We hear about rape constantly but there is little understanding as to what rape actually constitutes or entails for the many different kinds of victims that exist. While rape laws have changed over the years, the implication of the laws on society remains the similar. This is how socio-legal rape culture erases victims.
The Indian ideal of sanctity holds the traditional family unit above all else in society, but the truth is that there are thousands of step-parents around the country who take the same roles and responsibilities in the lives of their step-children as traditional parents. As one of these parents I find the social and legal aspects of stepparenting are much harder to navigate than the emotional.
Feminists are often accused of hating men. We are accused of blaming everything that is wrong in our lives on men. The word feminist is almost synonymous to misandry yet I have never felt the temptation to hate men. Do feminists really hate men or could this women’s movement really be about…women?
From a very young age most of us are given to understand that we will have to marry someday, whether it is for love or because of the social norms that surround marriage. When the threat of forced cultural integration sent me running from marriage, I realised the rights afforded to non-marital love were not at par with the rights of the married. A central government guideline governing my partner’s job mandated our marriage, but should that be allowed to happen?
It is well-known that victims of abuse rarely speak up, and while we generally understand that this is due to social factors, this understanding of abusive relationships is incredibly shallow and ultimately perpetuates the culture that supports abuse. When a victim of abuse does speak up, what makes them do it?
Whether it is in matrimonials, drawing rooms or classrooms, fat girls are taught to hate themselves for the bodies they have. Pop culture reduces the representation of fat women to a comedic trope or a pitiful sexuality. If it is indeed about concern and health, then why do millions of women suffer from eating disorders and self-loathing because of it?
Girls are often told they are different or “not like other girls” as a compliment to make us feel special and sometimes women proudly describe ourselves as such, but when we do that, what is it that we are saying about the concept of being woman?
In the business of finding love in India, no one does worse than divorced women. They are often viewed as damaged, toxic or flawed. Even as we socially-support their right to be divorced, when it comes to our own families, how many of us open our doors to divorced women?
What is a “shared household” and how does it matter to you if you are a victim of domestic violence? A quick explainer on the recent Supreme Court judgement that reinterpreted the term “shared household” with regard to the right to residence for women in abusive relationships.
As women become more aware of our rights, it becomes harder for society to control our behaviour through the law and so it is done socially. It’s okay if you have boyfriends, it’s okay if you drink, it’s okay if you are divorced, it’s okay if you are ambitious but just don’t talk about it. The reason we can write about the “secret lives of women” is that we are actively discouraged from having open lives.