Ariel asks you to #ShareTheLoad, and Ram Devineni asks you to #StandWithPriya. Facebook and LinkedIn support women in tech.
Happy Galentine’s Day, my lovely friends. The weekend ahead is going to be a rollercoaster of emotions isn’t it? First, there is the 13th of February, which we celebrate every year with our favourite lady friends as suggested by Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation, then there is Valentine’s Day which we tolerate “ironically” by refusing to fall for the love conglomerate (Seriously, Twitter has been taunting us with Happy Teddy Day, Happy Hug Day, Happy Heart-Shaped Balloon Day, and all of that Hallmark- patented ‘love’ is just making us throw upon disgust).
And then – on Sunday- India plays Pakistan and everything is sunshine or doom again, depending on which side of the border you are from. Eleven men in blue will play eleven men in green- some will win, some will lose, and we will all feel a little bit stupid for caring either way.
Even if Delhi elected just six women MLAs out of seventy, (the Aam Aurat Party’s day in the sun is still a while away), at least the new Chief Minister acknowledged his wife and displayed a bit of affection towards her, creating a love revolution of sorts in a country where any public display of affection is frowned upon.
Here are some of the ‘happy highlights’ from the week.
Share The Load
We are torn about all the recent advertisements which uses feminism as an easy buzzword. On the one hand it hurts us that a legitimate fight for equality is being appropriated as a cynical marketing ploy. On the other hand, if the latest Ariel advertisement makes one man question whether he’s doing enough around the house, it has served its purpose. In a country where the average male spends about 19 minutes a day on housework (that’s one-fourth of an entire laundry cycle, FYI), any small step to redress this balance is welcome. We also like the way this advertisement subverts the traditional saas-bahu relationship into something less combative and more equal in nature.
What do you think? Will this advertisement guilt at least a few men into sharing the load?
Ram Devineni’s comic strip about a rape survivor who turns into a superhero has been doing the rounds for a while. The comic borrows from Indian mythology to create an empowered woman character with agency and attitude, in a society where sexual assault is often considered an effective end to a woman’s life. Priya arises from the experience braver and more empowered than before instead of cowering in shame, and for that reversal of narrative Devineni has recently been named a gender equality champion by the UN’s HeForShe campaign. Congratulations to him!
The Social Media Champions
The top tech behemoths have (justifiably) faced a lot of flak in recent months about their low ratio of women workers. Luckily, it looks like things are going to change in the years to come. Intel set the stage in the CES 2014 by first committing to a five year program to enable more women to succeed in the tech industry. And now Facebook and Linkedin are following suite by partnering to mentor and support programs at colleges for women in computer science and technology. With just 15% and 17% respectively of their tech employees currently being women, this is a positive and much needed step by both the social media giants. And – given their pervasiveness across the globe- likely to have far reaching implications if done affectively. Fingers crossed!
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