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With Hugh Jackman’s Latest Wolverine Movie, Is It Finally Time To Axe The X-Men?

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Now that 2016 is almost on the verge of being under the hill, one can safely say that we have overcome Apocalypse. Not perhaps any person, but a die-hard Marvel, especially a fan of the X-Men Franchise certainly can. And with that, one might have thought that the endless series of spin-offs and pre/sequels (again, a fan would know the underlying significance behind this discombobulating term) have finally been wrapped up. But as we stand on the cusp of welcoming 2017, the ‘fox’-y distributors proudly present Logan” whose official trailer has been released.

No surprises for guessing who is back in town. The rugged, swarthy Hugh Jackman as Wolverine has garnered vaulting popularity. But now, it feels that the producers are making him overstay his welcome just a tad. Not just the poor guy and his literally endless saga of angst, every X-Men film since “X-Men First Class” (XMFC, 2011) has exhibited a downward curve in terms of plot. Not just the chief storyline, but the Wolverine arc also seems susceptible to the tendency of stretching a franchise just for the sake of it. While “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009) generated intrigue; “The Wolverine” (2013) felt contrived and out of the loop. It is indeed a mystery how the latter had turned out to be a greater blockbuster than the former.

There is no denying that Jackman’s crisp cameo in XMFC was applaud worthy. “X-Men Days of Future Past” (2014) is hinged on Wolverine’s capacity to be indestructible. Hence the convenient journey back in time and the prequel/sequel confusion. Although, like many, what I did not understand was why not send Logan back to the sixties, the first time he meets the Charles-Erik duo. And rather than letting him brush them off with the choicest of words, force them to sit and explain that why they should not fight regarding their separate ideals and actually work together. Not only would it have saved a lot of heartache, but might have also prevented Charles from suffering a life of paraplegia. A YouTube channel named HISHE (How It Should Have Ended) have a brilliant statement to make in this context. Also, in reference to the first meeting in X-MEN 1, the Professor tells Logan that he met Erik when he was 17. That clearly does not hold true in XMFC where Charles is shown defending his doctoral thesis on mutants. Granted that they are directed by different people, but would a little effort at coordination have killed them?

And finally, in the most ornate feather in the franchise’s crown, “X-Men Apocalypse” (2016), where a berserk mutant decides to play God, Logan is back with his routine cameo. One cannot have Logan without Lake Alkali and Stryker, hence they are back with a bang as well. By now, with the original X-Men Trilogy, the First Class trilogy and the Wolverine arc; the fans are either sufficiently perplexed, or they have stopped giving two hoots. I believe no one’s commitment can be so great as to stretch their willing suspensions of disbelief to such as extent; especially when the tales are developing subsequent plotholes one after another. By now, I am convinced that the fanfiction authors are hatching better plots compared to the paid writers of the franchise, especially when the former are referring to the original comic book storyline.

And now, we are promised “Logan” (2017) which is apparently the final instalment in a post-apocalyptic future. Why, though? Did DOFP and XMA change nothing? Did Stryker actually succeed in his eternal plotting of ‘mutants should die’ evil? If so, what’s new? Logan is finally ageing (about time!) and his powers are weakening. Sir Patrick Stewart is back as Professor X who plays emotional mother hen to a bruised, battered Logan once more, as the latter tries to drink away his woes. In return, Logan cares for the frail and ailing professor whose telepathy is unstable. There is an enigmatic project ‘transigen’ and a young girl named Laura, who is ‘just like Logan’. How so, remains a mystery of course. Caliban from XMA makes a reappearance, portrayed by a different actor. But what of Magneto and Mystique? Are they a part of this arc still? Apparently, we also have a villain who is conspicuously named ‘Mister Sinister’/Nathaniel Essex. One might remember the XMA post-credits scene where a black case emblazoned with ESSEXCORP is shown. Overall, the buzz generates an air of an X-Men superannuated. Hence whether the trailer delivers anything worthwhile through the hands of James Mangold or falls flat on its face, it’s perhaps time to send this train to the shed.

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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.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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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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