Why I am a feminist

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People sometimes wonder why I call myself a feminist. They wonder how I came to become one. I was a feminist long before I knew the term for it. Because I was born in a country that hates women. I was born in India. Believe me, it’s not a stretch to use the word ‘hate’. How else do you explain a statement like this:

We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman.

Yes, my dear readers. This was a recent statement in an upcoming documentary by an Indian lawyer ML Sharma. He was the defence lawyer for the arseholes who gang-raped Jyoti Singh in 2012. One of these fucking rapists also had the audacity to blame Jyoti for the rape in this documentary. This is what is wrong with India. This is the misogyny that exists in so many patriarchal societies.

I grew up learning how as girls, we were responsible for everything that happened to us. If a family had money problems, it was because the daughter or the wife was bad luck. If a girl had her period, she was banished from areas such as the kitchen or the prayer room and not allowed to touch certain things for fear of making them impure with her touch. I grew up learning that I was wrong to wear shorts and get dirty playing cricket or soccer with the boys. I learnt that girls couldn’t play sports. I learnt that as a girl, I had to always serve others and be submissive. I learnt that my big mouth and my oppositional behaviour would not be tolerated by my in-laws. But most importantly, I grew up learning that as a girl, and later a woman, I was responsible for being groped, touched or even being assaulted.

It made my blood boil.

I wanted to be a boy at a young age. Because being a boy meant more freedom and more opportunities. Not by my family but by society, in general. That’s how young I was when I noticed gender inequality. Without actually having the language for it, I knew that patriarchy was rife. And that if you were a boy in India, you were guaranteed a better life than a girl.

Sure, I was fortunate. And I give all credit to my parents for that. For giving me opportunities and not treating me any different than they would a son. But so many other Indian girls and women are not this fortunate.

They become a statistic. Like the 1 woman raped every 20 minutes. Or they become the subject of a documentary like India’s Daughter.

So to all those who ask me why I became a feminist, my answer to you is that I think women are human beings too. I think we need to be treated like we matter. I have been fortunate that my family kept me unlike so many female babies in India. I have been even more fortunate that my family gave me opportunities like education. But I still grew up in a society where I had to fight. I had to fight being groped on public transport. I had to fight to explain my reasons for my education. I had to fight to matter.

While I am no longer Indian and no longer in India, my blood continues to boil for the women who suffer there. For the gender inequality. I will continue to be a feminist till my dying day because, in the end, we women need to be heard. We need to matter. No matter which country, region, religion or culture we are born into.

I despise the patriarchal society. I despise the poison it spreads.

Yet, I hope some day women will be granted equal rights.

After all, one can dare to dream.

With International Women’s Day coming up later this week, please remember all the women who are being sorely discriminated against.

Image Source: Here

Until next time,


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Brunch with Bloggers

A couple of weeks ago {or thereabouts}, a thread began on a blog group I am part of — Blog Chicks — about having a meetup here in Sydney. One of the bloggers, Charlotte, finally took the plunge and created an event to meet up for brunch on Saturday the 28th. After a few hiccups such as the initial location chosen not taking bookings and trying to choose whether a Saturday was better than a Sunday, the date was changed to Sunday, the 1st of March and the location was moved to Orto Trading Co. at Surry Hills.

My preference was a Sunday as I can sometimes work on a Saturday. When I looked at the list of bloggers who had said ‘Yes’, I realised I didn’t know any of them or their blogs. In other words, it was going to be one I’d have to suck it up and just meet people. While I no longer get as nervous as I used to, there was still a twinge of apprehension. Sunday morning though, I noticed that one of the bloggers who had previously RSVPed ‘Maybe’ was now definitely coming. Turns out, she’s the one I’ve mentioned kinda fangirling before. So yes, I was very excited that I’d finally be meeting Amy.

The brunch went quite well. There were 8 of us in the end — Charlotte, Amy, Laura, Nandita, Natalie, Jarka, Barbara and me. It was interesting how different we all were in terms of our professional backgrounds and yet, we all came together for one love, one passion — blogging.  Topics ranged from niche blogging to general blogging, using pseudonyms when blogging, blogging as a hobby, passion or business, designing blogs, and, of course, the monetary side of things.

Apart from that, it was just nice to meet some like-minded ladies. I found, for instance, one of them is a psychologist too. And of course, I know I share similar opinions to Amy on several issues {I wouldn’t be reading her blog if I didn’t!} Sometimes, it was just nice to put a face and a voice to a person.

So that’s how some of us spent the first day of autumn — a stinking hot one — just talking about blogging. Something non-bloggers don’t get.

Some pictures from the day:

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Jarka, Laura and Amy

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Barbara, Nandita and Natalie

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Charlotte with me

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Only a blogger understands taking pics of food

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Group picture which ended up cutting out a few people!

 

Thanks again Charlotte for organising this! It was lovely to meet you all.

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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The month that was February 2015

The month that was February

February has been an interesting month. I sometimes wonder if it seems busier because it’s the shortest month of the year and you try and cram the same amount of stuff you do during other months. It does speed by quickly though!

February was the month I signed up for FebFast and gave up alcohol and refined sugar for 28 days. I survived but not before I was a cranky bitch the week I was PMSing. Oh and I raised $500. I really appreciate the generosity of my friends and colleagues.

In February, I wrote about how the Partner and I survived Ikea. We now have two chairs which apparently our cats think is for them. I also realised this month that I really need to start letting some of my baggage go. It’s hard, but I know it’s doable! February also marked 10 years since I’ve been in Australia. Time has flown and Sydney is home.

My baby sister turned 26 this month {yes, I left just before her 16th birthday}. I wondered this month whether I was a stalker; in fact, whether as bloggers we can all sometimes become stalkers. With several other bloggers, I raised my voice to speak about compassion; something I think we have forgotten in this day and age. Thanks to a prompt, I also got to talk about my cats. While they feature heaps on my Instagram account, I don’t give them enough air time here! Uni started during the last week of this month and it made me realise how scary sharing my writing can be. But I am getting there. Slowly and steadily. Just as I am learning it’s ok to not be strong all the time.

Since returning from Tassie in January, I finally ventured out on my first hike this year. Yeah, I think the Overland track scarred me a wee bit! One thing that pissed me off big time this month was religion. It usually pisses me off but more so this month.

The first day of March has already begun with a bang. I attended a bloggers brunch which I’ll blog about tomorrow. Apart from that, March is looking busy with mainly uni work!

How was your February?

If you’ve written a post reflecting on the month gone by in any way, do link up to my newest linky: The Month that was. Just grab the code from the sidebar to the below image and link up here.

Living my Imperfect Life

Do share!

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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FebFast and PMS: Not a good combination

As you probably know, I signed up for FebFast and gave up alcohol and refined sugars for the month of February to raise funds for young people with addiction problems. I managed without the two for the entire month and didn’t need a time out pass. However, it wasn’t all that easy. I was tested. A lot.

Giving up refined sugars wasn’t all that hard. I occasionally craved chocolate especially when the partner would bring home cheesecakes thanks to his sweet tooth! But it was generally all right because I’d have fruit. Giving up alcohol was a lot harder. I am not a huge drinker by any means, but I do like a couple of glasses of wine at the end of the week or at the end of a stressful day. I also love ciders and beer while socialising with friends in the summer. And trust me, a lot of socialising took place this month! I survived not drinking alcohol on a hot day at the pub with friends, an engagement party, a birthday dinner, being social after a hike and, of course, at the end of every week.

My sparkling water while my friends shared a bucket of ciders

My sparkling water while my friends shared a bucket of ciders

The worst though was the week I had PMS. I was a cranky bitch, to say the least. It was tough being hormonal and emotional and not being able to have any sugar or alcohol to stem the emotional oscillation. No amount of sparkling water with slices of lemon helped. No amount of fruit helped. I cried a lot at the smallest of things. I got annoyed easily. I was exhausted easily. And well, I was a bitch. I told myself I was hormonal and I’m usually emotionally when I am PMSing but this month, it was just so much worse!

I learnt that FebFast and PMS do not go well together.

Needless to say, I have been counting down to the end of the month. And that’s about 9 hours away. I’m looking forward to either a cider or a glass of wine tomorrow night!

On a side note, I have so far raised $480. Would anyone be kind enough to donate another $20 so I can make it to $500? You can donate here.

How do you deal with PMS? Do you agree it’s possibly the worst thing we have to go through every month?

Do share!

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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Sharing your writing

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My second semester of uni started this week. I’m taking units in Freelance Writing {which is more about critical reviews} and Short Fiction Writing. Since commencing this course last year, I realised one of the most challenging things and yet, most worthwhile, is sharing your writing. You think it would be easy given that I’ve been blogging for close to 8 years. After all, I have random people from across the globe reading things about my personal life, my rants, my flaws and my attempts at creativity. But you know what? That’s easy. Because I don’t get to see any of you while you are reading my blog.

On the other hand, having to read out my attempts at creativity in a class of about 20 people and get their constructive feedback is quite daunting. No one is ever nasty; people are too nice for that. But at the same time, you cannot help but wonder what they might be thinking. As writers, we are our harshest critic. Most of the poems, short stories or flash fiction attempts I’ve posted here, have been done so quite apprehensively. I’ve been able to hit the post button though because, in the end, I figure if people don’t like it, they just won’t comment. Plus not seeing your reactions really helps!

When you write, it’s not just a story. It’s your story. It’s your baby. It’s your creation. And while you can be your harshest critic, you can also be your baby’s staunchest supporter when evaluated. Or you might take it personally and feel like you are being criticized. And neither of this is helpful if the goal is to hone your writing skills.

I know that in order to become a better writer, the workshopping at university is going to help. In fact, it is required. I am trying harder this semester to get out of my comfort zone and read out some of my writing. In the process, I am being a lot more vulnerable. I am opening up. I’m taking a big risk.

Sharing my writing is going to be tough.

But whoever said that things had to be easy?

How are you when sharing your writing? How do you deal with feedback?

Do share!

***Linking with Ann for Things I know, Robo for The Lounge and Grace for FYBF***


Photo License: Copyright All rights reserved by jpc79. Photo accessed from here.

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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