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Announcing the results of the Women’s Web I Stood Up Blogathon – inspiring women speak out against sexual harassment, injustice and violence
We’ve had some great responses to our I Stood Up Blogathon and we enjoyed reading through all the remarkable entries. Every single incident where women have stood up – be it at home, in public places or at work – has been truly inspiring! Kudos to each and every one of you for boldly standing up and speaking out!
Jo Chopra McGowan for her wonderful entry urging us to strengthen ourselves to stand up for people in need: “No one ever expects a disaster. By continued, regular practice in calm moments, when there is no danger, we develop the skills to respond purposefully and without panic when there IS danger.”
Nishatha for her cathartic post about exorcising the demons of child sexual abuse: “I was six, too young to have stood up for myself. Too young to have brought into open his actions.”
Deboshree for her beautiful story on how she refused to accept gender stereotypes as a young girl waiting for her school admissions: “I did not want to make a roti Ma’am. I wanted to make a ball. And look, I have made it!”
Congrats Jo, Deboshree and Nishatha! You win a Flipkart voucher worth Rs. 500 each!
Saru Singhal shares how she stood up against something that unfortunately every Indian woman is quite familiar with – sexual harassment in public transport. She reminds us that every woman has “The Power to Create, Nurture and Transform.”
Rituparna lists the various times that she has stood up over the course of her life, stating “I have refused to consider that my life and career are over. I am instead looking at being reborn. To fight again. To carve out a niche as a woman and mother. Today I am not afraid and I know I will stand up for myself forever.”
Uma talks about her experience in handling unethical practices at the workplace and offers tips on how not to get duped by unscrupulous companies: “Be bold to fight for your rights. In most cases, such fraudulent companies are insecure themselves and a well-thought out reply with facts and proofs will usually do them in.”
Congrats Saru, Rituparna and Uma! You win a Women’s Web mug each!
Wait! It’s not over yet!
Since we felt that everyone should read all the other lovely entries that came in too, we decided to collate all of them here. We recommend that you read every story – and live inspired!
Rashi writes about how she dealt with harassment at a railway station: “I am really glad that I did what I did. I was told I am an inspiration to all the women out there.”
Falak writes about how she handled a pervert on a bus journey in Delhi: “I was not scared at all. I was sure even if no one came to my rescue I’d handle that a**h**e single handed.”
Here is Nia on how she confronted her harasser who had the audacity to click her picture without her permission. What’s more she informed his wife about the dirty activities of the man too! “That man apologized to me and the rest of the part was played by his wife who shouted at him like hell in the station in front of the whole mob.”
Bhavia talks about her instinctive reaction to street sexual harassment and the aftermath of it: “I still don’t know from where I got the strength. My blood was flushing with anger.”
Rachna writes about how she refused to take the easy way out by bowing down to corruption and instead refused to pay a bribe to a crooked government official: “They ask for a bribe, because we give them. It is time we started taking some responsibility for the corruption we see around us.”
Prabhavathi discusses an episode where she stood up against child labour inspite of her friend’s initial advice to look the other way: “When we all want our children to play with the best toys and get the best education, how can one hire a child for work?”
R’s Mom post reiterates the fact that we women will invariably need to take a stand at some point in our lives: “Whether it’s for ourselves, or it’s for our family or it’s for any person on the street, what is important is realising that ‘we have to stand up.’ We need to speak out for sure.”
Arundhati emphatically states that standing up for her beliefs is simply a way of life for her: “Standing up against injustice – whether it is sexual abuse, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, oppression of any kind – is doing the right thing. If one doesn’t stand up against injustice, one doesn’t stand for anything.”
Bhawna laments about a girl child’s rape and questions why no one took a stand to help the victims: “A five year old was raped, of her childhood, her innocence and her free spirit…I was ten and my mind was fickle. But why did the world around me behave like 10 years old?” She also exhorts us to stop falling into the “good Indian girl” trap!
Rinzu Rajan writes about how she stood up for her friend who was suffering in an abusive marriage and helped her to move on: “This fight was an important learning lesson for me both as a friend and a woman.”
Usha writes about how she fought for her rights, respect and an equal footing in her marital home: “I am not a puppet that you tire of and discard, just because you realized that the puppet was actually ‘real’, with a mind and feelings of its own.”
Nithvin writes about how she handled verbal abuse at her workplace: “In a Corporate set up, the words he had used at me were just not ok as far I was concerned.”
Ashreya Mom writes about how she got her family members to stop following rather archaic traditions that surround a girl’s menstruation: “Now my mom explains thinks biologically and scientifically when she talks about puberty.” She also writes about several other instances when she was unafraid to stand up!
Sutanuka writes about refusing to accept patriarchy as the default norm in her life: “My battle will go on to stand up and be firm on the principles which I care for.”
Ekta writes about how she stood up against unfair favouritism and office politics: “They won the appraisal argument that year with all the crap they gave me but lost the loyal, trusting employee in me.”
Gkorula writes about how she stood up and protested against a popular news organization for wrongful reporting of facts and goes on to quote Alan Moore from V for Vendetta: “Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.”
Sejal writes about how she decided to defy convention and opted for a simple wedding celebration – as opposed to the great India wedding gala: “Marriages should be thought of as a coming together of two souls. Today, we emphasize more on the coming together of caterers, bands/DJs, decorators, jewellers and dress designers. Is it the right way forward for the society?”
Shail writes about the trials and tribulations behind bringing up her boys the way she wanted to: “I stood up, became a tigress, for my children’s sake, fighting off anyone who wanted to see them just one more in a herd of sheep.”
Thanks everyone for participating in this blogathon! We had a fantastic time reading through all the entries and we hope you do too!
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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