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A Letter To The Neighborhood Aunty From The ‘Girls of these days’

Posted: December 30, 2012
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Dear Aunty,

We know you are shaken like all of us by the Delhi incident. We know you are angry, upset and outraged. We know you cried your eyes out and cursed those monsters out using every single gali you know. We know you prayed to all the gods asking them to help the victim and ease her pain.

We know you hoped that the courageous soul, who fought until the end, would beat the odds and come out of this. Unfortunately she didn’t make it. Like the rest of India, we know you are devastated. We don’t know how to console you, words fail us. We hope those monsters who committed this heinous crime will be brought to justice without any delay. May “Dhamini”s soul rest in peace.

“How could this happen? Is there no good left in this country? Where is this world going?” We know you keep asking yourself. While it is easy to put the entire blame on the monsters who did this to ‘Dhamini’, unfortunately the answers to your questions are not that simple. The entire country is doing a soul searching now: civil society, politicians, the judiciary, law enforcement, millions of Indian men, media, movie makers and others. Every single one of us must confront this.

Sadly, it took us this long, but we have reached a tipping point with ‘Dhamini’ and it is time for us to be introspective. It is not going to be easy, it is not going to be pleasant, but this is our last and only chance, if we want to stop another ‘Dhamini’ from happening. We have to be honest, sincere and brutal in our efforts and shouldn’t leave any stone unturned. That is why dear Aunty, we are here to talk to you.

Who are “we”, you ask?  We are not strangers, you know us quite well. You talk about us every day. You are always in our business. Yes. You guessed it right we are the “Girls of these days” (“Aaj kal ki ladkiyaan”, “Intha kaalaththu ponnunga”). There are quite a few of us who want to talk to you, so let us get to it right away.

Dear Aunty, I am Mala. I live right across from your house. You are always nice to me to my face, but I know I am the divorcee that you and others in our neighbourhood gossip about. You know everything about me, my life and my schedule including when my boyfriend visits me during the weekend. You watch from the window of your house and call your friends, the moment you notice him at my door. “No wonder her husband left her”, you gossip without any hesitation. But Aunty, my husband didn’t leave me. I left him, because he used to beat me! I didn’t tell you this before, because I didn’t want to share my horrible past with anyone. I wanted a fresh start and that is the reason I moved to this neighbourhood. But because I am divorced and I have a boyfriend, you think I am a whore. Thanks to you and your gossiping skills, all the men and women in our neighbourhood, including the college students at the corner of the street think I am a whore. I feel very safe now.

Dear Aunty, I am Kala. I am your neighbor Mrs.Kumar’s daughter-in-law. We don’t know each other that well, but that didn’t stop you from asking me if I will be observing Karva Chauth this year. I manage a ten member team in a leading media house and my work is extremely demanding and stressful. I told you that work is very hectic and sometimes I don’t even remember what day of the week it is, so there is no way I could observe Karva Chauth this year (The truth is I never do. I don’t believe in the tradition of starving for my husband’s well being, but I didn’t want to get into all those details with you). When I said I was not planning to observe, you gave me a judgmental look and moved on. It didn’t bother me. Trust me, you are not the only one. But you didn’t stop there, did you? On the Karva Chauth day you saw my husband in the parking lot and asked him the same question. When he hesitantly said no, you said “Beta, guys of these days are very lenient. That is so cute! Uncle would never let me do that!” My husband came home annoyed and asked me why I should tell everyone in the neighborhood that I wear the pants in our house.

Dear Aunty, I am Sheela. I am your best friend’s daughter. I have friends. Lots of them. Both boys and girls. I play guitar in my high school music band. I hang out with my guy friends all the time. I bring them home sometimes. My parents don’t care. But you think I am a slut. Thanks to you, everyone in my mom’s circle thinks I am a slut. Last week when we all got together for Raj’s birthday party, his friends made fun of me about the number of “boyfriends” I have. One of them even sang “Sheela Ki Jawani” every time I passed them at the party. Before you know it, his friends, their friends and our entire small town will talk about what a slut I am.

Dear Aunty, I am Roopa. I am your nephew’s ex-wife. My marriage with your nephew wasn’t easy. Karthik wasn’t a bad guy but we had compatibility issues. Remember the time when elders in both families got together to resolve our issues? You said to my parents: “Please don’t get me wrong. Girls of these days are spoilt rotten. What is wrong with Karthik? Does he beat your daughter? Is he an alcoholic? He feeds your daughter three meals a day, buys her the stuff she wants. What more can a husband do? There is no reason for your daughter to complain!” Well, not beating his wife, feeding her and buying clothes is not the definition of a good husband in my opinion. Marriage is not about providing food, clothing and shelter to women. Maybe it was so in previous generations, but not in my generation. After you drew the line in the sand about what I should expect from my marriage, it became an uphill battle for me to explain to my parents why I wanted a divorce. My parents still think I was foolish and made a bad decision in getting a divorce. “You are the woman, you should have adjusted” says my mom.

Dear Aunty, I am Swetha. I am your daughter-in-law. It is not news to you that I don’t cook. I am not good at it and I don’t like it. Your son likes to cook. I run errands and do other things around the house. When we both work late, we eat out. It works for us. We are happy. But apparently you are not happy with this arrangement. Every time you come to visit us, you tell your son how your heart bleeds to see him cook while his wife relaxes and watches television. (Really?) You tell him that I run all over him and I am a total bitch. Your son and I end up arguing and he tells me that his mom was right: I am a bitch.

Aunty, we know it wasn’t easy for you. We know you struggled at home and at work. You had no choice, but to wake up at four in the morning, cook and feed the entire family, pack their lunch boxes before you left home for work. We know sexism was alive and well at workplaces during your time and you put up with nasty men throughout the day. You came home in the evenings, to a hungry mob and had to get back to the kitchen immediately. Unless you were ill, you never got a day off from the kitchen. You had no spare time, no hobbies and no friends. You didn’t get any help from Uncle.

Your in-laws scrutinised you more because you choose to work. You had the extra pressure to prove that you were capable of balancing work and home and that you were a good wife and a good mom. Even though you worked and brought home the money, you never had any control over the family’s finances. You needed your husband’s permission even to buy a saree from the money you earned. You never got the credit for being a breadwinner. We know how hard it was for you. We applaud your strength, your perseverance, your patience and your compassion. We seriously do. You and other women of your generation have made things easier for us.

Fortunately, things are changing. Many women of these days are not slaves to traditions and customs. We try to live by our terms. We follow our hearts and pursue our dreams. We get married when we want to and to who we want to. We have a say in when we want kids and how many we want. We don’t cook if we don’t like. We don’t slave around the house all by ourselves. We ask that our husbands share responsibility and some of them happily do. We don’t stay in marriages if we are not happy. Things are changing!

At the same time, believe us when we say this, our lives are not easy either. We still battle every single day, like you did in your times. Sexism and misogyny are alive and well in 2012. We are ridiculed, harassed, judged and disrespected at every turn. When horrible incidents of sexual or other forms of violence happen to us, we are told we asked for them. We are told that we dare not step out of the boundaries imposed on us or face dire consequences. We are called names like Bitch, Slut, Whore, Brat, ‘Not proper’, Arrogant  and many others.

Aunty, that’s why it hurts, when we hear similar things from YOU. Even in ‘Dhamini’s’ case, you said, “I wish for her own safety, she didn’t go out that late with her boyfriend.” For you 9 pm was late for a woman to be outside her house. You have said in other rape cases that if the girls had been “proper,” things would have turned out differently. You claim that women in your day dressed properly, behaved properly and carried themselves with dignity. You say “girls of these days” don’t. You say things like this when we stand up, when we speak up, when we defy gender rules and when we demand equality.

By labeling us, by calling us names, by dismissing us, you create an impression in the society that women who didn’t live like you or suffer like you, are not noble women. They are the “Others”. They are not you. They don’t deserve the same respect you do. May be you are just treating us the way, your mother, mother-in-law or your aunt treated you, but this vicious cycle can’t and shouldn’t continue. That is why we are here to ask you to stop. Please stop this culture of moral policing. For once and for all. You owe this to ‘Dhamini’, you owe this to us and above all, you owe this to yourself.

Please come to our side and join the fight.

Love,

“Girls of these days”.

Disclaimer: “Dear Aunty” has been used based on a real discussion the author had recently. It is not intended to cast older women as the ‘enemy’ or exonerate ‘Uncles’ (read, men) from their role in perpetuating gender stereotypes.

Shridhar Sadasivan is a writer, blogger and co-editor of Orinam.net, a LGBT resource website run by Chennai based online-offline group Orinam. His latest work is part of Queer Ink’s LGBT anthology: Out! Stories from the New Queer India. Shridhar is not a woman, but being queer he deals with patriarchy in every turn of his life. Like many in the LGBT community, he is an advocate of women’s rights and writes about women’s issues frequently. His twitter handle is @ShriSadasivan 

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213 Comments


  1. ‘Amazing’ is how I would describe this piece of writing! Resonates with what and how I feel! Thank you so very much!

  2. Take a bow! Kudos .. we need the aunties too on our side now.

  3. Wow!!! My life today resonates with this piece…in fact from a conversation I just had moments ago. Kudos for writing this!! You gave me voice!

  4. Very well written, we all have had such experiences being females & at times just like few of the examples above we prefer to ignore such idiosyncrasies than stand and give a piece of our mind to such ‘dear aunties’. Its not easy to bridge the gap..’the generation gap’. We as youngsters need to be more reasonable & understanding with the future generations and stand for our own rights now ! People who would understand us, have a way out with us..else- good luck to you with your daughter/daughters-inlaw. 🙂

  5. It is a really nice piece, especially the second half. Thanks for writing this.

  6. Wow! very well-written.

  7. This would make a nice script for a stage play that will help get the message out even more!

  8. A perfect piece of writing portraying the picture of changing India! We do need to change the attitudes faster than ever before!!

  9. while women gossiping about women needs to stop…men teasing,touching and abusing and raping women needs to stop even more. there should be a no tolerance policy. you tease you either pay a fine or go to jail. the message needs to be loud and clear. it shouldnt matter whose son you are…you shouldnt be able to bride your way out of jail

    • Radha Singh: Very true. There needs to stricter laws and stronger law enforcement. Men need to respect women and their equality. No two ways about that. This article is not just about gossiping, but also the every day sexism that we all encounter in different forms, be it customs, traditions, marriage, domestic roles, rules and restrictions and other things. As mentioned, the entire nation is soul searching now and all of us should take this opportunity and confront the biases and prejudices we have.

  10. Thanks Kanika, Butterfiles of time, Bhavanas, Deeptii, Shivangi, Sapna, LRamakrishnan, Rahul for your kinds words and for sharing your thoughts. I greatly appreciate it.

    • My appeal to ‘girls of these days’, including myself, will be- whether or not the aunties break the vicious cycle, when we become aunties, moms, mother-in-laws or grandmas, we must break this vicious cycle. We mustn’t forget that we also once were ‘girls of these days’ and it is our duty to ensure that we do not treat others in the same way we did not like to be treated in.

      We must endeavour to provide the ‘girls of tomorrow’ a better and more open society, where at least we, the ‘girls of these days and aunties of tomorrow’ don’t be judgemental, and respect and uphold the dignity of human life and personal choice.

      We must ensure that the ‘girls of tomorrow’ do not write articles like this one for us.

    • Chitra Renganathan -

      I too uphold Shivangis words

  11. Nicely Drafted and good juice in it.

  12. Chitra Renganathan -

    Kudos for this but i think more of these changing thoughts should spread among all spheres of our society mainly in the rural areas i.e. the backdrop,of our cities.Yougsters should carry on these thoughts continuosly more on these portals,schools,colleges,offices,any place in any form to drive away this menace.

  13. kabir kumar mukerjee-mustafi -

    Very nice – especially since it is so true. Important now though to figure out what the change entails. I’m thinking too – hope to put out something in a day or two….

  14. Kudos to your writing,i feel i should take a print out of this and place it on the doors of different categories of aunties(u have mentioned) to educate (read taunt) them.not just the men but the mentality of the women too has to change for the reformation !

  15. Brilliant. I am sure every single one of the so called “intha kaalathu ponnunga” will relate to this because in all our lives there is not one but many such aunties. Its not just mentality of men but also the thought process of women that needs to change for things to get better. My request to all you aunties out there. Dont just understand us. More importantly, teach your uncles (maybe difficult at this age) or at least your sons to look at us with respect. We do not want to be treated like princesses. Respect us as equals though we have much more substance than you (no offence).

  16. Actually the aunties started the fight long back. When feminism was a bad word. Today, the spirit is stronger – good on you

  17. Sindhu Neelakantan -

    Very beautifully portrayed the feelings of “these days girls”… awesome…. kudos.. I would like to add a few more points to this… this was told by my cousin Uma Sundaram…

    Dear Aunty!!! I am a 30+ single girl who chose not to get married, due to various personal reasons… Please don’t pester me, saying your parents are growing old…

    Dear Aunty!!! I am a 30 + married woman who chose not to have a kid or who is unable to have a kid for a variety of reasons and stop asking me if I have any “good news”… It hurts…

    Dear Aunty, you know I am newly married and may not mingle very easily with all the people in the in-laws circle, that too within a few weeks after marriage, it may take a few months to adjust and mingle, so during the noons when my hubby goes to office, I may stay aloof in my room, watching TV, listening to music or even sleeping… please don’t come and ask why are you like this, are you happy with your married life, are you having a good and happy life with your husband (meaning a good sexual life), are you married to him with full acceptance or your parents forced you for this marriage… All these questions are really stupid and irritating…

  18. Aparna

    Very well Written Article.. Thanks..

  19. Awesome yar. How well I (all of us actualli) can relate to this

  20. I can relate so much to it!! Its awesome!seriously! we, the young women should also make sure aunties who are close to us..not to gossip around our own apartments or colony..we should make them realize that it hurts!!!!!

  21. You sir, can have my like.

  22. So these days girls has to live like the above said way and somany of you likes and appreciate this article! But please remember one thing that we have live, follow and respect the culture of our elders

    It’s not wrong or a old fashion or not having freedom to live like our elders, ee should keep alive the self-respect in us !!!

    • @Kumar: Very disappointed by your comment. Our so called “culture” and most of our traditions, oppress women, their independence and their freedom. There is no need to stick to them just because our elders practiced them in their lives. We can’t continue our patriarchal, male-chauvinistic thinking and should learn to respect women and treat them as equals. Please stop this chest thumping about “Indian Culture”. At this point, it is nauseating. Thanks.

    • Sadasivaa you might be interested in this “Equality for Men- Myth or Reality” http://internationalmensday.in/download-handbook/

  23. sathyavathi seshachalam. -

    very nice article,many women of older&present generation have&are undergoing this unfortunate situations in their life,men folk&society needs change.they should equally respect women.nowadays ladies are equally grown up in all walks of life. now no regret that we are born as a girl.but we should not forget our culture,tradition&respect all human beings.thanx for the nice article which is thought provoking.

  24. thanks for this, but not sure whether the aunties are entirely to blame for this. what about the silent uncles who will berate the aunty for not having brought up her children well, for not having cooked well and who only “respected” her because she performed some duties for her. so aunty then tries to ensure that she keeps the moral code alive so that she can gain favor from the powers that be. the “silent”uncles do not berate you publicly, they just comment on the side and we never even know of it.
    and then you have the silent sons who will be cool about their hanging out with you, but probably go home and complain how sluttish the women are today and curry favor with their moms…
    its a vicious circle and its called patriarchy and we need to watch out for it, since each of us are hand maidens for it in different ways….

    • Pramada: Absolutely. Please read the disclaimer 🙂 This article is written in a tongue and cheek tone, based on a real life conversation. Uncles are not exonerated from sexism or misogyny. If we want to challenge patriarchy, it is going to take all of us. When the entire country is soul searching, ALL of us should do our part.

  25. Basically,, I have the right to live the way I want but you dont have the right to talk about it… Strange logic

    • Ummm, no, it’s actually more like, “I have the right to live the way I want and you have the right to talk about it, but why don’t you focus on better things instead? Or even better, why don’t you try and understand us”? Not everything is about rights, sometimes, people can ask for understanding without it being phrased in legal terms.

    • Why would you want to have the right to talk about someone else’s lifestyle anyway? What business is it of yours? Everyone has the right to live the way they want, without being judged by anyone else. And they should not be, if they are not hurting anyone.

  26. do u know yesterday aPERSON was beaten by 5 people brutally. but police have not reported it. MEDIA does not find spice in it.

    that person was MALE. everyday hundreds of males are also getting tortured in different ways.

    but MALE cannot complain and write bechara.

    WOMEN on the other hand are always bechari. and shud have reservation in every field like the SC/ST.

    Please note that atleast urban india has changed and doesnt speak like portrayed here.the modern india still considers women DURGA because of which we see the movement/support today. but women still consider themselve BECHARI. keep considering .this is WOMENS age. WOMENERA and u shall win also.

    • I pity your ignorance!

    • dear sir

      i can speak in terms of DATA. you can interpret information from the data then we will see the pity.

    • Funny to see how some anonymous users have tried miserably to impose their stinking mentality on others through their meaningless comments.
      E.g. this user VJ doesn’t even have the guts to state his own identity, what’s the point arguing with such trolls.
      Well written article. Kudos to the author.

    • Funny to see how some anonymous users have tried miserably to impose their stinking mentality on others through their meaningless comments.
      E.g. this user VJ doesn’t even have the guts to state his own identity, what’s the point arguing with such trolls.
      Well written article. Kudos to the author.

  27. Very well written, but this needs to be read by as many of those it is written for. Maybe have it translated in many Indian languages, print and distribute fliers?

  28. I agree with loads of points in this article but as a personal opinion I believe that the crust of the problem is still being missed by many. This article summarizes that the so called “Aunty” should not judge the girls on the basis of their life choices and gossip(Choosing to get divorced, not cooking etc). This is NOT the main problem as every individual has a rightful choice to judge irrespective of how narrow sighted and wrong it may be. The problem lies with the young generation being easily swayed by these ideals. As you stated in your article and I quote “Thanks to you and your gossiping skills, all the men and women in our neighborhood, including the college students at the corner of the street think I am a whore”, the problem here is not whether the “Aunties” gossiped, its that the college students-our future generation actually think that being divorced, having a boyfriend who comes at 9, is wrong. THIS is where the problem lies. I would rather appeal to the college students to be more learned to use their own judgement rather than blindly following. I simply put a question to the author, Which would be more suitable
    a. Changing the rigid ideals and thoughts of the “Aunties”,or
    b. Making sure the college students learn to adapt to new ideals and cultures and do not transcend into the next “Aunties and uncles”. Too much effort is wasted in changing the Past when the future is what needs to be secured.
    I really liked your article and I sincerely hope you continue to write more.
    Happy new year and all the best

    • Polly: Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. You raise some valid points and I agree with you in the scenario you mentioned: The rest of the society (in this case the college students) who get influenced by the sexist opinions, are also to blame and they need to learn to think differently. That also applies for the husbands and sons and so on. You are spot on!

      But the general point of this article is this: There is so much sexism and misogyny in our day to day lives. We all perpetuate gender stereotypes, moral police women, restrict their freedom and liberties. But when something horrible like the Delhi incident happens, we blame certain segments of the society. I think it is time, we take responsibility, confront our own personal bias and prejudices. By we, I mean all of us – Aunties, Uncles, Moms, Dads, Brothers, everyone. I hope it is clear from the disclaimer in the article, that the usage of “Dear Aunty” is inspired by a real life conversation and is not intended to excuse men from their role in sexism and misogyny.

      You know, it is very difficult to be a woman India! There is a rule book for women, created by all these people who love to moral police, and the moment a woman steps out of the book, she is called all sort of names, ridiculed, harassed, attached and what not. It is going to take ALL OF US to break free from those restrictions and for women to achieve equality. I hope all of us will take a few moments and reflect.

      Thanks again and happy new year to you 🙂

  29. Well written…

    Wish these dialogues or letters can be turned into short individual advertisements. And then played during each of the TV soaps. That would ensure that this message reaches out to the right audience. I am not sure if the aunty audience is checking this site or FB. But advertisements during soaps will definitely get to them.

  30. Wow I loved this article, day in day out, I’m forced by my parents to get married. I’m 25, I secured good education and trying to get a foothold in career, which with the will of god, I’m getting very good opportunities. But after my graduation from Master’s, every single day is a pain. I’m not allowed to choose when I want to marry and settle and whom I want to marry. To top it, I’m emotionally blackmailed that I’m responsible whenever they fall ill. That can be even common cold. They say I’m responsible for disrespect caused to them in the society. I learnt to be strong to face every single day with their complaints and taunts. Not a single day I’m whole heartedly appreciated for what I have achieved beyond my age as a researcher. I like some one and want him to settle down financially. But I do not have nerve to speak this out at home, because I’m a girl and I need to get married and cannot love anyone, which causes disrespect to the family’s name. I feel tensed, broken and always under pressure. Thankfully I have chosen a wonderful person to share my life, who always supports me and never shows any frustration or anger, with whatever situation prevailing around us. If there are people like my parents (I show atmost respect to them but today I’m tired with their pressure and taunts), there are people like my ‘boyfriend’ who supports me in every aspect and encourages me to work towards our goals.

    • Pallavi: Your comment breaks my heart! I want to reach out to you and give you a tight hug. Hang in there! Please continue being the awesome person you are 🙂 Follow your heart and pursue your dreams. I am optimistic that your parents will eventually come around. More power to you.

    • Pallavi,
      My heart goes out to you! Like you, I too had been hounded by my parents to settle down and marry a ‘good’ boy from the time I was 22 years old. All their friends’ children were getting married, and they could not accept that I might want things differently. Their emotional manipulations, and often verbal abuse, went on for seven long years, despite the fact that I was financially independent and on a good career path. This was the most bleak period of my life, and I could not believe that it was happening to me. Even more galling was the fact that both my parents were forward thinking, cosmopolitan people, who often expounded about equal rights for women. When I read your comment, I saw much that I could relate too. Like you, I too had kept quiet initially, hoping for peace and better judgement to prevail with time. But sadly that never came to pass. Therefore slowly, over time I began to speak out, to say no. Needless to say, that led to unending fights between me and my parents. Some of them were extremely ugly in nature. I am truly happy to know that you have found someone who loves and understands you. For like you, I too found someone wonderful who finally brought me a measure of happiness and peace. Today we have been married for almost two years. But here is the part which brings me the most satisfaction. I married my husband because ‘I’ wanted to and when I was ready to, not because I was told that it was the right time to. I married him because ‘I’ knew he was the right one for me, and not because I was told that he came from a ‘good’ family, or because it was my duty to, in order to protect my parent’s standing in society. Today, my relationship with my parents remains strained. I find it difficult to be warm to people who brought so much misery and humiliation on me. But if I had to do it all over again, I would not change a single decision I made. Except perhaps to start fighting for my rights sooner :). I know with every fiber of my being that I was right. The right to choose your life partner is yours alone Pallavi. Do not let anyone take that away from you.
      So, hang in there. You are on the right path. Harden your resolve, and fight, fight for that which is yours!

    • Thank you so much Natasha, I hope when they provide us education, they also equally trust that we are responsible enough to choose the best time for the next big step. You made my day and made me open my eyes, that I’m not the only one like this 😀

  31. akanksha.engg@gmail.com -

    Really a truth , stopping brutality against woman need a change in woman thinking too. There was a time when I went through some of the instances, and i believe many girls in Indian society face this. this will only stop when we make our thinking correct. we as girl, sister, specially a mother needs to look on positive sides of life . Mothers need to make there son learn respect a woman. which is absent in many society of India. we worship “Goddess” , but we not leave a single way to harm the goddess available around us and this is done by a woman too……. then how can we think we will get safe , healthy environment for us.

    “To do Good first start Good with in oneself”

    I follow this for my family and thanks to my in laws and husband for support. they do believe the same.

  32. every word, every incident resonates with what every girl goes through in India.. its appalling but true!!! I wish there was someone/someway to teach us how to deal with these situations at home diplomatically rather than having to undergo heart breaking episodes like divorce and every day arguments at home..

  33. Nibedita Mishraguru -

    very well written about the feelings of the girls of these days…..Aunties should not forget that they were also girls of past..they should be liberal about the girls of these days , understand them and support them…..thanx fr sharing this article….

  34. This is very well written & rather simply drives home the crux of why our society is where its at today. I won’t be presumptuous in saying that the patriarchal society we live in today is equally if not largely shaped by various roles that women play & their misplaced importance for males in their families.
    If I think of what has just happened to the 23 year old “Dhamini” or the 3 year old “Dhamini” I think of self-worth. Essentially any show of power or dominance chooses to undermine the self-esteem of the subject of such a show. The importance we as a society appear to vest in the show of power be it physical, financial, political or social or what have you appears to stem from some underlying philosophy that such a power helps with progress & a perceived advancement of one’s status. This seems to be a driver for a lot of the motions this society goes through each day. This is so much more to do with the fundamentals that needs fixing or perhaps it is now that they are evolving and potentially in their infancy.

    How much self-worth does an average woman in our society really have ? How much work does a parent put in (especially the mother) to build this self-worth in a girl child ?

    Talking rights, law & order, police efficiencies & politics of the nation is too preliminary & almost a distraction from the very core of the problems that needs fixing.

  35. Well written, and so desperately needs to said and repeated, Sridhar. The force be with you!

  36. Dear Writer(s), I am quite happy that women are finally coming out in support of other women and asking for equal rights and respect. Although you clearly are a very well intentioned and forward thinking writer/lot of writers, I have a beef with this piece. In places, it seems to place the responsibility for certain men having behaved stupidly (like having called their wives bitches or having felt insulted at being socially projected as ‘not in control’) on women who “instigated” such thoughts in them. The post has its own subtle misogyny. Why must men hold their mothers or society responsible for their attitude towards women? And why are women transferring the responsibility away from men, towards other women who “instigated” them?If you really think about it, there are plenty of ways in which each one of us accepts patriarchy, absolves men of responsibility, and places the burden on some women instead by using this instigation concept and similar arguments. It’s often: “They must have no mothers/sisters/wives; their mothers must not have taught them…” Yes, it’s nice and important for women to empathize with each other, but it does not excuse men for their apathy. Their notions of wanting to be in control, wanting the women to cook or be agreeable to their mothers is their notion, and it is wrong; irrespective of what they saw around them as children or what their mothers “taught” them. It’s time to tell the men that they are responsible for their wrongdoings, and that their misogyny and any violence on their part are unpardonable and nontransferrable to their mothers/sisters/wives/aunties/others.

    • Please read the disclaimer 🙂 Thanks

    • What I wanted to say, Shri, was that the women in your post dilute their own stories in places by agreeing with the stereotypes that aunties have for them. So they seem to agree (a little) that gossiping/pointing out to a husband that a woman is non-conformist is harmful. Whereas, the post aims to state that women need not conform to such roles. So it takes a little bit away from the main point, that’s all.

    • Thanks Aruna. I see your point 🙂 These women still live by their own rules, but they do want some empathy from the aunties (and uncles and moms, and dads and brothers etc..) When the entire country is soul searching ALL of us should do our part is what I am trying to say.

  37. My response to a westerner living in bangalore when asked for my opinion was this…..
    “Can’t defend the indefensible….This always comes out against the women when i say it but the women in India need to come together more. The men are certainly not going to do it for them. They have it way too easy. Starting from the idea that they are the better option from childhood where the women do have a major say. Talk to my mother about it! To a large chunk of the fairer sex in India being defeatist. It is not easy but you’ll never know unless you try, i guess. It has always infuriated and frustrated me.That dynamic between the mother (in law incl) and the daughter has to be changed. The self image of a woman in india needs fixing. If you put yourself and others like you down, expecting a cultured response from the typical indian male is fantastical.”
    I am an Indian male, from bangalore. I have tried to talk to people about the sexist, caste based “culture” for years now. I have been yelled at, branded crazy and even a P****. It is akin to banging your head against the wall. But something’s gotta give i s my belief. What that is, I do not know.

  38. This is apart from the obvious, Men in India usually are despicable and I am not blaming the women in any way for their behaviour. As much as we need to punish and educate the men, we need to raise the collective awareness among the female populace.

    • Venu is my husband and I am so proud of him! I have heard him berate Indian men for their sexist attitudes that they try and call Indian “culture” right to their faces. He has always supported and spoken up for his nieces and female cousins when they have chosen to divorce, date outside their caste or do any other aunty-comment inducing activities. He was lucky to have a mum who taught him to clean, cook and shop more like a daughter than a spoiled son! His outspoken support of women has not made him popular with all of his relatives, but I notice that all of his female cousins keep in touch with him and like him! I hope there are more Venus being raised in India now. And I hope that the girls and young ladies of India get mad and start speaking up for themslves and their sisters. Solidarity is so important! If your aunt or mother or neighbor says some mean gossip about another girl, speak up! Tell them they are being unfair and unkind if they are. Age is no excuse for cruel ignorance. Hold on to what you want: a career, love, independence and choice. They are your’s by right as a human being first before gender. And have hope for the future! When my own mother graduated from high scool in the USA in 1959, she could not go to the college she wanted to because they only accepted men there. She was rejected. Even though those men told her differently, she always told her own daughters, “you can be anything and go anywhere.” 40 years later, her own daughter, my sister, graduated at the top of her department from the same school that had rejected my mom for being a lady. Revenge can be slow, but it is sweet! Hang in their Indian girls, and no matter what those aunties and ignorant men say, remember the truth, you CAN do anything!

  39. Prema Ranganathan -

    My advise to all children out there would be to go and read the Bhagavad Geetha. There are tiny books available that can be read in 1 hour. Please go buy one and read.

  40. To all Kalas, Malas, Roopas, Shwetas

    You seem a pretty selfish lot who wants all to kow tow to your views, likes, feelings, preferences, interests and also disregard that of others and yet want to be accepted and endorsed by them, otherwise they are sexist. You are so busy with your work that you have no time for some traditional beliefs and customs but have time to loaf around at night in desolate places when I being a man have always preferred the safety of the home than going around even in the company of men knowing the dangers involved. You are happy if your husband cooks but do not like to cook for a change even for the sake of trying but would rather go out and eat despite hotel food not being good for health and even if it pinches the pocket. You would like to have children when you want despite it being medically proven that children born in late parenthood have greater possibility of defects. You are prepared to walk out of marriages if all your interests and preferences are not met without even considering what is it that you have given to your partner or his family or introspecting whether there was any fault from your side.You would be happy only if your man is effeminate and meek and submits entirely to your wishes and are not happy if he has a mind of his own or listens to the views his elders. Having walked out you then move with boyfriends expecting one of them to meet the above description. Alas that is not going to happen. By the way I have a daughter. When she became an adult, I took her to a shop and bought her jeans and tops to her delight.My shocked wife said there is no tradition in their family of girls wearing jeans. I often pick up the latest stuff and surprise her with one. Now she is in US doing PhD. But when wearing a dress, it is desirable that girls consider a man’s psychology and dress appropriately depending upon the time and place. If you move about wearing a tight dress displaying a heaving bosom or shapely curves with swaying gait, don’t expect men to look the other way.

    • Oooh, you bought your daughter jeans and tops. How liberated. Maybe you could forward her this article and see what she thinks.

    • Yeah I have. In fact it was she who sent me the link. And you need not be sarcastic. Just like you so-called feminists to scoff at all who disagree with them.

    • Sir, You are the one who mentioned buying jeans and tops for your daughter. You can post such a shallow comment on a serious post like this and that is okay, but you can’t take a bit of sarcasm? Come on now!

    • There was nothing hollow in what I said. Neither does your article become serious by your claiming it. My response has been issue based but those who are retorting are making personal comments. Shows your mindset which was on expected lines

    • And this from a father who has an adult daughter ” If you move about wearing a tight dress displaying a heaving bosom or shapely curves with swaying gait, don’t expect men to look the other way.” Way to go! I hope your daughter read this one too.

    • I enjoyed your article Krishnan. the how truly manful!!!
      So my interest is: why did you buy her a jeans?to prove you are forward thinking?
      Ask her to describe how women dress up in theUSA-I mean the bosom ,gait etc.I know you will be going to the USA shortly-come back and tell me the men there are not men because the woman are wearing tight clothes and bottoms in gait and they are not touching her.What is wrong with those men not wanting to pinch,touch to see if those things are real?mmmm
      Effeminate: now you know where the fear comes from…. because for men their strength lies in this power of whatever?

    • There is nothing forward in wearing jeans or anything backward by wearing the saree which incidentally highlights the feminine grace and charm (which the younger generation including my daughter are loath to wear). Incidentally women are supposed to be the stronger sex, maybe not physically

    • If you also want to ape the West that is your choice. I am not aware what the men in US feel about their women wearing tights and displaying bosom etc which you have alluded to but some of the celebrities who come here go ga-ga about the grace and charm of our women in traditional attire.I don’t hear them saying that seeing them in jeans and tights etc. Of course these remarks of men don’t count, I suppose.

    • I think the point here is not men vs woman-because we dont have a third in the species we can live with.
      WE need the men as much as they need us-what we are fighting are attitudes and the appeal to women is to be empathetic to other woman.
      But where will women get their broad mindedness from?Unless t hey make a choice and why would they make the choice?
      There in lies the challenge

    • This exactly has been the import of my long comments. I am glad at last you got over being personal and came to this realisation

    • This response typifies the mindset of those ladies for whom no matter what their menfolk do for them would not only not please them, but they would go to the extent of belittling it. They will say ” Oooooohhh so you have built the Taj Mahal out of love for me, that don’t impress me much”

    • @ Mr. TT krishman ,
      Very well said

    • They have gone to the extent of hiding my main comments. They can’t accept a different perspective. So much for freedom of speech. Why make a provision for comments then. This is the trouble in our country.Their say is final

    • It is hidden due to low comment rating. Anybody who wishes can still see the message. Grow Up!

    • No need to hide it by low comment rating which was only to be expected. Let it be visible. Am sure to get an immediate low comment rating for this one too.

    • Mr. Krishnan,

      Of all your points, this is the only one that strikes a chord with me:

      > You are prepared to walk out of marriages if all your interests and preferences are not met without even considering what is it that you have given to your partner or his family or introspecting whether there was any fault from your side.

      I think young people in general are less willing to adjust in marriages compared to earlier generations and are willing to walk out on relatively minor grounds. And in the past, it was usually only women who had to adjust, no matter how unreasonable their husbands and in-laws were. Today, when neither men nor women are willing to adjust, we are seeing increasing numbers of marriages breaking down. The immediate cause of the rise in divorces seems to be “unreasonable women”, but this is just the other shoe dropping as women now feel freer to stand their ground, just like the men.

      If India’s rising divorce statistics are to be brought down again, both partners in a marriage need to learn to be more accepting and adjusting rather than just the women as you seem to imply.

    • They have gone to the extent of hiding my main comments. They can’t accept a different perspective. So much for freedom of speech.

    • It is only “collapsed”, not hidden. The comment can still be read by anyone to clicks to expose it. That is how I could read your comment and respond to it.

    • Chitra Renganathan -

      well said Mr.Prasadgc

  41. Great post, but unfortunately our aunties don’t access the internet and this post may never reach any of them.
    So the same situation will continue to exist.

  42. Good stuff. About time something like this was written. These days, lots of men are supportive of their wives who want to break out of the traditionalist mould. Believe me, men can find the traditional role-play suffocating too. But it’s often older women who get in the way and tell younger women what they should do. It’s ironical to see how men are once again cast as know-nothings in the sexist battle – “He may say it’s all right, but you should know better.”

  43. Request to Shrisadasivan: Please move the disclaimer to the beginning of article! I am requesting this after going through all the articles and seems like many are missing the point of what the article is trying to say!!

    Also, I feel that independent/modern thinking need not mean leaving traditions or customs and vice versa. If we stop worrying about what others think of us and also stop judging others based on what we see partially, happiness will definitely increase.
    Being judgmental will not be a issue/item based, I mean, if one is judgmental by nature, he/she will try to form opinions about everything and map it to what he/she believes in. Be it about someone’s dress or food habits. I see many of my colleagues who think are leading modern/independent life style, but gossip a lot about other’s friends/bosses etc. If we question Aunties/Uncles to stop judging us, why can’t the same question apply to us – stop judging others. Let us try to be just rational!!

  44. Mr. Krishnan and vikram… really? I pity the daughter/mother/sister that you claim to have…. rationality is not something you even remotely understand….it bothers me that i belong to the same sex and nationality that you do. And let’s not get to the masochistic undertones… you idiots think that arguing over this proves your masculinity/cultural progress?
    Really?!!! You ignorant muppets!!! This easy ride is going to stop, hopefully in my lifetime… It’s not about clothing or toeing the line…. It’s about being a decent human being.. which you know nothing about and this is not going to change and that is such a shame!!!!

    • @Venu: thinking that being liberal in writing makes you so called ‘decent human being’, there is no bigger fool than you. Take time and think about what written in earlier post before you start blabbering…And I pity for the levels of thinking you got

  45. I am not liberal, just decent….I have had 36 years having lived in India to thin about this. Thank you very much. Pity is something i have for you and your like. for my part, my mother, wife and sister have a lot respect for me. As Un-Indian as that as that sounds…. I respect the fact that traditions as you call them are built to your advantage… you are not going to give that up easily, are you? God forbid, you have to make your coffee or breakfast…. Mommy probably told you she’ll find a nice girl who’ll do that for you while you be a “man”. It doesn’t matter that I am more of a “man” than you can ever be…. Don’t pity me, “Mr” Krishnan… as effeminate as i know a brahmin boy can be…… I pity you you because the world you is changing and you have no choice…….

    • Decent??? I have to be forthright I guess – Mr.Venu, just think (if you can) for a while. How judgmental are you being? What do you know about me? You writing what my mommy might have told me! How are you any different from the ‘Aunties’ the article tries to portray. Aren’t you the same judging all boys/males without knowing the truth??
      Just because you hate males, doesn’t make you a scholar (I feel you are thinking that you are some great raja rammohan roy just because some of your relatives respect you). Think baba think before you comment or form an opinion.
      It is people like you who think are pseudo liberal and dilute the crux of the issue with shallow thinking. Why are you bringing ‘Brahmin’ issue here? So stereotypic of you..Whatever you say, you need to be shameful for what you are writing here.

      Everyone of us have to change. Stop being judgmental and treat everyone with respect and equality. No one has right to teach a lesson/punish someone.

    • Please confine your comments to the views expressed and don’t make personal remarks or adopt a supercilious attitude. Wisdom or understanding is not just your prerogative.Most of the responses to my comments have taken a personal slant which tells me a lot and is a matter of satisfaction to me

    • Venu: I completely understand your anger and frustration and I am with you in calling out the self proclaimed saviors of Indian culture. I read your comments and your wife’s comments and was very impressed. It would greatly benefit our readers to read the thoughts you both shared before. But I have to say, the casteist attacks and calling certain section of men “effeminate” is very disappointing 🙁

    • The meaning of effeminate is ” Having qualities or characteristics more often associated with women than men.” Another meaning given is ” Characterized by weakness and excessive refinement.” One has heard of the term hen-pecked husband. I have used the word effeminate to describe a meek man who does not display a mind of his own. Can’t see what is objectionable to this. The word exists in the dictionary and it has been used in a particular context. Please don’t try to see ghosts in everything. I am sure this is also going to get a thumbs down. There are already 10 thumbs down to my main riposte and several to the smaller ones.

    • I was responding to Venu and not to you. Thanks.

    • Mr. Krishnan,

      Let me explain to you why you get so many “thumbs down”.

      This article and many of the comments are from people who want to change Indian society – change attitudes, change the way boys are brought up. Because it is male attitudes that are the problem.

      Your comments, while “pragmatic”, are in effect asking women to accept the reality of unsafe cities and not to go out at night or dress “provocatively” or engage in any activities that are “unsafe” for them.

      If I may say so sir, your fatalistic and defeatist attitude is … effeminate.

    • You have all got me wrong. I am also part of the change. Though it was not necessary, I have mentioned I have a daughter of whom I am proud of. The way the characters have been etched by the writer of the article came across in totality (not individually) as being self-centred only concerned about themselves and their rights. I tried to put across that this could be counter productive to their interests. At least one lady has accepted that there should be a balanced approach. Meanwhile till the change takes place it is desirable to take stock of the realities (which I am concerned as a parent) and adopt a safety first approach. This does not mean that women should play second fiddle to man. I have drawn flak for being earnest and deliberately provocative

    • There is nothing fatalistic or defeatist in what I have stated. If you look at the profile of molesters/rapists, they are mostly from the lower strata or those in a position of authority/power/influence. I am sharing some suggestions made by me to Verma Committee

      “Further to my mail below giving some suggestions on legal aspects, here are some suggestions at the human and social level.

      The HRD Ministry should carry out a detailed profiling of 5000 rapists from various parts of the country consisting of inter alia their family background, childhood history, school/college, avocation, friends circle, food and other habits, any previous crime history as juvenile and major, expenditure pattern, married life, behavior with and treatment to family members, elders, children, caste, religion, language etc. Other parameters could be added in consultation with behavioural psychologists, sociologists, psychiatrists etc. From this profiling it should be possible to trace some common denominators of behavioural pattern, lifestyle, mental proclivities etc exhibited by the rapists. It should be attempted to locate people possessing these characteristics in schools/colleges/vocational institutions, places of congregation such as work places and a sensitization programme must be launched periodically with the help of NGOs and welfare organizations whose objective should be to iron out these tendencies and regularize their behavioural pattern.

      Simultaneously, GOI must locate an uninhabited island in the Andamans and construct a cellular jail for rape convicts who should be banished to this island for the period of their conviction and subjected to daily torture and hard labour. Such a punishment should be broadcast on TV, theatres, so that people viewing them would be sufficiently deterred from even thinking about rape.”

      If armchair reformers think that by blog comments society will be transformed they are mistaken. It may be masculine for some people to goad women to take risks of going alone or wear what they like oblivious of lurking dangers. As for me, I do not mind the effeminate tag that I have been given for suggesting the safety first approach.

      Bye and thanks all for your comments and reactions.

  46. It’s not liberal writing, it’s shameful acceptance that I have to be one of you ignoramuses….

  47. Very well said !!!

  48. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-10-16/news-interviews/34497610_1_actor-shiney-ahuja-guilty-verdict-data-record

    Actor Shiney Ahuja has been wrongfully convicted and confined in a false rape case. However, there are no candle light marches or demonstrations asking for a fair trial in his case. He has been declared guilty even without looking at a large amount of evidence that would clearly prove that he is innocent.

    When a WOMAN is raped, then it becomes a national outcry. But when a WOMAN files a false case against a MAN, that man is pronounced guilty immediately….. So much for “GENDER EQUALITY” in our country…

    • Aakash: Your comment is misleading. Ahuja was not falsely convicted. He claims he was (most accused do). So I suggest you wait for the court to hear his case and exonerate him before you play victim on his behalf.

      Also, thousands of women are harassed, groped, sexually assaulted in India everyday. Ask the women in your family, they will tell you many stories. So comparing that to what you think is a false conviction of Ahuja and saying there is no gender equality, men are the victims etc.. – all that is frankly silly and stupid.

  49. In response to one of Mr. Krishnan’s points – Agree that modernity does not lie in Western clothes. In fact, modernity does not lie in clothes at all, but in the mindset of the individual – and the desire to restrict women from wearing certain clothes is what we call controlling and conservative, not the clothes themselves.

    Also, just as modernity does not lie in western clothes, neither does decency lie in Indian clothes. Decency, just like modernity is in the mind of the individual, and in the eye of the beholder. For that matter, every Indian woman can tell you a story of being groped and pawed while wearing sarees and salwar kameez – the ‘decent’ clothes you are referring to.

    • In a heavily crowded bus with people on both sides of the seats and people in centre also trying to move forward, some unintentional touching takes place when the bus brakes or takes a turn. That cannot be construed as groping or pawing. By that token it happens to me also from ladies. And if I happen to get a seat, some ladies plant their posteriors on my shoulder or their heavy handbags. When a man does it, I tell him to move away but in case of a lady I have to grin and bear it till she decides to give relief to my shoulder. When standing if due to push of people trying to move forward or bus lurching my leg or bag touches a lady even slightly unintentionally I get a glare. For years I have made it a point to keep my hand across my chest so that even unintentional touch is not misunderstood. I am yet to see a man intentionally grope or paw a lady in a crowded bus. Maybe my eyesight is poor. Don’t think any body will dare to do so because in case the lady shouts blows will rain on him. Maybe youths in groups are emboldened to display such brazen behaviour in which case such offences need to be reported and prevented.

    • You are an innocent man! I presume you don’t live in Delhi.

      Even in the “safe” city of Mumbai, I remember sitting in the window seat of a BEST bus. There was a lady sitting next to me on the aisle side. The bus was pretty crowded. After a while, she requested me to switch places with her. I can only guess that one of the men in the aisle was engaging in some unwelcome activity. Needless to say, when I was in the aisle seat, I encountered no groping or pawing!

      I’m quoting this incident to tell you that just because you don’t see anything happening doesn’t mean nothing happens.

      I can see you are full of empathy for misunderstood males. Sure, but also spare some empathy for the women who do encounter daily harassment. It does happen, and I have heard plenty from the female members of my family.

    • I am yet to see a deliberate groping or pawing in a crowded public transport bus either in Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai where I had occasion to travel on daily basis. How can anybody do that without it causing a commotion? I keep reading about it. That’s why I took pains to describe what happens in a crowded bus. My experience is they have been unintentional and it happens both ways. Anyway if such things do happen as you say I am thankful I have been spared the ordeal of having to witness one and I hope I will never have to in future also.

    • You may want to ask your daughter, your wife or any female relative to know exactly how groping & pawing happens “without any commotion”. Its a developed artfom!!!!
      I have suffered it as a 13-year old school girl travelling in the bus while going home from school in Kochi. I have experienced it as a 25 year old working woman in a MTC busin Chennai
      Just because you dont know about it doesnt mean it doesnt exist you know 🙂

    • Each one of us have female family members and we are constantly worried about their safety, dignity and self-respect. There is no disagreement on that and each one of us is responsible to ensure that the women folk are able to go about their activities according to their calling, make their own choices and decisions (we would only be glad to help if our opinion is sought), wear whatever pleases them (and unlike we poor men, they have mind boggling options which if I may put mischievously, adds spice to our lives). Unfortunately as you have mentioned it is these fringe men who turn party poopers for them. So the question that arises is what is to be done? We try to reform the party poopers but that is not going to take place overnight certainly not in our country with a such a huge population. That is where the refrain of my arguments has been that discretion is the better part of valour. How this discretion is to be exercised is a choice which is entirely up to the women folk to decide. With this I conclude my participation in this blog. Good bye to all of you and thanks a lot for all your inputs and outputs as well.

  50. jeans-clad-indianwear-loving-doctorate -

    If a woman’s choices cannot be respected in a house with relatives and loved ones do you think she will respected in a strange world outside? A woman is a person, a real person with feelings and is equal to a man in all terms physical or emotional and has equal rights to every resource in the world. Just because women are biologically different rather endowed to bear a child does NOT give a man the right to take advantage. The girl in Delhi was with a male companion not alone, it could have been her boyfriend/husband/fiance or just plain male friend. There is absolutely nothing wrong in that. For years the Indian society have believed that a girl/woman must only be in the company of a male provided it is her fiance/husband/father or brother. However the same so called rules (which I don’t know where it even came from) are not for the man.

  51. jeans-clad-indianwear-loving-doctorate -

    contd.
    Nevertheless the point being a company of a man does not provide protection for the woman. Can we then really say that a man is physically stronger than a woman? Theoretically yes but practically no. A woman like a man has therefore right to go anywhere in the world at whatever time she pleases. The time restriction for a woman applies only because the society fears for the safety of the woman in question. I define safety as any physical harm. If the society were perfectly safe for anyone, man, woman or child, then there is no fear at all and anyone can walk around anywhere. Right?

    • Maybe it was in Ram Rajya that a lone woman could go alone in the dark without being molested. When the male companion could not save the Delhi girl, there is no point in insisting on the right to go alone at night which looks like a Utopian dream in our country. Everybody accepts it theoretically

    • Mr. Krishnan,

      Let us not talk fondly of Ramrajya. That was when Rama banished Sita to the forest because some washerman thought she had been defiled by staying in another man’s house. She had been abducted, for goodness sake! And still Rama thought it was right to banish her to the forest. Very clearly, Ramrajya is the institutionalisation of blaming the victim. Let us all understand that Ramrajya is not Utopia but an evil concept.

    • That is something I am fully aware. But Ram Rajya is often used to depict an idyllic society existence, an Indian version of Utopia. We are not referring here to the conduct of Ram towards Sita. Incidentally Rama is referred to as Maryada Purushottam

    • jeans-clad-indianwear-loving-doctorate -

      The point is, women do not insist on going alone at night today but rather insist on changing the society (men, women, children) where one day in the future we could walk about freely without being molested/teased/groped/raped/abused at any time of the day.

    • Here’s a somewhat lengthy blog post of mine which elaborates on what I think of Ramrajya: http://bit.ly/Uyqsyb

    • Mr Prasad, unfortunately, I read your blog and views on Ramrajya. And people like you are the reason I’m cynical about a change in our laws and value system anytime soon. You are not even aware of the levels of age-old prejudice you and your friends are steeped in. Case in point, being ‘gentle’ with a new bride on the conjugal bed the first night – what, based on the assumption she’s a virgin? Wow. How do you get to assuming things like that? More curiously, what makes you term such an action as ’empathy’?

      Unsurprisingly, your post goes on (and on, and on) to preach about change within, minus harsher laws, based on a very underlying statement of ‘men will be men’.

      UGH. I’m just plain sorry I read your blog.

    • Sabita,

      Virginity was the assumption 25 years ago, both for guys and girls, and I did mention this. I’m aware times have changed.

    • Sabita,

      I have no idea how you formed the impression that I espouse a “men will be men” attitude. I suggest you read what I wrote carefully.

    • Sabita,

      Third point – on harsher laws. I’m opposed to the death penalty, period. I think it’s barbarous. And talk of castration sounds to me a lot like Sharia law, which I oppose. I would favour long jail terms for rape, with life imprisonment for the more heinous cases like the Delhi case.

    • Nobody else bothered to weigh in and temper Sabita’s unwarrantedly harsh comments. Another case of bystander apathy? If a blog post that is extremely supportive of women can be excoriated like this for not aligning 100% with one person’s views, it seems to prove the points raised by Rajat and others about spoiled “girls of today”. Mr. Srisadasivam, as the moderator, do you have anything to say here?

    • @PrasadGC: Nope. Moderators are not obligated to weigh in on every discussion on the forum. Thanks.

    • Replying here to Prasad (below) since I am not able to reply directly to his comment. I actually found your blogpost pretty interesting, especially the conversations with your friends/colleagues, which reveal that while most Indian men are schooled in a cult of “wife ownership”, many are increasingly changing. It is true that in this country, most people (men + women) are “expected” to lose their virginity on the “suhaag raat” with it being treated as a sort of victory for the man over the woman. Glad to hear that people are thinking through these things.

    • @Prasad, That’s a wonderful article.

  52. jeans-clad-indianwear-loving-doctorate -

    contd.
    There is no such thing as modernity in clothing. Everything is relative. With feminity comes beauty and every woman has the right to dress the way she wants to look and feel beautiful (trust me women married or not don’t dress beautiful to impress a man. Not at all. It is to feel beautiful which is biological and intuitive not driven by purpose or society). When a woman feels beautiful, she is more confident of herself. What’s wrong with that. While for some wearing a sari is a way of expressing beauty but for others it is shorts (now who brands shorts as being male attire is beyond me). A man can pretty much get excited for anything that is feminine, could be even pictorial! So whether a woman wears a sari or shorts it doesn’t really matter.

  53. jeans-clad-indianwear-loving-doctorate -

    The fact lies viewing a woman as an object of desire, solely for the purpose of fulfilling a man’s necessities. So whether you wear a sari (with exposed torso) or shorts (exposed legs) it is the same in the eyes of a man- an object of desire to be touched/felt/teased JUST to please himself. If every household was to bring up a boy right from start that he does not have the right to touch a girl without her permission or look at a woman as an object of desire, the society (not just India but the whole world. Rape and related sexual abuse in not restricted to a single country. We are all citizens of the world), would in all certainty a safer place for everyone. I myself have been a victim of eve teasing and groping in so-called safe Chennai in broad daylight when I am freaking dressed in salwar with dupatta.

  54. jeans-clad-indianwear-loving-doctorate -

    contd.
    Trust me this is torture and mentally disturbing. You cannot even avoid it. Do you think I could walk into a police station every time to lodge a complaint? Or do you think women constables walking around randomly be a deterrent? Do you even think that capital punishment or life imprisonment laws would scare these men away? Or should I and other women stop going to college and sit at home all day? The unfortunate answer to the questions is NO. The only way to address this is change the way society thinks, change the way the men are brought up at home. The wise ones say cleanliness begins at home. Guess what a-society-where-all-women-are-respected-and-safe begins at home.

  55. jeans-clad-indianwear-loving-doctorate -

    contd.
    No matter what a woman has offered to the family, her husband has no right to physically and emotionally abuse her. So yes Mala did a good thing to file a divorce and try finding another good man in her life who wouldn’t turn out to be abusive. Oh yes, neighboring aunties and uncles can kindly stay away interfering into her personal life. Oh yes, if Sweta and her husband have sorted out what they are good at and how they will divide their household responsibilities equally, who cares. They are happy! One cooks, the other does the laundry. Overall there is food to eat and fresh clothes to wear. In fact this way the woman is not stressed all the time doing all the cooking, cleaning, kids, homework and out-of-home work! The energies are used in a productive way to build a beautiful HOME not a factory checking-off everyday chore list.

  56. jeans-clad-indianwear-loving-doctorate -

    contd.
    In a marital relationship, respect is in your heart, eyes, feelings and emotions which only the partners know. It doesn’t have to be a public show with karva chauth or other customs. So if you choose to not observe a certain custom and still maintain love and warmth in the relationship, Ms. Kala you are good to go.
    Sheela’s parents have immense trust in their daughter. It appears that she is brought up in an open household where boys and girls are treated alike. So go ahead and make friendships. Friendships and networking go a long way in helping you at every stage of your life.
    So yes, bye bye to names and gender stereotypes and welcome equality at home.

  57. Nice….for several years i was ridiculed by my neighbours for working in advertising and working late. They would torment my family who in turn gave me a tough time. Made to feel promiscuous, shameless and spoilt, these so called uncles and aunties tarnished my reputation gravely affecting my marriage prospects. This was my reward for being the first girl in my family who ventured out, worked harder then most in corporate India to build an independent life. Although many years have passed and i live in the US now, the residual effect of what my family had to endure still remains in the form of many unpleasant memories affecting our relationship with each other. I agree its the time of soul searching for our society, if we dont respect the freedom and independence of women in our families and neighbourhood, then expecting uneducated and uncouth people out their is a mute point.

  58. good…you started changing…after generations of suffering..but do you think its enough.unless you take the political power into your hands dont expect any great change.just imagine parliament having 3/4 majority members of female gender and be able to pass any bill.then only you can expect an india respecting female gender.

    • It’s not government or parliament or new laws that will make the difference. It’s each and every one of us in every family throughout the country. The mindset of people has to change. The Delhi rape has shocked everyone, but people are learning the wrong lessons! We’re back to blaming the victim and blaming Westernisation, banning jeans, banning skirts, banning mobile phones. Have people gone mad? It’s very disappointing and depressing.

      I had to blog about this too: http://bit.ly/TCINKM

  59. Take the mindset of the so-called Aunty to be the mind-set of all the people in general, whether men or women, young or old. Generally women are more forthcoming in expressing it. Men do think in the same way..they might not express or gossip about it! The obvious examples are our so-called leaders ( including Young and the old , men and the women)who are coming out with more and more disgusting comments about female behaviour, rape incidents, marriage and what not! Feels like why are we alive??? Believe me the ignorance and insensitivity they are displaying towards the real issue is making the life more and more miserable..and hopeless.Please let us live the way we want to live and do not pollute the minds of the children with your sexist comments and ideologies!

  60. Why we blame others, start changing yourself first, if each individual change his/her thoughts with modern thinking for the modern India we want, we’ll see the result coming. It’s hard to change on individual basis, try to form group holding each other hands and then multiply such groups. it’s a responsibility of parents to teach their kids to respect others thinking. If they can’t be helpful, they’ve no rights to raise their voice against it. Let them reminds the phrase “dusro ke gharon mein phathar phenkne se phele apne sisse ke ghat mai jhaanke dekha”. It’s shameful to see the one and only life we were gifted is just wasted in clearing the mess of the society instead of living with joy and happiness.

  61. First of all , Really Loved the way your prose was styled and narrated. Most of the points are valid and considering that this is the womensweb , definitely cant expect you to be showing the other side of the coin . One Point about the Indian Culture , Please note that our culture at its prime was a place where women were respected and treated as equal partners in Life .It was an influx of culture from the north and east that changed everything propagating the superiority of men , much like Hitlers ‘Superior Race’ theory . Basically I would just advice all to start living , instead of Just surviving and regretting . Be Happy .Do what your heart feels like , Shout , scream , think , have your own originality , stand apart from the crowd and tell de world to go take their opinions , their judgmental bullshit for a hike ….. It is a dangerous pastime – living and often quite painful but the joy , the wondrous sights that the cowards would never see, never experience , make up for it …..

  62. I share the same feelings as the Girls of these days. It is important that each one of us introspects. It is required to understand how we contribute to whatever is happening around us. But how do you make the Bureaucrats and the Leaders introspect. Thing is that yes, we have to change the gender bias still prevalent in Indian homes, which leads to women being treated as second class citizens in their own home whether parental or in-law’s, but it will take time. We need to stop thinking at every sight of a mis-happening that it is “there problem” , we should understand we too can be in the same situation. We need to be more sensitive. More important is that a lot of the cases like Damini and the Rape and Murder of a girl in Noida that happened yesterday can be prevented if police does their basic job. We need to free the policing from the shackles of politicians and bureaucrats, so that they do their duty. They are our first aid kit and we shudder to use them, for we know for sure they will not help.

  63. This would be a fantastic play! The writer has captured the very essence of the girls of these days! I want to play the part of Sheela!

  64. its is a well written article but it only shows one side of story. I think it may be the case many a times but is this that we will change each and everything in our culture the very reality of it. I am not saying that it is bad to work out late, skip cooking dinner, eat out but marriage has to have compatibility or else we just have to make it work. If some polit beauraus on top are dumb that does not mean the whole society is dumb. Times are changing and things need to change with time e.g. sarees were common in my grandmom`s time but not now girls wear what they like nowadays. Society is evolving but it will take time. Instead of cripping about the problems senstivity lessons must be done to tell your feelings and now if you say that you are so busy you can` t do it so please stop complaining and crying about all this stuff. You can change the things in college workplace or home.If you think that cooking by taking some extra pain when your mother in law is around or involving some elder person to resolve your issues is bad to make marriages work then it is better not to have one be single and be happy not at all marry a guy if you think you are so out of place in society. Don`t you dare succumb to society pressure at first place. A marriage is an alliance between two families it is not you or your hubby only. If marriages mother in laws “AUNTY`S” were so bad at first place then why do you even care about the society.The way you portrayed the mother in law as always bitching about her daughter in law it is just one part of story i dont know what experience you or your friends had but the only thing i want to say is that EITHER COME ON AND WORK OUT TO CHANGE THE SOCIETY OR STOP CRYING THAT YOU ARE THE WEAKER AND THE MOST SUFFERED SEX.

    • @ mr. Rayn,

      Very well said !!!

      I totally agree with all your points and want to add some more, the anger which they show on the article on whom? When they become elders, will they adopt all what ever they said now???

      When the maturity level comes in, the way of thinking also changes in us, as mr. Krishnan said earlier, we should adopt safety first approach !!!

    • MCPs Unite! What a surprise!

  65. Would like readers of this Blog to read another blog “Bharatiya Nari” by Beyond Pink from which I am reproducing a para :

    “Educated women don’t give a damn for ‘values’ and ‘honour’ and ‘purity’. Mercifully, all they care about is how to find the right pair of jeans, one that suitably flatters their figure and helps them attract the right mate. They are ‘shallow’ and ‘superficial’ because they believe in wearing the right shade of lipstick, one that matches the colour of their top and brings out the highlights in their hair. They struggle, not to veil themselves, but to find the right job, one that gives them economic independence and liberates them from the shackles of an oppressive life at home. They talk to men as equals, and not as figures of authority, and if one of the men is attractive enough for something more than friendship, so be it.”

    Please visit http://www.womensweb.in/2013/01/indian-women-are-goddesses/

  66. tempted to try a dear uncle piece myself…while i like the article for its straightforward expression of dealing with ‘aunties’ in our patriarchal world…there are so many such ‘adult’ figures who allow perpetuation of many notions like the ones described above…

  67. Please hear audio of Ms Vibha Rao , chairperson of Chhattisgarh State Women Commission given to The Hindu http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article4279185.ece?homepage=true&ref=audio

    She is supposed to have said ” Women, influenced by western culture, send wrong signals through their dress and behaviour and men often take the cue from those signals. Women display their bodies and indulge in various obscene activities. Women are unaware of the kind of message [their actions] generate”

    • Its pathetic that a woman like this heads a women’s commission! If men cannot control their actions, how about locking them up instead? Simpler solution!

  68. What a wonderful letter! Thank you for writing this, Every word, every sentence resonates with me…I grew up in Chennai in the early 90’s and though it is going to be nearly 20 years now since I left chennai, and have been overseas, in Australia and France mostly, I remember such ‘aunty’s’ and ‘uncles’ very well indeed. I was blessed with open minded parents who had enough confidence in me to trust me, and when they were reluctant, I thankfully was able to nudge them in the right direction 😉 but like girls everywhere in India, I had to battle such sexist, nonsense views from so called neighbourhood aunties and uncles and extended family members. I remember stories of how my classmates travelled with safety pins on public buses to try and stop ‘eve-teasers’ who got a little too ‘friendly’ – God I hated that word then, & I hate it now, ‘eve’ as in temptress..!… it is somehow never the man’s fault isnt it?, always the girl who is at fault. Thank God I knew and know of enough Indian men who do not condone with the antics of misogynist sorry blokes or their ardent supporters of a ‘second-class citizenship’ for women, , be they men or women. I wish, hope and pray that Dhamini’s death was not in vain. That women in India will protest, continue protesting and force the change that they deserve. My mind and heart is with them in spirit. Go on Girls! There are a lot of people cheering and supporting you on than you can see or imagine. Thank you Shridhar Sadasivan for this wonderful article. Keep up the good work.

    • Vijee: Thank you for kind and generous words. More than that, thanks for sharing your story. I hope Pallavi, who posted a comment before along similar lines, reads your comment.

  69. SHRISADASIVAN: Great piece. It was forwarded to me by a friend on FB. Need your permission to distribute it further. I think it deserves that.
    Mr Krishnan/ Rayn and other like-minded buyers-of-jeans-for-their-daughters: Unfortunately, you represent a very large part of our soceity and one which will not change, unless kicking and screaming… I particularly wanted to know whether your comment about “tight dress displaying a heaving bosom or shapely curves with swaying gait” also applies when you see your own daughter in the US.. I also see that you, and a million others like you would use any reason (Ram Rajya, Maryada Purushottam) etc to ensure that women kowtow to you.. Unfortunately, change will happen and you will be swept with it, into the dustbins of history as you deserve.

    Before you jump to conclusions, I am a male, living in Bangalore and have lived all over the country for the last 47 years. I have see how women go through every single day as if they are going to a battle. From the time she is born till she dies, every single moment has to be given to her by some male (like you gave jeans to your daughter, a great largesse, indeed). This is not about you giving her anything anymore.. by god, she will get it, as it is only her natural right. You are hurt that she does not respect her culture.. so sorry, first ask your culture to respect her. You and your ilk, have taken what is not yours, her right to live the way she wants to and now you are hurt because you may have to ‘give’ her her rights.. it is not yours to give.
    Who are you to judge her? You, who tried to strip her self-esteem at every step of he way, are now surprised if she is stripping you of yours.

  70. I cook at home and do the chores and also am a working professional. I am delighted with myself for doing what i am doing.. remember, I am not doing a favor to my wife… it is our family and both of us have to build it. She is as much family as I am… we have no head of the family…
    @Rayn: The clarion call to women to come on and work to change the society.. we men screwed it up in the first place, so will we first change (ourselves), before we expect anyone else.
    We need a balanced society but it cannot be one where we ‘allow’ the balance like a feudal lord. Men will have to understand that they have to change first.
    @ Aakash: who gave Shiny Ahuja’s story… So what? how does one wrong (assuming it is proved in court) allow the other. If Shiny Ahuja is not guilty so be it. Also, for every one Shiny Ahuja’s there are thousands of women who dont even complain because of violating the culture of the society. try being groped by men the minute you leave home till you come home, and in many cases, even at home. Then you will know what is being violated.

  71. @JEANS-CLAD-INDIANWEAR-LOVING-DOCTORATE: Loved your posts..
    Finally @ Mr Krishnan: I also keep buying jeans – for my daughter, son, wife and myself but never had such profundity… will keep it in mind for the future.

    • Please do not make personal remarks but confine your views to the issues raised. It would be interesting to see your response if any of your female family members are viewed by lecherous eyes. Out of 1.2 billion population slightly more than half are males. Among these are the gropers, molesters, rapists. Can they ever be changed? Not in a millennium. Why do you think the BJP MLA advised skirts for girls as school uniform be replaced by salwar kameez? Or the education minister of Pondicherry who wants girls to wear overcoats and go by girls’ only buses? Now a Muslim group has asked for ban on co-education schools. They have no axe to grind, they are not obscurantists, their daughters are safe. They gave their views as they cared for the safety of girls and women. And also the Chairman of Chhattisgarh State Women’s Commission (posted by another reader). Yet they have been criticised by all and sundry. I too had advocated safety first approach like the ministers But I have drawn flak when I also explained that I have not imposed any dress regulation on my own daughter. I made a deliberately provocative statement and I repeat once again wearing tight tops and displaying heaving bosom and curves is asking for trouble. Sorry ladies, that’s how it is. All of a sudden our country has become unsafe without anybody realising it. Yesterday on Times Now a CCTV footage was shown of a girl walking alone in Hissar being accosted by two youths. When one chivalrous man went to the girl’s rescue, the youths came back with a few more friends and beat up the chivalrous man. A similar incident has taken place in West Bengal when a girl accompanied by her father was molested in his presence and he got beaten up for trying to protect his daughter. When people came to their rescue, the goons came with more support and thrashed all of them. What can these armchair protectors of feminists rights do? They are egging on the women to take more risks. I had said bye but had to come back to clarify my position. It is not appropriate for people managing this blog to give a flurry of thumbs down to contrary views expressed by others and hide the posts from readers and display only favourable responses. Shows their intolerance to dissent. Practice what you preach mates

    • Mr. Krishnan, please note it is not blog administrators who thumbs down comments, it is readers.

    • Let any number of thumbs down be given. But why hide the responses? Any new reader would have the tendency to skip the hidden responses and would read only the displayed ones unless one takes extra trouble. I had trouble locating my own original comment. The readers should be enabled to have access to all shades of opinion please. Hence I request ADMIN to display hidden responses

    • There is a thumbs down even for this suggestion. Shows the prejudice and the mindset. They just can’t accept a contrarian view. Insist that what they say is the ultimate which has to be accepted. Not prepared for a decent debate without throwing personal vibes at the dissenter which itself exposes their weakness

    • Mr. Krishnan,

      I don’t think you get it even now.

      If the objective is to keep women safe, why not cover them in burqas and shut them up indoors? Actually, the objective will not be achieved even then! Goons are not going to be put off by a burqa, because they know there’s a woman inside. Molestation by family members (which is a big but unspoken problem) will continue even if women stay indoors. In fact, without an independent source of income, a woman indoors will be even more helpless to defend herself from molesters who are known to her. No, this recommendation to cover up and restrict one’s activities is stupid in the extreme.

      You think your suggestion is pragmatic and others are being reckless. You don’t stop to hear what people are actually saying.

      What people are agitating for is to reclaim the streets for the law-abiding and to banish the goons. If we accept suggestions like yours, the streets will never be safe. Yes, we cannot achieve safe streets overnight – no one is suggesting that women should start wandering alone in Gurgaon at night right away – but we need to be clear what we are fighting for.

      As a lady on one of these websites put it aptly, we are not aiming for women’s protection but for women’s freedom.

      We have to achieve this in a variety of ways. Part of this is putting pressure on lawmakers and the police to take the notion of safe streets seriously. Part of this is persuading people to become more empathetic to the needs of women. Society and lawmakers have to lift their game, and then we will gradually achieve our objective of women being able to travel alone at night without fear.

      Meanwhile, in your alternate “safe” universe, women will still be covering themselves up and rushing to be home before dark. So much for your vision.

    • Never suggested even remotely that women should cover up or they should stay indoors. Sorry to say goons are increasing. There has been a flurry of rapes and molestation in the country subsequent to December 23. It is as if goons are cocking a snook at society. Laws are already there and so are the police. More stringent laws are on the anvil but God how far they would be effective. Even those who come to save women in distress are not spared. In Mumbai a 19-year old boy was killed last month when he objected to lewd comments being passed on his neighbour girl. Last year a boy (Keenan case) was killed. Constant criticism of police by media and women’s organisation’s is also not desirable. In fact it is leading to their polarisation. Adding more women constables may perhaps lead to better empathy and registering of FIR but not in faster detection of criminals. But we hear cases of women constables at the receiving end of their own male colleagues. I was simply aghast seeing the footage on Times Now on TV. It happened in broad daylight in full view of onlookers. Those who are decent are so by their own upbringing and self-realisation. Those who are indecent are so again by their lack of up-bringing or self-realisation. It is a herculean task to change the mindset of these people. As you have said change is not going to take place overnight. I have sent some suggestions to Justice Verma Committee on steps to be taken to identify potential molesters and rapists which I have reproduced here. I often hear the argument that dress has nothing to do with molesting and that even a burqua clad lady can also end up as a victim. But that has happened in my opinion to the constant exposure on tv, movies, newspapers to semi-clad women, women gyrating with scanty clothes in movies surrounded by men who purse their lips, songs like “I am too sexy for you, main tere haath na aani, Chikni chameli, Chamak Challo, Munni Badnam hui, images of actors like SRK on one knee keeping his face against the mid-riff of the leading lady and wrapping both his arms round her hips and other such scenes, aping the dress of models and actresses in real life. Some Bollywood celebrities have themselves admitted that they have to conduct themselves more responsibly. All these constant assault on the senses gets embedded in the psyche of the prospective molester who waits for an unwary victim. Nowadays it has taken the form of collective action which is far more disturbing and dangerous. The burqua therefore was not the proximate cause. So reforms are required at various levels not just laws and police. It is a herculean task. Till then I feel defensive methods are a better option. Women also have to be taught self-defence techniques.

    • Mr Krishnan
      Interestingly, I think you must be one of the few people who says that the Muslim and Hindu fanatics are NOT obscurantists… I think that clearly shows who you are, another obscurantist. If you want the women to be protected, punish the guilty, not hide the women.. It is as much their world as yours – they form half the population, right? Wo are you to decide for them. I am under no illusion- my family women are also viewed lecherously, as much as any other women! To make it safer for them, I want the men to change, not the women… That is the while point…it is all very well and very ‘practical’ to say ” that is the way the world is, so let us protect the women”. That is the surest way to justify these men… The better, and maybe, more strenuous way is to change the men, punish the guilty and put the fear of punishment into men who think they can do what they want and get away with it… That is the point.. All those mullahs, gurus, politicians won’t do it because it does not suit their purpose… Their power over the society will reduce and hence they say what they say… To parrot them and to use them in your arguments as wise counsel is, just plain idiocy, and suggests a lack of education, which I did not assume earlier…
      Sir, I don’t know how old you are, but whatever it is, it is clear that you have chosen not to grow up

    • I didn’t respond to this point before I got sidetracked by others, but you’re right. If the lawmakers were really concerned about the safety of girls, they would be insisting that every one of them carried a cell phone, instead of taking them away. Their motives are very clear. They’re using the excuse of protection to prevent instances of inter-caste and intra-gotra marriages, which is probably what is happening when girls are able to contact men of their choice. So let’s not praise their vaunted concern for women’s safety. They are obscurantists.

  72. Mr.Krishnan, I find your points to be bang on target… The problem is that GIRLS OF TODAY have forgotten that they are GIRLS… That they are here in this world because their mothers had given birth to them and had made thousands of sacrifices to raise them… But today’s girls think that their Mothers and Aunties were idiots that they spent an entire life looking after their family… They do not realise if their Mothers and Aunties were like them, then they would not have had any upbringing… If their Moms and Aunties left them in the Creches and Childcares and went for Full-time jobs, then they would have spent half their childhood crying… If their Moms and Aunties did not feed them in time and instead went for kitty parties with friends leaving them with an Ayah, then they would grow up as malnourished and ill-cared for girls… If their Moms and Aunties did not look after their studies in Nursery and KG and left them alone at home and went for candle-light dinners, then they would not grow up to be the educated girls… If their Moms and Aunties did not spend quality time at home looking after them and guiding them, then they would probably have become drug addicts and sluts from school days…

    • Thanks. Some contrarian views expressed here has brought some balance to the discussion. Expecting a few more thumbs down for this

  73. My Mom is a teacher in a reputed school and she says that the uncared for children of the ultra-modern GIRLS OF TODAY are growing up to be the Brutes of tomorrow’s society… The GIRLS OF TODAY think of all household work, including looking after their children’s studies, making their tiffins for school, attending parent-teacher meetings to get feedback on their child’s development as Complete Waste of Time… They want to live their own lives, their little ones also have to live their own lives— right from the time they are born… And the husband of they GIRLS OF TODAY cannot even ask for something in a demanding tone (howsoever genuine his demand might be)… Even a request to follow the norms of the family might be replied with– “Frankly my dear, i don’t give a damn for your norms”, whereas the same girl is always ready to follow all the norms at her Workplace… WHY SO??? Simply because she can fired from her work by her boss, but the husband of an aggressive girl will land up in jail (in a False dowry harassment case) for even scolding her for incompetence in her household duties…

  74. Comment removed by administrator as it violates the comments policy of Women’s Web.

  75. I don’t have time to ignore Rajat’s ignorant, misogynistic, phobic rant! Could someone please ignore Rajat for me? 🙂 (Hattip:Veep,HBO, 2012)

  76. @ mr. Rajat,
    What ever you said in your comment all are very much valid points and practical, it seems like a ruler’s kingdom how mr. Shirisadasivan reacting when he get a negative comment ! It should not be the attitude !!! 

    When you don’t want to get a negative comment, don’t make a blog, just write whatever you want read yourself and circulate in your friends circle, BcoZ almost all your friends all your followers I belive other wise they would not be friends with the attitue what u got !

    Imagine you have the power to do what ever u want and you will implement to make it happen what ever said said, what will be the resuloneNessone of the girls will be in married life whoever got this kind of thinking and they will do what ever they want to do as they mention, no marriage will go for long term like our father’s and grand father’s, it’s like whatever we hear from western countries, just like changing clothes they will change the husband and wife , what will happen with the family and to the kids, out culture???

    For this change only we all are fighting for???
    I really don’t know what to say, but onething for sure I am going to get somuch of thumps down and some illogical commments !!!

    • @Kumar: I responded to you once. Very politely. Nobody is stopping you from posting your comments. That is what you can expect in a public forum. You can’t demand the author or other readers to respond “positively” to all you rants.

      It is totally my choice how to respond, when to respond and whether to respond or not. I am not going to engage in a discussion with folks who think a woman’s role is in the kitchen. It is beneath me. I save my sarcasm for that. Thanks.

    • Rajat — there’s a reason people are not responding to your inane comments, Rajat: “…even scolding her for incompetence in her household duties.” Seriously? And who decides they are the women’s duties, specially if she’s a working woman? Is the husband incapable of cooking for himself?

      Kumar — you seem to have missed the point entirely. It’s not about both partners in a marriage doing whatever they want with no regard for the other’s well-being or feelings. It is simply about according women the same EQUAL status as men, in life and in a marriage. THEN, they can build a relationship of equals, with both partners pitching in and choosing which tasks and roles they want to adopt — a far more satisfying equation than that of a feudal lord and servant. If they both refuse to compromise, there’s always divorce — and the responsibility for that will lie with the man AND the woman, don’t you think?

  77. Comment removed by administrator as it violates the comments policy of Women’s Web.

    • Prassoon — your comments are so irrelevant and stupid, they do not deserve a considered response. You are a misogynist in the truest sense — a complete woman hater. Seek help.

    • While do like the narration and the way this prose is written , the content is arcane and the ending call to arms , especially quoting the name of the victim – Pathetic & inappropriate . We are now living in an age where women have become equal partners in the workplace and at home . Gone are the Feudal Lord -Servant (borrowed from above) . Women these days are expected to be treated as equals but still they expect to be ‘protected’ . Why not take the fight to the man,animal or machine that tries to harm you or stand in your way ? Learning to protect oneself is the best way to survive in this society . I do wonder again the aim behind such an article , what are you calling for arms against ?

    • Against the freedom of speech , freedom of thought ? or do you think of women these days as so conceited that they cannot stand the idea of these so called aunties gossiping about them ? You believe them to be so insecure that they crumble at what is going on in the heads of others around them ? Absurd ! Its an Insult ! This Mindset has to change . We are the confident Young Women of India , You can do all the moral policing you want Bhailog/Behenlog but whether we accept it or not is entirely up to us . !! PLease stop this unwanted and unwarranted insult to women in india . Let the demise of the unfortunate girl be a reminder , let her memory be our strength and not be used to show our weakness.

    • What are you talking about??? Calm down. You completely missed the point. This article is about fighting everyday sexism and misogyny that are very much ingrained in our society. When incidents like Delhi violence happens, time and again, we see many Indians (including aunties, uncles, moms, dads, brothers, friends, relatives) act like these were acts by people from the bad sections of the society and has got nothing to do with average Indians. But the fact is all of us contribute to it knowingly or unknowingly. Our mindsets about women and treatment of women needs a complete overhaul. The entire country is soul searching now and all of us should do our part as well – is the essence of the article.

      Ending calls for arms? – This is the most absurd thing I have heard. It is a call to fight sexism and misogyny in our day to day lives. A fight for equality, dignity and rights. It is not a fist fight or arms fight. Grow up!

      As far quoting the name of the victim, if you would pay attention (of course you didn’t) this article was written before her name was released. Dhamini was one of the names used by the protestors in Delhi and in social media and the same has been used in the article. Pseudonyms are written within quotes as a common writing practice.

    • A “call to arms” is a figure of speech which means a conclusion urging some action. It does not literally mean weapons.

    • Thanks for the clarification @PrasadGC. Then I don’t see why Menaka has a problem with it, because action is the need of the hour. This moral policing that happens everywhere needs to stop.

    • BTW, aunties and uncles moral policing is not freedom of thought or expression, but pure indecency and needs to stop.

    • Bravo

  78. Pingback: Let’s End Rape Culture | Women's Web: Online Community For Indian Women

  79. Totally agree with many of the views mentioned in the article, having faced most of them myself ! Thanks aunties for making our lives miserable.

  80. Another stereotypical article! I appreciate the frustration of the author in expressing the troubles “modern” women face, some of them are close to reality but most of them look exaggerated to show anything and everything the so called “modern” woman does is right. Coming to ‘gossiping and aunties’ the modern divas are more keen in gossiping too.. Aunties gossip will stop with one community or so but these divas cross borders with all the gadgets and gossip and surely make many other lives miserable. It’s a long topic. Even most of the little girls these days are nothing less than Divas, I see everyday in my own apts how girls as young as 5 years call boys all names and tease them., even if boys behave well and ask them to ride bikes together or play ball, they feel as if they are being proposed for a “date” and start making fun of that boy.., Gone are the days where girls behave with dignity and expect boys to treat them well., In short, in an attempt to bring balance between both genders, things are just going way too out of control both sides and given the name “Modern”…. We have to just sit and watch what the outcome is going to be….

    • As I have mentioned in my comments, a first reading of the article gave me the impression in totality that the characters were self-centred; agreed there are some genuine grievances but were they insurmountable? Can not matters be discussed and sorted out? Confrontation is not the way out. Of course there are some incorrigible people but by and large men are reasonable. I like the OLX ad which shows three different ladies have their way with their husbands in making them get rid of unwanted and unused items occupying precious space. If you are going to take men head on, positions will inevitably get hardened to nobody’s benefit. Awaiting some more thumbs down from the diehards.

    • You are turning this into a gender war, Mr Krishnan. Nobody is “taking men head-on” except in your imagination. This entire piece is about sensitising society at large (men as well as older women) about the perspective of today’s generation of women and the challenges they are facing, that’s all.

      It’s a matter of shame that society has not progressed beyond where it is. We all have to be part of the change we want to see. If you don’t want to be part of the change, I guess that message has come through clearly enough by now!

    • I have several times stated here that personal comments are to be avoided and comments should be confined only on the issues raised. I do not need homilies from you and kindly avoid taking a supercilious attitude towards responses posted here with a show of superior disdain. I have in fact advocated that a gender war should be avoided. Looks as if you missed the sentence ” Confrontation is not the way out” and you are portraying the whole lot of men being beastly and unreasonable towards women when I am at pains to point out that most men are in fact reasonable. Those that indulge in atrocities are the fringe. Please stop making knee jerk reactions and take on the garb of the reformer.

    • > you are portraying the whole lot of men being beastly and unreasonable towards women

      Am I?

    • If there were no female members in my family, perhaps I would be sitting here going, “What’s the problem? I don’t see any problem.” But I do, and that’s why I’m aware that there are endemic and persistent problems.

      I don’t have to be a social reformer as you’re sarcastically calling me. I just have to be a family man who wants society to behave in a fairer way towards his family members. Does that make sense?

      To your other point, yes, on a crowded bus, out of a hundred men, perhaps only 4-5 are troublemakers. The problem is, there are 4-5 such men on virtually every bus! It can make women very frustrated and angry, and I have heard about this first hand from my family members.

      The point of this article and many others that are being written now is this: although the egregious cases of harassment are because of a minority of individuals, this is happening because of a toxic and pervasive culture that does not take seriously the freedom that women should have to go about their business wearing what they want and engaging in activities that they please. It is this cultural change that is being aimed for. I do hope you are getting this point, even if you don’t agree.

    • Each one of us have female family members and we are constantly worried about their safety, dignity and self-respect. There is no disagreement on that and each one of us is responsible to ensure that the women folk are able to go about their activities according to their calling, make their own choices and decisions (we would only be glad to help if our opinion is sought), wear whatever pleases them (and unlike we poor men, they have mind boggling options which if I may put mischievously, adds spice to our lives). Unfortunately as you have mentioned it is these fringe men who turn party poopers for them. So the question that arises is what is to be done? We try to reform the party poopers but that is not going to take place overnight certainly not in our country with a such a huge population. That is where the refrain of my arguments has been that discretion is the better part of valour. How this discretion is to be exercised is a choice which is entirely upto the women folk to decide. With this I conclude my participation in this blog. Good bye to all of you and thanks a lot for all your inputs and outputs as well.

    • Thank you Prasad. For some in our country, women speaking up is just unacceptable, no matter how polite, reasonable and compassionate their voices are (not that they shouldn’t be otherwise). It is a sad state! Our country can’t develop and succeed until we treat women as equals. I am glad there are people like you who speak up when voices are suppressed. More power to you.

  81. Well Done! this says it all !!! Stop this partriarchal system!!!

  82. I see that some threads here fast evolving into some sort of gender war. Its disappointing as it strays away from the underlying call to action or even realization that all of us common, normal everyday people put an end to sexism, misogyny, patriarchy & basically reflect on how to make a larger change happen. We contribute to these biases & most comments are evidently sexist.
    A lot of points made above go back to asking women to adhere to dressing, culture, tradition & be responsible for their own security or of having invited trouble. No different from the several clowns out there also talking such nonsense. Adopting a defensive stance to what is really deep-rooted in our own homes & society at large doesn’t even help solve the problem. In fact, these suggestions violate the fundamental human right – to live to be who you are & what you are. This doesn’t need any framework of tradition/culture/heritage/gender/race etc. Imposing this superficial framework or alluding to it surmounts to essentially questioning the existence or the nature of existence of another human being.
    What is likely needed is a step back. One will realize that any change that is brought about works only because it is adopted at a grassroots level.
    People need to quickly stop thinking as individuals and stop finger-pointing. Look within & look what force can be yielded by collective shift in mindset from a parochial & fundamentally partisan patriachal social behavior to a more equitable and simple approach of treating every human as equal. There are 50 of us here commenting & debating, I am quite certain there are a 1000 others at least who read this article, have opinions and simply never spoke up. But there is a 1000 more out there that could influenced by means of traditional approaches of positive propaganda.
    @shrisadasivan : I believe you’ve put this out there satirically but really driving a deeper message as most readers have picked up. At the very minimum what a group of people like the commenters here need to do is to build more “srisadasivans” who take the risk to call a spade a spade whether contrarian or aligned at least its a trigger for giving these issues more thought than just be apathetic.

    • Thank you Sai Aparna. I am glad you and many other readers understood the basic argument of the article. As you rightly said, I hope the discussion continues and we as a society evolve. We have to certainly move beyond this, Don’t wear this, Don’t do this, Don’t say this – attitude towards women (there are no such rules for men, obviously). We have to treat women as equals and respect them. It is not rocket science. All human beings are created equal in dignity and rights. It is as simple as that. Thanks for reading and sharing your views. Much appreciated.

    • Please see report in The Economic Times dated January 9, Mumbai edition ” Indian Women Won’t Work in India’s Capital After Dec 16 horror, fair sex finds Delhi unsafe”. Please see link http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=ETNEW&BaseHref=ETM/2013/01/09&PageLabel=1&EntityId=Ar00100&ViewMode=HTML
      The report ends with this sentence ” Most women disagree. For them, it’s safety before career, at least for now.” I had advocated safety first approach in my comments in this blog but not only did it invite thumbs down but I was advised to change my mindset. The report gives the names of many ladies who have expressed unwillingness to take up jobs in Delhi. Please approach them and convince them to change their minds.

      I also draw attention of readers of this blog to another report in TOI, Mumbai dated Jan 10 ” HC judge to youth: Only you are to blame for your actions” Please see link http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=TOIM/2013/01/10&PageLabel=4&EntityId=Ar00404&ViewMode=HTML
      To quote from the report ” Justice Joshi said it all boils down to maturity of mind, “A person with a feeble mind would wonder, ‘If everybody is getting that, then why not I?’ This desire leads him to such types of situations.’’ He said a change in the social system is probably the main cause for the youth taking to crime.
      When students said internet was also to blame for the rise in crime, Justice Joshi said, “Everything on the internet is not bad. There are so many other things that can be seen on internet.’’ He repeatedly stressed that proper upbringing of a child is important.” A child is brought up by both men and women. In fact in the initial years children spend more time with their mothers than their fathers. Are only men to be blamed if a child is not inculcated the proper values including respect for women? Is it not the failure of women also? Why point fingers at men as if they alone are responsible for the “bad boys” in society. In fact it is a known fact that women often show partiality towards the boy child than the girl child. It is often the father who dotes on the daughter more than the mother.

      I also draw attention to an article in the same paper on the same date ” Is An Indian Woman A Person?
      We are caught between the extremes of traditional and western perspectives on women “. I quote from the article ” The problem is that so many women men now encounter in the public spaces of India’s cities and towns – to which both sexes have migrated in large numbers in the last few decades – such as those who have come into the cities to work or study, do not easily fit into the traditional mental categories of what constitutes a woman’s personhood. In their dress or deportment, these women cannot be accommodated to the relational blueprint of the woman that the men have carried in their minds since childhood.
      Not perceived as persons, these women are automatically, without the intervention of thought or reflection, consigned to the ambivalent, despised category of the stree who is potentially a bhog ki cheez. The mental constructions i am speaking of are deep-seated, often less than conscious, and are inculcated in early childhood by the family that is tasked with conveying the ideology of gender and gender relations. As a famous child psychologist once remarked, “An infant is born without a history but soon, the family will give it theirs.” Please see link http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=TOIM/2013/01/09&PageLabel=20&EntityId=Ar01900&ViewMode=HTML. I had mentioned in my comments that the effect of dress on the psyche of men cannot be wished away and needs to be studied only to be hooted down. I mentioned that I too had bought jeans and tops for my daughter of my own volition to try to break the stereotype of the Indian woman in my own way as portrayed in the article. I invited the comment ” Oooh, you bought your daughter jeans and tops. How liberated.” which I consider as uncivil and reprehensible as any pawing or groping. That is why personal remarks should be strictly avoided.If you have any difference of opinion argue it out with logic, facts and figures. Resorting to personal remarks shows that you have no counter argument. But what about the author of this article? Happy reading and awaiting more thumbs down.

    • Mr. Krishnan my response is longish, bear with me. First, I very sincerely appreciate your persistence & the trouble you take in driving forth your point of view for each comment that you don’t necessarily agree with. By taking a stance in public especially on issue based topics please accept that most often there will be more nay-sayers, you don’t need to take that personally either. Please let go as well instead of reiterating it in every response. Every nay-sayer also has opinions just as you do and would like to stick with them as much.

      Next, the reason the discussion threads on this topic center around women alone is really because of what you yourself answered, its issue based so we stick with it. The larger question of gender equality we can shelve until we meet on another forum to discuss it. But, every instance I describe below could apply to any woman, child, man and the most discriminated LGBT community too.

      Lets move on to where I disagree to your points most of which you quote verbatim from press articles for largely validating your earlier comments/suggestion. I can’t refute that newspapers have facts that are relevant in the current day/date of publication but data is subject to independent analysis & judgement which is inherently biased. This is true especially for subjective, issue-based items like this.The media/press are not gospel to me so there is little that I find useful from those articles. For the lack of anything better for now, I am willing to work with what you present for argument’s sake.

      The safety first approach you propose & sought validation for from a press article. It is relevant for things like driving or maybe swimming in the ocean but fundamentally these are activities that are deemed to have proven inherent risk. Each such “thing/activity” because of proven physical harm hereby also comes with a prescribed set of measures to mitigate or alleviate the risks. The same applies to physical health.

      Yet for argument’s sake, I gave your suggestions thought. If I (or any woman anywhere in India) were to role play a stereotypical traditional “stree” as you put it in various situations, let see if the safety approach does fly.
      1.) I walk home from a shop half a km away with grocery on a well lit street or in the middle of the day most conservatively dressed but still get abused/molested.
      2.) On days when I am forced to bring my child home from school due to practical constraints and no male members being available, I come across several instances & attempts of men groping me or other women in public transport.
      3.) A relative or acquaintance of the family comes along, my mother-in-law stepped away to the bathroom & I was making coffee in the kitchen.This acquaintance makes advances & almost molests me!
      Any amount of screaming/shouting/seeking help in any situation above typically causes me more emotional trauma that I deal with alone. I have tried approaching the police but I am dismissed & I walk out in shame & feel even more violated after being reminded of what else could’ve have happened to me. I need to live life as if nothing ever happened. I stop speaking up since my voice is never heard.
      I belong to the vast majority that cannot afford private transport each time I make trips into town for any reason in broad daylight. It isn’t feasible for me to have a trustworthy male relative alongside for each trip to the shop/market/school since the males I trust are off bringing home the bacon & a trusted male companion doesn’t guarantee safety as we witnessed. I can never visit my friends alone for a cup of tea or take a walk alone in the park to clear my mind even in broad daylight.
      This is my everyday reality.

      Given this, to me the safety first approach implies that by virtue of being born a woman I need to automatically assume the inherent risk of abuse at home from the day I was born, on the streets I was raised, in a workplace, at school, at college, in a bus or train. Yet I am violated!
      Essentially life boils down to living in the constant fear of being violated hence finding various means of staying safe! Where is the no traditional vs. western extreme in this at all?
      To speak of progressively breaking stereotypes and then to suggest we model stereotypes in one breath is also rather contradictory.

      You know this. every case of abuse in any form is a violation of any human being who otherwise could have led a perfectly normal life perhaps in varying circumstances. So really to re-quote what you quoted is this Indian woman or any person forced to make such choices a person at all? Being me & being allowed to be me may sound very sublime but it defines a person.

    • This isn’t an academic exercise for me or the many others on this thread. To them I leave this.

      “There are the occasions that men—intellectual men, clever men, engaged men—insist on playing devil’s advocate, desirous of a debate on some aspect of feminist theory or reproductive rights or some other subject generally filed under the heading: Women’s Issues. These intellectual, clever, engaged men want to endlessly probe my argument for weaknesses, want to wrestle over details, want to argue just for fun—and they wonder, these intellectual, clever, engaged men, why my voice keeps raising and why my face is flushed and why, after an hour of fighting hot tears burn the corners of my eyes. Why do you have to take this stuff so personally? ask the intellectual, clever, and engaged men, who have never considered that the content of the abstract exercise that’s so much fun for them is the stuff of my life.”

      Melissa McEwan, of course, on the terrible bargain. My life as a woman, as a queer person, as a fat person, is not your thought experiment.

    • “.. wearing a tight dress displaying a heaving bosom or shapely curves with swaying gait” from someone who bought jeans and tops for his adult daughter is beyond uncivil, and actually sickening. Please refer to the very first comment you posted on this article and the tone you have adapted towards women: http://www.womensweb.in/2012/12/girls-of-these-days/#comment-19432
      With this attitude, I don’t see how you can complain about a little sarcasm. Sorry. I didn’t want to engage in any sort of discussion with you, but couldn’t help because you keep complaining, so thought I would post one last comment.

    • @Shrisadasivan- Please state what is the connection between my buying jeans and tops for my daughter and “.. wearing a tight dress displaying a heaving bosom or shapely curves with swaying gait” comments of my mine which I have myself stated has been done deliberately to highlight the constant doses of exhibitionism that one is confronted with daily in newspapers, tv , films, real life. I will respond thereafter. What is your take on this exhibitionism?

      The comments of the lady to my buying jeans/tops for my daughter was not just sarcasm. It was plain belittling the fondness a father had displayed to his daughter whom he has gone on to send her to US to do PhD. It is abysmal and indefensible. The flurry of thumbs down that you and your supporters generate on my comments and thumbs up that u generate for your own comments followed by counter criticism is not going to cow me down.

  83. Pingback: To Aunty, From ‘Those Girls’ « Priyanka Nandy

  84. Resonates so well with the situation that so many woman are going through. And these regressive aunty types have their friends in our regressive hindi soap operas. With women characters who have nothing better to do than wreak homes.
    From my own experience I can say that there are many educated men (one of them being my IIT post grad ex-husband) who subscribe to the viewpoint that a woman should be treated like an object rather than an individual.
    I have a neighbourhood aunty who discusses juicy details about my character with workers/labourers who are constructing her two story house. Since I am a working divorcee woman , that makes me characterless by default. But no one dares ask auntyji as to why her son got married twice and what was the issue with the first wife.
    Another aunty blames my mother for the divorce and the sort of upbringing she provided me with. Never mind the fact that once upon a time, she used to send her daughter to me for class XII physics tutions.

    Another young educated woman thinks that girls not getting married early get raped. Never mind the fact that she has no answers as to why 5 years girls get raped and as per her logic, should they get married at birth itself!!!

  85. We, affected people are mourning, but they, the vicious are happily roaming around the world, without any guilty conscious. But we cant even move a little stone against them. Later on instead of sitting and writing in the corner, i would like to do something in actions. We all should think what actions we can do to prevent these gossipers affecting the next generation.

  86. I think every girl and every woman of India can relate to this.. So well written!

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  88. Nicely written, Commendable. Not just Ladies but men too can relate to your anologies.

    I feel there is no science behind relationships. You just have to do the right thing, discuss and calliberate your thoughts with your partner once in a while. Things will fall in place. For eg. if Kala’s husband had thought of observing the fast himself before reacting, things might have had happened differently.

  89. Mr.Krishnan, Kumar – Have you seen the beaches in Western Countries? They wear bikini’s! Please compare the rape percentage between the countries! You mean to say we did not have rapes before the jeans culture? How about Draupadi? When a so called good family man is hesitant to go to a police station where can we expect protection? Have you ever interacted with the so called women police? Even they do moral policing and do not support the victim! Our culture was sexually healthy. Take Khajurao. However with the arrival of the prim British, we imitated them and secluded the women! And the current generation is paying for our ignorance!

  90. I dont think that the way women carry themselves has any connection to rape. Rapists are psychopaths and are mentally ill. I believe most of them havent been raised in the right environment. That is really what needs to change. We need to provide our young ones with the right environment while growing up. And as a society we should feel free to talk about issues openly and address the emotional challenges faced daily by both men and women. At the same time modesty has always helped women and we should always have that in mind.
    While i like the article a lot, i dont feel like it is extremely relevant to the rape case. It is extremely important to stop being judgmental and assume the worst about anyone and even worse talk about it. But it is more important to not get carried away by such hear say details and be fair to everyone. I wish our society will stop branding but at the same time i always wonder why people cannot free themselves from such opinions and gossip and live their life based on their own high moral values. While our lives need to be influenced by our family, religion and society we need to make our own moral values and stay true to ourselves. I think its a stretch to expect everyone to be understanding or supportive of our actions because people are different and to each his own. we can try to explain ourselves but expecting everyone to understand….. That may not happen immediately but hopefully over time. I do realize that its much easier to live in a society that is free and where nobody cares about our choices but there are also challenges with that. A lot of what we grow up to be is influenced by our society and its good to have some discipline. Without which a lot of people make decisions which they really regret later.

  91. Very well written, though it could have had more of a “sting” to carry the message across. There needs to be a “Dear uncle” version of it too because, believe me, there are men too who judge the girls/women on these same things. While I liked the article, the stereotypical nature of it grated on my nerves. Why address this to only “aunty”? The whole society, including the men, engages in this judgment.

  92. Good going Shri!!I came across this article while I was browsing the internet for

    articles on female emancipation! I have,without your permission, forwarded the
    link to like minded friends & some MCP’s as well(in hope of shaking them out of thier chauvinism).

  93. Very good article. Definitely sexism, violence and the Patrarchial system has to end. But your article has a number of inherent defects which if overlooked would lead to things even more worse. In case a guy cooks, does chores while the lady enjoys her time, it is not an issue that the guys mother feels bad about it. A big problem today is that liberal women still hold on to culture and tradition when it comes to safeguarding themselves from their deeds. It is perfectly fine that a woman can do what she wants but in that case of equality theory. She still cannot expect her husband to fight the rest of the world as well as fight inside the house. The kind of women portrayed by that particular example which I am talking of here, though seems just another example, to put your thoughts that way is a serious malaise for future life and relationships. A woman who wants her husband to cook can equally be responsible to do what he is doing otherwise. Like repairing the house, being ready to protect the family both physically and monetarily. How many women here learn to defend themselves? How many are ready to drive through a heavy traffic all the time with their male partners sitting behind. Also most of the examples taken here also have image issues too. Social life does involve of lot of such things which are overlooked in this article. It is really not possible for indian women to have the consumeristic benefits of both the western and eastern world. Our cultural heritage does have some logic behind it though it has to broaden up greatly but not as the way things are portrayed in your article. The social world cannot be overlooked in the zeal for western ideas. Western form of liberal life doesn’t make our culture paternal(though it is largely so). The respect which an Indian woman, for example your dear aunty in the article, enjoys within the folds of the institution of family in India is enormous which in no way the kind of women you have tried to copy from the western world enjoy. One cannot simply merge two contrasting institutions for their own consumeristic benefits which you have to bear in mind. The idea sounds too utopian. But that doesn’t I overlook the important things which for the major part of your article. Since much has already been said about it and accepted by most sane minds, I decided to present the overlooked and more important perspective. Reconcilation between newer ideas is the key not a one-sided criticism of our culture and its manifestation – The Dear aunty portrayed here!

    • *But that doesn’t mean I overlook the important things which form the major part of your article – sorry for the typo

    • Everyone knows men and women can never be equal. The writer didn’t overlook that. The point here is the how there are certain stereotypes present in our society and how we feel it to be appropriate to judge morally.

  94. Hats off! My wife and I have had discussions that fall squarely in the spectrum you have covered.
    I agree with your thoughts to the extent that I leave an appeal to everyone here to try and translate this into as many local languages and have it published in all the major local language dailies.
    Point is, you will find a fair proportion of urban people whose thoughts resonate with the content. Problem is, rural India does not read much English, almost none on the internet and mostly would agree to disagree with these thoughts of equality.
    The first step to changing the mindset of people is to make them aware that there is a problem! So the more people read this piece, the faster we get to step 2, actually bringing about this change.
    P.S: my wife found the blog but hadn’t mentioned about it, and I just happened to pick up the laptop when the tab was still open. Thank God for coincidences!! Cheers!

    • Thanks Anirban 🙂 If you or other readers would like to translate in local languages, please feel free to do so. Please credit author and Women’s web and do share with us the translations so we can spread the word. Love, Shri

    • Sir, truth be told education has nothing to do with equality. I know two mother-in-laws one is Msc and the other has not seen gate of school. The educated mother in law wants her daughter in law to cook/clean after she comes back from work and indirectly asks for dowry. The uneducated one always supports my cousin saying “my daughter in law is educated. She knows what is right and what is not. If she’s doing xyz or behaving in such and such way or wearing such and such stuff, she is right. I’m proud of her”. Before meeting them I used to believe education is the reason behind narrow-minded ness. No sir. It’s the upbringing and inherent nature of an individual. I myself never consider men and woman equal. A man no matter how great can ever equate with a mother! And only a woman can be a mother! I am because of a woman. A man can go to work come back and do all house hold chores, he’ll still have energy left. But a woman will do everything that I just said even if gets tired faster because of the love she carries. It brings tears to my eyes whenever I think of the plight of women in our country but then I read comments from people like you and feel better than India too has men who treated other human being irrespective of their gender equally!!

    • Lots of typos. Wish I could edit and write again but too tired:) ….,,.lazy guy

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  96. Well written! Just to add to it… Girls in those days walked in dignity… Agreed !! But Aunty in those days media was at the very low end so it’s obvious that all the abuse and harassment that was caused to women never ever came into the limelight ….and due to the family pressure women never said a word but now media is a powerful tool and this blog itself is a live proof and also women have emerged stronger and will keep going until justice is done! Oh I wish I could say this too all those aunties/women that I came across….

  97. “Girls of these days”, now it’s your turn 🙂 Speak up against hate and discrimination. Join our fight for dignity and equality. We need your support! http://orinam.net/377/

  98. Pingback: Delhi Says, Welcome Back To Street Harassment And Moral Policing!

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