But self-care is not a clean and happy procedure, it is not definitively achievable when systematically explored. To understand the scope of self-care we need to see the ‘dark side’ of the landscape, and destroy the versions of self-care that denounce our plurality. In this fight, the only outcome can be a recognition of experiences beyond the wellness narrative structured around the neoliberal agenda. This article is an attempt at foregrounding some aspects of self-care that decentralise the prevalent commodification of it.
Such open spaces to play sports are mainly occupied by men, while women are mostly excluded on account of various gender norms. This also applies to many underprivileged girls coming from the margins of caste and class who lack access to safe and inclusive open public spaces to play, such as public parks or maidans.
Lack of women’s representation in policy-making institutions has allowed men, often with minimal understanding and empathy, to decide what women in sports can or cannot wear. As a result, these policies have ended up undermining women’s comfort as well as agency.
Society finds a million different ways to tell us that sports are not for women but why? In popular culture, it is mostly men who are shown to be excelling at sports. Athletic women are shown as out-of-place ‘tomboys’ and outcasts.
This awareness of the status ascribed to women – the status of being the objects of men’s desires – affects every aspect of a woman’s life. Desire then, in particular, becomes an aspect of a woman’s life where navigation becomes tricky.
The idealisation of motherhood is crucial to our culture; it is important that the mother is self-sacrificing. This sacrificial instinct isn’t limited to women’s behaviour. It goes on to encompass the entirety of her corporeality and the way she performs it.
Looking back, it seems strange, almost sad that he couldn’t contain his anxiety, couldn’t bear the shame of what he did wrong. He must have skimmed over so much turmoil, that he couldn’t accept the reality of harming someone.
If the workplace looked anything like our world, it would have 50% men and 50% women, 7% would have a college degree, 55% would have access to the internet, and only 70% would have access to a smartphone.
“City-living gave me talons and claws, but now I want to put those away. I want something else. I want softness. I want grass under my feet. I want the fist in my stomach to slowly unclench. I want the garden of my childhood to get lost in play while letting sunlit hours pass over to rosy dusk.”
Self-care is influenced by the environment we inhabit, the way we relate to others, the way we negotiate with other living beings or structures. Self-care is also interlinked with other types of care – whether that is in community resources, psychosocial support, engagement with medical and health care institutions, and of course in collective agency and solidarity.
Reviewing three films (or the subplots of three films) to see how subplots show that marriage isn’t a destination or a single story that begins and ends in the ‘happily ever after’.
एक औरत के परिवारवाले अक्सर उसके दोस्तों को उसकी ज़िंदगी का एक ज़रूरी हिस्सा नहीं समझते। लड़कियों को ऐसी मतशिक्षा दी जाती है कि उनके जीवन में दोस्त सिर्फ़ तब तक हैं जब तक उनकी शादी नहीं हो जाती। इसलिए यह अनकही उम्मीद भी रहती है कि शादी के बाद एक औरत अपने दोस्तों को छोड़कर अपने पति के घरवालों और दोस्तों को अपना लेगी।
I can recall my experiences in the washrooms of different gyms that I have been a member of. A men’s washroom is an interesting place in terms of how sexuality manifests itself in its various aspects. It was not unusual to see men of various kinds with strange energies in these washrooms.
Taboos in relation to female desire, sexuality and the body are often addressed in my work. My recent artistic interest focuses on rituals that are primarily centred on agricultural communities in Bengal that involve the veneration of fertility symbols and celebration of feminine sexuality.
Continuing with our theme of self-care being about sustaining ourselves, our work, our movements, keeping the fires lit, and relating with love to ourselves, in our mid-month issue we bring you more articles looking at self-care from different perspectives – individual, queer, activist, collective, organisational, not necessarily separated, or in this order, of course.