Month: July 2013

What gets posted and liked

Facebook (FB), the social media giant is in the news again, regarding non-moderation of posts which denigrate women. These posts glorify rape and domestic violence against women. The posts show women who are drugged and are unconscious and there are sleazy comments which encourage rape on the pictures. It is surprising that these posts were not deleted by the moderators. As per the moderators these posts were in the category of humor and free speech. These so called posts of free speech are in the true sense hate speeches against women. These hate speeches were brought to the notice of FB by several feminist groups but FB did not remove these posts. It was only when Women Action & Media (WAM) launched a massive campaign against the maligning pages and posts ( http://www.womenactionmedia.org/events/take-action-to-end-gender-based-hate-speech-on-facebook/) did FB care. The activists of WAM sent more than 5000 e-mails to facebook advertisers and more than 60,000 posts on twitter under the name #FBrape and prompted companies like Nissan, Dove and a few dozen other companies to withdraw their ads …

Are you leaning in?

About four years ago, I attended Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) session on personality development in Montreal, Canada. To this day, I follow what the speaker of that workshop told us, ‘always sit at the table, sit in the front row during the presentations and speak up to get noticed.

Four years later, I read a similar thing in the book, ‘Lean In’. The author of ‘Lean In’ is Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Face book. The book starts with the question, ‘Why don’t we have women leaders? What is stopping us from filling half of the leadership positions in the world? In this book, she discusses various issues that prevent women from aspiring bigger roles. Below are few of the interesting things I learned from this book

Of Men and Household Chores

Men are also a part of the women’s world and we women interact with them on a day to day basis. I got married in August 2012 and since then I am living with an adorable man. After our cooking maid went to Ooty for about 10 days, my husband has been helping me cook every day during her absence. On one of the days he cooked some rice, thawed frozen chapathi and also made peanut chutney using the mixer. I was so excited about my husband’s culinary developments that I elatedly told my mother about all that he made. My mother also got excited and she remarked that, ‘I am proud of my son-in-law’. A few hours in the kitchen and my hubby earned a great deal of praise and appreciation. My husband’s cooking act sparked a discussion between me and my mom. My mother said, ‘Men do not mind doing household chores as long as they are linked with technology and do not take a long time. For example, chores like cooking rice …

Of Women and the Mirror Genie

I met one of my close friends and her daughter a couple of weeks ago. Her daughter looked cute with a small bun tied to the side of her head. My friend told me that her daughter loved to look at herself in the mirror. I have heard similar stories about my niece, as well. She is one year old and she enjoys looking at herself in the mirror. I started wondering about what kids see in the mirror, how do they perceive themselves? Initially, they must be surprised to see somebody doing the same actions as they do, later they realize that the image in mirror is their reflection. What happens as we grow older? As we grow older, we start analysing how the person looks in the mirror. Our brain takes the role of the mirror genie in Show White & the Seven Dwarfs, which told the Queen, ‘Oh Queen you are the fairest in the world’ or ‘Oh Queen you are no longer the fairest’. So what does our mirror tell us?, ‘Oh dear, your nose looks too …

Of Women, Rapes and Media

I am so tired and sick of reading news about rapes, almost every day. Women and young girls getting raped is sad and inhumane. Reading these rape incidents made me ask two questions. Are we reading more country because after the Delhi rape case, the media wants to enlighten the people about similar incidents? Or is it because more rapes are happening? Enlightening the people about the events happening around them is a good thing. We can identify the most common causes in which a rape is happening, the locations, the trends-private buses, isolated places, a lonely kid at home and the neighbour who takes advantage of her etc.,. We can take precautions to avoid such situations to the maximum extent possible.  The only harmful part about the rape coverage is when the complete story of the rape is not given. We know that an innocent victim has been raped. What happened to the perpetrators after the crime? Are they brought to justice? How long does it take to bring them to justice? If the …

Of Women and Miss Moti

What is it with women and weight loss? Why are we so obsessed with the hour glass figure?  I agree that having a healthy BMI is the key to healthy living. But what if we are in situations that encourage us to be in a food trance that makes us pack up a couple of pounds? Occasions like festivals, marriages, family functions are the times we cannot help binging on our favourite foods. The butter chicken takes the role of the siren on high seas and keeps on calling on to us until we devour it. The aftermath of the visit from the food siren is a guilt trip down the road of self-esteem. Every time I look in the mirror, I tell to myself, “I have to lose weight”.  Most of us want to be like all those svelte actresses on TV, with their zero figures and shapely body parts. But losing weight is one of the most painful tasks. Do you know that one has to shed 3500 calories to loose 1 kilo? …