When the authors we read are predominantly white, we risk being othered, alienated, and bored even by the book in our hands.
"It’s not surprising that what we want to see in our porn, in the thing we turn to for pleasure, is sex that is consensual; sex in which pleasure runs both ways. And there are many people trying to create just this."
Hundreds of Indian women report being watched and recorded without consent every year. Hundreds more tolerate being stared at without saying a word. Where does India's obsession with voyeurism come from? And, more scarily, where does it lead?
Here's a list of some of the stereotypical (and nonsensical) arguments upper castes put forth, and how you can counter them.
As Kathua has dominated news cycles, I've been in a psychological blackhole, getting reacquainted with memories I've repressed since I was a little girl with no words for what was being done to her.
In a post-Brexit cultural crisis, Britain is using cinema to glorify its past, even when that means glorifying a racist, evil man who let millions of Indians die.
I had been trained to know what good looks are (Brahmin) and what good queerness is (English-speaking).
There is so much about mental illness that is not just unseen, but hopelessly misunderstood by the law, people, and Indian society.
I was diagnosed with a life-altering autoimmune disease at 18. Every single day has been a struggle since. But whenever Selena drops a catchy new single, looking like the million bucks that she does, I find hope.
JNU students are protesting against mandatory attendance. Here’s why you should too.
Indian women are told a lot of things about sex – when to have it, how much of it to have, who to have it with. We're just never told that it's supposed to feel good.
Everyone should be protesting the film – except the Karni Sena.
They speak English as a first language, they're highly-educated, affluent, and urban. The Indo-Anglians are both India’s most visible and yet invisible caste.
Family WhatsApp groups are now inseparable from the notion of the modern Indian family itself. But some Indians say they're also an insufferable obligation.
Some will probably label me a “non-meritorious” Dalit from the “reserved category”. But I am not ashamed of my identity and you shouldn't be either.
The power tussle between the Chief Justice and his fellow judges has exposed the casteist core of India's judiciary.
Kumar despised Muslims before he could count to ten. Now, having graduated from college with no job prospects, he divides his time between the offices of ABVP, BJP, and VHP. "Two hours here, three hours there. It’s how my days go."
Interested in writing personal essays or cultural criticism for BuzzFeed India? Here's everything you need to know.
It’s been three months since I started a firestorm of sexual harassment allegations against High Spirits. Here’s what I’ve learned about how toxic spaces keep young women quiet – and coming back.
As a poet, an academic, and a Dalit, this is the story of finding myself in English and forgetting my way home.
Through his films, M.G. Ramachandran built a popular persona as a friend of the poor – just like Rajinikanth. He enjoyed political support on the strength of his personal popularity, and as chief minister, he remained above scrutiny despite creating a brutally repressive anti-poor state.
It would be unfair to place the entire blame for alcoholism in India at Bollywood’s door. But there appears to be an undeniable complicity.
There are much more pressing issues facing the queer community besides an archaic law that criminalises anal sex, and this is particularly true for women and trans people.
From a penniless Dalit with no prospects to the maker of India's constitution and the saviour of his people.
Since the state began its battle to harness and control its water, increasingly and unforgivingly, the water has started to fight back.
Conversations about the end of the world from the centre of the world.
A month after Raya Sarkar's list of alleged sexual predators polarised Indian academia, an attempt at understanding its origin and impact.
A fictional queen has taken precedence over unbreathable air, a dysfunctional parliament, Aadhaar deaths and many other pressing matters.
Fascinating, validating, hilarious, and sometimes scary.
A BuzzFeed News analysis found that the popularity of at least 10 political hashtags that trended on Twitter in India during the last two months was influenced by organised campaigns.
The 70-year-old skyscraper we live in has deep-rooted structural flaws which are preventing real change.
Making sense of how Narendra Modi sold a disastrous economic policy to a spellbound nation.
While the world, and I, have grown up, Shah Rukh remains stuck in the regressive '90s. With more freedom than he's ever had, he continues to promote sexism, racism and toxic beauty standards with his work.
We have benefited immensely from a system that is skewed in our favour. If we stay silent as it crushes others, we become enablers of injustice.
An interview with Raya Sarkar whose crowdsourced 'cautionary list' has sparked a polarising ideological debate among Indian feminists.
Analysing data for nearly 600 movie theatres across 8 Indian cities to figure out the answer to one of the burning questions of our times.
An open letter from a senior academic to some of the men in her life who abused, assaulted, or harassed her and the women who enabled them.
A spate of unexplained attacks on women, police and government inaction, and vigilante justice have come together to create a perfect storm of fear and unrest in Kashmir.
Sometimes science reveals things you were better of not knowing.
Protectionist measures that restrict women's freedom in order to protect them are just benevolent versions of the same misogyny they seek to counter.
An erection is the same hydraulic event in political economists as it is in jackasses.
The prime minister has gone from an infallible knight who could do no wrong to a leader under siege in a little over three years.
Amit Masurkar's Oscar-bound film reinvents a tired old trope by grounding it in the reality of the Dalit struggle.
Glorifying selflessness in women is a way to make us do all the work.
Why I, a female Dalit meme-maker, got an abusive message from the patriarch of Bollywood's largest dynasty.
In a time when it’s decreasingly cool to be sexist, some men are retreating to the privacy of all-male WhatsApp groups to validate their misogyny.
What does it take to go from elite athlete to mother and back again?
Kangana Ranaut's unapologetically progressive choices have us ready to applaud her every move. So it's disappointing that we're mostly being made to applaud the messy end of a messy affair.
Both the left and the right have blood on their hands, but somehow the RSS and the BJP continue to peddle the story of their innocence.
Media hype has gotten parents, teachers and even the government more interested in a fake epidemic than a real one.
Privilege is less about the individual and more about the social structures that they are a part of.
Every 8 minutes, a child is stolen and sold, sometimes at a price less than that of animals. I am knocking on the doors of governments, faith leaders, corporates and NGOs, asking for a better world. But it is in you that I have the utmost faith.
Officials from both countries have worked together to find and rescue one-horned rhinos swept across the Indo-Nepal border by this year's monsoon floods.
When the assassins shot at Gauri Lankesh, they delivered a deadly blow to free speech.
"We believe that there are men, there are men, and there are better men."
Gurmeet Singh’s films blur the lines between reel and real by combining the lived experiences of the audience with clever propaganda.
Kids who are taught with violence are more likely to become adults with mental issues and lower IQs.
The evolution of India's flag has forgotten its minorities and moved away from the Gandhian ideal it once stood for.
We don't do enough to teach young Indian boys that they are vulnerable. Pehredaar Piya Ki is making matters worse by normalising predatory relationships.
Policy-makers need to care less about languages and more about the people who speak them.
Indian women are well acquainted with stalking, harassment, and assault because Indian men are bombarded by pop culture heroes who tell them that behaviour is ok.
Contrary to popular belief, high cutoffs in general quota does not mean forward castes are being discriminated against.
As the courts decide whether Indians have a "right to privacy," the real battle rages on in living rooms and principal's offices.
India is just waking up to its women's cricket team, but their success has been many decades in the making.
We can tweet and rant all we want about Bollywood's lack of justice. Or we can remember that, at the end of the day, it's a for-profit business run by moneymakers, not saints.
Tone-deaf jokes, half-hearted apologies, and fumbling explanations are a sign of how fragile Bollywood's dynasty-born stars are right now. And for good reason: Outsiders are fighting them with winning weapons – hard work, hustle, and talent.
Tenzin Mariko is an aspiring makeup artist and dancer and perhaps the biggest star in a community that, until her arrival, had been bereft of LGBT idols.
Listening to Linkin Park in the privacy of our rooms, we found, in Chester Bennington, a friend who made the pain of the difficult process of growing up just a little easier.
Chris, you were not the rolling wheels, you were the highway. Chester, we’re shouting ourselves hoarse a day late, frantic to reach you somewhere and say, in the end, it mattered.
The saffron flag-wielding RSS version of Mother India excludes several identities that are just as Indian as her savarna sons.
There was so much more to Qandeel than met the eye.
Fear not, humans. We’re in no danger of becoming irrelevant. For now.
In parks where locals are allowed access to the forest, women cherish their encounters with rhinos. Where they are shut out, resentment brews.
It's not as complicated as it sounds. Honestly.
One man's squeamishness is holding an entire nation back.
Taimoor Raza's death sentence, and the non-existent debate around it, are symptomatic of the shrinking space for dissent in the Islamic Republic.
The freedom to chase your dreams has been built on several generations' worth of curtailed ambitions. Wield it well.
A journey into the heart of the Hindutva project.
She deserves to show up and do her job without the added burdens of sucking in her tummy and balancing on stilettos. And, for that matter, we all do.
How the glass ceiling between Earth and space was shattered, so India could reach for the stars.
The millennial's guide to going beyond the Nayak model of governance and engaging with Indian democracy.
As India builds a cultural identity online, each one of us is a tiny historian. Go forth and shitpost. It's the best way to love your country.
Children who are taught it's disrespectful to question their elders grow into adults who are unequipped to critically consider the world.
Call your bros out. Point out the fucked-up "normal" aspects of dude behaviour. Stand up for women even when there are none around. Your wokeness means nothing if you're not using it to wake other people up.
Consent, body-image, shame, sanskaar – casual sex is confusing for many, many reasons. But at least you're not alone in that confusion.
India has a frightening culture of silencing young women's opinions, be it in classrooms, homes, workplaces, or online.
Lipstick Under My Burkha has been denied certification because its "lady-oriented" story portrays Indian women's inner lives, their fantasies, their desires. And that’s clearly blasphemous.
Ramjas falls into a now-too-familiar pattern. Our freedom to question is being attacked in the very corridors it's supposed to grow up in. It's time to fight back.
Obesity is a medical condition, not an opportunity for comic relief. But when I express this emotion, the response is “chup be rondhu, yeh le samosa kha”.
Despite what samaaj insists, you won't suddenly become unlovable, unfuckable, and infertile as soon as you turn 30. Do whatever you want and whoever you want, whenever you want.
Here are 6 handy rules to help #AmitMedia do a better job next time it "covers" national news from the south of the Vindhyas.
While we rage against a college principal for telling us to #DressLikeAnIndianWoman, there are ways we do the same thing to each other all day every day. It's time to call ourselves out, too, and to call out our best friends.
For so many of us, this is as close as we will get to the Gods on our screens.
The only way to fix South Asia's dude-dominated stand-up scene is for you to drag your funniest lady friends to an open mic.
How I "manned up", "grew a pair", and came to terms with not being a "manly" man.
Living away from home helped me change from my parents's "chhota baccha" to their friend.
There's enough room in Hollywood for two Indian women to kill it. And, while criticising them individually is fair, pitting them against one another might be internalised racism.
Whether it's demonetisation or Jallikattu or whatever tears us apart next, here are six things we’ve got to stop doing when a fraught topic comes along.
Whether you're a female cricketer, a female anchor, or even a female fan, there are reminders everywhere that cricket doesn't take you seriously.
India's biggest stars – Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Karan Johar, and more – actually have tried taking anti-establishment stands like Streep did at the Golden Globes. But, in India's increasingly restrictive political climate, it's never proven worth the time and losses.