abomination to nuggan
A year ago, my little 4-year old came back from school, eager to tell me the story of how Ganapati got his elephant head. As I listened to her reciting the well-loved and familiar tale with gusto, I was struck by one jarring detail. “Parvati felt so sad when Shiva killed her little boy, she started crying,” she said, explaining how Shiva replaced his head to soothe his distraught wife. This was definitely not my grandmother’s Ganesha story. My daughter’s very progressive pre-school had sanitised the myth to fit the portrait of a happy modern nuclear family. Don’t worry, good daddies comfort sad mommies, and make it all okay. “No, baby, Parvati was so angry that she vowed to destroy the entire universe,” I corrected her, “The gods were so terrified that they ran to Shiva and begged him to bring the boy back to life.” The Parvati I grew up with was not a heart-broken waif, but powerful and feared goddess whose wrath had to be appeased in order to save all creation. The Lakshmi who we once beseeched on bended knee for good fortune now sits sad-eyed on a lotus sporting a bloodied nose. This transformation is not restricted to one school play. The tamer version of the Ganesha myth rears its conservative head on various Hinduism sites online — from where it presumably found its way to my daughter’s school. In 21st century India, we have become uncomfortable with that other Parvati, the embodiment of the divine principle of Adi Shakti, the goddess of a 1000 names who strikes terror in the hearts of gods, demons, and mortals, alike. This year’s Ganesh Puja coincides with another such act of domestication. A new public awareness campaign is making waves for portraying Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga as victims of domestic violence. The eyebrow-raising images of the “Save our Sisters” initiative are accompanied by text that reads: “Pray that we never see this day. Today, more than 68% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.” The message is intended to shame: no woman is safe in our culture, not even our beloved goddesses. The Lakshmi who we once beseeched on bended knee for good fortune now sits sad-eyed on a lotus sporting a bloodied nose. This Saraswati’s infinite wisdom and knowledge are no defense against a black-eye. The same Durga who once danced on Mahishasura’s corpse now stands bruised, battered and teary-eyed, begging for our protection. This Saraswati’s infinite wisdom and knowledge are no defense against a black-eye. The campaign instead does grave disservice to both our deities and women. A male colleague points out that the campaign feeds into “this oscillation between women as goddess/ women as sluts that we can’t get out of as opposed to women as humans/equal citizens.” It is an updated iteration of the conservative woman-as-goddess theme; highlighting the plight of the Sati/Savitris and Ghar ki Lakshmis who suffer at the hands of uncaring men. It sends out the message that ”good” women deserve our protection and compassion — while unwittingly suggesting that the “bad” ones may not. Worse, the advertisements rob Indian women of our culture’s most enduring images of feminine authority by reducing our goddesses to victims, stripping them of their awesome divinity. Even in the most patriarchal reaches of our society, the powerful goddess offers cultural sanction for female desire, self-assertion, and power. As we are reminded over and again — in ritual and fiction — every woman carries within the her the seed of divine transformation. […] Transforming the triumphant, red-toothed Durga into an abused wife does not empower Indian women, but reinforces their helplessness. What hope do mere mortals have when even a goddess cannot resist abuse or protect herself?

Lakshmi Chaudhry, Durga Ma as a battered wife: A giant step backward for womankind (via swaghavad-gita)

there was something that rubbed me wrong about that photoset but i couldn’t put it into words. she did.

(via alltheblacksheep)

Yes me too.

(via plotwillbeshot)


(via elaran)


she was like “you both are really similar and whenever my friend and i talk about you guys, we’re both talking about how you two should meet and how well you’d work together. so i invited them over for dinner at the end of this month”

okay this seriously sounds like a set up

is my mum setting me up for a date

admittedly it’d be in the house BUT STILL

and then my mum was like “she’s like you! she’s not interested in getting married and doesn’t like anyone”

i was doubtful, i mean, maybe she just doesn’t tell her mother those kind of deets yeah?

but then

"no, her mother in facts encourages her to get a boyfriend! but she just says no"


seriously, my mum invited them over JUST SO HER FRIEND’S DAUGHTER AND I COULD MEET



i’m afraid

i’m afraid of making choices

i’m afraid of making decisions, because what if it doesn’t turn out okay?

to me, a decision is concrete, and the idea of being able to change it is foreign

part of me gets really inspired whenever i read posts that urge me to better my life, to explore, to not worry about mundane things like exams that won’t matter in the grand scheme of things

but say if i do climb that mountain, say if i do kiss that person, say if i do profess my unconditional love, say if i do something that by definition is meant to be liberating

what then

what if nothing happens

what if i am still as empty and scared and anxious as before

i can’t take that risk

an unpremeditated risk with unforeseeable outcomes that may or may not lead to further happiness 

my anxiety builds and builds and builds until there’s a wall blocking me from the world, shielding me from considering any possibility that isn’t the now

but the truth is that i don’t actually care

i don’t actually care if i’m missing out on something incredible

although decision-making is the bane of my existence, i don’t wish to change it

self-improvement is a cool concept, and i indulge in it every so often, but in this case, i’m perfectly happy in my mediocrity

and i’m tired of that being a bad thing


One time I was masturbating in the shower and came so hard that I couldn’t keep in my scream but I knew my brother was in the bedroom next door and that he’d hear and know what I was doing so I quickly transitioned into singing the opening of the Lion King.

To all those who don’t think the rape joke was a problem, or rape jokes are a problem.

I get it, you’re a decent guy. I can even believe it. You’ve never raped anybody. You would NEVER rape anybody. You’re upset that all these feminists are trying to accuse you of doing something or connect you to doing something that, as far as you’re concerned, you’ve never done and would never condone.

And they’ve told you about triggers, and PTSD, and how one in six women is a survivor, and you get it. You do. But you can’t let every time someone gets all upset get in the way of you having a good time, right?

So fine. If all those arguments aren’t going anything for you, let me tell you this. And I tell you this because I genuinely believe you mean it when you say you don’t want to hurt anybody, and you don’t see the harm, and that it’s important to you to do your best to be a decent and good person. And I genuinely believe you when you say you would never associate with a rapist and you think rape really is a very bad thing.

Because this is why I refuse to take rape jokes sitting down-

6% of college age men, slightly over 1 in 20, will admit to raping someone in anonymous surveys, as long as the word “rape” isn’t used in the description of the act.

6% of Penny Arcade’s target demographic will admit to actually being rapists when asked.

A lot of people accuse feminists of thinking that all men are rapists. That’s not true. But do you know who think all men are rapists?

Rapists do.

They really do. In psychological study, the profiling, the studies, it comes out again and again.

Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. And more, these people who really are rapists are constantly reaffirmed in their belief about the rest of mankind being rapists like them by things like rape jokes, that dismiss and normalize the idea of rape.

If one in twenty guys is a real and true rapist, and you have any amount of social activity with other guys like yourself, really cool guy, then it is almost a statistical certainty that one time hanging out with friends and their friends, playing Halo with a bunch of guys online, in a WoW guild, or elsewhere, you were talking to a rapist. Not your fault. You can’t tell a rapist apart any better than anyone else can. It’s not like they announce themselves.

But, here’s the thing. It’s very likely that in some of these interactions with these guys, at some point or another someone told a rape joke. You, decent guy that you are, understood that they didn’t mean it, and it was just a joke. And so you laughed.

And, decent guy who would never condone rape, who would step in and stop rape if he saw it, who understands that rape is awful and wrong and bad, when you laughed?

That rapist who was in the group with you, that rapist thought that you were on his side. That rapist knew that you were a rapist like him. And he felt validated, and he felt he was among his comrades.

You. The rapist’s comrade.

And if that doesn’t make you feel sick to your stomach, if that doesn’t make you want to throw up, if that doesn’t disturb you or bother you or make you feel like maybe you should at least consider not participating in that kind of humor anymore…

Well, maybe you aren’t as opposed to rapists as you claim.

Time-Machine (via a comment at shakesville.com)

Single greatest argument about this I have ever heard. 

(via justintheallan)

teen wolf starts tomorrow

this means i will have to change to my teen wolf blawg!!!! fun times!!!!

alas exams are also forthcoming. what to do?!?! i’m going to watch teen wolf anyway why am i fighting this

i’m off!! see you sometime maybe?????

i love your new theme! it seems more relaxed and casual (I did like your previous one as well :P) Oh! and that 16 steps to happiness? IT'S SO GOOD. I love how simple they are, but the impact that they have will be huge! We should totez work together on these :D


yeah i was really going for the absolutely simplistic theme. now all my blogs are the same theme!!

i’m already accidentally doing a few of them so yes!!! let’s be cool cats together!!!!!

First you’re taught to fear a phantom, a man in black, a man with a knife, a man who’ll pounce in dark alleys. Well-intentioned women—mothers, aunts, teachers—will train you to protect yourself: Don’t wear your hair in a ponytail; it’s easier to grab. Hold your keys in one hand; hold your pepper spray in the other. Avoid dark alleys. When you reach young adulthood, the lessons change. They acquire an undertone of disgust: Don’t drink so much. Don’t wear such short skirts. You’re sending mixed signals; you’re putting yourself at risk. If you follow the advice and it never happens—if you end up one of the three out of four—you can convince yourself that safety is a product of your own making, a reflection of inherent goodness. But if you’re paying attention, you realize something doesn’t add up. Because it keeps happening: to your sisters; to your friends; to little girls and grown women you’ll never meet, in places like Cleveland, Texas; Steubenville, Ohio; New Delhi. Good people, bad people, neutral. It keeps happening in TV shows and novels and movies—they open on the missing girl, the dead girl, the raped girl. If you’re paying attention, you begin to realize that it isn’t happening. It is being done. And you are not safe. You have never been safe. You were born with a bulls-eye on your back. All you have ever been is lucky.
The Female Gaze: SO MUCH PRETTY by Cara Hoffman via Unpacking the F Word (via im-a-kittycat)