Examining Gender

Masculinity & femininity, where gender falls short of identifying us, navigating the crossfire between genders, the politics of gender identity.

~B~L~U~E~ or A Rejection Of Romance
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~B~L~U~E~ or A Rejection Of Romance

His voice holds me. His words unravel me. And the trouble is the unraveling, the undoing, the blurring continue long after the voice has gone silent, the line cold. Because words, they linger. Burning flesh wounds inside defenses. And everything else feels harder, sharper, steelier. I am in a world…

To The Guy Who Likes Long Drives
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To The Guy Who Likes Long Drives

I wrote to all the guys who list ‘long drives’ as what they like on dating apps

In The Court Of The Bombay Begums
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In The Court Of The Bombay Begums

If you haven’t already seen Bombay Begums, consider this your spoiler alert. I approached the show with trepidation and a lot of thoughts. For one, it falls squarely into what I recognise as a Netflix India formula. A cast made of a yesteryear star, a sprinkling of Bollywood also-rans and…

A Good Conversationalist
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A Good Conversationalist

I haven’t been writing about men or dating much, have I? The last year has forced me to sit with myself, without everything that I thought was my life but which were actually coping mechanisms. Stripped of those, what did I have? Lots of wounds. I’m glad 2020 is over….

Is This Feminism?: Women’s Day
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Is This Feminism?: Women’s Day

This is a Women’s Day post. Does that make me a good feminist or a bad one? I’ve called this day a marketing ploy. It is. I’ve been offered gigs around this day. I’ve taken them. My most famous poem (albeit not my favorite one) is about feminism & was…

Romancing A Girl Who Is Too Much
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Romancing A Girl Who Is Too Much

I think I can only experience romance when I feel happy. I can only play the games of flirting when playfulness is possible. I can only smile at the mirth of charm when I’m just looking for an excuse to smile anyway. That’s why love becomes a common destination for…

Can Masculinity Be Safe?
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Can Masculinity Be Safe?

A lot of straight women feel safer around gay men. It has felt, I’ve thought, like having a girl best friend but who can drop me home when it gets late. Yes, that’s shallow. But also, what does it say about masculinity (since straight men have led the charge on…

The Feminine Side Of A Man
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The Feminine Side Of A Man

I’m told this means traits like gentleness, delicacy, modesty, being nurturing. Why are these feminine? The argument goes that biological roles dictate these gendered traits. But who says decisiveness is not a maternal (supposedly feminine) trait? Or the ability to adapt & compromise doesn’t align with the hunter instinct (traditionally…

An Evolving Friendzone
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An Evolving Friendzone

Should gender matter in friendship? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself my whole life. After all, gender is a social set of rules (a construct as some call it). Some people follow the rules more vehemently than others. Rules exist to contain & direct human behaviour and almost always…

Alt-Masculine
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Alt-Masculine

The way I relate to men comes from some toxic experiences I’ve had with men I cared about. It has been hard to see past those traumas & rise above the gaslighting of being a ‘man-hater’ just for having a strong sense of my own identity. There is some notion…

Parting Gifts
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Parting Gifts

This post was written on Christmas Day, 2020. This picture is one of the last ones taken in December 2019. I had a Christmas Eve date (hence the colour theme). It was with someone I’d matched with on the same day I had a run-in with my past. I would…

Fierce Butterflies
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Fierce Butterflies

There is something about living your best self that draws in other people. We call its wonderful parts, inspiration. The pleasure of watching someone achieve their dream, follow their passion, be happy. But it also pulls in darker sides of humanity. Microaggressions like insincerity, barbs, sarcasm, condescension. Boundary violations like…

Enthusiastic Yes
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Enthusiastic Yes

Desire is a powerful, intoxicating force. We can easily let ourselves be blinded by what we want. We assume we know better, are quicker at making decisions or are righteous in what we want. Oh yes, I know what we want can come ratified by logic, social approval, even wisdom….

Baby Invisible
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Baby Invisible

I hide when we make loveI hide the way refugees hide in their own countryI hide inside my body It’s a nice bodyIt has the right curves, the perfect inchesIt gets a part in every male fantasy that auditions itBut it leaves no room for me He kisses me hard…

A Voice To Shatter The Glass Ceiling
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A Voice To Shatter The Glass Ceiling

I became a singer in my student days. I was on workaholic track but some classical training & 2 years of guitar lessons had me considering my vocal potential. Bollywood competitions were respite from classroom debates & projects. So I became a regular on the college festival circuit. The ability…

Red On The Floor
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Red On The Floor

I thought about people who hit me. In plural. I experienced enough before adulthood. Yet at 23, when a man I loved hit me, I knew something was wrong. Was it the force of his blow across my face, ears ringing for 6min, long pause to register its wrongness? Or…

Men Who Feed Me
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Men Who Feed Me

I had a bad relationship with food & men. Being female meant being food provider. Social rules turned to acid in my stomach. Eventually they’d pour out of my mouth as bilious words, undigested pressure. I asked shaadi boys if they could cook before their moms could ask me. No…

Timeless
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Timeless

If you were born in another era, who would you be? What would your personality be like? Your values? How would you survive that world? What role would you play? I think about this often, now. It makes me feel very grateful to be born in the time I was…

Is This Feminist? – He’s Just Not That Into You
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Is This Feminist? – He’s Just Not That Into You

I love good romcoms because done well, they’re such refreshing narratives on how we approach love and falling in love. I was around for the golden age of romcoms and came of age with the genre’s steady decline. Since this genre primarly targetted women, it also echoed our evolution (even…

On The Sitcom Couch
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On The Sitcom Couch

I’ve been watching FRIENDS. I’ve only known of it through extensive pop culture references. I’m only watching it because my content needs are very specific now – nothing dark/gristly (goodbye 75% of heavily promoted streaming content and all of social media), nothing deliberately addictive (tata, cliffhanger ending seasons). And I’ve…