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An Indian woman. Plus a feminist. Minus a homely girl. A poem on the sum total of me.
One Indian woman
a fair, homely, beautiful eligible girl
determined and strong, opinionated
tall, slim and a slender figure
independent and a critical-thinker
traditional, cultured, well-mannered and modest
anti-patriarchal and anti-misogyny
submissive, docile, adjusting home-maker
fearless and honest
faithful and God-fearing
rational and practical
a “abla naari”
a strong desire to fight back and live
sums me up.
Disclaimer: This post has been inspired from a film by Sonali. Original title of the film is Sum Total. A Matrimonial. Sonali is an activist and filmmaker who has made several films including Sum Total and Barefeet.
I smash the patriarchy for a living! Founder & Editor-in-chief of Feminism in India. Gender, tech, media and internet. Tweets @japna_p read more...
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It is easy to give in to patriarchal expectations from a married woman and lose your self in a marriage, but the path to happiness is in keeping your independence.
Marriage is often described as the joining of two individuals’ bodies, minds, and souls. Upon getting married, you are expected to share everything with your partner, including time, money, and all other aspects of life. Your life should revolve around your spouse from beginning to end.
But is it necessary to spend every waking moment with the spouse? Are you not supposed to have a life apart from your spouse? And do these rules apply only to women or men as well?
Although both men and women may face this situation, women are generally expected to give up everything once they get married. Despite progress in several areas, expecting women to abandon their interests, passions, and friendships to align their lives with those of their spouses is still considered the norm.
The rising numbers of single women choosing this life shout out clear and loud that patriarchy and sexism will no longer break or chain us.
Another book on singlehood? It seems to be the season for books on the joys and freedom of being single. But Demystifying and Dignifying Singlehood: Life Journeys of Single Women Across the Globe by Uma Jain is different. The book does not glorify or glamourise the lives of single women in any way. These are real stories – with the good, the bad and the ugly, all there.
The book tells the stories of 15 single women across the world. A feeling of deep understanding and empathy fills you as you read the book and understand the challenges faced by the women who are single – by choice or chance. Some of the women chose to be single because they faced discrimination and even abuse as girl children. Some others had abusive marriages and sought divorce.
The tag line ‘Crafting pathways on rough terrains’ on the cover page is enough to tell you that this is a serious take on the issue of singlehood. If it focuses more on the rough than the smooth, that has been the reality for the 15 women.
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