What the internet gave the Kerala man. (Apart from porn.)

I am often at the receiving end of, “Oh but you are Malayalee. You come from a matriarchal society,” when I talk about anything from feminism to food preferences. I take great pains to correct that statement. I patiently start with correcting the term (matrilineal, and not matriarchal), then I gently point out it’s just one community in Kerala that was so, and Kerala has many communities, and the usual mix of religions. I then ask what that has to do with the price of fish. Because, while in some ways it might be empowering and perspective-altering to receive your mother’s name, and her property, (technically, traditionally it is the maternal uncle’s property that used to get passed down to his nephews and nieces among Nairs), for all practical purposes a household used to be run by a man, usually the maternal uncle who decided everyone’s fate. Matrilineality, therefore, in my observation helped with one aspect of independence and liberation: financial security. But it did nothing to empower Nair women with the self confidence that is so needed to get out of an oppressive relationship she might be enduring in her domestic sphere. 


Laying that down as context, I zoom out a little and look at the larger Kerala with its rich, textured and varied ethnic groups, and communities. A society that’s arguably progressive, and educated, Kerala is a place where with this coexists a patriarchy that is, at an immediate glance, as surprising and confounding as it is deep rooted. In a state where communism (whatever its avatar today) thrives, where women work just as hard as men — if not harder — to sustain their families, the incongruity of the existence of male chauvinism and blatant patriarchy worries and fascinates me. If educated, financially independent women still struggle for justice, safety and equality, then what hope do those without the above-mentioned privileges have?

The evidence of a sexually repressed, frustrated people is all over Kerala. On the streets, on TV and online. Take the streets, for instance. Young women, and sometimes not-so-young-women, get flashed at regularly. I bet a whole lot of women in Erna-flasher-central-kulam have seen their first erection right in the middle of a busy street on a dreary old work day. Fathers still decide how the women in his family will behave, husbands still stay a mile away from child care, and running a home. I regularly hear women in my age bracket say if they wear a (moderately) low-cut blouse with their sari, their husbands will “pack them off”. It is said with laughter and camaraderie but it isn’t a joke at all. ‘Decent’ married women don’t do things their husbands don’t like. ‘Decent’ single women don’t do things their fathers and brothers don’t like. Anyone who decides to not be ‘decent’ has then crossed over to slut territory. I suppose this could be said for the rest of India.

Enter TV presenter and actress, Ranjini Haridas. A 30-something presenter who wildly successfully anchored a reality talent show for six years on Asianet, a Malayalam TV channel. Haridas is possibly little known outside Kerala. And so is the hate that she inspires. People of both genders criticise what they see as an inauthenticity when she speaks: heavily anglicised Malayalam is Haridas’s trademark, a chip she wears proudly on her shoulder. She is quoted as having said in an interview that the few years she spent in the U.K. as a Masters student were responsible for her forgetting her Malayalam. (I can’t verify the authenticity of this statement.) That may have been a young woman’s knee-jerk reaction, wet behind the ears as she was, to the criticism she received (in droves) when she first began hosting the show. But over time, more and more interviews quoted her as saying she didn’t care for what people said, this is the way she chose to speak and that’s the end of it. 

She wasn’t spared: pilloried on mimicry shows (a still-hugely popular genre in Kerala); blatantly and publicly told off by respected senior actors; guests on her own show and other women anchors have all taken pot shots at her. She’s a classic template for poking merciless fun at girls who decided to be “modern.” Men hated her. But the women, ah, here was a fascinating story unfolding. Young women, ripe for rebellion and finding their wings, all over Kerala felt here was something they could point to in case of crisis. “If she can, I can.” Haridas wore sleeveless clothes, body-con dresses, knee-length shifts, off the shoulder blouses, see-through ensembles, stuff that no anchor had worn on Malayalam T.V. hitherto; she did her hair experimenting with high glamour; she didn’t shy away from adventurous make up; she wore exactly what her free little heart desired and she did it with confidence, not letting criticism of her clothing or her speech cramp her style in the least bit. Men kept hating, she kept working, laughing all the way to the bank in her designer high heels.

She was in stark contrast to the Malayalee TV presenter that bored the hell out of viewers till then. These women wore a look of innocence, a certain… freshness one associates with the “untouched”. Her makeup was traditional with pink (ish) lipstick, and kohl-lined eyes, made up and yet not so much that it would make an impact. Her hair was tucked away in demure braids, or a little bun at the nape of the neck, and imprisoned in jasmine. She didn’t use her hands much, and smiled idiotically a lot. She was a vision, a girl-you-gawk-at-in-a-temple vision. Beautiful, efficient and tameable; completely devoid of impact, a threat to none of the men who ogled, and aspirational for none of the women these men lived with.

If a channel was targeting a younger crowd, you’d find young women dressed in jeans and a perfectly unremarkable top, with requisite hair and make up, and personality that was even more unremarkable than the T shirt. Usually, there was a guy who co-hosted and hogged all air time. 

You see, us Malayalee women look down on those who wear make up, although secretly we wished we could carry it off too. We think we are natural beauties (and I must admit some are) and to do anything with a tube of lipstick is to enter slut category. So most girls from middle class homes will wear lipstick on occasion and blot it till it very nearly disappears because good girls don’t wear lipstick. (For those of you who are going to come at me saying “but I have Keralite friends who aren’t like that,” I am going with a middle class majority here. Not those who have lived in cosmopolitan places or cities outside Kerala.) Until a few years ago, we didn’t wax our limbs; not because we believe in our feminist right to do what the hell we want with our body hair, but because salons are the dens of the devil. You could end up in a porn video on the interwebz if you went to a salon. I suspect that isn’t the case in the bigger places in Kerala, like a Cochin or Trivandrum or Trichur but most of Kerala still believes a salon will sell you off to pimps. And even those who do go to a salon and get all smooth, tend to do it very quietly. It’s not a thing we’re comfortable talking about.

It was into the households of these women that Haridas with her open hair, loud laughter, gender-irrespective hugs reached. With her beauty-contest-winner title, her U.K. masters degree and a sense of fashion that was more confidence than style. Which, I suppose, is true style. Suddenly, there were Haridas clones all over Malayalam TV. Open hair, clothes that edged away the ornate salwar kameez, or the graceful sari. Suddenly, and hilariously, perfectly ordinary girls were speaking Malayalam like it was a foreign tongue; and men were mercilessly skewering them over it; women were touching and hugging boys on screen and bantering with celebrities without the usual deferential tone. Just like Haridas. Just like normal young women do off camera. And men hated it. 

Till my mother recently pointed it out to me, I didn’t realise how much. I am a Haridas non-supporter; my mother, a woman of great wisdom and gentle confidence, is pro-Haridas. My objection is simple: I don’t like that she has distanced herself from her mother tongue, but that comes only second to the fact that she does it in the most inauthentic way. My mother’s reasons are also simple: she loves the show and says no one can carry it off as engagingly as Haridas. And that she lives exactly how she pleases, no matter what the rest of the world is saying. 

This conversation led my mother to direct me to Haridas’s fan page on Facebook. A regularly updated, selfie-heavy, hate-filled page. If that woman, (Ranjini Haridas I mean, not my mother) reads the comments on a regular basis and still continues to post as she does, she has all my respect and then some. Because, omg, there’s an army of perverted, hateful and angry men spewing venom there, doing what they can, from calling her slut in different ways (I had no idea how many words Malayalam had for slut) to offering her a screw so she’d ease off. 

They abuse her ancestry, they call her a slut, a corpse, a cunt, a eunuch, ugly. I was repulsed by almost 700 comments collectively in the first few posts on her page. (I didn’t see any threats of rape, the favourite hate-tool of men use to intimidate women online, thankfully.) But the sheer volume of hate, and all from men, was appalling, and fascinating. Why were all these men hating on her? A middle aged man called her the South Indian Sunny Leone (because a porn star is not an actor but a whore, correct?) going on to abuse her in Hindi, English and Malayalam, so great was his objection. Another one posted a picture of a firecracker, the Malayalam word for which is apparently colloquialism for, guess what? Yep, whore. They leave no aspect of her untouched — her makeup, who she is with in the picture, her clothes, her smile, teeth, even her being single, or being raised by her mother, having lost her father early. She’s ripped apart like a carcass in a butcher’s shop would if you let a hungry mob in. 

This one, for instance, has a misspelt speech bubble to make it sound like Haridas’s Malayalam. It basically says, “I know very little Malayalam.” 

Or this, where the insults are heaped high, all basically tiresomely calling her a whore, (or a variation of it), or old, or ugly, including a comment with a picture of her with an African person, an intended insult I am afraid to explore. 
This one below basically asks her to die, now that she’s old. (She isn’t 35 yet.) The comment below that is captioned “who is prettier?”

 And this below is our firecracker guy. Under which is a private photo of Haridas that went viral a few years ago and brought her under another deluge of filth.

In reply to this, and much much more such harassment, Haridas posted this on voting day recently, telling her detractors exactly what she thought of them, in classic tongue-in-cheek Ranjini style. (The comments on this one heap more abuse, more firecracker, more I’ll fuck you, more you-ugly-whore hate.)


I decided to explore a little and checked out the pages of other presenters/actors/professional celebrities who are women in other places. I found very little abuse, very little misogyny addressed to those in the public eye. My observation is that harassment and misogyny is directed more at regular, non-celebrity folk. Posting numbers, abusive language, lewd comments, direct hate are all directed mostly at women who aren’t in the public eye. But in the fan pages of actresses/models/TV personalities, there was more empty adulation than outright misogyny. There’s the odd deviant pimping his services, or some creep posting a name and number of a girl (:/) but this kind of rampant bile, this kind of utter disrespect was rare, if not almost absent. 

To me, it says many things, this hatred from men in Kerala young and old, educated and not, married or single. The insults are almost always sexual in nature, the language is highly disrespectful, (apart from being abusive itself): the use of nee, the informal word for ‘you’ in Malayalam is the only way she’s addressed. Her lack of hypocrisy is another source of anger. Unlike many women who care about their reputations, Haridas tends to live life rather candidly and if that threatens the Malayalee man, then so be it.  

The way I see it, the anger these men feel is directed at her being happily single even though she’s … gasp… nearly 35! Anger at her being unfazed by the barrage of biting criticism, at her completely normal way of behaving even on screen (she hugs, touches, gesticulates and uses her body freely that way you or I do). The anger is towards her success — six years of calling her a whore and she’s still the top rated, and possibly highest-paid, anchor in Kerala. The anger is towards her completely ignoring the very men that hate her; they just can’t seem to get a rise out of her. But I think the thing that threatens them most is that she is an aspiration: she is what a lot of their daughters, sisters and wives would like to become. Glamorous, articulate, successful, confident, and assertive. Everything that these men don’t want in their women, lest they get left behind; lest they get dragged to a police station for raising a hand; lest their women leave them after finding self-worth. 

If I were to say just the way Haridas dresses and talks is what’s causing the outpouring of misogyny, to anyone who looks at it superficially, I might be right. But if you look around and see another instance of hate, I’d be proved wrong. Manju Warrier, arguably one of Malayalam cinema’s best actresses, returned to acting after 14 years of staying away from the industry. She had a daughter with her actor husband, who incidentally, continued to act with women half his age, she made a home and never gave a single interview in all the years she was in the background. 

This last year, she has separated from her husband and has made no public statements about her marital situation. Her husband, actor Dileep, has gone on record to say he doesn’t like women working after marriage, while all these years he has insisted it was Warrier’s choice to give up acting at the height of her successful career. Their daughter, a teenager, lives with the father. 

Warrier, too, has a Facebook page that updates her fans about her news. She posts happy personal pictures, pictures of her shoots, travels and messages about causes. And yet the hate spews. As she fits better into the mould women are expected to fit in Kerala, the language is a lot more toned down. Clearly, having been married and proving to the world you are fertile is cause for people to be more respectful when they talk. And because Haridas dresses the way she does, and talks more English than Malayalam, and basically flips everyone off, she deserves to be spoken to disrespectfully. 

The hate on Warrier’s page manifests itself differently; she’s called a bad mother on the basis of the interview her husband gave in a woman’s magazine. She is wished ill-luck with her come-back film; she is condemned for leaving her marriage and husband, a man that much of Kerala adores and considers a great actor. Outside of these three things, apparently, Warrier doesn’t exist or rather, shouldn’t exist. Women too join this criticism of her, openly posting judgemental comments on what they think of her decision to leave her husband, criticising her bitterly for being “negligent” of her daughter, for seemingly classifying fame, career and money higher than her daughter and husband. Mind you, all this while not knowing anything else but that the two are separated. 

There’s scores of advice on the page of this 36-year-old artiste urging her to go back to her husband, to stop being selfish, to “realise” that beauty, fame and wealth won’t last forever. The denigration is endless and by the looks of it, hugely one-sided. You see, Dileep’s fan pages are full of people kowtowing to his talent, looking forward to his new films and the usual fanboy drivel. No advice to him on his personal life at all. Even newspaper reports have been inherently sexist in reporting any developments on the divorce/separation.  

This duplicity emerges repeatedly in Kerala, in conversations and in mainstream media, and now internet hate: It’s okay for a woman to work, bring home money and support, either single-handedly or as a second income, her family. But the minute she decides to pursue a career, as opposed to keeping a job, and chooses to go after it ambitiously, she’s just turned into the devil. The second income (in some cases the only income) she brings in is very welcome, but not the success or the sacrifices that she has to make. Among all the different kinds of men I’ve met, no one hates a woman’s success more than a certain kind of Malayalee man. 

I started this off as internet hate piece among men in Kerala, the internet as a new place to flash and wave figurative penises at women they couldn’t go anywhere close to; successful, dignified, articulate women that threaten their glaringly obvious chauvinistic attitudes. Internet hate towards women in the public eye isn’t particularly new, and takes on different forms, as Amanda Hess’s explosive essay earlier this year in the Pacific Standard illustrated. But the issues in Kerala that lead to what is clear misogyny are so much more that I had to digress a little. 

The truths that this kind of internet misogyny reveals to me are scary: Malayalee young men continue to be sexually frustrated; traditionally thought to be a sexually permissive society, Kerala, in the last few decades, has seen a huge change in morality, with patriarchal attitudes towards sex becoming more prevalent, where virginity as a virtue is priced highly and sex is seen as corruption. 

If these men are a sampling of most men in Kerala then it would seem Malayalee men are inherently crude, disrespectful, and have no finer sensibilities with regard to equality, individuality, racism, or sexuality. But perhaps the most disturbing thing of all, to me, is the fact that all this is juxtaposed with education, that it exists in a society that for decades has upheld socialist values of equality and respect between genders. How does one reconcile the two? What is the point of an education if it hasn’t helped you cultivate a respect for the girls you go to school with? How badly has education failed us, if men still consider sex and sexual insults the best way to attack a woman? Authors and artists, both male and female, have stood at the forefront of progressive feminist attitudes, writing, art and debate. Why has education failed to integrate their work and contribution towards building a society that is more respectful towards women?

131 thoughts on “What the internet gave the Kerala man. (Apart from porn.)

  1. ganesh iyer

    Sandhya, The irony of the article, lamenting on the presumed hatred on Ranjini Haridas with over the top characterizations of the perpetrators, clouds what you are trying to convey.

    Somebody forwarded me your blog post. I hadn’t heard about this woman, Ranjini Haridas, before. But a quick glance at your blog post and the facebook pages show that she is a self promoter, without much substance. It is no wonder she attracts vitriol, if that is the overriding sentiment.

    I am reminded of Kim Kardashian, the shrewdest of marketeers. When she posts the latest selfie of her derriere, the whole point is to invite the opprobrium to follow and the substance of the “discussion”, the comments on the proportions of the body part or lack thereof, should not be interpreted as misogyny.

    Ganesh Iyer

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  2. SEC Research

    Im not able to direct this comment to the thread. Seems Google has neglected this platform more than me (or Chrome'ified' it.

    Your article was a hugely entertaining and eye-opening read but I thought that your points were rather flimsy (what with the absolutely clumsy sampling). Not only this, your egalitarian plead is completely out of context what with a beauty queen who thinks that she can offend people as she wishes (the election finger was undisputedly in bad taste). Hate mail is ancient, what used to be in paper, now in electronic form. And as far as porn is concerned, you forget the era of Kerala's own version of the 56-inch chest… 🙂
    So whats your point, that the internet enables 'open' communication ?
    Or that you cant take criticism from equals… 😛

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  3. Sandhya Menon

    SEC Research: I wouldn't continue a conversation with someone who left the last line you did? Classic provocation method, which I try and stay away from but I do think I'd like to make an attempt and knocking you down a peg or two.
    1. You pass off opinion as fact ( Ranjini doesn't offend people as she wishes.) it's hilarious you're offended by her showing you the bird but not the rest of the filth on the page.
    2 you call your comments criticism. That's a riot. Look up VK and Sreejith's comments before you. That's criticism, You're trolling.
    3. This is probably the biggest if all. If I were to sum up what you're saying simply, it would read “Ranjini is arrogant so she deserves it.” Victim blamers fit right into the profile of men on her page.

    This is the last I have to say in this. Enjoy your week 🙂 And do not consider yourself my equal till you wrap your head around some do the things I've addressed here, 🙂

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  4. SEC Research

    You see, the problem is this – it was never my intention to provoke (I dont know what are the latest strategies on chat boards as I no longer participate in them, it was just a mild barb for amusement) and yet you get provoked by me and blame my comment. You then go on to show your superiority and throw your pretensions of egalitarianism in the bin.
    So by your logic, then you are to blame and not me (as I become the victim and you reacted violently to my words). Then, by your own behaviour, indeed women are to blame for what comes upon them.

    So you see, people react in the exact way that you treat them. Ms Haridas treats the ordinary person's way of life, their values, Kerala society as crap – then she will also be returned the favour. Its as simple as that !
    There may be good things and bad things in Kerala society but this is not how you iron them out.

    PS – Njan just oru paavam aaney…I dont have any hallucinations about my greatness but I will fight for the stand that I am your equal (and vice-versa) – and that you are no more or no less.. 🙂

    Have fun with all your yes-(wo)men. Positive criticism is not the only good type of criticism in this world. People have just forgotten how to both exercise and tolerate the actual type.

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  5. boister-oister

    With my limited exposure to Mallu land – Mallu husband but never lived in Kerela – I have always been baffled by what appears to be a disconnect – literate, double income families and lecherous men. I strongly believe that which we understand less, we fear more. Hence, this appears to be a big disconnect for me – the men are exposed to women at work and at educational institutes. These women march with them shoulder to shoulder during union strikes and play an important role in sharing the income burden… Your article captured it well and helped me understand the Mallu world a little bit better.
    Thanks!

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  6. Unknown

    I liked the article, more so the concluding paragraph. The only comment which I'd give is this.

    It'd have been good if you had mentioned Ranjini by her name, as Ranjini and not as Haridas. It's her name padded with her father's, but do we need to continue with patriarchal ways?

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  7. harith george

    First, I must congratulate Sandhya for her post. This post is really spreading like wildfire all over the internet and for good reasons too. For one you are a really good writer and for another you have succeeded in unmasking a part of the mallu male psyche. I confess myself being a bystander misogynist to some extend. I do prefer women (and men for that matter) conform to some set social norms. But the set norms for women are I agree a bit too harsh all over India.

    For a person brought up in Kerala in the past 2-3 generations “equality” is an integral part of bringing up. Throughout my life, caste or religion never played any role in human interactions. I am sure that the Communists played a big role in this big change in attitude from the early 20th century (When Swami Vivekananda famously called Kerala a lunatic asylum because of the caste ridden society at that time) to today. People really believe in equality. But then they do take it too far at times. I bring this up here, because I believe this feeling has a lot to do with the hate shown to Ranjini, Sreeshanth and Prithviraj.

    With this feeling of equality came huge egos. They are part of the most humblest of men in kerala. Mallus hate arrogance, especially an open display of it. And another thing close to a Mallu heart is the language. So when Ranjini Haridas comes along, studies aboroad for a couple of years and decides to talk in whatever way she talks is really quite embarassing. And the worst part of it is, an entire new generation of fuckups wanting to talk like that. I may not spew sexually explicit invectives on her facebook page.. But I truly hate her attitude towards the language.

    So hating Ranjini, Sreeshant and Prithiraj along with their preceived arrogance comes easy for every mallu. And I agree that all the hate shown towards them is mostly bad form. But just because of the anonymous sexual threats, let us not conclude that it is just misogyny. Sreeraj has a very good point. In the homophobic environment that exists in kerala, making sexual threats on Prithviraj / Sreeshanth is really impossible for a male prepetuator (and his ego).. And more often than not, all these comments were basically from them.. Sexual jokes to some extend should be taken in a lighter vein and not really clubbed with destroying a person's life.. Actually they should be disregarded and laughed off exactly as Ranjini seems to be doing ? Or is it my inherent misogyny doing the talking ? 🙂

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  8. NG

    Quite a disappointing post. Nothing new in it which is already known. Remove Kerala and Malayalee from the post and replace it with India and Indian, the post will still hold. Replace India and Indian with America and American, the post will still work. It is not as if Mal men are the neo misogynist because of the Internet. Men have been like this irrespective of the Geography, which is shameful.
    And you are a “non-supporter” of Ranjini just because she forgot Malayalam. Sounds very much like Raj Thackeray. A liberal feminist gone Mal jingoist?!
    So naive of you to ask why education has failed us. At last count what exactly has education helped us in?
    This blog should have explored why is misogyny so prevalent: is it a cultural problem that is specific to Kerala or India. What are the solutions to end it–if possible. You should have come out with more solutions on how to tackle misogyny. To be fair to you, you do give one suggestion: include arts in education. But that just touches the issue not even scratches the surface.

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  9. Arjun Narayanan

    Reads a lot like a character study in The Dirty Picture. But Ranjini and Silk are totally different people. I am a Malayalee and I agree that perversion is a natural curse that men in Kerala pride about.

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  10. Varalekshmy Raghavan

    I am a 50 year old female, born and brought up in Kerala, living in chennai for the past 27 years. I am shocked to know that the attitude of men hasnt changed a bit. I have had so many yuk situations while living and working there. I felt so peaceful and free once I moved to Chennai, no whistles, cat calls, crude comments.. People here had not much time to sit and do all these. I agree that there are some incidents happening but comparing to Kerala that is a very tiny percentage. I hope this situation changes in the future.

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  11. Mohammed Hazim

    Miss Lakshmi this is not just subjected to One State. THE blog above can be related to all the states in India. And I believe all the states belong to one country, INDIA. And in that case if something like this has happened in Kerala it directly or indirectly even effects you. So there's no point in saying that I am Kannadiga or I am spared from this. I have done my degree in bangalore and I've seen cases like this even their. SO what I am trying to say is that, see the problem as a whole and not subjected to One State like it doesn't happen in your place. I am a person who believes if a problem arises in a State it is a draw back for our country not just that particular place. THANK YOU 🙂

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  12. Nivetha Gunasekaran

    Kudos! Someone had to speak out loud on the many atrocities and denigration women face on a daily basis. With many changes to Facebook privacy settings, there have been cases when beautiful young women (including me and many of my friends) post photos of themselves flaunting a new dress, a hairstyle make-over or a even an overwhelming moment after losing oodles of weight captured in a bodycon or a sheer dress, get obscene and disrespectful comments from strangers. It is to say that not only actors and non-celebrity folks face such harassment, even WE do. This needs to stop, and I am glad you have voiced this.

    Beautifully written piece!! Well done! 🙂

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  13. Denny Oommen

    Well written. Some part of the problem is the growing wealth gap between rich and poor and that in turn drives a big gulf in culture. But fundamentally, what I have observed is that women in Kerala are part of the problem. They are the first to comment negatively when a girl dresses modernly or goes into a career path that is non traditional or stays out late. If you speak to a girl for more than 5 minutes, they look at you with a serious eye! Girls and boys are not supposed to be friends. While I was doing pre degree, there was a professor (in his tuition class) who used to separate boys and girls with a curtain !! The worst part is the look that men in a group gives a girl. If you are a father of a girl, its a very scary look and its getting scarier still. I hope it will get better.

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  14. Rama Kannan

    I loved the article mostly because I could relate to a lot of it. I also feel India on the whole needs to starts to pick whether we are being modern or we are being traditional and this applies to the men. While they love the concept of a hot girlfriend, they want their wives to be traditional, obedient and slaves to them and their family but also earn their keep. Decide guys… you cannot have it both ways.

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  15. Indhumookhey Bala

    I loved the article – especially since I could relate to most of the issues addressed (I suppose many other malayalee women would). But as I read a few of the comments , I felt a bit bad – about the way this reflects malayalees. The article is written from a general point of view – but there would be a lot of exceptions to the stereotype it is putting across.

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  16. UMESH

    Nice article. Well crafted sentences that convey the facts. But I would like to know on what grounds the author has mentioned that Kerala society is the worst in India. Because what i feel is that the author has compared Kerala society with the 'mixed up' cultures of the big cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore etc. You are so frustrated about the fact that a normal woman in Kerala cant go to a beauty parlor or dress up the way she likes; because she is getting judged. Lets look into the life of a village woman in any other part of India (a place equivalent to a village in kerala). She doesnot have a toilet at home, she cant even dress in the way she or even her family wants her to do. She has to follow what the village tells her to do; else she ends up either brutally raped or dead. Imagine what such a woman would share about her pathetic life if she had a computer with internet (and ofcourse the education to read and write). I dont think this situation existed even during our parents' time. See how much lagging they are from our society.
    I would like to point out to the author that he/she should see each and every one as an individual and respect that. I cite an example for this. I have seen a lot of posts in support and against the kiss of love. And anyone who opposes it is a ‘moral police’ or a ‘freak’ in the supporters eyes; and anyone who supports it is a ‘cultureless’ person. Again, it is all a person’s freedom to support or oppose it. And there is a limit in judging and commenting on the other person. Because what you do is again going to get reviewed by the fellows in your society. You see, it’s a never ending cycle. So my point is girls and boys are going to be judged in a lot of ways, especially in a society like ours, where life moves on in a very slow pace compared to Bangalore and Mumbai. I am sure, even in Bangalore or Mumbai, if the people are given a month's off, the next thing they would do is interfere in their neighbour's life. Because it is a basic instinct.
    Regarding Manju and Ranjini issue, I feel its too gross to put such comments into a social network. Even i feel that there is no tally between literacy and commonsense. But trolling and making fun of them is not that serious, because as somebody said in the comments, its an inherent behaviour of a Keralite to make fun of everything. But i feel it is just for fun and not to demoralize them in any respect. If you want to see how big is the set of individuals getting trolled in facebook, you can check out some pages like ICU, Troll Malayalam etc. You can see that they are meant for pure entertainment purpose only as in the case of mimicry and comedy skits we see. And the number of funny trolls on dileep is too large compared to that on Manju and Ranjini. And neither will you see a post on dressing style of a woman or slang words on women in these groups.
    To wind up, some views you have are quite good. They even blowed my mind. But I felt some are off topic, just some fascinations and sarcasms a typical younster will have about the society she lives on.
    See, you judged the society, me and many others judged you, now its everyone's turn to judge me. And this process goes on and on. Thats why I said, whatever we do, we are going to be judged, be it in the present society or the future societies to come; unless the society gets too busy to judge the people around them.
    If at anypoint I hurted anyone's feelings, Iam sorry for that. Thankyou.

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  17. UMESH

    Nice article. Well crafted sentences that convey the facts. But I would like to know on what grounds the author has mentioned that Kerala society is the worst in India. Because what i feel is that the author has compared Kerala society with the 'mixed up' cultures of the big cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore etc. You are so frustrated about the fact that a normal woman in Kerala cant go to a beauty parlor or dress up the way she likes; because she is getting judged. Lets look into the life of a village woman in any other part of India (a place equivalent to a village in kerala). She doesnot have a toilet at home, she cant even dress in the way she or even her family wants her to do. She has to follow what the village tells her to do; else she ends up either brutally raped or dead. Imagine what such a woman would share about her pathetic life if she had a computer with internet (and ofcourse the education to read and write). I dont think this situation existed even during our parents' time. See how much lagging they are from our society.
    I would like to point out to the author that he/she should see each and every one as an individual and respect that. I cite an example for this. I have seen a lot of posts in support and against the kiss of love. And anyone who opposes it is a ‘moral police’ or a ‘freak’ in the supporters eyes; and anyone who supports it is a ‘cultureless’ person. Again, it is all a person’s freedom to support or oppose it. And there is a limit in judging and commenting on the other person. Because what you do is again going to get reviewed by the fellows in your society. You see, it’s a never ending cycle. So my point is girls and boys are going to be judged in a lot of ways, especially in a society like ours, where life moves on in a very slow pace compared to Bangalore and Mumbai. I am sure, even in Bangalore or Mumbai, if the people are given a month's off, the next thing they would do is interfere in their neighbour's life. Because it is a basic instinct.
    Regarding Manju and Ranjini issue, I feel its too gross to put such comments into a social network. Even i feel that there is no tally between literacy and commonsense. But trolling and making fun of them is not that serious, because as somebody said in the comments, its an inherent behaviour of a Keralite to make fun of everything. But i feel it is just for fun and not to demoralize them in any respect. If you want to see how big is the set of individuals getting trolled in facebook, you can check out some pages like ICU, Troll Malayalam etc. You can see that they are meant for pure entertainment purpose only as in the case of mimicry and comedy skits we see. And the number of funny trolls on dileep is too large compared to that on Manju and Ranjini. And neither will you see a post on dressing style of a woman or slang words on women in these groups.
    To wind up, some views you have are quite good. They even blowed my mind. But I felt some are off topic, just some fascinations and sarcasms a typical younster will have about the society she lives on.
    See, you judged the society, me and many others judged you, now its everyone's turn to judge me. And this process goes on and on. Thats why I said, whatever we do, we are going to be judged, be it in the present society or the future societies to come; unless the society gets too busy to judge the people around them.
    If at anypoint I hurted anyone's feelings, Iam sorry for that. Thankyou.

    Like

    Reply
  18. Simna Sivaraman

    Sandyaa…ur work is so praiseworthy…i used to feel like that most of the”happy” families r running by the loyalty or sacrifice women in different forms in the name of love especially in Kerala..pathetic this cancerous attitude of people.😍

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  19. Alisha Palakkal

    Absolutely love it!….
    So when I first came back to my hometown to do my higher studies i had alreadyy sinned… The sin being born and brought up in the middle east… and now tat was apparently written all over me… and in addition to it i was dark skinned.. so overnight i became NRI jaanu!!! The kind of abuses i've had to endure from seniours ..batchmates.. classmates in the four years was humiliating ….. By mean who aped the west by all their low waist jeans …all the hanging out session in malls.. men who were there to watch angelina jolie smolder in the bigg screen.. but they couldn't have the dignity to not abuse women.

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  20. Mohan George

    Lets start off by agreeing to the fact that human beings comprises of being either male or female.
    All males are not being born as devils(bad),As this article seems to imply & all females as angels(good).
    In the years past women were confined to mothers role & kitchen.Now they have come into public light & walk
    alongside men in all strata of life.Other than physical appearance,the brain of man & female is the same.
    Thus it is no surprise,that in modern times there is equal numbers of criminals,thieves,crooks,prostitutes,
    pickpockets,pimps,frauds,drug sellers & addicts & terrorists among both genders.
    Change cannot take place in a relatively short time span or it will have its ill-affects.
    This is exactly what has happened to this generation.They cannot take in changes in so short a time.
    Women got their voting right in America around 1917 & in Europe more or less the same time. Old timers will know that
    men were more or less in control in their homes till the 1970s.The Hippie movement hit the world in the 1960s,
    which propagated the idea of modernity,rebellion against old norms & free sex.In this era women like Betty Friedan
    came along & fought for women's rights.Then a small transition period when the world lay quiet & dormant as though
    waiting for something to happen.Then the great year 2000,when internet TV & the new era arrived.With it words like New Generation,
    Generation Next etc.Within the twinkling of an eye the world changed.The arrival of electronic media,shopping malls,multinational
    trade or free trade & most of all relaxation of immigration laws.Whereby we see in most countries a multinational people as
    its citizens.In India & Asian countries change came swiftly since the year 2000.women who were hitherto confined
    to their homes & kitchen began to go outside their homes for work.All things taboo till now began to get thrown out the window.
    They cut their hair short or even bald hairdos were in vogue,wore the pants around the house(as the old saying goes),lived single
    or lesbian relationship as it suited them.All this was unheard of till now.Bars began to get open to women,so much so
    that women occupied more space in the bars than men.Everything gender related began to be questioned in the homes,like
    sharing of house work between the spouses,baby sitting etc.Every male bastion began to get broken down like jobs men thought
    was forever his.Like the army,bus driver, train driver,pilot etc.The list goes on & on. To be continued…

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  21. Mohan George

    Continuation… Till the 1800s sport was thought to be duly masculine.Women were not allowed to take part in it.
    Thus strutted around the boxing ring Mohamed Ali,Joe Frazer,George Forman etc.Now there is a doubt whether a male boxer
    would get a hiding from a female boxer in the ring.In religion women have progressed to become bishops,pastors etc.So
    these are some of the changes,only a tip in the iceberg.
    The world was patriarchal for millions of years.In the caveman era men were the hunters & women the gatherers
    of food.If you are a believer in present dates 2000 BC & 2000 AD.That is the world was patriarchal for 4000 years of its existence.Only from the year 2000 to 2015 we see these sudden changes.This is the problem of Ranjini haridas.Ranjini haridas is a
    small picture in a larger frame.In order to understand this we will have to understand the first part.The world cannot
    accommodate the change in such a short time span.give it Give it some more time.Maybe a 100 years & the world may understand it
    (the change in man woman relationships).Till then lets not classify people & put them under the microscope.
    Moreover it is a difficult situation.The male testosterone levels will have to come down in drastic measures
    to the level of females to act identically.What at present is holding the male in check is court laws & fear of punishment.
    Imagine a situation if one fine day courts & police were to be taken away forever.We could then never trust our neighbor.
    women would once again never be able to walk freely on the streets,enter pubs & bars(no matter which place you live in the world, leave alone Kerala),walk safely around at night,as there would be Jack the Rippers at every street corner.Human beings are basically the same as generations past.Its not that this generation has suddenly become into all saints.Its the law that is holding
    them in place.As Darwin rightly says it would take a million years for evolution to take place.That is man to change
    his character & become more docile & as equal & same charactered as the female.Anyway lets hope all this is hogwash & pray that a situation will never arise when a war will arrive & law taken away.In the meantime may many more Ranjini Haridas's arise & have their day in the sun.

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