Monthly Archives: July 2011
Please join me in welcoming XX Factor‘s first guest-contributor. He’s a friend who often has an interesting male perspective to offer on the posts. Meet The Single Married Man and here’s his first post:
I still don’t know the answer to that question, though I suspect its got to do with expectations.
We don’t talk of expectations or values when we are flush with the glow of infatuation. However expectations are what make/ruin a relationship – and they have to be communicated in advance.
A lot of the expectations can be “value” or “condition” based – things like “I want a husband who keeps a steady job and buys a house for me by the time we are 30” – if you can’t meet that, buddy, you’re doomed.
I have been married for 11 years – and I am going through a divorce now…Have seen my behavior – scrutinized it – so here are the top tips for dealing with a married man going through divorce
1. He will hit on anything in skirts/salwar kameez/jeans – As someone who’s been married the guy will try to see if he’s still “got his game” – so he’ll try out all the old lines on all the single/separated women
2. If you’re a married woman don’t tell him about your bad marriage – Divorcing guys hone into married women going through a bad patch. He’ll think you are “fair game” without the baggage
3. What had attracted her to you is the bone of contention – Remember what she found adorable about you – your forgetfulness – your laid back attitude , she will hate you for it. And other women would like you for it. Don’t fall for it.
4. He’ll be teary eyed and emotional – We saw Sanjeev Kumar in “Pati Patni aur Woh” – learn the lesson
5. If you’re single – and are attracted to grey hair – deep voice , stay away
In time the married guy will go through a divorce and be single again. Until that happens, legally – give him a wide berth.
– The Single Married Man
- Soul Searching After Divorce (divorcedazed.wordpress.com)
- The Happy Divorce (psychologytoday.com)
- I have a theory. You know how the divorce rate in the US sucks… (skillzmcfly.tumblr.com)
Another month has run through and we’re into the second half of the year. It’ll be festival season in Mumbai very soon and the partying/celebrations will carry on right up to new year. I’m going to have something to say about all of those, of course (the female perspective on every thing!!). But in the meantime, here’s some link-love to keep you reading:
- ‘Decoding Dating Profiles Part II: More Guys You Want To Avoid‘: You can never have too many of these, can you? Lists I mean, not avoidable guys! (via BettyConfidential)
- ‘The Best Kind Of Guy Friend‘: How many of us are this lucky, ladies? (via Yahoo! Real Beauty)
- ‘Why do men Email porn clips to friends?’: A funny analysis of some of the useless things that men do. (via Emandlo)
- In this day & age of limitless social interactions, are we setting ourselves up to relationship predators?: ‘Indian Relationships: A State Of Anarchy‘ (via Yahoo!Real Beauty)
- ‘Top 5 Things Not To Say To A Woman Over 30‘: I know wayyy too many people who need to read this article. (via AskMen)
- ‘The Faceless Hand In The Crowd‘: Who says this is a safe city for women? (via Yahoo!Real Beauty)
- ‘Sweaty Apples, Dance Cards & Dainty Gloves-Dating Rituals From Days Of Yore‘: Ewww, sweaty apples, what? (via TheFrisky)
Call it eve-teasing, call it street harassment or just talk about SlutWalk. I’m adding my voice to this cry.
I live in Mumbai, famed for the crowds, the fast pace of life…and how safe it is for women. I am thankful for it. The city I call home, gives me the safest possible space to live with some degree of freedom. I have stayed in Delhi and in Chennai and I know the horrors of eve-teasing in both these places. Mumbai is too crowded and too busy for these. I can and do travel alone, at most times of the day (and night). I use public transport and don’t require to be dropped home most of the time. In a lot of ways, I wonder if what I have to say is significant considering the much worse experiences that women face in other cities.
What I have to say is this: There is nothing called an absolutely safe place for a woman.
I’m not being paranoid or overly feminist. I have grown up in safe Mumbai and I can testify to the harassment that this ‘safe city’ metes out to its female population. I am not going to talk about the rising rape statistics or the recent surge in horror cases, each more gruesome than the last.. I am going to talk about small ways that a woman is made to feel cheap and small, every day…every single, damned day. Harassment happens in Mumbai, just like in every other part of the world. And it has no face. Like everything else, it is swallowed up in the teeming masses of this city.
Mumbai’s train travellers have a code of conduct of their own. There are rules to get in, to positioning your bags (and yourself) and getting down. When the train arrives at the station, the crowds draw close to the track, getting ready for the run. And as the train nears, the tension is palpable. One section of the crowd moves back a good two feet from the train. Those waiting to enter the ladies’ compartment. It just is not safe to stand within arm’s length of the train. Of the crowds hanging out of the train, hands reach out to grab, to slap, to grope…to just touch any woman. And there’s no way of knowing who did it. There is a reason the women are willing to forsake the coveted spot close to the entrance of the train.
When I walk down the road, virtually unconsciously I assume a certain posture. My bag is held in front of me to cushion those blows. There are times I wish I could wear some kind of armour with daggers lined down the front to stab those big, hard bodies that deliberately collide into mine when I’m walking. My elbows point out to keep those shoulders from brushing mine and I know I look menacing and angry. It could be coincidence but there is the fact that my softer, gentler looking friends frequently get prodded and groped up in these same situations.
Auto-rickshaw drivers amuse themselves at signals by staring into passanger seats of the autos next to them, cruising alongside never taking their eyes off and on occasion singing along. I particularly detest auto-rickshaws that have a mirror above the driver’s head and pointed to the passenger. I’ve taken to glaring into that mirror to ensure the driver keeps his eyes to himself (and on the road, hopefully) because it is almost a given that the mirror was put there for a reason. It doesn’t always work.
Incidently the ‘safety’ of this city does not take into consideration the starers, the whistlers and the singers. Harassment happens with hands, elbows AND with the eyes. I can’t begin to explain how it feels to be stripped by a total stranger. Does it matter whether he actually tears my clothes off in public, or does it in his mind and makes it very clear what he’s thinking? The fact is that he does it with utmost DISRESPECT, with no fear of being pulled up. He is willing to demean me mentally and he would, physically too, if he had a chance. Staring is rude, we are all taught as kids. Why? Because it makes people uncomfortable. This is someone who doesn’t give a damn about making me uncomfortable and what’s more….he wants to watch me squirm.
Do I deserve to feel bad?
To be embarassed about my gender?
To downplay my appearance?
To move furtively and quickly when I am alone?
I used to get my salwar-kameezes tailored by a popular darzi close to my colony. At one fitting, his young assistant groped me all over, on the pretext of getting my measurements. I had been seeing this guy at the shop for a couple of years and he had measured me before. I didn’t say anything. I tried to forget the episode and hoped it wouldn’t happen again. It did. And I stopped going to him.
I wouldn’t call it street harassment. Because it doesn’t stop at the street. It follows me into train compartments, where the men in the bogey adjoining mine leer through the grill and whistle. There is a reason I don’t stand next to the grill…too many fingers and eyes, too close for comfort. It follows me out onto the roads, where truck drivers speed up their vehicles and brush by me, making me jump, when I try to cross the road. It shadows me in the guise of the bus conductor who hands out tickets to the people behind me, each time ‘inadvertently’ brushing my breasts. It sneaks up to me when the security guard who lets me into the office leans over my shoulder to flash the card at the door and tries to look down my neckline. It is all around me all day with people whose eyes stay fixed to a spot about 3 inches below my chin….they are canteen boys, watchmen, courier boys and yes…even friends and colleagues.
I don’t often tell my family about these things. They would tell me to come back earlier from work, not go out at night, not wear certain clothes, not talk and laugh too loudly, not attract attention…..for all purposes be demure, unobstrusive and as hidden away as possible. I know they worry. Which is why I keep my silence with them and find ways to deal with it myself. Its like trying to fight a school of piranha fish that are hidden underneath the depths. I don’t know where the next blow will come from. I don’t know whether it will be a blow or yet another tiny bit of my dignity being shredded away. I haven’t the energy to slap every hand that gropes, silence every lewd comment and out-stare every humiliating look. I try and avoid getting too close to the source. There is a reason I look angry most of the time.
** This post was featured on BlogAdda’s Spicy Picks, July 16, ’11.