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Feminism is a lot of fun, too | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

For the feminist party SXonomics, feminism isn’t about anger or heavy-duty bhaashan. Spoken word artistes, writers and collaborators Ramya Pandyan and Dr Ishmeet Nagpal are trying to bring women’s lib to our living rooms in a fun and relevant way, using satire, comedy, caricatures and workshops. Along with bouquets, there have been brickbats, but the battle-hardened survivors are raging on.

A six-part series

SXonomics will perform a six-part series The SXonomics Show: Touch Me Not! at The Habitat from February 19, where they will sensitise audiences, hosts, and performers to make creative spaces safe. “We will be using spoken word, poetry, performance and activities to talk about what sexual harassment is and how to recognise it. We want people to incorporate this in the art they create,” Ramya says.

A solid collaboration

Ramya is an author, blogger, digital professional and a youth influencer while Ishmeet is a dentist who has worked in the social development sector. “We met in poetry performing spaces and were individually alarmed at the things that are passed off as romance, culture and poetry,” says Ramya. Like, problematic things portrayed in films such as, ‘tu haan kar ya na kar’, ‘kaddu katega toh sab mein batega’ or a hero stalking heroine. She adds, “We had common views and we thought two heads are better than one.” And though they agree on most things when it comes to the politics of gender, they are individualistic when it comes to writing and performing.

Fun in feminism 

SXonomics also want to bust common myths about feminism, like it means lecturing, hating men, or that only women are feminists. “It doesn’t feel like a heavy concept to us. It’s a lot of fun, too,” Ramya says. So, they’ve been talking about it using satire, comedy, improv, workshops, etc. They emphasise that it’s fun without trivialising the issue. “We are not apologists and we want to sensitise people and not attack them,” Ishmeet points out.

The tide is turning

Initially, people expected SXonomics to be aggressive and boring but they would approach issues on a lighter note. “For instance, for gender-based or domestic violence, instead of showing the man as a monster and the woman as abala naari, we asked what happens to people who are supposed to be in love,” Ishmeet explains. She adds that their goal is to make people take cognizance of misogyny around them that they don’t recognise. Among their performances are Chaar Log (about chaar log kya kahenge); Shaadi Ke Laddu where they cook up a recipe of an arranged marriage and address problems like dowry demand; digital dating and sexting that can lead to revenge porn, etc.

Good days, bad days

While men and women both tell them that their performances have made them think about things, Ramya confesses that as women writers on the internet, they’ve faced years of trolling. “We’ve had people say we must be ugly and no man probably wants to f**k us. But we’re used to that. We’re battle-hardened survivors and only one of us is allowed to feel bad at a point,” Ramya says. SXonomics will perform on February 19, 7:30 pm, The Habitat, Khar West.



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