you a feminist or just a man hater?
you really a feminist or are you just fascinated with the idea of feminism?
Many a time I have been asked these
questions. Many a time I have been asked if I’m a feminist. But before I answer
that let’s dwell a little on what feminism is. At least for me? As far as I’m concerned
it has got something, in fact everything, to do with the quality of life of a
female. It is something that reminds the world that a woman deserves respect
and has every right to lead the life of her choosing. For me it’s not only the
age old fight for equal rights but something more than that. It is to remind
the world, especially the Indian society, that a woman is more than just a wife
or a mother. It is to ensure that a woman is not punished for the clothes she
wears or is not blamed for being raped. It is to ensure that marriage or
motherhood isn't the culmination of a woman’s life until she wants it to be so.
It is a movement, a vision and a life long struggle to fight the highly misogynistic
society of ours in whatever little way possible.
So I don’t know if it matters but
still I have this sudden desire to announce to the world that of course I’m a
feminist. Why would anyone even think otherwise? Let me also let you in on a
little secret, I’m proud of being one. Call me what you want. Define me as you
wish, not that anyone really cares, but I think that’s what I will be as long
as I walk this earth. And I’ll do it with pride. Here are just a few of the reasons
To ensure that every time I’m asked
to wear a saree
for a client visit I stand up to make it clear in no uncertain
terms that what I wear has got nothing to do with how I work. I’m not here to
deck up and look pretty. Though there’s nothing bad in dressing up there’s more
to me than what I wear. And if my wearing a saree
is good for the company’s image in front of the client then I’ll only do it
when the men in my team wear dhoti
too. Women are not show
pieces and every organization needs to know that.
To take notice every time a woman places
her career on the back burner for her husband or children unless it is by her own
choice. Yes, the feminist in me will suffer a heart break each time women give
up their aspirations but she will not be tight-lipped about it. I’ll never believe
that sacrifice should be a woman’s middle name and will try to propagate the
To raise my hand every time a woman
feels guilty for taking care of her parents after marriage for the feminist in
me wants to change how our society thinks.
To interject every time someone
takes the names of a handful of successful women to subdue any voice
urging better treatment of women folk. The feminist in me will shout at the
hypocrisy of the world which refuses to see the plight of millions of women
around or the fact that even the successful ones are not spared from jibes of
the world’s questioning attitude.
To yell every time a pseudo-intellectual
woman justifies acid attacks or rapes by men on the guise of the opposite sex being
hurtfully shunned. The feminist in me needs to raise her voice at every such
occurrence and she will indeed do.
To bring to the world’s notice every
time a woman is stopped by her husband or brother from wearing sleeveless salwar suits
or even churidar
for that matter. The feminist
in me will be angry then because while a man gets to roam around freely in
shorts there’s clearly discrimination when it comes to a woman’s attire.
To stop someone from equating
liberation of women with a few reserved seats on buses and compartments in
trains. The feminist in me would like to remind the world that if not for that some
men would have free access to groping women in every nook and cranny of the public
transport system, especially in India.
To stop and make you ponder every
time you think women are bad drivers. I see thousands of awful male drivers on
the road. And I’m sure you do too, day after day, every day but what gives the
world the right to associate bad driving skills only with women? So the
feminist in me will urge you to not resort to such sexist outlook of the world.
To remind the world that it’s not
fair to deride women. Remember the jokes trending on twitter making fun of Alia
Bhatt because she wasn’t able to answer a question? You do, don’t you? Well
even her male co-star Varun Dhawan wasn’t able to answer so why no jokes about
him? Convenient memory loss to only target a woman? So yes the feminist in me will raise her voice for such instances too
because for some strange reason the world finds it really easy to mock women.
So there I’m a feminist and maybe you
should be one too. Up to you of-course! All I can say is it has got nothing to do with hating men. It’s about hating
the wrong done to women. In fact, if anything at all it has got everything to
do with making this world a better place for women. Tell me then are you with me? Will you raise your voice too? Perhaps by
lending a helping hand to the woman in your life as she makes it through this
skewed society every day? Perhaps by being the woman you want to be, unapologetically?
Think about it.