#TheMarriedFeminist this week: Infidelity & Adultery : The Elephant in the Bedroom

Perhaps it is time to address it, that elephant in the bedroom, lying on the marital bed, covers neatly tucked under its chin, snoring complacently. Adultery.

Defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse, adultery though increasingly common across all segments of society, is still socially reprehensible. In India, it is criminal, punishable by a jail sentence. But there’s a caveat, the punishment for adultery is applicable only to the man who commits adultery with another man’s wife. And therein lies all that is problematic.

Kiran Manral The Married Feminist SheThePeople

The law on adultery in India is rather archaic, and was drawn up over a century ago, remaining unchanged since, though attempts have been made to do so.

The law on adultery in India is rather archaic, and was drawn up over a century ago, remaining unchanged since, though attempts have been made to do so.  According to section 497 of the IPC, a consensual-sexual relationship between a man and a married women is prohibited if the woman does not have the consent from her husband. The law punishes the man for adultery only if the husband files a complaint. If an aggrieved husband complains about a man having consensual-sexual relations with his wife, the offender can be imprisoned for up to five years. Interestingly though, if the husband commits adultery, there is no similar recourse for the wife to seek redressal.  He can only be charged if his paramour is married too, and her husband files a case against him.

This gender bias in the law is skewed in favour of women, and unfairly so. This bias, though comes from the place of patriarchy, which dictates that a wife is the husband’s ‘property’. The woman gets away scot-free even though she is equally culpable of having committed adultery. Thankfully, this outdated premise and law though, is getting a much-needed re-look with the recent announcement last week that a five judge bench of the Supreme Court will now deliberate about whether women should be punished for adultery. According to Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, men are solely treated as perpetrators and women bear no onus for adultery.

Read the rest of the article here

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In eShe magazine; “I HAVE A VERY LOW BOREDOM THRESHOLD” – INSIDE A BESTSELLING AUTHOR’S MIND

As someone who has been writing ever since she was a little girl and has now, by age 46, written nine books, several short stories, columns for various publications, been on several panels and won awards, Kiran Manral still managed to get “rather chuffed about” being shortlisted for the Femina Woman Achievers Award for Literary Contribution in 2017 “because I was in stellar company”.

But it is precisely her woman-next-door candidness and approachable public persona that has attracted her 50,000 social-media followers and fans.

Writing has been both journey and destination for the Mumbai-based TedX speaker, who is also an outspoken votary for women’s rights, and champion for social causes such as protection of children from sexual abuse. And like good wine, she is only getting better with age – both in the nuances of her writing, and in the self-awareness of her opinions.

HinduBusinessLine
Kiran at the Hindu Business Line Women Achievers Conference 2017. Photo credit: Fariha Farooqui

Read the entire interview here

And the first review for #SavingMaya comes in

Thanks Inderpreet Uppal for the kind words.

Marvelous Maya #SavingMaya @KiranManral

Saving Maya

She is handling her son, the thankless ex-husband and the co-workers who are constantly looking for Maya to falter. On top of it all, she has a brooding, handsome neighbour who is idolized by the kids and her son.

This is a wonderful, sweet and practical love story of how Maya finds her second chance at love.1 She traverses the path of finding herself once again, finding her inner diva, winning at work and finding the right guy.

If you are a lover of romances, this one has some fine moments. The interaction between Maya and her best friend made me miss my best friend and our chats. Her mother, the formidable mom who is no-nonsense, gives Maya a tough time but that’s what mom’s do. Kiran has etched such realistic characters that I want to read more such romances by Kiran. All Aboard was another romance that I enjoyed and she has dabbled in many genres doing excellent work in them.

#SavingMaya is a fast, fun read and trust me, Maya doesn’t need saving, she is just saving her best for the right one 😉

Read the original review here

Bombaywaali with Miss Malini

The first edition of Bombaywaali for 2018 featured the very fabulous Miss Malini, the pioneer of entertainment blogging in India. In a freewheeling, candid conversation to a packed standing room audience at Title Waves in Mumbai, she took us through her journey from back up dancer for Sukhbir to entertainment content during the early dot com boom, to radio jockey and then to the phenomenon she’s now become. She’s also just released a book about her journey, #ToTheMoon which is a must read for anyone keen on making it in both entrepreneurship and lifestyle/entertainment blogging.

Read about the event here: https://www.shethepeople.tv/news/star-movie-miss-malini-bombaywaali/

Some pics from the event here.

Saving Maya – Print Edition from Bombaykala Books

savingmayabombaykala

Maya, in her mid-thirties, divorced and with a young son, finds herself in a tangle both professionally and emotionally as she attempts to navigate life post-divorce. Will she put together her life, will she find love again?

Wry and endearingly earnest, Saving Maya is a heartwarming novel about the beauty of second chances.

Pre-orders here.

The Married Feminist this week: Marrying up, down and in every which direction

A few centuries down the line, Jane Austen’s dictum that a single man in possession of an income would be on the lookout for a wife, is getting a makeover and how. Contrary to the earlier norm where the man was considered the primary bread winner, and the woman in the marriage merely brought in the jam to the table, a substantial percentage of women are becoming the primary bread winners. And what is more interesting is that women are increasingly marrying down, in both education and income. Naturally, the number of men marrying up has gone up.

More men marrying up

According to research from the University of Kansas, as women are increasingly becoming higher educated over the decades, the chances of men marrying up has increased significantly. Paradoxically, chances of women marrying up have decreased significantly. This goes against the grain of what has been held sacrosanct over centuries, that marriage must either happen between equals in social status or that a woman should marry up but not vice-versa.

themarriedfeminist

While traditionally, it was the women who were marrying up, that was because they weren’t encouraged to get highly educated and be career professionals. University of Kansas’ research between 1990 and 2011 shows women’s personal earnings have grown much faster than men’s earnings have in the same period. To quote the study’s lead author, ChangHwan Kim, from an article, “This could explain why it seems men don’t complain a lot about this. It seems fine for men because their wife is now bringing more income to the household.”

Shift in financial equation

This shift in the financial equation within a marriage is interesting. Also interesting is that this is fast getting to be a sizeable percentage of marriages in the US. What about us in India? Haven’t we all grown up with the neighbourhood gossips tut-tutting when a bright young girl goes on to get multiple qualifications and super achieving in her career, because, “Where will you find a boy who is more qualified than she is?”

The parameter has yet to change here, the man in the marriage is still expected to be higher in both education and income to maintain the status quo in the partnership. Women, who are now on par with their spouses, in both income and education negotiate and renegotiate social boundaries and gender roles are now growing increasingly elastic.

In marriages where the man is on a lower rung on the pay and education scale to the wife, it could be tap dancing in a minefield of fragile male egos raised on the lifeblood of patriarchy

But what is interesting is that women are now no longer looking at the man bringing home the bacon. They can bring their own, thank you very much and the jam with it, if need be. A steady income, while always welcome, is no longer a perquisite in a woman’s decision to choose a life partner. Gender dynamics in the past century has evolved perhaps the most rapidly ever, and marriage equality has, through education, awareness, the feminist movement and venturing of women out into the workforce, become more of a reality than tokenism. Men are also definitely benefiting from the women being more professionally accomplished and bringing in a higher income. For one, it takes the load off their shoulders, the toxic masculinity load which has ‘provider’ written in lights on it. It also frees up men to take on more of being the ‘nurturer’, a role that has been systemically denied to them down the ages.

Read the rest of the article here

In WOW Parenting: My parenting journey

INTERVIEWS

Kiran Manral Shares Her Parenting Journey

How exciting it is when someone shares their personal journey of success, of trials and tribulations with us. We feel connected with that individual at a deeper level. We feel we have lived that journey with him/ her. What if we have successful parents sharing their parenting stories with us? With this aim in mind, we have started this Interview section, where we talk about the parenting journey of successful individuals.

Kiran Manral
Ideas editor at She the People Tv, Bestselling Author of 9 books, named as top 20 women influencers by Sheroes, has been a part of numerous panel discussions on varied topics like Women Entrepreneurship, Writing, Blogging etc. Manral published her parenting journey in a book titled Karmic Kids, describing her experience of bringing up her spirited son from childbirth to age ten. One highly positive review calls for the book “to be read by everyone”, not just mothers. Here’s an open heart discussion with Kiran on Parenting.

Q. What made you decide on taking the parenting plunge? Was it because well-meaning relatives and friends around suggested that it was about time or you were hitting the biological clock or you felt those nurturing instincts and therefore planned a family?

A. I’m not a very maternal soul and was only too happy to not have conceived for the first few years of my marriage. It was nice to carry other folks’ babies and be able to hand them back when they began bawling. But when I hit thirty it was like an alarm clock went off in my uterus and all I could see wherever I looked were babies and I became a giant ball of maternal mush. I must confess I then became all singular focused Arjun ki eye on the fish’s eye kind of manic in my attempts to conceive a baby and hopped through various infertility consultants. I was told we had what was called Idiopathic infertility, which basically acknowledged that we both were idiots who couldn’t conceive. Seriously, it meant there was no factor that could pinpoint why we weren’t conceiving. So much trial and error, medication, ovulation monitoring and cycles of IUI later, thanks to the fabulous Dr Indira Hinduja, the second line went blue one morning in the bathroom, and nine months later, the offspring came bawling into the world.

Read the rest of the interview here

A writing workshop with Avid Learning and Juggernaut in Feb.

avidjuggernaut

 

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” -Beatrix Potter. Have you ever struggled with finding the suitable voice with which to tell your story? Do you have an investigative style, a romantic streak or an intellectual bent? Have you always wished for a sneak peek into the mind and thought the process of an author you admire? Avid Learning in partnership with Juggernaut Books presents a brand new and exciting monthly writing workshop series to help bring the inner author out in you. Lead by some of the most well-regarded authors and experts these interactive one-day workshops will explore and demystify every aspect, technique and convention of writing for and publishing in popular genres. This unique collaboration will allow fans and students to experience the other side of literature- and try their hand at writing themselves. Through this distinct alliance with Juggernaut Books, we aim to give our audience a comprehensive look at the literary world- from reading to writing to publishing, and everything in between. This series will highlight the how-to’s behind every genre, the lessons behind honing your literary skills, how to critique and appreciate different forms of writing, the art behind finding your literary voice and a distinctive and rare insight into the inner recesses of literature. First, in the series, we will have Author, Journalist and Columnist, Bachi Karkaria who will school participants on writing non-fiction. This will be followed by our second workshop on writing across different platforms with Author and Blogger, Kiran Manral in February 2018, and then Publishing 101 with Book Publisher and Founder of Juggernaut Books, Chiki Sarkar in March 2018.Come join us as we explore every avenue of writing and hone the author in you.Look forward to seeing you and your guests there! Please RSVP at felita.braganza@essarservices.co.in

 

In the Verve: AN ERA OF EMPOWERMENT: HOW SOCIAL MEDIA IS GIVING WOMEN A VOICE

Text by Kiran Manral

Social media has given women strength in numbers and the courage to raise their voices. Leveraging this new-found power to the utmost, they are fearlessly sharing their stories to great impact

A few weeks ago, the internet had its Arab Spring of sorts. Women across countries and continents were posting their tales of sexual harassment under the hashtag #MeToo. On Facebook, Twitter and on blogs, #MeToo became a rallying call to women — and men — to state and acknowledge the very real elephant in the room — that of the universality of sexual harassment. It began, quite innocuously, with an article by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker, which exposed the powerful Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein’s exploitation of women in the industry over several years, with actions ranging from harassment and exposure, and most damningly to rape. The article had a domino effect. It not only effectively destroyed Weinstein’s career, but also led to a cascade of similar accusations against not just powerful men, who abused young women, but also against powerful men in Hollywood, like Kevin Spacey, who abused younger men.

Read the rest here

In the Scroll today: Publishers insist writers stick to one genre. But what if they don’t want to be a ‘genre author’?

Well-meaning folk in the publishing world shake their heads disapprovingly. Stick to a single genre, they advise me. You will confuse your readers. Your readers pick up a book by you, expecting a sunny romance with the mandatory happy ending complete with doves and violins in the background, only to get blindsided by a spooky tale. Will they ever trust you again? Dour marketing teams step in, faces so grim one might think they’d spent the morning drowning puppies. Marketing a multi-genre author is difficult, they say, your books can’t be slotted conveniently on one shelf, they get scattered. Readers who might want to read older books might be disappointed when they realise the previous work is nothing like what they’ve just read. You’re dividing your audience. It hurts your “author brand.”

Read the entire article here

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