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Showing posts from April, 2019

When Men Discuss Sita's Agnipariksha

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I find men discussing the position of women and their dignity and honour in society quite amusing because I am not sure if honour and dignity have been defined or conceptualized from the point of view of women. In my head these terms have nothing to do with a woman, they belong to and in a man’s world or dictionary. Yet, innumerable discussions focus on women’s dignity and honour. What do these words mean?
Thanks to my grandmother watching programs, with volume level higher than usual, on an Odia channel ‘Prarthana TV’ since six in the evening I overheard a discussion on Sita’s Agnipariksha (in a show named Tarka Bahu Dura). I was intrigued. Three men were discussing an issue that had a woman at its centre – one of the men being the host. The two other men appeared to have opposing views on the matter. However, these opposing views centred on the credibility of Ram being ‘Maryada Purushottam’. 
What caught my attention was the idea of a ‘Chhaya’ (shadow) or ‘Maya’ Sita being abducte…

Rape Kit, Motherhood, and Consent in a Grey's Anatomy Episode

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Silent All These Years, episode 19, season 15 of the longest running medical prime time drama on television, Shonda Rhimes' Grey’s Anatomy, is everything we need. The episode has two parallel stories revolving around the character of doctor Jo Karev (Camilla Luddington) whose meeting with her birth mother is revealed in flashback as she treats a patient named Abby (Khalilah Joi), who has been sexually assaulted.
Having survived domestic violence, Jo Karev suspects Abby to have undergone something similar and assures her a safe space to speak about it if she wants to. Abby refuses treatment when another doctor, Teddy Altman (Kim Rave), is called for help. Teddy gains Abby's consent by treating her with utmost care and sensitivity without getting near her till she is allowed to. She suspects that Abby has been sexually assaulted which is later confirmed. 
When doctors propose a rape kit for the patient in case she later wants to report the assault and get justice, Abby vehement…