, religion and by sex/sexual preference yet there is nothing in place to support those who have disabilities… It’s a joke!

It’s playing on my mind now… If there was a note outside a club/ pub that said “no one who is white is allowed in this club” or “this is strictly a straight pub” or “this club is only for Christians, no other religion is allowed” there would be uproar! And rightly so! So when a wheelchair user is faced with steps and no other way to enter, that is basically what they are doing!!! But that is OK, no one ever says anything about that do they?

Disabled people should be treated the same as everyone else, they shouldn’t be made to feel an inconvenience or have to wait for a ramp to get into a building. I can understand a cab driver needing to get a ramp out, but seriously what is wrong with us? We allow this to happen. It is OK to discriminate against a disabled person but dare you do it to any of the named above. There would be hell to pay.

Even the replacement for the DDA, The Equalities Act 2010 has no mandatory punishment for offending businesses. It is still up to the Disabled person to bring a Private Prosecution to claim compensation for the inconvenience, loss or embarrassment encountered!

Some businesses want to upgrade their buildings but aren’t allowed because they are in a listed building. For a powerchair user, so many places are inaccessible.

My family just got back from Iceland (the country) and they were absolutely stunned at for a country covered in snow and ice- how wheelchair friendly it was – everything was accessible and everywhere was accessible. It’s a shame other countries and even some of the UK can’t follow suit.

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Chronic advice-pusher

There is someone related to me who always has some sort of “you should” comment for whatever I say. It would nice to be able to be close to this person, but their need to know and subsequent criticism has made it very unsafe for me (and the remaining relationship). So I did tell this person how I felt belittled and even demeaned by the impression they convey of how I am an imcompetent twit who only makes bad decisions or cant make decisions. The open conversation solution worked for about two minutes as far as their interaction style, but I felt better enough about myself after to be able to stick to the weather and not resent this person.

Filed in my “change yourself because you can’t change the other person” folder.

As someone who’s had to deal with “unsolicited advisors” in my family and my social circles, I am not sure that I agreed that all I did in a conversation is complain. I could be sharing the happiest news of my life and still receive advice on what I should do now to make things even better. Also, I’ve gone the “how about this weather?” route, and I’m not a huge fan. I still use it when I have to, but that just means I can never have a meaningful conversation with this person again even though I want to maintain our relationship.

How about being responsible for what I say that triggers those suggestions? Don’t mention problems. Don’t share annoyances. Stick to all the hundreds of things that are awesome in my life and talk about that. Also, LISTEN more and ASK more questions. 

No, it still doesnt work.

I know people who see everything as a complaint they need to fix. I could say, What a gorgeous sunrise this morning and they’ll respond, You shouldn’t have looked out the window! You could hurt your eyes! 

Some people are pushy buttinskies, but some people’s personalities mean they like to solve problems. If you’re telling me about your situation in a what-should-I-do way, I am going to offer advice, unless you tell me, “I’m just using you as a sounding board here.”  

Years ago I went through a professional Training Programme, and I came away with a few life-changing understandings:

1. Offering an easy fix (i.e., unsolicited advice) to someone else’s problem indicates that you think you can fix a difficult situation after listening to a problem for 10 minutes. It’s not respectful of the hours and days of wrestling the person has spent on the problem already, and more often than not, snap advice offers an “obvious” but unworkable solution. 

2. Are you planning to take responsibility for the outcome if someone takes your snap advice, especially if it doesn’t work out as predicted? The person themself will have to live the consequences, so they’d best make the decision themself.

Easier said than done, aint it?

For me, hearing somone continually moaning about an issue while doing nothing to fix it feels like watching a toddler trying to fit the square peg into the round hole and screaming in frustration. I do adjust when my friend requests a simple sounding board, but at some point, please stop asking me to be your partner in this conversation.

Ugh.

Some “Unsolicited Advice-Givers” are also subtle, manipulative “fishers”…they get their self-worth from fishing for other people’s problems, sometimes without even asking the person directly (they ask others what is going on or go through other’s things). People like this use other people’s problems as a way to avoid dealing with their own. Their closet has more skeletons than anyone else because they are too afraid to deal with their own problems first—then when they are called out for being meddling, play victim, whining about how they “try so hard and noone is grateful for their help”. No—they are just upset that they have nothing better to do than face their own demons. (For the record, I have a family member like this, who I’ve had to try to avoid as much as I can for decades because of this unhealthy obsession with this person wanting to fight other people’s battles).

Remember:

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Matilda effect…

In 1993, Margaret Rossiter coined a term for the forgotten women in science and, more generally, academia: The Matilda Effect. There was a pattern throughout history, she argued, of women who, when compared to men, failed to receive equal recognition or reputation for equal scientific achievement. These are the women whose names have been relegated to footnotes, or whose accomplishments have been scrubbed out like a blemish.”

The Matilda Effect is defined as “the systematic repression and denial of the contribution of woman scientists in research, whose work is often attributed to their male colleagues” but which applies to other fields as well and goes doubly for women of color. This is just science, not even history in the larger sense. The absence of women in history is man made.

Let’s ask ourselves is this still happening today and if yes – why are we women putting up with it? Rather than getting mad at men, let’s partner to empower women and men to collaborate as equals and true partners

While I know first hand about men taking credit for others work, it doesn’t stop at just taking credit for women’s work. Inferior people in the right positions will take credit for others work no matter gender to further themselves. These people should be the targets.

True. Beyond that is the intolerable and undeniable fact that such a vast number of women do not enjoy basic human rights the world over, are enslaved, and treated as less than a self. The record is damning. Each woman is someone’s sister, daughter, or mother, each is an “I”, a self. Yet still, even now in this day and age they are treated without basic freedoms and basic human rights. It is intollerable.

Strong honorable men are not threatened by strong women, often they have a strong vibrant woman at their side 🙂

Hear a magnetic song to celebrate any day as Women’s Day!!!

https://youtu.be/HucAF6Pg-vg

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Snooping or Overwhelming curiosity??

Her heart says, “I want this to work,” her gut says, “something’s off”. She’s trying to reconcile the two, to have a foot in both camps, but she can’t. Maybe her insecurities have nothing to do with him, but the long hard slog to regain that trust (and maybe make up for others who created those insecurities in the first place) might just be a mountain too high.

Until she understand the impetus for her actions & inactions, she will be pinballing though this blindfolded. Never a stable foundation for a marriage.

Snooping in an adult relationship, where someone suspects a major breach and in fact confirms it…should be the end of it. If one is snooping just to snoop that is wrong and the snooper has issues.

One’s not abusing it now does not excuse the creation of a loophole that can be exploited for abuse. Declaring that people — I should say, believing that people – are all worse than they used to be, or all anything, without any grounds to say so, does create an opening to justify whatever you feel like justifying at the moment. That makes it dangerous. A loaded weapon, let’s say, that you simply haven’t yet chosen to pick up.

There’s a huge difference between naturally coming to an “open book” policy with one’s spouse because of mutual trust developed over time, and a forced policy of “let me see or else”. Regardless of the past, anything that comes about via a demand is indicative of a problem. And with children, the relationships, rights, and responsibilities are different. As a partner, sharing needs to be natural & mutual, or it’s not sharing, it’s just acquiescing.

Now we’re all more like celebrities, with much larger personal networks, thanks to technology. Many “crimes” are crimes of opportunity, and most of us have a lot more opportunity than people did 50 years ago when there was one phone in the house and anyone could answer it. I think people have more opportunities to cheat and have fun on the side for many reasons. Have people changed? Maybe not, but opportunities certainly have.

Plus, cheating and sexual adventurousness is more in film, TV and theatre, opposed to 50 years ago, let’s say. So some, not all, people are thinking about the possibilities more than before.

It’s a combination of things.

I know quite a few people who have had their heads buried in the sand and one day decided to seek the truth…hence the snoop…not right…but understandable. The older we get the more we listen to our gut but sometimes the head, heart and gut are confused. Again I try to walk in others shoes and not judge their actions…right or wrong.

In all seriousness, though, I think that snooping is sometimes the vehicle for broken people to accuse their partner of not loving them enough. There will *never* be enough love to satisfy them because they were broken long before the current partner entered the picture. These are the times when snooping turns into abuse. I think that checking up on one’s partner without cause undermines the trust that should be a given.

Trust is essential, but it may also look differently in different relationships – some couples simply do not want or feel the need to share every possible thing, and that works for them because they too trust one another. Snooping is never necessary. If you can’t find a better way to have a trusting relationship with good communication, seek counselling to learn to do better.

As far as what makes snooping wrong, I’m not sure the snooper’s reason for snooping matters as much as the reasonable expectation of privacy of the snoopee (if a word like so exists).

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