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    Anindita SenguptaSOME OF YOU have asked how you can help in the campaign against the attacks on women in Mangalore and Bangalore. Running a poster campaign in your neighborhood, college or office is a quick and easy way.  Here are some posters I’ve received from different organizations. Click on the download link to get a large-size version which you can print out. Make copies and put them up wherever you can. Continue reading

    What Lies Beneath?

    IT’S BEEN AMUSING to see the uproar around the Pink Chaddi Campaign over the last few days, with some of the ‘finest journalistic minds in the country’ pitching in with their opinions. This piece, ironically called ‘What Lies Beneath’, by Sagarika Ghose in Hindustan Times was particularly baffling, shallow as a frying pan and about as full of noise. I wish one could ignore such vapidity, but the piece was also disturbing at many levels. Some of us sent a rejoinder to HT. Unsurprisingly, they neither acknowledged it, nor responded.  Continue reading

    The Power of Pink Chaddis

    IT’S COOL. It’s cheeky. It’s clever. I’m talking about the Pink Chaddi Campaign. Women all over the country are gathering pink chaddis and sending them to Muthalik as a Valentine’s Day present. The plan is to strike disgust in the teensy little non-heart of our chief moral guardian — and to loudly assert the fact that the bogeymen of morality, dignity, chastity etc cannot be used to take our freedom away. Gifting panties may seem like a softer option than dung bombing his house but it makes a strong statement on our collective lack of ‘shame’, the one quality he’s trying so desperately to instill in us. Continue reading

    May You Be The Mother Of A Hundred Sons

    ApuBACK FROM THE DIWALI break, I was chatting with the elderly lady who comes to sweep our street everyday. Though she is employed by the municipal corporation, the wages are paltry so residents usually help her with small tips in cash or kind. As I handed over her Diwali tip and a small box of sweets, she blessed me saying, “May you have male children year after year!” Quite apart from the fact that overburdened India doesn’t need anybody producing children year after year, what is with this obsession with the male child, that simply refuses to go away? Continue reading

    Menstruating Goddesses

    Meena KandasamyWHEN IT WAS announced recently that the first batch of non-Brahmin students were being ordained for priesthood in Tamil Nadu, there was great reason to cheer and celebrate that priesthood has been “officially” thrown open to all the castes and that Brahmin exclusivity was set to break (at least theoretically). But what is disappointing is that all women are denied this right and there is no talk in Tamil Nadu of any legislation, anywhere in the near future, to grant them the right to officiate as priests. Continue reading

    Childbirth and Choices

    WHILE THE FEMINIST movement may have focused more on the right to abortion than other reproductive rights, there is a growing acknowledgment in the US and elsewhere that women’s right to safe, natural childbirth is being severely threatened by the imposition of the medical model. In the medical system, pregnant women are treated as ‘sick’ and childbirth as a dangerous event deserving of any and all intervention designed to make the process as ‘safe’ as possible. A spate of blogs and books written by moms, midwives and other reproductive health advocates indicates that women aren’t taking this lying down. Continue reading

    Beyond Pro-Life and Pro-Choice: Abortion in India

    NOT ALL OF US may agree on whether or not abortion is ethical. Some may feel that it is sinful, but a subjective choice nonetheless. Others may approve in theory but with a dose of “abortion guilt”, to use Naomi Wolf’s term. Still others, I realise, may condemn it altogether. But wherever we stand personally on this spectrum of opinion, the fact that abortion (legal or not) is inevitable in any society should be regarded as the foundation of one’s argument. And as feminists, a certain understanding that real women’s lives hang in the balance between ideologies is a must. Simply put, in the absence of safe and legal abortions, hundreds of thousands of women a year would die or suffer bodily harm as a result of unsafe, illegal ones. Continue reading

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