Rhea Almeida

Rhea Almeida

The author works for women’s economic development in India with SEWA Bharat, former journalist with NDTV, media graduate from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. When she is not working, she is watching comedy sets, reading, playing football, learning lyrics to songs or scrolling down her Twitter feed. Originally from Bombay, currently based in Delhi. She tweets at @rhealmeida (twitter.com/rhealmeida)

Smoking kills, but so does patriarchy

What is the duty of a good brown woman? For most of our society, it’s ‘upholding traditional values’ – whether it’s the ideal bahu (daughter-in-law) in most TV dramas, desirable conservatism in Bollywood dynamics, or unsolicited advice from politicians. A 2017 Ipsos Global Trends report even reveals that 64% of Indians believe that a woman’s primary role is to be ‘a good mother and wife’. This burden of sanskar (values) and dutifulness then become a tool of oppression, of restriction. On the other hand, men have no such shackles, and end up having a monopoly on the social acceptability of ‘having fun’. There is a systematic curbing of women’s freedom to experience ...

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