Feminism India

Sabers for Boys and Dolls for Girls

My youngest cousin turned three a few months back and in my quest to buy her gifts that were neither pink nor fluffy nor a blue eyed fair skinned doll, I found a teddy bear in a sailor cap and a pop-up bedtime book about a bunny going to sleep, in a gift shop near Westminster Abbey. While I was quite proud of not reinforcing gender binaries in my choice of gifts and not succumbing to capitalist companies that decide what a girl and boy must play with, I was quite exhausted at the effort that goes into buying gender-neutral gifts. Toy shops generally have two... read more »

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting - What you must know.

Disclaimer: This article includes explicit visual images and links to documentaries and videos - the contents of which are violent and further explicit. Though the female genitalia is discussed in some detail with diagrams and could be quite upsetting, I suggest that if you have opened this link you might as well get through the content of this narrative because being informed and generating awareness is always a first step towards rooting out social evils from society. Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting - FGM/C Female genital mutilation or FGM "refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury... read more »

Part 2: To the men I know

To my father, (and fathers like mine) I will probably have to mail this to you and cross check if you have read what I have written. But I want to say thank you. Grateful and blessed are children like me who have parents like you. Thank you for raising your children, and if I may say so for raising them well. Thank you for participating in our lives. For teaching us that the dictums of ‘men are good workers’ while ‘women are good nurturers’ is a myth. For teaching us that both parents can be equal partners in being involved in the lives of their... read more »

Part 1: Girls, I have your back!

Disclaimer: I am quite apologetic for reinforcing gender binaries by writing this two-part series. But a positive change in at least one person will be worth the inequity that I commit now. Last month, the world was thrilled to watch Adele share her Grammy with Beyoncé. As she stood on the podium, broke her Grammy and acknowledged the work of a fellow female artist with love, respect, and adoration – she sent out a message to millions of women all over the world. That two women, working in the same profession are truly capable of appreciating each other’s work without bitterness. The terms catfight, popular cliques,... read more »

Feminist not Fascist!

The year was 2014, I was attending a vocational training camp in Kochi, Kerala, India. The trainer, a man in his late thirties, asked the class if anyone was a feminist. The class remained immobile and silent. From the second last row in which I was seated, I half raised my hand. He glanced in my direction and chose to ignore me. The year is 2017, I was attending a house party in London, United Kingdom. A female friend of mine and I, were shaking our heads hopelessly after failing to convince two of our male friends what feminism was. The two Indian boys we were... read more »