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"What do women want?" is a question many men have. Simple. Just listen to us when we speak (like Rajkummar Rao said he would) instead of jumping in with your 'solutions', and you'll know.
“What do women want?” is a question many men have. Simple. Just listen to us when we speak (like Rajkummar Rao said he would) instead of jumping in with your ‘solutions’, and you’ll know.
Rajkummar Rao, in an interview to HuffPost India, while talking about ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga’ team’s decision to revoke Hirani’s producer-credit added, “Personally, I want to just say this out that if any woman feels uncomfortable or unsafe and if I am present on that set, you can reach out to me. I am here to listen and will ensure that the complaint is dealt with the seriousness that it deserves.”
(A woman who worked on Sanju accused Hirani of sexually assaulting her between March 2018 and September 2018 )
My attention ended at “I am here to listen”!
Though I speak for myself here, I’m sure there would be many who will agree with me when I say that usually we don’t want men to go charging at the baddies to salvage or ‘save our honour’, but just spend a couple of minutes (is it too much to ask, really?) listening to us.
Not just hearing but also listening with complete undivided attention. Think I’m exaggerating? Let me explain.
Like when we say “what a tough day it was at work,” could the men in our lives not jump in trying to sort our day by mentioning how woefully dismal our time sense is, even before we could finish the sentence? It would be nicer if they stopped adding, “IST isn’t Indian Stretchable Time!”
The men would also earn extra brownie points if they didn’t tell us how to handle the boss, giving their shining example. Do not plan our entire day for us, or monitor our minute movements in the name of our well-being.
We often feel fat, thanks to the fact that we are women and we have this monthly cycle. So we bloat. Plus we get our PMS bouts.
Instead of rolling their eyes and whispering conspiratorially amongst themselves “It is that time of the month,” we would love our men to pamper us by getting us our fave poison, so that we can cuddle with our TBR list. Listening to our signals and leaving us be, is the ultimate mark of love ‘at that time of the month.’ Making sure that the brat is fed is a sure shot at earning those brownie points.
Though we are breaking the old molds and setting newer standards, we are sometimes riddled with debilitating self-doubts.
When we find the courage to voice our fears, rather than dismissing our confessions as silliness, a couple of moments of empathy with periodical, “You are the best” rhetorics will get us back on our feet.
When we talk about what is wrong with the way the world is functioning, it would be more than welcome to have a no-holds-barred discussion rather than changing the topic to Kohli’s statistics or the reasons for Rafa’s losses. We do have a functioning brain which can multi-task, and which can store intricate details about diverse topics other than Mummy’s recipes.
Agreed, that to keep abreast of the latest trends, we sometimes indulge in some fashion faux-pas. We want our men to be gentle then, and not critical, when we ask “How do I look?”
Adjust our crowns, not pull us down.
Listen to our money saving plans. Like really listen! Discuss your tax saving methods at length, and keep us in the loop for all joint investments.
We don’t bust up the monies without thinking. There is prior planning to our alleged madness.
Sometimes we don’t want to be ‘in-control’ and sleep the day off. At such times we want the men picking up our inner-lazy voices, and pitching in for us at the PTMs, football games, dance classes, or the vocal recitals, and being proud of it. Not sporting a sacrificial halo, “well, the girl’s busy, so I’m standing in for her.”
Cooking a meal for us, leaving behind a spotless kitchen is definitely the cherry on the cake.
Listen to us vent – on any topic – without being judgmental. We just need an outlet at times. This helps us sort our thoughts, and eventually we do come to our own conclusions. Often we need a willing ear, and we hope that is yours.
We need you, and we say it often. Listen, and repeat the same to us. Love gets cemented. We don’t need bravery. We need strength and empathy.
Image source: YouTube
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Anupama Jain is the author of
* ‘When Padma Bani Paula', listed as 'One of the 5 best books of 2018 - Fiction', by readwriteinspire.com. It is a breezy novel about second chances of life and read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).