Feminism isn’t the sole effort of glorifying or empowering women. It is giving the accreditation they are worth for. It isn’t a dirty word. It doesn’t tell you to hate men or hate women who strive to be feminists. It means you believe in equality, that isn’t existent in the majority. So if you believe in equality, you are a feminist. (Sorry ;-))
It all comes back to the little nuances in life that help you understand what is happening against feminism. The status a woman is given in the society shall be decided by how the household treats her.
All of us, including our family members will bloom with pride when we watch female army officers, female pilots and female journalists in limelight and fighting against the odds. But how much of the pride shall retain when the same female in your home wants to do something noticeable like that. Questions like –
1) Why do we need to get into limelight? Isn’t a normal job sufficient?
2) Journalism isn’t safe for women.
3) Why do wanna risk it by choosing army or navy?
The same sets of questions vanish in no time, when the male child is passionate towards the same. I am talking about majority of Indians. The population in India isn’t just defined by the few progressed mindsets in your circle of friends.
Not everyone will say it in a discriminating tone; it could be a sign of worry or safety. But whatever the reason could be, the end result is a no.
We shouldn’t limit our self just because others can’t digest the fact that you can do something else from the ordinary. Why speak about something else? On a personal note, I am pursuing a degree in Forensic science. Most of you might have end up googling in another tab. If I start talking about it, it won’t end. I shall save it for another day ;-o So when friends and family were informed, OMG such bizarre questions. Is it an accredited course? Will she have a future? (Ironically the same people, who talk of having a future, want girls to get married quickly and settle down. Let the man earn). Why can’t she do something more common? This was for people who had no clue about its existence. People, who were aware of it, had another magazine of bullets to shoot. Is it safe for girls to enter into a field? I mean, where is it safe buddy?
Obviously people, who know me, would know how I would have received them. But look at that trivial curiosity.
Feminism is about acceptance and sadly we have to accept the fact that the cliché about women being their worst enemies is partially true. It is schooled at a very young age of how to be a ‘good girl’ and is conveniently slipped into the transition of pre-assigned gender roles. Misogyny isn’t natural; it is hand-woven and nurtured.
There is a section of women, who are called to be feminists, but are against modern women and pass lewd comments about them. The best relevance can be seen in the news from the past one week. So called political leaders passing quite provoking comments about how women are responsible for getting raped.
You are a man and not a rapist
You are a woman and not a gold digger
This is what people should get from the word feminism. A widowed woman or a divorcee shouldn’t be considered to be a disgrace. It shouldn’t be the case with men too. It is about generalising positivity and eradicating the dark hues of equality. The above phrase can only be applicable when there is equilibrium in humanity and morality among the genders. Nothing is exclusive to a gender, so shall it be in terms of preaching and philosophy as well.
Today, the difference in pay is being discussed worldwide. At the basic grass-root level, the pay given to daily-wage labourers is sadly based on gender and not on quality of work. Even the fixed rate is not the same for both men and women.
We say we are progressed, but why isn’t it conspicuous. Quite a confused survival. For example: In most married scenarios, the wife is expected to move along with her husband, but the husband would not do the same. Why? When we claim to have belief in equality, why should the woman not get ambitious about her career? Ironically in the country where Sati was abolished, I haven’t found a logical argument for the former, till date. The only answer I get is it’s been followed from ages and of course now I will be receiving overwhelming amount of hate and judgement for posing such a question.
I say be unapologetically ambitious. After all, it is your life. Dare, bear and care accordingly.
Liberalisation of economy has definitely brought in ample opportunities for women, but also increased the challenges faced by them, exponentially. One end of the spectrum is all revolutionising feminism, but the other end is female infanticide and workplace harassment. Schemes like Beti bachao and Beti padhao isn’t doing a thing. Nobody can monitor and regulate laws every hour in every single day of the year. It’s a known fact that bribery can get your work done and you need not go to the hospital to get aborted. It’s not about just men; there is a massive percent of women who think they shouldn’t be giving birth to a girl child.
Fun fact: Countries led by women have achieved stability w.r.t. fighting against the novel corona virus. Hard to accept this?? Also New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern proposed that the latest budget aims to make people happy and not rich. It’s first amongst developed nations to put well-being of citizens over economic pressures. Nearly 2 billion dollars is allocated for addressing mental health problems, suicide and child poverty. Quite contrastingly, we couldn’t watch the economy drop in this lockdown period.
Here comes the last segment (drum rolls please) of dowry. This is something common to all religions, caste and class. We are all united on this. When the happiness of 2 individuals is decided by the money given by the bride’s family, how is it marriage? It is business. It can be left to them, to choose their ‘happily ever after’ ending, dowry need not interfere. We talk of feminism and equality in financial stability, but when it comes to dowry, it is justified by calling it an age-old tradition.
Feminism isn’t about making women strong (we are strong already, ain’t we?), it is just trying to change the way, the world perceives that strength.
On that note, shout out to all men who imbibed the true definition of feminism and are an irreplaceable asset to women in their lives. Stay strong and stay positive.
Insightful, provokimg thought without offending and needs to read by every boy and girl so India can be better in the next decade. 🙏
India needs more of you!!
Also may I recommend you research the great late Justice Gingsburg. Read her speeches and writings.
Well written vaishnavi. I am kavithas classmate. U can channelise ur thoughts and make it more productive.
Vaishnavi, A very thought provoking article. Very truly said that women have to move on with their husbands. In fact when my mother was looking for matches for me for getting married,People refused my alliance because Iwas ateacher and it was a low paid job.in India we still have to evolve and open up our minds to giving an equalplace for a woman in society same as a man. proud of having mentored you. keep writing vaishnavi