Friday, December 13, 2013

#46 : I Want Back My SPARKLE! : Breaking the global chains of gender slavery by Shahla Khan : A Review

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BOOK TITLE: I Want back my SPARKLE! :  Breaking the global chains of gender slavery

ISBN: 1482052040 

AUTHOR: Shahla Khan

GENRE: Non-Fiction

NUMBER OF PAGES: 226 pages

FORMAT:Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Stand alone


HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: We reached out the writer as a part of the #Womanifesto campaign – She sent her book for review

GOODREADS SUMMARY:  A whopping 85,000 women are raped in England and Wales every year, according to the Office of National Statistics, ONS, 2013. The numbers in South Asian countries, India being on top are outrageously alarming. Are we in a position to just sit and wonder why and do nothing about it? According to Shahla Khan, the author of I Want Back My SPARKLE, the answer is NO, we need to take control and it is a deficiency in our passion to end sexual violence which is why the statistics are ever increasing. For several years, across the globe, women and crimes against women were the last items on the list for economists and policy makers to be fixed. In the last 20 years, the scenario has changed drastically with regards to the research and implementation of Laws. For example, the recognition of rape in marriage as a crime in the UK, in 1985. Despite, these rational Laws and support centers, rape, domestic violence and stalking are still blooming. “It is all about knowledge. In western countries, the main factor responsible for these crimes is manipulation, while in South Asian communities, culture is the culprit”, says Shahla. In her book, she has transformed complex research related information from Law, Forensic science, Psychology and Gender Studies into simple, yet useful information. The book basically opens up the horizon of knowledge for men and women to understand the strategy of manipulation and the lame excuse of culture, propelling these crimes. Shahla reports that another major cause of these crimes blooming is the myths around them. Most people believe in the myths, rather than the facts around these crimes. Women today, even though educated, are confused in this fantasy world of their prince charming dream and their willingness to stoop down to every level to make that fantasy true. This shuts their logic button to spot manipulation from strange and also known men, who play them just for fun. On the other hand in South Asian communities, society puts extreme premium on women who sacrifice their lives to run a home and the ultimate destination of every “good” woman according to the cultural and religious customs is the kitchen sink or the laundry room at most. Shahlas book comes from her excellent cultural insights from her life in Saudi Arabia, India, Switzerland and the UK. In, I Want Back My SPARKLE, the readers will learn how to: 1. Determine if they or someone they know is a victim. 2. End victimization and step out of an abusive relationship. 3. Avoid false claims of sexual harassment from men or women. 4. Create a wave of change in their home, community, at workplace and in the global scenario. 5. Be prepared to handle themselves in crisis. 6. Claim back their Status of respect Power of speech Access to freedom Right to happiness Knowledge and education Love not lust Existence as an equal!

REVIEW:

When I spotted this book in the goodreads giveaway I right away wrote to the writer asking more details about the book etc. After all, not every day you come across such a book written exclusively to motivate women and encourage them to be bold.
The writer has dealt upfront with almost all forms of crime against women – Domestic Violence, Rape, Child abuse etc. She has done her research well.

The book begins with snippets of statics and cases of violence against women. Each issue is tackled separately in a manner that would make the reader realize they actually knew all that yet choose to turn a blind eye. The writer has used the conversational style to tackle common myths associated to each and every issue. Myths, prejudices, narrow thinking – Every single negative or baseless thought against women has been dealt in way that would make you nod away. This ensures that the readers aren’t bored by the facts and its interpretations. One thing I loved was the flow of ideas. The writing was cohesive, clear and concise. Statistics normally tend to bore people but when written in a certain manner it makes people realize their ignorance.

Crime against women is a widely talked about issue. But sadly it just remains in that “talked about” state. The real change hasn’t happened yet. The writer has put has wisely used her strengths to try bring that change. She has simply pointed out things that are always ignored.

The book doesn’t really tell you anything new. It just refreshes what we have conveniently chosen to forget.

SPARKLE- the main focus of the book (I am not expanding that acronym! It’s spoiler not to be let out). The expansion pretty much summarises what a women really needs.

FOR MEN: The book elaborates what it feels like to be abused and gives you umpteen reasons to let women live in peace. Please give it a read.

FOR WOMEN: The book motivates you and encourages you to be bold, save yourself from being abused. If you were abused in some form, it isn’t the end of the world for you.

My only complaint, writer has tried to adapt a global perspective to suit Asian culture and I am not sure how successful it would be. For changing the attitude and mindset of an entire continent can’t be achieved in 228 pages. It’s a herculean task. Also the book is overpriced!

Overall, a great effort by the writer.

VERDICT: The book is worth being used as a textbook in schools to educate female children protect themselves.

RATING: 5 on 5 ( MAINLY FOR THE EFFORT!)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shahla is a young author currently living in the UK. She was born and brought up in Saudi Arabia in a loving Indian family. Soon she moved to India, where she did her Bachelors in Commerce. Being a big fan of Yash Chopra films, her dream destination to enjoy and explore life has always been Switzerland, hence her MBA college decision! One year studying for a Masters degree in the lap of White Chocolate Alps was magical for her. 

She wrote her first poem when she was 8 and since then she never stopped writing. She has written school plays, Dramas, marketing articles for student societies, speeches, magazine articles, newspaper articles and won several prestigious awards in debate competitions. 
She enjoys shopping and reading chic lit for fun. Her idea of a perfect holiday is with a bag full of books at a luxury resort by the beach, all by herself, if she is away from home.

Having travelled across Saudi Arabia, India, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, Scotland, UK and the UAE, she cherishs the experience she got. Understanding different cultures and exploring their traditions is a treasure not many people happen to own. Her books will share this treasure with people around the world in the wittiest and most interesting way possible. She says that her success is when you read her books last page and smile all by yourself

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Hardbound, Paperback, Digital

PRICE: Rs.1152 (Paperback)

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