Cut the Crap and Stop Shaming Women during – ‘ That Time of the Month ‘ !!!

MENS

I am a woman. I am proud of my essential being. I am proud of the fact that i can create, bear and bring a new life to this world. Even the society around me is proud of me for being able to generate life. However there’s one thing which is ironical here – The world celebrates a woman for fertility , for life but shames her for the very phenomena that is responsible for her fertility in the first place. Yes, the world shames her for ‘menstruation.’ It’s the year 2015. The world is rapidly progressing and that too scientifically. Yet even in the year 2015 , a lot of women across countries, cultures, and religions are stigmatized when ‘that time of the month arrives.’ Sad part is that most people (women included) don’t even have a rational explanation for this regressive approach towards menstruating women. They do it because they have been following their ancestors or maybe because they are too unaware to question and find the answers. When i talk about people here, i do not mean some kind of tribal folks or people from rural backgrounds. Not at all. The urban folks are very much included. Folks that are literate( I’m not deliberately using the word education here because literacy and education are two very different things).

A woman is made to feel like some kind of an inferior ‘creature’ when she is on her period. In fact a lot of times women don’t even speak about it. They hush it up as if it’s some kind of a sinful act.  I’ve come across some bizarre practices followed by people .Not just bizarre but obnoxious and some times just foolish. Let me give you some examples : In a lot of households , a menstruating woman is NOT allowed to enter the kitchen, NOT allowed to eat pickles, NOT even allowed to bake cakes, NOT allowed to go to a temple for worship ( in case of Hinduism), NOT allowed to sleep on the same bed as her husband, definitely NOT allowed intimacy, is given a separate section of the house to reside , in some extreme cases. Not just Hinduism , every religion in the world puts restrictions on menstruating women (except Sikhism). In Islam, menstruating women are not allowed to touch the Quran, enter the mosque, offer the ritual prayer or be intimate with her husband for seven full days. The woman is also exempted from rituals such as daily prayers and fasting. The Jewish ‘Code of Law’ – The Halakha prohibits any physical contact between a man and a woman during menstruation.Likewise, in Christianity too (especially Catholic Christians) a menstruating woman is considered ‘unclean’ and ‘impure.’ So she’s not allowed to touch the Bible, attend Church Services or even touch raw food. Surprisingly, even a religion like Buddhism does not allow women to circumambulate around the Stupas during menstruation.

Madras visit. 1734

The picture right above is that of a board in front of the main entrance of a reputed temple in Chennai. The priest of the temple has not even spelled the word ‘sanctity’ correctly and yet wants women out of the temple during ,”that time of the month.” Anyway, the retrograde rituals restricting a menstruating woman from eating, worshiping, moving to certain places and being intimate with her partner are practically the same across religions. I can quote the exact lines from the scriptures of the religions, I’ve mentioned above but it’ll take a lot of important space here. So being a Hindu by birth, i’d just like to explain the MYTH because of which people still want to remain irrational:

“Viswaroopa the son of Thwashta was recruited as the ‘guru’(priest) fore the gods in place of Bruhaspathi, when Bruhaspathi was hidden himself because of the insult made by the Indra. Viswaroopa was killed by Indra in a cheating war, then the Indra was attacked by the Brahma-hathya Dosha’. So now indra was suffering from the ‘brahma-hathya Dosha’. After some time he asks Bruhaspathi for solution, then Bruhaspathi said ‘if there is any body to share that, then you’ll be relieved and you should give some boons to the person’ The following shared the Brahma-hathya Dosha of indra in the following manner.
1. Earth (prithvy)
2. Trees (vriksha)
3. Sea (samudra)
4. Ladies (sthree)
Earth shared the sin and releases the sin in the form of “fuller’s earth (choudu mritthika)” and got the boon that the earth will be filled or become closed even after the excavations. Trees shared the sin and releases the sin in the form of ‘gum’ and got the boon that they can grow even they cut. Sea shared the sin and released the sin in the form of ‘foam/froth’ and got the boon the at the sea cannot cross the sea shore (generally, not in some cases). Ladies shared the sin and releases the sin in the form of ‘menstruation’ every month and got the boon that they can give birth to children from menstruation.” 

.. And this is the reason why people want to remain irrational ?? Like really ? Personally i find it extremely offensive to impose stigmatization on a woman during her period just because some people still want to follow a myth that is like a million years old. Menstruation is a NORMAL BIOLOGICAL phenomena due to which a woman’s Endometrium (The inner lining of the uterus) sheds every month along with the tearing of connective blood vessels through the female genitalia , which we call a period. Hence, getting a period is an innate part of being a woman. So why all the fuss , all the restrictions and the superstitions? It is because of menstruation that women can conceive a new life when they want to. It is because of menstruation that the human race will not go extinct. Yet , some people whom i call, ‘unevolved’ try to prove their prowess by restricting and imposing women. Annoying. More annoying than these unevolved morons are the women themselves who willingly want to be a part of this irrationality and have no hesitation in passing their dogmatic beliefs to the next generation.

The female body should not be ostracized for fertility. The procreative capacity of women is not to be seen as impure. It’s obnoxious to even think otherwise. When a young girl gets her first period, don’t make her feel inferior. Instead congratulate her for her beautifully transforming into a woman. Take care of her and more than anything else, make her aware of her body ( and i’m including both the parents here). I am stunned at the moral and religious hypocrisy of people. A man who might have just raped somebody, a man who might have consumed alcohol, a man who might have committed adultery, a pervert, a wife beater, a murderer, etc etc. everybody is allowed inside places of worship at all times EXCEPT a woman who is undergoing a BIOLOGICAL process every month that makes her  CAPABLE OF GENERATING LIFE when she wants to. So who should be shamed ? A menstruating woman or the people who want to stigmatize her ? Think about it and try not being a part of the latter. Be more aware and create that awareness around you . Start from your own homes and stand up for the women in your lives if they are subjected to this mistreatment. But most of all, women themselves need to celebrate themselves. All the women who shout out aloud for  being empowered, for starters STOP BEING EMBARRASSED for your body, which by the way is the only thing capable in this world of generating life. Womanhood is to be celebrated. !!

P.S : I feel so happy today that i was never subjected to any of the above mentioned rituals ever. i owe my parents a big THANK YOU since i live in a society that stigmatizes a woman for just being a woman.

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Photo Credits:

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Elliot Rodger – A Symptom Of A Society So Morally Warped

Last Week, a guy identified by the cops as Elliot Rodger – allegedly seeking ‘retribution’ against women whom he said, sexually rejected him, went on a killing spree in Isla Vista, California. He shot six people dead and injured seven others who are now in the hospital with severe gunshot injuries. Before the mass murder, 22-year-old Rodger uploaded several YouTube videos in which he is virulently ranting that he was a virgin and that beautiful women wouldn’t pay attention to him. The videos have now been removed by Google for violating YouTube’s guidelines that prohibit predatory behavior, stalking and threats. He also had written a 140 page long manifesto which the cops have recovered from his apartment. He titled it – ‘My Twisted World’ where his wish was to ‘“round up all the world’s women into concentration camps and exterminate them.” According to his folks, Rodger was seeking psychiatric treatment. Now to dismiss this as ‘only’ a case of a deranged, a lunatic or a ‘crazy’ man would be a mistake. It will gloss over the role that misogyny plays in a sexist society. After all, while it is unclear what role Rodger’s reportedly poor mental health played in the alleged crime, the role of misogyny is obvious.

Elliot Rodger was every bit the same as  other men who feel they have been ‘unfairly’ treated by women and are hence victims. They hold onto a sort of bitterness against society and women in particular (Irony is they never feel that maybe the rejection happens not because all women are bitches but because people like him try too hard to find validation from the opposite sex. They are needy. It doesn’t occur to them that their self worth cannot be associated with another person). These men are the same fellows who threaten women both online and in person with an excessively strong desire and need to control them. Men who feel that women owe them sexual gratification and submission. Sadly, they rack their brains out in aiming to do so and eventually ruin themselves. This is quite obvious in the Elliot Rodger case. When I was going through some of the videos which he had uploaded, it really bothered me that what is he scoffing that ‘evil’ laughter for? What was he thinking? Why so much disdain for humanity? The videos are extremely annoying. Besides the creepy grin, his reasoning and ranting was immature to the point of being obnoxious, and it is very sad that innocent people  have died at the hand of a spurned boy because they ‘did’ happen to have lives. How in the world did a 22 year old get the idea that society owes him anything? How did he expect that women will be available to him (as if women are dogs)?  And how did he feel that he “is the ultimate alpha male” to whom women must comply? In his last uploaded video, which he had named ‘The Retribution Video’, his thoughts are deplorable. Here are excerpts of what he has spoken there –

“…Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you. For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I’ve been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires all because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection, and sex and love to other men but never to me…You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it. It’s an injustice, a crime… You will finally see that I am in truth the superior one. The true alpha male. (laughs) Yes. After I’ve annihilated every single girl in the sorority house, I will take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there. Well now I will be a god compared to you. You will all be animals. You are animals and I will slaughter you like animals. And I will be a god. If I can’t have you, girls, I will destroy you.

It’s like he tried to put the entire blame of his wretchedness on the opposite sex and also on men who in his view were more attractive to women. Talking about wretchedness. Was he wretched and ‘deprived’ at all as he claims in his videos?His father, an assistant director on “The Hunger Games” bought him a black BMW 328i, worth about $40,000, regularly flew him wherever he wanted to go first class on Virgin Airlines, and paid for him to attend a “private” Katy Perry concert. Yet Rodger still posted videos online complaining about how ‘deprived ‘and ‘unfair’ his life was. Sad that he did not have any sense of gratitude for how privileged he was. It really is pathetic the frame of mind he was in since strangely enough the only thing that did not occur to him was to have a little more self esteem. It did not occur to him that maybe the reason of women distancing from him, in the first place was because of his own pettiness.

Elliot Rodger was reportedly involved with the online ‘men’s rights movement’ and said to have been following several men’s rights channels ( If only the Men’s Rights Movement was actually a movement for men’s rights and not for bashing and abusing women). The language Rodger used in his videos against women like referring to himself as an ‘alpha male’ is common rhetoric in such circles. The MRM is in direct conflict with Feminism (This became apparent when some of the MRM activists had hounded my blog after I wrote – Does the F Word Scare You?) The conflict stems from the basic tenet that Feminism propounds namely that a woman has the right to say NO. A man can never be entitled to a woman unless she has her consent. Misogynists are not loners. They are not created in isolation. They are products of a society which instead of providing solutions reinforces the patriarchal stereotypes even more. In Rodgers’ case the MRM activists have played a pathetic role and have now very conveniently distanced themselves from the massacre.

Elliot Rodgers was a victim of mental illness but that illness could have been cured. What was more dangerous and what could ultimately not be cured here was the social malaise that created him. Rodgers was envy writ large. The envy inside him killed him, that too in a manner where not many people will sympathize with him even after his death. In fact people will abhor him. H killed 6 innocent people. Hence destroyed 6 families.  His attitude is a a symptom of a culture, a society gone terribly wrong. A culture that condemns a woman to be a ‘slut’ , a ‘bitch’ if she turns down the advances of a man. A culture that gives a sense of entitlement to men like Rodger which is sickening. A culture that propagates that women owe men something. A culture that forces men to be defined by the number of sexual relationships they have had and a culture where not treating women with respect is okay. It shocks me to think that a 22 year old had lost all hope. If only he had realized in time that if he focused properly on himself, developing interests, and skills, and pursuing career ambitions, he would feel content with himself. He would have been comfortable in his own skin and would have not felt the need to be defined by a woman. After all one does not need to get into a girl’s pants to prove he is a man. All he needs is a little self worth which helps him to ‘not’ feel emasculated even if he doesn’t have women in his life and to ‘not’ be threatened if he has a woman in his life. How difficult is that to sink in?

I’d also like to add here that right after the homicide, Twitter started trending the hash tag  #YesAllWomen and some of the reactions , especially the ones coming from MRM forums are abominable as the crime itself.

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(Zoom the screen shot and read carefully) .

This kind of  reaction, a backlash happens when there exists in society some male voices that demand the female voices to be silenced. The voices that expects from women a , “look pretty and shut up” sort of an attitude. The voices that belong to a society where ,”I have  a boyfriend” somehow becomes more revered and respected than ‘”Don’t touch me.” A society where in the inside space of a club , men are expected to put their hands on women and women because of wearing makeup and dresses , are expected to feel flattered. A society that teaches how to not get raped than to not rape in the first place. All this makes me question that isn’t this a crime driven by a socially provoked mental state? Are we really that progressive a society or oppressed as ever, just shrouded behind Instagram filters and false shows of equality. I feel one would be foolish to think that gender equality exists and even bigger a fool to think that feminism is not as vital as it was a century ago. If we are unable to cater to the misogynist mindsets even after a case like Elliot Rodgers, then be prepared to face ‘murderphiles’ and hate crimes commited by them being reported in every part of the world in the near future. The only difference will be in the use of acids, knives and machetes instead of guns. Will hold true from the part of the world I come from.

P.S – Any MRM activist who wants to comment on my post is welcome ONLY if you can produce a rational argument. Abuse in any form will only make sure that your comment is shown its way to the spam folder!

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Elliot-Rodger

Photo Credits :

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,http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/05/25/james-alan-fox-elliott-rodger-shooting/9568433/)

Sole Struck !

There’s something about heels that makes them so fascinating and so desirable to women – actually to men too. The mere site of stilettos or pumps, sort of gives you the enthralling experience. I mean even the word, ‘stiletto’ sounds so sexy, so leering.

High heel levitates the woman who wears them as if she has been put on a pedestal. Not that it’s the only thing that counts. But it just adds up to the overall personality. Stilettos, i feel  are the only object to gain the highest level of popularity in the fetish world. This is partly due to the fact that high heel shoes are like works of art in themselves, like small sleek curvy exotic sexy sculptures. They have always been in style. In fact they even find mention in the age old story of Cinderella. I’m not a huge fan of the that tale or of Fairy tales in general but the picture of those shimmering heels even in my story book as a child was so damn riveting. The clothes we wear don’t have the visual fetish appeal without the wearer’s body filling out the curves, but shoes stand on their own as coveted fetish objects. There are countless people who collect exotic high heel shoes worldwide and therefore, the day I decide to make a trip some place exotic – I’m putting my money in buying some really trendy ‘pairs’ of high heels. I’m sure I’ll never have them enough though. What more do i say. Simply obsessed !!

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Photo Credits :

(http://www.global-wholesale.net/Fashion-Style-Flower-Fish-Mouth-High-Heels-Shoes-Blue_g25600.html

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Because Of Them, WE CAN

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“I started to think about the individuals who pretty much paved the way, past and present. Thinking in that vein, I started to think, because of them, we can.”

– Eunique Jones Gibson

Photo Credits:

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