Saturday November 18, 2017

Don’t Lose Heart ! Bald men more confident, attractive: Study

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Bald Men
Bald Man. Pixabay

New York, Sep 17, 2017: Worried about losing your hair? Take heart from a study that claims that bald men are perceived as more attractive, confident, and dominant.

“Choosing to dispense with one’s hair is arguably a form of nonverbal behaviour, a form of expression which communicates information about the self otherwise difficult to observe,” researchers from The University of Pennsylvania, were quoted as saying by Britain’s Independent

The researchers also suggested that bald men might be more elusive than those with typical mops.

For the study, the team gave three major tests to college students, both men and women, asking them to rate images of men according to attractiveness, confidence and dominance.

In the first study, men with shaved heads were rated as more dominant than similar men with full heads of hair.

In the second study, men whose hair was digitally removed were perceived as more dominant, taller, and stronger than their authentic selves.

This effect was due to a large degree by their higher perceived confidence and masculinity, the researchers noted.

The third study extended these results with nonphotographic stimuli and demonstrates how men experiencing natural hair loss may improve their interpersonal standing by shaving.

Thus, instead of spending billions each year trying to reverse or cure their hair loss, the counterintuitive prescription of this research to men experiencing male pattern baldness is to shave their heads, the researchers emphasised.

Doing so will increase their interpersonal standing on a host of dominance-related traits, including their potential for leadership, they said. (IANS)

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Ten Tips On How To Boost Self-Confidence | Life Skills

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how to boost self-confidence
How to boost your self confidence. Pixabay

One of the major things which pull back a person before he/she thinks of doing something big is low self-confidence. Despite having the skills and talent in them to achieve heights, they are unsuccessful due to their confidence issues. The fear of becoming a joke in front of 20 people stops us from doing a lot of things in life, and this fear leads to the lack in self-confidence. For a person to grow in life, one needs to win the battle with “self”. We need to have belief in us, which we can achieve a certain thing. But as we say, easier said than done. People around you may advise on how to boost self-confidence but for the person who has experienced knows the best.

However, there is always a scope of improvement in life. One should try their best in boosting their confidence level. Let’s talk about some tips on “how to boost self-confidence”.

10 tips on how to boost self-confidence:

1. Grooming

This is one of the best tips to give someone on being asked the question- how to boost self-confidence. Being presentable and courteous in front of someone makes a great impression. If our impression is good, then we are not scared of being judged by people. And hence, we confidently conduct ourselves and our actions.

2. Always think positive

Success never comes on a plate. While working on something, a lot of negative thoughts may clutter your brain and restrict you from going further. Therefore, the biggest things which can be done to boost self-confidence is not to let failure affect your mind. If you have a positive approach to life and do not fear much about outcomes, your self-confidence will automatically be boosted.

3. Get to know more of you

When you are stepping out to fight your enemy, you need to know every thing about your enemy. In this case, your thoughts are your enemy. Your low self-confidence is your enemy. So, to win the battle, start listening to your thoughts. Introspect your mind. A clear mind has more room for positive thoughts.

Also Read: Why Do We Gossip? Psychology Behind Gossip And More! 

4. Be generous

Being nice to others not just helps in improving your self-image in a big way.

5. Change bad habits

Habits which are unhealthy and negative should not be existing in your lifestyle and should be changed. For example- quitting smoking. Sometimes we don’t realize that how the presence of some habits in our life, act negatively for us. This destroys our self-image and reduces our self-confidence.

6. Smile

A small smile on the face makes you happy and the people surrounding you happier. A little thing can have a chain reaction. Besides, you don’t have to spend money for smiling. So why shy away from being happy. Also, happiness brings positive thoughts which leads to a boost in your self-confidence.

7. Follow your principles

Standing for righteousness and sticking by your principles always makes you a better person in life. This way, you already have a clear goal in life. You already know what should be done and what should not be done. This clears your mind’s clutter and allows you in being confident in whatever you do.

8. Always be prepared

It’s difficult to be confident about something for which you have not prepared yourself. For example, think about an exam. If you haven’t studied well, you won’t have the confidence of doing well in it. Therefore, it is important to be well prepared. This is the most followed tip in learning how to boost self-confidence.

9. Speak slowly

A person some power or authority always speaks slowly and clearly. This shows the mark of being self-confident. A person who just hurries with talks appears to be someone who wants to avoid things or just get away with them. Practicing your talk helps increase your confidence.

10. Be more competitive

If you are more competitive in life, you work harder to achieve certain goals. This competition automatically boosts your self-confidence and leads to a brighter life.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.

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What Gives Husbands The Licence to Rape? Decoding Marital Rape in the Indian Legal Scenario

Can there be two different definitions of rape? Can there be a differentiation between the rape of a married woman and the rape of an unmarried woman?

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Marital rape
While most of the developed world has penalized marital rape, surprisingly it is yet to be categorized as an offence in India. Pixabay
  • Cases of sexual violence, including rape, fall within the larger realm of domestic violence
  • Marital rape is yet to be categorized as a criminal offence in India
  • According to the central government, criminalizing marital rape “may destabilize the institution of marriage”

New Delhi, September 2, 2017 : Baby works as a domestic help; she says she cannot recall her age when her parents married her off to a man who was much older to her; a man she barely knew. She didn’t anticipate her husband would demand to have intercourse on their wedding night. She was still young and not ready, but that didn’t stop him. Baby was raped by her husband on her wedding night. But marital rape means nothing to her.

Sunita irons clothes for a living. She says has been married for more years than she can remember. The duo has four kids together, but that doesn’t stop her husband from raising a hand or two on her, every once in a while. Every night, her husband would get drunk, hit her and forcefully demand to have sex, paying no heed to her resistance. Sunita has three daughters, and a son, and the husband still wants to have progenies. “I told my mother that this man has raped me multiple times. She protested, arguing that he is ‘your husband’ after all,” she said.

But did she never decide to approach the authorities?

To this, Sunita promptly replied, “I once had a sore eye after he (the husband) hit me with his shoe when I refused to have sex. I went to the local hospital and then the police. I narrated the entire scene; they were very considerate, offered me water and then asked me to go home and ‘adjust’.”

Sunita is unaware of a term called ‘marital rape’.

This is the reality of a huge part of the society in real India.

Like Baby and Sunita, women who suffer such indignities are often asked to “adjust” with perpetrators of violence because of a deep –embedded fear of what the society would say. This notion of an ‘ideal woman’ impedes women to object to illicit treatment meted out by their ‘better halves’.

The debate around the issue has become ripe once again with the Central Government stating that what “may appear to be marital rape” to a wife “may not appear so to others”. In an affidavit to the Delhi High Court, the central government took a stand against criminalizing marital rape saying that it “may destabilize the institution of marriage” and also become easy tool for harass the husbands and the in-laws.

Rape v/s Marital Rape

Rape is defined in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, but with an irregularity: “Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.”

While rape is addressed as perforation without a woman’s accord in its main clause, the only remedy to forced intercourse provided to ‘married’ woman is specified under Section 498-A of the IPC and the civil provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestiic Violence Act.

Following the horrific 2012 Nirbhaya rape case that brought the entire world to a standstill, the Indian media has given paramount coverage to instances of rape across the country. But even after 5 years of the gut-wrenching incident, there seems no end to this crime.

ALSO READ The Hardships of Sexuality: Marital rape, violence and humiliation

Cases of sexual violence, including rape, fall within the larger realm of domestic violence. However, rape by husbands within holy matrimony continues to remain an obscure subject in India and the exact number of cases is hard to gauge.

According to a 2015 report by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) tracing the proximity of offenders to the victims of sexual violence, it was revealed that in 95 per cent of all rapes, the offenders were familiar to the survivors. These, presumably include acquaintances, friends, relatives and colleagues.

And what about rape committed by husbands?

These cases continue to be an under-reported crime in India. This can be attributed to two major reasons,

  • Because of the stigma associated with it
  • Because of the presence of a defunct justice system

Furthermore, more often than not, these cases go missing because of several additional (and unnecessary) barriers stemming from a combination of familial and/or social power structures, shame and dependency.

Marital Rape In India

While most of the developed world has penalized marital rape, surprisingly it is yet to be categorized as an offence in India.

A United Nations’ report titled ‘Why do some men use violence against women and how can we prevent it?’ published in 2013 disclosed that nearly a quarter of 10,000 men  in Asia-Pacific region, including India, admitted to have indulged in the rape of a female partner. The report traced their rationale to a deep-embedded belief that they are entitled to sex despite the consent of their partners.

The study also revealed that the majority of these instances were not reported and the perpetrators faced no legal consequences.

In 2014, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in association with International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) brought out a report titled ‘Masculinity, Intimate Partner Violence and Son Preference in India’. Among other things, the report analyzed the average Indian male’s understanding and interpretation of the idea of ‘masculinity’ and how that molds their interactions with women.

Not surprisingly, the study revealed that a typical man in the Indian society associated the attributes ‘tough’, and ‘controlling’ with masculinity.

Segments of the present day Indian society continue to look at men as tough forces, who can (must) freely exercise their privilege to establish rule in personal relationships and above all, continue to control women.

Additionally, the study also revealed that 60 per cent of the Indian men disclosed the use of physical violence to establish authority.

In India, stiff patriarchal norms continue to tilt the gender balance firmly in the favor of men, as a result of which, women are forced to internalize male dominance in their lives.

Marital Rape in India : A Legal Perspective

Section 375 essentially distinguishes between two categories of women

  • Married women
  • Unmarried women

Much to the Indian society’s disappointment, the Indian legal system denies protection from rape to the married woman. This creates discrimination as the women belonging to one section are denied justice merely by virtue of being married.

But can there be two different definitions of rape? Can there be a differentiation between the rape of a married woman and the rape of an unmarried woman? Is it justified to discriminate a woman just because she is married to the man who has raped her?

The Debate Around Marital Rape In India

Despite the piquant situation, the issue raised furor when Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary told the Parliament that the question of criminalizing marital rape in India has no relevance “as marriage is treated as sacred here.”

Does marriage being a sacrament provide one with the legal right to rape a woman?

South Asia director at Human Rights Watch Meenakshi Ganguly had retaliated saying that it is particularly concerning when a government that claims to secure the safety of women inside and outside national territory shamelessly turn to justify a crime in the name of culture and tradition.

Group director of social and economic development at the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) Priya Nanda asserted in an interview with a leading portal that “the reason men don’t want to criminalize marital rape is because they don’t want to give a woman the power to say no.”

In 2013, a three-member commission headed by Justice J.S. Verma suggested remedial measures to combat sexual violence in India, following the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case. One of its recommendations was the criminalization of marital rape.

ALSO READ Reasons Why Marital Rape Should Be Recognised as a Criminal Offence

The recommendation was ignored by the government as a large amount of people questioned its efficiency saying if made a crime,

  • It might be misused by people
  • It will be difficult to prove
  • It might break up marriages

But, how fair is it to not have a law against marital rape, only because of the reason that it is ‘difficult to prove’?

In a broader understanding, it needs to be understood that the criminalization of marital rape must not be viewed as a step against men or the institution of matrimony, but as an attempt to demolish the patriarchal system that continues to clutch the Indian society.


 

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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Men too Suffer Under Patriarchy: Read Here!

Men are often faced with questions like "You're still pining over an unsuccessful relationship? Come on, boys don't cry" and "What do you mean you cook and your wife doesn't?" under the Indian patriarchy.

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Patriarchy places immense pressure on men as well.
Men are often at turmoil, deciding how to confine to society's set expectations. Pixabay

New Delhi, July 30, 2017: 

FEMINISM – An issue that has been trending on all social media for a while now- the Oxford Dictionary defines feminism as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”. From elaborate movements defending first-day-of–period leave and equal pay, the movement is finally seeing the light of the day in the Indian context.

However, when we focus on how feminism solely reimburses the women under patriarchy, we miss an extremely integral part of the conversation- the ways in which patriarchy affects men.

As a feminist, I have a lot of sympathy for men as well, for which I am almost always at the receiving end of a lot of flack. But I believe that it isn’t just women who are the victims of the society and its patriarchal conditioning, but men too!

We live in a society where the sight of a woman shedding a few tears doesn’t raise any eyebrows, but a man doing the same invites a buzzing swarm of ‘Haww! Look at him!’

The way it is acceptable for a woman to openly express, but the questioning of even the most trivial expressive actions of a man, highlights an imperative underlying problem that is being overlooked in the pretext of ‘patriarchy’.

The society and its collective mentality which says that a woman should stay at home while the man should be the bread earner of the family is the core factor for imbibing different upbringing for boys and girls.

And for some reason, breaking this stereotype does not get the same response.

A man breaking these stereotypes is greeted with a sea of questions.

“Why do you stay at home? A man’s true calling is out there, to work in the field amidst competition.”

“You’re still pining over an unsuccessful relationship? Come on, boys don’t cry.”

“What do you mean you cook and your wife doesn’t?”

While women defying popular stereotypes are flooded with appreciation, men often struggle to justify their stance at every step.

Ways in which patriarchy affects the Indian men-

  1. Toxic masculinity

Men get bullied too. Men face abuse too. And men have their heart broken too.

Because men are human too. Period.

However, the society expects men to never be open about their emotions, but ignore them and ‘toughen up’.  The societal standards for men are venomous- they are destructive and downright regressive.

A man is not supposed to cry, feel pain, or despair because well, ‘boys don’t cry’.

2. False implications 

False complaints of rape and dowry  not just blemish the image of a man, but his line of business, future possibilities, and physical and mental harmony.  Alas, there still are cases of false accusations to extort money or ruin another man’s life that men fight in the Indian patriarchy.

3. Sexual assault

Male rape victims have always been unvoiced sufferers. They are neither at the receiving end of compassion from the society, nor do they have appropriate laws in place for their defense. To add to the anguish, the society makes them feel as “less of a man” because they were assaulted at the hands of ‘frail’ women.

4. Monetary Pressure 

Men do not have a choice but to be bread winners for their families under this patriarchy, which sometimes comes at the cost of sacrificing their own aspirations. They have to think twice and are almost always ridiculed for taking a major career decision because they are always fraught with ‘responsibilities’ to shoulder.

5. Fatherhood 

A child has to be just the responsibility of a woman, apart from the financial aspect of child bearing- that specifically is a man’s domain. As long as a man can take care of all the finances, his assistance in other aspects of child care are not questioned, or asked for. This is the reason why basic concepts like a paternity leave are understood as a redundant notion.

ALSO READ: Girls Count: Uprooting patriarchy by recognizing the role of civil society

Just like women, men fight stereotypes on a daily basis, too. They are looked down upon if they don’t fit society’s set stereotypes- cooking, dancing, fashion continue to be domains not viewed as ‘manly’ enough. And the men who manage to scrap being type-casted to this concept of toxic masculinity prevalent in the Indian society are humiliated.

Equality between sexes is a long drawn battle.
Patriarchy exerts immense pressure on both the sexes in the Indian society. Pixabay

Popular opinion holds that in cases of domestic violence, men are the instigators while women suffer as victims. However, while this is the dominant course of actions, what cannot be ignored is that men are at the receiving end of this abuse, too.

According to the latest statistics by UK based ManKind initiative (released in February 2017), 4.4% of men stated that they have experienced domestic abuse in 2015-16, equivalent to an estimated 716,000 male victims. The same research pointed out  male victims (39%) are over three times as likely as women (12%) not to tell anyone about the partner-abuse they suffer from.

The reason that most female-perpetrated violence goes unreported is due to the stigma attached to it, apparent biases, and the promptness of the system to believe that a woman would never be in such a dominant position to overpower a man in any way possible.

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A father’s role as a parent has also always been undermined, if not ignored by the society when in reality, his presence is as important as the mother’s.

These examples are simple, however thought-provoking of how men are type-cast to cater to notions that are not only ancient but also regressive.

What is important to understand is that gender equality should be both ways. Motivating a woman to work and cook for the family, but demeaning a man for doing the same is plain hypocrisy!

The goal should be to create a society where gender equality doesn’t mean the commemoration of women only but a society where issues are of key importance, rather than the combination of chromosomes one inherits.

– by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
Click here- www.newsgram.com/donate