Friday, May 20, 2011

My Fragile 30-Plus Body - Tag

Apu has tagged me to write about my fragile 30-plus body. I moved to this category long back and have been at the receiving end of a string of threats and advice.

The first thing that I heard as soon as I hit 30 was, "Time is running out, have a child quick". To hear that time is running out at the ripe young age of 30 is scary to say the least. I was told that it is difficult to conceive after 30 and all the more difficult to produce a healthy child and to have a normal delivery. Well, I delivered Pattu when I was 32 and I had a normal delivery.
I'm sure all these were well meant, but again, I think we are focusing on the wrong parameter - it is fitness that counts and not really 'age'.
The next thing I heard was, "Eat less - after 30, it is easy to gain (weight) but difficult to lose". Given my 'un-feminine' appetite I still find this difficult to follow. Again, I think it is more about 'eating carefully' than about eating less/ more and also working out regularly. I know a few women in their late 40-s who are not necessarily slim but have the stamina to last a tough day and still wake up cheerfully the next day. Most of us would probably want a week off after that kind of physical exertion.
However, most of the ads I see harp on losing 'inches' but not gaining 'fitness'.

Like Apu mentioned, there's the skin and hair trouble that one can never be rid of. You take care of your tan and you have black spots, pigmentation, dryness, dull skin, dandruff, damaged hair and what not.
One thing that I have noticed is that my mom's generation had a routine. They had a simple routine but then they were more disciplined than us. For instance, they oiled their hair everyday and had oil massage and a shikakai bath once a week. Most of us do this only once in a while at a parlour, whenever we have the time.

On the other hand, I am quite happy about this 30+ awakening when it comes to the focus on routine gynaecological check ups post 30 yrs. A lot of women discover ovarian cancer and the likes quite late. With the increase in breast cancer, it is better to overemphasise than play things down. Many women are aware of osteoporosis and take precautions.
Those days, after childbirth the women were just expected to be plump,selfless and they seldom had life outside 'family'. It was not even a career for many women, it was just a job. I've seldom seen my mom's generation 'hang-out' with their friends for instance. Thankfully, these have undergone a change.

Summer Fun

Last summer found Pattu either moping or monkeying around since she was too small for summer camps and those that were willing to take her were too far off. This summer, however, has so far been packed and fun-filled and Pattu is having a great time.
She loves the summer camp and this time I managed to take her to a couple of sessions by Storytrails - The Seasons Trail and the Five Senses Trail. On both occasions she had a friend along and they had great fun. Only downside was that the venue was Fab India and I ended up shopping!
She has more friends now and I see her playing better in a group than she did a few months back and I'm glad for that.
We also went to a quieter beach on ECR (beyond Panayur) and got drenched and also collected lots of shells.

Pattu is moving on to a bigger school and she would also be commuting by the school bus. The two weeks in April was smooth - she settled in quite well, liked her class teacher, enjoyed the bus ride and even offered to take care of her friend who is 'smaller' than her (making a note to warn his mom about this). I also heard from the summer camp teacher that she is very protective around him. 

Monday, May 09, 2011

How Would You React? II

I've been off the web for a while - apologies. Since I asked for your opinions, I should have responded earlier. Thank you all for sharing here; Apu - thanks for the prod - much needed :) and thanks IHM for tweeting this :)
And, here I go, without more ado:

1. At an interview to a single woman: When are you getting married? To a married woman: Are you planning a family in the near future?
No matter what, these are personal questions and has nothing to do with ones capability. This is as good as saying married women and pregnant women are not 'employable'! Every employee is bound to serve a notice period giving the organisation enough time to replace the loss. I don't see how this situation is any different.
D, to your comment - What if a male employee moves on to a better job? Attrition is something that any organisation, small or large, will have to cope with. The trend analysis will tell you to expect a certain percentage of attrition every year and the organisation should have plans to tackle it. Moreover, this question assumes that it is always the woman who moves/ quits after marriage - Not so anymore. I see a lot of men moving places/ jobs as they see fit.

2. Two male colleagues discussing the absence of another male colleague:
C1: "He left early (which was well past official timing anyway)... he had to take care of his kid"
C2: Looking surprised, "What does his wife do? Already henpecked is it!" sniggers

4. Male colleague sharing lunch that he had cooked. Another MC - "That's the plight of being married to a working woman"
A lot of men still think that it is sissy to change diapers, feed the toddlers, cook and run errands. So, it is more important to seem 'macho' than to be responsible and useful around your own home. It is as good as saying, "God, forget the brain but don't make me bald"!
PS: I have a feeling many men will resonate with that as well!!

Pooh - the best retort award for No-4 goes to you :D

3. At a ribbon cutting ceremony, a young woman is approached by a male colleague
MC: Making it sound like it is some great honor "We need a young woman like you to greet the chief guest .."(hold a tray and offer the scissors)
The irked young woman refuses and the man turns to another not so young woman in desperation. There are atleast 30 men - young and not so young at the ceremony!

KP, this one is for you.
In absolute terms, no, there's nothing wrong with holding the tray. However, this is not as simple as it seems. Have you ever seen a man holding the tray?
My peeve here is that women are perceived to be ornamental additions to such ceremonies where men hold serious offices. There were so many men at the ceremony - why weren't any of them approached? And how is it honorable for women if the same job is shameful for men?

5. Perception that women who drink/ smoke have 'loose morals'. On many occasions, I've heard comments such as, "She drinks and attends late night parties, so obviously...(men misbehave)"  And almost always it sounds like it is the woman's fault and not the man's.

DesiGirl - LOL!  **Hi-Fi** Best Comment award to you!
I can go on and on about this one but DesiGirl has just about put it in perspective. Quoting her comment here:

" Men drink and smoke DG hasn't seen them being sexually assaulted by women though often by other men. With the given logic, if a woman makes as much money as a man and has same level of education then she should be sexually assaulting drunk men. :)"

Only point where I disagree is - education or money has nothing to do with this. Just that the men have always drawn boundaries around women and if they step out of those boundaries, they are just 'asking for it'. And where are the boundaries for the men??!!

Another observation from KP - sharing it here:

this idea is perpetuated and drilled into the social psyche by movies and TV series. I dont need to tell you the number of times any female villain has been portrayed as a drinking/smoking and partying girl and the minute she is "rectified" she is shown as wearing a saree and bindi and being coy!