\’Breast Ironing\’ In Cameroon To Avoid Rape and Delay Puberty

Mothers ‘iron’ daughters breasts to delay puberty and prevent rape

We all know that every society deals with its own issues of discrimination against women. We have societies dealing with rape in night clubs, child bride issues, the \’dowry\’ or \’wedding gift\’ custom, birth control and abortions. But in Cameroon, little girls go through hell in the name \’protection\’ by their very own mothers.

Rape and child pregnancies are very common in Cameroon and mothers over there decide to iron their girls\’ breasts to delay puberty and prevent rape. So, flat breast don\’t attract men! Meh! It is a new tradition due to sexual violence in Cameroon where girls will be forced to get their breasts ironed as early as 11. They would simply grab any objects, heat them up and press it on the girls\’ breasts. These girls cry so hard but all their mothers say is that it is for their \’own good\’. Good? So, has the rape cases drop over the years? 

What happens to these girls as they grow up is horrifying as they develop diseases due to this practice. Some have cysts, some have infections and some have their breast looking extremely bad and non-symmetrical. The psychological disorder these girls develop is even worse. They grow up to feel bad about their appearance and the trauma remains in their heart, forever!

There a now a group of women activist with more than 10,000 members are now fighting for the younger generation and the campaign is showing positive results as the percentage of women affected by this practice has dropped to 12 from 25% in 2006.

It is obvious that we all should stay united in fighting for the rights of women and any form of injustice. Are you girls aware of what\’s going on around the world? Do they know how to protect themselves from men who sweet-talk? Do you teach them to become women who knows their worth? 
Do your part today. Let\’s do not let another generation of women to define their worth based on their looks or approval from men. 

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Paint My Private Part Pink

My New Pink Button

I would like to thank Amy Mah Vampire from Glipho for her post regarding this earlier. 
So, we had dyes for hair, lipsticks to enhance the ladies\’ lips, tattoos to decorate our skin, fake eyelashes, plastic surgeries, and the list goes on! The human race has invented magnificent stuff since the beginning of time. Some were really beneficial like the planes, bulb and fax machines. In this effort, we also tried reinventing the human race by discarding originality. 
My New Pink Button is a new cosmetic product for ladies who are disturbed with their labia losing its pink colour over time and makes it to look pale and not pink anymore. When I was reading an article related to this new product, I got to know that people from Asia used to bleach their private part as the ladies there have darker groin. 
I\’m sure some of you are wondering what colour is your private part right now and you may even want to check it out right now! But seriously, even if it is not pink or red or whatever colour your labia comes when you were born, does it REALLY matter? 
I can\’t still get it why they don\’t have similar products to keep penis pink and enhance its colour. The one who invented this product is a lady who was disturbed by the fact that her labia lost the pink colour. She then started to look for a solution and found out that many other women are seeking a similar solution. She came up with this product as a solution to the issue. 
What baffles me is the fact that women think ill of themselves too often and they continue believing myths about staying young and youthful all the time. Women seem to be contributing towards the way this society is treating them because they carve the path for it eventually by allowing people to judge them solely based on their appearance. 
What about growing old gracefully? If men are sensible, they will know that both men and women grow old. When aging takes place, we all lose our beauty and youthful look. Living a fake life doesn\’t just end there. When someone seeks a fake physical appearance, it will not take long before they adopt fake personalities. 

Gaining happiness with products that satisfies us is a good thing but it shouldn\’t be done by faking our body and perception. After all, if you truly think your partner loves your heart more than the way you look, the colour of your labia shouldn\’t be an issue here.

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Reality Check: Plan Vs Reality

Plan vs Reality

Well, I thought I was smart and I thought I could handle a shift in my momentum of life. I thought I have planned everything wisely that would ease my shift to the new place. I did take into account various situations and the worst case that could happen too. But I guess adjustment in life is a continuous process and should never end.

I needed to cope with a lot of changes around me. From being independent to determining the next steps in life, everything has to be done appropriately. But little did I know that my plans could fail. Sometimes no matter how much you plan something, it simply doesn\’t work. I have realised that the more you try to take control of life, the more pressure you endure. That hurts at the end of the day. I stopped looking at what never happened. I am now looking at how to make the most of what comes my way and life is becoming easier that way.

If you are at a point in life where you feel everything is going against your plan, try looking at the brighter side. Look at the good stuff that is happening right now and take that to your advantage. I used to be really bad when it comes to coping up with changes in life. I get very comfortable with a routine life and I cannot adjust too fast with an environment that is not conducive.

Life away from home thought me about adjustments. Shifting from my comfort zone made me who I am today. I think while we are planning something ahead, we should definitely keep option B,C,D and so on just in case plan A doesn\’t work, at least you can shift to the next step quickly. Life is good right now and I think I can handle any hurdles that come my way.

What about you? How good are you with changes? How do you handle that?
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Special Edition 100th Blog Post: What Really Matters In Your Career?

Seize The Opportunity

Okay, I know some of you will be wondering where is the video blog or vlog that I promised I\’d be doing. This is the 100th blog post on Thoughts and Views That Matter! A milestone to be remembered and cherished in my blogging journey! I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all my FABULOUS READERS who have been following my posts. Special thanks to a few FANTABULOUS readers who never fail to follow each and every post I write. I truly appreciate your feedback and I would like to thank everyone who has nominated me for blog awards and interviewed me on their blog! It is such an honour to be interviewed by bloggers and to be given a place to shine in spotlight for a while! Special thanks to The Glipho team as well for interviewing me for their Meet A Glipher project! That made me go WOW!

Why is this a special edition blog post? Is it just because it\’s the 100th blog post? NO! It is supposed to be even merrier with my video blog but really, right now, I look freaking terrible so I would keep that for upcoming posts! (I will do it). Today is the day I stepped into my working life! Friday, 15th November 2013. What have I learned today?

I am a Chemical Engineering graduate and I live in the world where everyone(every graduate) fights for a job that is said to be the best for them. Everyone wants to be in the Oil and Gas field just because it pays well. Little did we know that it is not a bed of roses. You will be physically challenged. You need to work under pressure and some graduates still do not find satisfaction in the job they do. That\’s merely because they are not sure what is best for themselves.

I joined my work today at a place where the business is really new. It is less than a year old. But, I am looking at the brighter opportunities that lie ahead of me and I am grabbing them as I could see opportunities better than disadvantages. I learned that as you try to get a stronger grip of life, that\’s when you loose more. When you let go of the need to have control over life, it surprises you with a lot of possibilities.

No matter what you do, you should have a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. I am not saying my job would get merrier day by day, but doing what you love matters. I\’m glad that 2013 has blessed me with soooo many good news. Way to go!!! Yeay!!!
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Look Who Is Misusing The Swastika

Avoid Misconception
The Hindu Swastika
This post is specially dedicated to +BV Bharati . I got the inspiration to write on this issue after reading her post about how the Nazis have been using this symbol which caused great amount of confusion among people of different cultures across the world. Do you know what differs the Nazi version of \”Swastika\” symbol from the Hindu version of it? I bet most of you do not know the difference and add me to the list too. I know that the difference exist but I wasn\’t sure until I google-searched about it today. The above image is how the Hindu Swastika looks like. And the image below is what the Nazis use. 
The Nazi Swastika
So, back to the main issue here. Bharati posted this post on her blog. She was explaining about how a holy or sacred symbol became unholy due to the negative image portrayed by Hitler and Nazis. About two days ago, Manchester United apologizes over \’swastika\’ logo. Now, how sure are we that only the Nazis and people from other associations are involved in this propaganda? 
About a couple of months back in Malaysia, the police force was seen in action when they arrested about 30-50 gangster groups with the respective leaders. Do you know that some of these gangs comprise of Hindus and they actually use Swastika as their symbol? They even tattoo this sign/symbol on their bodies. So when the police was looking for suspects, the public who had this symbol on their vehicles also got caught!
Isn\’t that sad to see our own people degrading the holy symbol? On top of that, I went out the other day with my favourite Lee Cooper T-shirt, a sleeveless one. The uncle who sells snacks stopped me and told me not to wear it anymore. I was puzzled. Later, he told me that my T-shirt had the number \’08\’ printed on it and coincidentally it was the name of one of the gangs that were caught! There goes my favourite T-shirt! I\’m not wearing it at public places for the time being. 
I think, sometimes people dig their own graves by embarrassing their own kind at public! We do not need the Nazis now for this purpose! 

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The Big "C" : Catastrophic And Calamitic

The Deadliest Disease

While reading about breast cancer some day ago, I came across this website. I remember seeing this posts before from the same website but since it relates to my previous post about breast cancer, I thought of sharing this with you.

Coming to think of donations collected for the cancer patients, we may hesitate to donate when there are too many fake organisations around like Susan G. Komen foundation that is clearly failing to do what it needs to do in order to help the patients. But upon reading the posts on this website, I can feel how cancer can be very deadly. I lost my grandfather to this disease too and it was truly unexpected when we got to know that he is diagnosed with cancer.

This story you can find it this link is about a man who loved loves his wife so much and lost her to cancer. He is now running a non-profit organisation as a tribute to his late wife. He is also a photographer so he captured the moments, the last few moments he shared with his wife together. The loss of his wife may not be significant to this Earth that is already losing so many people within a day. But to him, it means a lot.

We are having holiday season here as the Festival of Lights; Deepavali (Diwali) is approaching soon. My mom has advised me to donate my hard-earned money to an orphanage we have here. It is a feeling that is very rewarding when you share what you have with the less-fortunate!

I will be posting about the Swastika and how it has been misused here by various groups soon. +BV Bharati , I\’m keeping this on mind 🙂

A citation from Wikipedia about Swastika:
The swastika is recognized as a Hindu symbol in most parts of the world. In Hinduism, the swastika is at times in certain sects considered a symbolic representation of Ganesha. In Hindu rites, Ganesha is offered first offerings in every pooja. The swastika is made with Sindoor during Hindu religious rites.

Till then, take care and have a great week ahead. Happy Diwali to all Hindus across the world!

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How Much Does Google Know About You?

Internet Security Is An Issue You Should Be Bothered About
Have you ever wished to have a unique name for yourself? How many people do you exactly know having the same name as yours?
If you think you have come across more than 5 people sharing your first name and if you are not happy, I will tell you why I, for the first time ever, felt bad for having a unique name. Before I start blogging this year, there wasn\’t anything much about myself on the internet. Even after I started blogging, I don\’t remember finding anything much on Google when I \’google\’ myself. I did not know my blogging activity can take off so fast and I quickly became addicted to it. I found awesome people via blogging and I am going places now.
I tried \’googling\’ for my name a couple of days before and I was horrified to know that Google actually knows a lot more about myself than I thought it could ever know. First issue here is my name. It can be easily googled since there aren\’t many with the same name as mine. I never knew using real name can cause a big effect towards my privacy in the virtual world.
I used to register for new websites using my name because I don\’t need to think a lot about the suitable nickname and it will be easier to deal with mailing and billing (although I don\’t really buy things from internet). The search engines will actually locate your activities online easily with your details. I found almost everything when I tried searching for my name. This include the blog I have commented on before, the websites I have registered using my real name and there was also a website by the name of meetme.com. I was taken aback when I saw that as I can\’t recall when I have registered on that website!!
Yes, Google actually knows a lot about you! Have you realised that you need to use your \’real\’ name now when you are creating an account on Google +? I am having a G+ email and that particular G+ account is not the one I use for socialising. So upon knowing the ugly fact about Google, I have deleted that account but my gmail remained active. The next day when I logged in to check my mail, Google asked me to fill up my real name and put up a profile picture. I tried faking my name but it keeps saying invalid name and it even says that there wasn\’t any face detected on my profile picture I newly uploaded (as it was an illustration). Now, are we obliged to have an account on all Google products when we are using even only one of its product?
It is so obvious that google is trying to take over the world with the amount of information it stores about each and every individual who are browsing online. There is no privacy at all and their \’dynamic\’ privacy policy which keeps changing is also another way to completely rip our personal life off.
I found everything and everyone\’s images when I googled for my name. All those lovely bloggers who used to comment on my blog, their pictures appear in the search result because I am somehow associated to them. Isn\’t that scary? Today I made the first move to modify the existing accounts under my real name as I don\’t feel safe anymore about my online presence. 
I think with your details on the internet, people can easily stalk you and find information about you within a blink of an eye. Apart from that, scammers are everywhere! They are waiting to steal your information. If you find that you are having an account on some strange looking websites, don\’t be surprised. After all, how safe can our details be although giant companies claim that they are keeping all details secured. Be sure about what you post online too and do not expose your pictures online as anyone can grab them, edit them and use for their own business purposes. I think you would have heard about pictures of girls being misused etc. 
Apart from that, I think nobody really bothers and should no bother to do know about my details if I were to appear under a pen name. I personally do not care if you know my name. Writing using our own name has always earned the user a better credibility and audience tend to trust them more. I acknowledge that fact but at the same time, we have many other awesome blogs and blog writers using nicknames to hide their real identity from the public. What do you have to say about this? Do you care for the content of the blog or website or are you placing an emphasis on the background of the writer or founder of the website?
I would love to hear from you!
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Writing Can Be Deadly!

Writing Can Be Suicidal

I am back as promised! Why writing can be suicidal? Well, if you are a fiction writer and you are writing about something doesn\’t exist in reality, that is completely fine because it involves nobody in the real world. But what if you are writing about something that is happening around you? About social issues and politics or even about your own thoughts and views on certain people or politicians? Now could you smell the possible danger arousing due to this?

I have been a member of Global Voice and I am very excited about it because it helps me lend bloggers and social media users a louder voice to highlight what they are saying collectively! Let\’s take the issue or news about who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize recently. I\’m sure many people across the world will be talking about this and voicing their opinion about the result. Some would or may say that Malala should have been awarded instead of the OPCW. What authors of Global Voices do is to summarise what people are saying about a particular issue.

Now, being an author on GV is as risky as being a blogger. While people may support the good deed  of exposing the truth, abolishing crime and terrorism; the ugly truth is nothing guarantees that we will be safe being a whistle blower. I will tell you why people don\’t get involved in social work that is \’risky\’ like this or may be sometimes it is a better option to just keep quiet and mind our own business.

Sometime ago, we had a case in Malaysia where someone was shot while he stopped at a traffic light. He is in charge of the My Watch movement which basically works as a whistle blower. R. Sanjeevan was a young man who was inspired to do something beneficial and transform the corrupted society into a better community. My Watch is about ten months old and has successfully revealed a few corrupted authorities. Guess what he got as the prize of it? He was shot after getting several threats by people and luckily survived but still suffering from the aftermath. Sanjeevan shared his story with a reporter lately that the movement is now dying as there is nobody to protect him or to support his fight for Malaysia. In fact, he also told that he has lost many friends after this incident as they were afraid of their own lives.

While I was reading this issue, I came across another updated blog post on one of the most popular blogs in Malaysia. It is written by someone with a blog name of  \’\’The Raged Indian\”. As I was reading this, I learned that he stayed away from blogging for quite sometime as he has received threats from some people as well since he writes a lot about social issues and influences thousands of Malaysian Indians particularly. He raised a very good question in his post too that made me think he was right. After all, if something happens to him, who will be at lost and who will come to defend him? It is still an unanswerable question isn\’t it?

Today, I came to know that Malala\’s book is out. It has been written by Malala with Christina Lamb as the contributor. She is an advocate for women and she got shot by the Talibans. When you do good in the public, you will be scrutinised heavily and then discriminated!. She was expected by some to win the Nobel Peace Prize but it was awarded to OPCW. I got goosebump while watching one of her interviews today and it made me feel so proud of her! It also explains the power we have as an individual and this is what I like the most. I think Malala\’s life has changed to reveal the real potential she acquires.

I feel that one doesn\’t need to be an activist in a global level. Anyone who is able to instill changes in another person\’s life is an activist. As we live in a dangerous world, it is better to start from below and act like the termites. Termites are small and eats your wood from within silently and you will only know when everything is totally destroyed; when the entire furniture comes crashing down on your head! Any social activist should be working like that so that you don\’t alert people in authority who is capable of bringing you down.

Like +BV Bharati said, it can be dangerous exposing the activities of people especially politicians. She has written an article about it earlier which can be viewed via this link. On the other hand, if you have not heard about author Jean Sasson, you can check it out here and see for yourself how she got into trouble by stalkers who file cases against her! She shares her experience with her reader at her website. She writes about life in the Middle East and I love reading her work!

Sharing what Jean says here:
For anyone who is considering writing a book, you might want to read my personal account of what it is like to be stalked, and, for that stalker to find attorneys willing to file a frivolous lawsuit. — Jean

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Teaching of Religion: Where Is The Extent of Our Obligation ?

http://kmhilltruth.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/truth-will-set-you-free-from-religion_design.png?w=630

Has Religion Blindfolded You From The Truth?
                                                               Picture grabbed here

While working on my book, reading some issues I thought would be interesting to be a part of the non-fiction book and to be shared to the world, I stumbled upon an ugly fact on how religion can imprison the mind of a man. What I read was beyond what my mind could take and I felt so disgusted that even people who were educated, living in what we say the most evolved part of the world, could second the hideous idea preached in the name of religion and take into their utmost obligation.

A man can marry and have sex with a young girl who hasn’t reached puberty and a man is granted many ways to divorce his wife and take another woman according to the rules and allocation in ‘that’ religion. Period.
 
Religion: Option or Obligation?
I’m totally horrified at the fact that people, including woman could still abide to the lunatic rules and regulations. I feel that people have taken religion so seriously that anything it says has to be true and needs to be followed. The blind faith and what the holy book has to say have been ingrained into their mind and runs in their blood, like their breath, holding onto it so tight, without which they would die. It seems so hard to knock that blind ignorance out of their small mind because for them to be able to ‘see’ beyond the veil of religion seems so hard. Even if they have access to education, I strongly believe that the traditional and typical mindset would not be driven out if they do not choose to see things in different perspective. Education could only feed them with information, but at the end of the day, it is up to them to filter the truth and THINK for the betterment. 

I think what the society has failed to look at is the reality behind everything that religion suggests. Have we ever admitted to the fact that to some extend, what our religion tells us are all well manipulated facts by the rich, the more powerful, and the more dominating sex. How can we assure that our faiths and obligation were just merely rules made to dominate us and imprison our minds?

Sometime back I read that Philippines have long been suffering from over-population as a result of religion prohibiting birth control. This issue has been resolved favouring to women who wants birth control for better quality of life but now the law seems to be hanging over the fence again. In Hinduism and Islam, the ladies are not allowed to pray as they regard the period as ‘unclean’. In Hinduism particularly, the girl is subjected to a lot of curfews during her period and I find this utter crap. The reasons I could find over various sources suggest that it is because they are unclean as there is unwanted discharge from their body. Some vaguely suggest that it is due to some scientific reason too.

To me, my take on religion is simple. One can be an Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim or a Buddhist but he should not put his logical thinking behind his obligation to his religion. If your religion says the Sun rises in West and sets in the East, would you still agree to it? Or use your brain instead for God sake?

Where Is The Vigilance On Internet Information Fallacy?

Obtaining information isn’t that difficult as compared to our forefather’s generation where they solely depended on book and printed information to gain knowledge and news. We are living in a generation where everything is on our fingertips provided we work for it. Not even work, just a little extra effort to search Google for the needed news. By doing that, not just one but millions of relevant information would be available to you in your search engine results.
With great ease of getting information, comes the problem with the credibility of it being questioned greatly! The widespread of news can’t be stopped over the internet and vigilance of the ones reading is required to filter the news? Are we good enough at it? 
I have experienced this lately when my country had the General Election on the past May 5th. So we all had an expectation on mind and we wanted this election to topple the government, the very much badly performing government which obviously doesn’t deserve to be coined as the longest ruling political party among democratic countries. We all went to cast our votes and waited eagerly on that day for the result only to know that it would actually end up in disappointment. 
We have been getting extensive news regarding the results of the election through internet, which reveals a lot  on the dirty politics during the election day with pictures and videos being uploaded every now and then via YouTube. As we were so outraged on what was happening, people spoke about how badly the election was conducted and how certain parties were claiming false victory. Due to this fact, that people listen more to the bad side of one political coalition, there were news all over the place such as the very popular social media, Facebook about how cheating went on to the extent that I saw a troll on Facebook regarding the announcement of increment in bread’s price a few days later after the election. I never fall for the false news as I always knew the price of that particular bread which has always been the same even before election. So people were trying to spread the wrong information and the public ‘shared’ the false news all over the place. There was once also something regarding oil price hike going viral also on Facebook and people, including me, immediately ‘shared’ the news and luckily I was saved by a friend who told me that the news was from last year’s paper. 
Print media and internet have always been bias! The only good thing now is we have access to more news and sources from various places through the internet. People should take it to their advantage to gain more truthful news. People should have extra vigilance when it comes to getting news from the internet and they are solely responsible to filter the bad and take the good. Most importantly, track the internet information fallacy before sharing!