Feminism Isn’t Just A Word

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When I was employed, I was getting paid what I thought was a significant amount of money. But then they hired a man who was working under my supervision but got paid more than I did. “Experience” they called it then. He was new to the industry. His experience wasn’t in the same field. But I thought it acceptable until I found myself in the same position, switching careers and still getting paid less.

I’m quoting that as an example because I want you to know, I understand the word feminism. It’s not JUST about the pay gap. Like I said, it’s an example. And I couldn’t be more happier to live in a time where #MeToo has happened and voices are being heard louder than ever and women are being acknowledged, not dismissed.

But does everyone truly understand the word Feminism?

I know a whole lot of feminists who understand that word and who I look up to for various reasons including this. But then comes the bunch. The bunch that this blog is about.

I’m not a submissive person. I can’t “Yes, Sir” to anyone at any moment in my life. This might even become the death of me. But I like it when the man I’m dating is the “Man” in our relationship. I like it when he makes the final call. “Take my words into consideration and make a good choice.” I’m okay with this. Actually, I’d choose this. I’d rather not be burdened with it all.

I dated a very emotionally unstable man for a significant period of time. I dealt with his mood swings and was there when he needed me and waited to be needed again when he threw me away. I understood why he acted that way and I understood what he needed from me. I made the choice to stay. Given the chance to do it all over again, I’d still choose the same.

I can’t stand up for myself. I’m terribly shy and anxious in a confrontational situation. I’d rather text my emotions than talk them. I don’t like being hated and I definitely do not like it when someone is mad at me. I’d choose to apologize for their fault because that’s one less person who holds negative emotions towards me.

I like having a career. I want to make a lot of money. I don’t like the idea of depending on anyone else for my needs (parents excluded). But if I ever need to stay-at-home for my kids and depend on my husband, I’d do it without second thought. It would be the most obvious choice to me. I may not enjoy it all the time, but I wouldn’t regret it at all.

Which of these above factors make me a non-feminist?

Because isn’t that a major point of everything that’s happening right now? GIVING WOMEN THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE? The choice to marry. The choice to earn. The choice to fuck. The choice of clothes. EQUALITY & CHOICE. Allowing me to choose what I want without being ridiculed or looked down upon for it?

And if I want to choose to be a “homemaker” or a “submissive” or an emotional punching bag to a very disturbed man, isn’t that my choice?

Women, not all but the many I’ve come across, have this textbook definition for being a feminist – Independent – Financially and Emotionally, Unforgiving, Strong and if you go by Jyothika’s version – wears Aviators and climbs on lorries. But I’m none of those things. I’m independent to a point but I like needing him when I’m miserable. I like that he can say, “Hello” and my world is okay again. I like forgiving people even when they’re not apologising. I like being a little weak and wearing my heart on my sleeve, even if I know the other person is an asshole.

We are struggling so hard to get men to treat us as equals. But some of us forget that in that need, we’re taking away the choice from ourselves. We need to be united to get to where we need to be. But we’re squabbling on the inside because we don’t all understand what we’re even fighting for. To so many, it’s a label that makes them relevant. “I’m a feminist,” is something that makes them a part of the conversation. But what’s the point if you don’t understand what the conversation even is?

She can be a feminist and a housewife. She can be a feminist and in a shitty relationship. She can be a feminist and a stay-at-home mom. She can be a feminist and absolutely emotionally weak. She can be a feminist and extremely apologetic. SHE CAN BE A FEMINIST AND STILL BE HERSELF.

Because Feminism isn’t just a word. It isn’t just a label. It’s very real and very important.  And to those who got it right the first time, good for you and thank you!

To those who constantly pick on other women with, “Please! You don’t get to call yourself a feminist!” – Seriously, go take a class and educate yourself while the rest of us fight the battles for you.

 

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The Stranger In A Helmet

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To the stranger in a helmet,
The one I can’t forget
Not for the romantic reasons, no.
If that were the case, I’d start with dear.
You’re anything but my hero.
You’re my worst fears come true.

I drive by thay street everyday,
I’m left no choice, I live two streets down.
And every time I see that corner,
The one you stood on, your bike parked, your gaze wandering,
I look around.
I try to spot every man holding a helmet, perched on a bike.
I wonder if it’s you.
If he remembers me.
If he’d say it again in broad daylight.
Does he know?
Does he know what he did?
Does he know why he shouldn’t have?
Does he know I still hear his voice in the back of my head and feel a chill run down my spine?
“Madam. Madam.” Every time?
Does he know that he hid in the dark, his face covered because his instinct told him it was wrong?
Does he know I’m judging him when it maybe wasn’t him at all?
Because I do.
Every man I see looks guilty.
Even the innocent.
That’s what you’ve done.
“Madam. Madam..” like a helpless man. I shouldn’t have turned.
Should’ve known you’re helping yourself.
But I was taught and raised to be nice to the lost.
Yet, as you stood,
Your hands on your pants, your mouth asking for mine,
I was glad it was me and my little sister had walked a few feet.
Imagine a table turned.
For being taught kindness,
Punished.
Humiliated.
Scared.
She won’t judge that innocent man,
She’d fear.
Because of you.

How difficult life would be.
As long as she lives, she’ll never trust.
Afraid of eyes, even the ones filled with love.
Yet, how easy it will be,
For you’ll forever live in peace.
Hidden behind a helmet
At 7pm, in the middle of the city
On a lonely street.
Just your voice echoing, “Suck me please.”

Violation

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There seems to be a misunderstanding of this word. Violation.

What is it really? When Aziz Ansari asked her to blow him and she did with consent without being “forced” into it, was it violation? When you walk into your date’s house knowing it was for sex but he’s not giving you foreplay and is instead shoving his fingers down your throat, is it violation? Or when you say, “I don’t want you to touch me,” in those explicit words and he still tries to grab you, making you panic and your blood pump with adrenaline to escape, is THAT violation?

I’ve talked about being groped in public, by old men, tailors and fellow pedestrians on this blog. I’ve mentioned how I go through them everyday like so many of us do and how it’s not okay. I’ve written an entire post about how we internalise it when we should be pointing fingers at men who feel like they’re entitled to the body of every woman they see. But there’s a story I never shared.

It’s not just on this blog. There are only three people in my life who know this story. Me. The guy. And my boyfriend. I trusted him. I’d known him a few years. We’d hung out a lot. We briefly tried to “date” if you know what I mean. Yes, I’d given him permission then. But eventually we both moved to another country (the same one) and I met my now best friend who began to like him. Seeing how I never really had any emotions towards this man, I stepped back and gave them a chance to try having a relationship. He was dating my best friend so we remained friends and when they broke up, we tried to keep our peace without raising hell or having to choose sides. At this point, I’d outgrown him. I didn’t feel like being with him anymore because I’d come to see him as my best friend’s man. It wasn’t right. It didn’t feel right.

But then one day, he called. He said he wanted to hang out with me because he felt very depressed with something that was going on in his life. I told him in these exact words, “This is to hang out as friends. I don’t want you to touch me. At all. Yes?” And he agreed. When I walked into his apartment, he reached out for a hug and I repeated myself even more elaborately. I explained my reason and he told me he understood and he was just depressed. For those of you questioning my choices, you have to remind yourself, I’d known this guy for almost 5 years at this point. I trusted him. I’d hung out with him. He dated my best friend. We’d shared a lot of stories. He was an asshole, I wouldn’t deny it but he’d treated me like a friend and I was never given a reason to question his loyalty. Until then.

I forgot all about this, you know? It was one of those moments I pushed to the back of my head hoping I’d never have to remember it again. Because who wants to think of a time like this? I ignored it. I blocked him on all social media and slowly, I’d blocked the memory from my mind. Three years later, he added me on Snapchat. He sent me a PM, “Hey!” I didn’t respond. I distracted myself hoping I’d never have to think of it again. Because thinking meant remembering. And remembering meant reliving. And I would give everything to never relive those minutes again.

But this past November my brother got married. And this man went to school with him. So he reached out to me again, “Are you coming to the reception? I’ll be there!” I didn’t respond but my nerves tightened and my heart began beating faster.

The last time I saw his face was when I was running into the elevator and he’d ran out of his apartment screaming my name. I had to tell someone. But how would I explain to my conservative parents that I walked into a guy’s apartment alone, willingly? So I told the only person I could trust. I told my boyfriend.

“He was my friend. He went to our school. He was one year your senior and two years mine. We used to do shit but it all stopped when he began dating her. But then he called me one day and told me he was depressed and wanted to hang out. I went because I trusted him. Once inside he tried to hold me and I moved away and told him to watch it. He brought us drinks and I refused. Alarm bells kept going off and I told him I couldn’t stay long. He kept grabbing me from behind and I told him if he doesn’t stop, I would leave right then. But then he grabbed me again, this time so hard, I couldn’t break free. I struggled and he tried to dry hump me from behind. Adrenaline kicked in. I broke free and ran for my life. I hit that elevator button over and over hoping it would get there before he does. He got back on his feet and came running screaming my name just as I got in and left. He’s coming and I don’t want to see him. I’m anxious.”

Because I was violated. And it wasn’t okay.

It was just my luck that he didn’t turn up at the event after all. My brother said he has legal issues and I thanked my lucky stars. But the pandora box had been opened and I haven’t been able to shut it since. With stories like the one Grace shared, I feel more pissed off than I do peace.

Violation has no said definition. It is a feeling. But it is not willingly blowing him even though you weren’t turned on. It is not willingly going back to his arms, hoping to be cuddled after feeling like you were forced. It is not willingly staying in the name of starstruck and remembering it publicly a while later.

Violation is a feeling deep in your bones. It gives you chills of fear and anxiety. It gives you adrenaline. It is like being blindfolded in a haunted house that’s dark anyway. You can pull off the blindfold but you’d still be stuck. Violation is that emotion you feel once and never forget.

#MeToo is important for people like me. I could never publicly point to him. He outdoes me in social status, money and connections. My society will turn back to me and ask me why I went. No explanation would suffice. To throw stones at it without realising its need and significance is immature and, yes, reckless.

I was violated.

And I take offence to anyone who uses that word lightly.

Including Grace.

 

The BIG, The FAT & The SEXY

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I know what you’re thinking – “Oh! Another post about how it’s okay to be fat!” You’re kind of right. But it’s something else too. We’re going to talk about me. If you can relate to what I’m saying, welcome to the club.

We’ve talked about this and we continue to talk about this. Especially at a time where I’m being asked to consider marriage and my weight is a problem to address if I need a decent man.

I always want to ask them, “So if I get married and gain weight again, it gives him the right to leave me? Like what’s this facade? I’m fat. Let him marry a fat woman because he likes her, not because she’s temporarily different looking to attract him. That’s wrong!”

I, of course, get a, “You’re acting stupid, Poornima. This isn’t the way to talk. Start walking and cut that junk food. Enough of this.”

But I’m so confused. My mother is fat. She wasn’t at 25. She is at 50. She looks at thin women and goes, “Ooh! Look at her. I wish I could look like her. I’ll never be skinny again.” That is not a problem. I get where she’s coming from. I understand why she’s feeling that longing. But what confuses me is how she and so many others I know presume I feel the same way.

I’m 25. I’ve been fat since the day I was born. I’ve lost weight temporarily at several points in my lifetime. But it hasn’t lasted and I don’t really mind. I have a big ass and big boobs that makes skirts and crop tops fit weird on me. I also have a lot of flabs and I wouldn’t advise anyone to buy me fitted t-shirts. I’m not what the “industry” would call “fat and fit.” I’m fat. That’s all there is to it.

And I want to ask you, the reader and the world – Who told you that is ugly? Why is fat ugly? I know what you’re thinking. “The only person who says things like this is a fat person!” But honestly, who said it? What makes you think that every fat person looks in the mirror and picks at themselves? That we all wish we could be skinny and fit?

I looked at myself in the mirror two days ago after I’d showered. I had my underwear on.  I thought to myself, “Damn. That’s a good colour on me. My ass looks so sexy in this underwear too! I wish he could see how I look right now. He’d love it so much.” It’s not the first time I’ve done it either. Whether it’s dresses or night clothes, I’ve had so many moments where I’ve looked at myself and felt utterly hot and sexy. Yep. I’m fat. I find myself sexy. Let’s give out a round of applause for all the naysayers who think I’m lying to convince myself. My parents think it, too! So, go on. I’ll wait.

You done? Great. Glad you’ve got that out of your system.

For the longest time, I’ve felt comfortable in my skin. Every time I gain those few extra pounds, I look in the mirror and I see it. I know where I’ve gained it because my dresses don’t fit there anymore. But I don’t pick at it. I don’t pull my skin. I don’t feel like harming myself in any manner.  And somehow, that’s not acceptable!

I have questioned how healthy I am. Loved ones use that word to get you to lose weight. “I just want you to be healthier!” Such bullshit. I stopped being fooled by those sugarcoated “Lose weight” statements years ago. But I did ask myself if my health is okay. So, this past summer, I went hiking. Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma. I watched as friends opted out at different levels while I went up until the last but one – Someone had to pull the person for the last step because of its steepness and my lecturer didn’t think he could pull me. (Not blaming him. Just saying.)

I’m healthy. I can walk. I’ve run to catch buses. I’ve hiked. I’ve trekked 2 miles at a time. I’m not invalid because I’m carrying more fat content than the next person. But somehow this argument gets me nowhere. People just shrug and go, “Still! You should consider getting healthier!” Seriously, SAY WHAAAT?

Are you that person? You look in the mirror every morning and you see ugly? Fat? You find flaws on your body? “Ew. A flab!” So you walk out and you see people ten times as heavy as you are and you think to yourself, “How do they live with themselves? They should stop eating! I bet she feels insecure. Well, she should do something!” And sometimes, you even feel the need to give that person what according to you is that little encouragement they need – “You should join a gym or walk. Try hot water with lemon and honey in the morning! That weight will come right off. Such a pretty face. It’s just a few pounds.” Are you that person? Coz if you are, this message is for you:

Sweetie, the insecurity is in your mind. Not mine.

I don’t need you to tell me how pretty my face is. I already know. I also know that hot water with lemon and honey helps reduce belly fat but tastes like crap. I know I enjoy my long walks. I know I hate the confinement of a gym. But here’s what you don’t know – I don’t need your encouragement. I don’t feel what you feel. I don’t see what you see. And perhaps, the person who needs that little push towards a healthier life is you. You need a life where you are able to accept who you are. And I’d start with finding things that make you appreciate yourself. Finding the tiny differences and feeling empowered, not disappointed. Maybe even talking to your loved ones about how you feel and asking them to help you identify your strengths to build your own self-confidence. And you don’t need to be skinny or fit or have a perfect life. You can be exactly who you are and still love yourself. It’s not that unrealistic.

I tell my boyfriend all the time how I can’t wait for us to just be together. “When we’re married, we should have naked days, baby! Like days of the week. Around the house.” I’m not afraid. I’m not insecure. I have no problem with someone I love seeing me. The real me – all the fat, all the extra skin, the stretch marks, the sagging boobs, the tiny bulges of fat on my ass and everything that makes me who I am.

I’m not going to rush to lose weight. If it’s not to find a man, it’s not because I feel ugly, it’s not because I can’t walk or I’m severely unhealthy – Why should I be forced to lose weight?

Because someone else thinks I should? NO!

I mean, haven’t you met me?

I’m BIG. I’m FAT. And…

Didn’t you read the title?

So fucking SEXY!

Let’s Talk Marriage

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Yep. It’s that time of my life. Not the time when I’m getting married. But the time when everyone around me starts piling on the pressure about it.

I’ll start our conversation with this – I’m ready. I’m ready to go learn to live with someone. I’m ready to share my life with someone. I’m ready to have good and bad days and work our way through this insane universe while standing by each other even on the days we don’t want to.  I’m ready to start planning a wedding that will happen at least one year away. I’m ready for it all.

But I’m not ready to choose the person that I will get married to.

I know, I know. That’s the most important part of it. It’s all about the person. But here’s my problem – If I make this choice, I can’t change it. Ever. And the truth about life is, every choice we’ve made is somehow permanent, in reality or in our memory. But my choices in the past have never tied me to a person for eternity.

If I choose one person, even someone I love, I can’t take it back. And everyone rushing with their advice about how it doesn’t matter in life how carefully you pick because you can’t predict the future and how human beings change with every tide – Yeah,I’ve heard it. I understand it. And I’d totally take that gamble if I’m only looking for a husband.

But I’m not.

Because this person I marry is not just a husband. He’s not just going to be “the man I’m married to.” He’s more. SO much more. He’s my family. He’s my hug on a bad day. He’s my best friend when I’m fighting with my real one. He’s my coffee buddy every morning. He’s my companion when I’m sick and old and fragile. He’s the father to my children. He’s their “good cop” because I’m a control freak with a combination of anxiety and OCD. He’s the calm to my never-ending storm. He’s their shoulder and mine when our hearts break. He’s my person.

And I get one shot to choose him. One shot. To choose the person that will influence every decision there is to make about my future.  And I’m not ready for it.

“But you’re 25! You’re an adult!” Says who?!

If my maturity is defined by a number, we don’t need life experiences and life lessons, do we now?! “Just wait till you get older! It’ll come to you.” Seriously? I feel like the adult in this conversation right now.

But honestly, how do you choose?

“Oh, you just know,” is not an acceptable answer. I don’t know. I’ve never known. I’m terrified. I have anxiety. Even if I know, I’m afraid I don’t know well enough. I’m afraid it’s wrong. I’ve known things before, gone with my instincts and messed up terribly. How can I be sure this isn’t one of those times again?

So I did what I do best. I asked someone, “What did you ask her? What made you think she’s the one?”

He gave me a list:

  • Career
  • Expectations in her marriage
  • Likes
  • Dislikes

And.. I just sat there, staring at that answer for a while. I didn’t know what to  say because it seemed so… less.

Here’s what I thought I should start with – What do you do from the moment you wake up until you fall asleep – On a working day? On a weekend? On vacation? What’s your lifestyle like? What do you want our lifestyle to be? Do we watch movies every weekend? Do we stay in on Sundays? What are your questions for me? If I need you, would you drop what you’re doing and come to my rescue? If I need a day off, will you take care of the children and work from home? Can we split the house expenses? Can you deal with my need to plan every last detail about everything? Will you fuel my wildest ideas and craziest dreams? Will you understand my love for surprises but my inability to deal with them? Will you put up with my need to know the ending before watching thriller movies? Can you promise me “us” time everyday? Will you cook on alternative days? Will you go grocery shopping with me? Can we have a snack drawer? Will you take me out for midnight food cravings? On a weekday night? Can our children be vegetarians even if you’re not? Can I take over the closet in our room because I have too many clothes and nothing to wear?  Can I choose our home decor if I promise not to let our room turn pink? Can I cry my mascara into your new white shirt? Will you hug me even when we’re fighting? Will you find me beautiful even when I’m sitting with messy hair in the middle of chaos after yelling at you for no reason other than the fact that I’m PMSing? Oh! And we’re going to adopt pets. LOTS OF THEM! That’s cool, right?!

And after he answers all this, I still have that burning question running in my head – “What if he changes his mind about it?”

Because arranged marriages or love, they’re still human beings. And there’s almost 7 billion of them on this planet. You need to choose one. This person, his past, his present and his future will help determine whether your kids are going to Harvard Law or sitting behind bars. How do you choose him?

What do you look for? What lifestyle is acceptable? And what if mine changes? What if I grow up and become a different person who wants different things? I used to love H&M and Forever21. I’ve wasted so much money there. But I don’t shop there anymore. Three hours, a documentary and some Google research later, I couldn’t bring myself to buy fast fashion anymore. Three hours to change something I’d done for a lifetime.

What if everything I love changes someday? Will he still be the right person or me?

“That’s the main question to be answered. That’s when the soul searches as to whether this is an age phenomenon or is this my phenomenon. Answer that.”

– Sai Krishna

But how do I know? And the unknown is the scariest of them all.

It’s funny when everyone around you wants to talk about getting you married. They talk about how you’re old enough to find a groom. If you can’t find one, they’ll find one for you. But the thing about all that is – they’re not really talking bout marriage. They’re talking about a wedding. They’re talking about finding a man and tying the knot. And they’re right. I am ready to have a wedding.

But the problem is what comes after. And in their need to see me as a bride, they forget –  After that one day of dressing up and celebrating, there is still the rest of my life.

And I’m not ready for that. I’m not ready for a marriage.

Why isn’t that okay?

I WROTE A BOOK!

Yep! You read that right.

I turned 25 on September 22 and as a present to myself, after 5+ years of effort and procrastination, I’ve finally published my book!

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A crime mystery set in a fictional town, 3 hours away from San Francisco, Claire is the result of sleepless nights and endless hours of editing!

You can get it on your Kindle or on paperback!

Amazon.com Kindle: goo.gl/GvEzRk

Amazon.com Paperback: goo.gl/t1ggr6

Amazon.in Kindle: goo.gl/2VcJeE

Amazon.in Paperback: goo.gl/kuZGpY

Thank you all so much for your never ending support. Your support through likes, comments, shares and just your time to read has motivated me for so long. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the book!

Do post a picture with your copy on instagram and tag me! – instagram.com/loudthoughtsvo

#Claire #WhoKilledClaire

The Difference

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Yesterday, walking out of a hospital at 11pm, I had to walk around the building to get to my Dad. The road was empty and three young men walked towards me. My reflex thought was, “How do I escape?” But they walked past me like I was invisible and I realised, it’s in my head. I was not scared because they looked aggressive or scary. They looked like normal young men who I’d probably befriend in broad daylight. What actually scared me was that it was 11pm and I’m a girl who was out past social curfews.

Today I found an article about a journalist who interviewed 100 convicted rapists. One part of the article really got to me – “In the interviews, many men made excuses or gave justifications for their actions. Many denied rape happened at all. “There were only three or four who said we are repenting. Others had found a way to put their actions into some justification, neutralise, or blame action onto the victim.””

The article also quoted her saying how many didn’t know that it was rape because their society hadn’t taught them the difference. It made me think.

I can’t justify rapists due to lack of knowledge. I’m never going to say, “Oh you’re right. Society made rapists do what they did.” No. I know men who wouldn’t do that. They come from the same society.

But we can’t ignore our role in it. My world taught me to be safe after dark. “It’s 8pm, where are you?” is such a normal question to me. “We live in a neighbourhood where people notice. You can’t be walking in so late at night. What will they think of you?” – If I could have a dollar for every time I heard that, I’d be flying private to a penthouse in Manhattan today.

My parents cared so much about the faceless society that they have often chosen what the society would think over my happiness. I tell myself, “Oh I can’t wait to live away so I can live as I please.” But I can’t. My mother’s voice is stuck in my head and so I will continue to live the rest of my life in fear of “What will they think?” The things that make me happy will also make me guilty. The things that I enjoy will also make me scared.

I never stop worrying of the day I would have to explain to my husband about my ex-boyfriend. What do I say? It was nothing? It was a childish thing? But it wasn’t. Yet, if I tell the truth, he won’t marry me. I don’t know how to nod my head yes. What if my husband hates that? What if he hates me?

“Don’t play that sport. Don’t jump so high. Don’t climb walls. Don’t join gymnastics. Careful with the yoga.” Because – WHAT IF MY ENTIRE LIFE, ALL THE MAGICAL MOMENTS I COULD POSSIBLY HAVE WITH THE ONE WHO WILL HOLD ME CLOSE – EVERYTHING VANISHES THE MOMENT MY HYMEN BREAKS BECAUSE OF A REASON THAT DIDN’T INVOLVE MY HUSBAND?

My life has been a series of careful moments to keep myself ‘intact’ for a man I am yet to meet. And in that, I have struggled to find the things I really want to do. Because it’s always about what he might someday want. I have been told repeatedly that having a child is not my choice. It is not a mutual decision. It is his choice. If he wants one, I need to have one. I can’t say No. And that’s part of the problem.

Teach your daughters to be their own people. Let them have their likes, their dislikes. His likes are not her likes. His life is not her life. Even if she’s married, if she wants to say NO, she has the right to say NO. Don’t raise submissives that a man will “want” to marry. Screw him if he doesn’t want someone who knows how to think for herself. EXPECT MORE OUT OF YOUR DAUGHTERS.

My biggest worry today when my father says, “But you’re old enough to be married,” is ‘If I were a guy, I’d be expected to do more with my life.’ Expect them to achieve their own form of personal success. If it’s marriage, good for them. If she comes home crying, don’t send her back to him. Acknowledge her problem. She’s your daughter!

And teach your sons to put it in their pants. Unless a girl – sober and in the right frame of mind – says YES, it automatically means a NO. No excuse they conjure up while sitting in prison justifies a man who enters another’s personal space without their permission.

Don’t tell them they are better because they have a penis. They’re not. Genitalia does not make a human being better. Their behaviour and manners towards another human being does. You expect your daughters to be kind hearted and caring. Expect your sons to be the same. Nothing wrong with him being treated like his sister. “He’s a boy,” is no excuse. It never should have been.

Don’t blind him to the truth by encouraging an ego that doesn’t need to exist.

Teach him that his wife is a fellow human being. She is not made to serve him after a long day. He is not “providing” for her care. That’s someone you employ. Not someone you marry. You can’t teach a man the difference between consent and rape if you tell him that one day he is going to find a girl who has dedicated her entire life to serve him well. She is a PERSON. Not a sex toy he uses as he pleases. Teach him the difference.

And no. That doesn’t mean I’m trying to say, “Oh marriage is terrible. Keep your daughters away from men. Men are horrible people.” Absolutely not. There’s nothing wrong in keeping the people in your life happy. I’m happy when I make him happy. But it can’t be the ONLY reason I’m ever happy. Teach your daughters that.

As a society, mind your own fucking business. Want to talk? Talk about problems that aren’t someone’s daughter having a boyfriend or turning up late. Talk about our screwed up political system. About suicides. About RAPE. And talk loudly. Let your children hear and know what to do and what not to do.

And maybe, just maybe, we might have a better country that way.