The world is now adopting a “feminist” ideology, a concept where all people irrespective of their gender, demand social and professional equality for all genders. The people all over the world are coming together as feminists to promote equality between the genders. The feminists could be liberal, with a calmer and more strategic plan to demand equality, or radical, with sheer aggression and passion to gain equality. Any which way, feminism has proved to be an adhesive in bringing like-minded people together and helping them make this world a more harmonious and just place to live.
Why only feminism? Why not maleism?
Many years ago, the orthodox society expected a woman to be a silent presence, bow before dominating men, get married at a young age without even receiving proper education, cook, clean and give birth to children- but preferably only male children. However, as shocking as it may seem, the situation has not reversed completely even today.
To justify this statement in terms of India, places like Haryana, Delhi, Daman and Diu, etc. are still eclipsed by their extremely low sex ratio, i.e., 879, 868 and 618 respectively. Even today, the average sex ratio of India stands at 944.
But the problem does not end at female foeticide alone, it increases ten-fold as the girl grows up. The main atrocities a girl has to face irrespective of her nationality are- prohibition to study, early marriage, forced entry in the sex racket or prostitution, domestic violence, rape, torture for dowry, exemption from family’s property, unequal job opportunities and receiving unequal salary even after being on the same rank as their male counterparts.
But as much as we blame each other for the poor standards of women’s safety, we cannot deny that somewhere, all of us, or the people we know, possess that patriarchal and misogynistic mindset subtly or expressively which constantly pulls women down or objectifies them.
Even in this modern age where almost everybody lives a life with basic luxuries, women still have to fight for equality, justice, respect and security.
Why is feminism trending?
Stating the fact that we live in the modern age of 2020 once again, women no longer expect other people to take a stand for them and help them gain equality, but believe in self-hep and standing-up for oneself. The same has been done by women all over the world. Women are realising the importance of equality above any right which is pushing them to adopt the feminist ideology. Apart from this, scores of men are also coming forward and claiming to be feminists because after all, equality is never a one way ride, it goes both ways.
If feminism is so advantageous, why do people mock feminists?
Well, this question is one that I have been asked to answer or have heard been answered numerous times. In my opinion, there are three major reasons for this mockery:
Mere sake of mocking- now there are some people out there who have a problem with anything and everything you do and no matter how noble your actions are, they will always have a bee in their bonnet and will try to put one in yours too. So what will the solution for this be? Well, to put it in simple words, just dab on them haters and do what you want to without paying heed to their pessimism.
Lack of understanding- next, we encounter some people in our lives who mock us for being feminists because they do not have the kind of maturity or understanding regarding the status of women and the need for equality.
People who unsee problems- there are many people around us who have the tendency of running away from problems rather than facing them. These people are of the view that being a feminist is just trying to be cool and overstating this issue which, in fact, is not the case.
Although there are a lot of things to be done to represent women on an equal pedestal, yet the women have achieved success in this sphere to some extent.
Change needs to be brought, and it has to be brought soon. Helping women stand shoulder-to-shoulder with men is a tough feat that can be achieved only if all of us work as a team for women and against evil forces.
One such medium to bring about change on a global platform is feminism with celebrities like Emma Watson, Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett and many others stepping forward as vocal feminists committed to bring about a change.
We have been taught the art of oratory, debating, speaking and expressing in general since our childhood. However, when you are at the receiving end of this practice, do you ever feel cut-off or bored or uninterested in what the others have to say? I’m sure the answer is yes.
This phenomenon is not a disorder or malfunction of any sort, rather, it is simply the lack of training of a very important art-listening. Keeping this in mind, I have tried to highlight the importance of inculcating the art of listening along with its accompanying effects.
Causesof being a weak listener
Lack of focus
Short attention span
The problem of being a bad listener generally arises if the person ticks off one or more pointers off the list. However, there is no problem in this world for which we cannot find a solution. Therefore, here are 4 tips to help you become a good listener and make yourself proud:
Meditate– meditation is the key to peace, concentration and enhanced focus in an individual. All you must do is find a comfortable corner, sit in a relaxed posture and breathe in and out slowly. Meditation is completely subjective, and that is why it is so beautiful. For best results, you must be regular in meditating and you will yourself feel more peaceful and focused in all your endeavors.
Keep your mind relaxed– if you are putting your mind into multiple things at once and are taking unnecessary stress, you will be unable to listen to and pay attention to what the person before you is saying.
Inculcate empathy– switch roles such that you are the person speaking and the other person is the one listening. Once you gain the experience of being on the receiving end, only then will you be able to increase your attention span and listening skills.
Have a healthy attitude– if you have an unhealthy attitude or have a poor mental health, then you can never put someone before you and listen to them with utmost concentration and focus. If this is the case, it is best to take help from a therapist or psychologist. If not professionally, one can also talk to one’s near and dear ones and try to develop a healthy and positive attitude.
Hope you guys found this article helpful and will inculcate what it takes to become a good listener!
“If sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, then silence is the highest.”
It is the natural tendency of humans to argue and try to prove their point right. However, in the contemporary era, these arguments have assumed the identity of roast battles, wherein the person passing the most brutally humiliating and sarcastic comeback is crowned the winner.
Though it may sound like a great idea to blabber offensive comebacks at the person you dislike with occasional ooohs and aaahs from your squad, but are these appreciations from your friends really worth it?
No. They are not. In an attempt to appear cool and sassy before one’s friends, one forgets the difference between right and wrong. Here, I’d like to quote, Mahatma Gandhiji, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
But what should one do in this situation, one may ask. Well, the answer is simple- just smile and wave. This action will be met by one out of three reactions from the person before you:
They may think you are demented for laughing at your own insult, make fun of you for this response, but ultimately, they will leave with a slightly lighter feeling than angst.
They may get confused as to why they couldn’t hurt you and be rendered speechless.
They may experience a change of heart and realise their mistake.
Our conclusion here is simple: whatever the response given by the opposition; the situation cannot get worse then it already is. Therefore, all one needs to do is take a chance and rather than elevating the fight, try to end it. As it is, there is a lot of hate in the world for everyone, but not enough love for even half of them.
This age is dominated by the excessive use of a certain identity that always amuses the intellectuals on account of its ironic name. And this honour has been bestowed upon the infamous universally owned gadget- smartphones. This identity has many delusional aspects attached to its identity. Although people support the intelligence and increased efficiency of smartphones, yet their fooled conscience is questioned by their somewhat rational sub-conscience.
Smartphones can be compared to children. They have to be trained, taught, reminded and given orders and when they are old enough to become independent, they are the ones who make us dependent on them with their “knowledge” and “efficiency”. This misleading identity makes the thinking section of the society rattle their last four brain cells- are smartphones really making us smart?
In my opinion, smartphones are a medium of increasing our efficiency, however, we have mistaken the use of smartphones from an additional helping hand to the basis of our survival. To escape this rising plague, it is our duty to use smartphones in the way they were originally invented for rather than allowing them to become the reason of the apocalypse of human creativity.
So please consider smartphones as an addition, not a whole.
It all started with a sudden spur of protests and expressions of solidarity. Before this, the Nirbhaya case was just another case which was among many gang rape cases that came in a quantity of dozens regularly. But in reality, it wasn’t just a case that was filed and forgotten, rather, it shook the country hard. It compelled us to think that a woman lives in a place where we she is surrounded by these pathetic sexual predators all the time and though the police department can protect her only to an extent, it is the sick mentality of these rapists that makes her prey to their barbaric crimes.
Nirbhaya case took place in 2012 after which the citizens were assured that the repetition of such a crime will never be witnessed again. But unfortunately, then came the high profile Unnao rape case in 2017 and the Kathua rape case in 2018 which further cracked open the crevices of shame of the country. From a sitting MLA raping a minor girl and then killing all who dared to speak against him, to an eight-year-old girl being abducted, raped and killed by seven people, the fear of the country plunging deeper into the sea of crime was ever-increasing.
To conclude, this brutality did not cease here, but the Hyderabad rape case added another ugly scar to the wounded face of the country. A veterinarian was gang raped and then burnt alive by her rapists. These disgusting accounts can make anybody question the status of women’s safety in India. The debates centred towards the post-rape proceedings are plenty, but prevention- negligible. As the youth of our nation, it is our duty to step-up and eliminate patriarchal and misogynist views and treat women as equal to ensure their safety. The future generation should be sensitive towards the pivotal role of women in shaping the nation and if this target is still unachieved, it is not the rapists, but us who are stripping the country off its dignity.
The era before independence saw strong female leaders and warriors like Rani Laxmibai, Razia Sultan, Begum Hazrat Mahal, Jhalkari Bai and other brave women. It is also a fact that after independence, our country has been led by strong female characters like Late Shrimati Indira Gandhi Ji as our honourable ex-Prime Minister and Shrimati Pratibha Patil Ji as our honourable ex-President. However, like two sides of the same coin, India has witnessed two types of treatment that its women have been subjected to, first, being considered equal to men and second, inferior to them. The major cause of this is that unlike the first section of the women, the second section of women are born and brought-up in families with relatively backward and orthodox ideologies. However, today, India has improved its image to being the birthplace of strong female characters like Kalpana Chawla, Sudha Murthy, Medha Patkar, Indira Nooyi, Sunita Williams, PV Sindhu and Priyanka Chopra. Indian women are proudly standing equal to, if not ahead of, Indian men and many people who previously had patriarchal mindsets are now transforming into open-minded and progressive individuals.
Many years ago, the orthodox society expected an Indian woman to be a silent presence, bow before dominating men, get married at a young age without even receiving proper education, cook, clean and give birth to children- but preferably only male children. But today, the role of women has transitioned into role-models and inspirations for their families and the society at large. Indian women have conquered all professional spheres which were first considered inappropriate for them, be it politics, astronomy, artificial intelligence, sports, acting, social activism, business and so many more.
It is a proud pedestal that Indian women are standing on, but still a lot needs to be done to encourage women and erase the feeling of inferiority in them so that they can achieve even more than what they have achieved today. Proper education, awareness and respect for women will bring about a difference and I am sure that when this is achieved, all Indian women will be listed as inspirations and will proudly say that their social and professional status is at par with men.
We are young and foolish, unaware about what the future holds. We try to walk in the ocean, expecting to stay afloat. We block the mouth of the flute, expecting to hear a melodious tune. We make promises of forever, oblivious of the duration of eternity. This poem is a harsh reality of today’s youth, who is naive towards the truth of time. Promises grow old, people become distant and relationships become too long to to keep, and that is when one says to oneself, “only if forever wasn’t that long.”
If Only Forever Wasn’t That Long
We sang merrily this forever song,
Never realizing that forever was so long,
And now that we're in this web of eternity,
We condemn the foolish lovers' fraternity.
The feelings that we had are now stale,
And the rings hence traded eventually did fail,
And then all the moments shared as adventures of the affair,
Became arguments of the marriage and brought despair.
The little things I adored in you before,
Are eclipsed with your darkness that floated ashore,
And when I saw hope that I could get you back,
You crushed it too, changed the white light to a hopeless black.
I wish we had thought about it for longer,
Or maybe taken this decision when we were older,
So maybe things could have been better,
You would be caroling with your soulmate and I knitting for my sweetheart a sweater.
But we were young and foolish and bold,
And our oblivious adrenaline did not feel the numbing cold,
As we plunged into this bond of nothing,
Not knowing that it would cost us everything.
And now as I sit alone looking at the moist window,
Staring after you as you leave the soaked meadow,
I wish when we merrily sang that forever song,
We'd know that we hoped forever wasn't that long...
Through this poem, I would just like to put across the seriousness of promising someone the companionship of your whole life. Naming your life to somebody is a big decision which you should take wisely so that you look upon your life fondly, not sadly.
I wake-up everyday with an eye towards the mirror in my dressing room. Every morning I analyse my appearance and wish that some areas could be better than what they currently are. Like you, I want so many things, that I know will need hard-work to achieve.
Some want better hair; some naturally-clipped brows; some want bigger eyes, some smaller; some want fuller lips, some thinner; some want a petite body, some curvier; some want thicker thighs, while some thinner.
This process of wanting ‘better’ physical traits seems very trivial and nonsensical when you read it, but a study by Body Image, reported by Cosmopolitan, says that only 28% males and 26% females were satisfied with their physical appearance, while 72% and 74% respectively, were not. This will make you think again-are you under this 72% or 74% or not?
Well, these wants for better features according to the society’s standards, is the major reason for insecurities, depression, anxiety, self-doubt, self-consciousness, anorexia and even suicidal tendencies in people. But how can we change this condition of wanting unbelievable things and becoming sick by doing so, slowly but effectively?
Take my advice. Whenever feeling bad about yourself or wanting things that are emotionally draining you, visualize these images:
Your parents, siblings, family should be thought of first and foremost. Think about how they have taken-care of you, stood by you, been with you through every hardship. They will break if you take an irrational step just because you couldn’t have a better body. They will blame themselves for not being able to make you love yourself.
Next, think about people who have nothing- no family, food, shelter, clothing or even properly-formed bodies. They are living their lives with less than 10% of what you have and are unhappy with.
This brings us to our next lesson-gratitude. Why is gratitude important through the journey of self-love? I’ll answer it in two words-To Heal. To heal yourself from the chronic illness of self-doubt, only gratitude acts as the medicine. Gratitude towards God, your parents, your friends, your well-wishers and your body. You have so much more than the majority of the world-value it, express gratitude for it and cherish it.
Self-love, I repeat is a milestone that one encounters only when one travels on the path of gratitude.
So, express gratitude and you will automatically inculcate self-love.