Author: Jasmine Bala

The Brewing Broth: Some of 2014’s Top Women To Watch Out For

We hope you brought in New Years’ with a bang, celebrating with friends and family. We stand at the foothill of a new year with aspirations for success—and change—for success. We thank the women who made 2013 spectacular—our leading divas, entrepreneurs, fashionistas, hip-hop stars, politicians, young leaders, academicians, doctors—just to name a few. After a bit of star gazing, here are some of the trending women superstars of 2014. We can’t wait to see them shine! 1. Hillary Clinton She did a phenomenal job as President Obama’s Secretary of State. She’s had her social media pages buzzing with our support for the country’s first potential female President. Although she isn’t officially running for President yet, Hillary Clinton is definitely our 2014’s derby horse favourite. She’s proven herself and she’s got the strength. Let’s see what 2014 has in store for her. 2. Avani Saglani Davda At 33, Davda is the youngest CEO of Tata Starbucks, Tata Sons being one of India’s leading companies. As one of the only women in the retail business, Davda looks …

On Skinny-Shaming: Not all real women have curves!

Recently, the world witnessed a surge of criticism on fat-shaming, with many plus-sized women coming out to flaunt their bodies and starting “Love Your Body” campaigns. Size zero went from an ideal body size to something women started looking at as unnecessarily and disgustingly unattainable. Marilyn Monroe became the new ‘ideal’ of a woman. Today, more women want to be like her. More runway designers are showcasing plus-size models in their shows and designing clothes for bigger-sized women. There is a new-found conception that ‘real women have curves.’ Though I do believe that women with curves are beautiful and that they should prize their body shapes, I do not believe that all real women should have curves. In the midst of the movement to build self-esteem for plus-size women, we often forget that we might be demeaning women who are naturally thin or have size-zero bodies.  While the world has become more body-positive, the movement to help bolster self-worth can sometimes inadvertently happen at the expense of someone or something else. In the light of …

Gendercide in India: Interview with Nyna Caputi, producer and director of documentary film “Petals in the Dust”

Nyna Pais Caputi, the producer and director of the film Petals in the Dust, is originally from India and currently lives in the Bay Area. She founded the Global Walk for India’s Missing Girls in 2010, which is an international awareness campaign on “gendercide” in India that has taken place in over 25 cities and five countries. Caputi’s film, Petals in the Dust, is a documentary that brings to light the tragic murders of millions of Indian girls and women due to a preference of sons among Indian society. The film explores the roots of misogyny, the experiences of women across socioeconomic and political lines, and the efforts bring an end to gender-based violence. The upcoming film’s trailer has been screened in numerous cities in India, Canada and USA, and is quickly drawing attention from people. Girls’ Globe catches up with the woman behind the camera. Jasmine: You are an activist and founder of an international awareness campaign on young girls. How did you come up with the idea of Petals in the Dust? What …

MEASURE FOR MEASURE: MUMBAI BANS LINGERIE MANNEQUINS

For centuries, humans are seen as the ‘most intelligent’ of the earth-dwellers, as organisms that possess the faculties to think, exhibit and control. Our mental faculties are meant set us apart from animals— giving us better control over our animalistic instincts and thereby lending sophistication to our social behavior. However, humankind seems to be experiencing ‘turn-ons’ and ‘turnoffs’—tiny button-like movements within us—that we can’t seem to control. Our inability to control our animalistic behavior, or situations that lead to ‘turn-ons’, make us aggressive and animalistic. When we can’t control ourselves any longer, we begin to make irrational and impulsive decisions. The Municipal Council of Mumbai, India, has decided to take action against what seems to be a breach in the law of human behavior.  Post the number of severe rape cases India has witnessed, they will be taking serious measures to prevent such occurrence, by getting rid of the stimulus that leads to such impulsive behavior. The Municipal Council passed a resolution last month banning the display of lingerie mannequins in the city of Mumbai. …

LULU: RATING HIM A 6 WON’T MAKE YOU A 10

It didn’t take time for it to make news in the men’s locker rooms after a group of sweaty, tired football players pulled out their i-phones and yelped—“what the f**k!” It traveled faster than just some who’s-that-hot-chick thing that forms the usual mode of conversation at post-practice sessions among hefty male athletes who “just need to relieve themselves of some dangerous testosterone.” “Hey Higgins that’s you,” cried Ralph, pushing aside a towel and making his way to a big, muscly guy who was recruited to the university a year ago for his innate ability to throw a ball. “You’re an impressive 8.6.” Who cares if Rihanna’s ass just got bigger on screen and Amanda Bynes just passed a racist remark? A dude who considers himself an alpha-male, a “chick-magnet” and “the big guy” just got rated on an application by a bunch of giggly, gossipy college girls who were once arm-candy and bed-warmers for our big football star. Slowly, and poisonously, like a hydrogen gas leakage, it seeped out of the men’s locker rooms into …

I’M BEAUTIFUL AND I DON’T NEED YOU TO TELL ME THAT

Dove recently launched a new ad that complimented women on their natural beauty. “Women are more beautiful than they think” the ad said. Quite predictably, thousands of women updated their Facebook and Twitter statuses with “We are more beautiful than we think we are” and “Treasure yourself, you are beautiful.” What many read to be a flattering source of self-respect and realization of the self, can be seen as unmistakably condemning to the women race- a shamelessly shallow justification of beauty, I would argue. Are we really defined by our outer appearances? If you watch the ad, you will see that the experiment conducted by Dove in the ad involves a tall, blonde woman who doesn’t see herself as beautiful enough. People around her describe her to be more beautiful than she perceives herself. She leaves the room in tears, convinced that she is more beautiful than she imagines. A happy ending. Not really. It’s astounding how unquestioning and shallow women can sometimes be. Blogger Jazz Brice correctly points out in her blog (http://jazzylittledrops.tumblr.com/post/48118645174/why-doves-real-beauty-sketches-video-makes-me), that the ad …

THE F-WORD

I never put on a pair of heels when I was growing up. I just never did. I hated that whole if-the-shoe-fits kind of thing. Why should I have to keep that “fit” if I could just put on a pair of sneakers? So I put on my sneakers and just felt like myself in them. They offered comfort and stability. It didn’t take much time for my girlfriends to check out those rad pair of sneakers I was sporting and giggle, “Oh, did you just get back from a run?” It didn’t take me much time to realize that it wasn’t just the clanking of heels that annoyed me. It wasn’t just a sneaker versus heels deal anymore. In high school, I publicly proclaimed I was a feminist. That was it. I had an inbox flooded with messages asking me what the f**k was wrong. Was I serious? Did I really want to be shunned by all the boys? Was I really turning into an I-hate-boys-recluse? I wasn’t. And I had nothing to say to …

BEHIND THE CURTAIN: ON UNREPORTED RAPES IN INDIA

(AP / Altaf Qadri)   While we came out on the streets to protest the rape of a 23-year-old woman named Nirbhaya who was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi, India, a 15-year-old Dalit, or former “untouchable”  girl was being held captive in Dharauli village in Sultanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, and was repeatedly raped by a group of upper-class perpetrators. While thousands of people gathered on the streets to revolt against those who raped and killed Nirbhaya, this little Dalit girl had no one to even report her case, let alone light a candle to support her. And she isn’t alone. A 16-year-old in Sonepat, Haryana tried to take her life by setting herself on fire after being raped by her uncle. An 8-year-old girl was found floating in a lake in Bihar after being raped and killed. The NCRB (National Crime Record Bureau) of India records a 112 percent rise in the number of reported rapes between 1990 and 2008 in India. In 2011, 24,206 rape cases were reported. That’s 66 rapes …