“This is the worst emotional crisis of my life… My question is, why didn’t it hurt him so much?”

Sharing an email.

Maybe this is just of one of the reasons why relationships and heartbreak should be acknowledged as and talked about as a part of growing up – not as something some immoral young people do on Valentine’s Day.

“This is the worst emotional crisis of my life…
My question is, why didn’t it hurt him so much? Maybe because he has been in and out of relationships and has more experience dealing with it? By contrast, this was the closest I had ever come to anything close to a relationship.”

What would you say to the email writer? 

Heartbreak, and if/why men and women deal differently with it.

Dear IHM,

I am a regular reader of your fabulous blog. It has shaped my thoughts and feelings like very few things in life have. I also comment here fairly regularly–not so much of late, but certainly until some months back.

I am a 38-yrs-old mother-of-two who recently took a job after a long break. Lookwise I would describe myself as above average and moderately attractive.

At work, the person who sat next to me was a 25 year old guy. He was more experienced in the field, while I was a virtual novice, so I often turned to him for help and suggestions.

I cannot say we hit it off immediately– I initially thought he was a feku who boasted a lot. However, we gradually started talking quite a bit. I realized, much to my surprise, that he had actually not been boasting about anything. He had excellent manners and was very well brought up. Spoke excellent English. He did not bring his lunch to work because he stayed two hours away from office and did not get the time to cook in the morning. I started taking extra chapatis for him initially, then started taking the trouble to prepare special dishes for him in the morning. He himself was a fabulous cook and everyone around would look forward to days when he did bring lunch.

He was such fun to be around. He had a terrific sense of humour, was very intelligent and capable of talking about everything under the sun very knowledgeably. He was very well-informed about Western music, something to which I had a somewhat limited exposure. He took it upon himself to ‘educate’ me, and made me listen to some really nice songs, introduced me to some awesome bands. We talked endlessly, sometimes even on topics such as pornography and rape, and I suppose it was a measure of the comfort level we shared that neither suspected the other of being lewd or harbouring romantic intentions.Somewhere along I developed a huge crush on him. I quit the job owing to my husband’s transfer but we continued to be in touch. I went out of my way to help him when he was struggling to get an education loan approved from a nationalized bank. I even offered him money when he had financial problems–he thanked me for offering but wisely declined all financial help.About ten days back, I invited him over to my place for lunch. We spent over two hours in my house chatting and joking– all at a respectful distance, we never even shook hands– and had a great time.. Later that evening, though, we got chatting over WhatsApp about extra-marital affairs. He started it by asking whether I thought it was okay for a married woman, who is ungratified, to have affairs that involve only sex. I thought it was one of those intellectual discussions we were always having, and responded by saying that though I was not a fan of casual sex, I would not rush to judge anyone having casual sex, married or not, as long as it was consensual and both parties are fully aware of the casualness. The discussion went on for some time, with him citing several different examples and us discussing them. Finally he told me he admired me greatly, always thought of me as being so bold and confident, and was ‘in great awe of me because of how I could speak my heart without inflicting insult or injury’. He added that he hesitated to come to my house for lunch because he was afraid of doing anything that would ‘bring me shame.’ He said his feelings of desire arose from ‘the respect and awe’ he had for me.It was at this point that I committed the biggest blunder of my life. I cringe in regret and shame every time I think about it. His admission of desire for me brought to the fore something that was there in a corner of my mind so remote, I barely knew of its existence, but at that point, telling him about it felt like the most natural thing to do– I told him I had been wanting him badly myself and was as close to being in love as I had ever been. He ventured to ask me about the state of my marriage– I told him it was largely good, but I wouldn’t mind going astray once because I loved him so much. He seemed very eager but I told him I did not see how we could manage to get together, given that both he and I are going abroad shortly. I asked him to think of a way for us to get together.Over the next few days, he acted distant and aloof. Finally, four days back, he told me that he did not think it could happen, and did not want hope where there was none. He said he was restricting himself to save both of us further heartache.I was stunned and devastated. I felt like I had stripped myself naked and then been rejected. I pleaded with him, he kept quiet. I ultimately decided not to plead anymore –I did love him but couldn’t demean myself more like this.

By the next day, I finally reconciled myself to the fact that I had made a huge fool of myself, and that what I had wanted was really pointless and could have repercussions. I kicked myself for telling him anything–I should have just listened to his admission of desire and kept my own mouth shut. I then threw myself into salvaging the remnants of our friendship– sent him emotional messages telling him how precious our friendship was to me, how deeply we used to trust each other, how we could talk about everything without misunderstanding the other, and how he was the one friend I should like to stay in touch with always. He gave monosyllabic responses to a string of messages, acted very distant and aloof. Said I should really forget the whole thing and not think about it so much. That he would always cherish my friendship but that I should really be concentrating on my priorities. By the next day his responses grew fewer and farther between. The next day I tried to call him, and discovered to my horror that he was not answering my calls.

Is there a greater humiliation than this, to not have your calls answered?  I have never felt so insulted, so abjectly humiliated in my entire lifetime. I tried for one more day to revive whatever was left of our friendship by sending him “normal” messages– I knew it was all but over, but what we had was so good, I couldn’t let it all go without at least trying. I finally saw the writing on the wall and quit trying.

This is the worst emotional crisis of my life, IHM. The pointlessness of it takes my breath away. I cannot stop thinking about him for more than a few minutes at a time. Tears come unbidden. I mourn for the totally unnecessary loss of a great friend, the one person I would have like to always be in touch with. I am wracked by feelings of shame, guilt, mortification, and humiliation every time I think about it. The worst thing is, I cannot even talk to anyone about it. People have been commenting that I look unhappy and unwell.

My question is, why didn’t it hurt him so much? Maybe because he has been in and out of relationships and has more experience dealing with it? By contrast, this was the closest I had ever come to anything close to a relationship. I never had a boyfriend, ever. My husband is the only only man I have ever even kissed or properly hugged. Could this be a reason?

I have been scouring the web for articles on heartbreak. One said that the older you are at the time of your first heartbreak, the more it hits you like a cannonball and blows you to smithereens. Well, that certainly rings true to me.

But really, IHM, do you think men and women deal with heartbreak differently? I would also be grateful for some advice for myself from your very knowledgeable readers. How to deal with this crushing pain? And is there still a way for us to be platonic friends again, the way we were before that ill-fated conversation, or have we really lost it forever?

Sincerely,
Heartbroken

Related Posts:

Would you stay with a cheating spouse — for cash?

In Goa… experiencing the Tata Zest.

Indian Homemaker:

So where have I been?

Originally posted on Indian Homemaker's Photoblog:

Blogadda invited 50 bloggers to Goa, to experience the Tata Zest while being ‘pampered’ at The Zuri.

I almost didn’t come because I had no idea how much fun this could be :)  Glad I did!

goa

Please take a look at how we were welcomed at The Zuri by the Blogadda team ;)

Goa

Sharon of The Key Bunch and I shared our gorgeous room with this lovely view.

Our room in Goa

I spent some time in the balcony admiring this noisy little creature.

Goa, 70 300

Sharon was more impressed with this and requested I capture this for her.

Goa

In the evening some of us strolled to the beach…

Goa 1

And then we came back and attended a ‘masterclass’ where the team that designed and engineered the Tata Zest spoke to us about what went into creating this car.

I realised there were quite definitely a much larger number of women in the hall, so looks like finally…

View original 94 more words

“Do I read too many books and I am confusing the bookish kind of love with reality?”

What if romance and marriage were seen as options, and self reliance was considered an unavoidable goal – for women too? 

Sharing an email. 

“His mother has been very clear that she wants me to come home soon because she cannot work. I know, I need to do household work, at least not burden them with my responsibility.”

 

The email: 

I need your advice.

I liked someone enough to introduce him to my parents, so I did, our parents met and decided last year that we would get married this year.

In the beginning guy’s parents told me they do not need anything and they would be really happy even if it is a simple marriage and I was more than happy about it. However, as this year came by and our parents met again, they had apparently changed their mind about it, and I was fine with it.

However, they said that they would be bringing 200 people whereas my father had requested them to bring 100 people or so, so that the marriage could be organised in an upscale venue. They remained adamant about it and finally my parents gave in and said it is okay  if baraat is between 100-150.

Before this I had tried in vain to convince my bf about our limitations but he did not seem to consider and thinking it is not a big deal I did not think much into it.

I thought it was all fine now, but the date which was fixed after consulting the pandit needed to be reshuffled again as pandit had made a mistake and said that this date was not suitable. He gave two other dates, we all thought it will be fine, but his parents again became adamant that they did not want those dates and said that the wedding needed to be postponed for next year. And IHM, I had already booked the venue by paying the advance since I wanted to help my parents by bearing the cost of the wedding. Since my salary is not much, I had to save for 5 months to pay the advance.

Again my bf did not say anything I understand that he must have pressure from his parents, but should he not consider my family at one point? I understand they must give a lot of importance to traditions and ceremonies, and I was ready to do it happily too. Is it too much of inconvenience to shift the wedding 7 days back? I understand it could be their limitation, so I asked my father to let it be and give them time and shift it.

But right now, I have serious doubts. Marriage is about supporting each other. On one side I feel that bf is not supporting me, on the other I feel even more scared as to how will I be treated by his parents. His mother has been very clear that she wants me to come home soon because she cannot work. I know, I need to do household work, at least not burden them with my responsibility. I feel caught up between so many things. My heart says, yes he is a nice person, but at the same time I don’t feel loved the way I wish to be. Do I read too many books and I am confusing the bookish kind of love with reality?

I am very confused.

Related Posts:

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

Indian Shaadi Logic – by Prateek Shah

18 questions for young women (and men) of ‘marriageable age’.

She doesn’t feel any attraction or liking or even friendliness for the guy. No ‘Connection’.

The danger signs and what’s non negotiable.

What would you not change for love?

“I have no other option than to move in with my very orthodox in laws. I need tips to not get hurt.”

My husband gives me the usual ‘you have not just married me, you have married my family..’ sermon

An email: “When I met my husband, the first impression I had was that he was a male-chauvinist”

An email: I was a person who thought Indian husbands will (and can) dominate their wives and there is nothing unnatural in that.

Marriage Advice from the 1950s that is Definitely Outdated

A regular Indian girl shared this link.

Marriage Advice from the 1950s that is Definitely Not Outdated

Was this advice ever helpful – if yes, then who did it help?

Did this advice empower those who it was given to (or enforced upon)? Or did it give some other people the power to control the lives and choices of those who were expected to follow this advice?

Did it in anyway ensure they were treated like equal humans, with basic human rights and dignities?

Was this advice practical, fair and logical?

Does such advice create the impression that marriage is something that happens to women alone?

Advice #1: Family is your topmost priority

In the 50s, family was the most important part of a person’s life. Couples, especially women, were taught to prioritise family over career. This was perhaps one aspect that kept families together.

IHM:  In the 50s and even today, our ‘family values’ ensure that many women do not have much choice in what is their top most priority.

Perhaps, the advice that the society (and not just the women) need is to marry only if they want to marry, and only those who they want to marry, only when they want to marry and to remain married only as long as it makes them happy.

If you consider the present scenario, where professional and personal desires and achievements have taken a higher priority, broken marriages have also become rampant.

IHM: ‘Broken marriages’ should be seen as an indication that those involved had the freedom, courage and opportunity to make new beginnings.

Perhaps the society needs to be advised that the purpose of human life is not to save Institutions, the purpose of Institutions (including the Institution of Marriage) is help humans live better lives. 

Advice #2: You are married to the family, and not just to your spouse

… the younger generation was trained to accept, love and respect every member of the spouse’s family. Women considered it as their foremost duty to be a good wife, a good daughter-in-law, good sister-in-law and a good mother. Men in turn reciprocated and treated the wife’s family as their own.

IHM: If daughters were seen as children instead of future daughters in law, future wives and future mothers, the society would not see raising them as a challenge.  

If there is one advice Indian society needs today, it is to see and to raise their children as as their own children, not as paraya dhan and budhape ka sahara. This alone can help ‘save the girl child’.

So long as we  look at women as saviours of Institutions, culture, family name, family honor, or as future mothers of male heirs, future daughters in law – Indian would continue to pray, fast, sex select, kill, wish and bless (etc) for male children. 

Advice #3: Marriage is for life

… instead of throwing around the D-word (divorce!), think that marriage is for keeps! Marriage is a “forever bond”, and that is how it should be approached.

IHM: The society and ‘log’ should be aware that sometimes relationships don’t work and that is not a failure or end of happiness for those involved. 

Also, expecting women to stay married when they are unhappy, just to ‘save the marriage’ or to create a good impression on other people (log) was never a good advice. 

Nobody should stay married because they dread the D-word – if two people stay married it should be because that’s what they both want to do

Advice #4: Tolerance and acceptance are the keys to a successful marriage

One of the most profound advices that people in the 50s received was to set aside their egos and personal prejudices, and develop the virtues of tolerance and acceptance. When parents chose partner for their child, they always gave the highest priority to these values, so that the new member could easily adjust to not just their spouse, but the family as well.

IHM: Tolerance and acceptance can make it easier to deal with most situations, relationships or just life in general – specially when we have no way to change the said situations.

But.

In the past many women did not have the option to refuse to ‘tolerate’ and they had to ‘accept’ whatever ‘fate’ (or family elders, community, in laws, Patriarchy etc) decided for them.

Not sure if that was an advice or a lack of options. 

And finally:

Look around at your grandparent’s generation, their love and respect for one another; certainly not everything that happened in the days of yore is outdated!

IHM: This is romanticisation. The fact is many grand parents feel their children (frequently sons) are the only ‘glue in their relationships’. 

The equality between the husband and wife is also more pronounced now. But, the rate of divorces in India is also on a rise today, mainly because of incompatibility and ego issues between the spouses. Perhaps, the younger generation should take a leaf out of yore; and learn to accept, love and respect each other like the people in the 50s did.

IHM: And ‘incompatibility’ is not a good reason for divorce? 

What do you think does ‘ego issues’ mean here? Whose ‘ego’? 

“After all, why do we as kids, feel so entitled to our mother’s time, indeed her entire life and personality?”

“After all, why do we as kids, feel so entitled to our mother’s time, indeed her entire life and personality?”

Why do you think?

“For a man to be labelled a bad father, he needs to be a wife beating, severe alcoholic/spendthrift, good for nothing.

For a woman to be labelled a bad mother, she just has to be 5 minutes late in coming from the kitchen while the child is crying in the living room. That needs to change.”

Read more at: Indra Nooyi and her children.

I agree with:

“Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers. They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons. Liberation was meant to expand women’s opportunities, not to limit them. The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering.”

“The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children.”

― Elaine Heffner

Related Posts:

Why are mothers ignored, asks SC

Why do men NOT have to choose between being a CEO and a father, but women have to make this choice.

How are mothers treated in Indian culture?

Mommy Guilt: A Western Influence.

An email: Is it selfish to not want to be parents yet?

Woman you are not doing anybody a favour…

“I waited for maternal love to overcome me – it didn’t… After my baby was born, I didn’t feel anything…”

Society benefits immensely from childbearing, childrearing, and caregiving work that currently goes unpaid.

What does it mean to be a ‘mother’?? – Shail Mohan

On Mother’s Day… – Shail Mohan

How would you react if you knew your son (or daughter) felt this way?

Teacher arrested for raping six year student.

How did a horrific crime like this go unreported for days? What was the first reaction of the school? Did they attempt to deny any responsibility? There is so much to say… I am too outraged to say anything, but would like to extend full support to the parents and to the little girl. Skating teacher arrested for 6-year old girl’s rape in Bangalore school

BANGALORE: A paedophile skating instructor arrested on Sunday for the rape of a six-year-old girl in an east Bangalore school allegedly tried to abuse at least four other children in the past three years. There are also doubts if he was using photos of his victims for pornography. “We have reliable information that he used to click photographs of children and would also show them obscene videos of children in the Whitefield school (where he worked before 2011),” police commissioner Raghavendra H Auradkar said after announcing the arrest of Mustafa alias Munna, 30.

Rape of 6-year-old girl in Bangalore school sparks outrage.

A six-year-old girl, studying in Class I in Vibgyor High school in Bangalore, was raped, allegedly by a teacher, police said on Thursday. Two school staffers have been detained for the crime. The incident took place on July 2 but was reported to police after a medical examination of girl some days ago.

How would you react if you knew your son (or daughter) felt this way?

Sharing an email.

” I wish they just become bad… too bad… too abusive that they start beating me. That would be easy for me then.”

What would you say to him if you were his parents? How would you react if you knew your son (or daughter) felt this way? 

What advice would you give to the email writer?

’24 year old guy: Help needed Desperately’

Hey there,

I am struggling with a challenge which might seem quite ridiculous at first, and may be it is, but I can’t seem to come out of the situation. I live in a traditional Indian family. But through my small rebels, I was able to create a tiny bit of freedom for myself. And, my parents are supportive of me at some level compared to the rest. Though they still are traditional parents, but compared to what I hear and what I read on your blog, they don’t stop me from doing what I want (in most cases). And that is the problem. They are just normal people… good…fine… OK people. Not abusive, not threatening. Nope. Nothing like that. Just common ordinary people of ordinary lives. I am 24 years old and staying with my parents.

I know it is being very destructive for my growth to stay at home and be lazy and continue the living style my parents inherited from their… and continue the same trend. I am big on personal growth, wants to come out of conformity, escape the rat race, living adventurous life and I keep doing what my current level of growth and confidence allows me to. I just can’t live fully at home, and can’t do all these things I desire, that I know for sure. I want to move out. I want to constantly travel, from one place to other. Try new challenges. And living at home is very limiting. My parents may be slight above in par than the traditional Indian society but that shouldn’t make everything OK.

They don’t encourage me. Don’t support my growth plans, even if they are good.

My parents even make fun of my goal of vegan diet. They think it is too impractical in India. They call my decision of leaving meat as “pretentious” and boring. Can you believe that? They don’t allow me to buy good healthy expensive cooking oil from my own money, just because it is expensive and they don’t know why I do such thing. They don’t understand my habit of reading books. They call me “Kitaabi Keera”.

They still constantly ask, not force, but ask politely to take a regular job. Which I have clearly told them I will not. And I am earning myself through a writing job which does not pay that well. But I take care of my own needs. And this discussion of job still come up every single day. But other than that, they are, I guess, nice people. Normal average people. Don’t abuse me. They give me some level of freedom which THEY think is appropriate but not the “real” freedom. So the problem is – I want to move out but parents are blackmailing me emotionally. Which I think is selfish nature. Whenever I talk about moving out they make sad face. Their tone of voice changes. They just WANT me to stay at home and live a mediocre life like they did. They are so bored and afraid of life that they can’t think of anything they could do themselves, without me. This is utterly sad and depressing. The love between mom and dad is totally gone. They are just living and counting days. (And are they expecting me to do the same?) But they never really pressurize me to stay, never really threaten me to stay, which is the problem itself. Because if they did, I would move out that day only. I know that is completely out of line. But they don’t do that. They become sad, helpless, lonely. that is where I get stuck. I wish they just become bad… too bad… too abusive that they start beating me. That would be easy for me then. I don’t know what to do. I can’t live at home anymore. I have a lot to explore and staying at home at 24 years of age is depressing. Don’t tell me I can stay at home and make it worthwhile without knowing about my passion and goals. And this is one of the hardest decision I have faced in my life. Can’t stay… can’t move out. It scares me to even think of a sudden crisis, an unfortunate event at home, which might happen when I am out of city. Will I who be blamed? I know I can not just stop thinking about it and move out with my stuff. That is just not possible. The solution is somewhere inside me, somewhere I have to grow, give a shot at making them understand, something, I don’t know.

Please give me some advice.

Thank for you reading the whole rant.

Related Posts:

An email: I am 18 year old male from a traditional (read:backward) Indian family.

“You can listen to your parents and be unhappy or you can go against them and feel guilty – those are your choices?”

“When the time comes to support them, they back out and and blame the children for misusing their trust and freedom.”

Against your child’s happiness

An email: I want my parents to know the real me, why do I have to lie?

Why do we hear concerned voices about ‘misuse of freedom’ the moment we talk about Freedom?

‘We grew up in a very liberal family. We knew what our limits were and our focus was our education. We never betrayed our parents.’

An email from an Indian Husband… and a Good Indian Son.

What kind of sons do Feminists raise?

Why are mothers ignored, asks SC

While we claim to ‘worship’ mothers ( well, atleast the mothers of male children) do we really respect mothers or motherhood? 

How does the society ensure that motherhood does not come in the way of self reliance and basic human rights for women? (Do we give this a thought?)

Instead, it seems, many of us expect some parents (only women) to look upon parenting as a sacrifice, social obligation and duty.

Rights? Few.

Responsibilities? 

But here is a small ray of hope. 

Why are mothers ignored, asks SC

Link shared by K

Mothers hardly match the authority a father commands in official documents necessary to prove a person’s identity. While the father’s name prominently figures in government documents, the mother is usually given the go-by.

 

The Supreme Court is all set to change that.

….

The petition, filed by journalist Madhav Kant Mishra from Allahabad, says ignoring the parenthood of the mother in government documents is in gross violation of the Fundamental Right to Equality under Article 14 of the Constitution. It sought an ordinance making the mother’s name compulsory in documents.

Do we really respect mothers? 

How are mothers treated in Indian culture?

Mommy Guilt: A Western Influence.

An email: “I find it very hard to forgive my husband for all that happened at the time of my delivery.”

How can the society ensure that marriage (and homemaking and motherhood) does not result in women becoming financially dependent on their husbands?

Society benefits immensely from childbearing, childrearing, and caregiving work that currently goes unpaid.

‘How I am going to manage two toddlers, work, home, chores etc etc without any physical and moral support from my in laws?’

Why Scandinavian women make the rest of the world jealous.

An email: “She is considering having an abortion without telling her husband about it.”

“…and every month if my periods get delayed I am given a weird look and it clearly shows that she is afraid i might get pregnant again.”

How are mothers treated in Indian culture?

Would Indra Nooyi like to be the kind of mother to her daughters that her mother has been to her?

An update: “My friend is having the baby because her mother absolutely refused to support her decision to abort.”

Sometimes also used to control women’s freedom and choices:

New scare for urban women: Menopause in 20s

“I waited for maternal love to overcome me – it didn’t… After my baby was born, I didn’t feel anything…”

Mere consent to conjugal rights does not mean consent to give birth to a child for her husband.

An email: Is it selfish to not want to be parents yet?

Woman you are not doing anybody a favour…

An email: “I find it very hard to forgive my husband for all that happened at the time of my delivery.”

Some other points that SC has raised in the past:

Daughter-in-law should not be treated as domestic help, says Supreme Court

Marry Or Live With Anyone Of Your Choice.

Plain-clothed police officers, warning signboards, cancellation of permits, helplines: SC directs States to take serious steps to curb Street Sexual Harassment.

Don’t let off rapists on flimsy grounds, SC tells courts.

Why does Gender Sensitivity in Legal Language matter.

10 Things to say to everybody else, but never to a woman.

Gender stereotypes, combined with gender segregation and misogyny seems to have convinced many that some of us (mainly women) are mysterious beings – illogical, unpredictable, and thus difficult to understand.

Wordssetmefree shared this link: 10 Things never to say to a woman

Such articles seem to indicate that basic courtesy, respect, personal space and good manners are special favours – mainly when extended to women.

And that it is not manipulative to monitor, comment upon and control the personal choices of other people (specially women).

Take a look at some of the tips.

Tip number 1:

Tip number 1 seems to assume that men and women are obsessed with how much women weigh and that women’s happiness depends on men’s approval of women’s body-weight.

Who created this definition?

“Your girlfriend is, by definition, as light as a feather and nimble as a ballerina. To so much as whisper a hint of the notion that she might be, you know, otherwise, is to risk paying a price as heavy as you suspect her to be.”

So, according to this tip, women can’t be happy unless they have won men’s approval (and succeeded in pleasing them).

The men deserve sympathy, advice and support, because they bear the burden of assuring women of their success in making them (the men) happy. And this is the biggest challenge for men in relationship with women.

This tip also assumes being ‘light as a ballerina’ is the ideal for women to work for (while the rest of the world can be themselves, or healthy or fit or strong etc).

So men are advised not to ask, “Are you really going to eat all that?”

Please consider, why would we say this to anybody – man or woman?

Unless,

1. Maybe we wanted to eat some of it?

2. Because we are paying for it and can’t afford the quantity?

3. Because we are the person’s personal dietician, paid to monitor their portions?

4. Because we just say things that make no sense even to our own selves?

5. Because we are raised to believe that women are supposed to eat the last and the least?

6. Because we believe a woman’s body is everybody’s business. And she lets everybody down by eating in ways that might not help her fit into their expectations?

Would men find such questions offensive? Why, or why not?

Maybe men are more likely to be asked to eat well and to be stronger than all the other men in their social circle.

Tip number 3: 

“My ex used to … “

‘Anything you say with the words “my ex” in it will be held against you… Of course it’s natural to compare your girlfriends, but keep it to yourself.’

Would you say this is something that should not be said specifically to women?

Are non-women more amenable to being compared to exes?

This stereotype is even more ironical in a culture where jealous, entitled and insecure men are known to honor kill, sexually assault, burn alive, or attack with acid, blade, MMS clips.

Tip number 6:

“Yeah, she’s hot”

Chances are she lured you in with an innocent question, like, “Do you think she’s cute?” … You must lie quickly and reflexively. … In fact, you win extra points for casually finding fault in her the closer you look. Watch your girlfriend light up as you say, “Is it me, or is her nose a bit weird?”

Same as Point 3 above.

Also, Jealousies and one-upmanship are sometimes seen as machismo.

Tip number 7:

“What’s up with your hair?”

“She’s allowed to have a bad hair day, but you’re not allowed to notice. For girls, hair isn’t just hair.”

Sounds like: She is ‘allowed’ to sometimes fail to win your approval. For women hair isn’t just hair, it’s failure to please you!

Tip number 9:

“Is this your time of the month?”

This advice is blatantly sexist.

It amounts to: Women tend to ‘shriek and stamp and then burst into tears for no reason’.  And when this happens it is only because they are ‘deranged by hormones’. (While, when men ‘shriek and stamp’ – they have been provoked into natural manly anger.)

Tip number 10:

“I love you”

This is supposed to be the magic pill, the cure-all, the instant fix. But the thing about the L word is that it sends women into a heightened sense of awareness. As soon as they hear it, they can tell whether or not you mean it.

Again, is this a women-specific trait? How would the rest of the world react to this?

Related Posts:

Weird, funny facts about Misogynists.

This encourages double standards.

Boy friends are new parents

Why We Laugh With Kapil at Things That Are Not Funny at All

“For every woman who is tired of being a sex object, there is a man who must worry about his potency.”

A light hearted take on the way future is dear to the girls and present to the boys?

 

“These people saw my jeans. What they did not see was how much I fought everyday to assert my right to wear them.”

Sharing an email from The Vamp.

Dear IHM,

I am writing to you today, just to say thanks.

I wrote to you because I find a kindred spirit in you; reading this blog has saved my happiness and life.

Earlier, being a part of the patriarchal system as a DIL married into an orthodox household, I was upset without realizing what exactly I was upset for. Like I said earlier, I unsuccessfully tried to kill myself. Although I had been suffering from these suicidal bouts ever since I was in my pre-teens, the depression exacerbated itself after marriage when things got more real.

In your blog, I found some rationale for a lot of thoughts that were going on in my mind.

My parents were the best. Still, why was it that many of their thoughts upset me?

Why was I angry with so many people who were fat-shaming me? After all it happened to everyone else.

Why was I constantly pushed by a need to prove myself the best everywhere and constantly worrying about it, be it academically or professionally?

Why was it an ultimate feat for me to pass two SSC exams, one CLRI interview, and one public service commission exam, topping two university entrance tests, but without being really interested in them?

Why did I want to slap everyone who had ridiculed me for a totally unrelated thing (my being fat) with my academic and professional achievement?

Why did I dress badly and eschew feminine appearance just to prove myself strong, although I really loved delicate, flimsy and hot pink ‘feminine’ clothing?

Why did I take pride in being a tomboy in my teens even though I was quite the opposite internally?

Why was I trying to show off my skill with patriarchal beliefs, customs and traditions after marriage?

But even when being lauded for these efforts, why was I still unhappy and suicidal?

Though counseling helped me calm my mind, your blog answered a lot of these questions.

Today, I am still the same introvert. I am still what you’d call overweight, although pretty. But, I am at peace. I am no poster child for feminism. But, I have found my own comfort zone between conservativeness and liberation. At least I know what liberation looks like.

The most important change, however is, regardless of my beliefs, I am willing to push myself for others’ rights to live the way they want, whether or not I agree with it. I may not wear minis, but I will advocate someone else’s rights to wear them.

Some people say feminism goes too far. They think I have everything anyone would want so what is this whole fuss about? It seems that a woman being a postgraduate, wearing jeans and going to work in a corporate company represent the pinnacle of gender equality. It is not. As in my case, taking things for granted can kill you.

These people saw my post graduation. They never noticed that had I been less inhibited about myself living as a woman with limits, I would have done a doctoral in Scotland. They would have noticed that the very reason I chose Science was not because it was my passion, or I was good at it, or I was intelligent (the latter two, I am, truth be told), but because that was what my brother did and other peers considered smart. I chose this stream because I was ashamed of choosing English literature or History, lest I be looked down upon and teased further for being so benign. I abandoned my real passion and chose a stream that was considered more ‘male oriented’ and therefore, ‘intelligent’.

These people saw my jeans. What they did not see was how much I fought everyday to assert my right to wear them, no matter what others thought. What nobody saw was me walking into a clothing store to get a jeans my size (I’m not that big; I wear 34/36) and the shopkeepers giggling at me as if I had asked for a condom (which too isn’t fair). They did not notice how self-conscious I felt about my not so slim figure and always had reservations walking out, which my parents tried to fix by advising me “not to wear jeans as you don’t have the figure for it”. Nobody cared about all the subtle jibes and stares I was subject to, not because I looked bad in jeans (which is totally false as I know I am pretty and fashionable), but because I defied all those invisible rules set for overweight women, overweight fair women, overweight fair women from a conservative community, overweight fair women from a conservative community who wanted to look ‘respectable’. Finally, nobody stood by me when my in-laws passed diktats against jeans, citing that “married girls must look married” and that “you are not a college student anymore” and “what willchaar log think”. Nobody knew that the very act of wearing jeans was a battle I fought every day.

These people saw me working. They never noticed the compromises I made by moving in to my husband’s home after marriage, thus putting me 10 km further from my workplace. They never cared that after ‘work’, I had a second shift at home. They thought I had a maid so I must be having fun at home because after all that’s what working women do; neglect the home and go mad about their career. They never cared that my in laws have an eating/sleeping schedule which just does not support the wavelength of an average corporate employee. They watched me go to movies with my newlywed husband but never noticed me falling asleep on his shoulder due to severe exhaustion.

Feminists told me to get a divorce. Patriarchs told me to suck it up. Feminists said my husband was a jerk. Patriarchs said I was a loser. Everyone said I and my husband were idiots. But, nobody helped me live. Nobody helped US be. Everyone said we ought not to have married, but nobody guided us, two confused people and victims of Indian culture, on the right path to go about.

Your balanced views, on the other hand, helped me find that right zone where I was happy, being a non-confrontational person, without giving up on my rights. For once, I knew what, considering my strengths and weaknesses, I had to do to protect my rights. Firstly, I got to know what my rights were. With this strength, I got about making my life happy. It’s still in progress, but I can say I and my husband have both found that place where we are happy and respect each other’s differences. We only have to walk up there.

Thank you IHM, for all this.

Regards

Vamp

And then in response to my email:

Yes, of course I am at this stand today because I staunchly believe in feminism, that is to say, the textbook definition of feminism. I don’t however, support radicalism or militancy that many people do in the name of feminism.