Emotional Intelligence - 7 Ways It Makes You A Better Person

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Emotional Intelligence

When I imagine myself sitting on the moon and observing human civilisation, I find it to be extremely diverse. Some people are very good at what they do. Some of them are good at their jobs and some of them are good at sports or studies or arts and music. We're constantly exploring the vast universe. But when it comes to emotional intelligence(EQ), it is sad to say that most of us lack it. So compassionate human civilization is slowly turning into a robot uprise.

Let me tell you how I have observed human evolution through time and what I think we lack. When it comes to personal lives, some things are appropriate for you and some are not. The social interaction in our lives determine the fate of our interpersonal relationships. Either with family, friends, life partners or any other social relationship, EQ plays a key role. It is the ability to understand the emotions of ourselves as well as that of others.

So if you want to be a better life partner or an easier roommate to live with or wish to have fruitful relationships with your family and friends then it is never too late to start introspecting. It doesn’t matter if you were emotionally unavailable in the past. I have gathered for you, the 7 most important ways in which EQ boosts your emotional and social bowl and believe me, what I have observed so far will make your life at least a tad bit more prosperous.

  1. It helps you accept criticism- We are often furious about criticism because rather than taking it as positive feedback we take offence. It is important to always be prepared to accept criticism with open arms because it will help you and your partner grow together and become a better version of yourself. This way you can find out what your partner likes about you and what changes you can make. So never take constructive criticism personally.
  2. It makes you a better listener- The key to a healthy romantic relationship is being a good listener. This way you can be in a relationship for a long time. Not listening will only lead to resenting each other. And you will get tired of your partner. Listening helps you understand the needs and emotions of your partner.
  3. It makes you open to change- One thing I have observed is that humans are so afraid of change that they prefer to be in a set structure. Change in life is a constant thing. Whether it's your career or your personality or your hairstyle. So try to appreciate change and embrace it rather than running away from it.
  4. It helps you see good in one another- We as humans are prone to negativity. You must have experienced it in your life. But EQ can make you see the good in your partner. You can evaluate that when they are taking you for granted.
  5. It helps you stay committed- In a healthy and long term relationship, staying committed is a real challenge. Emotional intelligence helps you understand the loss of your partners so that you stay invested in them. Research shows that most successful marriages or relationships have one thing in common, i.e. EQ.
  6. It makes you better at sharing- We often struggle with sharing our space, like with roommates, for example. It can be difficult to share your space and things with your roommates. EQ helps you understand that the other person has the same needs as you. But this doesn't mean that there should be no boundaries. There's a fine line between sharing and occupying.
  7. It makes you more mindful- Being mindful is an important aspect of any relationship. In fact, EQ and mindfulness have a symbiotic relationship. EQ helps you understand it. You can evaluate how screaming or slamming the door in someone's face would negatively impact their day. Now compare it with a calm conversation and how rich your relationship would be if you choose the other way. Which way will take your relationship in the long run in both these cases?

Building EQ doesn’t just make you good at your relationships but you evolve into a better person. So it is time to break that robotic barrier and tackle your emotions and needs in a different way. Because there is not a fixed answer for everything. In EQ you make your own answers.

Let me know in the comments how you feel about it. By the way, the earth looks pretty gorgeous from up here and so do you.

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Common cyber scams targeted at teenagers

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Common cyber scams targeted at teenagers

These days teens might be tech-savvy but often they fall victim to cyber scams. Because they lack the knowledge of real-world. Because of their easily trust nature and overconfidence lure them in such scams. They think they know everything but the world wide web is a scary place. Because teens these days spend most of their time on their phones. It becomes very easy for scammers to prey on teenagers.

If you are reading this article then I have listed a few common cyber scams for you. So that you keep these in mind and don’t fall victim to any of them.

  • Inexpensive luxury products- Whenever you are browsing through your phones, you always come across such ads where you will be offered a very good deal on iPhones or your favorite clothes brand. You also might find the handbag and shoes you have been trying to get your hands on. Teenagers often get swept away when they see that they can get their dream products for such cheap prices.
    You should know that these are just scams and no such stores exist in the real world. Scammers are just trying to con of your money. Some of you go ahead along with the adds and when your money is gone then you find out that your product is nowhere to be found because it never existed. Most of the time teens are ashamed of themselves that they don’t even report it to their parents or authorities. So mostly such scams get unreported.
  • Fake scholarships and grants- Many teens often look for financial aid for their college and that is when they fall victim to such scams. But you should know that these offers are just to steal your identity and sell it to other platforms. You should always apply for scholarships through government websites. And never give your personal information like credit card number. Always try to visit the office of such companies. so you will have an idea about if they really exist.
  • Sexting scams- This is the most common scam these days. Because you meet a lot of people online and suppose you start talking to someone. Suppose you send a nude picture to that particular person and there will be complete silence for some time. You will start getting desperate and then a message will pop from the other end that you are talking to my underage son or daughter. It is illegal and I am reporting you.
    Most of the teens get freaked out and starts begging that please don’t tell anyone and that is when the money question pops in. So out of fear, they pay that person some money. But in reality, there is no underage kid on the other end. You just fell victim to a cruel scam. So always be careful of whom you are talking to. And never exchanged nudes until you have confirmed the identity of another person.
  • The Instascam- These days millions of teens are obsessed with Instagram. You will often come across get rich quick links. Sometimes these scammers come into your DMs also. Or if you are on any celebrity Instagram profile, you will always find such comments. When you follow those links you will be promised to make double money in hours and when you provide your debit or credit card information. You will know that you have been scammed already. So always be careful of such scammers.
  • Part-time works- Teenagers always try to make a few bucks on the side so that they can get their favorite sneakers. And this is how they fall into part-time job scams. You might have also received such an email or ad on your social media that I work from home and I make thousands of rupees per week by just working a few hours. But when you proceed then you will find out that they will ask some basic payment from you first. And once you will pay them. They will be nowhere to be found. So never try to make money through such shortcuts.

I hope these references will help you in the future so you will not fall victim to such scams. I would also request the parents to have a regular talks with their teens on such topics. If you ever feel that something is fishy then always consult an adult in your family.

Have you ever encountered such scams then feel free to share with us.

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Eating disorders and mental health in teenagers

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Eating disorder and mental health are two sides of the same coin. Depression leads to eating disorders and vice versa. Eating disorders among teenagers are very common. For instance, take Rache. She is a 14 years old girl. She finished her lunch in the school cafeteria. She is so upset with sudden weight gain that she went to the bathroom and forced herself to throw up. It might seem normal for starters that sometimes we throw up after eating food, but after doing for 5 to 10 times, and now it is a daily ritual for Rachel. And in the future, it will lead to serious health concerns, even death.

Jack is 16 years boy, and he was a chubby kid growing up, so he became obsessed to have an athletic body. So he started only eating salad and started running miles every day. After some time, jack became tall and thin, but he always felt tired and exhausted. One night he became severely ill with stomach pain and cramps. He was admitted to hospital and now undergoing various tests for his mystery illness.

Nowadays, millions of teenagers are affected by eating disorders, and most of them are girls. One out of every 7 girls are or were struggling with eating disorders. Of all the eating disorders cases, 90% of them are girls. Weight obsession is the main reason for this as all teenagers these days are obsessed with the perfect body.

Eating disorders can happen in many ways; some people don’t like to eat all then some do binge eating. Mainly, There are three types of eating disorders.

  1. Anorexia Nervosa - People having anorexia nervosa avoid food or eat very less amount of food. Even if they eat, they are very restrictive and selective of their food choices. Even if they are underweight, they consider themselves overweight.

Symptoms- Here are some signs and what it will lead to over a period of time.

  • Extremely restricted eating and in some cases intensive and excessive exercise
  • Extreme thinness
  • A never-ending pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a healthy and normal weight.
  • Intense fear of weight gain
  • Poor body image, a self-esteem that is heavily influenced and shaped by perceptions and projection of body weight and shape

And these symptoms over time can develop in worse cases like-

  • Thinning of the bones (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
  • Mild anaemia and muscle wasting and weakness
  • Brittle hair and nails, dry and yellowish skin, Growth of fine hair all over the body
  • Severe constipation, Low blood pressure, slowed breathing and pulse
  • Damage to the structure and function of the heart
  • Drop-in internal body temperature, causing a person to feel cold all the time
  • Lethargy, sluggishness, or feeling tired all the time
  • Irregular periods delayed puberty and slow growth
  • Infertility, Brain damage, and multiorgan failure

Anorexia is a fatal eating disorder, and it can lead to sudden death. It has the most mortality rate among all eating disorders. People with anorexia often have a hard time remembering things. The thoughts and emotions they go through daily are- feeling alone, sad, or depressed, anxiety, fears about gaining weight and thoughts of hurting themselves.

  1. Bulimia Nervosa- People with bulimia often have a habit of overeating and then feeling guilty about it. After they go through with intense fasting or exercise or depends on pills. Their thought is that they are compensating for overeating. People with bulimia can be of normal weight or overweight.

Symptoms- Physical symptoms because of bulimia may include-

  • Low blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Feeling tired, weak, dizzy, or faint
  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Tooth erosion and cavities
  • Swollen cheeks

The person having bulimia usually have emotions as -

  • low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression
  • alcohol or drug problems
  • Thoughts of hurting themselves
  1. Binge-Eating- People having binge eating disorder have no control over their eating, and they feel guilty about it. Still, they do not do anything like exercising or fasting to compensate for it, as people with bulimia do. That is why people with bulimia are overweight.

Symptoms include-

  • Eating unusually large amounts of food in a specific amount of time, like 2 to 3 hours.
  • Eating fast and eating even when full or not hungry
  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • Eating alone or in secret to avoid embarrassment
  • Feeling distressed, ashamed, or guilty about eating

These symptoms lead to physical problems such as-

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Fatty liver

People with binge eating disorder suffer from low self esteem and anxiety and depression. They have difficulties coping with strong emotions and to get away from that they just take it out by eating in bulk.

Cause of eating disorders-

There is no defined cause of eating disorders, As I would like to point out that there are many various factors which are responsible for it.

For example- The society where we grow up, from morning to evening we encounter things which flaunt perfect body image, but we don’t think for a second that it is real or not, and our kids get caught up in it. So it is influenced by the environment we live in. If we as responsible adults just pay a little attention to eat and teach our kids that they are perfect the way they are. So if you have a kid or any person who is around you and you feel that they are going through the same then don’t hesitate to talk to them.

Because if it is treated early, there are more chances to recover from it.

Diagnosis- Mental professionals first assess the problems and severity of it that how early or late it is. So they can prepare a meal plan with the help of a dietician and proper mental counseling.

So if you feel that you have any of the eating disorders discussed above then feel free to talk to elders, you trust and consult a doctor. It is not that difficult if you have a good support system, then it will be effortless for you to develop your self-confidence. Once you feel good in the state, you are and show love for the body you have. There is nothing in this universe that can pull you down.

Feel free to drop your suggestions and views in the comment section.

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Best Safe Sex Practices - All You Need To Know!

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In Indian society, the woman doesn’t have control over sex-related decisions expect few. Men always tend to have control over this situation. This results in different types of sexual problems for women. I would like to convey it to them that it is totally right to take control of your sexual life and you have every right to make the decision for yourself. It is time for you to make your priorities clear. You do not need to surrender for the pleasure of men. You need to prioritize your needs and ask for the same from your partners.

It is time for men also to understand the importance of it and should respect the woman’s decision in sexual acts. Very few men consider the pleasure of their partners, rest just think about them and forget how a woman feels about it. Either you are already having sex or you are thinking about having sex for the first time. I am here to provide you with a few tips on how you can have safe sex.

Safe sex

As a woman, being prepared and ready for safe sex is very wise and healthy. It is good to prevent the spreading of sexually transmitted infections(STIs), such as gonorrhea, syphilis, or HIV. This was you and your partner both can be disease-free. By using birth control pills you can also avoid unwanted pregnancies.

Keep the following tips in the mind while having sex and you will be avoiding a lot of troubles.

  • Are you ready for sex- Sex is a big change in your life. It changes your relationships too. Having sex changes the way you feel about you and how your partner feels about you. So there is nothing wrong to wait when you are ready. You can politely decline if you don’t want to have sex. If you feel comfortable with your partner and you trust him then you can engage in sexual intercourse.
  • Communication is key- Talking with your partners about sex is always healthy. Be honest about past sexual experiences and your preferences. Never go beyond your comfort zone because later you will be the one feeling bad about yourself. For example, if you are not comfortable performing oral sex then no need to do it just because your partner demands it. If you are not comfortable doing it then both of you will end up disappointed. So better you sit down with your partner and discuss your comfort and discomfort.
  • Always use protection- The best way to avoid pregnancy and lower the risk of any STI is to use protection every time you have a sexual encounter. There are male and female condoms available in the market. As for the Indian market male condoms are easily available. So always ask your partner to use one. There is nothing wrong with keeping a stock of condoms even if you are a woman. Because sometimes asking a man using condoms hits their ego. But you stand your ground because you will be the one bearing the unwanted pregnancy. If you or your partner are allergic to latex condoms and polyurethane condoms are also available. So better safe than sorry.
  • Practice safe oral and anal sex- one of the common mistake people make when it comes to safe sex is, they think only penis and vaginal sex needs protection. But if you are doing anything at all sexual then you need to take proper precautions. For oral sex always use a condom to avoid an STI. Male condom reduces the risk of any STIs during anal sex. Even if you are monogamous and you are comfortable with your partner but still use protection every time.
  • Be careful of the vaginal products- Don’t rush into using any vaginal wash. These products can wash away the healthy bacteria which prevents infections. So using such products regularly makes you prone to STIs. Use proper lubricants while having sex. Because condoms may tear up if you both are not properly lubricated. Lubricants also prevent any type of skin tearing during sex.
  • Always clean sex toys- sometimes when you and your partner want to spice things up in your relationship then you can use sex toys too. It will not get you pregnant but it is capable of spreading STIs. Always clean sex toys and sterilize them. Read the instructions on the packet properly because different kind of materials needs different kinds of cleaning.

Just in the name of pleasure don’t go on putting anything in your vagina. If your partner suggests doing so politely refuse it. Always try to put a condom on sex toys this way you can keep it clean it better. Keep separate toys for vaginal and anal pleasure separately.

  • What to do in case of unsafe sex- sometimes during sex the condom might tear up or if you have sex without a condom then no need to panic. You can use the emergency contraceptive pill within 24 hours and avoid pregnancy. It can be used up to 96 hours after sex but effects minimize with time. At any sexual health clinic, you can get an STI examination by a nurse.
  • The best sex is safe sex- In Indian society, the sex has always been a taboo. Bringing this topic with your partner often becomes uncomfortable. But it is important to have a discussion about it. Because it will keep you both healthy.

Always keep these in mind

  • If you are ever forced to have sex then reject it. It is never okay to have forced sex. Always try to talk about it with an adult you trust.
  • Never use too much alcohol and drugs during sex, it will compromise your decision making and you might end up doing something you will regret later.

PS- The above-discussed tips also apply to LGBT couples, so always keep these in check. You can find LGBT friendly clinics near you via LGBT support helplines and groups in your city.

I hope the above-discussed tips will help you have a healthy and safe sexual encounter. If you feel that if some tips are left out feel free to drop it in the comment section.

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Vaginal hygiene for teenagers

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The proper feminine hygiene is not that difficult. The truth is that the vagina itself does the job pretty well. The problem arises when we mess up with it. Just think about the old days when there was no internet, and you are a girl who just started her periods and sudden changes in the shape and size of her body. She had no idea what was happening to her, and she would turn up to her elders for advice and suggestions, and you know how difficult it was in the old days.

Then she would be scrapping for any information she could get, and she would get different types of opinions from different people. Then she would be so confused that she would hate herself for it.

Now we have the internet, but the problem persists. We fill our minds with all types of junk, and the innocent vagina has to suffer for it. People don’t talk about it. It is much more of a taboo than sex. And that leads to different problems like vaginal infections and various diseases.

But no need to worry I am here to break it down for you step by step and give you a very simple and clear cut guide to keep your vagina clean and if she is happy you are happy.

These are some tips you should know to keep your vagina clean and happy.

Vaginal pH

pH is how you measure the acidity level. And vaginal pH explains the acidity level of the vagina. The vagina naturally contains a balance of different bacteria, and they are the good ones, that protect the vagina from external bacteria and fungus. They provide natural disinfectants and help maintain a healthy vaginal pH of 3.5-4.5. And if your vaginal pH is in this range, then there is a perfect ratio of good bacteria (lactobacilli), and it is acting like a shield that is preventing overgrowth of harmful bacteria that can cause irritation and sometimes infection.

Smell

it is an absolute myth that all vagina smells the same, not it’s not true at all. Every vagina has a distinctive smell. If you think that your vagina should smell floral or fruity. It is just men induced agenda for their own satisfaction. You don’t need to bathe it with perfume or any fragrant oil. But if you want some fragrant, then I would suggest that use an organic fragrant oil and do not put it on the vulva or inside your vagina. Put it around your thighs.

Keeping it clean

Cleaning your vagina is very important to keep it healthy and in good function. Dead skin and germs can compile on your inner and outer labia as well as between your clitoris and clitoral hood. So it is essential to rinse your inner and outer labia with warm water. Lift your hood and rinse it with warm water too. Below I will Discuss an explained guide on how to keep it clean.

These are a few tips you can keep in check to keep your vagina clean and infection-free.

Discharge

Vaginal discharge is normal. Vagina cleans itself by this process. Discharge can vary in smell color and texture, depending on your cycle. So sometimes, when you see a thick white stain on your underpants, then do not worry. It’s perfectly normal. Sometimes where there is an overgrowth of bacteria, then the amount of discharge is more than usual. So if you feel that it is stuck in your vagina, then you can clean it by yourself in your shower. You can put your clean finger inside your vagina and move it from one side to another and scoop it out.

Washing your vagina- You do not need any special product to keep your vagina clean. Most of the product marketed towards vaginal hygiene is full of chemicals and scents not good for the vagina. It can create irritation in the vagina and disturb its pH level and can cause a fishy odor. You can use a mild soap like Dove to clean your vagina. Do not put it inside the vagina, wash the outer side(vulva). Wash it gently with your hands, do not use any loofah. It can cause rashes in the vagina.

The vagina is not supposed to smell like peaches or strawberries. You should know that there are good bacteria inside the vagina that eats old blood cells and keep it clean, so you do not need to help her in that. When you are using the bathroom, you can prevent the bacteria from entering the vagina from the rectum by wiping from front to back.

Period Hygiene

This very important part of vaginal hygiene as every girl goes through this every month. Keeping your vagina healthy during your periods is very easy. Keep these things in mind during your period.

  • Always make sure you are changing your pads or tampons every 3 to 4 hours, even if you are bleeding less. As with time, it can become infectious.
  • Start your day by washing it properly, as I instructed above. If you don’t feel fresh, then before changing the pads you can use a baby wipe clean it.
  • Talk to your parents about which products work for you best, either its pads or tampons or menstrual cups.
  • Always keep an extra pair in your backpack, so if you feel the need to change while you are outside. It will be super helpful.

Diet

A proper diet also helps with good vaginal health. You do not need to follow a strict diet, but you need to include some things I am listing below in your regular diet.

  • You can add things like strawberries, pineapples, soy, and yogurt that can influence your pH balance in positive ways.
  • Beverages like water, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice are also proven to improve vaginal health and keep it moist and hydrated.
  • Adding a probiotic supplement to any part of your diet can increase the amount of “good” bacteria in your vagina called lactobacillus. So, eat healthy, and your vagina will really appreciate you!

One important thing you should know which most people do not know. That urinating after masturbation or after having sex reduces the number of harmful bacteria in the urethra, and it reduces the chances of Urinary tract infection(UTI) or any vaginal infection. So always remember to pee.

When you should worry

The vagina gives you warning signals when something is not right, just like any part of the body. Discharge is normal because the vagina is not a dry place. When the discharge is heavier, there may be an overgrowth of bacteria.

If the odor is foul, fishy, and if you are experiencing burning, itching, or bleeding while you’re not on your period, it is time to see a doctor.

So this was my on how to keep your vagina clean, it is really sad that we get to know about sex and our organs in our textbook but never how to take care of them. I hope I was able to explain it to you. Your vagina is wonderful, and so is you, so show her some love. Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions in the comment box.

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How to be a successful intern

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Internships are like a trial period for an employee that a company runs to understand what that person does and to assess what more he or she can offer to the company. For freshers who are just out of college, or for women who are returning from a break in their career or people who are undergoing a shift in their career, normally have to go through this. This probation period is the period where the company judges whether you are cut out for that role and that company or not. On the other hand, for the intern, it’s the best way to figure out whether he/she really wants that role. 

 

But, trust me. Internships are not easy and are tedious since you have a lot to do and a lot of people to prove to. Here are some of my tips to ace your internship:

 

  • Blend well with your coworkers:

 

The most important part of an internship or even a job is to develop relationships. Meet your coworkers and start mingling. You will eventually blend into the office culture and understand how the office works. You will also find yourself in a pickle every now and then and you may need to know which coworker to work with to get the help you require. Blending in is the most important part of your career. You will need to work with people of different genders, different personalities, different profiles, etc. while respecting them at the same time and people skills is the most important feature that workplaces require, right now.

 

  • Agendas:

 

Organize your day-to-day work requisites. Plan out each day accordingly to meet immediate requirements. The defining factor of an intern comes from the way he or she prioritizes what has to be done right now and what can be done later on. Also, the intern’s reliability is one thing that is defined over time, so you have to make sure you convey properly what you can do and what you cannot do.

 

  • Learn from your peers:

 

Watch and learn from your peers. Active learning is the make or break of an intern’s career. If you are really interested in the field you are interning for, you should know what are the actual requirements for the job. You should research and learn those fields and be implementative. In case you don’t know how or what to even study, then the best and fastest way to grow is learning from your peers. Ask them all kinds of stupid questions. Ask them what to learn and how to learn. Ask them if they could mentor you and help you at times you are feeling some sort of difficulty. Watch them how they do the job and learn the professional skills required. Don’t feel shy or don’t feel embarrassed when you mess up. After all, you are an intern and you are here to learn. If they expected you to be that perfect, you would be an employee and not an intern.

 

  • Professionalism:

 

Many, many interns are not professional, mainly because they are totally new into the field. And, that’s fine. But if you do not develop any professionalism by the end of your internship, regardless of how perfect you are in terms of your work quality or your knowledge base, they will not convert you to full time. Work ethics is something that needs to be picked up and worked on simultaneously. So please try to take it slow by being a little passive until you pick up on some professionalism and work culture.

 

  • Proactiveness:

 

You can’t be idle just because you finished your job. Key element for an intern and one of the judging factors to convert an intern to a full time employee is “How productive he/she is?” 

In the world of corporate culture, or any work culture as a matter of fact is, productivity comes hand-in-hand with how much work you did. But, the judging factor comes with how much work can you actually do based on your skill sets and talent. Once your done with the task at hand, reach out to your team members and understand where you can help them in case they need help. Constantly deliver your thoughts and ideas to your team members. This acts as you being proactive and also shows your leadership skills to lead and motivate the team.

 

  • Organize your day:

 

Organize your work. I cannot stress enough on this. Without the ability to prioritize your work and work accordingly, you can never reach the fullest potential that you have or showcase your true quality. Try different approaches on how to organize your tasks at hand. You can have a daily tasks list for that or if you have a team working with you and there is no organizational structure, go a step ahead and try to set up an agile system by making use of Kanban or scrum. Set sprints and reach the targets effectively.

 

  • Time management skills: 

 

Like mentioned before, prioritize what do you exactly want to do right now. Many times, you may get yourself involved in work that is not of immediate necessity while there is a pile of work that needs immediate attention. Work effectively and prioritize correctly.

 

  • Project management skills:

 

Sometimes, you will find yourself receiving a lot of work and most of the times it is more than what you can handle. As an intern, it is okay to feel overwhelmed and you can always question if they are pushing work that is beyond the scope of your responsibilities. But, if there are times where you have to handle many projects at once, you need to keep track of what’s happening in each project. So, my suggestion would be to jot down everything. Document everything that requires attention from your supervisors. This shows what work you are doing, how much have you accomplished and how much are still pending. Work accordingly to reach your targets.

 

  • Go out for a coffee with your peers:

 

Well, of course, this is just another bonding methodology. But the twist here is, they are outside the office. Get to know them on a personal level, their dreams and share everything you have to offer. This is a grand gesture that acts as the extra mile. It shows that you are a people’s person and you are interested beyond just the work limitations. This is a great bonding experience.

 

  • Showcase your work and skills:

 

Remember when I told you to jot down everything that you do? Those tasks that you have completed, those tasks that you have picked up and are working on, all of these have to be converted into Key Performance Indicators and Objectives and Key Results for the team. They should align with the company’s vision. This shows to what extent are you harmonically working with the team and how you are keen on learning more and reflects how much more that you can offer.

 

Now these are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more factors that affect your role in the internship. It might be something as simple as work culture, or mentorship, etc. But, if you follow these, it will definitely show that you are serious about your work and all the things that you can offer you are real. The HR department will definitely love you!

 

Happy interning!

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Super Bowl 2020: Extremity In The Name Of Culture?

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After a great game of an outstanding comeback by Kansas City Chiefs (Vs San Francisco 49ers) in Super Bowl LIV, the crowd seemed to be inclined towards debating a rather isolated issue than the game itself: Was the halftime performance by Hollywood’s beloved superstars Shakira and Jennifer Lopez obscene?

The two set the stage on fire and how! (Although, this might seem to have contradicted the opinion of the majority)

What the audience found and I quote “terribly disturbing”:

The broadcast featured the two stars in costumes showcasing their buttocks, pole dancing and grabbing their crotch multiple times on stage- all interpreted as ruthless objectification of women by two of the most influential women in the world. 

A famous reporter of the Golf Channel even went ahead and tweeted: “Stop dancing on a stripper pole on the biggest stage and then complain about how often we get sexualised.. The hypocrisy of wanting to not be seen as sex symbols but then wearing outfits and choosing overtly sexual choreography has me very confused” 

An audience full of young parents on the other hand had their own issues with regard to how something like THE Super Bowl, an event supposedly aired for all age groups to enjoy could have a performance such as this as if it were the 'new normal’.

The halftime show featuring Shakira and Jennifer Lopez seemed to garner more buzz than the game itself. (What!?) At some point, little children were showcased in cages- all seen as a political statement about President Trump’s immigration policy - but the whole pole dancing and stimulated sex gestures were viewed as most offensive. 

Prolife advocate Abby Johnson tweeted, “On the day of the highest rate of sex trafficking, the NFL says, ‘Hey, let’s have two women dance half naked and get a bunch of zoomed in crotch shots of them. That’s female empowerment!’ Do they have no clue that they just contributed to the commodification of women?” Even though a lot of folks said they loved the energy and called the two Latina’s performances “historic”, the popular opinion seems to have been this: misrepresentation of an entire culture on one of the biggest stages airing worldwide.  

The performance might have not appeared to be “family friendly” to a few but did it deserve a statement as harsh as “This exhibition was Pepsi showing young girls that sexual exploitation of women is OK”?



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20 Ideas To Celebrate Random Acts Of Kindness Day 2020

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How is that a day such as Valentine’s is glorified to an extent that the biggest hollywood celebrities engage in it so very eagerly but a day that is dedicated solely for the purpose of making the least bit difference and giving back to society barely makes it to the holiday calendar? 

Random Act of Kindness week starts on the 17th of february every year and gives you 7 sweet days to do something nice (for a friend, for the society or even for the environment) in a way that not just creates an impact, but multiplies your effort by driving people to do nice, be kind often and remember that deeds are superior if performed for the collective good of people. 

20 of the SIMPLEST Ideas to celebrate Random Act Of Kindness Week:

  1. Compliment a Stranger. A simple “Woah, cool sweater!” could literally make someone’s day, and you would lose nothing.
  2. Cook for someone who feeds you everyday (Ideally your mom/dad or cook). Every great cook is so used to feeding other people’s bellies everyday and deserves to be pampered with food too- the smile on this person’s face when you cook them a meal will make your day along with theirs.
  3. Lend a friend one of your favorite reads. It’s a great way of saying “Here’s a piece of me, thanks for existing” - without actually having to say it.
  4. Write a review. What are the 10 best places to get some kickass biryani? Or which are the most pet-friendly places to visit in your city? Any knowledge is great knowledge - get it up on the gram, or you know, on Glo. I’m sure you’ll at least help one person decide on his next outing. 
  5. Call a lonely relative and attempt to make them laugh.
  6. Donate Blood- thousands out there need blood. If you don’t know where to begin, look up https://scoophub.in/top-10-best-blood-donation-organizations-in-india/
  7. Repost your friend/following’s businesses to spread the word. If they get one extra follower because of you, you’ve succeeded.
  8. Pick up litter that you didn’t throw out.
  9. Spend a day at an old age home. Been there, done this and the joy on their faces will bring you happiness that’s truly unmatched.
  10. Send colouring books to children at an orphanage/ sick children at the hospital. Dunzo it (use a local delivery service) if you can't physically go there. 
  11. Take initiative to make breakfast and get your whole family together on the dining table. Make it a whole event. Indulging in family time is a wonderful act of kindness.

12. Leave your waiter a generous tip. 

13. Help a neighbour/friend clean their room. Or backyard.

14. Use your savings to fund a child’s education for a whole academic year. You’ll be surprised to know that it’s quite the pocket-friendly deed. 

Click to know just how easy it is: https://bit.ly/37BfaCw

15. Get a haircut. Donate your hair after: Way to turn an act of kindness into a cute makeover!

16. Be kind to the environment. Walk/Cycle/Carpool to work instead of taking a cab or an auto 

17. Make a kindness pledge/list- one that is flexible and can be practiced at least once every week. 

18. Pay for a co-worker’s lunch.

19. Do something kind for yourself. Read a book. Watch an old favorite movie. Eat healthy, gut-friendly foods. Write a letter to your future self. Take a leap you’ve been meaning to. 

20. Let people know of the day. Celebrate Kindness. 




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Tips On Dealing With The Death Of A Loved One

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Losing a friend or family member can be an exceptionally tiring and horrible time. In spite of the fact that adapting to misfortune can be profoundly close to home understanding, there are a couple of fundamental and all inclusive strides to the mourning and despondency process. Realizing these means can assist you with working through your misery over the departure of a friend or family member. 

Tip 1: Let it go. Accept the fact and it is definitely okay to cry. 

Adapting to the passing of a friend or family member raises pretty much every feeling possible. There are times when more than one feeling appears to grab hold without a moment's delay, and you may feel as though no doubt about it. It's normal to feel along these lines, as it's not unexpected to encounter various emotions. 

Delicately help yourself in your opportunity to remember loss and sorrow that your sentiments are yours, and they are well inside the standard. It's imperative to your procedure to comprehend that there is no "right" or "wrong" with regards to your sentiments about losing a friend or family member. 

Tip 2: Stay amidst your loved ones.

While there might be times as you are adapting to misfortune when you'll wish to be separated from everyone else, it's critical to accumulate a care group around you for those occasions when you may require them. Companions, family, a priest or rabbi, and maybe an advisor are for the most part individuals who can and ought to be gotten to during your distress procedure. These people can be a wellspring of enthusiastic help just as physical needs, whenever required. The passing of a friend or family member frequently leaves a huge gap in the life of the survivor that can be, at any rate, incidentally, involved by a help group. 

Tip 3: Let out your emotions. 

Mourning and distress is a procedure. It's imperative to realize that each individual has their own particular manner of adapting to misfortune. You can't put a period limit on your anguish. You should enable yourself to encounter the phases of ridiculously up. 

There are five phases of pain. Each stage is one of a kind and isn't really experienced all together. Stages may likewise be returned to. These stages are: 

  • Disavowal: Your experience is limitless, at first. You think that its difficult to accept the loss of your cherished one is genuine, and you might be numb from the experience. 
  • Outrage: As the reality of the circumstance starts to grab hold, it's not unexpected to feel outrage and wrath. This resentment might be aimed at yourself, the cherished one for leaving you, specialists for not recuperating your adored one or even at God. 
  • Dealing: It's not unusual for survivors to adapt to misfortune by attempting to arrange, for the most part with their higher influence. Try not to be astonished on the off chance that you end up attempting to make an "assuming in particular" manage God. 
  • Misery: The staggering bitterness you feel is ordinary, and by and large won't keep going forever. It's entirely expected to feel as though life will never be the equivalent. 
  • Acknowledgment: While this last phase of mourning and sadness is designated "acknowledgment," this alludes to grappling with the conclusion of the misfortune and pushing ahead with your life. It doesn't imply that, every once in a while, you may not return to a portion of the stages recorded above, but instead that the agony of your misfortune will turn out to be progressively reasonable. 

Tip 4: Try to love yourself. 

You need to rediscover your own life because that is the most need right now. How? It’s through Source, Pain, and Healing. While the torment of your misfortune is genuine and must be felt, there will come when you should start to carry on with your very own life once more. By working through conquering the passing of a friend or family member, you will go to a position of tolerating the demise as a reality. You will get yourself ready to push ahead and grasp your existence without your adored one close by. 

Your procedure through mourning and pain are your own. Everybody reacts contrastingly to adapting to misfortune. Robert Frost, a renowned poet from the 20th century, has quoted: “In three words I can sum up life, it goes on.” There’s nothing truer than that and everyone should try abiding by that. One day, it will be much better.

 

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Writing Styles In English - 10 Ways US English Is Different From UK English

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Ever wondered why you pause every time you’re writing a paragraph and you come across words such as ‘analyze’ or ‘apologise’ to simply double check whether the right way to spell them is with an ‘S’ or a ‘Z’ but at the back of your head both sound oddly correct? Because honesty, Ditto! There are multiple differences between written and spoken English in the USA and UK that go unnoticed in a learning curriculum, but come back to haunt you while you chalk language down on paper.

Spellings aside, many words in both these countries have very different meanings and often tend to make one come across as half-witted or even rude when not addressed rightfully to the concerned audience. To highlight a few, ‘Pants’ in the US mean trousers whereas in the UK are used in place of the word underpants. So, when you address a British audience and want to compliment the colour of their ‘Pants’, make sure to choose your words wisely. Likewise, even some food terminologies such as ‘Chips’ and ‘Biscuits’ mean different things in both countries. Pringles would not so much mean chips as ‘crisps’ in the UK, where the word ‘chips’ is interpreted as what Americans would call French fries. And don’t you make the mistake of ordering a biscuit in the US assuming they’re cookies because you’d be more than just satiated with a whole bread roll that arrives instead. Since you know better now, the next time you hear ‘I’m going to set you up with my friend, he’s quite good!’ in the UK, you might want to rain check on that date because quite good is just not good enough.

More noteworthy or rather detectable differences in the English language in both these countries are in their respective vocabularies and accents. Distinct words are made use of to depict the same meanings. In the US for example, a legal advocate is a lawyer, whereas in the UK, he would be known as a solicitor. Similarly, ‘apartment’ in the US becomes ‘flat’ in the UK, ‘I think’ becomes ‘I reckon’, ‘TV’ becomes ‘telly’ and the most commonly known difference, ‘friend’ converts to ‘mate’. Differences in accents are a rather easier to recognise distinction and more so today, with movies and sitcoms shot in both accents made vastly popular and accessible. More often than not you’ll find the ‘R’ in words like ‘Car’ or ‘Father’ partially or completely faded during pronunciation making them sound like ‘Kha’ or ‘Fatha’ in British English whereas ‘R’ is almost always clearly pronounced in the US. Likewise, some words containing the alphabet ‘O’ sound different in the US than in the UK. You probably also face conjecture every time you try to spell words like meter(/metre), centre (/center) or theatre(/theater) debating for several minutes in your head if they end with an ‘er’ or an ‘re’. I wish I knew then that both are a one hundred percent correct! Most words that end with an ‘re’ in the UK end with an ‘er’ in the US. Similarly, several words that end with ‘nce’ in the UK such as licence, defence, offence, etc. end with ‘nse’ in the US and are spelt as license, defense, and offense respectively. Even as I write this article, I’m auto corrected time and again by a software that pursues the English language of a country that presumes French fries to be called chips. Then again would you rather pursue a country whose President ‘Trump’ translates to ‘Fart’ in the UK? Thought so.

References:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdJQdt3xkFQ

https://www.writing-skills.com/ten-differences-between-uk-and-us-english

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD3NqmN_4Pw

https://www.rypeapp.com/blog/american-english-british-english/

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/six-difference-between-britsh-and-american-english/3063743.html

 



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Glo Community Guidelines To Write And Publish A Blog

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Glo.community encourages active participation of written content by our users and hence acts as an open platform for first-time as well as experienced writers to communicate, share and follow useful, trending and thought-provoking content. Although there are no restrictions on topics you can write on, everytime you make a post, it undergoes a basic review to ensure that no forbidden content or use of slang is prevalent in any of the articles. But other than that, we welcome all genres of content in 3 popular formats - Blogs, Vlogs and Q&As. 

Everything you need to know about creating a Blog on Glo.community: 

I. Login to glo.community or sign up using google/facebook. Don’t worry, your information is safe with us and there will be no use of any personal information other than your full name and email ID for the purpose of signing up. 

II. You can change your username, bio and profile picture using the drop down bar on the top right corner using the ‘Edit Info’ option. 

III. Click on ‘Create’ on the navigation bar found right on top and choose ‘Create a Blog’ from the drop down menu. 

IV. Choose a suitable title and image for your article and after having written your masterpiece, click on Publish. 

Voila! Your blog is under review and will be up for readers to indulge in within 24 hours. 

Glo Community Guidelines to write a blog: 

  1. Word limit: 300-1000 words (1-3 minute read)
  2. Language/tone CANNOT be offensive, slang or oppose/promote any religion/race/caste/company
  3. Topics can be framed in adherence with any (or many) of the following tags:
  • Women
  • Health & Fitness
  • Menstruation
  • Entertainment
  • Awareness
  • Travel
  • DIY
  • Self-Help

PS. After signing up, once you start creating a blog, Make sure to add a Title, a Cover photo, and Text within the content and choose a tag(s) that best describes the category your blog belongs to as this is mandatory.

Please note: In order to rank higher on search, Glo.community MAY choose to change the title of your published blog and would notify you of the same. The author and author details shall remain, under all circumstances, untouched.

If you have further questions, please feel free to write to us: varun@glo.community

Some Tips That May Come in Handy: 

  1. A good blog image and title acts as an initial point of attraction and can make or break your audience pool. So make sure to use medium-high resolution images and a catchy title to grab a reader’s attention and compel him/her to click on your blog. 
  2. Interlink your blog articles when it makes sense. For example: If you have an article on “Tips to fight menstrual cramps” and another article titled “My first time experience using a menstrual cup”, both these articles can be interlinked by selecting a word > insert > link and pasting the URL of the complimentary blog you would like to interlink here. This way, your readers end up reading more than just the one article they initially intended to. 
  3. Post Often. Glo allows people to follow writers on our platform and the timely creation of articles will ensure you always stay on top of the game, in turn increasing the chances of attracting followers.



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8 Ways to stay positive and motivated during this pandemic

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If you are like me, you are probably experiencing more stress that usual. Work is different, the Wi-Fi is acting up, and your social life has come to a halt. Stability and predictability are two words that we are unable to resonate with anymore. After a certain point, all of this can get to you. Fear can make you feel powerless. While you cannot control your feelings, thoughts and the Wi-Fi, you definitely can shift your attention towards the things you can control and help restore your sense of confidence.

Make a list of things that you think are in your control (They could be uneventful or extraordinary) and work on them, every single day. I would like to share with you, my list:

  1. Start a virtual book/movie club: Start your own book club on WhatsApp. Add all the bibliophiles on your contact list. Or if you’re a movie buff, create a group to watch and discuss movies.
  2. Enhance your skills: Work on advancing your skill! It could be something as mundane as taking up an excel course or something fun like baking. Try to complete at least two online courses this quarantine!
  3. Work out: You probably saw this coming. But one cannot stress how important it is to work out especially during uncertain times like these, when your anxiety is at its peak and your thoughts don’t let you sleep. Learn new home workouts every day and let the endorphins and serotonin flow into your body.
  4. Interact (virtually) with your long lost friends and family: Life can get really busy and to be honest it has been. Until now. And we are unable to cope with all the time we have. Talk to all those people you lost touch with and wished you hadn’t (This does not include you ex. DO NOT TEXT THEM!).
  5. Learn a new make-up routine: I personally feel like, the time I spend wearing make-up is all for me. It is the time I have chosen for myself. It could take you fifty minutes or fifteen minutes. That is YOUR time, you are looking in the mirror and focusing on yourself. So create a new look and wear some mascara because, why not?
  6. Write a blog on Glo Community: You probably did not see this one coming. But really, put all your thoughts (happy or sad) into words, not only will it help you learn a lot about yourself, but also help you gain awareness of your reality. You will be helping contribute to the WHO Covid-19 fund!
  7. Limit your news intake: While it is good to be informed at all times, the amount of information can be a double edged sword. So be aware, but also learn to disconnect.
  8. Do your bit: Last but not the least, everybody reading this is probably doing their part by washing hands regularly and staying home unless absolutely necessary. Every small effort is going to add up and will have a huge impact.

Do not lose hope. Stay positive, stay motivated and please be safe. We are all in this together. 😊

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A Dollar A Blog - A Glo Community Initiative Towards The Battle Against COVID-19

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COVID-19 has shook most parts of the world. 

What we’re grateful for

Many large organisations have taken upon themselves the task of extending help to all parties involved in battling this virus. WHO’s COVID-19 solidarity response fund is one of the LARGEST supporting organisations to provide monetary help to those affected by the deadly coronavirus. 

What we ask of you

Glo.community has taken a solid stance to contribute to WHO’s fund. For EVERY BLOG written on glo.community, we will donate $1 towards the fund on behalf of the author. 

How do we know it’s you?

Publish your blog on www.glo.community and write to us on Instagram or send an email to contact@glo.community with your sign up name and blog title so we can accredit the same to you. 

A few hundred words could add up to massively contribute to a good cause. Write about what you believe, topics that interest you, about fashion or entertainment, political or personal views, about fitness, health, education, even about COVID-19 if you must. 

Glo Community Topic Suggestions: 

- Travel
- Awareness
- Menstruation
- Fashion
- Wellness and Health
- Fitness
- Women Entrepreneurship 
- Entertainment 
- Self-Help

For Glo community blog guidelines head to https://glo.community/blogs/glo-community-guidelines-to-write-and-publish-a-blog/

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My story of self isolation.

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I traveled back from London on 16th March and I was placed under strict self Isolation at home for 14 days. In the beginning it was pretty hard and getting stressful. I started becoming restless. But when the nation was placed under a lockdown it made it easier for me to cope up with the situation. I made it safely without showing any symptoms and I am glad I followed the rules to be a responsible citizen. My point being to the people out there feeling lonely that they are not alone. Stay strong. ✌️

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#LETSFIGHTCOVID- Understanding India

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“This is a time for domestic solidarity and unity. I encourage the Government to draw on India’s vibrant civil society to reach out to the most vulnerable sectors of society, to ensure no one is left behind in this time of crisis”, concluded the High Commissioner.

Amidst the worldwide pandemic that we are fighting today the need to analyze the upcoming and present challenges put forth before India is of vital importance. We all are aware of the severe health sector crisis and resource drain that is happening in the present times. Not to deny the fact that India is taking some bold measures to ensure the virus spread doesn’t happen at a community level. Hence, the World Health Organisation has stated that India’s decision for a nationwide 21-day lockdown is robust and comprehensive.

India is a country which hosts one-sixth of the world’s population hence it goes without saying that fighting a pandemic isn’t a cakewalk therefore we need to discuss as to what are the different possibilities to be identified when fighting an epidemic.

Firstly I would talk about the threats that India is having presently. Scrolling through those horrific crowding images we must have come across a lot of skepticism against India’s planning and execution strategies. However, what needs to be understood is that enormous population of the country is a major issue therefore rapid ground level realization of relief is also becoming a farfetched idea.

Secondly, the lack of resources and moreover the limited access to them at various outlets is a major cause of concern. According to an article of BBC, “Many believe India is also testing below scale because it fears that its under-resourced and uneven public health system could be swamped by patients. India could be buying time to stock up on testing kits and add isolation and hospital beds. "I know mass testing is not a solution, but our testing appears to be too limited. We need to quickly expand to restrict community transmission," said K Sujatha Rao, former federal health secretary and author of But Do We Care: India's Health System.

We haven’t taken two minutes to think before condemning the abrupt crowding at the bus depots by the migrant labourers. Today we need to step into their shoes and analyze their plight during such havoc. Nearly 52% of the migrant workers in our country belong to the unorganized sector hence lack enough legal and financial backing to sustain their lives. Instances of extreme exploitation such as beating and spraying disinfectants on these people lead to further stigmatization leading to heightened atrocities.

In a nutshell, in this aggravating situation the need for better resources and ground level realization in India are important however nothing is impossible with the constant support and cooperation of the civil society. Hence I would quote Swami Vivekananda “In the heart of things there is Unity still.”

 

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4 Work From Home Tips And Tools To Make You More Efficient

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Lockdown amidst this global pandemic of coronavirus making you lose out on productivity? Check out these 5 apps that help you do better.

  1. Down Dog

Working from home means slouchy, unsupervised postures that can lead to serious spinal issues later on. It’s all fun and games with your PJs on, bra off and your hair rounded in a bun, until it’s not anymore. The weighing scale goes up, you start having issues with sleeping patterns and what not.

Enter: Down Dog. As the name suggests, the app provides a studio-like experience to kickstart your yoga journey to help you lead a fitter, healthier and bendier life. Having appeared in the editor’s choice section of Google Play store, the Down Dog app has announced all of their workouts - Yoga, HIIT, Barre and short 7 minute circuits to be absolutely free for all till the lockdown ends. Need we say more? The app is available on android as well as iOS platforms. 

  1. Recipe Book

Another aspect of your routine that is likely to go downhill if you suddenly start to work from home is your diet. A constant need to snack every now and then is only a few days away from haunting you and this could prove to be a not-so-friendly habit for your body. 

Recipe book is a recipe discovery app that curates various recipes from almost all popular cuisines such as Indian, Italian, Mexican, Korean, Thai, Malaysian - even Arabiana and German. Sure, many recipe apps have been around for a while but the apps search facility and the offering of enabling offline saved recipes makes it super user-friendly. There’s a “follow your interests” feature that allows you to follow cuisines, your favorite chefs and blogs. The best part is that the app helps you search for recipes according to the ingredients you enter (In the form of text or images). So you can scout for dishes that can be made off the ingredients lying in your own refrigerator! 

  1. ToDoist 

Let’s face it, writing up lists on your tiny diary and misplacing them can be a real problem sometimes. Even if you somehow manage a great journal, you need reminders to help you stay on track and stay motivated to accomplish your daily tasks.

ToDoist acts as the ultimate todo list organiser and has helped millions gain control over their lives. Its intelligent software does more than just help you create timely tasks. It helps categorise each of your tasks under sections and schedule reminders for your tasks/meetings as well. 

  1. Insight Timer 

Another reason for lack of productivity or motivation during this period of quarantine could be stress, anxiety and restlessness. Simply allotting a couple of minutes a day specifically to calming your nerves can really help you take on each day a whole lot better.

Insight Timer is a free meditation app that helps you sleep better, reduces anxiety and even helps manage stress. Its simple mantra is to improve happiness and let's face it, we could all use some “happy” right about now. There are over 24,000 guided as well as unguided meditation routines that are suitable for all starting from beginners to advanced practitioners. They have material from renowned artists, experts and professors from Stanford, Harvard and University of Oxford too. We're sold!

Hope these suggestions do much to help your productive graph go up. Stay home, Stay safe.




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6 Countries That Witnessed Flattening Of The Coronavirus Curve: All Women-Led

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The coronavirus pandemic has had a grip across the world and the countries efficiently handling the situation to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 spread all have one thing in common: they are all led by women! 

It is said that women are better at handling crises. And these women leaders of all the below-mentioned countries are the strongest examples. Some facts to think about: 

Germany

Headed by Angela Merkel, Germany seems to be beating the coronavirus curve with a ratio of 95% recoveries of the total closed cases. 

Merkel urged her people to practice social-distancing as early as the first week of March. Germany is approx. testing 500,000 people per week, a number far more than any other European country and is also boosting the supply of ICU beds and ventilators. 

A New York Times article mentioned how Merkel addressing the press "was a reminder of the woman who for much of the past 14 years has been the rock in European politics. She is the leader who reassured savings account holders during the financial crisis; who held the euro area together in the sovereign debt crisis; and who was celebrated, at least in many quarters, as the defender of liberal values after she decided to welcome over 1 million migrants in 2015."

New Zealand 

Led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand has also seen a significant drop in the number of cases reported. A headline from the Washington Post goes something like this “New Zealand isn’t just flattening the curve. It’s squashing it.”- and this explains a lot. 

Jacinda Ardern’s policies relied on a single powerful statement: “Act like you have coronavirus” - to convey to the nation, the importance of staying home. She told them that “Every move you then make is a risk to someone else. That is how we must all collectively think. That’s why the joy of physically visiting other family, children, grandchildren, friends, neighbors is on hold” that brought in a powerful perspective on how the virus must be dealt with. 

New Zealand was one of the very first countries to force arriving travelers into self-isolation and to ban large gatherings which contributed immensely to curb the spread of the virus. 

Belgium

Although the number of cases hasn’t slowed down in Belgium, their death rate has significantly reduced to 50% and they currently have a recovery rate of 67% in closed cases. Headed by Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès, there was strict lockdown enforced as soon as the death toll reached 10 which led to stopping the spread of the virus on time, if not early. 

"Citizens are asked to stay at home to avoid most contacts, except for going to the doctor, to shop for food, the post office, a bank, pharmacy, petrol station or to help someone in need," she said. She also issued a warning, "Businesses could be fined if they break the new rules, and foreign travel that is not "indispensable" is banned until at least April 5." 

Finland 

With similar precautionary actions imposed in Finland, headed by Prime Minister Sanna Marin, the daily death rate has dropped since April 6th. Out of 300 closed cases, it has seen a recovery rate of 88%. The government has even banned public meetings of more than 10 people and imposed the complete closure of public services until the 13th of May to fight the novel coronavirus spread. 

Iceland

In Iceland, the efforts of Katrin Jakobsdottir have seen a solid 99% recovery rate with 688 recoveries out of 694 closed cases and have also successfully managed to flatten the curve considering there has been a drop in the number of daily cases in April 2nd - a number that ought to be commendable by all other nations. The country has also introduced emergency measures worth 8% of the GDP to combat the impact of coronavirus. 

Denmark 

Even Denmark, headed by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has flattened the curve of COVID-19 spread and recorded a drop in the number of cases (from 390 to 233 on 9th April). They aim to gradually relax the lockdown by opening up daycares and schools initially instead of all services at once.

Denmark's response to the COVID-19 pandemic was applauded worldwide as a supreme example, especially due to its numerous economic measures. 

6 women representing 6 different nations to fight the same cause. And all seemed to have succeeded. We guess it’s true what Michelle Obama quoted in a speech once, not so long ago: “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lockdown On Domestic Violence

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A crisis within a crisis, domestic abuse cases are surging around the world, spreading in homes like an infection, of sorts. But was this bound to happen? 

Sociologists and experts who have studied abusive relationships say that there is every reason to believe that the lockdown imposed by nations worldwide would have such an effect on public health considering the domestic violence rates go up whenever families tend to spend more time with each other during holiday seasons like summer vacation or even Diwali and Christmas. 

Here are two heart-breaking stories to give you some context:

In China during the lockdown, a 26 y/o woman Lele found herself entangled in multiple arguments with her husband that now seemed to blow way out of proportion after spending much time in the same house. On March 1st, her husband began to brutally beat her up with a high metal chair while she held her 11-month old baby in her arms. She posted pictures of herself where two of the metal legs of the chair had snapped off and every inch of her leg was covered in bruises. 

In Spain, upon being contacted by the New York Times, a victim Ana who shares an apartment with her partner reported that she was regularly being abused. He insisted on watching her all the time. If she locked herself in the room or bathroom, he would kick the door until she opened it. 

India too has seen a drastic increase in the number of daily domestic violence cases being reported. 

But what about these reported cases? 

Lockdown on Domestic Violence is an initiative by Akshara Centre, in collaboration with Special Cell for Women and Children. It is supported by the Maharashtra government and Maharashtra police. The initiative urges people who are victims/witnesses of victims of domestic abuse to step forward and register a complaint. 

In a recent trending video featuring celebrities Karan Johar, Anushka Sharma, Virat Kohli, Madhuri Dixit, and a few others, they request people to leverage Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s initiative and DIAL 100. 

But doesn’t this seem like the obvious thing to do? The answer is NO. People across India are likely to have an assumption that the lockdown may not deem domestic violence cases as top priority and hence hesitate to even make this call. Such people NEED a nudge to step forward and with the help of the #LockdownOnDomesticAbuse initiative, this is now a solid possibility. 






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All You Need To Know About Health & Fitness Week

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Glo.community has officially announced the commencement of #HealthAndWellnessWeek starting the 27th of April in response to a lot of people’s interest in the same. Did you know that while the lockdown has several benefits to your health, a lot of adverse effects can easily be witnessed as soon as you step out of your homes once the lockdown is officially lifted?

This is the sole reason for experts urging you to build up your immunity while you’re at home. Besides, sitting at home can really take a negative toll on your food habits, eating and sleeping patterns, and everyone’s current nightmare (well, besides the novel coronavirus, of course) - submitting to the lifestyle of a “couch potato”. 

For all of these reasons and more, Glo has decided to bring to you: The Health & Wellness Week.

We have some very interesting conversations with health experts going live on our Instagram and a bundle of tips, titbits and articles launched each day to keep you up-to-date and answer all your health and wellness related questions. 

Some of the topics covered in these questions would be: At home workouts, tackling stress and anxiety, dealing with a lack of motivation to do things, mental health and women, eating disorders, the importance of healthy eating, and lot more.

If you wish to publish an article of your own, make sure to do so on our website

Until then, here’s some grandma verified gyaan on how to build immunity, that has seemed to work for a lot of people we know: 

  1. Garlic. Tastes disgusting but garlic bread is great, right?
  2. “Haldi Doodh” AKA turmeric milk never goes out of style
  3. Exercise, every day. Mopping floors has seemed to work for me
  4. Drink pomegranate juice
  5. Sleep for 7/8 hours - not more nor less

We hope you folks are staying home and keeping safe. 

 



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What Is Herd Immunity? Everything You Need To Know

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Picture a herd or community of healthy people. An infectious virus or disease would pass easily through the community from person to person. Vaccines train our immune system to protect us from diseases it hasn’t come in contact with before. For example, the MMR vaccine provides immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. During an outbreak of a disease, vaccinated people will remain healthy. As they won't become infected, they won't pass on the disease. Hence, if most of the community is vaccinated, it makes it difficult for the disease to actually spread to the rest of the community. This is the basis of herd immunity. 

If most people in the community are not vaccinated, herd immunity can break down, allowing the disease to spread more easily.

Herd immunity becomes especially important for the individuals in a herd who can't be vaccinated. These could be people who are either too old, too young or have weaker immune systems

Herd Immunity without Vaccination: Another way the building of herd immunity could happen is if many people contract the disease and in time build up an immune response to it (natural immunity). In this case, the herd would have to be fit enough to contract the disease, survive it and then become immune towards it. 

 It is important to note that in order for herd immunity to take action, the disease/virus must be categorized as a Contagious one. (capable of spreading)

COVID-19 and Herd Immunity In India

Renowned Immunologist and Cell Biologist Dipyaman Ganguly has said that one of the only hopes in defeating the novel coronavirus is by developing ‘herd immunity,’ 

In an interview with news9, he said, “This coronavirus is not going anywhere. Viruses don’t go anywhere. They may become weak but its strand remains. The virus will keep infecting people until a large population develops immunity against it.”

He has also stated that immunity could only be achieved through a vaccine or by getting infected by the virus. “Since developing a vaccine for COVID-19 is not an easy task and it is unlikely that we will get one soon, the only hope that remains is that of herd immunity and it is bound to happen.”

Explaining the idea of herd immunity further, he said, “The virus is going to infect a large number of populations in India. When a large number of people get infected, their bodies will develop natural immunity. They will stop the virus from spreading further by breaking the chain of infections transmitted from one person to another.” “Since I am closely monitoring the situation, I am sure that we are moving towards herd immunity,” he added. 

Studying infection trends in India, he said that most coronavirus cases will be asymptomatic. Patients will recover through natural immunity and vitamin boosting medication suggested by doctors. However, those with existing health conditions could develop severe complications as the virus is shown to aggravate symptoms. 



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The Bois Locker Room: An Instagram Chat Or A Wake-up Call?

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If you’re not already aware of what this case is all about, a group of young boys in Delhi on a private Instagram chat (screenshots of which were shared around later) called “Bois Locker Room” were seen objectifying, degrading, rating, demeaning young girls, sharing their pictures (some of this girls were only 14-15 years old) and even threatening to rape or kill them in case they got exposed. 

Screenshots of this group chat were shared across social media platforms - predominantly Instagram and Twitter, after which the school authorities of these students (the 20+ boys) requested the Delhi police to investigate the incident.

The Delhi police have so far found that some students of leading South Delhi schools created the Instagram group in the last week of March and started adding their friends. “A few members are in college. Some of the teens allegedly started sharing photos posted by schoolgirls on their Instagram accounts, and passing sexually explicit comments,” an officer said, adding that the purported chats also included threats of sexual violence.

DCP  Anyesh Roy told The Indian Express, “After we came to know, we registered an FIR under Sections 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Sections 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67A (publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) of the IT Act. 

The case is still under investigation. But..

All the right things that could’ve gone wrong: 

First off, the boys on the group chat threatened some of the girls to rape, kill, and humiliate them if they dared to share any of this information with anyone. But the girls, being well-educated (and smart) enough to know that no such thing could actually take place if a complaint was lodged, went ahead to expose them anyways. But you see, things like this happen EVERY DAY and young girls are often a) either too ignorant to pay attention and brush off these issues as “minor” or b) scared of the empty threats that honestly have no real follow-throughs.

Second, the school authorities specifically requested the police to investigate the incident. Now again, this may not have happened in many other cases. A lot of times, any kind of vulgar behaviour, especially in schools and colleges in India, is looked upon as high risk to the reputations of these institutions so they prefer to sweep it all under a carpet

And third, social shaming. In cases like these, we bless the speed of the internet. Social media fastens the process of information spreading, and it is necessary for people to acknowledge this pro of social media platforms. But more often than not, a lot of serious issues may be lost under all that is glitter and jolly good, unicorns and rainbows - But this piece of incident DIDN’T. Imagine the number of people that want to have a voice to socially bring shame to their oppressors, but are unsuccessful. At least this one caught the eye - and the punishment of being recognized as a “so and so” in case of this incident will stick with the boys for a lifetime. 

Now, the case is under investigation, and a judgment has not yet been made. But it’s clear to the general audience that since some of the girls (whose pictures had been shared on the group chat) were underage, this is child porn. So not only are what these boys doing morally incorrect, but also illegal under IP section 292, 293. 

We hope for the best outcomes.



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All That You Must Know About A Menstrual Cycle

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Highlights
The comprehensive guide on Menstrual Cycle

 

As much as you dread your “time of the month”, periods are equally scary when they don’t show up. So embrace them, own them and wear your period like a trademark of being a woman. 

Even with countless “sex education” seminars in schools and colleges, there are still so many unanswered questions that need to be attended to. Females grow up with periods and aren’t even fully aware of the things that happen in their own bodies. The lack of knowledge leads to a rise in doubts. Doubts convert to fears. And guess what? These very fears revert back to hormonal changes that (drumroll) messes with their period! 

This article aims to cover all those unanswered questions about having your period in a concise “all you need to know about a menstrual cycle”. 

Menstrual Cycle and ‘The period’ - Explained

Even though it might sound correct to use the words ‘period’ and ‘menstrual cycle’ as synonyms to one another in conversations, they don't actually mean the same. 

While ‘a period’ is that part of a menstrual cycle when a female bleeds from her vagina for 2-7 days (on an average), a menstrual cycle is the time from day one of a female’s period to the day before her next. Depending on hormones, a new menstrual cycle begins every 28 days although some women’s cycles could last anywhere between 21 and 40 days. 

It is important to note that girls are taught these as ‘facts’ in biology textbooks at very young ages and panic when their periods don’t live up to such accuracy. Reality: For the first few years of a young female starting her period, it is very normal for her period to come irregularly and stabilize in a couple of years. 

What actually happens in the female body during a menstrual cycle?

First things first. At the start of a menstrual cycle, ovulation takes place, when the levels of a hormone called estrogen starts to rise and signals for an egg to be released from a female’s ovaries. You get your period after the ovulation. 

During the process of estrogen rising, progesterone (another hormone) also rises and signals the wall of the uterus AKA ‘the womb’ to thicken. This is like signaling the uterus to be prepared to receive a fertilised egg. The egg travels from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes and right into the (now ready) uterus. 

Under normal circumstances, two things can happen here on. One, is that the egg gets fertilised by a sperm which in turn, leads to a pregnancy. In case the egg doesn’t get fertilised by a sperm (within approximately 24 hours) then the egg gets reabsorbed by the body and everything else reverses. Levels of estrogen and progesterone fall back, the womb lining breaks and leaves the body through the female’s vagina - hence ‘the period’

Periods are usually heavier on the first 2 or 3 days, during which the colour of the blood is red. As it lightens, the blood may become pink, brown or even black. (again, totally normal) 

Periods usually last between two to eight days. The average age for a female to start her period is 11 years old, but of course, some start earlier and some later than this too. 

Menstrual Cycle- Signs and Symptoms of Periods and PMS 

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the very purpose of menstruation, let's get into the visible changes that occur in your body before and during your period. 

If it were just the lining of your uterus flowing out as blood through your vagina, it would probably not affect your body and mental health as much. Maybe just an occurrence of physical changes in your body and that’s about it. But since this sadly isn’t the case, and changes much larger such as rising hormones (estrogen and progesterone) take place a couple of days before your period starts, females do experience symptoms - both physical and mental. 

There are close to a hundred known symptoms attributed to menstruation and these might differ with each cycle and gradually even change over a period of time. Some women experience close to no symptoms, while some sadly experience too many and all at once. 

Symptoms of Menstruation

The most common symptoms of a period include: 

  • Tender breasts
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Acne
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Bloating/Fluid retention
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Lower back pain
  • Low energy/fatigue 
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Weight gain

 

 

PMS (Pre-menstrual syndrome) 

Since most hormonal changes in your body occur even before the egg enters the uterus, it is natural that changes start to take place in your body before you start to bleed i.e, before you get your periods. Most women get at least some signs of the arrival of their period (tender breasts and food cravings), but some suffer from rather severe symptoms or Premenstrual syndrome. The symptoms are similar to those of a period with added emotional and behavioural signs such as anxiety, depression, anger outbursts, mood swings, forgetfulness, loss of focus and feelings of overwhelm. 

Given an option to unsubscribe from this monthly catastrophe that pops up like a calendar event - a lot of girls would cheerfully opt out. But that’s not how the female body works, is it? So it’s best to be prepared for something that you’re going to witness month on month. 

Dealing with Periods and PMS Symptoms like a bawse

There are a lot of known ways to manage your periods and reduce the pain and mental stress that come with it. Some of them that seem to work for most women, (and what you can do too) are as follows: 

  1. Exercise for at least 30 minutes. Fun Fact: women who are sedentary and do not get regular exercise typically have heavier and more painful periods.
  2. Eat healthy meals consisting of whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Contradictory to popular beliefs of ‘giving in to your cravings’ and ‘pampering your taste buds’ during your period, eating a balanced diet helps with more than just fixing your mood at this time of the month. 
  3. Hot showers and hot water bags do wonders to calm those abdominal cramps, even if it's just for a little while. 
  4. Try tea therapy - Chamomile to relax your mind and peppermint to help with period bloating. 
  5. Avoid alcohol, smoking and salt. 
  6. Although this should be your last option (if all else fails), try over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen and be sure to follow the dosage instructions as mentioned on the label.
  7. Lastly, get enough sleep. A lack of restful sleep reduces your pain threshold and this is not what you want when you already have cramps attacking you in the middle of the day. 

For more such interesting period hacks you can check out this article.

How do you know when there’s a possibility of a problem: 

Normally, all the discomforts associated with getting your period should be manageable enough that you’re able to carry on with normal day-to-day activities. However, some females experience severe symptoms that make it difficult for them to carry out even the most basic tasks. 

Even though most of these symptoms might seem normal, it’s better to consult a GP in case things seem to go out of hand:

Painful periods

Although mild pain caused by periods is normal, the kind that gets in the way of your daily life should be consulted with a GP. Period pain can be relieved with the help of exercise, taking over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. If it’s the kind of pain that is intolerable, it might be a cause of concern (dysmenorrhea) and should be looked into. 

Heavy periods

Some women naturally have heavier periods than others, but for periods so heavy that they impact daily life, a GP should be consulted to investigate further into the abnormally heavy bleeding.

Irregular periods 

Irregular periods can be common during puberty or before menopause and can consist of a variation between time of periods (arriving early or late), the amount of blood lost (heavy/light), and the number of days a period lasts.

Stress too, acts as a factor that messes up your period cycle. A lot of women have been experiencing this now more than ever given the current COVID-19 situations and the nation-wide lockdown. If you’ve been experiencing the same, this pandemic might be taking a negative toll on your monthly cycle here. 

Most of the time, irregular periods are nothing to worry about, but it’s best to get yourself checked nonetheless. 

Endometriosis

This is a very painful condition that occurs when tissue that is similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places like the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Not all women who have endometriosis have serious symptoms but it could impact heavily on some females’ lives by causing painful periods, pelvic pain, pain while passing urine/excretion, nausea or depression. Although there is no cure to endometriosis currently, treatments are available to manage symptoms.

Problems that seem normal (but might not actually be) 

Sudden changes like periods lasting longer or getting lighter, bleeding between periods, bleeding after having sex, or bleeding after the menopause NEED to be consulted by a doctor. There might not be anything wrong, but it should be investigated to rule out an infection, abnormality or in rare cases, cancer. 

The Menstrual Hygiene War: settled once and for all 

Menstrual Hygiene

Sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups - which of the three is the better option for you? Although no single answer could be true for every situation, weighing the pros and cons of all these menstrual hygiene products can sure help you pick what personally suits you best. 

Sanitary pads

The oldest of the three, sanitary napkins have evolved so much in the past years to become slimmer, get wings and turn liquid to gel to help you have an easy, stain-free period. Although they have a variety of pros such as no painful insertions (or any insertion at all), no risks of Toxic shock syndrome and no stains - because they happen to be the most absorbent of the three - pads have their own usage restrictions. 

For one, you can't wear a thong, so bye-bye favorite party skirts. Swimming too, is really uncomfortable with a pad on. But besides this, sanitary pads are a cause of concern for many other reasons: 

  • Pads contain bleach that could increase the risk of cancer
  • If not changed regularly, you’re at risk of developing an infection
  • If you happen to be active, the constant chafing between your legs can give you a rash
  • Pads take about 500 years to fully decompose(!) so they’re basically horror stories for the environment 

Tampons

Females who would rather suffer the initial discomfort on insertion if it means not having to feel a diaper stuck to them for 5 straight days, usually opt for tampons. 

Again, tampons too have their pros and cons. It allows you to wear what you feel like (you can literally grab the most body-hugging dress in your closet with nothing to worry about), keeps the blood from getting outside your vagina, and is so discrete to carry around. 

But just like pads, tampons come with a bundle of problems associated with their usage: 

  • Because tampons have the ability to soak up your vagina’s natural lubrication, there’s a risk that they may lead to TSS or Toxic Shock Syndrome
  • Tampons, much like pads, contain bleach that could lead to cancer
  • Inserting discomfort, or general discomfort associated with first-timers is an unavoidable problem (especially with societal stigmas like ‘loss of virginity’ stuck to them) 

Menstrual Cups

Beating the cons of both pads and tampons, more and more women are moving toward using menstrual cups in an attempt to go eco-friendly. 

There’s no risk of TSS, it's a hundred percent chemical-free and requires very few changes. Menstrual cups are non-messy and don’t pose a threat to the environment like pads and tampons do, so they’re clearly in the win here. 

If you are a new owner of Menstrual cup and are not sure how to use it, watch a few instructional videos on youtube, and you’ll be good to go.

We vouch by OrganiCup’s in-depth instructional video  How to use a menstrual cup

Our favorite Youtuber Dolly Singh’s real take on Menstrual cups, in case you don’t want to do it the normal way: Dolly Singh's views on the menstrual cup

The only con of using a menstrual cup (besides the fact that some women might resist insertion) is that the cleaning of one is a little cumbersome considering it has to be sterilized after every change to avoid any chance of infection.

Now that you know the pros and cons of each of these menstrual hygiene products, making a choice is relatively easy. Although menstrual cups seem like they should be the winner, it's not a widely accepted product yet. People are still trying to find their ways to get comfortable with inserting something that is literally called a ‘cup’ into their vaginas and this switch is going to take time. Besides, if you’re already suffering from an infection, insertion of a tampon or a menstrual cup - not a great idea. In such situations, a pad is an ideal option. 

Whatever you choose, place your comfort before any other factor. After all, there’s enough discomfort caused by your periods itself, so the products you use must be ones that make your period more bearable. 

More on menstrual hygiene 

FAQs on Menstrual Cycle

1. When do periods stop?

The menopause is when a woman stops to have periods and naturally becomes unable to get pregnant. Until this period of menopause, periods continue. (Bummer, right?) 

The average age of menopause is 51, however, some women can reach menopause earlier or later than this (as early as 30s or as late as their 60s). Periods may become less frequent over a few months or years or may stop suddenly. 1 in 100 women experience premature menopause and will reach menopause before the age of 40.

Not all women experience menopause in the same way but many common symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, difficulty sleeping, low mood and anxiety, reduced sex drive and problems with memory and concentration.

A GP can offer treatment and suggest lifestyle changes for severe menopausal symptoms that affect day-to-day life.

2. What are the reasons for a missed period? 

However, some women will not have periods for many complex and diverse reasons. Just a few examples may be because of medical issues, some may undergo early menopause (when a woman stops having periods and becomes unable to get pregnant naturally), some may have had a hysterectomy (when the uterus is removed for medical reasons), some may be transgender, or some through complications because of eating disorders.

Stopped or missed periods: Some common reasons for why a woman may miss her monthly period include pregnancy, stress, sudden weight loss or gain, extreme over-exercising, an eating disorder, hormonal problems, pregnancy, breastfeeding and reaching the menopause, though there may be many more reasons also. Speak to a GP about stopped or missed periods.

3. Can I get pregnant if I have sex during periods?

It’s highly unlikely that you could get pregnant if you had sex during your period. Although, there's a small chance that the sperm survives in your body for 5 days. So it’s safe to say that it’s risky business to have unprotected sex towards the end of your period since you might be ovulating a couple of days after the end of your monthly cycle.

4. What are the benefits and drawbacks of period sex?

Unless it causes you discomfort or pain, there’s no reason to avoid having sex during your period. It's safe for both partners, although it can sometimes get messy. It is important to understand that while it is fine to have sex during your period,  you would still need to use protection. You’re more vulnerable to STDs, and pregnancy is still on the list of possibilities. Respect your body and stay safe with your partner.

Pros of having sex on your period:

Reduced Menstrual Cramps: A natural way to get rid of that period pain as opposed to painkillers is having an orgasm. When you orgasm, the muscles of your uterus contract. Then they release. This brings relief from period cramps. Orgasms can also release endorphins that make you feel good about yourself. Boy, did you ever think sex was the answer to all your problems? Well, it is. 

Natural Lubrication. When you have period sex, blood acts as a natural lubricant and is one of the biggest perks of having sex while on period. 

Shorter periods: Having sex during your period can shorten its duration. (It’s true!)  The contracting of your uterus during an orgasm could speed up the shedding period of your uterus lining.

More pleasurable sex: You’ve probably already noticed a change in your libido around this time of the month, so you might as well put it to good use!

Cons of having sex on your period:

Things can get (pretty) ugly: When you have sex while on your period, things could get messy real quick. There’s a chance that blood could get on you, on your partner, and the sheets. There’s also the fact that period blood can emit an unpleasant smell. So if you’re the kind of person who’s going to be living in constant worry of this ugliness, you’re probably not going to enjoy sex as much. 

Possible risk of an STI: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having sex on your period could increase your risk of getting or transmitting an STI, such as HIV. The virus may be present in your period blood. For this very reason, doctors strongly recommend that you use a condom to decrease the risk.

5. Will my hymen break if I use a tampon? 

Tampons work just as fine for girls who are virgins as they do for girls who have had sex. And although using a tampon could occasionally cause your hymen to stretch/tear, it doesn’t cause you to lose your virginity because only having sex could do that.

6. Is clotting during periods normal? 

Women often worry when they see clots in their menstrual blood, but it’s perfectly normal and very rarely a cause for concern. These blood clots are nothing but a mix of blood cells, tissue from the lining of the womb and protein in the blood that helps regulate flow.

7. What is PCOS?

PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that affects how a female’s ovaries work. The three prominent symptoms of PCOS are irregular periods, excess facial/body hair due to high levels of testosterone or ‘male hormones’, and polycystic ovaries where the ovaries become enlarged and contain many fluid-filled sacs (follicles). There is no cure for PCOS, although symptoms can be treated.

8. What is Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Toxic shock syndrome is a sudden, potentially fatal condition caused by the release of toxins from an overgrowth of bacteria called staph, which is found in many female bodies. Toxic shock syndrome primarily affects menstruating women, especially those who use super-absorbent tampons. 

While instructions on a tampon box encourage women to change their tampon at least every 8 hours, sometimes people forget to change them or occasionally even tend to lose them. Leaving a tampon in for longer than 8-12 hours increases the risk of infection or possible TSS. 

With this, it’s also important to note that the availability of free information on the internet today does not necessarily give it a credibility stamp. A lot of it circulating might be false and misleading. Some of the facts put out on content websites are a result of age old myths that have existed but are utterly absurd!  Some of these myths have passed on for generations and people just happen to blindly believe them. You can read all about these popular myths that are believed to be true even today on PMS myths  & Period Myths

Be sure to look for information (especially) relating to women's health and menstruation only on credible sources to avoid ridiculous rumours that are only here to hoodwink you. 

 

 

 

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50 Ridiculous Things That Every Woman Has Heard

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Highlights
Ready for a Deja-vu? Its a compilation of the most ridiculous things you might have heard because you are a woman!

 

There are myths that sound like they could possibly be true and some that we tend to brush off in good humour. But most of these come as mind-altering statements that stick. Myths in gender differences arise as a result of nurture not nature. There’s a fine line between humour and mockery and it’s imperative to stand up to the latter. 

Absolutely ridiculous things that women hear every day: 

1. Why do you need a second degree?

Women are supposedly “lucky” today because they can pursue higher studies and even get a job after. But a second degree suddenly feels like a lot of freedom given to girls according to your friendly neighbourhood Aunt. “All this studying is only going to get your wedding postponed beta, don’t waste your youth on insignificant degrees instead of colourful sarees” 

2. No one will get you married to their son if you’re seen outside with another guy

I don’t know of a single unmarried girl in India who hasn’t heard this at least once. Apparently, with no logical explanation, of course, going out with two boys is sometimes “less fishy” than going out with just one. “What will people think sweetheart?”

3. It’s okay to go out in groups only if it has girls 

This one has got to be right on top of this list. The “Logical Indian Dad” is never going to agree to send his daughter out on a trip (or even otherwise) with a group of just boys. Apparently the problem is not with the gender, the problem is with the lack of both genders that cancels your trip. If only our country’s employment policies thought the same way.

4. You have to get married before your brother

Old one, but still so prevalent. I have witnessed families who don’t mind their sons waiting until their hair is grey just so that their little sisters get married first. I’m sorry aunt Sunita, logic left the room when you walked in. 

5. Your bra strap is visible

I’m pretty sure if you’re a female and you’re reading this, you’ve been told to hide your bra strap or pull up your top because it’s too “deep” at least once. So we’re okay with men wearing boxers to supermarkets but a peep at my bra strap and you’re offended?

6. Don’t have sex before marriage, you will turn impure

The things that parents will say to their kids to prevent them from having sex is truly comical. Impure? Couldn’t they come up with better myths than this? 

7. You nag me all the time

I think it’s practically impossible to have not been addressed as a nag by the opposite gender at least once. It’s ridiculous how logic in a high-pitched voice can render a man speechless.

8. You will protect the reputation of this family

Women are often fed this from a very young age that boys build reputation and women are responsible for protecting it by staying in their  “limits”.

9You can enjoy this slim figure now, pregnancy will change everything

I could swear that most women who opt out of pregnancy do so because they’re fed with absolute rubbish like this. In reality, women are more than capable of getting back to their pre-pregnancy bodies with little effort and exercise. 

10. I’m not getting in a car with you

Whoever spread this rumour of women being bad drivers, fun fact: Men account for 73% of all worldwide road traffic deaths, three times the rate of women. (Mic drop)

11. You can’t change a tire

Umm, no Divesh, maybe I would just rather have you do it for me, ever thought of that? Women might have learnt to change tires, but it is unlikely for society to change their opinions.

12. Don’t lift too much, muscle is not for you

Muscle is important for the well-being of all humans. NO exceptions. But for some reason, women grow up fearing the weights section at a gym because all their life they’ve been told that muscle makes them look bulky. (?)

13. Don't sit like that 

Most women hear things like “Don't sit with your legs positioned apart”, “Don’t sit with one leg on the couch and the other leg on the floor” and “Sit upright”. Sitting a certain way is considered to be rude or “not female-like” behaviour as though our biological compositions were to define the way each gender must stick their posterior to the couch. 

14. You get too emotional in an argument

In the middle of a reasonable argument, it's not uncommon for women to come across these last (s)words that people save up to use at the end like “You get too emotional”, “I can't deal with your emotions” or “There are too many emotions in the room for me to think straight”. 

15. Are you PMSing? (In the middle of an argument) 

God forbid a woman showed signs of the least bid hunger, sugar cravings or stress, the general assumption is that she’s PMSing. Sure, these are natural symptoms of PMS but it is offensive to women to hear people draw these conclusions almost instantly because just anyone can be hungry or stressed, right? 

16. You can’t take a joke!

Inappropriate comments, highlighting insecurities comically and teasing - are all surprisingly let off easily in the name of a “joke”. Astonishingly, the famous “you can’t take a joke” only applies to the female gender (?) 

17. You’re living with him but not married? That’s Illegal 

As I said, the older gen has gotten excessively creative in drawing out lies around social stigmas. It’s preposterous how people will convince you that you’re defying the law and not just the lord if you so much as talk about a live-in relationship. Talking about the law it is important to keep yourself abreast about laws for women in India.

18. Divorce is not the solution

I’ve heard women say that they’re schooled about how divorce is not “ideal” even before they got married. The stigma around divorce is so large, that some will actually go to heights convincing a woman to stay in an unhealthy, stale equation rather than file for divorce. The point of fact is that divorce exists for a reason and it is perfectly normal to have not predicted the fall of a long term relationship. 

19. Keep your man happy

A lot of women hear this time and again as very sacred advice to a successful relationship/marriage. It’s awfully sad but it's true. 

20. Are you bothered because you're hungry? 

I could think of a million reasons for an individual to be bothered in a heated argument, but apparently everyone’s favourite assumption is “she must be hungry”. I could swear that there isn’t a single female who hasn’t been asked this at least once. 

21. You don’t know how to cook? That’s ridiculous 

The statement is ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing how to cook if you don’t have to. It is always good to know how to cook, it comes in handy, sure. But it’s silly of people to mandate their 13-year-old daughters to learn the art while their 2o-something-year-old sons get a free pass.

22. You drink whisky? (!) 

Even when people ask this in a surprisingly proud way, they’re still surprised. It’s as though women are fine with a glass of shiraz or a vodka cranberry, but a scotch on the rocks is like a bolt from the blue. Alcohol belongs to the one who’s paying for it, it doesn’t discriminate on the basis of gender. Grow up, uncle Mahesh!

23. Motherhood is an unmatched experience and there is no greater joy 

Motherhood is an undoubtedly wonderful experience, but not one that has to be forced upon women nor is it the sole purpose of the female gender. So give women a break because there are a million joys in the world, and motherhood just happens to be one of them. An optional one, to be precise. 

24. If you want to colour your hair, do it after marriage

One of the most absurd things young girls are told is to hold back from doing permanent damage to their bodies before marriage. I’ve come across girls whose mothers are okay with hair colouring/perming only once they’re married. It's as if all of your beauty is meant to be spent on this one single day of your life. 

25. When are you getting married? 

“It’s about time we start looking for a boy for this beautiful princess, no?” and the worst one of them all - “You’re 30 and unmarried?” - make for the silliest intrusions in a woman’s life. This family function classic has got to stop. 

26. Do you want me to hold/carry that? 

First off, there’s a difference between offering help to someone who seems like they need it and asking someone if they need help just because they’re female. Offering to carry a woman’s shopping bags is just absurd. (Although chivalry can be nice sometimes, so this one is excused) 

27. Stop being dramatic

The common stereotype that men are more laid back than women is indirectly associating the characteristic (of being overly dramatic) to being a girl. Not only is this offensive to women, but it also contributes to less expressiveness in men and is cause for trouble. It’s 2020 and a lot of us still can't stop hearing this.

28. The way to people’s hearts is through their tummies 

While this might be true, most women hear this in the most nonsensical contexts. It is advised that they please people (their in-laws in particular) by learning the art of cooking delicious food. 

29. Have children, It’ll solve all of your marriage problems

Have you heard of this “statement of wisdom”  from the elderly when you go to them with a marriage problem? I sure have. It is rather farcical to assume that 3 people can cooperate together in harmony when 2 could simply not.

30. Girls shouldn’t smoke, it’s bad for your skin

This side-splitting piece of advice can only be giggled at. Smoking is injurious to health - no genders excluded

31. Are you one of those feminist-types? 

Say one aggressive thing about women’s equality and this question being thrown at you is a guarantee. It’s like you can’t have strong opinions without being positioned under a “Type” anymore. Oh, the catastrophe!

32. You’re too pretty to be single

Snoopers are everywhere but more about your dating life. The issue doesn’t stop at that. People have the most asinine things to say sometimes. How the factors “pretty” and “single” are logically co-dependent is beyond my comprehension, to be frank. 

33. You’re too precious to be dating 

Another series of silly comments consisting of reversed opinions as the previous, but equally pesky include things like “He’s not good enough for you”, “You are better off alone” and the most comical of them all “You’re too precious to be dating”. If this comes as advice from a close friend, these might still be valuable, but coming from an outsider with no context whatsoever? That’s ludicrous. 

34. You girls only like Romcoms

Another classic stereotype. Tell people you’re a horror/sci-fi fan and they look at you like you’re alien. Some women might love rom coms, but it's silly to make such an obnoxious generalisation. 

35.You look better with no makeup

To wear or not to wear (makeup) - that is the question, isn’t it? But the problem is you don’t even get the chance to answer this yourself because someone is always very enthusiastic to answer it for you.

36. Maybe you should try wearing some makeup

-yours truly, next-door neighbour aunt. This one is particularly annoying because it’s the kind of advice you’re least bothered to receive. “Haldi helps for dark skin beta”, “Try wearing some lipstick”. 

37. Why do you only have guy friends? 

It's not unusual for women to only have friends of the opposite gender. In fact, more often than not it’s absolutely coincidental and OK. There isn’t a rule of thumb dedicated to stating the ratio of male and female friends a woman must keep, although it seems as if (many) Indian parents have their undisclosed rulebook about the same. 

38. You take forever to get dressed

This is not entirely true, we take forever to undergo a process that includes essential skin care, picking out a suitable outfit and then getting dressed. In all this time, the typical male would only try and fix their hair.

39. Do you really need therapy or just new clothes

It's silly how this one usually comes from another female. Thank you for your analysis girlfriend, but maybe I do, in fact, need professional therapy instead of stuffy closet space. 

40. You do the shopping 

It is a known fact that brides tend to have issues with their to-be partners before the wedding day because the general assumption seems to be that “women are better at shopping”. Time to discard this oldie, is it not? 

41. You’re a modern girl now

Anyone with a change in cities has to hear this from their older relatives at least once. Seemingly strange that of all things, driving oneself around and living alone makes you a “modern girl” - stuff that is usually considered to be the bare minimum for a male. 

42. Men don’t have to look good as long as they’re rich 

Another unsaid rule of thumb by which many Indian parents live by even today is that a girl must be her prettiest, most talented self but a boy is good as long as he has a great income. (Which is pressurising to both genders equally) Most traditional Indian arranged marriages act upon this age-old, imbecilic concept.

43. The more you cut your hair, the faster it grows

This is one hundred percent false. Your hair grows from the roots and hence a haircut doesn’t nearly affect its growth. A hair trim one in a while is still recommended though, because it helps get rid of dry, split ends. 

44. The earlier you get your period, the earlier you’re likely to go through menopause

Nuh-uh. In reality, the average age a woman hits menopause is around 51 years, and this has nothing to do with the age she attains puberty or the number of children she has. 

45. Try this diet

If you haven’t heard this at least once, you’re truly one of the spared lucky few. Eating healthy is a choice, but more often than not people will take responsibility for reminding you that some FAD diet could help you drop off some extra pounds. (Even when you don’t ask for it) 

46. Obesity is about willpower, not biology 

First things first: Everything in your body is about science. Even things like love and happiness are results of chemical reactions. It is inaccurate when people say that your weight is about your willpower. In reality, obesity happens to be a complex disorder with hundreds of contributing factors. 

47. You’re lucky to have landed this job/ You’re too young for a promotion

Every time someone of the female gender announces a promotion, it is inevitable that a few around would think of it as an extraordinary event. This one might not even be all that ridiculous, because stats say (according to a study conducted by TechRepublic) that women are 21% less likely to be promoted than their male coworkers in the same position.

48. It’s not mandatory to look pretty, but it sure does help

And not said with tongue in cheek. People are honestly convinced that women with an attractive exterior (conforming to societal beauty standards) have unfair advantages and can use this to climb several ladders in their lives. Farcical, isn’t it? 

49. It is odd for you to have multiple sexual partners 

The most ludicrous argument supporting this statement: “Men were meant to fertilize multiple women biologically, so they could help carry on the human species. Hence it is okay for men to have multiple sexual partners because it is what nature demanded”. But nature “demanded” this. Past tense. The continuation of species is hardly the purpose of a homo sapien today. Sex is more than a species multiplier, ask the condom manufacturing industry. 

50. You must have done something

The worst of them all - the blame game. If we could get a dollar for every time a woman was blamed for being “too nice” or “a tad bit provocative” or “leading on”, I swear we could fill that gap between male and female paychecks. 

Subtle cues about “manly” and “female-like behaviour” right from the time we’re born are so engraved inside of us, which has got to be the worst impact of these absurd statements. The next time you hear any of these questions or comments, put your foot down and toss an unforgettable answer - you’d be doing us all a solid. 


 

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Financial Planning for Women – All you need to know

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Highlights
Over the years, unfortunately, Indian women have had very little to do with financial decisions of the house thanks to social conditioning and patriarchal traditions.But now is the time for women to challenge the age-old taboo and take a big leap towards financial inclusion with changing social norms and freedom to earn.

“If you don’t take care of your money, your money won’t take care of you” – Mac Duke, The Strategist.

Life is not a straight - clear - challenge free pathway and there comes a time when everyone faces some form of financial turmoil. Such was the case with the co-founder of AIB, Tanmay Bhat. In a recent podcast, Bhat recalls how during his Boards, his father was laid off and the family struggled to make ends meet.  It was essentially his mother who saved the day and sustained the family for the next 6 months with her “secret” savings and investments despite a mediocre paying job at the bank.

Women empowerment is also about financial freedom. Financial knowledge need not be complicated rather it is about guidance from the right people and resources such as Nisary Mahesh, the founder of Hermoneytalks-India's first one-stop women's financial platform. It aims to provide women with financial empowerment by connecting women to financial institutions and experts.

In this video, she explains how can you choose Financial Freedom without getting overwhelmed by financial jargons

Financial Freedom

Women are an absolute natural at better financial planning than men, reveals a study conducted by the Spectrum Group. They are predisposed to undertake favorable investments and plan better to fulfill financial goals. Over the years, unfortunately, Indian women have had very little to do with the financial decisions of the house thanks to social conditioning and patriarchal traditions.
But now is the time for women to challenge the age-old taboo and take a big leap towards financial inclusion with changing social norms and freedom to earn. And we can finally see this happening around us.

In October 2019, Scripbox surveyed around 400 women (of which 54% millennials, 56% non-millennials) to understand their investment quotient. A majority of 44% of respondents confirmed that they needed financial advisors and are willing to accept additional help in financial planning. Nearly 25% of respondents admitted to not having a financial goal in mind. 

Another survey was conducted by Scripbox in February 2020 with over 600 women (of which 70% millennials, 24% GenX, rest over 50 years age) across India to find out how they deal with their earnings. The survey revealed that 68% of the respondents either manage their own finances or had an equal say in family financial decisions. A solid 80% of the women confirmed that they are disciplined with monthly savings, with more than 20% saving nearly half their monthly income.

The surveyed women seem to be going in the right direction as it is highly advised, especially for single women, to save more. The reasons why women need to save more are - gender pay gap, career breaks, and a longer life span. According to the Monster Salary Index Report 2019, women in India earn 19% less than their male counterparts. The gap is more at the executive level at 45%, while the gap is 25%- 30% at entry level. In India, women are more prone to taking career breaks for- taking care of children or sick parents, relocation due to marriage etc. This in turn has a direct impact in form of losses in forced savings like PF, downturn in career progression and foregone investment. As per the Global Health Observatory, female life expectancy on average is 6 to 8 years more than male means more money required to sustain longer life.

Now that we have a little background on the ‘women and finances’ equation, let’s get to the crux of the matter and explore the key ingredients of the below master recipe:                                                       

Plan

Warren Buffet, a billionaire American investor and philanthropist advises people to stick by a simple rule - Do not save what is left after spending but spend what is left after saving. The first step towards giving life to his advice in your life and knowing how to manage your money is - to chalk out a plan for money utilisation.

Step 1 – Track cashflow:
Expense tracking makes you cognizant about where you are spending your money instead of wondering where it went. It is important that you record ALL your expenses - even a pencil! Once you have all the data, you can then group your expenses in cost categories like – food, stationery, maintenance to get an overall picture of your purchases.

Step 2 – Set goals: 
Setting a saving goal is a stepping stone towards efficient money management as it gives direction to your plan. You can begin with deciding what you want to save for - it could be a dress, a vacation, a home or your child’s education. You can divide your goals into short term –  under 1 year, medium – 1 to 3 years and long term – over 4 years.  Set easy and achievable short term goals. The resulting small wins will motivate you to align yourself better for the demanding and practical long term goals.

Step 3 – Build budget
Once you are aware of the nature of your expenses and the goals you want to achieve, you can start building a budget to develop a structured road map to reach your goals. Budgeting helps you figure out where your finances stand.
The popular 50/30/20 budget rule is a simple way to budget where you spend 50% of your after-tax pay on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings or paying off debt.
You can tweak this rule as per your circumstances and preference perhaps even come up with a fourth leg to the proportion - Investments. Additionally, Indian women who live with their parents should take advantage of having to spend bare minimum on their necessities and try to save as much as possible.
After you’ve made the income allocation rule that suits you, start building your budget.

  • First apportion your income to the savings fund or any other fund (like emergency fund, debt pay off fund, online course fund) you’ve created, as per your rule.
  • Then apportion the remaining money to a planned expenses .Classify your cost categories into fixed expenses (rent, EMI, domestic help’s salary) and variable expenses (order in, shopping, fuel) to know which cost are discretionary and non-discretionary.
  • Record actual expenses against the planned expense to arrive at the difference.
  • The difference recorded in the final column is planned expense – actual expense. The difference can be favourable or unfavourable depending on how much you’ve underspent or overspent. Your aim should be to keep it favourable or your savings will take a hit!

Following is a basic view of a personal budget:

Personal Budget

 4 – Cut expenses

Tracking your expenses will make you realise that you’ve probably been indulging in lots of impulse buying on Instagram thanks to the Instagram ads while mindless scrolling or you could learn that the most expensive thing you consistently spend on is a ₹380 coffee.
When thinking of cutting down expenses, it usually makes sense to first pay credit card bills on times in order to keep your credit score in check and pay off the debt that charges the highest rate of interest if you have taken any loans and. It is also good to keep in mind that the Indian Income Tax Act allows for various tax deduction and exemptions on interest expenses and/or principal repayment for education loan under section 80E and for home loan under section 80C and 24. However, there are no specific sections mentioning tax benefits on a personal loan.
Then you must focus on if there is anyway fixed expenses could be worked around. This is usually difficult, but you could consider a few following suggestions –

  • changing your monthly wifi or mobile plan to a more sustainable one
  • cancel expensive subscriptions/memberships to apps and clubs whose services you don’t use often.
  • curb the power consumption in your house by – using a programmable thermostat to automatically change temperature at home, lowering the temperature on the water heater so that it doesn’t not have to maintain a store of warm water at a high pocket burning temperatures, utilizing power strips and power timers to turn electrical devices on and off or consider a prepaid electric bill plan. Also try to curtail water bill by using water judiciously.
  • moving to a less expensive but safe area for a while and carpooling to work to save on your fixed rent and fuel expenses.

The next thing is to find all the ways you can curb your variable or discretionary spend. This involves a little hard work, the will to put a cap on your desires and the skill to talk yourself out of buying something. Here are a few suggestions you could consider:

  • Cook and pack your meals at home. Sometimes you can make extra dinner so that you can use it for lunch the next day.
  • Wait it out and only buy the big items like fridge, laptop, washing machine when there is a sale going on. Always ask for any discounts/offers wherever you shop. At the same time be aware to not blow yourself out at a sale unnecessarily.
  • Spend smart, for example – buy a combined Netflix plan with friends rather than paying for an expensive single subscription, compute the cost-effectiveness of zero interest EMIs by looking at hidden costs like processing fees.
  • Checking your bank balance regularly will give you regular reality checks instead of a shock at the end of the month. And spending in cash will make you more mindful and keep you in control of your finances.
  • Leave the item for 24 hours before making the purchase. If you are still thinking about it the next day and can afford it, then you could go ahead and buy it.
  • Change your surrounding that makes you spend. Mute certain pages on social media that have too much-promoted content, avoid a few party nights and try to channel your energy and time in productive things.

Finally, if you are about to spend more than 10% of your monthly salary on a single item then ask your self these questions:

  • Can I live without it?
  • Based on my financial situation, can I afford it?
  • Will I actually use it?
  • Do I have the space for it?
  • What is my emotional state in general today? (Calm? Stressed?)
  • How do I feel about buying it? (Happy? And how long will this feeling last?)

Step 5 – Review
In the last step, at the end of each month you must look back and reflect on your progress. Revisit your plan to incorporate any changes in the future and update your goals every few months. Repeat Step 2 to Step 5.

Kakeibo
At this point, I would like to introduce you to Kakeibo ( translates to household financial ledger), a Japanese method of saving money. It is more or less the same as the above steps that we discussed, but what sets it apart is that it doesn’t have any technology involved -  only a notebook and a pen. It emphasizes the importance of writing things down. When financial goals are penned down, they become more concrete. Statistics show that people who put their goals in writing have an 80 percent chance of achieving them.

What is more important about the Kakeibo technique is that it places immense emphasis on mindful spending and incremental changes. It makes you to think about your purchases and what motivates you to buy them and makes you honest about your needs and wants. In short, it induces awareness and discipline in handling money. Most of the above suggestions to curb variable expenditure and the questions you must ask yourself before making a big purchase are inspired by the fundamentals of Kakeibo. This method is for you if being tech-savvy is not your cup of tea!

Save

“A penny saved is a penny earned” – Benjamin Franklin.
Any act that is done consistently shapes our life and so is the case with savings. It is vital that you are consistent with your savings even if your brain is tricked by YOLO or FOMO. Thankfully, there are plenty of options where you can safeguard your money and even multiply it.

Savings account – This type of account allows the holder to deposit money at her convenience and even earn interest of 4% - 6% on the same. It is best suitable for folks with a steady income and short-term financial goals. There is usually a limit to the number of transactions permitted per month and a minimum balance to be maintained in some accounts.

Banks like ICICI, HDFC and Axis have special women’s savings account and offer various benefits like – personal accident insurance cover, a cashback per month on the usage of debit cards across key segments, 50% discount on locker rentals and processing fees on loans, unlimited free transactions. Few banks also offer zero balance

Fixed Deposits – These are popular saving vehicles for the long term with the highest maturity period up to 10 years. FDs comparatively offers higher interest rates of 6.25% to 8% than savings account where your money is locked in for a fixed tenure and premature withdrawals are not allowed. Although you can break the FD in case of emergency by paying a penalty

Banks also provide a Sweep-in facility on term deposits, that interlink the depositor's savings bank account with a fixed deposit account. This facilitates the auto-transfer of surplus amount from savings account to the FD account and earns FD rates on your savings account. The other benefit is that FD will automatically be broken by the bank in order to fulfill transactions for which there are not enough funds in your account without affecting the full deposit amount or the interest on it.

Bajaj FinServ, an NBFC, rated FAAA by CRISIL offers a lucrative interest rate of up to 7.60%, which can go up to 7.85% for senior citizens with a minimum deposit of ₹25000. It offers various benefits like – loan against FD up to 75% of FD value, flexible tenors between 12 to 60 months.

Recurring Deposits

– These are the flexible versions of Fixed deposit where the account holder can make regular deposits. The period of the deposit and the amount to be deposited regularly can be chosen by you. Most banks calculate interest on RD quarterly and offer high rates of 6% to 7%. Rates that are once decided for a tenure, remain fixed and don’t change during the tenure. Just like FDs, premature withdrawal is allowed by paying penalty.

Endowment Plan - Endowment plan is a life insurance policy which offers both - an insurance cover and a savings plan. You pay a higher premium compared to a conventional life insurance policy since you get best of both worlds. The premiums you pay are essentially periodic savings for a stipulated time period of 10, 15 or 20 years at the end of which (i.e. when policy matures) you receive a promised lumpsum. However, in case of sudden death of the policyholder, the insurance company will pay the sum assured to the nominee of the policy. Some policies also pay out in the case of critical illness.

There are different types of endowment plans: Unit Linked Endowment holds units of insurance premiums under specific investment funds chosen by policy holders and gives out amount along with earnings from the fund attributable to the policy holder. With Profit Endowment gives out the assured amount along with bonuses that are announced from time to time by the company. There is also Non-Profit Endowment with no extra bonus or profits. Unlike normal life insurance policies, under endowment plans you don’t have through any medical check-up.

Voluntary Provident Fund – Every month a certain amount of money is deducted from an Indian employee’s salary as PF (provident fund). This is done for the Employee Provident Fund (EPF), a retirement savings scheme mandated by the government where a minimum of 12% of the basic salary is deposited in the EPF account. For a woman employee on her first job, the EPF contribution is capped at 8%.
Now, the Voluntary Provident Fund is the contributions made by the employees that are beyond the minimum contribution to their EPF, to earn returns. The current interest offered on VPF contributions is 8.65%.
To make a VPF contribution, all you need to do is inform your employer that you want to increase your EPF contribution. The employer will then deduct the sum that you wish to invest as VPF from your salary. This is a risk-free way of saving money as it is back by the government and this fund can also be transferred across all eligible employers.

Public Provident Fund –PPF is a tax-free savings scheme that earns an annual interest where the government revises the rate every quarter. The minimum annual contribution that can be made to a PPF account is Rs. 500 while the maximum is capped at Rs. 1.5 lakh. There can only be 12 contributions per year. The lock-in period is 15 years, although one partial withdrawal per year is available after the 5th year or 7th year (which is tax-free) depending on your bank and a loan can be availed against the PPF from the 3rd to the 6th year.

National Savings Certificate – Just like PPF, NSC is also a fixed income investment scheme that can be accessed at any post office. This scheme is for Indian “individuals” only and offers guaranteed interest and capital protection. The certificate earns an annual fixed interest rate, currently, 7.8% and this rate is revised by the government every quarter. The interest earned is compounded annually ad reinvested by default. The minimum amount required for the certificate is ₹100 with no maximum limit, but the maximum tenure is for 5 years only. NSC certificates are accepted as collateral or security for secured loans in Banks and NBFCs. 

Sukanya Samriddhi Account - You can save in this scheme only if you have a girl child. The account can be opened for a maximum of two girl children any time after their birth till they turn 10. The current rate of interest is 8.4% which is revised every quarter and compounded annually. The minimum annual deposit is ₹250 and the maximum is ₹1.5 lakh. The amount must be deposited in this account for 15 years but the account matures after 21 years or whenever the girl gets married whichever is earlier. This means that there are no deposits between the 16th and 21st year.

And the final good news of this section is that all the above-listed savings options are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C of Income Tax Act 1961 up to ₹1.5 lakh. Endowment plans are eligible to further benefits under Section 10(10D). But the Fixed and Recurring Deposits are eligible for tax rebate under section 80C if held for a minimum of 5 years although the interest earned on these deposits is taxable.

Savings options in India

Invest

Investment is the last element of our financial stability equation. Aya Laraya, a certified securities representative says “When you invest you are buying a day you don’t have to work”.
Investment is not as straight forward as the act of saving, it means putting your money out there and exposing it to risk of market fluctuations. Your investments will grow and be secure if you have - a) patience b) understanding of your risk appetite (i.e. willingness to tolerate loss of investment) and c) market knowledge.

Let us understand what a mutual fund is. A mutual fund is a type of investment vehicle consisting of a portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other securities. It gives individual investors access to diversified, professionally managed portfolios at a low price. A mutual fund thrives on the idea of not keeping all the eggs in one basket. Investors typically earn a return from a mutual fund through:

  • Distribution of income that the fund makes via dividends on stock and interests on bonds.
  • Distribution of capital gain that fund has by selling securities whose prices have increased.
  • Selling their own share of the mutual fund in the market.

Below are the types of mutual funds and their make. Open-ended mutual funds are available for subscription throughout the year whereas close-ended mutual funds have a lock-in period and a maturity date.

 Types of Mutual Funds

Some of the investment options that are related to mutual funds are:

Systematic Investment Plan - SIP is an investment route where one can invest fixed small amounts r weekly, monthly, and quarterly in a chosen mutual fund scheme. A minimum of ₹500 can be invested in mutual funds in India. SIP offers various flexibilities in terms of investing such as withdrawing amount at regular intervals and transferring funds from one mutual fund scheme to another

Equity Linked Savings Scheme ELSS are tax saving mutual funds that mainly invest in equities. They have a lock-in period of 3 years. These funds give high returns if you stay invested for a longer time period. Qualifies for tax exemption of ₹1.5 lakh under Section 80C.

National Pension System –NPS is a scheme initiated by the Indian government seeking to provide retirement benefits. A subscriber can contribute regularly in a pension account during her working life, the pension fund grows until retirement via contributions and market-linked returns. On retirement or exit of the subscriber at least 40% of the contribution is utilised for the procurement of lifetime pension via the purchase of an annuity. The remaining funds are paid to the subscriber in a lump sum.

Investment Options in India

Moving on from mutual funds, following are the main platforms and items you could consider putting your money in:

Secondary Market- This is where you can trade - stocks, bonds, commodities, futures, options, and various other individual financial instruments. You can open a DEMAT account online and start trading on exchanges like NIFTY, BSE, MCX and so on. It is highly recommended to get a financial advisor before venturing into the market. Most people blindly invest in financial instruments based on random tips by peers or self-proclaimed experts that lead them towards financial ruin.

Gold – This is the oldest method of investing your money which running in Indian households from generations. Fun fact – the value of gold in 1990 was ₹3200 per 10gm and now in 2020, it is around ₹49500 per 10gm. Therefore, investing in gold is a golden option that will not disappoint.
Gold investment can be done in many forms like buying jewelry, bars, gold exchange-traded funds, gold funds, sovereign gold bond schemes and so on.

Gold ETFs(Exchanged Traded Funds) is similar to buying physical where the gold bought is stored in Demat (paper) format instead of going through the hassle of storing it physically. On the other hand, in gold funds investment is done in the form of gold bars in gold mining companies.

Sovereign gold bonds are issued by the Reserve Bank of India in the form of digital gold offering an interest of 2.5% with a lock-in period of 8 years. The bonds are denominated in units of grams of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram. The maximum investment one can make is 4 kg. These bonds have an exit option from the 5th year onwards.

Coming to the last segment of this blog. Here are some of the top-rated apps in India that could help you with planning, saving and investing your money – Qykly, Walnut, Chillr, Wally, Clarity Money,ETmoney and the free app Mint. Appealing features of some of these apps are –

  • Expense tracking and ability to analyze expense and income graph
  • Automated bill payments and reminders
  • Bill splitting facility amongst your group
  • Enables tax-saving and reimbursement categorization
  • Provisions investment in mutual funds and other savings account schemes
  • Ability to analyze existing investments
  • Generates transaction summary on a monthly basis

Conclusion
Managing finances may not be easy but it is no rocket science either. Simple changes in your lifestyle can help you save more. Plus, with plenty of support and information available on the internet from banks, government bodies, investment platforms and trusted websites, one can create a win-win situation between current spendings and future savings.

Disclaimer: The author and publisher of Glo.community have used their best efforts in preparing the article. They make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the contents of this article. The information contained in the article is strictly for educational purposes and we do not endorse any product mentioned in the article. Therefore, if you wish to apply ideas contained in the article, you are taking full responsibility for your actions.

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21 Must-Know Laws for Indian Women

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Highlights

Women in our nation have reached great heights of success, yet most of them are still not aware of the most common laws for Indian women laid down by our government.This article attempts to help educate about the laws for Indian women.

Introduction

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Women in our nation have reached great heights of success, yet most of them are still not aware of the most common laws for Indian women laid down by our government. Whenever a wrong is done, often we let the matter slide because we don’t want to deal with police and courts. If each one of us knows our rights, instead of being terrified, we could actually fight the wrong. This article attempts to help educate about the laws for Indian women. The term Police itself is so misunderstood by us. POLICE stands for Public Officer for Legal Investigations and Criminal Emergencies.

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Ever partied too loud or too late for the police to come and intervene? Or have been in a situation where the traffic police have threatened to take you to the police station? Well, they can’t!

  • When women interact with a Police Officer- Women cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. If arrested, they have to be presented before a Magistrate within 24 hours and should be kept in a prison separate from the male prisoners. The arrest and search of your body can be made only by a female officer. 
  • If any form of questioning is required with the Police: If the police officer wants to do any investigation or question you further about any complaint you may have filed, he needs to come to your home and do such questioning at your residence. The police officer cannot call you alone to the police station or any other place of his choice.  
  • When Woman endures sexual harassment or a sexual assault at the workplace: Each one of us has had that sneaky boss of ours eyeing us in a manner that made us uncomfortable. Or in an interview, a sexual favor was demanded in exchange for the job. Whether verbal or non-verbal, such action is not acceptable. All such complaints are to be filed within three months of the occurrence with the Internal Committee at your workplace. If there is no Internal Committee, you can file all such complaints with the Local Committee in the town where you work or reside. 
  • Women have a right to Equal Pay: There should be equal pay for men and women for the same work done by them in the same position. For example, Two team leads with equal experience, should receive the same salary irrespective of their gender. No gender discrimination can be made even during the hiring process. This has also been guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. 
  • When a woman works night shifts- There should be proper security measures taken by your employer if your job demands night shifts. This includes your travel to and from work.  No woman should be made to work alone in a night shift and has to be necessarily placed in a group.
  • Woman’s right to say No and Sexual Assault: When you are touched sexually without consent, or forced or coerced to establish any form of physical relationship, it is sexual assault. If any form of threat is made to you to get the consent, it is not consent. Stalking, eve-teasing, Voyeurism, acid attack, outraging a woman’s modesty, showing pornography etc. are all considered to be sexual assault and sexual violence.  
  • Woman’s Right to Privacy: The identity of a sexual assault victim is to be kept confidential under all circumstances. Your statement may be recorded by before a Magistrate without being overheard by anyone else. Even in the judgment, the judge refers to you as the ‘victim’. All the Bollywood movies where cross-examination is done in open court, it is only entertainment purposes. The reality is very different.
  • Medical Examination in the event of rape and sexual assault: A medical test to establish rape should be conducted within the first 72 hours of the incident. It is to be performed by a female doctor. The test establishes any sexual activity performed on the woman and helps to detect the rapist if any semen sample is found in the victim’s body. Rape is a crime and not a medical condition.
  • FIR in case of Sexual Assault: There is no time limit to report rape or sexual assault. A case may be filed in any police station that the victim wants to, in the presence of a female constable. This is known as the Zero FIR.  Section 375 and 376 of the IPC deal with rape. In certain cities like Delhi, a woman may report a sexual assault online or through a registered post letter to a senior police officer.
  • Woman’s Right to Free Legal Aid: When reporting a sexual assault, if you do not have a lawyer present, you may ask for legal aid and the police officer has to provide you with it. 
  • Right of Abortion: Abortion is the right of a woman. Hence, no parental or husband’s consent is required to abort.  Under normal conditions, until the 20th week, the woman can abort and if there is any risk to the life of a mother, abortion can be done until the 24th week. 
  • But without the woman’s consent, abortion is illegal and a punishable offense. During pregnancy,      under no circumstances can any test be performed to find out the gender of the baby. This is a            crime. 
  • Right against cyber crimes: With the advent of technology, it has become much easier for criminals to hide behind their digital screens and harass women. Cyber Stalking, Identity theft, Online Defamation, Morphing pictures, pornography, etc. are all crime. 
  • Cybercrime complaints may be filed online at https://www.cybercrime.gov.in/ or in your nearest police station. You may file a complaint anonymously as well. 
  • Rights of a married woman: The Supreme Court in India has said that every married woman should be treated with dignity and respect. You are entitled to live in the same house as your husband and to be maintained by him. Any act of bigamy on the part of your husband is a punishable offense. 
  • Woman’s right Against Domestic Violence: If your husband or any other man in your house hits you, you can file a Domestic violence case. This may be filed with or without simultaneously asking for Divorce. 
  • Right to Property and Streedhan: All the gifts received by you before and after marriage ceremonies or during childbirth, is your personal property and no one can take it away from you, not even your husband. You have an equal right in your father’s property as well. Similarly, you also have a right in your husband’s property after his death. 
  • Woman’s right to give divorce: Divorce is always a second chance at happiness and everyone deserves to stay happy. If any cruelty is being meted out to you, you can ask for a divorce. Adultery, Bigamy, religious conversion, insanity, missing for over 7years, or non- consummate the marriage, are divorce grounds.
  • If your husband has committed rape, bestiality or sodomy; on any other person, it may be a ground for divorce provided you can prove it. Marital rape is considered in India only when the age of the wife is less than 18yrs. 
  • Note: It may be noted that the marital laws in our nation differ with respect to the caste and faith of a person.
  • Right to Maintenance and Alimony: In the event of judicial separation or divorce, a woman is entitled to maintenance from her husband for herself and her children, as long as she does not remarry. The amount depends on your lifestyle under Section 125 of CRPC and decided by a judge. Alimony is a one-time payment of maintenance. 

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  • Right to Child’s custody: Ideally for a child below the age of 5yrs, the mother is the natural guardian and the child should remain in the mother’s custody. A female minor child is usually placed in the mother’s custody always. 
  • A right to Maternity benefits: Becoming a mother is one of the best feelings in the world and it should not stand in the way of your success and career graph. Every expecting, adopting or surrogate mother has the right to maternity benefits. It may be claimed for up to 26weeks and post this, if the nature of the job permits, you can opt for work from home. During the period of maternity leave, you cannot be fired or demoted. Even if the mother dies during childbirth, your heir is entitled to the payment of any maternity benefit that is due. Even at instances of miscarriage, it is supposed to be paid. Some common queries were answered by the Ministry of Labour & Employment which may also be helpful- Maternity Benefit Laws
  • Woman’s right to Live-in relationship: Any sound woman above the age of 18yrs has the right to choose her partner whether to get married or be in a live-in relationship with. Live-in relationships are legally recognized by the law. And children of such couples also have legal rights against the father. 
  • Right against Dowry: Both giving and receiving dowry, whether in the name of gifts or anything else is strictly prohibited. If you are being tortured by your in-laws in the name of dowry, you may seek divorce and legally imprison your husband and his family.

National Commission For Women

The NCW is a government body in India that aims to voice the rights of women in our country. It has advocated and fought against archaic laws. It strives to ensure the safety of women, both inside and outside their houses. 

If anyone of you have any further questions regarding your rights, you may click the link below to seek help for all such matters: http://www.ncw.nic.in/helplines

The website also provides the space to ask your questions online as well. http://ncw.nic.in/

The National Women Helpline number is 181. 

My Personal Experience:

Being a lawyer, I have encountered many women who wanted to file for divorce or get an abortion or wanted to file a complaint in general for any atrocity meted out to them. But more often than not, they would not go through with it despite living horrendous lives. Their biggest fears involved only one question- What will the people think? Log kya kahengey! And how would they support themselves and their children after the incident? But all these fears are unnecessary as there are enough laws in our nation to protect the interest of women.

Women injustice

Conclusion

India, the land of Durga, Kali and Saraswati, ironically is famous for being one of the most aggressively dominant patriarchal societies in the world. But since Independence, one step at a time, an attempt is made to bring change. The laws though abundant lacks awareness. 

Women have traveled a long way from being uneducated and married at the age of 10yrs to now becoming the CEO’s of some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Battles are being fought day in and day out in against patriarchy but most battles are yet to be won. 

Once the rights are identified, it shall become increasingly easy to get these rights implemented. One step at a time and we shall be in an equal state with the men in our society if not superior. This is where feminism begins. This article hopes to be a step in the direction of achieving that. 

 

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10 Key Terms That Define The Feminist Movement

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Highlights

You might be wondering why feminism is so powerful a subject because it doesn’t seem to have much impact on your personal life! But since you stumbled upon this post, you might as well educate yourself with what is potentially one of the most mighty movements of the 21st century

 

Besides being social media’s most targeted topic off late and for quite some time now, what is the significance of this topical term? Why are there protests, rallies, debates, emotions, tattoos and voices emerging around the Feminist Movement so persistently, day after day? 

If you’re reading this, chances are 

  1. a) You’re new to the concept and wish to familiarize yourself with all those buzzwords hanging the feminist movement that you simply can't seem to comprehend while in a conversation (courtesy, the media) ;
  2. b) You don’t entirely get WHY feminism is so powerful a subject because it doesn’t seem to have much impact on your personal life

OR

  1. c) You stumbled upon this post and you might as well educate yourself with what is potentially one of the most mighty movements of the 21st century

Either way, before we get into some of those complex terms in a feminist’s dictionary, it is imperative that you fully understand who a feminist is, rather than declaring yourself to be or not be one. (weirdly tempted to continue with … that is the question) 

WHO is a feminist? 

Let's detangle this once and for all. A feminist is an advocate of women’s equality. They stand for women having equal rights as men and wish for all genders to be treated the same, despite any biological differences that they may possess. So don’t go assuming that only women can be feminists. You don’t have to be a person of colour to identify the atrocities of black suppression, and you most certainly don’t have to be a woman to want equal rights for them. If you believe in equal pay, look down upon objectifying women, and truly believe that the right to decide what’s best for a woman’s body is solely her own - you are a feminist. (even if you didn’t claim to be one up until now) If you call yourself an “Equalist”, you are in all true meaning, a feminist. 

Now that you sort of understand who a feminist is, you probably think it’s silly to have an entire movement around the cause because in reality, isn’t this the bare minimum of co-existing as an entire species? Equality? It is embedded in our constitutional rights, employment agreements, HR policies and textbooks - why is this not obvious already? 

Here’s why. The thing is in a patriarchal society like ours, it is almost impossible to shift the mindset of individuals to collectively incorporate textbook concepts into everyday lives. For them, this is like the shattering of an entire belief system. But it is a belief system that is wrong nonetheless and has to be called out for its inanity. It is hence that a movement so powerful that goes against this age-old belief system of patriarchy with full force needs to be given way to. It is AS essential as feminists make it to be, if not more. 

10 key terms that define the feminist movement (that you may stumble across and may very well be left astray if you don’t know their meaning) :

  1. Feminism

Even though you’re probably already well-equipped with the meaning of this term by now, it's imperative that you know what true feminism means. But before this, there are two things you must closely look at. Gender Equity and Intersectionality. Sound Complex? They’re not. Stay with me. 

Gender Equality Vs Gender Equity

While it may seem friendly and palatable by design, the term equality doesn’t do full justice to feminism. Here’s an example. If there are 2 participants in a 200-meter race and one of them is already located at the halfway mark of the race track, would it be fair for the two to compete against one another? Equality just goes until here. The end goal is equality, yes, but how do you get there? Now assume that the participant who was at a disadvantage, is given a head start to catch up with the other, and then a judgement is made. Wouldn’t this seem only fair? It is. This is equity. Equity is a means to get to the end goal, aka, equality. And this is no different for gender equity. It is no secret that women are at a current disadvantage in social strata. True feminism is the advocacy of gender equity to attain gender equality, eventually. 

What is Intersectionality? 

In very simple terms, intersectionality is the idea that social injustices (racism, sexism, casteism, etc) are often interrelated and tend to influence one another. You couldn’t possibly separate these layers of oppression and focus on just one issue while disregarding another. Let me elaborate. A white woman might face sexism at her workplace, a black woman could experience sexism and racism and a transexual black woman in the same scenario could experience racism, sexism and transphobia. 

Intersectionality is the idea that you can't just focus on sexism and leave out the other two simply because “it doesn’t concern you” - that's not true feminism

All in all, true feminism comes from being aware of gender equity and intersectionality as both of these are key components of a feminist mindset, not just gender equality. 

In the words of Kimberlé Crenshaw, a lawyer and civil rights advocate who coined the term intersectional feminism, “If you see inequality as a “them” problem or “unfortunate other” problem, THAT is a problem. 

Emma Watson’s 2014 speech on gender equality calls upon men and boys to help end the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally.

Understanding Radical Feminism

You might have heard the term “radical” before feminist one too many times by now. Radical feminism is a philosophy that emphasizes on the roots of sexism, aka patriarchy instead of the gender (male) involved. A radical feminist is interested to demolish the structure of patriarchy instead of the laws that hold it. So to equate radical feminism to man-hating is to assume that men and patriarchy are politically and psychologically, inseparable...

In the simplest language, they don't hate the player, only the game. 

2. Patriarchy 

Traditionally speaking, patriarchy refers to a society where men are considered to be the dominant gender. A structure that divides gender into male and female and hands over power to the former. Such possession of power can be witnessed in a household, workplace, social groups or the ruling party government. We’ve all been witnesses to the patriarchy for years now. History is evidence that men who were older, wealthier and white (in many countries) had the most power. All other categories of individuals gained voting rights and citizenship much later. 

Not only does such a structure position the male gender on a pedestal, but does so at the stake of putting women at a disadvantage - structurally and systematically. You might disregard this as an age-old tell-tale, something that belongs to history. You might have proof in support of your arguments, proof being mothers that head households today, females running large companies, but women in power are still, subconsciously seen as amusing diversions from the norms. 

When someone asks a child to think of a doctor or a lawyer, they immediately think of a male. Outspoken men are seen as strong personalities but powerful women are cold or bossy. Gender is binary. Both genders have fixed roles and responsibilities. The opinions of men hold more weightage than of a woman. All of these instances are the consequences of a patriarchal society. 

3. Sexism

Sexism by definition means the discrimination of one gender by another or a belief that because men are genetically superior to women, the discrimination is justified. A belief like this is not only bad but also scary because it happens to be an unconscious one, more often than not. 

Kate Millett, the author of Sexual Politics says “It is interesting that many women do not recognize themselves as discriminated against; no better proof could be found of the totality of their conditioning” 

Like racism, in sexism, the differences between two genders are visualised in a way that one is superior to the other. The act of being sexist towards women is the act of viewing them as inferior and a method used to maintain male domination in a patriarchal society. 

The discrimination or oppression can take many forms: economic, political, social or cultural and the acceptance of this oppression by women is more frightening than the oppression itself. 

Journalist and Author Caitlin Moran has a way of solving this problem. She says “I have a rule for working out if the root problem of something is, in fact, sexism. And it is this: asking 'Are the boys doing it? Are the boys having to worry about this stuff? Are the boys the centre of a gigantic global debate on this subject?”

And if this isn’t handy enough a tip, her brilliant views on feminism are not to be missed in her finest piece of work: How to be a Woman

4. Mansplaining

You’ve probably already heard of this one since it's all over the internet. Every woman has witnessed if not experienced a man explain a concept to her in the most condescending of ways, and thanks to Rebecca Solnit, author of the book Men Explain Things to Me, we now have a word for this absurd act. Don’t get me wrong, free gyaan is always appreciated, but when it comes with a combination of false assumptions, condescendence, inaccuracy and overconfidence, that’s when there’s a tad problem that arises. 

No one could explain this better than Kim Goodwin in his flowchart that went viral (and for good reason).

On behalf of all women, we sure do owe you one, Kim.

After gaining popularity, mansplaining gave rise to a whole different set of words (that aren’t in the news as much, but still worth a laugh or two), including “Whitesplain” - which is white people explaining things (again, out of context and unnecessary) to people of colour and “Manterrupt” - which is a word used to describe the act of men interrupting women in conversation.

5. Misogyny 

An ingrained prejudice against women to the point of deep dislike or hatred for the gender - That’s misogyny. How is this different from sexism? Sexism is structured. It’s a belief that men and women have different roles to play.

While there is the creation of a significant disadvantage to one gender by a sexist mindset, a misogynist is plain blunt toxic. They are usually men who are subject to toxic relationships in the past, either with their mother, a girlfriend or sister, that makes them a subconscious hater of the opposite gender. A Misogynist will tend to reinforce stereotypes against women and will get off on this discrimination.

The worrisome part about one is that you can't spot a misogynist at first sight, but thanks to Psychology Today’s article on 12 ways to spot a misogynist- you can attempt to clear all and any doubts on the subject.

6. Misandry 

Misandry is one of my favourite concepts to highlight primarily because it brings out the true meaning of feminism. People often confuse feminism to be “hatred of the male gender”. This is far from the truth. Misandry, on the other hand, comes close. The word was probably invented to clear the air about feminism being a righteous act, not one of spite. The right word choice to describe a man-hater is a misandrist. 

Misandry is basically the hatred for or prejudices against men or boys that manifests itself in many ways. This could include defamation of men, violence against men or any act of sexual discrimination against men. Just like how misogynists stand by patriarchy, a misandrist strongly believes in a matriarchal structure, one that completely switches all power over to women. 

There are debates on why misandry and misogyny should not be treated the same. 

Katherine Young’s novel Sanctifying Misandry is the work of a genius, to say the least where she challenges an influential version of modern religion, one that undermines sexual equality and promotes hatred of men in the form of misandry - the sexist counterpart of misogyny.

7. Hostile Sexism

Ambivalent sexism is a theoretical framework that divides sexism into two components - hostile sexism and benevolent sexism

Hostile sexism is openly misogynistic. This means that a hostile sexist is likely to picture a woman as a manipulative, weak and unworthy being. They also view feminism as an attack on men and traditional values and are against it in full force. With overtly negative stereotypes about women, hostile sexism is highly dangerous to the female gender. 

8. Benevolent Sexism 

Benevolent sexism, on the other hand, is a more subtle form of sexism (still highly damaging, nonetheless) where men view women as innocent, fragile, nurturing beings that need to be taken care of. They aim to keep women beneath men in the social hierarchy but with the aim of protecting and preserving them. This is sometimes worse than hostile sexism because it can easily be confused with friendly behaviour if not identified. It’s what most people would casually call “chivalry”. Sorry to burst your bubble ladies but if he insists that it's his “duty” to get the cheque all the time, you’re most definitely dating a sexist. 

9. SWERF, TERF and White Feminism

SWERF

Short for Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminist, a SWERF is someone who supports the empowering goals of radical feminism and calls herself/himself a feminist, but doesn’t extend this support to sex workers primarily due to the belief that sex work (including prostitution and pornography) tend to objectify women and go against everything that feminism stands for. 

TERF (Short for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist)

As the name suggests, a TERF, similar to a SWERF is spotted as someone who identifies with being a radical feminist, but disregards transgender women and are of the belief that they belong to the male gender. Since they’re convinced that trans women are men who cant coexist with their feminist ideologies, they don’t include them in their beliefs. In fact, TERFs are sometimes so unaccepting of the transgender, they believe that they shouldn’t have any rights at all.

The abbreviation TERF went more viral than ever, once J.K.Rowling tweeted something that left her fans shocked

White Feminism

Think of the feminist movement. Now exclude all women of colour from this movement. That’s basically what white feminism is. Advocating for the rights and struggles of only white women and alienating women of colour, intersex, trans, queer, lesbian and all those who belong to a cultural minority resembles the virtues of a white feminist.

The issue with white feminism though, for the longest time, has been the unintentional nature of its practice. White feminists aren’t exactly racist, they just tend not to take into account the struggles and experiences of women of all backgrounds for the different types of inequality they face. And this isn’t true feminism, is it? Feminism can’t be exclusive. It has to be intersectional to be true. 

These terms were coined to express how integral a role intersectionality plays in defining true feminism. A white feminist, A SWERF, a TERF or any other similar term that shoots up in the near future (courtesy, social media & social activists), that indicates exclusion of an individual in feminism based on their caste, colour, religion or sexual orientation - are NOT true feminists. 

10. Toxic Masculinity 

Toxic masculinity: A traditional masculinity ideology or social science that stereotypes men to behave a certain way and belittles the ones that don’t. “Be Macho”, “ Be Red-blooded”, “Be a man”, “Men will be men” are the most obvious of the terms that we get to witness within the four walls of our homes, on advertisements and billboards, in schools, at workplaces and inside most male-female relationships. The idea that associates masculinity with negative personality traits like aggression, violence, unemotional, sexually dominating is harmful, even to the male gender. 

The most common outcomes of toxic masculinity witnessed in a man’s behaviour include hiding emotions, using violence to indicate power and putting on a hard front at all times. The problem with toxic masculinity is that it is so deep-rooted into our lives, that we’re sold on concepts of “Gillette: The best a man can get”, “Durex: Time’s Up”, Imperial Blue: Men will be men” and I could go on, but you get the point. It is one thing for men to biologically have a broader build than women that make them more able for laborious tasks and another to infiltrate generations upon generations with the subconscious idea that men are always, at all hours, undefeatable. This is mighty frightening. 

While this article covers pretty much all you need to know about feminism and the keywords surrounding it, there’s never enough perspective you can gather around a subject that you’re truly in awe of, right? 

If you feel strongly about feminism, you’re going to want to put these books and movies on your “Must Watch/Read list”:

Some of the Best Books Written Around Feminism:

  1. Feminism is For Everybody by Bell Hooks
  2. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  3. Men Explain Things to me by Rebecca Solnit
  4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  5. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
  6. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
  7. Unbought and Unbossed by Shirley Chisholm
  8. Women, Culture, & Politics by Angela Davis

Movies that are unapologetically (and beautifully) Feminist:

  1. Set It Off (1996)
  2. Hidden Figures (2016)
  3. The First Wives Club (1996)
  4. Roma (2018) 
  5. Nine to five (1980)
  6. The Color Purple (1985)
  7. Frida (2004)
  8. Little Women (1994)

Quotes written on feminism that never fail to give you the heebie-jeebies: 

  1. “I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” 

― Madonna

  1. “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.” 

― Cheris Kramarae

  1. “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” 

― Gloria Steinem

  1. “She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city” 

― Roman Payne, The Wanderess

  1. Life is not a competition between men and women. It is a collaboration.

― David Alejandro Fearnhead

  1. The only thing required to be a woman is to identify as one. Period. End of story.

― Amanda Lovelace

  1. What is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy and smug they might be. Are you a feminist? Of course you are.

― Caitlin Moran

  1. I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.

― Audre Lorde 



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"It’s not my fault”- Reflections of the wife of an alcoholic

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I am a wife of an Alcoholic. There I have said it and it’s out in the open.

Why do we feel the need to hide this fact? He is the one drinking, he is the one who is abusive, he is the one who is not earning and I have to sweep everything under the carpet and keep quiet because we want to protect the family name?

I am the one dreading family gatherings or shudder at the thought of calling friends over. After all, who likes to be embarrassed? So that makes me the spoilsport and he is always the life of a party.

So, I’m saying this aloud. “I am a wife of an Alcoholic”. And what I wanted to write about and give importance to is how over a period of years I have learnt to deal with it.

However, before we go there let’s talk about the alcoholic first and typical traits.

  1. Do you see your loved one finding an excuse to drink - good news, bad news, indifferent news- anything is a reason to drink.
  2. Do they start hiding their drinks? This not only helps them to access it quickly but also helps them to hide the amount of alcohol they have consumed after all they don’t want you to see that they finished X amount of bottles already!
  3. They only want to attend parties and gatherings where there is booze available freely. Everything else is a waste of time and boring! Never mind if you were looking forward to spending some quality time with these people or were so wanting to go hiking in the mountains or for a stroll in the garden.
  4. They gradually start drinking earlier and earlier in the day. In my case these days he is already high by 10 a.m. That’s the only way he can step out in the world.
  5. Money starts going missing from your purse; you might have some jewelry missing too. That’s when you learn the hard way that your belongings all need to be under lock and key always. Imagine having to stay like that in your own house.
  6. Then they stop eating proper meals, always on the lookout to have a drink only and start neglecting personal hygiene and that’s when you realize that you have an issue at hand. He goes without brushing his teeth for weeks, let’s not talk about baths! This is when the verbally abusive behavior begins. Physical abuse is not far away.  

These are just a few typical traits and mostly what I relate to however there will be plenty of other warning signs and trust your instinct… Always... it’s never wrong.

Sometimes you don’t need to read about typical traits after all the blood-red eyes, hangovers, the smell; the disheveled appearance is right in front of your eyes… all in plain sight.

I have been married for 18 years now and he has been an alcoholic even before we met. During our engagement phase, I didn’t realize it or rather did not take heed of all the warning signs and for various other social pressures went ahead with the marriage after all you are living in India and arranged marriages are a norm even now. Has been a roller coaster ride ever since.

 And through my entire journey of living with an alcoholic there is one thing that I have realized and that is I am powerless over his drinking.

You can drain his drinks down the drain, hide his bottles, don’t give him money, try to reason with him, put him in rehabilitation centers, try to be more loving or go the opposite way and threaten him with different consequences but all these are just ways to aggravate the situation more and waste of time if he is not ready to see reason. I have even left home twice now but nothing changes. Earlier it was easier for me because I would escape to my mother’s place every weekend which would make the week ahead bearable but after she passed away 4 years ago I lost that privilege too.  

That’s when I was told about Al Anon. This is a group for the family of an alcoholic. It’s a worldwide group where people with similar situations come together once a week. You can say it’s a byproduct of the Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) group because alcohol doesn’t destroy the alcoholic alone; it takes a toll on his/her family too.

I attended meetings for a couple of months and I realized that though the purpose of the whole thing was to give some semblance in my life this particular group was not working for me. Not that the group was not helpful or most caring but due to my own inhibitions.

But there are some learnings that I picked up from these meetings which have been embedded in my mind since then. It can be hard to hear that you need to change yourself when a loved one is living with alcoholism. After all, it's their problem, isn't it? Unfortunately, you can only change yourself, and the only way you can interrupt and change the current course of your interactions with an alcoholic is to change your reactions. I have tried to incorporate them in my daily life and it has really helped me cope up with my situation(not always successfully but patience is the name of the game and my friends do tell me that I should get an award for the level that I have reached). Anyway, let me share some of these with you.

My Life Learnings

1. Acceptance

The first learning out of this that one needs to take in is that of “Acceptance”.

The first and foremost advice that I would like to share with you is to stop trying to change him. You need to accept the fact that it is a choice that he is making of staying in this drunken stupor and only he can decide when to stop. To say it in simple language it means that you can take the horse to the well but you cannot force it to drink water. You also need to accept that Alcoholism is a disease just like any other disease like cancer and should not be underestimated.

Nothing works for the simple reason that YOU are trying to change him. If you tell him how he looked, how he acted, what you think of him for it, it won’t work. He’ll just fall back on the old excuse, ‘She’s picking on me again,’ and he’ll have a grievance against you again and another excuse to drink. They never want to discuss what triggered us, just how you reacted! You have to say what you mean but you have to say it without being mean and let him draw his own conclusions. He has to learn that there are always consequences for each and every action and he has to take responsibility for his actions. He is an adult and you cannot control him, accept that it is for his own good. It is very difficult to do it, trust me I have been in such situations. Your maternal instinct kicks in and you want to avoid an ugly scenario and help him however you can but LEAVE HIM BE.

I have learnt this the hard way. He had taken money from some moneylender and when he was not able to pay back there were thugs who came home and threatened the entire family with dire consequences if we did not pay up within the next 48 hours. I did pay up at that time but refused the next time.

Another time a person actually called the police and as he had contacts they came and took him in, beat him black and blue and kept him overnight at the station. Sounds like I am heartless but he had to bear the consequences.

An active alcoholic will always be in a stage of strong denial and will never accept that he has an issue. He can come to a stage where he realizes that he is unable to get out of this vicious circle and needs help. A stage where he accepts that alcohol is a cause of all his troubles and he wants to come out of it. This is where we can help him/her with the help of Rehabilitation Centers and AA Meetings till then you are completely helpless and nothing you say or do is ever going to work.

You also have to accept that he might never reach the stage where he realizes that he has an issue. Such cases can go to the extreme where he can have multiple organ issues and might not make it. Harsh truth but it is what it is.

2. Expectations

The second thing that we have to learn is “Expectations”.

We feel that if he really cared about me and if he really wanted he could stay sober and avoid drinks totally.  We have too many expectations not from ourselves but from another human being. Why?

I so wanted to get inside his brain and turn the screws in what I thought was the right direction based on what my expectations were. Why can’t he be a sober husband with a good job, a loving person and a caring and supportive father? 

There are days when he is sober and he makes all types of promises. “My drinking is not that serious, I can stop whenever I want”, “I swear I will not drink again”, “I swear I will be a different person now just help me out from this situation” etc. And the very next day when he comes home drunk again I am so hurt by the broken promises and take the lies personally.  We naturally expect them to be sincere to us.  This is what expectations looks like.

What seems like a reasonable expectation in some circumstances might be totally unreasonable when it comes to someone with an addiction. Is it reasonable to expect someone to be honest with you when the person is incapable of being honest even with themselves and admit that they have a problem and need help?

In reality, we as a family should do nothing and can do nothing. When a person with a substance use problem reaches a crisis point, sometimes that's the time the person finally admits they have a problem and begins to reach out for help. It is very difficult to sit back and let it play out to its fullest extent. When an alcoholic reaches the point that they get a DUI, lose their job, or get thrown in jail, it can be a difficult concept to accept that the best thing you can do in the situation is to do nothing. It may seem like it goes against everything you believe and against all your expectations.

In a nutshell, the only person you can work upon is your own self. Once you realize this trust me life will let you breathe easy. When you reach this stage you will feel a burden on your shoulders and will be able to admire the view. My happiness, my peace of mind, my attitudes, the way I look, the way I stay, the way I behave are all my responsibility. Only I have the power to change all that and the thought that I don’t have to take responsibility for the alcoholic’s behavior is such a relief.  

I hope this has helped in bringing some sense of comfort and ease to your life. If you know of any dear and near ones who are going through the same situation and feel that it could help them in any way then please do share this.

And to end this let me tell you that working on Acceptance and Expectations is less than half the battle won. You can then move on to what I call the second stage.  I shall touch base on that another time. Till then keep repeating the three “C”s of Al Anon to yourself:

I didn’t Cause it

I can’t Control it and

I can’t Cure it

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5 Feminist terms you should not miss!

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Feminism as a term has attracted a lot of flak for ages which can lead to personal interactions turning grim. Although some words are deep-rooted, some are contemporary contributions to an emerging lexicon. To help you breakthrough, here are interpretations for anything from "Feminism" and "Misogyny" to "Mansplaining" and "Toxic Masculinity."

Feminist:

A feminist is an advocate of women's equality. They stand for women having equal rights as men and ask for both genders to be treated equally despite biological differences.

What  it does not mean: Man-hater, Moody, Free-rider, Expects equal pay for less work

And don't presume that only women can be feminists. You don't have to be a person of color to recognize the crimes against black racism, and you definitely don't have to be a woman to seek equal rights for women. When you believe in fair wages, look down on objectifying women, and genuinely agree that the freedom to determine what is best for a woman's body is her own -you are a feminist.

feminist

Patriarchy:

A societal structure in which men have power, through societal traditions and practices that favour men and deprive women of opportunities.

Not only does such a structure position men on the pedestal, but it also places women at a disadvantage-structurally and systematically. You may dismiss this as an age-old tale, something that belongs to history. Yet still, subconsciously, women of power are seen as interesting diversions from norms.

Sexism:

Discrimination or devaluation on the basis of sex or gender, as in the case of restricted employment opportunities, specifically directed against women. Discrimination or injustice can take many forms: economic, political, social, or cultural, and women's acceptance of this discrimination is more terrifying than oppression itself.

Mansplaining:

Explaining things to someone in a way that suggests they 're stupid; used particularly when a man explains something to a woman that she already understands

Misogyny:

Hatred, contempt, or distrust of people, or discrimination against women. Misogyny promotes sexist attitudes and acts on them in a threatening or aggressive way, which is frequently exposed by demeaning or denigrating remarks.