How I made peace with not being a likeable person

Brinda's research specialty is in the geopolitical space, but she most enjoys writing about everyday life. She lives with a small army of cats and her husband, swears by the healing power of diet-coke-and-chips, and has never met a Pinterest suggestion she didn't want to try. She collects Archie comics, loves and abandons art projects regularly and is learning to navigate life with chronic illness.
Brinda B. Hamdani
Latest posts by Brinda B. Hamdani (see all)

I’m not a likeable person. It took me a long time to understand that. Even longer still to accept it. 

For years, I couldn’t fathom why. I’m a decent person. I try to be good to people. I listen, with genuine interest, when people talk. I care. I do my best to help. But turns out, all this is not enough to be the most popular person or even moderately popular person in the room. I have my flaws, just like everyone else. But I’ve tried to the best of my abilities to not hurt people. I’ve apologized when I have. I always took that as a yardstick to test myself against: I’m not doing bad things so I’m a good person. If I’m a good person, other people will like me. Right? Wrong. Continue reading “How I made peace with not being a likeable person”

Interview with a modern-day Witch in India: looking at magick with a feminist lens

I am Harsh and currently, I am a student of literature. I am a history buff and I am an avid reader of non-fiction history and political books. I am vocal about gender rights, feminism, LGBTQ culture, and politics. In my free time, I try to do art, poetry and I write letters. A queer man from a semi-rural state of Bihar, I try to do my part of duty by making people aware of their gender rights. When in Delhi I try to participate in queer activism and write about mythology and culture.
Harsh Aditya

Witchcraft is said to be the first feminist movement in world history. It has been demonized by the male-centric Christianity and the practice is often ridiculed even today. From a feminist’s gaze, witchcraft has empowered women as it gives them the power to be independent and self-reliant. All these years women who were strong or have stood against patriarchy have been associated with the devil and evil. The infamous witch hunt was started to target women who were easily labeled as witches. Modern-day witchcraft is non-pagan. Many women have started practicing it all around the world irrespective of the religion they were born in. There are no hard and fast rules. Today, being a witch is being a feminist with a touch of extra empowerment.

Harsh talks to Aakerschika Narayan Mishra, a modern-day witchcraft practitioner. She is 35, a single mother, and a successful witch. In her interview, she talks about witchcraft, her journey of becoming a witch, and busts some myths about the practice.

How would you define witchcraft? What is the essence of this practice and how is it different from other religions?

Witchcraft is considered a religion because it’s practiced by a community of people. It often involves paganism. However, for me, it is more about a way of living than a religion because there are sects of witchcraft that totally rely on path works and spiritual power rather than pagan rituals. It is something very personal because it’s practiced by each person in their own unique ways. Every witch has a different approach and maybe even different principles. There are some who totally shun the use of props & sacrifices. They focus more on their imagination and path work. It is a personal spiritual practice. Continue reading “Interview with a modern-day Witch in India: looking at magick with a feminist lens”

Why do men send dick pics?

Aamna is a writer, particularly passionate about feminist issues.
Latest posts by Aamna S (see all)

As I walked down the crossroads of an exceptionally traffic-heavy location, I noticed that the red light was seconds away from turning green. I decided to make a run for it. As it turned green, it caught my attention that a scooter slowed as I walked. I looked up to see a shabby-looking man, wearing a helmet. 

He asked me “Madam MHB Colony kidhar hai?”, (Where is MHB Colony?). I instinctively raised my hand pointing the directions because it was fairly uncomplicated even for someone as directionally challenged like me.  Unwaveringly he continued to ask “Madam address dekh lo ek baar”(Madam, have a look at the address once). I noticed some ruffling in his hands, and assumed it’s the address. I insisted I knew the direction and continued to point towards the desired location. Continue reading “Why do men send dick pics?”

India: No Country for women and our selective outrage

Follow me
Managing Editor at Moderne Magazine
A former journalist, Ananya specializes in marketing & communications. She worked with a diverse set of firms across the spectrum for six years before leaving the cobwebs of a metropolitan city for a quiet, slow life in the hills.
A depression survivor Ananya primarily writes about mental health, intersectional feminism and society.
When she is not working or traveling, she spends her days in a quaint little town of Northeast India with her husband and two cats, sipping red wine and writing poetry.
Follow me

The recent rape case of the Hyderabad doctor is deeply distressing. It has sparked a high voltage public outrage with people coming out on the roads to protest with slogans of “#SaveOurDaughters” and an Internet clamour to ‘hang’ the rapists. My entire social media feed is filled with gut-churning details of the crime, gory photos and an unequivocal demand to kill the rapists.

The same men who had canceled the #MeToo movement last week in view of the recent developments in the Utsav-Mahima case, are very, very angry. For them, this is a heinous crime. A rare, monstrous incident. The four men are being called animals and devils. Almost as if they were not brought up and raised in the same society as us, by us. Continue reading “India: No Country for women and our selective outrage”

मुझे गृहणी बनने से डर क्यों लगता है?

Namrata Mishra is a Gender Culture and Development student from Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Women's studies Centre
Namrata Mishra

बचपन से ही माँ से सुनते आई हूँ “बड़ी होकर तुझे शादी कर के अपने घर जाना है; वहां तुझे घर बसाना है!” 

यह वाक्य मेरी ही तरह और भी कई लड़कियों को सुनने मिलता है और मिला होगा। कारण यह नहीं कि माँ को उसकी पुत्री से प्रेम नहीं है और इसलिए वह चाहती है की लड़की दूसरे घर चली जाए। परन्तु कारण है शादी करने की मज़बूरी। शादी एक पितृसत्तात्मक ढांचा है और चूंकि हम पितृसत्तात्मक समाज में रह रहे हैं, शादी करना अनिवार्य है। यदि कोई शादी ना करके इस ढांचे को तोड़ने की कोशिश करता है तो, पितृसत्ता के बाकी कई सारे ढांचे लड़ने झगड़ने के लिए तैनात हो जाते हैं। माने, बिना शादी के ना घर ना परिवार ना गली ना मोहल्ला, ना देश ना दुनिया, कोई भी शांति से जीने नहीं देगा। खैर, पित्रसत्ता की समझ तो नारीवाद की क्लासों से आई।

उसके पहले तो बस मां की इन बातों पर या तो रूठ जाती थी या तो गुस्सा हो जाती थी।  मैं सोचती थी की मां ने शादी कर के या मेरे परिवार, रिश्तेदारों में और भी बाकी औरतों ने शादी कर के ऐसा कौन सा आनंद उपलब्ध कर लिया जो मुझसे छूट जाएगा यदि मैंने विवाह ना किया तो..?

Continue reading “मुझे गृहणी बनने से डर क्यों लगता है?”

What’s in feminism for men?

Shruti Sharma is the founder of Books on the Delhi Metro, a book sharing initiative which aims to make sure that books are no more a luxury for anyone. She is an avid reader, an experimental writer, and a hardcore optimist. She loves muggles but is also eagerly waiting for the day she receives her Hogwarts letter and gets to be a wizard.
Shruti Sharma
Latest posts by Shruti Sharma (see all)

“Fight your own battles, lady! Tell me this, have you ever seen a woman call herself a manist? No, right? And honestly, if you take men’s help here, history will never acknowledge you as empowered. They’ll always remember you as women who needed men to fight for their rights,” said one man when I asked him how he felt about men supporting the feminist movement.

I was blown away.

Clearly, he had a different interpretation of feminism than mine. Continue reading “What’s in feminism for men?”

Everything that’s wrong with the Body Positivity movement on Instagram

Monthly Contributor at Moderne
After living in a concrete jungle for more than two decades of her life, Sabina found solitude as she moved to the greener side of the grass, pretty literally. Apart from enjoying all things literature, she loves to write on diverse issues, cook good food, and tend her teeny-tiny garden.

Sabina was raised as a feminist, believes the world needs a little more love and also some rationality to see an unbiased image of the society. She is a magnet to anxiety but her faith keeps her going. Oh, also, she is a proud Hijabi Muslimah and repels judgemental people.
Sabina Yeasmin

“Everybody is different, and every body is different.” 

Beverly Dieh

The concept of body-positivity is fundamentally based on the belief that everyone, male or female, should be able to look at their bodies without contempt, and accept it, regardless of changes in shape, size, complexion, and other features. It empowers people to have a positive relationship with their own bodies. The movement strives to challenge the socio-cultural representations of what a beautiful, handsome, or a perfect body ‘should’ look like. Undoubtedly, the idea in its entirety is an empowering one. 

However, if you look closely and mindfully,  the body-positivity movement on the Internet as we see today seems to have completely derailed from its track. To be body positive is a good thing, great, in fact. But the way the internet has molded this movement is problematic in more than one way. 

Continue reading “Everything that’s wrong with the Body Positivity movement on Instagram”

Sabyasachi has always objectified women. Why are we so surprised now?

Monthly Contributor at Moderne
After living in a concrete jungle for more than two decades of her life, Sabina found solitude as she moved to the greener side of the grass, pretty literally. Apart from enjoying all things literature, she loves to write on diverse issues, cook good food, and tend her teeny-tiny garden.

Sabina was raised as a feminist, believes the world needs a little more love and also some rationality to see an unbiased image of the society. She is a magnet to anxiety but her faith keeps her going. Oh, also, she is a proud Hijabi Muslimah and repels judgemental people.
Sabina Yeasmin

A gorgeous piece of fabric with meticulous handwork, a flawless archetype of Indian traditional wear. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind? It would probably be a saree or a lehenga. And if you have to instantly name a designer who represents this kind of artwork? Yes, that would be Sabyasachi Mukherjee. The ‘brand’ Sabya for most of us. 

But some of us who care to go deeper into matters and observe from various lenses, it’s just one aspect of this man. It’s his talent of creating these exquisite, dreamy tales of weddings and celebration and no one is taking that away from him. But talk about separating the art from the artist?  It is difficult, but can we at least acknowledge that there is something terribly wrong with Sabya and the ideas of femininity he promotes?

Continue reading “Sabyasachi has always objectified women. Why are we so surprised now?”

Why Kim K’s latest body makeup is deeply problematic?​

Shruti is a freelance journalist and poet, who writes about the intersection between gender, politics and art.

It’s 2019 but the cosmetics and beauty industry still continues to use the female body and its imperfections in their quest to generate profit. This time, it’s none other than Kim Kardashian and her line of KKW Beauty Products, which has launched three new items. Set for release by the end of this month, Kim K has launched a new range of body makeup, including liquid body shimmer and a loose shimmer powder. In a tweet announcing the launch, she wrote “I use this when I want to enhance my skin tone or cover my psoriasis. I bruise easily and have veins and this has been my secret for over a decade.” She went on to post a video that demonstrated how the products help her cover her psoriasis scars.

Continue reading “Why Kim K’s latest body makeup is deeply problematic?​”

What men really mean when they say #NotAllMen

Follow me
Managing Editor at Moderne Magazine
A former journalist, Ananya specializes in marketing & communications. She worked with a diverse set of firms across the spectrum for six years before leaving the cobwebs of a metropolitan city for a quiet, slow life in the hills.
A depression survivor Ananya primarily writes about mental health, intersectional feminism and society.
When she is not working or traveling, she spends her days in a quaint little town of Northeast India with her husband and two cats, sipping red wine and writing poetry.
Follow me

You are my friend, my colleague, a follower on Instagram, my father, my boyfriend, my ex.

You are a man, in this world, where the power dynamics between genders has been systemically skewed and abused to give you privilege over women, and other minority groups.

You enjoy a position that has been created and upheld since ages to give you innumerable advantages over us. You have been the decision maker among the two of us; you have benefitted from this position that your fathers, and their forefathers created for you to enjoy and exploit, and I understand you want to uphold it for your sons.

I know it must truly be scary to suddenly be asked to share that kind of power which was bestowed upon you for so long that it started feeling like entitlement instead of plain blatant privilege which it actually is. 

Continue reading “What men really mean when they say #NotAllMen”