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Vartika Sharma Lekhak is a writer based in India. She is the author of the short-story collection – Bra Strap and two anthologies – When Women Speak Up, and The Take Off.
The short-story collection Bra Strap – the stories hidden beneath the strings, gives voice to the subdued tales of women from different walks of life. The Anthology ‘When Women Speak Up’, published by WomensWeb, features leading women voices including her contribution, ‘The Girl With Sealed Vagina.’ The Take Off, a passionate project of Cyclops, is India’s first book bringing true stories of Indian cyclists.
Many of her ‘outspoken’ thoughts on various women issues, such as, rape, dowry, gaslighting have been published in both print and electronic media in India and International.
Sexual force within marriage is seen as husband’s way of 'punishing' his wife who is not fulfilling her marital obligation. And thus, behind all the excuses, it is the cultural conditioning that destroys the credibility of victim of marital rape.
“Shushh child. Don’t call it rape, in marriage there is no rape. A husband cannot rob his wife’s izzat. There is no law that punishes a husband for demanding what is rightfully theirs." She had said enough.
Sexism in everyday life is so all pervading that opinionated feminist women (like me) need to cope with it with a pinch of salt, and maybe call out the Mr Manforces like these out.
This thought often crosses my mind. Whenever a man commits a crime against a woman, much before that he has already shown the signs of that criminal instinct within his family.
They would want to silence you, crush you and 'teach' you. But stay strong... because women like you are HOPE.
Our 'strong laws' for protection of women are often only on paper; they continue to suffer in silence. Whether educated or non-educated, they are regularly killed, tortured.
Why do we accept anything and everything from men, while expecting such high standards from women all the time? Why do we have different bars of acceptable behaviour?
When men label a woman as 'sensible', it isn't always a compliment. What other words have been twisted out of meaning, to suit a man's purpose?
I may not assure you the sympathy of everyone but can surely promise my empathy, my belief in you.
For a survivor of domestic abuse, it takes a lifetime of courage to raise their voice over the noise of society and once crushed, they would forever get lost again in that maze of abuse.
Dilution of laws is an injustice to genuine victims, who're forced to leave their struggles halfway because the abusers use loopholes in the law to escape.
With almost inhuman expectations from teachers, especially the female teachers, it is now like bonded slavery in which almost all the norms of labour laws are flouted.
Just like football, people prefer feminism on TVs. The moment it comes inside the house, it threatens to break the precarious balance we've maintained.
How do we expect teachers who are themselves plagued by prejudices, to educate children who believe in gender equality? It's time to train the teachers first!
Portraying certain countries as 'most dangerous for women' leads us to believe that rape is a problem only for 'third world' countries. That's certainly not the case, nor can it be an excuse.
Indian women routinely lose their surnames, names, identities, and also themselves, in the name of upholding 'tradition'. An incisive personal account.
A woman on a cycle, and especially one who is unafraid to ride any road, is the best sign that a country is truly a free place for its women.
Seeing the power that the sealed vagina wielded, the women brought their daughters as well who they had left behind earlier fearing who would marry them if they lose the basic essence of womanhood.
The actions of men have encroached upon women's safety, turning them into a 'liability'. Society has failed the women of our country!
I am a mother of a daughter, and the world around makes me fear for her safety. Isn't it unfair that I have to curb her freedom to keep her safe?
How the modern Indian educated woman, who is visibly independent on all other fronts, succumbs to domestic violence in the confines of her house.
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