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Strike, Dance, Rise! – This Is How We Will Celebrate Valentine’s Day

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By Anannya Chatterjee:

From times immemorial, women have been subjected to varying degrees of violence, subjugation, and oppression all around the world. Patriarchy is one evil that has deep roots in human history and continues to manifest itself in diverse forms within our society. The UN reveals in its rather shocking report that 1 out of every 3 women is beaten up or raped in her lifetime. Such a daunting reality galvanized Eve Ensler, an eminent feminist writer best known for her work “Vagina Monologues”, to start a campaign that would make people come together from all corners of the world to stand up in solidarity against the brutalities a woman faces in the society because of her gender. She named it ‘One Billion Rising‘.

Picture Credit: Anoo Bhuyan
Picture Credit: Anoo Bhuyan

Initiated in 2012, the campaign was scheduled to be held every year on 14th February. Needless to say, it spread across the globe like wild fire. People from around 200 countries came out on the streets to express outrage at every form of violence that is meted out to women. They danced in a symbolic expression of breaking the shackles binding them. Eve has been quoted saying, “dancing, as the women of Congo taught me, is a most formidable, liberating and transformative energy”. Through such a powerful medium of expression, they blatantly challenged the regressive norms of the society, and celebrated love, equality, and justice.

The campaign didn’t intend to be branded under the name of its founder; instead it essentially rose to become “a global action to be determined and carried locally”. People from different countries stood up for a cause they felt plagued them the most; be it education for girls, ending Female Genital Mutilation, or a persistent increase in the number of rape and sexual harassment cases. People from Somalia, Sudan, Tehran, Hong Kong, Philippines, and many other countries denounced the societal diktats which prevented them from leading a purposeful life the way they want to. The campaign provided a platform for women to hold hands and express solidarity, however, most importantly, it promoted harmony towards a more cohesive vision of a just and equal world for themselves and their children.

In India, the campaign was embraced with open arms. It saw participation from all across the country, such as New Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Himachal Pradesh, Madurai, Kerala, Siliguri etc, addressing issues like safety, justice, security, involvement of men in promoting women’s rights, and emancipation of women from derogatory gender roles as well as critiquing the role of moral policing in maintaining and securing the patriarchal structure of society. Each area had its own plan of action for contributing to the campaign; poster making competitions, massive flash mobs, auto-rickshaw and female driver rallies are some of the many ways in which people showed their support for the cause. The year 2014 witnessed people demanding an end to this injustice, invigorating survivors to break their silence.

In a country where a woman is undesirable in her foetal stage, perceived to be a burden on the father and a mere property meant to be passed on to the husband, the entire responsibility of the family’s honour laid on her shoulders, tortured to bow to the wishes of her husband’s family, exploited as a baby making machine with no aspirations of her own, the relevance and the necessity of the One Billion Rising Campaign makes all the more sense.

But has there been no shift in the condemnable situation of women in India? Kamla Bhasin thinks otherwise. “Whether it is in the form of women stand-up comedians, or the girl who took on Honey Singh, or the woman who raised an alarm against the man who molested her in an airplane, there is a change; you can feel it in the air.” she has been quoted in the India Gazette. “Today, more than ever, we know that the time has come to sing a requiem to patriarchy and bury or cremate it, because it is harming both men and women alike.” she adds. As many people from across the country are vigorously advocating gender equality and reclaiming their rightful position in the society that remains undeterred by the elevating incidences of violence and discrimination, it is of predominant importance that the need of the campaign be understood clearly. As Kavita Krishnan, Secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association, has to say, “The more, the better”. “The need of the hour is of campaigns that do not mince words about the kind of liberation we want for our women. Such campaigns help bring women already resisting in their individual ways together to create a mass resistance, which makes it all the more significant.”

14th February 2015 is a day to watch out for. It is a day where one billion plus people from all across the world would sway to the rhythm of freedom and joy, to liberation from the chains of dominance, loudly reminding the world that they refuse to allow their bodies, sexualities and minds to be ruled over by fundamentalist ideologies. It is a day on which people will be mobilized, engaged and awakened to end violence against women. On this day, they will rise together to celebrate love, and freedom.

Strike, Rise And Dance!

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  1. Green Lantern

    The first three sentences of the article are just the kind of lies feminism thrives on.

    1. Anannya Chatterjee

      I see. Kindly enlighten us with the truth maybe?

  2. Ra’s al Ghul

    I am surprised how many women don’t do anything at all, not even cooking, live at men’s expenses and cry patriarchy.

    1. Anannya Chatterjee

      Oh, so women “cry” patriarchy. You mean to say patriarchy doesn’t exist?

    2. Ra’s al Ghul

      Of course patriarchy exists. How else would women use men as ATMs?

    3. Anannya Chatterjee

      People like you seriously need proper education. It makes my laugh how can somebody be so blind!

  3. Dark Knight

    All great civilizations start out as strong patriarchies that value the family and male leadership after the society becomes wealthy women start gaining higher status. Matriarchies and feminism will lead to high divorce rates, single moms, poverty, a huge welfare state, and broken families and communities.

    Most women are not genuinely kind or compassionate. Their need and desire for security trumps EVERYTHING. Their looks are the ace in the hand. You can’t show me any really attractive woman whose main criterion for judging a man isn’t his wealth.

    They blame men for everything and justify it by referring to “patriarchy”, a political scapegoat. Most women can’t even understand their own biological tendencies and how women use their neotony and hypoagency to control men.

    1. Anannya Chatterjee

      Alright! So you are in absolute favor of male leadership that would bind families together. And the moment, women get the power in their hands, broken families result. And single moms is a concept that should not be there.
      Oh and you say that looks are the ace in hand, which would mean that you conveniently believe that a woman cannot make use of her talents and brains in order to achieve the sense of security and success she “needs”
      And stupid women! They blame the poor men for anything and everything! It doesnt matter if our bodies are constantly being regulated for reproductive purposes, it doesnt matter if we are objectified, it doesnt matter if we are assaulted in broad daylight, patriarchy is just another political motive to restrain the innocent men from roaming around with their brains on their penises!
      All hail patriarchy!

    2. Dark Knight

      Spoken like a true feminist: cranky, illogical, and condescending. Women like you, and all the other feminists have destroyed marriage. Ever since feminism has taken hold, divorce rates have skyrocketed and children have been living fatherless. Fatherless children are much more likely to be criminals, commit suicide, have mental disorders, and a whole slew of other problems. In your eyes this is a good thing, because you are “free”. In reality, the modern woman is tearing society apart.

    3. Green Lantern

      70% of all divorces are initiated by women, and often end in men paying enough in alimony and child support to be a financial slave. Not to mention in the majority of states even if he earned every bit of property before and during the marriage she can legally rob him of it. Men will at best get joint custody but on the woman’s terms, and if he can’t make child support payment then he can literally be thrown in jail. Women should absolutely have the right to get divorce, and walk away with what they have earned nothing more.

    4. Anannya Chatterjee

      Oh my God. Did I scare you with my condescending fangs? Oh, women like me tear the society apart. Hmm. Why dont we just stay subordinate to men like you? Stupid us!

    5. Suman

      I guess the dark knight is hitting on the positive accepts of feminism,you are totally unaware of whats written here.The crap patriarchal society aborts girl child,rapes women,does domestic violence,prevents women from higher studies,doesn’t allow freedom of women,still would u support patriarchal existence?

    6. anku

      Read ur comments on Annanya Chatterji. In todays society to a large extent u are right.

  4. Dark Knight

    Hypocrisy, they name is feminism

  5. Essential Logic

    Women are rising up and ruining the lives of their children. People don’t like being oppressed? Well, women are oppressing their children. They treat the children they don’t want like garbage by aborting them or leaving them at hospitals (which U.S. law allows) and treat the children they do want like meal tickets by collecting welfare and child support. Women didn’t participate in the world before because they didn’t want to do the work. The world was dangerous, hostile and violent so women hid behind men for protection. Then, when men made the world safer, women decided they didn’t need men any more and then destroyed families all in the name of freedom. What is the result? Today, there is more poverty among women with the rise of the single mother. More people in prison then ever before and over 85 percent of them are the products of single mothers. Being free does not mean humping bad boys, getting pregnant, demanding welfare and child support and then raising children through a string of boyfriends and irresponsible behavior. That’s not independence, that’s recklessness.

    1. Anannya Chatterjee

      *shakes my head with utter disbelief* My God. Women did not want to work so they didnt go outside?! Talk about ignorance!

  6. D Gill

    The 3 trolls below are at it again. Good luck finding a partner in life that you don’t have to subjugate in order to keep them by your side. Happy valentines days trolls, enjoy ur pizza and fap sessions lol

  7. Ducard

    Yes, Valentine’s Day! More STDS, more pregnant teenagers!

  8. The Joker

    Women love Valentine’s Day because:

    1) It reinforces the slavery of men – Men must propose, men must buy cards, men must take their date for dinner, men must buy gifts, men must buy rings, men must buy chocolates, men must buy cards, men must buy teddy bears, men must pay for the dinner ….

    2) Free pass to open their legs ….

    1. Anannya Chatterjee

      And then there are people like you who scrap my faith in humanity a bit.

    2. Fem

      This guy is nuts. Even his red pill brothers do not give him time of his day. Just ignore him.

  9. The Joker

    A store has just opened in New York City that offered free husbands. When women go to choose a husband, they have to follow the instructions at the entrance:

    “You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are 6 floors to choose from. You may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you CANNOT go back down except to exit the building!

    So, a woman goes to the store to find a husband. On the 1st floor the sign on the door reads: Floor 1 – These men Have Jobs

    The 2nd floor sign reads: Floor 2 – These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.

    The 3rd floor sign reads: Floor 3 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids and are extremely Good Looking.

    “Wow,” she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going. She goes to the 4th floor and sign reads:

    Floor 4 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.

    “Oh, mercy me!” she exclaims. “I can hardly stand it!” Still, she goes to the 5th floor and sign reads:

    Floor 5 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, help with Housework and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.

    She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the 6th floor and the Sign reads:

    Floor 6 – You are visitor 71,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that you are impossible to please.

    Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

    1. Anannya Chatterjee

      Lets just conveniently ignore the fact that this is a hypothetical situation made by men to shame women, shall we?

    2. TheSeeker

      I can see by your comment that you have lost all faith in the female gender, for some reason. Kindly don’t generalize your past experiences with women with the entire female population.
      P.S I’ll probably never get an answer to this but I have a strong conviction that Dark Knight, Green Lantern, Ducard, Joker, Ra’s Al Ghul (maybe even Jigsaw) are all the same person (or know each other) because they’re ALL superhero/villain references AND atleast two or three of them comment on one article on YKA. Too much of a coincidence here.

    3. Ducard

      I guess TempleTwins is now The Seeker.

    4. TheSeeker

      Well nope 🙂

    5. Anannya Chatterjee

      Whoever you are. Your comment was a bliss to my eyes. Thank you. 🙂

  10. Getting facts right

    To all those men who ignorantly believe that women are vulnerable and opportunists allow me to get your history right. Human race has been in existence for millions of years but written data of civilization dates back 10000 years. When we were in our primitive stage women just as men were strong, even stronger for they would go hunting with their babies tied to their body. Man would not bear the responsibility of child bearing as they were wanderers and would leave the place after fulfilling their carnal instinct. So a woman would fend for herself and her kid. Therefore a child’s only parent was their mother in most cases and thats probably why the first Gods were females. During that period men and women were equal in strenght but men werent important due to his inability to reproduce. Now a detailed study of sociology confirms that the men gained importance only when he started making things for example fire.
    Now for the history behind why women go for wealthier men. This is a western idea. Well I wouldn’t point finger at a woman and call her opportunist for that because if I were to lose my name and quit my job after marriage and as well have no rights over my children there is no doubt that I would indeed marry a wealthier man! It is as a result of such atrocious rules made by men that women had to sacrifice true love for some rich man to secure hers as well her children’s future. And so I tell you men that there is no point crying over spilt milk! If you want things to change start with youself and your treatment of the opposite sex!

    1. TempleTwins

      You got most of your facts from your Gender studies class room, most of the theories of social scientist aren’t peer-to-peer evaluated, it means it is in par with that of a creationist like the theory of intelligent design based on few misguided observation and emotional crowd pleasing rhetoric.

      Men were majority of the hunters and women were majority of gatherers, an average man is physically stronger and faster than an average woman. If a hunter has both daughter and son, and took them both for hunting, he could see the daughter not as faster as his son(chasing a prey) and not as stronger as the son(while throwing a spear), and she dying would be more of a loss since has an intrinsic value based on her baby making ability. So he preferred his daughter to stay with the mother at home, that how the division of labor started. Women staying home and men doing the dirty, dangerous work and that arrangement was beneficial or necessary for the survival due to the harsh conditions of that time.

      Now we live in a service based economy, most of the hard physically demanding work is taken over by machines due to our industrial revolution. Women are out of their houses and earning money and are being financially independent, yet somehow men are still seen as the providers of women and their children. I used ‘their children’ as children are properties of women, ask any family court judges and they would resonate the same sentiment.

      Now for the history behind why women go for wealthier men. This is a western idea.

      You are very wrong, women are hypergamous in almost every country, especially in India hypergamy is rampant. You hardly see any woman marrying some man earning less than her. All the mothers compel their sons to go for someone who studied less and earns less than them, as they are hypergamous themselves and understand the psyche of a typical woman.

      Well I wouldn’t point finger at a woman and call her opportunist
      Why would you, as long as some women benefit from it, women change their names which is not enforced by law, just a social custom, children are womens properties so that is a moot point, women has to quit their job which is not enforced by law, women can make a new law such that no man can force women to quit their job, but it would work against all those women who quit their job willingly and rip their husbands in divorce courts. Men must provide women which is enforced by law, men must give their assets, properties, ancestral properties to some woman who wont sleep with them, cook for them if she unilaterally decides to end the marriage.

      No wonder men were beating the shit out their wife, if you enslave them financially through legislature with no social or legal support, the only way a man would respond to this how he had always responded towards injustice, by being violent, either to himself (high suicide rate) or to his estranged gold-digging wife. No point crying over broken tooth, If you want things to change, start with yourself and your treatment of the opposite sex.

  11. TempleTwins

    I have a reason to boycott Valentines day. As the day means, what can a man do to a woman in order show that he is worthy of her love, rather than expression of mutual love. The way how media with their ads on diamonds, golds are catered towards men to gift their so and so. It is exploitative for men and ladies, sleeping with him is not a gift, I am guessing if he played his cards right, I will gift him myself is a hogwash.

    This article reeks on gynocentic feminism and she also quoted Kavita Krishnan who opposed the gender neutrality of rape in the anti-rape bill, so much for equality.

    Of course patriarchy exists. How else would women use men as ATMs?
    LOL! that was a good point, men are providers and protectors of women in patriarchy, how it doesn’t make sense to you?

    Good luck finding a partner in life that you don’t have to subjugate in order to keep them by your side. Happy valentines days trolls, enjoy ur pizza and fap sessions lol

    Why do you think mens self-worth relies on keeping a women in their life. You also shame them for their fap sessions, you know what, at least it is sex with someone they love!

    Why dont we just stay subordinate to men like you? Stupid us!
    We seek not dominance or subservience to women, only autonomy.

    I can see by your comment that you have lost all faith in the female gender, for some reason. Kindly don’t generalize your past experiences with women with the entire female population.

    There may be many variables why such generalizations are true. Generalizations are there for a reason. This does not make all generalization right; it makes them right in general…which is why we call it generalization.

    I feel both men and women are pitted against each other may be by the govt, bureaucrats, feminists as they all benefit from such a clash, I used to think we all must stay together but I sense a lot of hostility towards men and a social empathy gap too and men being nice and ever loving is going to put them in a disadvantageous position.

    You just have to find the right woman is a tradcon argument, whether you are a good woman or not, there is an invisible gun in every mans head once he is married to you, pulling that trigger is based on your good nature alone, is putting you, a human being who is as flawed as anybody else with excessive power over somebody, even my parents, friend have no such right towards me, but my wife do through legislative. That is why it is best for men to walk away from marriage, we may have relationship with women but with no cohabitation, we may sleep with women but not date them, as the dating arrangements in itself is exploitative and some men prefer to be asexual and celibates avoid women altogether, that is preferable too.

    I guess TempleTwins is now The Seeker.
    I see what you did there Ducard :P. I’ve read INTJ women are rarest of the rare kind Seeker, we are unique 😉

    1. Dude :D

      I think one more reason for you to boycott Valentines day is that you have no one to spend it with 😉

    2. TempleTwins

      Ha! That’s a good one Dude but you’re never alone, you can always embrace your man to hand relationship, at least you won’t be called a creep for wanting more 😉

    3. TheSeeker

      Not a generalisation, it was more of a sexist joke. And is that what we really need to achieve equality? A pissing contest between both genders? I can come up with better comebacks.
      Anyways, I am glad that someone who thinks in the same way as me exists. Must be the TJ in us :). Your opinion about things seems to be very consolidated, whereas mine keeps wavering as I keep learning :P. I’m 23 and have much to learn, I guess.
      “Seeker, are unique”
      That we are ✌ 😀

    4. TempleTwins

      Not a generalisation, it was more of a sexist joke.

      When you said, I quote ‘Kindly don’t generalize your past experiences with women with the entire female population’. I thought you were talking about opinions of women in general and not the joke.

      And is that what we really need to achieve equality? A pissing contest between both genders? I can come up with better comebacks.

      Heh! I am sure you can comeback with a better sammich(joke..joke), when the whole mens rights advocacy began in the 1970s, they were egalitarian in their approach, they were as much feminist as they were MRAs but for the next 3 decades nothing ever changed, there were more gynocentric laws and men had more to lose then ever before.

      Just a decade ago this new wave of Mens rights opposing social misandry started, we already have every forums full of MRAs and debates on national television with an opposing view taking away the monopoly that feminists had. Sure it was a pissing contest, loud and dramatic, because anyone who is any less than that, is shouted down and anyone who were loud enough appeared as though they were right. I wish it for it to be different but the enemies of reasons are way too passionate to have any meaningful disclosure.

      Anyways, I am glad that someone who thinks in the same way as me exists.
      Me too, I wasn’t aware of this MBTI stuff until you asked me, it was quiet intriguing, like you are.

      Your opinion about things seems to be very consolidated, whereas mine keeps wavering as I keep learning.
      Yes! my opinions on things evolve with my understanding, with the things I learn and the knowledge I gain. You’re young, it is only natural for the mind to be wavering, pondering and only through that you attain clarity. Cheers 😀

    5. TheSeeker

      I think I may agree with you on the pissing contest thing. You’re never wrong about anything, eh? But I hope you realise that its high time for a more prudent movement/belief/ideology (which is definitely not feminism or masculism- that’s what you call it I hope) ?
      Psychology has been a great hobby of mine and I think knowing a person’s MBTI type gives a lot of information about him/her. You seemed interesting from the beginning I started reading YKA and therefore I asked you.
      Btw are you an atheist? You have the vibe of one lol

    6. TempleTwins

      You’re never wrong about anything, eh?

      There had been things I’ve been wrong about, but it changed once I learn about it, that is how our ideas, perceptions evolve I guess.

      I hope you realise that its high time for a more prudent movement/belief/ideology

      I think there are many social issues which needs our attention but when it comes to gender politics, once when we undo all the gynocentic laws and by law when men and women are equal, then we both can fight social attitudes together and welcome any new movement.

      Psychology has been a great hobby of mine
      Sweet, I’ve always been interested in reading people, I started reading a lot about body language, FACS etc. I’ve read a bit about Freud & Jung too, have you seen the movie ‘A dangerous method’ ?

      Btw are you an atheist? You have the vibe of one lol
      I was of one those guys who used to carry his holy book to school everyday but I was also the first one among my friends to share books of Christopher Hitchens, Dawkins. My thirst to learn made me come out of organized religion, yet I see even my friends take the label atheist, to simply hate anything religious, I am not that kind of atheist.

      Being rational, scientific disclosure and the ability to reason were something I took from it, I also feel if we as human beings done with crazy religious ideologues, it will be replaced by some other crazy ideologues (hint hint.. feminist theories, Atheism+).

      You seemed interesting from the beginning
      Likewise, but I never thought you were a woman though, may be because INTJ women are rarest of the rare kind, so you weren’t fitting inside a typical woman box.

    7. TheSeeker

      Thanks, it was good to know something about you. Yes, I’ve watched it, for Keira Knightley is one of my favourite actresses. That movie was very… insightful.
      I’m an atheist too, though admittedly, I find religion annoying and oppressive (trying to build up a tolerance). Beauty lies in the inexplicable unknown, in my opinion.

  12. Suman

    ananya please write about how bollywood spoils the man mind and also how it spoils the female mind as well

    1. Anannya Chatterjee

      Absolutely, Sir. The next time I get a chance, I’ll do that for sure 🙂

  13. anindya

    Chill girl. These ignorant people are *ducktards. Who don’t even know what feminism is. Its just about the notion that we women are as humane as you guys are. But then these idiots are uneducated , shallow minded creatures. Continue with this good work .

    1. Anannya Chatterjee

      And then you come to my rescue :*

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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