Showing posts with label women. Show all posts
Showing posts with label women. Show all posts

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Montreal Massacre 1989: Another Reason Why We Need Feminism

http://www.savisofhalton.org/wp-content/uploads/montreal-massacre-300x109.jpg
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. 

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Friday, 8 August 2014

I Have A Dream And I Want To Live It


You and I, we all have dreams. We all want to live the life according to our own ways. We refuse to have our rights ripped off right in front of our very own eyes. We all want our freedom. We want the need to be respected for who we are and the choices we make. What happens when someone tries to snatch these needs away from us? We'd definitely refuse to budge and fight back to retain our dreams. 

Unfortunately, the world is made of some people who think that they don't just own the rights to decide their own lives, but also the lives of others. This young lady's dream was shattered by a man who thought he owns the right to decide how a girl's life should be. This incident happened in New Dehli; one of the largest cities in India. 

Acid Attack Fighter Laxmi
Acid Attack Fighter Laxmi

This is Laxmi, the Acid Attack Fighter, and this is her story. (quoted from her Facebook page)

My name is Laxmi. Read my story. I'm one of you. In fact, I am like you. I was young and beautiful and I had a dream. Even when I was studying in a Delhi school in Class VII, I would spend hours singing. I'd recorded my songs and sent them to talent hunt competitions. I was waiting for a call from 'Indian Idol'.
I'm from a poor family. My father worked as a chef in a South Delhi home. I became friends with another girl in the neighbourhood and her brother soon started proposing to me. I was only 15 and he, 32 years old. On April 18, he messaged me: "I love you.'' I ignored it, but the next day he messaged again: "I want an instant reply.'' Again I didn't respond.
I kept screaming for help but no one stepped forth. Everyone ran in the opposite direction. I could feel my flesh burning and I covered my eyes with my arms. That reflex action saved me from losing my vision.
Acid corrodes quickly. Within a few seconds, I had lost my face, my ear had melted and both my arms were charred black. A politician's driver took me to a hospital, where I was to stay for the next 10 weeks.
I saw myself in the mirror at the end of 10 weeks and couldn't believe what the acid had done to me. The doctors had to remove the entire skin from my face and keep it bandaged. I've already had seven surgeries and need at least four more before I can go in for plastic surgery, provided I can afford it.
I learnt to live with the physical pain but what hurt more was the way the society reacted. My own relatives stopped seeing me, as did my friends. I stayed indoors for eight years and ventured out only in a ghungat.
My main attacker was out on bail within a month and he soon got married. He returned to a normal life within a month, but what about me? Nobody even wants to be my friend; how can I even hope that I'll have a lover or a husband?
I tried to pick up a job but nobody was willing to hire me. Some said: "People will get scared if they see you." Others said they will call back but, of course, the phone never rang. I tried BPOs, banks and beauty parlours but all I got was rejection. Nobody wants to hire acid victims because of the way they look.
But I ask you, is it our fault? Society accepts those born blind or those who are physically challenged. Why are we shunned? If you ask me, we are worse off than rape victims because with our faces burnt, we seem to have lost our identity.
I still sing. I love music. I love partying. I love nail polish. I design and tailor my own clothes. I have desires like you do, but I seem to scare off people.
The only support I got was from my parents, my doctor, my lawyer Aparna Bhatt and from the couple at whose house my father worked. They paid for my surgeries and are still in touch with me.
Even while my parents were coping with the attack, my brother came down with tuberculosis and my father died. I was shattered for the second time.
In the instant that my father died, I had to carry the burden of being the bread earner for the family. My mother has to constantly be by my brother's side and feels really upset that she cannot spend time with me.
I gathered myself together and pursued my case in court. My lawyer had filed a petition in the Supreme Court, asking for a ban on the sale of acid.
Slowly, I started getting in touch with other victims, most of who are blinded or have lost their hearing. Each one of us is poor and cannot afford multiple surgeries.
You can't bear to look at us but we don't have the money to buy ourselves new faces. My friends - yes, I've made new friends and they are all acid victims - are mostly blind.
You stare at us and gather your children in a hurry, hoping they haven't got scared just looking at us. Why don't you tie a band around your eyes and see how dark it gets.
That's how dark our world is.
I hope you never have to inhabit it, but I do hope you understand it. Don't give me the strength if you can't, but don't try and break my confidence. I've just learnt to move on.
I started an online petition and was happy when 27,000 people signed it. I went to the home ministry to submit it to Sushil Kumar Shinde. We waited for three hours but he didn't have even five minutes for us. I had to finally ambush his car to hand over the petition.
Nahim Khan, the man who had attacked me with acid, had to go back to jail after the court awarded him a seven-year sentence. He will be free in two years and continue with life. But my scars will remain forever..
My legal fight will continue. The Supreme Court has ordered states to pay Rs. 3 lakh as compensation, but what about our medical costs - some of us need to undergo 30-40 surgeries? What about jobs? How about sensitising the police force and trials in fast-track courts?
Even countries like Bangladesh have implemented stringent laws to deal with acid crimes but India has resisted it for so long. So many could have been saved. I need your help. We need the government to compensate us too. What about so many of us who are still suffering. Should the law not be with retrospective effect?
I have a dream and I want to live it.
   
Today, Laxmi continues to fight for women's rights and campaigns against Acid Attacks in India where the poor regulations of acid sales contribute to rising number of acid attacks. Laxmi was one of the recipients of the International Women of Courage 2014 award. 




Being a female in a male-dominated society has made survival harder. When something goes wrong to the girl, the society talks about her appearance, her behaviour, her dressing sense and everything else she does but nobody investigates on the actual cause of the incident. What women can do to protect herself is actually very limited when the she has no control over how the others (men) behave at large. We are taught to uphold modesty at all times but what's the point of women minding their behavior alone when members of the opposite sex remain assholes all the time? 

Domestic violence takes place at every corner of the world, in different forms. Probably the differences in cultures across the world result in the variations of social issues we all encounter today. But what's certain is the fact that we all understand what is it is like to have our rights violated, despite the cultural and language barriers. Watch this explanatory video.


I too, have a dream To make a change in the society we are all living in today. I do know that there are numerous challenges to face in order to be who I really am. It's my dream and I want to live it. What's yours?

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Monday, 5 May 2014

'Breast Ironing' In Cameroon To Avoid Rape and Delay Puberty

Mothers ‘iron’ daughters breasts to delay puberty and prevent rape
We all know that every society deals with its own issues of discrimination against women. We have societies dealing with rape in night clubs, child bride issues, the 'dowry' or 'wedding gift' custom, birth control and abortions. But in Cameroon, little girls go through hell in the name 'protection' by their very own mothers.

Rape and child pregnancies are very common in Cameroon and mothers over there decide to iron their girls' breasts to delay puberty and prevent rape. So, flat breast don't attract men! Meh! It is a new tradition due to sexual violence in Cameroon where girls will be forced to get their breasts ironed as early as 11. They would simply grab any objects, heat them up and press it on the girls' breasts. These girls cry so hard but all their mothers say is that it is for their 'own good'. Good? So, has the rape cases drop over the years? 

What happens to these girls as they grow up is horrifying as they develop diseases due to this practice. Some have cysts, some have infections and some have their breast looking extremely bad and non-symmetrical. The psychological disorder these girls develop is even worse. They grow up to feel bad about their appearance and the trauma remains in their heart, forever!

There a now a group of women activist with more than 10,000 members are now fighting for the younger generation and the campaign is showing positive results as the percentage of women affected by this practice has dropped to 12 from 25% in 2006.





It is obvious that we all should stay united in fighting for the rights of women and any form of injustice. Are you girls aware of what's going on around the world? Do they know how to protect themselves from men who sweet-talk? Do you teach them to become women who knows their worth? 

Do your part today. Let's do not let another generation of women to define their worth based on their looks or approval from men. 


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Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Rise Of Plus Size Models

The Rise of Plus Size Models Is A Good Sign For Women
A few weeks back I came across a blog post from one of the modelling companies about plus size models. It was recruiting plus size models back then and I got the chance to learn more about ''plus size models''. The term was a whole new idea to me. I have never heard of a modelling company looking for women who are big.

Plus-size model is a term applied to a person who is engaged primarily in modeling plus-size clothing. They also engage in advertising photography for cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. The rise of the plus size models is a good sign of change in the way the society thinks and embraces people in general. 

The society in the previous years has defined beauty in a crude way. A woman has to be as thin as possible to be even 'considered' beautiful. We teach kids to think that way and they end up being so conscious about their weight instead of focusing on their health. Where do you think illnesses like bulimia and anorexia came from? The society puts pressure on young girls with their definition of beauty. We have been giving so much emphasis on people's physical appearance. We are so quick to judge someone by thinking that people who are obese just do not care about their health. 

In reality, your weight and health have very little to do with each other. You can be big and still healthier than a skinny person. You can also be big and unfit. Your health depends on your life style and it doesn't depend on your size. 

I'm happy to see little progress in the society we are living in right now and I think we are outliving the generation that has a very shallow understanding of beauty. With the rise of plus size models, we will have more women accepting themselves for who they are. The qualities one should have to become a model have been revamped and the definition of beauty is now not just entitled to extremely thin models who look 'unhealthy' most of the time but also to women with real curves and realistic bodies that come in all sizes. 

Over the time, the confidence level and how good a person is will be the new yardstick to measure the real beauty! We are progressively redefining beauty and we can be certain of that !

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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Feminist Rating On Movies?

Image from http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02725/potter_2725991b.jpg

This might be an old news for some of you. I think this rating was introduced in Sweden somewhere in the month of November last year. This new rating for movies based on the level of gender bias was introduced in the cinemas as an effort to encourage more female characters and stories emphasizing women. 

The rating is carried out using the Bechdel test and for a movie to get an "A" rating, it should have at least two women characters talking to each other about any topics or issues other than men. I have read a few articles on feminist rating to get a clearer idea on how this rating system is being implemented and I only manage to get one clue and that is for the movie to get an "A" rating, it must have at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.

Taking this new rating system into consideration, many box office movies fail this test and that's including the Harry Porter films. If you have a look at the comments on articles on this news, you will be able to see many, MANY men who disagree with this rating system as they feel that this is just another bullshit from the feminism movement, thus calling feminists feminazis! 

I think the purpose of this system is good but the mechanism to implement it has flaws. It has a very vague guideline and will not assure the elimination of sexual violence at any cost simply by ensuring movies having more than two female characters discussing about anything other than men. The aim of this new rating system is simply to promote gender equality among the society and I believe it has to start from the media which is a great influence on people. I do agree that movies traditionally do not emphasize on female roles and if you look at movies from the East or Bollywood productions, female characters are not given importance most of the time. Although there are some very good movies based on women, they do not get to be in the spotlight. 

The main issue about our movies and the media is that the film and advertising industries have been bias and the public has been getting wrong perceptions about gender equality all these while! Take a look at this advertisement below. 


I applaud the effort taken by Sweden to handle the way media portrays women in the eye of public. But, it could have revised the way the system works to ensure better results without compromising the quality of movies being produced. I hope it doesn't kill good movies with unnecessary bad ratings.

While reading some comments from readers about Sweden, I got to know that men are not allowed pee while standing in Sweden's country council's public restrooms. I guess we should always look at the bigger picture. As long as they know how to aim, it doesn't matter how they pee. What do you say?

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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

This Attack On Non-Fiction Book Is Maddening!!!



I received an e-mail a few days ago notifying me that I've received a comment for my Goodreads book review. I clicked on the link to see who has responded to my review for "Heroin of the Desert" by Donya Al-Nahi.

This was an old book I bought nearly 5 years ago. I gave this book a 4 star. It's about a woman who help saves kids and reunite them with their mothers. Donya helps non-Arabic mothers who are separated from their husbands after divorce in getting back their kids.

It is a common scenario in the Middle East where the children are being separated from their mothers (especially from Western ladies who got married to Middle Eastern men). I have read a similar story from Carmen Bin Laden who was married to one of the men from Bin Laden's family and struggled very hard to get her two daughters back.

Getting back to the comment I received, I saw someone leaving negative review about the book and urging everyone single person who reviewed the book to read the news that appeared in this link. I tried to check the person's profile page and it appeared to be that he or she has never reviewed any other books before this.

When someone questioned the credibility of the news, this person started arguing. I noticed that this profile doesn't exist on Goodreads today too.

U_25x33
Henry Hoel oh so you kno donya personally I'm guessing. is that right? so you would kno about all the poor mothers she ripped off right? click the links. all the mothers are there with their stores on how donya al nahi ripped them off! lied to them and stole their money !!





Being an avid Middle East story fan, I could relate to this kind of attack on books where the author reveals stories about people being mistreated. My favourite writer in this genre is Jean Sasson and you can read about how her books are being greatly boycotted by anonymous people all over the world.

A quote from Jean Sasson from her website.
For anyone who is considering writing a book, you might want to read my personal account of what it is like to be stalked, and, for that stalker to find attorneys willing to file a frivolous lawsuit. -- Jean
It is pretty intimidating to write and expose crimes but I guess that's what makes life worth living! Living for a cause.
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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

#freebleeding ?


I'm not sure how many of you have heard of this new trend of using hashtags with #freebleeding on Twitter and other social media but when I first heard of it, I thought it was so disgusting and probably modern-day feminism has gone wild and insensible.

Researching a little bit more about this new hoax, apparently in February 2014, free bleeding was promoted by members of 4chan as a prank to convince women that feminine hygiene products were a form of patriarchal oppression.

Women get a little bit emotional when it comes to any news about oppression against women. I think that's the reason behind women tweeting and making #freebleeding so popular in February 2014. Look at these tweets on Twitter for yourselves. 



Simply reading the comments below on this article, I can see the 'concern' some women have about mensus and free-bleeding. If you are a man and reading this post, do you feel 'uncomfortable' when you partner is having mensus? Does it even feel disgusting? What about women being 'untouchable' during mensus? While some women prefer not having sex when they are bleeding, the society, from earlier days has made things worse for women by painting a negative image about menstruation. 

The use of sanitary pads is definitely to help woman stay clean. Walking around with menstruation blood flowing all around your house and the public places is just not a wise act. The real challenge lies in educating the society to accept the way a female body functions. 

The real challenge lies in teaching your kids about quality and respecting both sexes. How do you go about dealing with sexual education with kids? 

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Monday, 16 December 2013

Paint My Private Part Pink

My New Pink Button

I would like to thank Amy Mah Vampire from Glipho for her post regarding this earlier. 

So, we had dyes for hair, lipsticks to enhance the ladies' lips, tattoos to decorate our skin, fake eyelashes, plastic surgeries, and the list goes on! The human race has invented magnificent stuff since the beginning of time. Some were really beneficial like the planes, bulb and fax machines. In this effort, we also tried reinventing the human race by discarding originality. 

My New Pink Button is a new cosmetic product for ladies who are disturbed with their labia losing its pink colour over time and makes it to look pale and not pink anymore. When I was reading an article related to this new product, I got to know that people from Asia used to bleach their private part as the ladies there have darker groin. 

I'm sure some of you are wondering what colour is your private part right now and you may even want to check it out right now! But seriously, even if it is not pink or red or whatever colour your labia comes when you were born, does it REALLY matter? 

I can't still get it why they don't have similar products to keep penis pink and enhance its colour. The one who invented this product is a lady who was disturbed by the fact that her labia lost the pink colour. She then started to look for a solution and found out that many other women are seeking a similar solution. She came up with this product as a solution to the issue. 

What baffles me is the fact that women think ill of themselves too often and they continue believing myths about staying young and youthful all the time. Women seem to be contributing towards the way this society is treating them because they carve the path for it eventually by allowing people to judge them solely based on their appearance. 

What about growing old gracefully? If men are sensible, they will know that both men and women grow old. When aging takes place, we all lose our beauty and youthful look. Living a fake life doesn't just end there. When someone seeks a fake physical appearance, it will not take long before they adopt fake personalities. 

Gaining happiness with products that satisfies us is a good thing but it shouldn't be done by faking our body and perception. After all, if you truly think your partner loves your heart more than the way you look, the colour of your labia shouldn't be an issue here.

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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Funraising For Breast Cancer Awareness?

And Save Your Common Sense Along!


I bet you noticed the ''typo'' on my title. But you are wrong unfortunately! Read on!

I just realised that it is the breast cancer awareness month they have yearly! Thank you to Joker from Glipho (a brand new blogging platform, if you haven't check it out, please do so!!) as his post indirectly made me aware that the this month is all about the pink ribbon. Well, Joker's post with the title "Every Woman On The Planet Needs To Read This!" was also very informative. That's when I knew some ugly truth behind the Susan G. Komen foundation. We will get back to this at the later part of my post.

I knew that breast cancer awareness is a serious issue and it has to be given a lot of serious focus as MANY women out there still do not know how to check if they have lumps on their breast or even go for annual mammogram. The lack of seriousness and vigilance are the main reasons why breast cancer take the lives of women away! 

I never really had the urge to write a post on this until... I found something on Facebook and I knew I had to write something about it. Watch this video below! 

Even if you don't want to watch it is fine because they are using this video to gain more ''donation''. So the more people watch this, the more views they will earn!!



This got to be the most awful method of fundraising I have ever seen or heard off in my life! What is the whole fuss about, if you ask, this ''funraising'' campaign was started by a YouTube channel, Simple Pickup. They think they should incorporate some ''fun'' while fundraising because apparently ''we all love boobs''. What they do is to go to some random women ask if they could ''motorboat'' them (which is to stick their faces in a pair of boobs and then simulate a seizure) and promised to donate $20 for every pair of boobs they got up on.

They managed to get about $2080 and they planned to donate $100 for every hundred thousand views they get on the video.

Okay so you may say that this is just the fun way of doing things and the women gave their consent to motorboat them so what's the fuss now right? Wrong!! I do have a problem with this.

If people can do anything they want in the name of fundraising(or funraising), will the allow funraisers to dare people go naked on the street and taaa.. daaaa.. you get $100? After all, it is teh fun way of doing things. So can we expect this in the future?

If people can do anything as long as they give absolute consent for what is being asked for in a campaign, then they should have the rights to do what they feel like doing in the public too. Why must we show so much objection towards the Femen movement? They walk or march naked on streets for a good cause too, which is to fight for equality and feminism. They have their own reasons too and nobody is forcing anyone to go nude.

If people's voice and consent matter as a whole in a group of fundraisers or campaigners, then their personal voice should matter too. After, we are living in a world where every country is trying to become the champion of human rights, right? So, if I feel like having a nude walk today out there in the street, that will be and should be completely acceptable!!

If you say, ''hey, at least they get some money and raised the level of awareness'', wait a minute!!

Money? Okay, so coming back to the post that Joker has shared on his blog, Susan G. Komen foundation is supposed to be helping the pink ribbon month and raising donation for breast cancer! But guess what we found? Not every campaign has 100% transparency! Nancy Brinker is letting the foundation suffer economically while she making about a million dollars every year. The foundation has failed to continue a few campaigns initially planned for the year 2014 too.

So, the real question is, where is the money going?

And raising the level of awareness? How on earth do you think this video above is going to be educational is any way, for women or the public to get their check up for breast cancer done?I just feel that this ''campaign'' is just another marketing method to promote whatever hell they are running on the internet. Well, if the YouTube video gets more views, then they will eventually get more money via AdSense too! Of course, they can't say, ''hey,can I motorboat you and I will 'donate' $100 for Simple Pickup?'' or simply ''hey, can you donate some money for our site?". These marketing method have been failing over the years.

Now, the real question is, how can they ever sexualise breast cancer? Is it something they can play around with? Or take advantage of? If fun is the main underlying reason why this campaign is even taking place, then women love your balls too guys!! I would love to see if they are ever going to come up with similar campaign where women get to fiddle around with their balls too at public! After all, it is for a noble cause! I have also read about arguments on this issue where some say they should have been doing this too men as even men get breast cancer. And how come we don't see old grandmothers here?

If breast cancer awareness is really important to them, people would just donate whatever amount they could if they approach them genuinely! If you think you should donate, you will somehow donate without any ''perks''.

While looking up for information about this, I found that it is just not me, but there is another website ranting on the same video. Here is the link.

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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Guilty As Charged!

Sooooo Sorry!!!
I know I took a looooong break and I think it has been about two weeks since I wrote anything new here on my blog BUT I have a lot to post and  will never forget what I need to write as I'm having a checklist for my blog!

So where have I been and what was I doing? I was busy with my graduation celebration last week and it was one of the most momentous events in my life! We had to travel far and get things ready for graduation and travelling back to where I live has been very time consuming and tiring! Nevertheless, it was fun and enjoyable!

I have promised +BV Bharati that I will be writing a post soon about why writing and exposing truths can be deadly and I haven't forgotten my promise yet. In fact, it is one of the posts I am having on my checklist. Now that I am back, I will get that done soon.

On the other hand, guess what I found? I saw a story that was covered in the front page of the local newspaper! It is about child marriage in Malaysia and I was completely shocked with the appalling number of child marriages happening in Malaysia. I never knew this issue could be so bad here and I will cover this issues under Child Marriage chapter of my book.

You will be so surprised to know what is happening across the world when you start researching facts and I think I love what I am doing for my book!

I'll be back real soon with consistent posts!

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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Unilever's AXE Is Axing Itself Hard!

That's Not Cool
I can't help it but to story you this agonizing act from Unilever's AXE. But before that, let me tell you what made me 'like' AXE Malaysia's page first and foremost. Well, AXE Malaysia had a contest to search for the next Malaysian astronaut and a Malaysian Indian lady was among the top 5 selected to contest for the final round. When I got to know about this, I was so excited and I told my mom and we were showing our support to the girl by voting for her every hour. The contest is now over and the official winner will be announced coming 24th. I spread the news to some of my friends on Facebook and guess what, not many actually replied or showed support. This is pretty much why I feel like not having Facebook because people are there just to stalk you and gossip behind your back but acts like they never knew you when you approach them on FB. Okay, let's just stop ranting about social media, which is not very social actually.

AXE is a brand by Unilever for men's hair care and body products. My question is, what are those women doing on AXE's advertisement when it is a product meant men. Of course they have one or two products for women too, but when it comes to men body spray, are we supposed to see men in the advertisement, aren't we? AXE has been using women, or I will say, exploiting women to promote their product and this has caused an uproar among the AXE Malaysia's Facebook page because we anticipating updates about the competition and all we get is their sexist,cheap promotional methods on Facebook page. I was one of the first ones to spark a debate about this on their page (hahaha :P). I saw many comments following that trashing AXE Malaysia. If you need to know what I'm talking about exactly, you need to go their page via this link and see for yourself.

Is That Picture Necessary?
By having videos and pictures like that, it simply sends a message that men has no brains and nothing much to attract women, so use good fragrances like this to get ladies. It doesn't matter how bad you smell from within, all you have to make sure is to smell good with AXE.
It also sends a message that indicates women are cheap and can be attracted with good fragrances. Watch this video.





Reaction From Potential Customers
What they expect out of their 'sexy' advert - Men and women going crazy about their products and keep giving them business. What is actually happening - They are losing more and more customers and probably because of people like me who is contributing to their loss, it will be even worse because due to the competition, many people all around the world are watching this page closely and their promotional method is suicidal now. People would be attracted to products and companies that have value and do good. Of course, in the business world, nothing is transparent but avoiding efforts to objectify women will save them in the long run.

Now, on the other hand, I think women who model for this product knowing that they are being objectified, are just plain dumb and have no social responsibilities at all. What are those employees for Unilever doing? Well, it is so sad to think we have to forgo social responsibilities at work because we are there just to earn money for living and not to argue for our values that we uphold.

I'm not saying women should be covered all the time or should not be given the choice to dress up. Bikini and modesty has very little correlation because we won't be able to change a man's mind to respect women just by changing our clothes. No, it is not that simple. Bikini is just a swimwear. You wear nightgown when you at bed and you do not roam around the city with that because that would be inappropriate. One should know his or her limits and behave accordingly. You will just know if what you are wearing is appropriate or not. What has to be changed is not bikinis but misusing them for advertisement purpose in a way that causes harm for women. Of course, for lingerie advertisements it will be fine.

Last but not least, if I ever have a boyfriend using AXE, I would be 'welcoming' him home with an axe. With that being said, ladies, you know what to do now ;)

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Black Or White?What's Your Stance, America and India?

Is She Too Dark To Become Miss America?

It has been a week now since I last blogged. Today has been a fantastic day so far. I made it to the third round of interview after being interviewed by the director of GreenEnergy Worldwide for Malaysia. It feels good because I think it gives me a chance to be in an industry providing green energy solutions and eventually breaking the dependency on fossil fuel. I have also received a surprise e-mail today so it has been a great day so far and I'm thankful for that.

So getting back to the post today, I'm sure many of you are well-informed about the winner of Miss America 2013. Nina Davuluri was crowned as Miss America and she is the first Miss America from Indian descent. She is also the Miss New York 2013. America being one of the world's largest melting pot where people of different races and cultures embrace America as their home today took the world by surprise when some people made racist remarks on Twitter following her victory. What really amuses me is the fact that people have been calling her a Muslim and linking her with Al-Qaeda. Some people made themselves clowns by saying that she should have been chosen as Miss Africa. I think they must have missed their Geography lessons back in school, poor kids! 

This social backlash reminded me about the popular TV show, Celebrity Big Brother where we had a participant, the late Jade Goody with two others bullying the well-known actress in India, Shilpa Shetty for being an Indian. I think, generally when you cross your own border, you are a refugee and you just don't belong to where you are fully because people do not welcome ''foreigners'' wholeheartedly. 

Is it a crime being born with a dark complexion? What it really takes for a woman to become Miss America? Being blonde and white? I don't understand how people could choose Obama as their president and still be prejudicial. I am not referring to those who voted for Obama and choose to side Nina. I'm sure at least one out of those people who attacked Nina WOULD HAVE voted for Obama but when it comes an American Indian winning the pageant, they can't take it. I'm keen to know the probability of those people voting for a man different in race and heritage as their president. I think people react differently when it comes people who are successful and people who are about to unleash their talent. Before you actually achieve something solid and widely accepted, people would judge you based on colour, background and etc and discourage you every way they could. I don't understand how they could welcome Indians to come and work for Bill Gates but still deny their rights to contest in a beauty pageant. Those who made the ugly comments certainly forgot the fact that their place of birth is a colourful land with people from different roots contributing to its success today. In most countries today, majority of the citizens are not the native people. My ancestors were from India and they were brought to Malaysia during the British occupation. Our real native people are the Orang Asli which literally means "the native people" and America is no exception too.  

As an approved contributor for Global Voices, (I haven't contributed anything YET, and I have posts up there as drafts because I thought it will be good to observe what others post and how to protect myself if someone from my ''awesome'' government were to read my posts and accuse me of being a ''threat'' to the national harmony and security. Malaysia is getting funnier day by day so it is good to know how to save my ass before doing something) I observed a post from an Indian citizen and I thought she has pointed out great issues and Tweets from other netizens. 

I think Americans are way better because we will not see Nina Davuluri being crowned in the pageant if the organizers or judges were racists. It is just a part of the society that has a problem seeing an American-Indian winning the competition, may be because their favourite contestants lose the game! I think the issue is less severe in America than it is in India.

While reading the post from Global Voices, I realised that if Nina's parents chose to stay in India and raise their kids in India, Nina's chances of being crowned would have been a dream still. You can see the comments in the snapshot below and I feel it is true because we Indians(referring to the race) do not embrace our own people as we worship fair-skinned ladies and men more. 

Global Voices
At least, Nina prides herself in becoming Miss New York and Miss America but what do we see in the Indian film industry today? Actress Nandita Das is a dark-skinned, beautiful young lady and I have always admired her so much. Her message for this year's Women's Day is "Stay UNfair, Stay Beautiful". She and her career has been affected due to her dark complexion and she campaigns for the movement called Dark Is Beautiful. You can read about her further at her blog (and let me know if you think she is beautiful ;))

We all have our own issues to deal with and raising awareness is not just about me blogging about this and you reading but also about correcting the way people think and behave around you and making a change. Do your part in educating the society. By writing this, I will never be able to reach out to those who made insulting comments about Nina but if we continue to pass the message around, hopefully we can see gradual changes. 

Good night world!
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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Your Shame Won't Alleviate Mine

What's the point of covering your shame?


Thanking +Adrianna Joleigh for letting me know about this documentary on YouTube. As we know, India has been in the spotlight since December last year for rising rape cases throughout the nation. Women in India have come together to protest the sexual discrimination and endless violence they have to face on a daily basis. Ever since the Dehli Gang Rape case incident, more rape cases are discovered day by day and it doesn't seem to get any better.

India's image has been tarnished with world-wide accusations. Men in India are horny bastards. India is not a safe country for women. These are some of the statements that you can see in the comments for the video above. It is definitely a shameful issue for a country and its citizen. I'm feeling really sorry for the victims and I hope for a better future for women in India. 

But the question is, how do you REALLY feel when you watch the video or while reading this post? Are you feeling disgusted about India? Did your subconscious voice just told you that these Indian men are horrible? If you are from a safer place where you have been protected from these violence all your life, do you really think you are safe? Can you assure that your children's safety is protected? 

Indian men don't deserve their women. I said that in one of my older posts. But I have also mentioned that the same rule applies for all men regardless of their race or nationality. The huge misconception in our society when we come across any hideous news happening elsewhere in the world is to assume that we are in a safer part of the world and instantly feel thankful for it. 

I wanted to make a snapshot of some of the comments under the video but when I came back a day later, it was flooded by hundreds of comments and I lost track of the earlier comments. From my observation, some Indians were admitting to the fact that the situation is getting worse in India for women when authorities are not taking proper measures to arrest the rising sexual violence and rape cases whereas some are trying to protect their shame by diverting the attention to countries like Saudi Arabia and Africa where women are treated like slaves with restrictions imposed in the name of religion. 

Will their shame alleviate your shame, India? No. Are we still going to see more women being raped and subjected to brutality? Yes! Because if we are not going to admit that our men are terrible and the situation is getting out of hand, people would continue to protect the name of the nation and shame of the society by pin-pointing to what is happening all around the globe. I agree that countries like America, Australia and Canada are not safe either and you can't claim these countries to be safe as the suicide case of Rehtaeh Parsons serves as an evidence that no where on this earth is really safe. 

The only way to handle this brutality is by acknowledging the issue and start implementing better rules and regulations on sexual violators so that we can see hope for women renewing itself with no expiration date. On the other hand, it is time to reflect this issue upon our own country and see where do we actually stand when it comes to crimes like sexual harassment and rapes. Just because the media caught one country for its shameful incident, we can't be taking it for granted and throwing wild accusations. May be our shame is being swept under the carpet and could be the next talk of the world when someone were to reveal it. 

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Friday, 16 August 2013

Make Love Not Porn

A new movement to rectify the minds of younster
I'm not sure how many of you are actually aware of this movement called Make Love Not Porn by Cindy Gallop. I just got to know about this movement sometime back while reading a blogpost. I thought there was a great idea lying behind it as Cindy speaks about how detrimental pornography is for the youngsters nowadays. The possible reasons why Cindy would have decided to work on this idea are:

1) You Can't Stop Them From Doing It
Nothing is really working when it comes to efforts taken to stop teenagers from having sex. Sex education has educated them to protect themselves from STD's but what about having them refraining from having sex. I don't think so it has worked really well. You will have your kids start questioning about sex sooner or later. Kids are getting very advanced in understanding the world and sex is definitely not an exceptional issue. You can't fool them any longer with an answer or sweeping statements that sound like these; ''sex refers to your gender" or "when man and woman have sex they have babies". 
MLNP

2) Pornography Is Destroying Relationships
It is disturbing to think that pornography has long been ruling over people's sexual life. Men think women will react the way they see on porn and expect their partners to behave the same way. Hardcore porn never reflect the real life sex as people show different inclination towards sexual activities. With this movement, hopefully the younger generation would know what love really is and how porn and love-making are entirely different. I feel the human contact is amiss in porn and I don't think that should be the reference for young adults. 
MLNP

3) Resources Are Everywhere
You can never stop your child from learning about sex. If you are not explaining about it, they will go looking for the information on the websites and you can be very sure that they will stumble upon porn on the internet. So that is how easy they can get mislead. Why not start a movement like this to have the right education where people learn what sex really is and know that it is about emotions, feelings, relationship and love. I think Cindy is able to send this message across to a certain extent and this movement has to go viral to be the talk of everybody so that we could save families in future. 

MLNP

4) Explaining What Love Really Is
I think the main reason why she has started her work on "Make Love Not Porn" videos is because porn is not in favour of love. This movement made us all think where are we heading towards with so much domestic violence that is shattering homes. Porn has made men and women hard and emotionless. On top of that, Make Love Not Porn also stops women from being seen as an object to satisfy men, exposing the truth on how women really feel in the reality. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Virginity A Gift To Your Man?


virginity & value of women
I had this post on draft in my blog for a long time and I thought I had to write this out when I saw a post on Glipho (a new exciting blogging platform) that was discussing an issue closely related to this article.

Georgia has created turmoil lately when its women stood up for protest against ‘’virginity test’’ that was subjected to brides-to-be particularly by their mother-in-laws to ensure that their sons future wives are ‘’pure’’ and uphold their chastity. Apparently, there are as many as 200 ‘’virginity inspections’’ made each year according to Georgia’s National Forensics Bureau with each test costing about $50 to $60 and double this amount for faster results. This practise has caused uproar in the society especially among feminists who slam hard on the unethical and oppressive act. A week ago, Independent Group of Feminists organised a protest to stop the ‘’virginity institute’’ that ‘’measures’’ the value of women based on their chastity alone.

Meanwhile, as the society puts so much emphasis on the ridiculous belief that women who are not virgins at marriage are not decent women, there is a steady increase in the demand to ‘’restore’’ virginity among women who wants a second marriage and women who fail the test whereby surgeons temporarily stitch the hymens back together.

Now, getting back to my thoughts on this, I drafted this post because I was angered with the fact that women are oppressed emotionally with the common notion that the society held that blindly and stupidly believes that women’s ‘’chastity’’ is the greatest gift for their men. I found a blog where a man was discussing this and says that men treasure their wives more when they reserve their precious first experience for them. If men choose to respect their women, this freaking damn plain sheath won’t be an issue to be debated on in the first place. If men really appreciates women when they ‘’preserve’’ themselves for their men on the wedding night, why are we still seeing some of them wagging their ‘tails’ and going after another woman or ditching their wives with a few children? Is that damn hymen is something men own in women in the first place to be given away and is their concern on women as thin as the sheath?

Of course the first sexual encounter remains fresh on mind, just like the first kiss, the first phone you used, the first school you attended and everything else that came first in your life. But the first may not be the best. So men, why the fuss over the women’s chastity when you know their past won’t harm your happiness together?  

If men can be encouraged to have sex and explore sexual activities at a very young age, so can women. If the damn society thinks men need to have sex with other women who are not their respective wives just so that they save embarrassment during the wedding night, so can women. If men think they can shove their damn thing into any women just because they have sexual liberty, so can women. If men need to learn how to ‘handle’ their wives so must women or else don’t complain that your women are not good at bed!

I believe women would feel bad with the fact that someone has laid her hands on their men as much as men who feel the same over their wives. If something is wrong for women, it is equally wrong for men too.  

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Things I Want My Daughters To Know

Mother and Daughter
I have a book named Things I Want My Daughters To Know. I bought this some years back and I think this book expressed the emotional bonding of a mother with her daughters so well. It is one of the books I read that still stays so fresh on my mind and I think the novelist has implied the message a mother would want to let her daughters know before her death. In this story, the mother dies due to cancer and the daughters would discover letters written by the mother after her death that would guide them through their important moments of their life.
Things I Want My Daughters To Know
Inspired by this book, I wanted to come up with the things I would want my daughters to know, if I have any in the future. I thought it would be good to think about this now to mold the future of my children soon.

1. I Want My Daughters To Know That Seeking People's Approval Hurts

I want them to value themselves for who they are and no longer be the women in the older generation where they used to care for people's approval about their behaviours and being 'obedient' women pleasing men and putting up with their shit.

2. I Want My Daughters To Know That It Is Not A Crime To Have Their Own Opinion

I want my daughters to know that they should always have a firm opinion on any issues and never fear the societies' and religions' brutal limitation and control over what women should and shouldn't do. I want them to know that standing firm by their belief is more important than anything else.

3. I Want My Daughters To Know That They Shouldn't Allow People To Have Control Over Them

I want them to fly free like a bird, doing what they feel they could do, and pursuing their desire that could complete their seek for a sense of  achievements in life. I would never want them to see as someone who is being taken granted for as a wife, forsaking their own goals in life.

4. I Want My Daughters To Know That They Are Women With Class

I want them to define their own life and be a woman with class. I want them to carve success in a unique way and be a leader, not a follower and most importantly be different from everyone else. I want them to be wise and not innocent, taking guard of themselves and analysing different aspects of life from their own perspective. 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Bikini and Modesty

Bikini or Burka?What really defines Modesty?
Image grabbed here

I have just watched a video from YouTube, a speech by Jessica Rey, an actress and a designer who has sparked a debate between the conservative and modernised world about swimwear. Jesicca says that the bikini has dis-empowered women where they allow themselves to be objectified by men. Is itsy-bitsy really that bad? Here it is the video of Jessica with her speech


Now, before we really look into the issue, think of all the aspects that needed to be analysed. 
  • Does showing your skin means being bitchy?
  • What modesty really is?
  • Where do women's choice lies and to what extent it is acceptable?
The society has this terrible idea ingrained on it's mind for a very long time. Back in the stone age, when people don't know what clothes are, they don't find it awkward to be naked. As time passes and when the world entered into the evolution era, clothes were invented to cover themselves from the harsh environment. Together with that reason, people started to cover themselves as they viewed human body as a sacred asset. Here, at this point, comes in modesty. And this is completely fine. People covering themselves because they feel the urge to uphold their dignity. 

But to cover yourself because you're afraid that men see you as an object? This is where the problem starts from.

Like Jessica has said, the invention of bikini was with the intention to objectify women. The definition of women's skin has become SEXY. Who on earth really came up with this word? People have started to view women in a different manner and when they show some skin, it is called sexy. Women have been exploited as objects in various fields from modelling to advertisement ever since then. Have you ever felt that it is a huge discrimination when men who employ models for their business calling another common women on street sluts just because they wear low cut blouses? I say the length of the dress is not going to make a difference in addressing the real issue we have. 

A lady who fully covers but treats her daughter-in-law like her slave versus a lady who wears a low-cut dress but does charity work during the weekend? Who is the woman with the bad behaviour? I'm not saying that reverting back to the old swimwear is a bad idea, but the intention in doing that causes more damage to the society as we seem to be seeking approval from people, mainly the gentlemen who may not be so 'gentle and nice'. 


Change In Mentality Is What We Need Now

I feel the amount of skin you show shouldn't be used to judge a woman and the common notion of showing skin means sexy or bitchy has to be eradicated all together. When you cover just because you don't want a man to look down upon you, you are merely seeking an approval and dancing to his tune. Force that ignorance and arrogance out of them and let them know a woman is a woman and nothing else grants them the right to objectify her, whether or not they reveal skin. 

What modesty really is? I personally don't reveal too much skin,because I don't think I would carry myself well and this is a personal opinion. Another lady or may be even you reading this, if you are a lady, would feel comfortable walking down the street with a skirt above knee length that looks fine and not obscene. Everyone has different a personality to carry and if we were to judge someone based on their appearance alone, I believe we are in the wrong track all together. A well-mannered woman can only be identified through the way she behaves with another human being. 

If showing skin is wrong, then every woman in the modelling industry has to resign to be labelled a 'good' lady. Even prostitutes would be slammed hard on this issue if it is wrong to show skin. Do we even grant women to make a choice? To me, it is very wrong for a woman to allow her body to be objectified and for a man to take advantage of any woman no matter how she dresses up. While I feel it is wrong to allow people to objectify us, ladies who are in the fashion line would feel that it is their profession and they would  stand up for their choice. At the end of the day, it is about giving woman the power to choose what they want and taking decisions based on their choice.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Why Women Were Reason Behind Their Downfall?

Hello readers, I have started work on my first book, a non-fiction research collection on women's lives around the globe. I would like to thank +Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi here for his generosity in guiding me with extensive issues related to honour killing in Pakistan and I am truly thankful for the encouragement I get from all the other Google + readers and writers! 

In regards to the project I'm working on and as an extension to 3 Things That Accelerates Sexual Assault post, I think there were a few notable reasons why women were reason for their own downfall, knowingly and unknowingly, which could should be rectified in order to change the way they get treated by the society as a whole.

Egyptian women in Tahrir Square take part in the anti-government protests last month that led to the downfall of Hosni Mubarak. Photograph: Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images 
Photo grabbed here

1. Blind Acceptance To Traditions and Cultures

Ladies all around the world have been abiding to rules and regulations set up by their societies which are often dominated by male. They were blindly taught to accept the norms of the society without being able to question the rational behind the do's and dont's. This is true for womenfolk who lived in the 19th century as they are completely estranged from proper education that would give them the sense of empowerment to fight against injustice. 

But to think that it has taken so long for them come forward and fight against little things in their daily lives that signals gender discrimination is indeed saddening. Ladies have access to education and in fact we have had world class female leaders all around the world even during the era where photographs were still in black and white. What took them to break open the ignorance and speak for the betterment of their own kind? This is one of the issues needed to be tackled in order to foster changes into their lives.

Question things that don't seem logical. Never accept something just because that is the way things were in the past. Think for yourselves if the society is doing good for you and question the justice when you feel being discriminated for being a lady.


2. Degrading Their Own Kind

Have you seen ladies who blames another woman for her mistake that she may not even have committed? Have you heard of them accusing each other, tarnishing images to the extreme level in front of men? This seems to have been one of the most contagious habit among ladies that is very discouraging and suicidal. Why? Because this attitude creates a big loophole for the other gender to use the weakness and control women better. There is no sense of togetherness among womenfolk and this is why they are prone to fights and arguments more often than men. 

Why discourage one another and be foes for the rest of your lives? Wake up, open your eyes wide, look at the opportunity that lies ahead of you to make a strong network among your own kind. Stop degrading another lady. That is equivalent to degrading yourself! 


3. Accepting ''Men are Men'' Mentality

Men are men, they are born to be aggressive, they could do whatever they want and women have to uphold modesty and respect men all the time. Men are men, they will take advantage of women and it is completely natural thus the responsibility lies solely on women to protect themselves. 

I'm pretty sure you have heard of these famous lines uttered by people from the past generation. I don't think the blame goes completely on the other sex as ladies knew this is not suppose to happen to them and it is completely unfair but they have remained accepting things as they are. How many of you actually have trashed your male friend for their sexist remarks or stood up against discriminative gestures signalled by men at your work place? 

Insecurities place a big role in being the major hindrance to women's coward nature as they are again told that they would be in trouble questioning such issues in public or raising their voice to demand for justifications. As of today, only a small portion of women are actually going against these atrocities and that is definitely not enough to combat gender inequality at our place. 

My post on The Male Chauvinist is the display picture for one of the gigs I offer on Fiverr and were discriminated by someone in the forum suggesting that I'm a terrible hardcore feminist. I did laid my rebuttals for his baseless attacks. All I got in return was more support and an additional new order. I think it's about time women stop being the reason for their own downfall.