OPEN LETTER TO SLUT SHAMERS AND MORAL POLICE BRIGADE

	 
A chance encounter of a moral policing incident on television the other day gave me the impetus I needed to write this. In another bizarre incident, the Tamil Nadu police picked up a few couples who were sitting in a park and took them to the police station as they were unmarried. 

Dear cops, society well-wishers, moral police brigade and other interfering busybodies,

Who gave you a right to character assassinate or demean others in the pretext of “safeguarding Indian culture”?I have witnessed many incidents where a woman is shamed for her clothes.Till a woman is not parading naked on the street (or even if she is) who gives some cop or “society aunties” a right to question her character. Whether she chooses to wear a saree or a gown is her choice. That doesn’t make her any less Indian.

When a woman is molested or abused, people ask her,what was she wearing that day. Isn’t it ridiculous? I mean, does it even matter? Why are we Indians so defensive and insecure about our fragile masculinity and continue to support our patriarchial roots? If a woman is abused because of wearing revealing outfits, then why do infants get raped?Instead of shaming the accused, sadly our society believes in shaming the victim.

“She should have dressed decently”
“She shouldn’t have partied with men”
“She drinks and smokes so she must be available”
“She asked for it”

Our society has a rule book for how “decent women” should behave (which is nothing but oppression against women and ways and means to do so) but why are there no such guidelines for how men should behave?

I always tell my mother, when I have children, I am never going to teach my daughter to cover herself and dress “decently”, instead I’ll teach my son to not objectify women and to respect them.

Regressive thinking is ingrained in our society which strips our freedom to dress and behave as we please.
Our constitution gives us the right to freedom. Freedom to live life the way we want with our head held high. When these “Slut shamers” character assassinate us, they don’t realize that how prominently they display their narrowmindedness and in turn destroy the image of our nation.

Why should people assume that when a girl wears a short dress she wants men to ogle at her? Why is the length of someone’s dress considered a measure of her consent? Sadly “moral policing” and “slut shaming” has become a norm in our society.

EMBRACE WOMENHOOD – PERIOD TABOO

Having binged on my favourite web series, I slept happily only to be awakened by my uterus smirking at me. “Wipe that smug smile off your face”, I yelled. Aaah.. Why me? Who gets these weird nightmares? Guess I had read far too many fairy tales in my childhood . My Sadist uterus grinned ,” Time for your little punishment”. I groaned. Oh no! Not again !

When I was young, I use to wonder Why blood of all things, Of course later I learnt in one of my biology class that bleeding is caused due to blood vessels disintegrating when the lining in womb detaches itself. If only the pain burnt calories, it would still be worth it !

(Pic Credit :Google image used for illustration purpose. I Do Not own this pic)

So last week, I decided to conduct a survey to see if I was the only one suffering. I typed a few questions and sent it to a sample size of 40 women. Well, 16 of them said it affected their ability to work, which constitutes almost 40% of the sample size.

Out of 40 women who took this questionnaire, 72%, that is, 29 women said they tend to binge and crave for certain food items like sweets or meat when their periods are due. When asked about PMS, 71% said that they feel irritated and experience mood swings in the week leading up to their period.
23 women revealed that their body showed physical changes like bloating and breast tenderness during periods, which constitutes almost 57% of the sample.
43% also confessed to feeling tired and have difficulty in concentration.
When asked to rate their monthly period pain on a scale of 1-10, 11 women said they don’t feel any pain during periods which constitutes only 15%, Rest 85% responded to having moderate to severe discomfort.
According to this survey, 57% suffer, 28% feel moderate discomfort while only 15% do not feel discomfort.

The worst part is when you are moaning during periods and someone in vicinity asks how are you feeling, and you say ‘I am fine ‘ and try to put up a brave face while your inner voice whispers As fine as giving birth to twin dinosaurs.

Only 10% of working women said they feel comfortable asking their manager for leave during periods. I remember one of my male manager long back asked me why do I take a day’s leave every month. How is it possible that only you fall sick monthly while we don’t. Of Course I curbed my tongue from saying I have a uterus and You don’t. So please Do Not voice your opinion about something you have no idea about.

There is a need to sensitize men about menstruation. Pain varies from one person to another. Around 80% women suffer from PMS. Heard of PMS? Premenstrual Syndrome occurs between ovulation and till the period ends, Generally it starts few days before periods. Our body goes through a lot of emotional and physical changes. It is common to have mood swings, irritability, crying spells, during that time, Other than bloating, breast tenderness, acne and fatigue.

There is no cure for PMS but your doctor can help with the symptoms. My Gynaecologist said that every women should take one Vitamin D sachet and Iron supplements after your period ends for 10 days (10 tabs a month ).

  • Vitamin D (once a month ), Iron (once a day) and calcium supplements
  • Drink lot of water. No milk and dairy during Period as it can trigger menstrual cramps.
  • Eat healthy. Stay away from salt and processed food to avoid bloating.

So it is important to educate people about the distress and discomfort faced by women. People generally feel discouraged from speaking about periods and related topics due to societal shaming and cultural factors.

Even today in India, in the 21st century, despite being a progressive country, women are considered impure during menarche and are discouraged from entering temples and other holy places.

It is a natural biological occurence . Let’s stop being ashamed about it and stop labelling it with names like impure, Not Well, Stomach pain , chumming etc . Let’s embrace womenhood. We are not weak . And all those who think of us as ‘weak’ , try bleeding for a week continuously while carrying your day to day activities.

LOVE ME For What I am

Ever been admired or loved? Isn’t it a magical feeling when someone treats you like a princess and says you are the most beautiful girl in this world. When it is so easy to love others , why is it so difficult to fall in love with yourself?

  • I wish I could look like her
  • I wish I was that thin
  • I wish I had her flawless skin

Why do we keep comparing ourselves with others? Why try to be like someone else ? Isn’t original better than a copy? If you grew up hearing you aren’t good enough, it becomes difficult to believe in yourself. Why are we so cold hearted when it comes to ourselves? Forgive yourself and move on. Isn’t Self acceptance better than self resentment?

Being overweight during my teen years, I have always fantasized myself having a Victoria secret model body someday. I may not look drop dead gorgeous, I may not be an A grade student, but I am empathetic and kind hearted. I have compassion and integrity. I am humble and grounded, but unfortunately all of this doesn’t hold much value in today’s society.

I am tired and sick of being someone else all the time. I won’t lie and say that I am in love with myself, but I am trying to, and that’s a start. Why should I give others a chance to hurt me? Whatever happened, good or bad, Reliving it won’t do me any good. I am not going to allow myself to be controlled by my past or others opinions. Unfortunately, I am my biggest critic. So from now onwards I am going to avoid all the unnecessary negative self talk. I am going to look in the mirror and repeat everyday before going to sleep…… I LOVE YOU. It’s time I start loving myself.

I came across few lines by Joybell C and would like to share it with all of you.

“The only person who can pull me down is myself and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore. You may be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment you use to criticize yourself is a moment of your life wasted and thrown away. “

It took me a lot of time to understand that there is nothing You cannot achieve if you believe in yourself. Do you agree that believing in yourself increases your potentiality? Do you truly love yourself?