Our Family

“People should realize who an Aravani is. People should know that we too have a life. They should learn to respect our feelings. Society should also accept us. If we’re accepted, everything is fine.”
– Seetha, a dancer

Tamil (with English subtitles), 55 mins 20 s

Maybe you remember Urvashi Butalia ask whether an organ, some hormones, a choice or an obligation makes one a mother. Let’s ask, what makes a family?

The School of Media and Cultural Studies in Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai have their very own Youtube channel, where every week they release a film from their archives. Our Family (2007) directed by Anjali Monteiro and K P Jayashankar, weaves together the story of a family of three generations of trans-genders, Aasha, Seetha and Dhana, with excerpts of  Nirvanam, a one person performance, by Pritham K. Chakravarthy. Watch, share and subscribe to the SMCS channel.

Childless, Naturally

from Livemint.com (click to read full article)

English: Urvashi Butalia, publisher, writer an...

Urvashi Butalia runs a publishing house called Zubaan: an imprint of Kali for women.  Childless, Naturally is part of a just published collectionOf Mothers and Others: Stories, Essays, Poems, edited by Jaishree Misra. Urvashi writes,

I’ve set up my own publishing house, publishing books by and about women. I am fiercely passionate about this, it’s what gives me joy, it’s what involves me, I know this is what I want to do all my life. I want somehow to make a dent in the way the world sees women, to be part of that change. Is this madness, this obsession? Why didn’t I feel this way about children? Or am I just deflecting an unfulfilled desire? I’m told motherhood is a woman’s destiny, it’s what completes her. So what’s all this about publishing? But I don’t feel incomplete, or that I have missed my destiny. Is there something wrong with me?

In this essay, she explores how we choose to understand a woman and motherhood as one and the same. She asks, who is a mother? Does motherhood come naturally to a woman? Is it selfish if a woman is unwilling to have children? Can anyone be a mother? Can motherhood be learned? Is motherhood about unconditional love? If so, how or why do children pay back? Can mothers be violent? Is the relationship between a mother and a child always a wonderful one?

Childless, Naturally is very beautifully written. Please send it to anyone you know.

Families are diverse. Courtesy: Gender Anarchy

Families are diverse. Courtesy: Gender Anarchy