S(HE) ?!


I feel every time, we talk about feminism, emancipation, equality, it’s just becomes more jargon added to our preexisting debate database.

I was in deliberative mood, so tried to catch up one Documentary over Netflix on the pursuing topic titled as –“ The World Before her”, which talks about the contrast between the Western style beauty pageants that are eroding Indian society & Hindu fundamentalism. Interesting enough to catch my fancy. It’s 89minutes long portrayal from two parallel worlds & their viewpoints & choice – to make difference to their life & freedom by joining beauty pageants or traditional training camp. How often Feminism & Role of woman looks like from lens of Religious Fundamentalist? So, lets see from both lenses,keeping away myopic & hypermetrophic thoughts away. 

Freedom ~Traditional versus Modern tags

Freedom—what does it means or signifies? Does it means curtailing your right to choose & right to live life on your own terms? The “Modern girl” wish to be successful to crave her identity by choosing beauty pageants, “Traditional girl” is taught not to think out of their dictated duties. Both ways are choices, one led by being instinctively aware to find it; another seems to be restrictive in its approach. Freedom or liberation means free from biases, bondage & equally respecting other viewpoints. I am a strong supporter for gender equality crusade. But I personally feel Feminism isn’t what is mostly shown or debated at most of the times at different platforms; I personally feel if you don’t have a right to own your freedom, you aren’t liberated, as a woman or man.

Physical & spiritual awakening

The beauty pageants mostly have been on target from time to time by these Hindu fundamentalists. One world shows glitter, glamour with showbiz business to crave identity. Another revolves around finding answers to already dictated duties & rights for woman. Which one is soul-stirring or even awakening in true sense? In my views, Morals are shaped by the teachings & denying anyone his/her basic rights makes perceptions & biases. The choice of profession doesn’t make anyone swaying away from his or her roots or traditional values? Entertainment is one such industry, people vie to be into limelight to get famous, it a part and parcel of it. One can’t negotiate morals on ground of what clothes choices they make or what kind of life they lead. It’s clearly stereotypical & hypocrisy, like if someone is choosing to be a social worker or teaching profession, its call for greater respect than others seems to hyperventilate the prejudices & social paradox.Religious intolerance is not new to human race, we got many historical evidences to prove religious segregation practically covering every part of world.

In words of Pooja Chopra, 2009 Femina Miss India “Its not about external beauty, it’s about platform to give woman identity & freedom. You change from person & you become personality”.

Self-defense versus vulnerability

At “Durga Vahini” camp,shown in the documentary, girls clad in salwaar kammez are being taught basics tenets of Hindu Dharma/Hindutva. They were taught shooting basics, martial arts & other “needed things” to bring on the crusade against other religious practices & reinstalling Hindu Dharma & Hindutva faith again. It was very startling but not surprising fact for me to hear them talking- to lay their life for this cause, to take life for this noble cause. It was reflecting religious intolerance deflecting from actual Hinduism philosophy which is based on tenets like—non-violence, truthfulness, compassion, self-control and generosity.

अयंनिजपरोवेति , गड़नालघुचेतसाम |

उदारचरितानामतु, वसुधैवकुटुम्बकम ||

{“This is mine, that is yours; This kind of calculation is done by narrow-minded people.

For broad-minded and liberalist this whole world is like a family”}

I feel its more kind of regressive way to make girls understand or explore their options in life & career. Duties for girls are listed, as camp teacher instructs them “Can u hide natural weakness & character as a woman”?

Only woman character was & is important? Damn right! How to ascertain that by rule of whip?

Documentary shows how Hindu extremists have literally pushed & beaten woman in bar & parks meeting boys, from times to times & have earned title of Indian Taliban.

Animistic tendencies get its support from what we feed young generations kind of moral feeding & making excuses in lieu of gender equality that we all care? A boy raped a girl, girl bear a burnt that she is being violated, but boy virginity is also being taken at that time, we forget & concentrate on the weaker part – woman.

Westernization versus Indianization

One of the beauty pageant contestant in the Documentary talks about Indianization of America, pointing facts that westerners have been more inclined towards yoga & other spiritual practices from India etc., its sure a valid point, we talk about Westernization of Indian culture a lot, what about polishing brighter sides of it than dull side?

My views are-adapting to new waves of thoughts in changed social context & welcoming fresh perspective on these obsolete customary notions & imbibing change is good for overall social health. Culture exchange is being done from years within universities, worldwide & even on international platform for acknowledging friendship when important treaties & declarations are signed.

Identity searching versus Identity lost

Marriage is her duty?

Woman is complete after giving birth?

Where is choice than for her, she sat comfy in her home with her parents in jeans & t-shirt?

Her father called her “product”.

Told the camera, he had beaten her many times, once he taught her lesson with burning her with hot iron rod on her leg as a punishing act for lying? Terrible reality, women are made submissive & more submissive on the rule of whip to control their identity, their choices & their rights. I have always wondered about one thing family is the first major social institution for any kid, so when we start raising kids not girls or boys, things will start changing, centuries old mind blocks & rigid stigmas will give way to fresh perspectives but it will take generations to negate the so much damage already being insinuated.

What’s the identity of woman in dictated roles or in freedom from all roles? The essence lies in the balance harmony, good workable morals with flexible approach. Support your kids, support their choices, and make them learn to respect humanity.

Who wants Girl child?

Pooja Chopra shares her mom gusty story amidst such conventional society where boys kid get weight over girl kid. Pooja reminisces being second girl kid born to her parents. Her mom was being told to get rid of her in any way, “kill her to get rid of her”; her father told her mother & walked away. Extreme Social Paradox & shame it is, female infanticide is blatant reality facing us. Her mother raised her with one promise, which she told her husband too “this girl is going to make me proud”.

It’s overwhelming for me as a mom of two daughters to imagine, to understand, to contemplate this frightening reality. My kids are my pride. I never would just make them repudiate their life choices underneath masked up by social stigma, cultural taboo & just because they are girls? Many times, I get to hear from people “when you are going to have another kid,boy, it’s still time, give it a try”? I always replied to them “I already have boys, as my future son-in-laws & our girls are our pride.” Still this stigma continues.


Defensive training

Will you kill for Hindutva? & She says yes, without realizing the deeper meaning, it seems. One of the poignant moments when teacher instructs them- “All Hindu gods have weapons, we need weapons to destroy evil”? Evil being NON-HINDUS.

Mind terror, moral terror breeding ground

Mentality raid and riot? It seems to be “New wave” & offshoot of pre-existing religious prejudices. Branding & conditioning of minds continues to play havoc in young mindsets.

My mind got swayed up thinking,on a lighter note but ironically-We have men pageants too internationally no one talk amusingly for them? I haven’t come across any such protests for banning Male show-off of Abs & Body? We all love to flaunt, its human nature, some do it some don’t accept it & others are just exceptions.Ever wondered why their no such school for boys, to teach them much-needed morals & respect for Humanism?

I am more inclined towards principle of humanism, its beautiful concept, workable too.These Self-proclaimed moral police haven’t realized “Unity in diversity” is the main crux for our culture, it seems to be blurred with “Unite for noble cause of protecting Dharma”?So many terrible accounts of infamous inhuman rights violations in form of riots & protests our country has already seen in the past.

Beauty versus vulgarity

Is it in clothes or its in deeds?

It often yelped that provocative dressing attracts male attention & nude show down for woman rights won’t get feminists stand justified nor it can save woman getting raped or ogled at? I wondered if we as a regressive society & patriarchal social setup, even have had thought that “Nudity is natural” & Instincts we are talking about here can’t help us even if we clad our females from head to toe & become burqa clad society. Think beyond treating human as an object of pleasure or eye-candy? Now, woman also ogled at men & make advances, did it make them feel like venerable or feel like a hero?


Sharing Excerpt –In his classic book The Individual and His Religion (1950), Gordon Allport (1897–1967) illustrates how people may use religion in different ways. He makes a distinction between Mature religion and Immature religion. Mature religious sentiment is how Allport characterized the person whose approach to religion is dynamic, open-minded, and able to maintain links between inconsistencies. In contrast, immature religion is self-serving and generally represents the negative stereotypes that people have about religion. (Source courtesy-Wikipedia)

I hope with this insight, I can make a bit of difference to someone thought-process towards gender bender debates with varied factors from religion to morality to humanism to acceptance.The title of my post is S(HE)….I want to put it as “Secularism & Humanity Ensues”. I would love to hear your thoughts & insights on the issue, leave your feedback in the comment box.

After reading one thought-provoking discussion from one of my fellow blogger friend-Sharath Komarraju on issue of feminism, made me pen down my thoughts.Here’s link to his blog-post- http://sharathkomarraju.com/2014/07/09/feminism-counterpoint-1-you-will-be-judged-by-what-you-wear/




29 thoughts on “S(HE) ?!

  1. Good one Ruchi – ” “I already have boys, as my future son-in-laws & our girls are our pride.” This from you is the change we have undergone and the respect towards humanity.
    I consider a girl child as “”A mother’s gender partner, a closest ally in the family confederacy,An extension of herself.” Keep writing. Good Wishes!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ty for ur kind words & wishes Santhi 🙂 I am humbled. Its dark reality we faced today, over d years with life experiences & insights we all change, change is good. Ty for stopping by & I appreciate your insights 🙂 keep reading & inspiring !

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice long one Ruchi and very well segregated as well with some solid points. I loved the way it starts with a beautiful quote. I agree, feminism is not condescending or patronizing women, it is about respecting the space and who they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vinay Yay ! I finally got accolades 😀 its not less than getting fav. chocolates (evil grin) I am glad u liked my thoughts, Ty for stopping by. Keep reading & sharing thoughts 🙂 good wishes.


  3. Ruchi ..Inspiring article* its all true .. and need to chnage this reality… soooo good …Woman is complete after giving birth? like it * good wishes & keep on addying more …. eye openers**

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent Post Ruchi and very well categorized too. Most of the people take the concept of feminism in a wrong way. Loved the examples you gave. These type of things do happen and its a shame that even though we have advanced so much, we still have such issues eating us up from the inside.
    Well done 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yay Anmol ! High 5 😀 😀 Ty for giving me feedback & encouragement.Btw tell me did u like S(He) how I defined in the end?
      If we start thinking & realizing rest will ensues 🙂 for better future. Keep Reading & giving me feedback. good wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I read it all (except the videos)….Whether it is a woman who wore 9 yards and was called Jhansi Rani or a woman who wore pants and is called Kiran Bedi….for people who understand the crux of feminism its easy to see beyond the so called “rule breaking”….for others no matter what, this still remains a debatable debacle. Love the topic, Love the expanded title, Love the organised material and most of all LOVE your very own words – “I already have boys, as my future son-in-laws & our girls are our pride.”…. Lets not forget those cases too where women herself have brought the disgrace to our race (eg-biased mom’s). One question I have why only sampling Hinduism? Is it because of the documentary that was trending towards that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vidhya well-pointed fact ! Those woman who r biased as a Mom or woman or human, I have an opinion it’s conditioning & pressures from the social structure in which they are breathing. I have seen & been told/shared by many of my friends that their parents kept on doing kids for the sake of boys like 4-5 girls or 4 girls than boy 😦 😦 I have also pointed out in my post as it my personal opinion, family is first social institution so rear kid on the line of that too. If a boy is being taught to respect & be kind to all human alike, its going to be fine, if a girl is reared amidst respect & getting freedom to make choices she will be fine adult too.It’s just acceptance within our social fabric & the conditioning of dictated duties like I mentioned in the post also.We as a parents have gr8 responsibility to shape next generation as they r indeed smarter kids. Reg ur query with my sampling towards Hinduism main reason being indeed Documentary but I have pointed out that religious intolerance is known in every culture from centuries. I was shocked to hear those verbals stigmatic attitudes in the documentary. Change is welcomed that’s why I have inclined towards concept of humanism. Ty for stopping by & sharing your wonderful views 🙂 good wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Very good post Ruchi. Honestly it is the mentality of ours which makes women weak, else it is true that they are quite stronger than us. To be very frank, when my wife give me the good news, I was more than 100% determined that it will be a baby girl, and I proposed the name of Garima for her, which actually means Pride. There was a time during those months when everyone around us was saying that don’t worry you people will have baby boy, and it was making us nervous. One so called Jyotishi too checked my future and proposed that it will be a boy, and honestly I went in to a trauma that night. I was not at all prepared for the baby boy. You will be surprised to know that my wife was also 100% sure that it is a baby girl and she also named her as Garima even before her berth, and it was on the basis of her (baby’s) reactions to my words.

    The moment my sweetheart came into this world, I was flying and my phone was switched off, and I was the last person to know this, but the moment I met my wife after 8-9 hours of my Garima came into this world, she simply said one line, your Garima has arrived.

    The purpose why I said this story to you all is that I don’t recite all the time to empower the women, but I do actually give them the most value in my life. And hopefully this attitude will might change our society in future,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your story brought goose bumps to me Alok! I can feel your wife’s emotions when she said that “Your Garima has arrived”. I don’t know how old is your baby girl now, but congratulations :)….Please don’t get traumatised if you happen to have a boy next time :)….I will be proud to raise one who can understand this equality and help in filling this gender gap.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. My heart-felt thanks to you for sharing your wonderful & sweet story about your Garima. Congrats to you both for this blessings 🙂 Its has made me remembered our first pregnancy with our elder daughter “M”. If we all try to educate our kids * rear them as kids not girls & boys half of the battle is won already. Your wife & your family must be proud of you, as much I am proud of my Hubby who always tells everyone- I have 3 girls to love & nurture. Its just the change we all need from usual trap of morbid social norms.My blessings & love to little angel & ur pride Garima 🙂 Good wishes & ty for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is really awkward when people differentiate btw a girl and a boy…………….. as my dad never made me feel the difference because even my name is a boy’s name actually “Karanvir” so……………. more over really great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karanvir Ty for sharing your wonderful & heart-felt words, I also liked ur name 🙂 Applauds to your Dad. Your words have made me remembered my doting Dad.Ty for stopping by. Keep reading & sharing thought.Good wishes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ty so much for your nice words 🙂 Yes all prejudices, biases & obnoxious attitudes are fragmentation of human mind, Its been called as HF as its orientation is more towards reinstalling Hinduism tenets, but our world-history is full of such examples from Racialism to Culture segregation. Thar’s Y I found Humanism a very good workable concept. Ty for stopping by & hope to hear your feedback & insights in near future too on my posts. good wishes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s