Matter of Opinion

A blog about thoughts, fear, happiness, regret, ambition, anger and all the emotions you could think of.

Archive for the tag “indian women”

Feminism or Click-bait?

I follow Facebook trends all the time. Not because I like it, well it is kind of my job. When you start working in the field of social media you sign an unsaid pact that requires you to follow social media trends. I have been noticing something from past few weeks or rather a month or so. There is a certain pattern in the kind of content that is doing rounds on Facebook these days? Have you noticed? For someone who has been into social media for a while do not take long to realize what kind of content has been working lately. If you have not noticed, you will when I tell you this. Women. Feminism. Anything to do with Females.

What are content makers doing these days? There seems to be a formula here. Pick a girl. Pick a situation. In the situation the girl was either very brave, or was molested, or was very sad or was sharing some experience from her life. Voila! The story is viral. I think I should get paid for giving this away but never mind.

Same thing has been happening from a past few days. I open Facebook and there are dozens of such articles. While I write this blog, I am going to pick examples LIVE!

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You get the point right? Do you think these stories do better than articles about the Policemen who died saving some people, or the Army who always live in terror of dying on the border? Maybe if the Army is connected to women or a woman soldier they will get more attention.

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See what I mean? Moreover, dead people will not do any good for your feel good content that your manager has asked you to make. We want more eyeballs and clicks and likes than genuine consideration. For that we need women doing something or the other. She could be the accused or the victim.

Nana Patekar has declared that he will pay poor farmer’s loans and that they should call him instead of committing suicide.

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I would urge you to look at the likes on this post and posts mentioned earlier in this blog. There is news that Rupee will be first emerging market currency to bounce back from the slowdown. We have serious health concerns amongst the youth in India but no one wants to talk about that.

Sexual harassment has always been a problem in India. Ironically and sadly, media is more obsessed with this issue than the police and authorities dealing with crime. Media should be more sympathetic and responsible about what they put in public. Talking about a sexual harassment incident about a person (woman, man or child) in public can hurt their sentiments as much as the act itself. It is a different story if they want to take the help of media to ask for justice. Here, no justice is happening. Every kind of media, even social media is obsessed with such stories and the details. Do not get me wrong. I feel bad for women who have to face some of the most heinous crimes by strangers and known people. #Hashtaging will never give justice. It might humiliate the victim further. It is just another Click-bait.

So where are we headed with Social activism? Online petitions, Hashtags, Facebook pages, you name it. Our generation just want to make a difference and that too quick. We want to contribute no matter whose problem it is. But is all of this helping? I know a few infrastructure related problems that were solved by signing online petition but we are talking about human life. How many rapists have been severely punished till date? Compared to kind of candle rallies and social media campaigns, the result has been nothing. All this is great but should we not face the reality already? Our assertiveness is considered as joke by people who actually have the power of making all the difference.

Have you watched the movie ‘Nayak’? Do you remember what Amrish Puri as a politician says about a mob of people that creates a riot in the city? He says, ‘Let people fight, let the buses burn. They will make noise, fight and will calm down on their own’. Don’t you think this is exactly what happens to all our online effort that we put? The defeat of this medium is that no one takes it seriously. There was a time when no one knew what social media was. So they did not take it seriously. Now they know what the crowd talks about and how we react to each and everything. Now, they take us granted.

The tragedy of Social Media today is that we easily forget people who have died. We easily forget people who have actually made a difference in the society. A like, a share is all we have to give to these people. What we remember is how a woman was ill-treated, how a girl was not allowed to go to school, how a woman was looked down upon because of her clothes. Evidence of the fact that people are interested in these topics is that, such articles keep circulating and appearing on your Newsfeed, repeatedly.

For once, give more importance to real news. How many articles do you see on ‘filing your taxes’ on social media? The last date is 31st August. Do you know what forms are for what purpose? I had no clue whatsoever. No one seems to be writing or reading content based on that. People in this business of helping file returns have to take help of ‘Ads’ to reach out to people and educate them. Don’t fall prey to such feminist, racist, eye-ball grabbing content. Their intention is just that. There is a content manager / social media manager asking them to make such content. It doesn’t mean it is more important than news of someone’s achievement or death or important instructions.

Love Marriage vs Arranged Marriage – Indian Women’s Dilemma

This tug of war has been in India for ages. Thanks to Bollywood movies of 80s and 90s there has been some change in people’s mindset. The typical story of a girl and a boy falling in love and parents’ refusal due to age old hostility between two families or the economical background or just because it is a love marriage. Bollywood movies have made Indians more acceptable of marriage outside caste as well.

Yet, today every girl who is of ‘marriageable age’ has this question. Love marriage or Arranged marriage?

I am a working woman in her mid 20s and I have a bunch of single lady friends about the same age currently pondering upon the same thing. Some who already are in love know what they want but they fear to tell their parents about it. Some are really hassled thinking what would be a good choice. There is no real data here. It is about human emotions, feelings and willing to compromise and adjust with their partners. So what do women really choose? And on what basis? Also, there is this pressure when people say “When are going to get married?” It doesn’t leave you with enough time to think. You are managing your life in a city and there is constant buzz in your house about when is this girl going to settle. The thing is, women don’t really have a choice sometimes.

How much ever you want to avoid the marriage topic it will come back. And every time with added frustration. Worse is a situation where, ‘When are you getting married?” actually means, “Do you want a love marriage or arranged?” How does one decide? Love just happens, no? You don’t decide to fall in love. And if you do want a love marriage, you have someone in mind, they think you are just too young to decide who want to spend the rest of your life with. What happened to democracy? Hehehe.. That’s too much. But girls will agree with me.

Let’s see some facts- Although you do not fall in love based on data let us see some figures around arranged marriage that UNICEF had published some time ago.

Global divorce rate for arranged  marriage – 6%

Divorce rate in India – 1.1%

Am I trying to say that arranged marriage works? Am I trying to say that a match found for you by your parents can’t be wrong? Not really. But I am also not saying that all arranged marriages are forced. A lot of them are just meant to be. They find love after marriage or maybe in between their engagement and marriage. I am also not saying that love marriages don’t work. Two people who have decided to love each other, support each other can live happily together without any hassles.

The Big Question! The question still remains. Love or Arranged? Have anyone of you been able to answer this with conviction? Let me try and attempt to justify my choice here. I would prefer an arranged marriage. Why not? As an Indian woman, I have grown up with values and discipline that puts this thing in our psyche that if you are falling in love, you are breaking the rules. Culturally, I would not be accepted if I choose a path that is not meant to take. Does that mean I will blindly walk on the path I am pushed on? No.

Today, even in arranged marriages, women have a right to say no. All that the parents are expecting is that we see guys whose background they have already checked. For nothing but security. I do not have to marry the first guy who walks in with a party hat. You can have a balance of both, emotional needs and security. Indian women today have a choice of refusing the prospects on any grounds. So boys, beware!

I know a couple of friends who are rejecting guys for things like he doesn’t have a car, he is not settled in US, he is too tall, too short, too fair, too dark etc etc.  and god knows what all. It might sound bizarre. No one is perfect right? But since women these days are so qualified that they can’t compromise on somethings.

All I am trying to say here is. You can marry the first or hundred and first person you meet. Your parents are and will be worried about you. They might expect a lot of things from you as a grown up but you are their child, for life. If they are letting you choose from whatever prospect list they have, why not give it a try? You might just fall in love with someone there. As for people already in love, girls I am with you too! After all, the choice is ours.

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