Can we not accept that she must have had the agency to decide for herself what kind of lifestyle she wanted in her 50s? Can we not accept that if she did go for various surgeries to look less than her age, that must have been what she really wanted out of her free choice?
First published on Firstpost. All my previous Firstpost articles here. In the United States, January is the month of Cervical Cancer Awareness. Countrywide efforts are made to raise awareness about the disease which affects 13,000 American women each year. In comparison, approximately 365.71 million Indian women above 15 years of age, are at risk of [...]
Today's Indian Express Newspaper's biggest headline was "Economics with Politics" meaning that BJP's Budget 2018 is more a political strategy with eye on the forth coming general election. BJP has learned a lesson from Gujarat elections, a considerable blow to it's solid structure due to which it lost quite a few seats to Congress, that [...]
Award winning actor Swara Bhaskar's extremely well crafted hard hitting feminist critique of Padmavati (in an open letter to Bhansali) has gone viral. It is heartening that an industry insider said what needed to be said, and if anybody really have a 56" chest that is not filled with hollow pride but bravery and integrity, [...]
The Session Court has found all three Dalit men accused in Kopardi rape case guilty. The quantum of punishment will be given on 21st Nov. In July 2016, a 15 year old girl in Kopardi village, distt Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra, was brutally gang raped and murdered. The rape and murder gave rise to statewide protests by [...]
In 2011, I started the project Single Woman Budget Travel, a travel and photography research to find out how safe or unsafe it is for a solo woman to travel in India on a budget. As part of this, I traveled to many places (it is still ongoing project) gathering first hand information, and documenting [...]
The attack on Hadiya's individual freedom by a deeply patriarchal system a litmus test for feminists in India.
When the constitutionality of certain legislations or provisions are challenged in the Court, the Union of India’s opinion is sought on the matter. It does not mean that the Court would decide according to government’s position (which is why BJP Media cell chief Amit Malviya’s attempt to etch Modi’s name in history books as ‘women [...]
In an open letter on her Facebook page Sona Mohapatra accused Kangana Ranaut of doing a 'disservice' to feminism by washing 'dirty linen in public'. Here is my open letter to her open letter. Dear Sona Mohapatra, Who made you the spokesperson of feminism? If you are not the spokesperson then what business do you [...]
A Five Judge mixed faith Bench of Supreme Court today declared, by a 3:2 majority, the practice of Triple Talaq, one-sided instant divorce by Muslim men bad in law and unconstitutional. This is a welcome judgment. The self appointed male custodian of religion, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board have been given a strong [...]
An edited version of this piece first appeared on The Wire The Kerala High Court in a recent judgement has stripped women of every last bit of agency, self-will, self-determination and reduced us to mere gendered bodies, incapable of taking our own decisions and therefore having absolutely no right to be independent. The judgement is [...]
Culture Machine, a young start up with a network of YouTubers connecting 22 million subscribers and an average of 0.5 billion views per month, creates video content for large corporate brands and helps them gain publicity through social media. The organization thus aptly wears the tag line, “Entertainment for Internet Generation.” What is entertainment for [...]
The amount of efforts right wing troll are putting in to 1) Intimidate me 2) Question the credibility of my entire identity and opinion, I wonder is it even worth it? Have I really done something so significant that BJP is so rattled? I woke up today to see they have spread another blatant lie [...]
Much sanskari outrage over a tweet I made a year ago, in which I question a vengeance seeking masculine mob blaming Anushka Sharma, for the bad performance of Virat Kohli. As if, he was playing cricket with his dick, instead of sporting skills. The right wing trolls dug out the tweet from past and used [...]
Samast virat sanskari people of akhand bharat outraging over a marriage joke I shared in 2009. Eight years. Why? Coming up. In a thread of 22 tweets I explained what kind of low regressive narrow minded people these are, Rahul Eshwar, Shefali Vaidya and their ilks. How they have mastered art of inciting a mob [...]
This was first written by my later mother Mita Basu on Facebook, in Bengali. It is a reaction to a recent TV commercial of Everest Garam Masala, featuring Amitabh Bacchan. I have translated the piece and also added my own perspectives, publishing here with her permission. Amitabh Bacchan appears in an Everest garam masala TV advertisement. [...]
My Facebook post on 14th January Now regarding this Jallikattu ban, I don't care if it's your tradition religion sport or whatever, you just need to tone down your aggressive demands for this hypermasculine violent culture in which women have absolutely no participation. Each and every image of Jallikattu I have ever seen is about [...]
First published on Firstpost where I have argued that the Khadi Calendar debate have to go beyond the phallocentrism, and we have to look at feminist interpretation. From Gandhi to Modi, its one man replacing another. The DAVP calendar shows a world in which Modi the cult is showering divinity on lesser mortals but where are [...]
First published on Firstpost with different headline and slightly edited: A woman facing violence may take various roads to justice – legal-illegal, justified-unjustified, civil, criminal, constitutional. Shayara Bano decided to eliminate the root cause. Her writ petition before Supreme Court seeking a ban on triple talaq, nikah halal and polygamy poses a challenge to the [...]
In response to Code of control | The Indian Express by Sania Farooqui Author herself says there's no draft of UCC in absence of which it is hard to tell how UCC would affect individual rights. Yet there is an underlying assumption that whatever it will be, will be a means of Hindutva bullying minority. This fear is [...]
it is puzzling to see the Indian Left oppose the push for a common civil code for all citizens, which the Constitution had promised but which successive governments have failed to enact. Back in the 1940s and 50s, Ambedkar and Nehru thought it prudent to first change personal laws in favour of Hindu women, since [...]
UCC would never be a reality in India because none of the religious bigots would accept a truly uniform code that applies to all. They all want the other group to fall in line and accept whatever they think is uniform but ask them to look at their own personal laws, they won't accept. For [...]
A father training his daughters to win sports medals may not be a revolutionary idea everywhere, but it is one in a state like Haryana.
A man lying on his bed shagging and sending photos of his dick to a woman he hasn't met or talked to in 5 years Guess what missing here? Consent. He didn't ask me if I was interested in his dick.
How does a woman reconcile and negotiate her cultural identity with the gender identity where her culture is inherently oppressive to women.
I am going to hold this close to my heart. I am going to frame it as a reminder of many things. Primarily, this is a telling example of what happens when you question men and their standards, choices, behaviour, sense of humour etc. How male ego reacts to a woman's voice of disapproval and [...]
Dear Logical Indian, get logical. Motherhood doesn't complete a woman. Nothing does. Because a woman is born complete.
There is no wronged woman here who wants to take a revenge, no mother who is struggling and fighting all odds to raise her children, no multi-tasking multi-talented woman who manages both work and family, no fierce police officer or successful film star. Neerja was not Jhansi ki Rani or Devi Durga, she was just Neerja and that made all the difference.
For benefit of those who don’t want to spend money on a film which is not well made, let me give the crux of the gender bender points it tries make, but fails.
Brief note on recently conducted workshop on gender awareness at Ramanujan College, Delhi University.
Hyper sexualized images of women in Bollywood item numbers strip them off their identity and reduce them to object of sexual gratification. The image of ‘Bharat Mata’ does exactly the same for the nationalist or patriotic gratification of its citizens.
A sacred Indian marriage is one where a young girl, who have been always kept segregated from men and taught “good girls don’t talk to boys,” is suddenly pushed inside a room with a stranger who is allowed to rape her because he married her
Bhansali imagined 18th century Maratha and Rajput kingdoms where women had some agencies. And men respected women. Sadly he forgot to hire a writer to give words to his imagination.
We ban violence. We banned Sati. We should ban Burqa. Both are forms of violence only in varying degrees. Sure, Burqa cannot kill someone, but is that an argument? Should we condone violence that doesn't kill? Burqa cannot be an identity except that it reduces women into Muslim cargo.
The way Modi spoke today was text book example of gendered language. Women are always referred to in relational terms (mothers, daughters, wives) never as independent individuals while men are referred to in occupational terms (Goldsmith).
First published on The Huffington Post India It was about time someone questioned the mainstream media's lack of coverage of women stories. The article met with predictable defense, "Caravan is not a women's magazine." Right, women's issues should be kept restricted to women's magazine, the likes of Femina, Women's Era, Griha Shobha and Savita, why would [...]
Hundreds of women are now running marathons and other sports without tampons openly bleeding! Not really, but how would that be?
Masaan is the story of bodies – desiring bodies, dead bodies, burning bodies, children’s bodies as a tool of economic exploitation, gendered bodies facing medical negligence, apathy and exploitation and so on.
Global porn industry is worth $97 Billion. It can be safely assumed that many women derive economic independence and sexual agency from this industry. It is absolutely ridiculous to presume that all such women need saving by self-righteous men.
My sister has a very important observation about the most commonly heard statement that women are their worst enemy. The mother-in-law v. daughter-in-law war in which the son is passed off as the victim at best or bystander at worst. Her observation opens up so many potential research area actually, I would be taking them [...]
I am here with another review in my series of Feminist Film Reviews. A shorter and proofread version of this review was first published on Women's Web. Besides the feminist perspective there were a few other interesting observations about the film, which I didn't include in the former are given here. People ask me are [...]
Regular readers of my blog already know about my Feminist reviews. These are film reviews done by me after wearing my feminist glasses. So this time I did an exclusive review for the women centric collaborative blog 'Women's Web'. Below is the full version of the review, they have put up an edited version. The [...]
We wonder what is this sacred marriage and how it would be destroyed if marital rape is recognized as a crime under Indian Penal Code. Here are the main features of sacred Indian marriage.
Here's what the criticism actually did. Young girls and boys, say the age group of 16 to 21 instantly liked the bold video. But as the senior feminists poured in the nuanced criticism, they felt confused, even embarrassed. They were quiet downed. Then, the men joined the criticism. Personal attack against Deepika Padukone started questioning her credibility as a voice for feminism. Everybody forgot who the real enemy was. As researchers and activists we have to be more careful about how we react to this new branch of social activism or commentary by CSR trusts. Let's encourage them, engage with them, enable them to make better products. But let's not be aggressive and negative.
I read this wonderful list of '10 things feminism ruined for me' by Emer O'Toole on the Guardian. The point she made was that once you wear your feminist glasses, you would struggle to appreciate the simpler pleasures of life. This made me sit down and prepare my own list of things that feminism has ruined for me.
Feminists for some reason were very excited about the marriage between actor George Cloony and acclaimed international lawyer Amal Alamuddin. While the global media carried headlines that Cloony marries Alamuddin, the headlines on The Business Woman were 'Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor'. It was seen as a marriage of equals and unlike [...]
Mardaani is just the kind of film I always wanted to see - a film with complete gender role reversals. The hundreds of movies I've watched in my lifetime, I've always wondered how would it be if we changed the gender of the leading characters? In Mardaani, that's exactly what I have. As a film [...]
As a society we have made progress to the point that we accept women in traditional men's role, but not the vice versa. So we now have modern parents who'd say "I would raise my daughter as a son" but you'd never hear someone saying, "I'd raise my son as a daughter." Modern Indian women’s aspiration is not to shed traditional gender roles but to acquire new un-gendered roles. So while women are working and perhaps taking higher position than their husbands, they are still cooking because that remains their domain and that is their expression of love and care. Ability to balance it all is also how modern women are being judged as good mother, good wife. Thus the pressure.
Feminism is the radical notion that women are people with equal rights as men. If you believe in this, you are a feminist. If you don't get this and you say I am against feminism but I am pro-equality then you are a fucking confused cat against feminism.
[In the wake of social media talking about the Burka Avenger I am republishing an article I wrote long back for the Bell Bajao Blog. The article was originally written in the context of France banning the burqa in public places. But it still holds good in the present context. With regard to the show [...]