To-be Bride

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Oh, darling, don’t you look stunning? Maybe just cover up your cleavage a little You’re going to be someone’s honour and pride, so, don’t wear lipstick so bright   Let’s get you some haldi, make you fair and lovely just like her, without the burns, oh, but I’m so sure, she only had an accident while cooking   Such a brilliant child, with your PhD, be careful not to flaunt it He may not like feeling inferior to his new wife He’s the man of the house, you see?   Ah, yes, of course you can work! If your in-laws […]

Putting things in perspective

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“Why are you so serious about this shit?” they often ask me. Do you really want to know why I get agitated when I hear about a clear violation of women’s rights? You want to know why I proudly call myself a feminist and fume when someone states everyone is equal in 2016?   Maybe because right after I was born, some family friend remarked to my dad that he would have drowned himself in alcohol if he had a girl child. I hadn’t even lived a few days before someone thought I, or someone who shared the same physiological […]

My shoulders distract you?

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Today we welcomed – and also scoffed at, felt pity and low-key judged – the first year students into college. As is tradition, the most important clubs and committees in the college are required to give a short presentation to the students about…well, basically we just brag in hopes of getting members and volunteers. Some of you may know this, but for the one very loyal reader from the Philippines and other newbies (I appreciate you) I must clarify things before I continue. I am part of the core committee for the Gender Issues Cell, which deals with any and […]

Hello again, world

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It’s high time I get off the Zambia roller coaster and face life again. Because I am now in my third (and last) year of under graduation, and I have decisions to make. What am I going to study after this? Where am I going to study after this? Trust me, the lectures, the assignments, the tests and the practicals and the vivas leave little time for me to sit down and think. Not to mention, the world seems drastically different now than when I left. I took the liberty to not be super up to date with global news […]

#DearDaddy

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There is a new video that everyone is talking about. #DearDaddy, it goes. Following the trend of making everything a hashtag, this video features an unborn girl talking to her father. She talks about how this world is not safe for girls, and their biggest perpetrators are men they know. Does it feel patriarchal in the first go? Yes. After all, the father is supposed to protect the daughter. But it is the underlying message that’s important. That everyday jokes and comments are what fuel violence against women, and they need to be targeted. It’s the call for action, however […]

You got friend-zoned? You deserve it

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I was scrolling across my facebook because I was bored (duh) and had already scrolled through twitter about eight times. Scrolling through selfies posted incessantly and passive-aggressive status updates, I saw an article. How to get out of the friend-zone, it said. Something in me flipped, and I logged into WordPress, and here comes yet another rant. Brace yourselves, dear readers. This is not going to be considerate of your feelings. Confession time, dear boys. Friend-zone exists. It’s that super-secret place hidden in a parallel universe, which can be accessed only by passing through a black hole in the middle of […]

Appreciating History

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When I was little, I detested studying history. Maybe it was about remembering the years and the timelines of all the emperors and kings, or maybe it was about the names of all the Greek philosophers I could never fathom. I didn’t find it interesting or necessary to study what happened in the past. I mean, who cared how the French Revolution happened? We got our ideas of liberty, fraternity and equality, which was more than enough for me. But then I realised, history isn’t that simple. You see, all my life I was taught that history can be divided […]

My brother tied me rakhi – and vice versa

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Yesterday, on the 28th of August, Saturday, was the festival of Raksha Bandhan. For people who aren’t acquainted with it, Raksha Bandhan literally translates into ‘bond of protection’. On this day, every sister ties her brother a rakhi – an overhyped and overpriced decorated piece of thread – and the brother, in turn, vows to protect his sister. Yes, doesn’t it ooze of sexism? Raksha Bandhan is perhaps the most patriarchal of all celebrations we have, where in the brother is supposed to provide and protect his sister(s) because he is the man of the family. It cements gender roles […]

What it means to be a girl in India

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So recently, I met this lady at the station. It was barely 6 am on a Tuesday morning, so I couldn’t be grumpier. Yes, I had a 7 am lecture and I did not look forward to making notes on ethics of psychological research. I stood there on the platform, looking at the indicator. Six more minutes until the train arrived. Great. There was this lady sitting on a bench, with a small little baby in her arms, fast asleep. Her husband was at a distance and he was in his own merry world. I couldn’t help but notice her […]