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Tag Archives: Stereotyping

Who’s A Feminist?

What in the world do you mean by the word ‘feminist’? Does a woman who wants respect, a safe life, the right to voice her opinion and the freedom to follow her dreams automatically become one?

Then let me ask you three questions:

  • The Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN in 1948, says “…..recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of the human family is the foundation if freedom, justice and peace in the world”.  This is applicable for and by every individual on our planet and I count myself one among them, don’t you count yourself there too?
  • The Indian Constitution gives us (1) the right to equality, (2) the right to freedom, (3) the right against exploitation, (4) the right to freedom of religion, (5) the cultural and educational rights, (6) the right to constitutional remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights. Are not women being exploited and denied to freedom of living as equals in society?
  • This phrase from the United States Declaration of Independence “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” what do these inalienable rights stand for and why should we not demand them?

If wanting the above makes me a feminist, then I am proud to be in the company of some of the world’s greatest leaders, women and men. You definitely are not better than that.

Image Credit: Image 1

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Stereotypes

 

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When Did I Become A Girlie Girl?

I admit it, I love pink and purple and glitter. I’m a girlie girl through and through, though I also love sport and books. So that makes me a sporty, girlie, bookworm. Okay, the discussion is not really about defining who I am, but rather how did I get to the person I am today. What’s stumped me suddenly is, when did the girlie part get into my psyche?

Growing-up I had my share of Barbie dolls, but I never really played dress-up with them. I was always a bookworm and once I started reading at the age of three, there was no looking back. In fact, my mom (who introduced me to reading, in order to make sure I never fell into the television watching vortex), made sure that my brother and I played all sorts of sports to stay healthy and fit, since the two of us spent so many hours cuddled up with our books. So there you have me from the age of three to twenty-one. Either I would be in mud/sweat-splattered shorts and t-shirt, trying to beat the heck out of my brother at table tennis, squash or basketball. Or the two of us would be bug-eyed behind our spectacles reading like there was no tomorrow. During the summers, we would roam the city, during the hottest hours of the day, picking dates of the palm trees and getting ourselves all sticky.

When it came to clothes, I always preferred trousers or jeans to skirts and frocks. My mom didn’t believe in children wearing heels or make-up, so there was no question of either. During Indian festivals, I was literally shoe-horned into feminine Indian outfits, that majorly restricted my ability to move, so i just sat in a corner with my book and refused to socialize (actually I wasn’t sulking, I just put on that demeanor so that no one interrupted my reading with their pointless adult “Oh! you’ve grow so tall”.).

I remember the first time my mom made me wear a saree, I was fourteen and I cried and cried, because everyone said I looked so pretty and lady like. I was secretly terrified that people would think me suitable marriage material (don’t ask where that came from). Matter of fact I had only two real girl friends out of school, the rest were all boys and in high-school my brother and I had a common group of friends who practically lived at the local sports club. I was also extremely clumsy and accident prone. (Okay, I’m still accident prone to a scary extent, according to the techie. That’s a separate story though.)

When I got to the eleventh grade, I did start wearing skirts and frock for parties and I quite enjoyed them. The only difference from my friends was that, I refused to wear sandals or heels. I wore only black leather boots with my dresses. The first time I actually remember wearing heels voluntarily was for my twelfth grade prom, where I wobbled around like a drunk, thought there was no alcohol present. I also did my make-up on my own, which left me looking like a ghost, or rather like I’d seen a ghost, in most of the pictures (imagine that teamed with a silver sheath dress). After that disaster, which I can laugh about now, the next time I put on make-up and heels was at my engagement, a good four years later!

Real story, I didn’t spend a minute on my wedding shopping because I deemed it was boring and unnecessary! My mom, poor thing, did all of it with the help of assorted family members and I just presented myself on the big day. How do we think we know it all at that age and how are we so selfish? (Again fodder for another post.) Sorry mommy.

So you see, while I always loved the colour pink, because it was such a happy colour, I was never a real girlie. Today, I love fashion blogs, love having an opportunity to get dressed-up (though I still hate shopping), adore cocktails rings, high heels and glittery nail polish. Chick lit and fashion magazines have been added to my bookshelves, which were already filled with Wilbur Smith and Williard Price adventures. After having a daughter who loves playing football in her tutu, the me that was ten years back seems to have gotten lost.

How did the wannabe Georgina (from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series) morph into this wannabe yummy mommy?

Where I wonder could that messy, spectacled tomboy possibly have gone?

Have you substantially changed over the years, to an extent that you can’t reconcile your old and new self? Do share and help me figure out if this is normal.

Photo Credit: Image 1

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8 Comments

Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Defining Me, Dubai, Growing-Up, The Real Me

 

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Silk Route

I’ll tell you why I’ve been AWOL recently, in the next post. I may even have some interesting news in the near future.

Right now I have something else to share with you. My husband paid me the cutest compliment today, he called me an iconic Indian woman (yes, I know he’s married to me, but it still felt great). You ask why? Well, here’s why.

My cousin sister had a traditional women’s function at home today and this is what my morning looked like:

  • 6.30 am – leave mom’s house (we spent the night there) and head home
  • 7:00 am – get the little one ready in her Indian finery (she loves it and I have to hide the stuff from her on regular days)
  • 7:30 am – start tying 9 yards of gorgeous but confusing silk around myself. My cousins, aunt and I are dab hands at tying a 6 yards saree, however, for a 9 yards one we turn too ……. you tube 🙂 Here’s the video we followed . My husband spent the whole 15 minutes laughing at the tiny grandmom and her super tall granddaughter.
  • 8:00 am – get into the car for the one hour drive. I was driving, since I would drop my husband off at work and take the car. I didn’t want to get out in all my finery at the office gates to switch sides (silly huh!)
  • 9:00 am – reached my cousin’s beautiful house
  • 11:30 am – changed into my work clothes, changed V into more manageable clothes and did the goodbye routine with V (she was spending the day with her cousins after skipping school)
  • 12:00 pm – walked into the office and started the day with a meeting with the bankers

It was during the car ride that my husband made the ‘Iconic Women’ comment. He found it amazing that I managed to drive the car wearing 9 yards of slithery silk. He even took a picture of me at the wheel with sunglasses (I look ridiculous), when he caught a whole bunch of people on a bus staring at us (my daughter was also dressed in a heavily embroidery silk outfit paired with purple flower sunglasses). I’m sure we were quite a sight and must have provided a lot of family entertainment when that bunch of people got home from work.

Why did I write this post? Well, primarily because for once in my life I actually felt that I was pulling the work-life balance thing off.

What do you think, did it sound like a day of balance or the day of a confused woman? Is this just an Asian thing or do women all over the world have to manage outfits along with all the other juggling we do?

 
18 Comments

Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Stereotypes

 

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Happy Stereotype Day

I had an SMS conversation today which went like this:

60+ Male: Happy Mother’s Day.

Me: You mean Women’s Day 🙂 Thank you.

60+ Male: Yes. In my view, WOMEN ARE MOTHERS.

For a moment there I didn’t know how to react and then I was mad (though I hid it well). I know a lot of women would have just shrugged it off and some would have even taken it as a compliment (especially with this person being from an older, more traditional generation).

I, however, could not accept this stereotyping. What did he mean? That outside of being a mother I had no identity. Excuse me, I was a person way before I became a mommy, and though I love my baby to bits, I am an independent, successful (in my eyes) woman.

Why do people never say such stuff about dads? Why is it that, being a good dad deserves an outstanding ovation for balancing your dynamic life perfectly, and does not mean the man is defined as ‘Mr.Daddy’?

Am I over-reacting? Could be. Do I have a chip on my shoulder? Could be. Fortunately or unfortunately, my first post here has been very revealing. This is the real me, so I won’t hold it against you if you don’t continue, though I will be flattered if you do (and I will return the favour).

To all the wonderful women out there, who enrich my life everyday. Happy Women’s Day. I like you for the person you are and not because of a role you play. I dedicate this song to you – I AM WOMAN by Helen Reddy

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Note: I am not usually this way (most of the time). I can be very friendly and charming, if you don’t judge me.

 
22 Comments

Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Stereotypes

 

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