Tag: Women

Who Gets to Define Tamil Culture?

Who Gets to Define Tamil Culture?

By: Pallavi S. If you’d asked me that question a few years ago I wouldn’t have known how to answer. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot since the controversy with the Jodi magazine cover. I’ve been thinking about it a lot for what […]

All Women

All Women

All Women By: Reenita V. With the current state of America, people here in Canada have been rallying against some of the disturbing realities of current political views and showing empathy and solidarity for our fellow North American cousins. We are even removing our dark […]

I Love Social Media… Kinda.

I Love Social Media… Kinda.

By: Reenita V.

I love social media. It’s an easy accessible way for me to connect with my loved ones who are scattered world-wide. It is also a great tool to share information, learn, communicate and of course, indulge in videos and pictures of adorable animals doing adorable things. But lately, social media has become a tunnel of hate and negativity. The occasional beach vacation picture pops up in my newsfeed but is surrounded by articles of hate, death, and racism. It is not that these events are new; it’s just now they are apparent to the dominant culture and now the hot, trending thing to discuss. We should discuss and create conversations; this is how we can learn and grow as a society, but we need to be aware of our impact. But how can we do that when it seems that the world is literally falling apart.

First, the age of social media has created a platform for anyone to share and say what they want whenever they want too. If you share an opinion, be prepared for a counter-argument to your thoughts. You do not need to be a master debater but be prepared for criticism. How you navigate that criticism is your choice and you have the right to remove a friend, debate or ignore – it is your social media outlet. But playing the social media game means that opinions are coming, so be prepared and create a plan on how to navigate thoughts or ideas that you may not agree with. It will happen.

When sharing articles, check your sources! If you are sharing an article that you think will create an impact and is important, read it and find out if what you’re sharing is real. Headlines are meant to grab your attention but there is an entire body of work that may misarticulate what you are actually trying to share. Remember, anyone can do anything on the internet so check who wrote or posted what you are sharing. Even “credible” media outlets don’t always get the story right so it’s important to know what you are sharing and that the words and images actually represent your thoughts. It’s understandable that not everyone has the time to sit and read everything but why share if what you are sharing is inaccurate or falsely represents you.

Be compassionate and aware of what you share. Everyone is unique and created from different experiences which mean people are affected in different ways. If you choose to share an article to all your friends, that is your prerogative. But be aware that you may trigger someone. Perhaps be kind and make it known that what you are sharing might evoke pain or trigger trauma. We have become so desensitized to violence and the imagery and words that come along are not easy for everyone to live with. Years ago, I read an article which had a warning about violence but I read it anyways and to this day I cannot speak about what I read and remembering what I read makes me sick. I made that choice though. We live in a world where sticks and stones are not the only things that will now hurt us.

Lastly, and perhaps a really important social media shield, get off social media. Have dinner with friends, go for a walk with your partner just power down and go talk. Take the conversations that we are typing out and have an actual face-to-face conversation. Find love and compassion in sharing spaces with a loved one or strangers. Create positive human interactions and make time to exchange energy that doesn’t need to be transmitted via the inter-webs. The world, on the internet or real life, is a mess but it’s our mess to address and we cannot do that by just cycling hatred and arguments while hiding behind a computer.

WOC Dating

WOC Dating

By: Kali Dayn The last time I slept with a white man was a long time ago. At that time, he made the classic off-handed remarks about me being “his brown beauty”, a “Bollywood goddess”, “we should try the kama sutra”, “you’re so wild, like […]

Repeat Offender

Repeat Offender

By: Kali Dayn It comes back again and again – a repeat offender When you’re least expecting it and you have it the most together The emptiness fills you – pushing out the memories of love and the warm feelings that form the foundation of […]

Men, We Need You

Men, We Need You

BY: Reenita V

This one is not for the ladies. This one is written for the men… the men that we love and the men that love us. We ask that you to honor your love for us by helping to create a world where we can live without fear. We want you to protect us, not with a sword and shield but by looking inside yourself and emotionally fighting harder to be the kind of soldiers we need. We want you to address your misogyny and we want you to do it now.

To be misogynistic is to dislike us, to not see us as equals, to think we simply require you because we are not anything without a man. You might not even know that you are helping with the continuation of a misogynistic, sexiest world because the patriarchy is so ingrained our society. We do not need to learn these behaviours; they are simply a way of living. It might be hard to rip apart and learn everything that determines your manhood. Women are supposed to do this all the time; when we go from being a carefree child, to the savoury delectable of a man’s desire, growing and trying to find balance between beauty and brains, to being a mother, a lover, a wife. If feeble women can make these adjustments and learn and unlearn, then we know you men can do it too, probably better than we can.

Why do you need to understand that misogyny? The world we live in tell us that are not good enough but she can learn otherwise. Firstly, we need to understand that we are powerful, important, gifted and an equal and we need to learn that from you. In this patriarchal world, the dominant forces will tell us, show us, make us feel less than. Do you want to ignite the power within us, or do you simply want to take her out like the rest? We always need to know that you are our cheerleader and empathize that our fight is going to be harder, but we can fight and you know we will win.

How does one unpack and unlearn misogyny and sexism? It won’t be easy; you will have to confront the very gross realizations as to who you are and what you understand about being a man with a woman. While there is a mass amount of literature out there, which I do suggest you read (Bell Hooks Patriarchy is a fabulous start) I ask that you do some reflecting on how you engage with women. Ask yourself how you genuinely feel about women, perhaps the women who you are surrounded by daily. Do you see women on the street and whistle, cat call, sexualize her by staring at her body? Just remember that that women, isn’t just a stranger anymore, she is an individual who deserves respect and she always has been. But, when it comes to misogynistic, sexist ways, this stranger is actually just a stranger and she holds no real value to you except to be your object of gratification. Well, we need to start somewhere so let’s use sexism to understand sexism. Your loved one is not your property, you don’t own her and she is her own person; however, you need to understand the stranger as the reflection to your loved one, then let’s. That stranger isn’t your daughter, mother, wife, cousin, and friend and yeah, she might hold some of these relationships with others but that doesn’t really affect you. Well how about this, your loved one is someone else’s stranger. Let’s get deep, uncomfortable and honest, your actions towards this stranger or women you interact with is a reflection on you and how you really understand and view women.

If there was ever a time when we needed you most, it is now. We need you to dig deep and unlearn how you can make a real impact in our lives by taking out misogyny.

Incomplete

Incomplete

By: Reenita V Have you ever had an exciting moment in life where you have accomplished a huge goal but had this gut wrenching feeling that there is a tiny piece missing because you do not have a romantic partner to share in these accomplishments […]

Nipping Health Issues In The Bud!

Nipping Health Issues In The Bud!

By: Shriya H   I was sitting at my desk at ASAAP when I got the call from the walk-in clinic letting me know my results had arrived. Outwardly, I think I appeared calm and controlled as I slowly moved to a more private area […]

I’m Selfish and I Know It

I’m Selfish and I Know It

By: Reenita V

Selfishness has a negative connotation attached to it and it’s time we sever that tie and really indulge in all things you. Selfishness means doing something just for you and for a brief moment, minute, hour or day just thinking about your needs. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Selfishness means not putting others needs before your own and guess what? It is a fantastic way to put yourself first and may even create a healthier way of thinking of your needs.

Now, putting yourself first doesn’t mean being mean rebelling against everything I mean we still need to feed the kids, hold open a door when you’re in a rush or share a meal with a loved one who may not be your favourite. But have you ever had that fleeting moment where you were asked to do something and there was that 2 seconds where your brain yelled “NO, we don’t want to do this” – that is the feeling we need to connect with more. Let’s analyze why you did that thing you really didn’t want to. First, did we follow through with an act because we felt obligated to do that? Did we do something because it was just expected of us? Did we do something because society and this patriarchal ideology created this world where women are supposed act and be a certain way? Stop that! We need to stop living by the rules of others and govern ourselves, our bodies, or brains, our spirits. We need to true to ourselves, our wants and needs.You may think this sounds a lot like self-care, doesn’t it? Self-care is the act where we carve our time into our daily lives to take care of ourselves, to ground ourselves to be able to get back to the real world. But what if giving into our own needs just became a regular part of life? What if we stopped believing that we have to work hard and reap the reward by treating ourselves to a spa day? What if we just lived the way we wanted to?

It sounds simple and it is easier said than done but we deserve it, all day, every day. If you still doubt the ‘be selfish’ movement, let me create an image for you. Imagine you are a tree (I promise I have a point) imagine your acts of indulging in your needs allows your roots to dig deep in the ground, you become sturdy, healthy, strong. If you neglect the fundamentals of your being by not allowing your roots to dig deep and ground you, you will feel the effects of not taking care of yourself. Even if you carve out a little time with self-care, a tree with faulty roots may fall.

As South Asian women, we are born into a world of responsibility and roles. There are expectations and standards that you may feel compelled to live up to. We do not need permission to live by our own rules, rebel, confirm – we live in a world where we can cultivate our own ideas of what it means to exist and what we want to say yes or no too.
It’s time we learn that not doing something for others is OK or that maybe doing something for another is your connection to your inner selfish goddess. Either outcome, it’s absolutely fantastic to put your wants and needs before another and live to your expectations.

Don’t tumble, be selfish!

In This Season: Sex Positivity

In This Season: Sex Positivity

By: Reenita V Have you heard? Sex positivity is so in right now and it’s a trend that is going to stick around. But what is? What does it go with? How do you wear it? Well, everything you need to know to start learning […]