Casual Sexism & Me

” You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”

The popular proverb-
” You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”,
holds true for me.
I’m only beginning to realise how I’ve been oblivious to my surroundings.

I’ve usually prided myself in being a sensitive person who doesn’t mind calling out people who make insensitive comments, jokes and generalisations. I’ve worked hard to not be the source of exposure, for stereotypes and discrimination, to the people around me. And just as you would know, it has earned me multiple inaccurate judgements which I continue to carry. “She’s so uptight”, “Learn to take a joke at face value”, “Don’t be so overly sensitive”, “Such a joy-kill”, “Stop over analysing every word” and on and on and on.
It continues to feel hurtful being ghosted or ignored by the people close to me for no wrong doing on my part, but that’s life I guess.

Having have said this, in the recent time I was shown the mirror. And boy, was it harsh!
Contrary to my understanding of self, there is one person I realise I’ve failed. I’ve failed because I’ve run along with age old discrimination when it comes to this set of people in my life.
As a daughter I’ve been ignorant and supported sexism in my home, in ways I only now understand through my own experiences.

Casual Sexism is women eating after men at home
Women getting interrupted while speaking, told to lower their voice and watch their tone.
Not making space for us on the couch or at a table.
Us gravitating towards housework at all times.
It’s the little things too.

There is one thing to have gender roles and another to have relationship roles. I’m not sure if it is the right term, but by relationship roles I mean the roles imposed on a person based on the relationship status in the complex equation. To make it simpler, as a daughter I have different roles as compared to as a daughter-in-law. It is like a sub-categorisation of gender roles- a deeper pit.

It was through an instagram reel, where two successful celebrities were being interviewed and they shared how as a woman their family doesn’t mind interrupting and/or disturbing them in the workspace while their male counterparts were available at the same time.*
For a moment I was disappointed by their families and almost a second later I was ashamed. I was ashamed of perpetrating the same- and no I’m not being harsh on myself.

Every so often, I’ve assumed that my mother was always available for what I want without checking with what’s on her mind, while I’ve always enquired with my father if he wished to help me on his day off. Only today, when my mood, willingness or need isn’t acknowledged before assumptions are lathered upon, do I feel frustrated. It’s more like tasting the same medicine, and I understand it is taxing physically mentally and emotionally.

This isn’t me venting. This is me working on my block one aspect at a time, as I promised myself.
This isn’t me venting. This is me sharing what I feel and what I’ve understood, so we can help one another and realise that we are not alone.
This isn’t me venting. This is me putting myself out there and hoping that it helps someone learn from my mistakes and not having to learn it the hard way.

Casual sexism is real. It is so real that we do not even realise that we are the victims and perpetrators of it, all the same.

I’m currently being more aware of my assumptions and generalisations with others and trying to be more patient with the ones making the same mistake that I’ve made all these years. Everyone has a different learning curve and the best I can do is start a conversation to kick start the process. Because like I said at the beginning
” You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”

Working On My Block

Being a homemaker is tough.
And it’s tougher on my writing as I’ve created multiple blocks for myself.

Hello there!
How have you been?

No, like how have you really been?
How are you dealing with the big and the little things that are happening around you?
How are your comfortable relationships faring and have you made peace or progress with the strained ones?
And most importantly, how is your relationship with yourself at the moment?

Yeah.. I just asked you all a lot of questions. Questions that I wish we all ask our near and dear ones, every once in a while, only because we too would love to have an audience when answering the same.

In the last six months I’ve had a nagging feeling about being a part of a routine. Not that routines are bad, but I felt I was inside a box with an array of tasks that kept me occupied in a methodical manner.
I miss having new experiences and exposure through people and their experiences!

Being a homemaker is tough.

Hence, finding my current working tough only made thinking tougher and writing even more so. In retrospect, I’ve been having new experiences and learning new things. But thanks to the over glorification of being a working woman, I consciously marginalised myself. This marginalisation of my experiences and learnings created a block for me. A confidence block, that I didn’t have anything new to offer- same old same old. An identity block, that no one wants to hear a bored housewife’s rant. A mental block, that I was wasting my passion and years of education.

That’s three blocks. Three times the self-inflicted pressure to do better. And three times the frustration.
And oddly but not surprisingly enough, all the three blocks led to one. A Writer’s Block.

the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing

Dictionary definition of Writer’s Block

I’ve been struggling with dealing with my block in my own. Sometimes by bing self deprecating and sometimes by being in denial. It’s simple, isn’t it?
Okay, no kidding, it was a vicious circle of the two. Not Healthy.

To my fortune and luck, I’ve been blessed with some of the best audience who seem to believe in my skills and ability more than I do sometimes. And thank you, each one of you, for being there for me. I’ve had some of you come up to me make me realise something very important.

And that important thing is Perspective. Perspective is everything. And I seemed to have forgotten it. In my block, I forgot that even though I was going through something that is common with a lot of other people, I still have a perspective.
Whether working or stay-at-home, we all have a lot of things in common. We are all still juggling things, tasks and most importantly relationships. And I still do have a perspective that i can write about.

While my block isn’t un-blocked. But I have definitely found a new approach of dealing with it. Let’s hope it helps me make a progress and hope that along the way we create a space to help one another going through the same.

Until then, hold tight and keep that love in your heart alive.

My Kerosene Lantern & My Flies

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person that you are”
– Kurt Cobain

Have you ever seen a kerosene lantern?
Have you noticed it burn?
When you light the wick, it glows with a warmth so strong. The glow attracts hoards of flies and moths like kids around a candy cart; they crowd around, buzzing and dancing as if in an a-cappella. The flame moves like an enchantress at the heart of a party. As the enchantress puts in the hours, the gathering begins to dull down and the insects scatter. A dark blanket covers the enchantress that continues to glow, as if unaware of her lost grip.
The lantern is blamed for being a possessive lover who hides away her spirit, refusing to share her with the rest of the world. This love story is, however, one of melancholy.

So busy entertaining and enjoying, the enchantress never realises that the sooth that envelopes her is her own creation.


The lantern is my physical being. The glowing wick is my spirit. The flies, bees and moths are all the people that have come and gone; the ones that have been around.
What’s the sooth then, I wondered?
It is the only proof that stands witness to all the effort, burning and wear and tear that has gone into the process of being me.

Do I like who I am today? Of course I do!
Am I the perfect version of who I wish to be? Well I am the version that I wanted to be sometime ago. Now my plans have evolved.
I once read somewhere:

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; Remember what you now have was among the things you only hoped for.

-Epicurus

Why is it then that the work that was put in to make me- me, shows itself in the form of a layer that also sometimes suffocates my light?

I’ve always been a people person and yet it burns me out from time to time. For the first time I recently heard myself ask a friend, “Have you ever stopped to consider that maybe Social Media is just Media. There is more to my everyday than what I choose to put out there?” While it did give me a false momentary celebrity air, but it spiralled down on me just as fast. I realised that I was losing touch with myself and becoming irritable. I realised that the line between my primary and secondaries was getting blurred.

To my own surprise I was at ease on realising that I had been pushing myself. The road to this realisation had un-timely outbursts and un-necessary emotional breakdowns for over a week with highly confusing actions, the realisation itself came as a moment of comfort. As if my body was showing signs, like the sooth in the lantern, that I’d burnt myself well and needed some cleaning.

What followed was pretty much me pampering myself to comfort through music, food, sleep and everything else. I spent a couple of days being everything that I needed, un-bothering by the social code of conduct.
Took a day off work with no other plans for the day. Got into bed a little early and stay there a little longer. Stood under the shower and let it all out. Painted my toes an electric purple and spent time moisturising. Didn’t indulge in small talk or conversations that weren’t helping me. Looked at the moon and tried counting the stars till my neck hurt. Ate by myself. Played with the strays. Watched movies in languages that I don’t understand. Played dress up in the middle of the night. Re-read parts of books, just because. Said ‘No’ to polite tasks. Listened to groovy dance music at the crack of dawn. Ran alone. Called up friends whom I’ve not heard from in a while. Laughed until my eyes spilled. Wrapped fairy lights around my body and sat with a tub of my favourite ice cream to watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S. re-runs.

And just like that, with a little effort and time, the glow of my lantern has begun to return. The weight of the sooth is lifting and I feel more at ease with myself. Finally able to feel my thoughts flowing and more in tandem with my surroundings. Ready to be with people and feel entertained by the buzz of it all.
It is a small amount of time invested in cleaning which is going to last me quite a while and has also earned me some added comfort. If I had to do the math, I’d say I’m looking at some great returns on investment.

Don’t waste another minute thinking that you’re failing when really all you’re doing is growing.

-Chani Nicholas

Hey!
The last few days for me have been all about thinking, re-thinking and sometimes over analysing. I wouldn’t say it was all dull, grey and dark but there sure have been showers of gloom. It was this period of looking at myself that had me sharing this piece.
If you’ve read it till the end and felt like you understood what I’ve been upto, then maybe you have been there, are headed there or are there right now. Treat it like a cleanse, it makes you dirty and uncomfortable but you only get out better; so hang in there!