RedWomb founder Pallavi Barnwal, one of the powerhouse entrepreneurs who is a nominee at the 2019 edition of SheThePeople.TV Digital Women Awards, spoke exclusively with Newsd about her struggling married life forcing to take a bold step and meanwhile rediscovering herself in the journey.
In a society which has often considered its women to be the torchbearers of keeping the various relations knitted, it takes a lot more for the very same gender than just bravery to come out of a marriage. A professionally successful yet “emotionally divorced” Barnwal found it suffocating to survive in a marriage where she felt disconnected from her partner.
Stepping up from the social constraints and standing up for herself, Barnwal decided to move ahead for herself and others who breath the same balloon. Today, she runs a website Red Womb with an honest, authentic and informative take on the most profound yet overtly shamed topic, pushed under the carpet human experience – SEX.
Earlier you were leading customer support divisions at places like Olx, 1mg, etc. From there to here, what was the turning point that led you to run your own business?
The idea to leave my job and start something of my own triggered when I was ultra successful in my professional life but I was struggling with my romantic relationships, my marriage. These are the two important aspects of same person.
I was getting appreciated for professional work but felt why I am unable to succeed in my personal life. There were constant misunderstandings, conflicts, unmet needs in my marriage. But I felt I was blessed with a mindset to feel through the problem. People live in a denial mode but I decided not to remain ignorant. Initially I was afraid to leave my marriage because I had a child.
After four-five years of our marriage, my husband got a call for global assignment and he shifted to the United States for two years. That was the time when I rediscovered myself, my sexuality, my needs, and definition of pleasure to me.
I made new friends, went around with men, saw a new perspective to life in those two years. This was completely cathartic. That journey made me realise that we often get tied up with social norms and end up losing our individuality. I started witnessing the difference between reel and real life. This was the point when thought of taking a step and letting the world see and learn this difference.
What was your objective behind Red Womb?
What I found during my journey was that there was a lack of authentic communication when it came to speaking on dirty matters of bedroom. Whether it is couple fight, physical intimacy, desires, unmet needs, people are not comfortable in speaking out. Generation after generation people are getting married but are emotionally divorced.
I felt there was need for all these conversations to be placed on a table. I thought of bringing a platform for the people to exercise their freedom of expression. And that’s why, Red Womb!
Talking about anything even remotely close to ‘sex’ is considered a taboo in India. And you decided to speak up on various aspects of it! What are the challenges you face?
The first and foremost challenge that I faced and still struggle with is that Men think I am available. Men from all walks of life think that an intellectual woman who can openly talk about sex, can be easy to hit on and driven to bedroom. I realised I am in the front foot. I am the one on the bating field. I face bounce backs from this regressive society.
Apart from this, at times I fail to garner support from my family and friends. Few say what will your son think of you once he grows up and finds about your profession.
So these are few things that try to keep pulling me back but I am determined towards my dream of bringing people to same table and feel free to speak of SEX.
Otherwise, in terms of business, I have been blessed. I was welcomed with open hands in the industry. There were writers, website developers, readers who were enthusiastic from the beginning to work on this idea.
How did digital platform help you achieving your goal?
It has helped me in reaching all possible existing corners of the globe. The transparency, simplicity and wide reach of the platform overshadows benefits of all other mediums for entrepreneurs. In a very short span of time, writers and readers started reaching me out. My work got noticed all because of the digital communication.
Had digital medium never been available to me, I don’t know if I would have even allowed myself to dream of building Red Womb.