Posts Tagged With: Women

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..!!

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Categories: Muddled Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Need to look in the mirror again..

2 months into our marriage:

Despite all the love and longing-ness to be together soon, we didn’t realize how common the bickering will become, and we still haven’t started staying together. We might wonder if we did the right thing. It won’t always be easy and you’ll occasionally question your judgment…but it won’t take you long to get your answer. It’s a very fleeting doubt and just spending time in the company of this human being you love unconditionally means that marriage was the best decision you ever made.

Recently, our fights are an outcome of my emotional turmoil (relocating to a new country) and his logical mind (Why would you say that? What did you mean by that? Why…?). I wish we both can meet midway when this happens. I beg and cry and do all sorts of unbecoming things to convince him to understand me emotionally. All I am losing is my self-respect.

I had vowed never to be that way again – never to put someone on a pedestal – never to be in a one – way relationship where I have to beg someone to understand me. But then, I have never loved someone like I love him.

If I don’t think I am worthy, it’s really hard to inspire my man to think so, much less dedicate his life to me.

Let’s look at this from the other side:

Will I be inspired by a man who is weak, needy, and insecure?
A man who needs constant attention?
A man who doesn’t trust that you love him?
A man who is convinced he is too good for me and that he is going to leave me for someone else?

Probably not. That man would be exhausting.

But isn’t that what love is all about? Knowing each others’ flaws and accepting them anyway?  Ultimately, the answer is yes. But in a budding relationship, it doesn’t matter how much you love each other; all that matters is whether you are both equally bought in.girl_with_mirror_by_nami86

The more he pulled away; the needier I got.  The needier I got, the less he wants me/ to be with me.

How could I prove myself to him? What could I do differently?

“Sorry” he said. “You may think whatever you want. Its your issue. You’re too anxious. Too difficult. Too emotional. Not secure.”

I need to find a way to express my needs without turning into doormats. The question is whether I believe in myself the way I should.

If not, I may need to look in the mirror again.

 

Categories: General, Relationship | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

In a relationship…

It’s troubling that there’s still an assumption that female single-hood is an inherently problematic state. For reasons that are utterly beyond me, everything leads to a pitiful sigh. Singletons are associated with various adjectives – lonely, boring, arrogant and picky. People make judgments based on our success, lifestyle and even opinions which according to them are reasons for “being single”. Surely, if they judge singletons so severely, I’m wondering if those individuals are trying to justify their own choices in life (being married, raising families, etc), and possibly some unhappiness with them. Is the world built for couples only where singles need not apply? Do whatever feels right for you. I know it’s hard to ignore the messages we are sent by society, as they are incessant and usually one-sided (i.e. to be considered a mature, responsible adult you must be married and have children), but if we understand that society as a whole is pretty conservative, and that most people will indeed comply with societal norms, we are then in a better position to see it for what it is, and to then take whatever life path truly feels right for us.

Am I really Single?

How can I be ALONE if I have friends/family around that will never leave me? Sure, I don’t have an intimate partner but I sometimes think intimacy is overrated. One can be alone in a crowded room, or at home with a spouse who is distant and uncommunicative. But I have always said I would rather be alone than wish I was! (You may have to think about that for a moment). However, I made many choices in my life that somehow put me away from my family and the society that I grew up with (I don’t mean in a brattish way but my college and job choices), and thankfully I don’t have to deal with “when will you settle down?” situation. Yes, it’s wonderful not to deal with it. As to the 21st century, we already have 7 billion people on this earth– it’s not like single people are causing the extinction of society or the human race!

Experience Life

If I make myself a nice dish or if I go down into the park alone to admire nature around me, is the experience lost? If something amuses me or stimulates me to think in a new way, in what sense is the experience lost? If I remember the event, clearly it is not lost. Even if I don’t remember the event, I lived the event: my body and mind were engaged in the world. However, society seem to be saying that Singletons have no existence unless some other person understands our experience. What is to be gained by subtracting private feelings and insights from our being?

Being Happy

The old better single/better married debate is never-ending and there is no better! You can be happy either way, or unhappy either way. And usually, at some points in our life we will be one, and other points we will be the other. Happiness is relative and highly personal. We all have to walk our own paths to happiness, not those based on societal prescriptions. 36 isn’t old, but it is old enough to question whether its worth starting a family. Hmmm…all I should do is enjoy every day, and not put pressure on myself for things that are beyond my control. Things will fall in place when it’s the right time and when God has planned for it. Oh yes, I have come to realized it off late…and my belief only becomes stronger. A failed engagement had left me charred – I was hypersensitive at times and sometimes these “times” were of indefinite duration. It’s better sooner rather than later as we accept and learn from our choices and our circumstances. And then it occurred to me (ting!!) – I’m glad it did, for otherwise I would have been a square peg trying to jam myself into a round hole, with all the anger and angst that entails. Everyone wants to be getting on the other side of the table and so was I. How about I sit and enjoy my side of the table until the table for two is seated with right person?

Indians are more driven with social norms and values where everything should conform to society’s expectation. As soon as we are born, every thing is pre-defined for us. I am yet to be anchored down by the spells of Cupid, the looks of Medussa, the agony of Romeo however every married friend of mine – male or female – shares their secret “I wish I was single” or leaves a sigh “It sounds so nice, the freedom.”, not because they are unhappy in their marriage but because they forgot what it was to be happy by themselves.

A lot of people, married and single, harbor a fantasy of a perfect relationship with a perfect mate. Sadly, a lot of marriages end when one of the partners wakes from the dream and is unwilling or unable to accept the truth that relationships, especially marriage, take work, patience, and perseverance to last. I admit that I can’t and don’t plan to keep this trajectory but I am in no rush and in a happy phase with myself – enjoying life as I should be. I think when it’s time to settle with someone, when you feel you are with a person you truly love and can happily live with together, sharing and compromising, your heart then will settle naturally, without an effort. I know few ‘un’happily married people in age 40+ to know that “settling” earlier is often a bad idea. I also know a number of happy couples who didn’t meet until they were older. It happens that way sometimes, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything “wrong” with either person.

Self-Acceptance

I personally believe this one life is best enjoyed w/ someone to share moments with. However, it can be scary to look around and see ourselves different from our couple friends. Yet this is what makes us special; our implicit, silent yet firm rebellion against social norms make us of a distinct character. Women particularly should realize that they are not defined by their relationships but ultimately how they feel about themselves. We often mock self-esteem but for well-being, it is crucial. The ability to NOT settle for something untrue to oneself requires more intellect, strength and insight.

Comfortable being “Alone”

When and if, I find a person, one that is comfortable doing things with me and doing things by himself may be a good pick. I admire my girlfriends’ relationships with their husbands, but I am in awe of what they can do independently as well. A woman never knows when she can count on her independence – it’s not a bad thing, indeed. But a woman never knows when she can count on her partner – that’s not a bad thing either.

Remember, there is a big difference between feeling alone and enjoying your solitude. Those who are content in solitude are fortunate indeed. So many people still feel it is scary to see yourself different from peers? What about all the social changes through the decades? Hasn’t there been a big increase in singles, and much later age of marriage? As for divorce–I am not suggesting that it is a GOOD thing but let’s admit that the ratio has increased. That implies that people have the freedom to find some happiness in life. When divorce was frowned upon (rather still is considered as a taboo) people had to adjust, or have marriage in name only, for the sake of the children. I believe, if women can support themselves they will marry for love and compatibility. The great advance in gender equality means there is more chance for good relationships based on mutual respect.

Living our Dream

Married people romanticize being single, and single people romanticize marriage. Not everyone believes being married with children, house and white picket fence is “living the dream,” I may dare say that, at times, the thought is even boring. Getting married is a part of circle of life and not the whole life. Until then, break down your “wants/needs” and play with the combination of bittersweet and earnest longing to “be who you are” and have an upbeat view of the future without fitting into a well-defined plan. There are many ways to be engaged with life – Social cause, learning to dance, go back-packing, etc. when you feel like it. Life, love, food, travel, hobbies can be shared with a variety of people. One does not need a mate in order to have a sense of sharing in life, or to have love.

Feel our feelings

Singletons being neurotic and nasty??? Well, I cry at weddings. I almost burst with love when my friend described his joy at seeing his baby born. My parents might have a different opinion on how young adults view relationships as good or bad as a function of whether it benefits them or fits the template that they have fashioned for themselves. Growing up with my grandparents and parents, I have seen how relationships were nurtured amidst the chaotic lifestyle. I learnt that relationships aren’t oases, magically discovered in the desert. Relationships are structures that are constructed over years, with much effort and deliberate action.

I love the idea of marriage, not blasting it, but living alone does have its perks. It can be annoying though, to have to deal with people’s consternation when they feel troubled by not knowing how to categorize you. This is an age-old debate – Both have benefits and challenges. It does not mean good or bad, it means different. Yet there’s always this terrified rush to justify and denigrate to quell insecurities. Relax, life is varied! People say that singletons in their 30s become choosy/picky. Of course we should be, cos we understand ourself much better than what we were in our 20s.

It’s easy to learn swimming when you are still a child. As an adult, you are scared to jump cos you know the depth which can drown you. Relationship is like a huge swimming pool where 2 people die in with no safety jacket. It’s said that “female freedom has an expiration  date” – but does that mean simply settling with someone. The question remains: Should YOU?

Categories: Muddled Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Slave over a Stove!!

It really annoys me when people want to jump down my throat because I don’t do what they think I should. Cooking is one such art form for which I am always asked “Why don’t you cook for yourself?” – the question for which I am yet to master a response for it. I raise quite a few eyebrows when people learn that I have hired the services of a cook who does that for me. I cook or don’t cook based upon what works for me, individually. So, to each it’s own.

Indian society give a lot of emphasize for home-cooked meals – wait for it – prepared by women. Maybe cooking and cleaning was considered the “traditional wife role” in the 50’s but it’s 2014. Gender roles aren’t implicit, inherent things, they were created by society and I think that people are afraid to step out of them or just have simply grown up to think that way. Even in this century, when everyone seems to be talking about women empowerment, there are quite a few men who still reason out by saying cooking3My wife works but I pay most of the bills, so if I can’t get a hot meal every now then what am I getting out of this?” Really?? Ugghh! Do we now ever meet a woman nowadays who doesn’t work or want to work? Men sure don’t mind their partner bringing home a paycheck, but they do not hesitate to pull “traditional wife” trigger to force woman into the kitchen. Some men even don’t know how to fix a damn thing in the house so they pay someone to do it for them, and that’s considered totally fine. But a woman who won’t/maybe can’t cook and decide to pay someone for it, she is judged for her capabilities. If cooking skill should be used as some measure for spouse value, then admittedly, I would like a man who knows how to cook while I will clean, wash the dishes, and every thing else on the good wife list…

If all it took to get a ring was cooking skills then why are there so many single ladies who can cook up delicious meals? None of my male friends settled down because their girls cooked, but they settled down because they wanted to…with her! Simple as that! I know quite a few men who would prefer a wife with a career of her own to a wife staying at home cooking dinner.

Lucky me, my family never suffered from ‘gender-role’ syndrome. Besides few  of my cousins who tried every trick on their plate to  get me to learn cooking but I seem to have been born with a magnetic chip which repels me from the kitchen. And when I did enter – over the stove, mixing ingredients, high, medium, or low * head starts to swim*. I will not blame them for being judgmental about me as they are experts in dishing out something slurp-I-ciously amazing with whatever lies in the fridge. Now this is talent and an art which I firmly believe one is born with!!

For me, cooking is a form of art. Some tend to appreciate it while some enjoy performing it everyday. For past so many years, my grandma and mom are enjoying the best tea I can vouch for in the world, prepared exclusively by my dad…every morning. Prior to my dad, it was my grandfather who did so thus starting the ritual. And this was timed well. As my grandmother would return from the temple and later sit in the balcony, hot tea would be served to all. Ah, such a romantic gesture which expressed love subtly but strongly! Anyways, I asked my dad if tea-making responsibility was asked from him, his answer was simple: “I love doing so for lovely ladies in my life” while he secretly enjoys the praises too!! 😉 This leaves me with a thought – although one might grow up assuming certain activities to be gender-specific, however its upon one’s own self to not accept and do in order to comply with society norms. Do what makes you happy even if it means taking up those activities which might make the other fall in love with you each time…like my mother as she sips her morning tea every day. Btw, both the ladies also get to have the luxury of enjoying dinner prepared by my dad…every Sunday.

Instead of dictating the traditional role each should play, it would be wonderful to learn to be the back up for each other so that once a while, either one of them is allowed a breather without being a slave over a stove. Until of course…

Categories: Muddled Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Which underwear should I wear today? | Just For Laughs

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Categories: Fun, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Malala…

Although the book ‘I am Malala’ was published nearly an year back but I happen to read it now. It is an encouraging memoir of Malala Yousufzai, a product of a mother and a father‘s love inspite of the backwards, barbaric, ignorant, deceitful culture of Pakistan. Her book shows different facets of a girl since her childhood days which captivates, inspires entices you in a story of true events that can only be imagined. The book describes public floggings by the Taliban, their ban on television, dancing and music and shopping. There are numerous situations which gave me goose-bumps and often led me to imagine it. You might want to listen to her CNN interview to appreciate her brilliance, her tolerance and love for her country, despite being stalked by poverty and hardships.

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Malala: Person of the Year

Fearless Malala anonymously blogged Diary of a Pakistani school girl under a pseudonym for BBC, writing about her daily battle with extremist militants who used fear and intimidation to force girls to stay at home thus drawing the Islamist militants’ rage. She never lost hopes nor gave up on her dreams of education. She refused to cower in the face of threats and fought for education (not just for girls but particularly for girls) that she stared death in the face in 2012 when a Taliban gunman shot point-blank in the head on her way home from school in Pakistan. Not the sacrifice of rights, but the sacrifice of life. Her “crime”: advocating girls’ right to education.

But Malala survived!! This young fearless Pakistani girl escaped from the jaws of death – nothing short of a miracle.

Like father-like daughter, she embodies the very values that the civilized world craves for. She stood up to terror and showed a reasoned mind seldom seen at her age. She is a symbol of freedom, bravery, outspokenness and beacon of light for all girls/women in this world.

Excerpt from Malala’s heartening U.N. speech:

Even if there was a gun in my hand and he was standing in front of me, 
I would not shoot him. This is the compassion I have learned from Mohamed, 
the prophet of mercy, Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha. This the legacy of 
change I have inherited from Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and 
Mohammed Ali Jinnah. This is the philosophy of nonviolence that I have 
learned from Gandhi, Bacha Khan and Mother Teresa. And this is the 
forgiveness that I have learned from my father and from my mother. 
This is what my soul is telling me: be peaceful and love everyone.

The book follows her journey from near-death to global fame. She is one of seven people featured on the cover of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people edition. She has been honored with Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, XXV International Prize of Catalonia award, International Children’s Peace Prize, Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award (The award is Amnesty International’s highest honor, recognizing individuals who have promoted and enhanced the cause of human rights), Leadership in Civil Society award, Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award and Person of the Year.

This young girl, stood against a powerful foe for the education of the next generation. She stands for all the young people in lands where oppression puts them and all young people down.  This young girl stands for peace, freedom and education for all. She is passing her courage on to others. Her courage has awoken Pakistan’s government who says to be adopting new measures to get every child into school by end 2015.

After reading her book, my attention turned towards my country India. Quite a few million girls in India have gone missing in 3 generations through practices like infanticide, feticide, dowry, bride trafficking and honor killings. It is immoral, illegal, against all civilized norms, against the principles of most religions. I strongly urge people to spread awareness of a girl’s right to be born, to let live, to be educated and a lead a life that she dreams of.

It’s time for the parents and the children themselves to demand their right to school. Education should no longer be a slogan but a reality.

Categories: Books, Inspiring | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to have a great BAD date? (LOL)

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Categories: Fun, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HERE’S A REAL MAN, ZIAUDDIN YOUSAFZAI: father of MALALA YOUSAFZAI

There is no greater need in a daughter’s childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection. I am lucky to be born to a father who is a step behind me always and has backed me in my decisions. Malala is special and lucky to have a courageous father who backed her when his country opposed such gestures!

‘I am Malala’ is next on my reading list!

Jean Sasson

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There are great men living among us, but sometimes it take an epic event for their presence to be known outside their limited geography.  

Rarely do men take the lead in fighting for women’s rights.  But I have just read about a man who has been fighting for women’s rights for his entire life.  That man’s name is Ziauddin Yousafzai.  Ziauddin is the Pakistani father of the very famous Malala Yousafzai, his daughter, and the courageous young woman who stood up for the education of girls in Pakistan.  As a result, Malala was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban.  

 

As you might have guessed, I just read “I AM MALALA.”  It’s an outstanding book that I recommend to everyone.  There is no more worthy book being sold today.   

Malala is an exceptionally brave young woman.  But, her father was more brave.  There could have been no Malala without Ziauddin, a man…

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Categories: Inspiring | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chew in style!

How do you enjoy a juicy burger? The only way to eat a burger is with a wide open mouth and take a bite which often than never leaves me with that “condiment smile”, where the ketchup, mustard, etc. is smothered all around my lips. It looks funny but unappetizing for the other person, so I avoid eating it ‘my’ way! However, I was not aware until now that eating with your mouth wide open is considered a cultural faux in Japan. Were you?

In Japan, it is culturally regarded as attractive to have ‘Ochobo’ – a small and modest mouth. The opposite is frowned  upon as rude an ugly. Thus, a nation known for its impeccable table manners, gorging a burger in public with an open mouth, especially for women, is not considered as a good manner. To make it socially easier for Japanese woman when eating one of their burgers, Freshness Burger (a fast food restaurant chain) came up with an idea and created a ‘Liberation Wrapper’ to avoid a cultural faux. Its said that sales have soared 213 per cent in just one month since introducing it.

Curious how? Visit the link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/regajha/a-japanese-burger-chain-made-face-masks-so-women-can-eat-bur

Daft or Creative idea, you decide…but it might soon be catching up!!

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Categories: Fun, Humor, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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