Dear Women,

How are we today? Pretty upbeat and gung-ho, I’m sure.

Why, you ask? Well, the whole world is celebrating us. It’s OUR day afterall! So we’d better be happy. We don’t get to enjoy this status all that often, do we? C’mon. we can’t even boast of claiming a place on this earth because according to some ‘learned, highly qualified’ dolts men, we don’t even deserve to exist.

But who cares what they say!  At least not today. For today is one day when we can proudly claim our place and position, right?

A day when we are put on a pedestal, given all possible respect that we deserve even otherwise.

A day we cannot be running the risk of getting raped or ‘being taught a lesson’, right?

A day when our girls will not be killed in our wombs.

A day when we will not be commanded to stay at home and make rotis IF we don’t wish to

A day that comes once every year, ladies! So we better make the most of it.

Lets go out there wearing the clothes we want to with no fear of getting molested because we “asked for it”.

Let us perch ourselves cross-legged on our chairs or bed, on the floor or even on the road without the risk of getting picked on for being “unladylike” and scream our lungs out to the world in sheer liberation with our favourite songs on our lips, while demanding every onlooker to meet us in the eye and not gape at our breasts or try to peep in between our legs.

Let us tell the world that we don’t wish to be put on a pedestal on ‘a particular’ day, worshipped as a goddess on ‘a particular occasion’, rather we command the respect and appreciation to be treated as an equal, as human.

Let us the hit the streets without caring about the darkness of the night, for today we can be sure nobody, absolutely nobody, will point fingers at us for venturing out at  “an unsafe hour”, right? So what if we are in our own country, our own city, our town, our own locality, our own neighbourhood where we are meant to feel the safest? Rest of the day we cannot possibly hope to venture out after dark because that’s not the sign of a ‘good girl’. But today, we can, you see! Because it is our day. We will be ‘forgiven’ for our conduct.

Let us boldly go out there, cut our hair short, wear jeans, play gilli-danda, climb trees, play cricket, hang around with boys and still manage to keep the ‘tom-boy’ tag at bay and still be every bit a girl/woman with the heart of a human.

For today is the day when we are let be, right? And rest of the days? Well, let’s come back here same time next year and take stock of our position, what say?

Happy Women’s Day!


What’s wrong in being called a daughter?

I’m one. And I take pride in being one. Just as much as being a mother, a woman, a wife, a person, a daughter-in-law, a sister.

***Rant alert***

There’s a lot of dissenting vibes that I am getting ever since the talk of Leslee Udwin’s documentary India’s Daughters started gaining ground. Now whether this film deserves the condemning it has garnered so far is a different matter. I don’t want to comment on something that I haven’t had a chance to watch. And going by the decision to ban it, I may never get a chance, which is something that I find utterly unacceptable.

Why the need to ban? Isn’t it curtailing one’s freedom? Are the deciding bodies exercising a democratic method of governance by putting such bans in force?

As someone who is perfectly capable of deciding what she wants to see and how she wants to perceive what she sees, the least I demand is the freedom to make that choice to watch what I want to and then decide whether I should dismiss the content or feel affected by it. Let me be the judge.

I know for sure that no rapist is ever going to evoke even a fleeting sense of understanding or rationale no matter how much he tries to justify his abhorrent mindset. All such monsters can evoke in me is searing anger and more anger and more. Their actions and their remorseless faces further reiterate how messed up they are in their thinking. How much of a menace they are to our society. So unmasking them and their views through a film can only go on to identify the disturbing mindsets and act as a mirror to other misogynists who hold similar demeaning views on women, so they can be tackled better, right? How is a ban going to help? Will it stop those criminals from harbouring such heinous thoughts in any way?

Anyway the post is not about the ban or the need to ban the ban!

It is about trying to understand another kind of objection taking rounds on the usage of the term ‘daughter’ while referring to the film’s title or the campaign . I frankly think it’s least of the issue to be concerned about. Yes I agree, a woman’s identity is beyond the roles she plays. What I don’t understand is the assumption that the term daughter or beti is being used in the film or the campaign to convey that a woman needs to be saved.  Each of the role a woman plays is integral to the life she leads and she needs to be respected for the role she plays. It doesn’t mean that she is asking to be saved or protected. I’m a daughter. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I’m a woman. But I can take care of myself. I dont need to be saved or protected. But I demand that I am acknowledged for my presence and not dismissed as non existent in the society!

The fact is that there is a mindset which considers it completely acceptable to suppress a woman, snub her, irrespective of her being a daughter, a mother, a wife or a sister. Unless that reprehensible mindset is tackled appropriately and unless women are treated with more respect, how they are addressed is secondary.

Refer to me as a daughter, a mom, a woman or a person. Anything. I take pride in playing each and every role. But I command some respect for whatever role I have chosen and despite whatever.  Like any woman. I may go out wearing a saree or jeans or sleeveless shirt at stark midnight even. Do I stop being a daughter or a mom?

What about the mindset which throws the diktat at me and my sisterhood that we can’t live the life we do or roles we play on our own terms? If we do then we pay the price for it! Hah! Now THAT is the mindset that has to stop breeding!

Is banning a film or changing the way women are referred to, going to change the mindset that perceives them in a disrespectful manner? I doubt.