So what did the feminist movement get us, given so many women don’t want it?

(Disclaimer right up front. Am no academic, so if there are factual errors anywhere, do point them out, would be delighted to rectify them.)

Here’s a quick and easy primer.

The feminist movement is popularly divided into three waves.

This was what happened in the first wave:

(From Wikipedia).”First-wave feminism was oriented around the station of middle- or upper-class white women and involved suffrage and political equality.”

From Gender Cawater “First-wave feminism refers to an extended period of feminist activity during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the United Kingdom and the United States. Originally it focused on the promotion of equal contract and property rights for women and the opposition to chattel marriage and ownership of married women (and their children) by their husbands. However, by the end of the nineteenth century, activism focused primarily on gaining political power, particularly the right of women’s suffrage. Yet, feminists such as Voltairine de Cleyre and Margaret Sanger were still active in campaigning for women’s sexual, reproductive, and economic rights at this time. In 1854, Florence Nightingale established female nurses as adjuncts to the military.

Which, in simple terms means that the first wave of the feminist movement fought for a woman’s right to be a political equal to men, and for her right to vote in a democracy, as well as the right to be an equal in a marriage, and the right to own property.

In the second wave of feminism.

(From Wikipedia) Second-wave feminism attempted to further combat social and cultural inequalities.

second-wave feminism broadened the debate to a wide range of issues: sexuality, family, the workplace, reproductive rights, de facto inequalities, and official legal inequalities.[4] Second-wave feminism also drew attention to domestic violence and marital rape issues, establishment of rape crisis and battered women’s shelters, and changes in custody and divorce law.

Without second wave feminism, women would not have had the right to equal pay for equal work, right to property, reproductive rights over their own body. And there would be no redressal for domestic violence. The introduction of the oral contraceptive pill, gave women the option to delay and space pregnancies and so be able to focus on their career if they so desired.

Also, Betty Friedan’s book, The Feminine Mystique, made women question the myth of domestic happiness they had been fed all their lives.

“In 1963 Betty Friedan, influenced by The Second Sex, wrote the bestselling book The Feminine Mystique. Discussing primarily white women, she explicitly objected to how women were depicted in the mainstream media, and how placing them at home limited their possibilities and wasted potential. Friedan described this as “The Problem That Has No Name”.[20] The perfect nuclear family image depicted and strongly marketed at the time, she wrote, did not reflect happiness and was rather degrading for women.[21] This book is widely credited with having begun second-wave feminism.[22]

The second wave of feminism also looked at how women were depicted in pop culture, rather anachronistic given that we still have hoes and bitches in popular songs.

“Second-wave feminists viewed popular culture as sexist, and created pop culture of their own to counteract this. Australian artist Helen Reddy‘s song “I Am Woman” played a large role in popular culture and became a feminist anthem; Reddy came to be known as a “feminist poster girl” or a “feminist icon”.[43][44][45][46][47][48][49] “One project of second wave feminism was to create ‘positive’ images of women, to act as a counterweight to the dominant images circulating in popular culture and to raise women’s consciousness of their oppressions.”[50]

In the Third Wave of Feminism.

(From Wikipedia) Third-wave feminism is continuing to address the financial, social and cultural inequalities and includes renewed campaigning for greater influence of women in politics and media. In reaction to political activism, feminists have also had to maintain focus on women’s reproductive rights, such as the right to abortion.

“Gender violence has become a central issue for third-wave feminists. Organizations such as V-Day have formed with the goal of ending gender violence, and artistic expressions such as The Vagina Monologues have generated awareness and action around issues relating to women’s sexuality. Third-wave feminists want to transform the traditional notions of sexuality and embrace “an exploration of women’s feelings about sexuality that included vagina-centred topics as diverse as orgasm, birth, and rape.”[32]

“Third-wave feminism regards race, social class, transgender rights, and sexual liberation as central issues. However, it also pays attention to workplace matters such as the glass ceiling, sexual harassment, unfair maternity-leave policies,[49] motherhood – support for single mothers by means of welfare and child care and respect for working mothers and for mothers who decide to leave their careers to raise their children full-time.”

Third wave feminism gave us Slut Walks across the world, a reclaiming of the derogatory terms used against women, increased focus on women’s reproductive rights, fous on issues like single motherhood, the glass ceiling, sexual harassment policies and more.

And yes, there is a fourth wave of feminism, which began some years ago

From Wikipedia. “Fourth wave feminism is often associated with online feminism, especially using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, and other forms of social media to discuss, uplift, and activate gender equality and social justice.[6] According to NOW Toronto, the internet has created a “call-out” culture, in which sexism or misogyny can be called out and challenged immediately with relative ease.[7] This culture is indicative of the continuing influence of the third wave, with its focus on micro-politics and challenging sexism and misogyny insofar as they appear in everyday rhetoric, advertising, film, television and literature, the media, and so on.[8] This online feminism aspect of the fourth wave has impacted how companies market to women so that they are not “called out” for sexism in their marketing strategies.[“

And there are various branches of feminism, which include socialist and Marxist, black feminism, post colonial and more.

The bottom line though, is that feminism as a movement has been what has got us many of the rights we take so for granted today. All feminism aims at is simply gender equality in a society that has been overwhelmingly patriarchal all down the centuries.

And we continue to need it. We still have reports where women are paid less than men, 27 % at last reading, where marital rape is still not recognised as a crime by law, where women must fight to shatter the glass ceiling at work, where reproductive rights are still hard to come by for women in the hinterland.

Let’s not confuse feminism with misandry, please. And just let’s just recognise feminism for what it is. A movement that recognises the fact that women hold up half the sky.

For more on feminism read this:



Win a pair of Miami Blues sunglasses, tell me the spookiest experience you’ve had #TheFaceAtTheWindow

I haven’t had a giveaway on my blog for yonks, so here’s one! As you might know, my latest book, The Face At The Window, is a bit of a spooky book. Here’s a bit about it.


What if at the end of one’s life, one realises that one has lived out a lie?
Mrs McNally, a retired school teacher, living alone in a cottage at the foothills of the Himalayas, has secrets that if revealed could shatter the two people she cares about the most, her daughter Millie and her grand daughter Nina.
Torn by her desire to reveal the truth that could change Millie’s life, and the need to let things continue as they are, Mrs McNally grapples not just with ghosts from her past, but also a strange, vicious presence in her house that seems to want something from her. Will she ever find the peace that eludes her, will she be rid of this entity haunting her house and, more importantly, will she find closure? A gently nuanced, layered story that deals with the lack of identity and an eternal finding of self, The Face at the Window holds a mirror to the fears we are all afraid to voice, the fear of ageing, the fear of not belonging, and above all, the fear of having no one to love you at the end of your life.

I’m giving away two of these fabulous Miami Blues sunglasses to two bloggers who write a post on their spookiest experience.

Miami Blues is a homegrown sunglass brand which has recently relaunched with new styles, affordable prices and retails from Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Westside, Pantaloons and Central.

All you need to do is write your post, post a link in the comments section and don’t forget to post a link to this post in your post, mentioning that it is an entry for #TheFaceAtTheWindow Miami Blues Contest.  Contest ends June 6, 2016. Go ahead, bring out your spooky stories. Scare me.


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Yesterday evening I did not visit a cafe or a friend’s place or go out with my family like I usually do. It was a different and yes, a wonderful Sunday evening. I am an avid reader and I usually finish reading a book in two days so when my summer hols began, I knew that a library card was what I needed. JUST BOOKS, the library where I romance with fictional characters and gain inspiration from autobiographies, had made all of us readers and writers overjoyed by calling author Kiran Manral for her book reading. Let me be completely honest, her name wasn’t really on my reading list but I knew that meeting an author and hearing her read would make my soul happy. So, sharp at 5:3o my friend and I, we reached the library and she was standing inside with a few other people. Hair tied in…

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Announcing #INarrate essays from the Women Unlimited Series of the Taj Colloquium

A project that is very dear to my heart has just taken off and I am most delighted to share details about it with you.

Under the aegis of the Taj Colloquium, founded by Sumant Batra and Dr Shivani Chaturvedi, the Women Unlimited Series launched its first initiative #INarrate, yesterday.

Here’s a bit more about the Women Unlimited Series:

The social and economic development of women is deeply intertwined. It is imperative that women participate in debate and plays a pro-active and meaningful role in decision-making processes of issues that impact their quality of life and that of the communities they live in. The private sector should emerge as a key partner in this effort.

Women Unlimited Series Forum is an initiative of NHP Centre, for inclusion of women’s talents, skills and energies in various creative programmes of the NHP Centre and the Taj Colloquium Foundation.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with a fabulous steering committee, on this. The steering committee of the Women Unlimited Series includes Nishtha Satyam head Strategic Partnerships, Policy Impact and Public Relations for UN Women, Shaili Chopra founder,  Atiya Zaidi Publisher Ratna Sagar, Namita Bhandare eminent journalist and consulting editor on gender with Mint, Dr Debotri Dhar Lecturer in Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, and Jeanne Campbell Visiting Scholar at its Center for the Education of Women and Rakhee Bakshee Director Women ‘s Feature Service on this initiative.


#INarrate is an essay series (blogs) on the shifting narrative of a woman’s journey. Starting this week, popular contemporary women authors will be invited to contribute essays on the issues compelling the modern Indian woman to redefine herself. Contribution to #INarrate is “by invitation” only.

A series of essays from popular contemporary authors on the issues that are compelling Indian women to redefine their journeys, these are available at the #INarrate blog right here.

The first two essays, by Koral Dasgupta and Sujata Parashar are already up.


My events in May, Mumbai-7th, 8th, 15th

May 7th, 11.50 am. KoffeePlace. SpeedNetworking Sutra. By registration only.

Koffee Place

May 8th, 6.30 pm, Chaayos, Juhu.


Just Books, Thane, May 15th, 5.30 pm. Book reading for The Face At The Window.justbooksthane

Do register here for the Just Books reading.

Look forward to seeing you. And of course, will be delighted to sign copies of my books if you bring them along.


The Face At The Window (and its author) in Delhi.

Just back from a lovely few days in Delhi for the promotions of The Face At The Window. The first day was a whirl of book store visits and signings.


The second day, Saturday, had a book reading and discussion at Vintage 31, Meherchand Market, organised by Delhi Book Lovers, which saw a fabulous turnout of friends, family and readers. Thank you, everyone who came for the event, and thank you Vimi of Vintage for the gracious hospitality and Kunal, of Delhi Book Lovers for putting the event together.

Here are some pictures from the event.


With the very wonderful Rashmi Menon of Amaryllis, who saw this book through with immense passion and belief in it, and Kunal Gupta of Delhi Book Lovers.



And with Vimi Singh, the owner of Vintage 31, which is perhaps the most charming cafe I’ve seen.

Spooky stories were discussed, as well as characterisation and the process of writing.

Now to see where Mrs McNally and her ghost take me next!

“Kiran Manral is an absolutely fabulous author- and she has proved herself with this book.”

A review on The Book Reporter by Upasana Luthra Mahtani.


“Kiran Manral is an absolutely fabulous author- and she has proved herself with this book.. an entirely different genre. If you
are one of those that finds reading scary books at night a sleep deterrent – please read this during the day ! But read it you must.
Kiran weaves a beautiful story , with gripping , eerie and haunting scenes.
She blends the macabre with the mundane and the end result is a book that grips you with it’s story line.
Thrilled to bits with this one !!”

Read the original here