Understanding Feminism : A Tale of Body Hair

I love looking at girls who surf. I dig the way they ride the waves and the way they are so confident. However, recently the same activity brought me face to face with something that plagues the internet forums. A picture of a woman with underarm hair was posted in a Facebook group with the simple question – “Can you tell what’s wrong with her?”
Apparently most guys caught on immediately and the post became a laugh riot. I was the one sitting clueless in the corner guessing other things. I caught on quick too, and then I felt bad. I felt bad because it was easy for me to notice too, even though I didn’t consider it wrong.

The thing remains that we often treat feminism as an outside force, something that deals with issues that exist outside our personal spheres and seldom if ever, deals with something related to us. However, patriarchy is glaringly present in our everyday life. Feminism might or might not be something of interest to you but, in this world, it is completely relevant.

The image of women that propagated by the media is a very narrow one. Few companies if any, provide a positive body image for the women. There is this view among people that women are supposed to live by some standards of beauty in order to seem acceptable in society. Don’t get me wrong, I do not wish to change your views about what you find beautiful or not, you have every right to find something or someone more beautiful than the other. However, you do not have the right to call a woman wrong if she does not conform to the extremely oppressive standards that you have created in your mind.
The phrase “Real woman” as it is used in social sites is pretty much the worst thing ever. Your womanhood is not defined by your body hair, your body type, your weight, your outlook, or anything. You are a REAL woman as long as you identify as one.

Women are more than what they look. Some may not like shaving, some might like it, some may hate doing make up while, some might take pleasure in it. These things happen. And truly, they are good. However, shaming them for their own life choices and for decisions they take for their OWN body is somehow wrong.

Perhaps the first lesson would be to accept that everything a woman does is not meant for others…

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Looking Back at Human Emotions

The problem with history and news is, it is very difficult to imagine it from your comfortable seat in a sofa. It is very difficult to imagine hatred when you have grown up surrounded by love. And even though I might say that love does not exist in this universe, it surely does, as does hope. We have been brought up with these two feeling embedded deep into our soul, and realism scares us, no matter how accurately it is told. We turn our eyes away from the reality so that for once we could find hope that rests in our own souls, and I do not deny that I myself would like to do that. Reality is something that either makes us angry or forces us to give up on humanity altogether. While reading “Persepolis” I felt that I was the former rather than the latter, and I was proud of it.

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Marijane Satrappi is a person born in Iran. A child who saw “Islamic Revolution” with her own eyes and understood war. She creates a vision of how the country changed with times and how strict the rules become, she reflects on human nature and philosophy never forgetting to bring a smile to our faces.
The artwork in the book appeals because of it’s simplicity. Though, am not a fan of simple artworks in most of the comic books I read, in this book it works. Maybe, because these images showcase the life much more easily that some complex artwork would, or perhaps because they make the story much more acceptable, much less painful.
Yet, the story makes you cry, it draws out tears when you least expect. This is a showcase of human tragedy and behaviour. When it goes on, it goes on seamlessly, even though the life of war, is mixed up with the author’s personal life. All of it making a sort of montage. I guess telling your life’s story is never easy but, within the few pages of the book, it comes alive and dances in your eyes.

Marijane as a character is adorable, maybe because even after being a face of human tragedy, at her heart lies a very human nature. We often forget that human nature is not altered by the works of terrible tragedies and in our heart, relationships and smaller things in life do matter. Marijane changes that, she showcases both worlds and how she was stuck between. She showcases how people embraced the war and death as sacrifices and not losses.

She showcases that at the end, humanity lives on hope. That even though the world often runs and tells us to stop and take notice, sometimes it is easier to let go. She makes a case for both kinds of people, the people who go with the flow, and the people who stand against it. She has lived both spheres of course and she shows that none is better than the other.

  • Favourite Character – NMarijane’s father
  • Rating – 4.5/5

Let us ban books from now on

No seriously, let us ban books. Let us go out and ban every book we see because people are gullible aren’t they? They must be gullible enough to be torn apart by any form of text. Wow! People misunderstand us, we aren’t stopping freedom of speech, we are helping them in making their decisions. They are too stupid to make that decision for themselves. Well, that is the standard message ain’t it? In any country in the world we go to, people who assume themselves as leaders of men, step on the others and say “YOU SHOULD NOT READ THAT BOOK” because obviously they are much more learned than us and they have an authority to decide what we do and don’t read. They are smarter, more intelligent. They are our masters. Anything that doesn’t suit them, must not suit anybody that are “beneath” them and hence, must be removed.

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In India following a class action suite against the book “The Hindus : An Alternative History” by Wendy Doniger, the book was pulled out of stores by Penguin. The outrage was huge and people said that it portrayed Hinduism in a very bad light. Well, I would admit that I have not read the book (as of yet) and I do not get the rage at all. My problem is with the banning itself.

Why the hell would you ban a book? I have read several books that are disgusting for me, that effect my morality and go against my normal thoughts. They haven’t actually influenced me to go out and torch people’s homes because they weren’t co-herent with my thought processes. I do not think that reader’s are children. people who would read this book would at least have some basic knowledge about Hinduism, a faith that they could rely on.

Are you implying that your God, an immortal, an infinite being is so petty as to be affected by the slander of a mortal woman? Are you implying that your faith is built upon such shaky foundation that a few words would corrode it?

Do not be that person.

India has a long history of this. Taslima Nasrin, M.F. Hussain. Children of our own soil are thrown away from home because we do not appreciate their creative vision.

Who are we getting angry against and for what? I do not believe that the foundation of our religion is so shaky as to warrant banning of books because they cause slander to our Gods. People need to view books in a critical eye. And people need to be treated with more respect. Respect people’s intelligence and intellect and above all respect an author who has viewed things critically.

We need critical thinkers, and not people who would ban books just because they could not accept another person’s view.