Monday, 11 July 2016

Book Review: Sex and Power by Rita Banerji
Sex and Power by Rita Banerji
I would like to thank Author Kelli Sue Landon for helping me to get this book from Amazon. Find Kelli on one of these social media sites if you are a fan of murder mystery and thriller books. 

WordPress: Twitter: @kellisuelandon Facebook:
Her book review site:

I'm glad I read this book. So glad I did. I got to know about Rita Banerji sometime ago and wanted to grab a copy of her book through Amazon, which I couldn't, as the title was and I believe still is not available where I live. Kelli helped me to get the book via Kindle and gifted it to me. It had been on my Kindle device for about a year, if I'm not wrong. I don't read books on Kindle to be honest but finally decided to read it as I know it is worth getting a glimpse of the thoughts of Rita Banerji, an activist whose work largely revolves around women's rights in India. I like how she does extensive research to reveal cultural myths and the way religions both glorified and condoned human beings' sexuality. 

Rita's book will definitely shed some light on issues we thought were taboo. I particularly like how women were so much sexually empowered through religions. The Golden Era saw men and women emphasising 'romance' and 'love-making' where they respected each other. Rita also wrote very distinctly on the influence of religions and how 'sex and power' were viewed and handled differently according to their respective religious view point. 

Towards the end, I'm able to learn on how the present-day India is still struggling in promoting equality and how leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, whose preaching and practice on sexual stance had great disparities their own sexual. 

I would rate this book 10/10 and give it ten stars on Amazon, if I could. 

Check it out on

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Friday, 15 April 2016

Denying Your Past Is Denying Your Dignity
Shame prevents us from revealing our past
Image courtesy:
I was reading about Laxmi; the acid attack fighter, her husband; Alok Dixit, and their love story a couple of days ago. I personally feel that Wikipedia should refer her as acid attack survivor rather than calling her a victim. I cannot stop admiring this girl for her courage and the couple whose true love amazes me. It makes me realize that time decides who you meet in life and character decides who leaves and stays. 

You can check out my previous post about her here.

Above all, what I can learn from Laxmi's story is to be true to oneself and stop being bothered about what people who think about being transparent. As an acid attack victim turned fighter, Laxmi's life was destroyed by a man twice her age when she was just 15 years old. Never would she have imagined that turning his love proposals down could invite an ugly consequences. She was thrown acid on her face and body following the rejection, suffered severe burn on various parts of her body and went through surgeries to repair the damages. 

India is a country known for its multi-ethnicity. However, there is something common among all ethnics and that is the way women are treated in the society. When a woman is mistreated or sexually harassed by men, it is because she asked for it. It is because she lured their attention by intentionally misbehaving or seducing men simply by being a woman. Laxmi was not the only to be blamed for what had happened to her. Many other acid attack and sexually-harassed victims do not get a chance for their voices to be heard. They shy away from the society that cripples and labels them with various ugly names. 

Imagine if Laxmi had succumbed to the restrictions that the Indian society had imposed upon women, she wouldn't have been recognised internationally as an advocate for acid attack victims. She chose to embrace past gracefully and fight against such cruelty despite not getting full support from people around her. Imagine if she decided to stay within her comfort zone, Laxmi wouldn't have met Alok. He wouldn't have fallen in love with Laxmi's courageous nature. Imagine if she too, like anyone else, believed that all men are not to be trusted as treat women badly, she wouldn't have spotted the kind-hearted man in Alok. 

Laxmi's story is just another example to prove that humanity is within reach and can be experienced if we allow to see goodness in every situation. Staying true to ourselves will only help us gravitate closer towards people who could resonate with our very own thoughts and beliefs. Unfortunately, far too many women and men choose to deny their past and called it the 'dark secret' just because they have gone through something that the society would not approve of. 

Let's just face the fact. How many of us are actually comfortable talking about sexual education, sexual orientation or sexual preferences to children? Do we go ahead and tell people that sexual workers deserve equal rights as other employees? 

Do we actually speak our mind and tell people not to judge us based on our story? 

We don't. Period. 

We never really raise our boys to respect women. We do not make them do the house chores. We still think that a woman's place is at the kitchen. We do not practice what we preach. 

Let's all start living life truthfully. Lend your opinions and feelings a voice and let that voice be yours. Speak up for what you believe in and never hide your story which is ultimately, your life! Registered & Protected 
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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Not Your Mom, Not Your Milk!

Hello again!
The Herd

I'm writing a post here after nearly 9 months and I must say that work, part-time studies and business have been keeping waaaaayy too busy. Oh, I forgot to mention that in the middle of all these, we've a new house purchase agreement that is going on. 2015 had been a crazy but very successful and rewarding year. I hope all of you had a great year and all the best for year 2016.

I saw this post on Facebook yesterday and I can't stop thinking about it! Initially, I thought this short video is based on a real incident that's happening to women but I just learned that it is based on the reality of all farmed animals and dairy cows being exploited everyday in farms across the world for us to enjoy a glass of milk.

Now, I'm not sure if I should feel glad that's it not happening to women or feel bad for the way we treat cows.

I didn't manage to watch this video past 7 minutes. 

Viewer discretion: For mature audiences only.

Does this ever ring a bell to you that we have been very selective in our battles that we no longer care about things that do not affect us any more?

The Herd replaces female cows with female humans, and by doing so hopes to promote a greater understanding of the suffering inflicted upon cows in the dairy industry. It is known as the first feminist vegan horror film. Registered & Protected 
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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Charlie Hebdo: Yay or Nay?
As it happened: Charlie Hebdo attack
In January 2015, a group of Islamists went on a killing spree on the streets of Paris following the cartoon publication by Charlie Hebdo demonstrating caricatures of Prophet Muhammad. Charlie Hebdo, a weekly satirical magazine that largely criticizes many aspects of human life had angered the Muslims and provoked the extremists to hurt the editors and staffs of Charlie Hebdo. Seventeen people were killed in that incident including twelve staffs from the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. 

#JeSuisCharlieHebdo had been the hashtag of the month when the incident sparked a wide debate all over the world with politicians, law makers and the public pouring out comments in favour and against Charlie Hebdo. A large part of the public showing support to Charlie Hebdo and the right to express opinions were merely joining in the uproar without understanding the fundamental arguments that are underlying this issue in general. 

Earlier this month, Charlie Hebdo magazine was awarded the controversial freedom of expression award by the American PEN and Thoret, Charlie Hebdo's flim critic who received the award did not seem to be happy when people say they are Charlie Hebdo. 

“When you say: ‘Everybody is Charlie,’” Thoret said, referring to the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan that consumed social media and became a subject of some debate among those who found its style uncomfortable, “We have two waves of reactions.” At first, he says, of course he agrees. But then, he added, he realises that the slogan itself “doesn’t mean anything”.
It will take months, Thoret said. “We’ll see the way the debate [over freedom of expression] is going” then, he said. It would be horrible, he said, to find himself surrounded by people who all agree with each other. It would remind him, he said, as a film critic, of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. They were happy for the support but, he added: “We are not naive.”
We all know that the magazine is satirical and when we say satirical, it appears offensive and unpleasant for many. Charlie Hebdo is claimed to be a part of the solutions by promoting equality, liberty and fraternity and the magazine is generally for the French audience. The satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo was the conscious heir to a French intellectual tradition with a long history: radical anticlericalism. 

With these facts on mind, will a satirical magazine succeed in bringing about positive impacts on society and is it okay to expect people to accept what it publishes with an open mind? 

The reaction from Charlie Hebdo following the brutal attack in January 2015.
Charlie Hebdo hurts people. That is a fact we all can't deny. It may have won the award earlier this month but will it be a champion in educating the public on worldly issues and the way we live our lives? As we know, anything good, when is expressed in ways that could hurt others would not be wholly accepted. What more when it involves sensitive issues of religions and cultures? 

There will be a reaction to any action enforced by people and the reaction is often projected with the same spirit and emotions. So, can we really blame the Islamists for reacting in such manner when what happened had provoked hatred in the Muslim society? Although it would have been wiser for them to ignore what had offended them, it is not rational to expect people to react the same way as the others. The attack should have been something that the editors must have expected to happen even before they publish the caricature. 

So, Charlie Hebdo: Yay or Nay? Yay if the magazine is ready to face the consequences of its actions and the non-constructive criticism. Registered & Protected 
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Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Montreal Massacre 1989: Another Reason Why We Need Feminism
The victims of Montreal Massacre 1989
On December 6 1989, a shooter attacked 14 victims and killed 14 other female students in the École Polytechnique. The attacker's entrance application to the institution was turned down and he believed the female students occupying the class was the reason behind it. 

25 years later, today, our communities are still plagued by gender violence. We have not witnessed any promising improvements on reducing gender violence and efforts taken by activists and advocates have not been truly welcomed evenly by people around the globe for the effect to take place. 

Although female students in higher education institutions have outnumbered the male students, women still see the need to compete for jobs and opportunities once they step out of college. Our voices aren't heard because the society has painted an evil image of feminism over the time that nobody thinks women's problems are problems in the first place. 

Ironically, like the shooter in the incident of Montreal Massacre, we have more men thinking that feminists are the root cause of the problems they have today and sadly, their opinions are greatly echoed by the society. 

Women are losing the strength to even voice out because doing so would always backfire them. Calling oneself a feminist has never been a pleasant experience and as long as we see ourselves remaining silent and not breaking this norm, we will not actually embrace real change. 

Let us all stay united in fighting social injustice while remembering women who lost their lives to gender violence. Registered & Protected 
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Monday, 13 October 2014

Because You Are Not Good Enough

Because You Are Not Good Enough
Ladies!! If you think you are happy with the way you are, grateful for the talents you have and believe that what's inside matters the most, the brilliant fashionistas are here to prove you wrong!
You are not good enough! - that's the tag line and the fashion statement of an apparel company that has invented thigh gap jeans for ladies. Yes, your thighs shouldn't touch when you wear your jeans. It's not feminine enough. It doesn't define beauty.

At "Thigh Gap" your jeans come with a small wooden stick that you can jam between your upper thighs to create a beautiful (read: painful) gap between your legs. And they're on sale for only $69.99!

Play this video to see this ridiculous idea for yourself. 

After all, we are living in an era where the modeling companies are trying to bring plus size models into the industry. Feminism is surely witnessing the impact of enforcing equality for women and accepting women in all sizes.
Thigh Gap
That is also a sign of modern women choosing to dress the way they want and stop giving a damn to the fashion industry.
Businesses are trying hard to dictate how we live life and they seem to be inventing crazy ideas to keep the oppression strong on our society. They surely know how to play the game pretty well.
On the other hand, what are we, as the consumers supposed to do? Dress the way we want and create or own fashion statement and identity for ourselves. That's the day we will see industries designing clothes according to our needs.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Maya Angelou and The Hidden Past

The world was saddened by the demise of Maya Angelou a few months ago. She was a great leader, a brilliant teacher and above all, a wonderful soul who had so many stories and life's lessons to share with us. Admit it. We actually learn about people more when they are gone. Their good and bad deeds would turn into topics to discuss for the next few days.

Maya Angelou was no exception. She passed away at the age of 86, leaving behind her glorious life as a legacy. The media did a commendable job in highlighting her achievements but what amazes me is the fact that the media glorified the 'good stuff' of her life, the 'past' that we would be proud to talk about, the stories that would earn her more 'respect' and the talents she had that left the entire world amazed. 

What about the past that made her into who she was until the day she died? What about the 'least glorified' stories of her life? The untold mistakes that made her stronger and wiser?

I'm not very sure how many of you had actually read Maya's books. I came to know that she was one of the most successful non-fiction writers after her death. (Shame on me on not knowing this earlier! I know. I will be buying those books soon! *excited* ) Maya Angelou had a very challenging life. She was raped, she was a prostitute, she smoked pot and took drugs. Throughout her life, she was a strong advocate for the underprivileged people. She stood against racism, sexism and other ugly forms of discrimination. In an interview with her, she had explained what it actually feels to be doing something that may be wrong in the society's point of view.

I agree that she had lived life to the fullest and nobody would have preferred talking about her as a prostitute in the wake of her death but ignoring her past as a sex worker, a night club dancer and a madam for lesbian prostitutes simplifies her legacy. This issue was debated by Aya De Leon on Huffington Post. Maya never felt intimidated by her past. She chose to embrace her past, forgive herself and learn from the mistakes. There are lessons she learned from the journey of her life. Her past defined her life and herself.

Her past itself also advocates for prostitutes, lesbians, gays and feminists. Unfortunately, the media did not discuss her struggles as much as they embraced and celebrated her achievements and this is actually an issue that we should address. When someone is walking out of their 'not-so-nice' past, turning over a new leaf and looking forward to living a meaningful life, why do we choose to encourage them to erase their history?

Failure leads to success and success is celebrated but nobody values failure. We are living in a society that is highly judgemental. We are expected to find the route to success without failing because people don't accept mistakes. As soon as we know someone has erred in their life, we quickly judge them, label them, degrade them and undermine their quality of life.

One of Maya Angelou's autobiographies, "Gather Together In My Name revealed her life as a sex worker.
“I sat thinking about the spent day. The faces, bodies and smells of the tricks made an unending paisley pattern in my mind. Except for the Tamiroffish first customer, the others had no individual characteristics. The strong Lysol washing water stung my eyes and a film of vapor coated my adenoids. I had expected the loud screams of total orgasmic release and felt terribly inadequate when the men had finished with grunts and yanked up their pants without thanks.”
I must say that we hesitate to accept women's past as compared to men. This double standard has been around in our society for a long time. As a result, women erase the black marks in their lives and avoid being discriminated.

Do you celebrate your past without prejudice and let people know who you are for real or do you think it is necessary to safeguard your darkest secret in order to allow the society to let you live life peacefully? Registered & Protected 

 I welcome your thoughts and views !  Thank you for your feedback