You don’t even realise what you’ve said until someone in the group, quick as lightning, hits you with the rejoinder, “That’s what she said!” As you’re trying to make sense of what just happened, the group dissolves into giggles.
This was the time we were growing up, learning new things, reading new books and discovering something new almost every day, and this all-women space provided an opportunity to do that without requiring any pretence or catering to the male gaze.
In the uncertainty and volatility of the pandemic, Pramada Menon examines what has changed for herself, for the world, and for the various attributes of the workplace – mentorship, conversations, power, and purpose, among others.
I recently watched North Country on Netflix, a movie based on a true story of a woman’s fight for equality at the workplace. It is based on the case, Jenson vs Eveleth Mines, in the United States in which Lois Jenson, fought for the right to work as a miner, and the right to work free of sexual harassment. She won the landmark 1984 lawsuit, which was the first class-action lawsuit on sexual harassment at the workplace in the United States and resulted in companies/organisations having to introduce sexual harassment policies at the workplace.
None of these characters is perfect but in their imperfections we can learn more about body positivity, gender sensitivity, privilege, consent, unconscious and implicit bias, sexuality, masculinity, their intersections with class, religion, race, age, and more.
The issue with the ‘Aunty’ body arises from a deeply misogynistic and dehumanising understanding of women. In this imagination the woman, whom the world now addresses as ‘Aunty’, has basically served her purpose of marriage and child bearing, and is hence rendered useless.
Are certain forms of femininities denigrated more than others? Not just by misogynists but also by feminists? Is there a particular way of manifesting an ‘appropriate’ femininity, one that is just right, and is not ‘too girly’ or ‘too tomboyish’?
Desiring motherhood meant veering into a more ‘girly’ territory, a notion that I had simultaneously been fighting and trying to embrace since childhood. I had understood that to be a feminist I had to be independent, be wary of men, dislike families and relationships.
I keep on hold the colours and prints to wrap you in gentle delicate flowers or little cartoon lions and boys with fists that say Bam and Super / until I know what lies between your legs the cigar or the smile of consolation if you’re the first
Their inimitable personalities showcase their varied conceptions of insaaf (justice), enriching and intensifying the plot and, at the same time, reaffirming their solidarity and strengthening their unity.
At sixteen, the senior boy I loved, touched me down there and said, this is what boyfriends do, this is what love feels like – uncomfortable.
While navigating hook-up culture, we may exercise our agency to express our sexuality but at the same time, may face risks to our safety and bodily integrity as well as obstacles engendered by misogyny, rape culture, heteronormativity, and double standards.
Considering how sexuality was a running (and selling) theme in pulp fiction stories, and female sexuality was employed as a means to titillate and attract readers, the covers often reflected this.
For I was a woman / Taught to chain herself gracefully / In an invisible cage.
This malignancy of toxic masculinity is a mutant inheritance that is hard to eradicate. However, initiating discussions about it and spreading awareness is essential to minimise the cost to its victims.