“He said my top was not in line with company prescribed code and that it made him very uncomfortable during the meeting.”

Dress Codes for women make it easier for misogynists to harass them. Here’s another example. 

This comment reminded me of this post –  He said, “You’re a very beautiful girl, but don’t wear such clothes…”

Sharing a comment from the previous post.

We have a dress code at work and recently have had a number of freshers join the company. It’s IT by the way. So the freshers’ dressing sense is quite different from the older women and raised quite a few eyebrows, male and female. Just because people are not used to seeing such clothes here. So the dress code is being quoted left and right so as to ensure employees adhere to it. A couple of days earlier, I was wearing a kurti, three fourth length sleeve, butt-covering length with jeans. The unfortunate kurti’s neckline had a couple of buttons and one of the buttons came undone during a meeting that i participated in. This was entirely unintentional and I was not even aware of it. The buttons were not revealing anything – my mangal sutra chain was filling the gap the button should have closed and i was also wearing my company tag. There really was no cleavage exposed but after the meeting ended, my manager (male) requested me to stay back and told me that he wanted to tell me that I should watch my dress code. He said my top was not in line with company prescribed code and that it made him very uncomfortable during the meeting. He also added that I should not be offended because he thinks of me as a friend and only wants to tell me ‘as a friend’. My immediate reaction was one of shock and i did not know how to respond. I merely nodded and said thanks in a numb sort of manner, walked right out of the meeting into the restroom to check my top. I found the undone button, pinned it and then added another safety pin on top. But the whole episode has given me a bitter taste in my mouth and I feel really yucky. I also sort of feel this is another kind of harassment. My clothing was well within the dress code. The fact that I had a loose button on a single day that I was unaware of does not make me a violator of the code, does it?

I would like to understand what people here think of the whole sordid episode. Thinking of it still makes me feel so awful. I feel uncomfortable when men with bellies wear jeans with their stomachs hanging all over them.. but does anyone talk to these men and ask them to wear loose t shirts?

Why is it only women who have to watch it?

 

–  Anonymous

Some thoughts: What makes you uncomfortable? Are you able to enforce a ban on it? Why is some people’s discomfort (if any) more important? What would this man have done if he did not have the option of controlling how his colleagues dressed? Say, in a public space? Would he then feel justified in being ‘provoked into sexually assaulting’ her? 

Related Posts:

Not Just a Pair of Jeans

The way a woman dresses…

Women and their unmentionables. Understanding Objectification.

What do ‘Modest’ women have that their ‘Immodest’ sisters don’t…

If you were this woman would you want to know what your juniors thought of your personal life?

Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill

“Such mannequins will excite men and pose a danger to women.”

“So why do we wear clothes again??”

A response to: Why we think women activists should change their attitude of “wear what you like”

“This is how we all do it. We find a corner in the house, where the others can’t see, and then dry them.”

 

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Penile whitening cream launched for men

DG of girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com shared this link with this message –

‘Finally! How much we had wanted this 🙂 ‘

 

Penile whitening cream launched for men

 

‘The new product Fair & Manly, currently undergoing clinical trials in a lab in Pune, promises fair skinned private parts for men, boosting their confidence level and increasing their chances of getting jobs and attracting romantic female partners.

“There are many whitening creams for men in market that promise fair skinned face and other parts of the body, but none of them work on their private parts, making them feel less confident, and at times, depressed. Common wisdom says, no matter how much fair a man is, his private part will always be darker than the rest of the body. We aim to change that.”, CEO of Hindustan Moonilever Limited Gorachand Kamdev told Teekhi Mirchi.

“No, we’re not competing with that Indian pharmaceutical company selling vaginal whitening cream, since we are targeting altogether a different demography.”, he clarified.’

Related Posts:

“Here’s what I would tell my future/potential daughter, if I ever have one.”

How would life be different if you never had to give a thought to how you looked?

An email: If you can’t change something and you can’t change attitudes, what can you do?

You don’t owe prettiness to anyone.

Does beauty really lie in the eyes of the beholder?

Beauty Without Cruelty

Sending a girl a text that says “good morning beautiful” can change her attitude for the whole day.

What makes a woman look beautiful?

Why this?

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s body and Willow Smith’s hair.

A double mastectomy in a world where a woman is seen as ‘packet of behinds, thighs, hair and lips’.

How do you celebrate yourself?

Women and their unmentionables. Understanding Objectification.

This is a rambling and unedited attempt to understand why there is so much tolerance, in all Patriarchal societies, to Objectification of women.   

Many believe, and see it as obvious, that since women (unlike everybody else?) have bodies they should expect to be discussed, commented upon, condemned, stalked, hated, adored, sexually assaulted, respected, objectified etc.

Specially if the parts of the body being discussed have been sexualised – like legs, lips, eyes, breasts, ankles, back, belly, neck, midriff, shoulders, thighs, knees, toes, ears, mouth; because, why else were these body parts created if not for men  – to view, approve, own, disown, love, hate, honor, decide whether they are obscene or graceful, whether they look more attractive (to men) covered or uncovered, and how much covered or revealed?

This belief that women (or their bodies) exist to serve some purpose in men’s lives is reinforced when we hear numerous statements, like those that imply that our Skewed Gender Ratio is a problem – not because it indicates something seriously and evilly wrong with the society, but because it means there aren’t enough women for men to marry.

So, it’s obvious that when Deepika Padukone pointed out, “Yes, I’m a woman, I have breasts and a cleavage.”, many of us can’t quite understand what she means.

[Yes, I’m a woman, I have breasts and a cleavage, Deepika Padukone slams leading daily.]

Because, the point for many is just that. She should not forget that she is a woman, and has breasts and a cleavage. She is supposed to keep them covered or lose all right to dignity or privacy (for want of better word).

Here’s a TOI comment that explains the attitude better:

“If a person is not ashamed to remove his/her clothes for whatever reasons there may be, then why make a big fuss about people peeking into the pics looking for something ‘more’. Lets not let ourselves down to a level where public scrutiny might shame us”

It’s not just breasts. Women are viewed as a collection of body parts and the parts have been transformed into objects that serve to attract, delight or disgust men. What other purpose do women’s bodies serve? Women (i.e. their bodies) it seems were created for men.

Try viewing legs (women’s legs) as means for moving from one place to another – it would be considered a radical and impractical idea by many – because non-radical or default or the ‘normal’ remains how they appear to the male eye. Like – whether or not they are modestly covered, how good or bad they look, what colour, shape, texture, size, covering appeals to men.

TOI says:

Deepika Padukone SHOWS off again !!

 

‘… when her dress went too far and a part of her unmentionable were visible for a second ..although it isn’t a blooper but we definitely caught something peeping out of her dress.’

How do women’s body parts become ‘unmentionables’?

‘Some 150 years back the women in kerala launched a feminist revolt for the right to cover their breast, women in kerala were not allowed to cover their breast; mostly this rule was applicable to lower caste women, when someone from higher caste would come she should show her breast to cover ones breast was considered a sign of immodesty. Brahmin women can cover their breast while venturing out but at home they had to be topless, shatriya women cant cover breast infront of brahmins and lower cast women couldnt cover breast infront of anyone. The cloth worn on lower part couldnt be lower than the knee.’ [Click to read more]

There are contradicting ways in which women’s bodies are objectified.

One is seemingly respectful, protective and caring, another is gallant, chivalrous and seemingly liberal, and yet another one is openly misogynistic. All involve sexualising of women’s body into parts and seeing women as objects created for men’s convenience.

1. One view claims to honor, worship, find graceful, love, adore ‘the beautiful women who give men life’ and who sacrifice their happiness and self interest for men.

They believe crimes against women would end if all men viewed all women as their mothers and sisters and if all women lived and dressed in ways that didn’t draw any attention to them (basically if women were not seen).

They don’t talk about incest or child abuse or other crimes against women and children inside their homes.

They might believe that West is the cause of all crimes against women in India. They believe sexual assaults happen because men are weak and fail to control their ‘natural’ urges and that such men should be castrated or hanged or stoned and spat upon. And they might believe that women are too good to have such ‘manly needs and urges’.

They might also believe that lesser evils in man can be reformed by the love of a good woman.

They, like others misogynists, insist that women’s bodies were created for men, the Uterus to provide male heirs (though beautiful daughters are needed too, or else there would be no one to provide loving care, tie a rakhi, wear pretty bichias and bangles, provide opportunities for kanya-daan, save the rituals, customs and culture etc. So, yes, they admit, daughters have their uses too. These are the people who would appeal to parents to have daughters but may believe that divorce and love marriages are social evils.

They don’t talk about what women in unhappy marriages should do, they believe good women know how to stay happily married and such women would rather die than bring dishonour to family.

This view urges men to ‘respect’ women like their own mothers and sisters, but says nothing about viewing women as humans – capable of feelings, failings or desires.

Those who hold this view won’t allow women to compare themselves to men. They insist that men are weak, spoilt, selfish, aggressive, crude and that’s okay because they are men. But women can’t afford to be like this and they mustn’t attempt that. Because women are special – they are mothers. (Yet they don’t think children should carry their mothers’ names and lineage forward)  They believe it’s okay for women to give up their families, names, identities and happiness for men. They are likely to admire women who suffer in silence, sacrifice and serve without complaining. And because all women are goddesses and those who are not are merely misguided, and should be still ‘respected’ and taught about their duty to ‘mankind’.

They don’t see much hope for a woman who is not found beautiful by men, which is why they feel they are being compassionate and reassuring when they insist that ‘all women are beautiful’. Occasionally they can be also be found assuring random women of their attractiveness to men, and then be hurt when women are not appreciative of their generosity.

It simply doesn’t occur to them to see women as people and not as bodies, beautiful or ugly or deserving or not deserving of men’s love. They don’t see that their view too is all about Men, because they believe it is a Man’s World and women can be very satisfied and lead fulfilling life if they made men’s convenience their life purpose.

They might also believe that everybody (not just those who can enforce it) has the right to decide what in women’s bodies is condemnable or controversial, moral or immoral, shameful or shameless, excusable, obscene, vulgar etc.

Women who ignore or disagree with this view are viewed as leading selfish lives devoid of men’s approval or worse, ‘men’s respect’ (though some of us might consider them Empowered). Which is why misogynists view women who do not wear traditional clothing as a threat to Patriarchy.

2. Another is a seemingly Modern Mindset where one hears claims like ‘I love women’.  

Why do they love women?

Because women are beautiful. Women are hot. They are perplexed when some women are not delighted (forget grateful, not even glad) to be loved by them. They admire a thing of beauty – and all women are beautiful.

This view does not see women as individuals.

But the world would be so boring (for them) if there were no women in it. They are fine with women ‘flaunting’ their bodies (the default is ‘covered’, if it is not covered, then the body it is attached to, has no rights over it). Beauty is to be beheld. So women should be free to enjoy the appreciation when they go ahead and ‘show off’. (Not covering is automatically ‘showing off’ or even consent)

Those who hold this view have been questioned by women and media for making statements like, “I love women!!” and clearly didn’t get why this was found offensive by some women. It wasn’t even about women. It was about what men loved. What kind of skin colours, hair volume and texture, clothing etc they preferred in women. What makes women attractive (to men). What women should do to win a man’s approval. Isn’t it awesome/fortunate to be born women in a world where men just can’t do without women.

This view does not talk about rights or respect and generally views male attention and approval as empowering for women.

3. A third kind of objectification is the blatant objectification where women and women’s bodies are viewed as man’s properties and dangerous for social harmony and are best kept covered, locked up, denied voices and rights. This view is generally criticised and those who hold it are viewed by all, including the other two above, as misogynists.

But for those who hold this view of women, there is no other way of life.Their honor lies in ensuring their cows, homes, women, crops etc are kept safe from other men. It’s all about men. Men own everything including women and their lives and their bodies.

* * *

Finally here’s a comment that comes close to what Deepikia Padukone probably feels.

I am astonished by TOI tweet. Would you react same if your genitals are being discussed in public.

I wonder if all those who don’t understand, would be fine if the parts of their bodies or lives and choices that are ‘not covered’ were to be viewed as ‘flaunting’ and were open to public scrutiny, leering, commenting and judgment. Though ofcourse their preferences are no reason for Deepika or anybody else to tolerate the same.

What do you think?

Why do societies get away with women being denied the ownership of their own bodies, covered, uncovered, attractive or unappealing (to men)?

Related:

The full extent of what urban India believes about menstruation is extraordinary

 Gujarat Police urges girls to stop wearing jeans, shorts

“So why do we wear clothes again??”

A response to: Why we think women activists should change their attitude of “wear what you like”

Why do Indian women like to wear western clothes?

What women ‘choose’ to wear…

Weird, funny facts about Misogynists.

Yes, I’m a woman, I have breasts and a cleavage, Deepika Padukone slams leading daily.

I think this is a positive. This simple statement makes so much sense,

“Yes, I’m a woman, I have breasts and a cleavage.” 

It should start a much needed dialogue and hopefully influence in some small way, the way women’s bodies are viewed. As of now, everybody in India seems to know who owns women’s bodies – including the bodies of women in public spaces.

I also hope we hear more about how offensive it is to those who are directly affected, than to the brothers, fathers and husbands of some of them. We also must consider the possibility of some women not having willing male relatives to feel outrage of their behalf.

At the same time, it’s not surprising that many Indians can’t quite understand what  Deepika Padukone could possible mean. Because, the point for them is just that: She should not forget that she is a woman, and has breasts and a cleavage.

These comments on the internet should be read without anger or outrage,   because those who are saying this, probably believe what they are saying.

1. For this commentator – It’s all about Men.

Why on the first place show ur body to Men? Beauty is not skin show only . Deepika must realise it someday.

What men find beautiful. And what women must realise about men’s preference, i.e. women’s skin showing versus women’s skin covered. 

It’s not surprising that they think this way – because even when we talk about the Skewed Gender Ratio, we hear it’s a concern only because men need wives. And when we talk about protecting women from sexual assaults, it’s because they are men’s sisters and daughters. 

When do we hear about women as people with rights and feelings and Bodies of their own?

 

2.

I condemn the TOI article. At the same time, I sincerely think that by showing their physique only, most of these cine-stars make their living. So there is controversy here. I think we should condemn both.

Why do you think is this comment condemning ‘both’?

There is no doubt in his/her mind that a woman ‘showing’ her body is wrong – and that women need approval and deserve condemnation for attempting to view their bodies (and minds) as their own business.

So if a woman steps out of her home, and doesn’t keep in mind the preferences of men in the street outside, what else does she expect?

 

 

3. 

This comment is why objectification of women needs a post, many posts, maybe a tag. We should talk more about all the ways in which women are objectified. And if and how it influences women’s lives and safety.

what about item numbers ? what about leela ? dam maro dam . They show if they get money , when no mone?y. Rape and crime against women are increasing and they play a important part in that.

Also, rapes and crime against women are not increasing. The silence of survivors is ‘decreasing’. The confidence to report rape is increasing.The fear of being shamed, blamed and named is decreasing.

* * *

Many more misogynistic but mostly heart felt opinions on the links below.

Do these opinions matter? Do they influence women’s lives? I am sure those who hold these opinions do control the lives of ‘their women’ – their sisters, wives and daughters.  I am confident that Deepika Padukone’s assertion is a step in the right direction. Specially since she did get a male friend or relative to speak on her behalf.

Deepika Padukone Should Consider it a Compliment: ‘Defence’ of Cleavage Tweet

Yes, I’m a woman, I have breasts and a cleavage, Deepika Padukone slams leading daily; Bollywood stands in support

OMG: Deepika Padukone exposes cleavage!

Some related Posts:

A double mastectomy in a world where a woman is seen as ‘packet of behinds, thighs, hair and lips’.

That special combination of beauty and innocence, the pretty inspires men to protect and defend it.

Kangana Ranaut’s interview.

If pre-marital sex if here to stay, then so are HPVs and other STDs.

My skirt is not your license, pervert. – A splash of my life…

 

 

If pre-marital sex if here to stay, then so are HPVs and other STDs.

This post is an attempt to respond to this comment.

If pre-marital sex if here to stay, then so are HPVs and other STDs. Even with only two partners, you caught a disease and are wondering who gave it to you. Just image the situation in US/Europe where people have dozens of partners in the course of a few years. How are you supposed to confirm that partner#15 is clean and is not carrying any infection and does not indulge in risky behavior ?

It’s not just pre-marital sex but the combination of casual and pre-marital sex that “feminists” (like the ones here) want to promote that causes the problem. What if someone falls in “love” ten times and sleeps with 10 different people. Are we going to pretend that it’s not a risky behavior because it was in the name of “love”? The more sexual partner one has, the higher the risk of catching an infection.

 

So, if there was no risk of HPVs and other STDs – then would the commentator above feel differently about ‘the combination of casual and pre-marital sex’ ?

Is abstinence really about women’s (or men’s) health, happiness, rights and empowerment?? 

Do you think promoting of abstinence – over the centuries – has benefited the society in anyway? How?

Isn’t it true that abstinence is promoted mainly for women?

And that has lead to men (and women) looking upon sex as something that is not a pleasurable consensual activity but as something:-

1. That must not be talked about, and ignorance of which is seen as a virtue.

2. That can make women ‘impure’ (more so if they participate and enjoy it).

3. Something that men are entitled to, and can ‘buy’  – but the one who ‘sells’ (or is ‘sold’) – must thereafter be denied human rights.

And hasn’t that indirectly lead to one of the partners being viewed as a commodity?

4. As something that can be used to punish women who don’t submit to patriarchal controls.

Sexual assaults are often justified, mainly by those committing them and those who have the power to control them, as attempts to ‘teach a lesson’.

4. At the same time or because of this stress upon abstinence as something to strive for, sex has also come to be seen as something to feel guilty about – specially for women.

Now, since heterosexuality requires women’s participation – this has made it difficult for many men (and women) to view any sexual activity without associating some amount of guilt with it.

This criminalisation (socially, ‘morally’ and sometimes legally), of an activity which concerns nobody except those involved, is a result of the stress upon abstinence.

If abstinence is really about women’s (or men’s) health, happiness, rights and empowerment – then what do you think is ‘risky behaviour’ ?

1. Denial of information and silence about preventing infections (or sexual and emotional abuse)?

Or

2. Moralising about and glorifying lack of experience (mainly for one partner) – which leads to silence and guilt?

Related Posts:

A tag: But when a woman sees a hot man, nothing happens in her brain?

Romanticizing innocence, chastity and related taboos for women.

Girls morally bound not to have sex before marriage, says fast track court judge

Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.

“let me ask – how many girls in city remain pure till marriage ?”

How does an average Indian define Rape, Child Abuse and Consensual Sex?

“why not marry them first and then have sex ? What prevents you from doing it ? Deep within YOU WANT JUST SEX and nothing more”

“Instituting the idea of marital rape raises the specter of a man going for long periods without sex even though he’s married!”

“There is so little conversation about a woman’s desire for sex that a lot of people simply assume it doesn’t exist.”

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.

Indian loses online bid to buy Brazilian student’s virginity

‘I’m now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality.’

Yet another rape that was not about lust but about aggression, revenge and putting the victim in her place.

Ek Hindustani ladki ki Izzat.

What the hell is difference between a homemaker and a porn star?

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Heterosexuality

“I am terrified of confiding in my husband, though I really really want to just cry on his shoulder.”

Sharing an email. 

Dear IHM,

I have followed your blog for a long time now and have found myself nodding my head in agreement at everything you say. I admire what you do to countless women, especially today when I am in need of your wisdom myself.

I am an educated, liberal minded woman married (for almost 2 years now) to a man I fell (and am) deeply in love with. This is my problem. Today I found out that while I have a normal pap test, I am positive for High risk HPV. This means I have a risk of developing cervical cancer (the very word gives me shivers) but that there are no abnormalities at this time. It is entirely possible that the virus doesn’t result in cancerous cells, and that it just lies dormant. With yearly testing and good medical facilities (I live in the US), it looks good for me. For this, I thank the Gods.

But you know what is coming, don’t you? My husband and I have both had previous sexual partners. One each, specifically. I was in a long-term relationship with someone who I thought I would marry until things fell apart, and my husband had a one night stand with a woman who he knew in passing through a common class. Al this was before we met each other.

It is not possible today to test a man for the high risk HPV that I carry. Another one of those cruel twists of biology and gender, much like virginity or lack thereof. My husband and I were both honest about our pasts to each other before we got married, and decided to let the past be where it belongs. However, he has had a much harder time dealing with this than I. For one, I was in a happily committed relationship during the time I was sexually involved with my ex, and my husband simply sees red at the thought of this. He doesn’t see the double standards that he toes the line of, as he claims that what he did was a “Stupid shameful mistake that should’ve never happened”. I try to understand his reactions (I have no contact with my ex, and in fact do not even bring up any conversation that could connect to that time in my life) But this problem is something we have dealt with for the entire time we have been married. It is one of the big troubles we face, but we are happy together in spite of, or despite, this.

I am a blunt, honest woman and want to get this HPV diagnosis off my chest. But there is no way to tell from whom I caught it from. It could as well be my husband who gave me the virus, or the ex. Not only am I dealing with the mental stress of having tested positive for this, I am terribly worried about how to broach the topic to him and what he might say. I am not worried about my safety, as I said, we are in love and he is a wonderful man who would never hurt me physically. But the mental agony I am likely going to undergo has me in tears.

Please help me, IHM. Give me some strength. I have this dreaded virus in my body. I don’t know what it might do in the future. A small part of me feels dirty and repulsed by my own body and myself. I am terrified of confiding in my husband, though I really really want to just cry on his shoulder. I am scared what this will mean for my marriage. I cannot bring this up to anyone else I know, and you are my only hope for some understanding.

Related Posts:

“…if this thing comes out my husband will think my wife is after all not that ‘pure’ or is not that ‘untouched flower’”

Girls morally bound not to have sex before marriage, says fast track court judge

Who is afraid of awareness about menstruation, and open letters to all Gynaecologists?

Looking for a good gynaecologist in Mumbai…

Sharing an email – what do you expect from a good gynaecologist?
Hi IHM,
After much deliberation I decided to write to you asking for help from you and fellow bloggers in your network.
I am looking for a good gynaecologist in Mumbai. It may sound silly or maybe it is an inappropriate platform to ask for help in this regard (I apologize for that if it is) but I am in desperate need of a good gynae who can treat me and most importantly diagnose properly.
Since I started menstruating 16 years back, I have been battling with extremely heavy and painful periods. The pain subsided a couple of years back but the flow has only got worse. I have PCOS but I feel there can be something more serious. I will spare you the details but I am extremely frustrated and sick. I have not been able to work full-time because of this issue, in spite of being capable otherwise to earn a decent living nor I have an active social life.
I have visited many doctors and none have been able to help me so far. And it is difficult to trust random reviews posted on the Internet especially when I know there are many fake paid reviews as I am a Freelance writer myself.After reading one of your blog I got some hope based on few comments that there might be few people who can help me with contact details of a good gynae in Mumbai. I am looking for a doctor who has time to spare and would not brush away my problems saying that ‘it happens to many and will fade away once I get married’ or put me on pills straightaway.

Looking forward to hear from you.
Related Posts:

“…you think I am unworthy of you. That’s a crime that can never be forgiven.”

This is probably what goes on in the minds of those who stab, burn-alive, honor kill, attack with acid, or punish/teach lessons with sexual assaults made into videos and shared online.

These probably are also the thoughts of some of the younger Indian men, disappointed in love, some of who claim to be moral policing women (and the men women like).

I think it is easier to get away with such ‘retribution’ in India – many voices are likely to rise in ‘understanding’ the violence, or atleast there would be some focus and condemnation of the women (and of the non alpha men women like) who ‘provoke’ such attacks.

From the video shared below:

“Girls all I ever wanted was to love you, and to be loved by you. I wanted a girl friend, wanted sex, wanted love, affection, adoration… you think I am unworthy of you? That’s a crime that can never be forgiven.

All those girls that I’ve desired so much, they would’ve all rejected me and looked down on me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them,

I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. 

You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one. The true alpha male…

So in retribution, Elliot Rodger, 22, killed six people and injured seven more and later died from a gunshot wound to his head, in California.

In this video he explains why he wanted to kill the girls that he ‘desired so much’, and the men they seemed to like better.

The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as being potentially offensive or graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.

Desi Girl shared this reaction. Thank You DG. 

Elliot Rodger And Men Who Hate Women

‘We don’t know if Elliot Rodger was mentally ill. We don’t know if he was a “madman.” We do know that he was desperately lonely and unhappy, and that the Men’s Rights Movement convinced him that his loneliness and unhappiness was intentionally caused by women. Because this is what the Men’s Rights Movement does: it spreads misogyny, it spreads violence, and most of all it spreads a sense of entitlement towards women’s bodies. Pretending that this is the a rare act perpetrated by a “crazy” person is disingenuous and also does nothing to address the threat of violence that women face every day. We can’t just write this one off – we need to talk about all of the fucked up parts of our culture, especially the movements that teach men that they have the right to dominate and intimidate and violate women, and we need to change things. Because if we don’t, I guarantee that this will happen again. And again. And again.’

I do agree. This sense of entitlement is reinforced by the patriarchal owning of women (by marriage, as fathers, as community elders), their bodies, their lives and choices. Is it very difficult to imagine why this young man felt women deserved to be punished for not finding him ‘worthy’?

Related Posts:

Do you see a connection between this murder and the assault in Guwahati?

Girls retaliate this time. But will the lectures on culture ever stop?
Immoral policing: A guest post by Carvaka

Not just women who are sexually assaulted, but also men who object to sexual assaults risk being accused of ruining the Indian culture.

Haryana killing : Here is a father A P Singh might want to defend.

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.

Are Men Threatened By Women?

A double mastectomy in a world where a woman is seen as ‘packet of behinds, thighs, hair and lips’.

Wombs?  In laws’ property. 

Hair? Length maybe controlled by the family elders and future in laws. 

Skin? To be protected from the sun and men’s eyes, no matter now hot or humid (sometimes this does not apply to women working in the fields).

Which parts of their bodies, would you say do women completely own?

Do you agree with these lines?

“We live in a world where women are like chickens, reduced to their parts. Men are still lucky enough to be considered whole …

But women? We are a packet of behinds, thighs, hair and lips. I am only reciting current primary targets. There is nothing on a woman’s body that isn’t brutally assessed.

The secondary targets with mandates are bellies (must be flat), eyebrows (emphatic), toe cleavage (wear low-cut shoes), arms (Michelle Obama-muscled) and genitals (plucked to a soundtrack of screaming).

Breasts, in a category all their own, have been reduced into even more parts, just as chicken breasts are made into breaded fingers for bar snacks. Nipples have long been excoriated for slipping out. Now it’s “side-boobs” and “under-boobs.” ….

[Link: Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy story stirs shame and desire — Mallick]

Psharmarao shared this link, Jolie’s disclosure sends out an empowering message.

“Jolie’s disclosure sends out an empowering message. By sharing her deepest fears and courageously talking about her surgical scars, she wants all women to learn the valuable lesson of self-preservation. By sharing her story, Jolie has made it every woman’s story. It’s really not about Angelina Jolie and her breasts but about women’s health and breast cancer prevention. In the entire Brad Pitt-Jennifer Aniston-Brangelina saga, I picked my side in the opening rounds. I was always Team Jen and proud of it. But now I wouldn’t mind sporting a Team Angie tee. You go Girl. Go, Do, Be.”  [Read more at: The Angelina Jolie Message]

But then, why should it be seen as courageous to talk about a life saving procedure?

Have you read this thank you letter by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid?

Have you read this thank you letter by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid?  [Link shared by Arun]
Spent the morning reading in details about what made him write this. Let me share what I learnt.
Background:
1.

Femen activists have declared 4 April “topless jihad day” as a gesture of support for a Tunisian woman who was threatened with death by stoning for baring her breasts online.

Amina Tyler ignited a storm when she posted images of herself with the words “Fuck your morals” written across her chest to the Femen-Tunisia Facebook page.

Another image with: “My body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour”, written …across her bare chest, was also posted…

In what is believed to be her final interview before her disappearance, Amina told Federica Tourn she believes she will be beaten or raped if the Tunisian police find her  [From here]

And some reactions:

2.

Muslimah Pride: We Reject Femens Islamophobic and Neo-Colonialist Crusade to Save Us

… Instead of ‘getting naked’ Muslim women from across the world tweeted and uploaded pictures of themselves to Facebook in their hijabs, niqabs, and western attire. They held up signs telling the world why they were proud of their identities and did not need racist Islamophobic women to dictate to them on how they should dress.

3. Another indignant reaction.

I Am Not Oppressed

..as though there is only one way to be ‘free.’

FEMEN protests … In perpetuating the belief that there is only one way to go about being free, FEMEN provides a narrow-minded solution that is not feasible for anyone else to fit into.

Femen’s response.

4.

You say we are Islamophobes, just recently we heard from anti-gay Catholics that we are Christianophobes. Yes, I’m scared of all your religions … I’m an atheist and I cannot say that you are atheistophobe as there is nothing that you can be scared of. You personally have rights to believe in whatever you want …but until the moment there are no stones, bullets and blood of your religion we are going to fight it. [Topless in the Country of Hijab? – by Femen leader Inna Shevchenko]

5.
“And you can put as many scarves as you want if you are free tomorrow to take it off and to put it back the next day but don’t deny millions of your sisters who have fear behind their scarves… ” [Topless in the Country of Hijab?]
The letter.
6.
A letter of gratitude to #MuslimahPride social media jihadis
Dear Muslimaat,
I don’t have words to express my gratitude and appreciation for your noble battle against evil. …
What the ignorant world does not realise is that once you have the permission of your husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, the approval of your neighbours, in-laws, their relatives and the consent of your spiritual guardians, their God and their scriptures, you can be quite the rebels. It takes a lot of courage to ridicule something that is already taboo where you live. It takes volumes of bravery and valour to bow down to the status quo, and toe the lines that have been forced upon you. It takes unbelievable amounts of gallantry to act out a script that someone else has written for you. And it must take guts and the proverbial cojones to take a stand against cruelty and the personification of tyranny that a horde of topless women is.
Who are those shameless activists to try and liberate you? Do they not realise that you can’t be liberated without the permission of your mehrams? I can’t thank you enough for choosing to be more offended by naked bodies than dead bodies.
Thank you for citing your personal example to highlight how you wear the hijab by your own choice, ignoring the fact that an overwhelming majority of Muslim women are coerced into doing so. Thank you very much for making the whole debate about you, when it was always about the torment and suffering that most of the Muslim women are going through.
Thank you for accepting contrasting definitions of modesty for men and women, and for not being a source of strength for your sisters and daughters, vindicating the men’s claim of you being the weaker sex. Thank you for teaching your daughters about the sin that having sex is, throughout their lives, and then compelling them to do it immediately with a man they first met a couple of hours ago, after signing a few papers and getting the clergy’s approval.