That was not a click bait using a shocking headline. A man really did send me photos of his manhood last night.
I have met this man just once in my life in 2011. It was a casual date and we had sex. The date was at his place so I already knew what it ‘really’ was and I just wanted to have some fun. I never met him again but we’ve been connected on social media, and over the last five years he has given me hundreds of booty calls some of which I found amusing, some boring, but none offensive. On my part I have been flirtatious but I was always clear in my head that I don’t want to meet him again. I last WhatsApped him in Jan this year, around my birthday when I was getting worked up about not having enough sex in life. Continue reading
I am reading about how race and ethnicity affected by colonization in turn affects the gender relations and gender identity. It is about how the colonizers came with supremacist attitude and engaged in a cultural amnesia in the native land and forced the original people of that land into subjugation and humiliation. How this affected the women of the colonized world and how they have subverted and resisted.
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 dismissal.
For me, its about not finding this man’s sexist joke funny, so he showed me a rather harmless middle finger. In Pakistan a woman didn’t find a man’s marriage proposal worthy of acceptance and she was beaten to death.
In life the ‘middle finger emoji’ gets translated to violence, rape, honour killing, acid attacks, naked parade, forced consumption of human excreta and so on depending upon your caste, class, and fiduciary relationship with the man you challenged.
The popular Facebook page ‘Logical Indian‘ posted a series of arty sketches, by a Nordic artist by the ID @ab.bel on Instagram, depicting the hard work that motherhood is, the plight of mother trying to feed, bath, cook, clean for a baby. I am writing an open letter to them in response.
Directed by Ram Madhvani, Neerja is not only one of the best plane hijack thriller films I have seen, but also one of India’s best female centric films. Based upon real life story of Neerja Bhanot, the Pan American air hostess who gave up her life doing her duty and trying to save the lives of over 300 passengers of the Pan Am flight 73 hijacked by terrorists at Karachi airport, the film portrays the series of events during the one and half day in the life of Neerja and her friends and family starting from the night before she flew till the day her body was received by her grieving family.
Beyond this there is not much to talk about the story. We already know the plot and how it ended, so there is no suspense factor. The thing to watch out for is how Neerja, this simple young airhostess and model emerges as the bravest person on the flight in the face of terror.
Neerja is inarguably one of the best films with a female lead narrating a woman story without even uttering common words like Durga, naari Shakti, devi, maa etc. It is particularly remarkable that the film doesn’t have predictable motifs and plots commonly used to make woman stories relevant and portray women as strong characters. 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.
Read the full review on Women’s Web: http://www.womensweb.in/2016/02/the-movie-neerja-and-what-we-teach-our-daughters-as-they-grow-up/
The good news is that Ki and Ka is a well-intentioned film which carries some interesting perspectives and message. The bad news is that it fails in execution and presentation.
The technical aspects of the film are mediocre and fail to leave a mark. As a result, the positive message carried in the film seems lost. The script is loose, and the treatment lacks depth and intensity. Gender stereotypes are challenged in over simplified scenes which only look like public service announcements. The entire film appears to be a series of loosely connected social media memes or viral videos. There is a dash of weak humour sprinkled all through the script which makes it difficult for audience to take the message seriously. Continue reading
Sanjukta Basu speaking at the Gender Awareness workshop at Ramanujan College, Delhi University
I recently conducted a small workshop on gender awareness at Ramanujan College, Delhi University. The workshop was organized by the college’s Equal Opportunity Cell, along with gender awareness there were talks on personality development. The lecture was attended by about 60-70 undergraduate students of the college from all streams. The workshop went very well due to the students who were very attentive and responsive. These were students from socially and financially marginalized background, yet they were more articulate than the ones I have sometimes met in some of the top colleges I have spoken at. The boys were receptive and understanding of gender discourse. The best moment was when I said,”Gender stereotypes hurt men as much as they hurt women, it is wrong to stereotype boys and men as unemotional, why won’t boys have emotions, don’t they have a heart, don’t they have feelings?” The whole lecture hall burst in an overwhelming roar of clapping. Continue reading