Being a woman

Nature does not differentiate between a man and a woman, save for just one aspect — that the weakest part of a man’s body is the strongest of a woman’s. And yet, umpteen number of books, movies, dialogues, dinner-table and board-room conversations alike are centered around the differences between women and men, Venus and Mars.

Sadly, these differences have always meant big business. Innumerable marketing and sales strategies have been built around these — it’s pink for a girl and blue for a boy; doll houses for a girl and cars for a boy.

But what is more disturbing is the fact that since time immemorial, women have been conditioned to conform to erroneous societal expectations and norms. She has always been told to act like a lady. Sit properly. Speak softly. Suffer silently. Smile. Be gentle. Be impeccably dressed. Have a happy home. Raise kids. Look young. Work well. Be perfect.

She is taught and repeatedly reminded to be a superwoman — to be the Perfect Wife, the Perfect Mother, the Perfect Friend, the Perfect Daughter, the Perfect Employee and the roles are endless. She has often been chastised for the smallest of slip-ups; never given the luxury of being anything less than perfect.

While today women-centric issues are coming to light, the treatment of women as the second sex may not be resolved just through government schemes and corporate policies. There needs to be a change in the minds of women themselves to truly champion the cause of women empowerment. Women need to accept the fact that to err is human and embrace their own imperfections.

While we have come a long way from the ‘abla-nari’ representation of women, the fairly recent and increasingly popular portrayal of the urban, independent woman has received eye-rolls and flak from men and women alike.

The seemingly flawed portrayal of the urban, independent woman in a LBD (for the uninitiated — a little black dress); sporting short hair, red lipstick and stilettos; smoking, drinking, dancing, getting tattooed and mouthing profanity with abandon was probably designed to represent women shunning flawed societal standards. However, this depiction is often misconstrued to be the new age definition of the 21st century woman in its literal sense.

Being a woman in 2018 means or at the very least should mean to be ‘brave’. Brave enough to make choices, make mistakes and learn; Brave enough to be free from the shackles of prejudices and predetermined notions. Brave enough to be home-makers, divorcees, single mothers, widows, or the ‘career-oriented’ woman with or sans kids and a family. Brave enough to raise their voices, ask questions, find their place under the sun. Brave enough to be the architect of one’s own dreams, the sailor of one’s ship, and the author of one’s life.

Most importantly, being a woman should mean to be brave enough to accept one’s imperfections and to not cower in the shadows of self-doubt.

While we do need to teach our boys to support women and cheer them on, it is of vital importance that we teach our daughters, mothers, sisters and wives to be brave, and not chase glorious perfection.

Brave women will help us build the world where women don’t need to assert their right to sit at the table; where no new tables are to be created for women; and where no glass ceilings are to be shattered.

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Google, Guns and Godmen: A Confidence Crisis?

 

About 21 weeks into 2018, and the world has witnessed 23+ school shoot-outs in the USA; 21 centuries into the world, and yet we continue to see countless Indian ‘babas’ or so-called Godmen defrauding millions every single day.

Observe the environment around you and in the wake of the mass shootings, rape incidents, bombings, etc., you’ll find public trust levels diminishing at an unprecedented rate. Today, we increasingly hear of self-defense classes, books and articles on ‘How to Protect Yourself during a Mass Shooting’ and more stringent laws and regulations on data privacy and security. The new world order requires us to be more aware, alert, cautious and suspicious than ever before.

At a time such as the present, when trust in public spaces including the internet is at an all-time low, Google’s marketing and strategizing prowess is notable. While one is bound to read the news that Google feeds, watch shows, shop, eat, visit places Google recommends, based on one’s “history and patterns” Google continues to be listed as one of the most trusted brands in the tech industry. The global giant continues to watch, track and analyze every click.

However, the snowballing pace of change in technology, which leaves regulatory systems unable to cope, will spur dissatisfaction among users coupled with a steep fall in public trust. A case in point is the Cambridge Analytica fiasco and Facebook’s poor treatment of the same which decreased Facebook’s trust value by several notches. This massive and increasing power to influence individual decisions and events is gradually and alarmingly becoming the norm. One could possibly attribute this to globalization, which if left unrestrained shall sow the seeds of ultimate destruction of free will and affect social cohesion negatively.

The impending collapse of trust serves as a clarion call to governments and global players to take note of the crisis in confidence. It presents an opportunity to collectively deliberate based on shared understanding and foresight of global trends, and bring out new solutions, collective action and alternate modes of governance to deal with such complex challenges.

#3. Don’t use multiple punctuation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please………Please…….Please……don’t do that!!!!!! Agreed, you would like to emphasise. Agreed, you wish to swear. Agreed, you would like some attention. Agreed, you have too many emotions to handle in your head. But this is so not the way.  “An amazing trip!!!!!” is not going to get any more amazing than it is when its just “An amazing trip!” And a question is not going to have any more questions when you end the question with “?????????”.  And you know when it gets worse? When you are dressed in well-ironed formals, sit in an airconditioned, well-designed office, behave like you are the smartest “professional” and type out those e-mails at work. All that you do is make the message look UGLY, and make yourself look STUPID. As for me? I am just going to hope that multiple apostrophes don”””””””””””””””””””t catch on.

#1. Don’t use LOL unless you mean it.

Acronyms today are part and parcel of everyone’s life. You use them on facebook, while texting, while tweeting and some even have the urge to use it in examinations. And the most overused one is LOL.  Today people use it when they bored, have nothing to say, or maybe when they just smiled in silence or at best chucked a bit. To me, LOL now just means “I have no idea what you just said, but I have got to reply” or maybe “Dude, this conversation is totally dead”. So please, stop overusing it or worse misusing it and save it to really applaud something which is the cause of much hilarity.

uWatch

safe_imagewfsdfcThe latest Bharti Axa Life Insurance Advertisement is one of the few advertisements which doesn’t give me the instant need to switch the channel.

It shows a situation where a hapless customer goes to the Insurance Office and is made to run around to get the various documents photocopied, and attested etc. After sweating it all out, he’s asked to visit again as the office closes at 5pm. With the catchy,  “Aap Yahaan Aaya Kisliye” song  playing in the background,  the ad draws instant empathy since the viewer easily identifies with it.

Bharti-AXA-LifeNext, the ad promises promptness and commitment as the agent awaits the arrival of the man at his own home. The ad is directed at reducing the skepticism with which today’s consumers look at products and promises. An extremely creative, and powerful way to convey the message across.

I would say Kudos to the Creative Team behind this!