Thursday, December 17, 2015

BEING FEMINIST

A few days ago, I read an article published by The Times Of India, under 'Soul Curry' which narrated a story of the plight of a married woman, whose husband left the city when their son was just a year old. Although, he had left the house for earning good money, she felt lonely, as if he never loved her.
She eventually fell in love with another man, who was a married soldier. Then she got pregnant and the man left her to handle two kids all alone.
Rest of the article continued the way one can expect today. She blamed both the men for leaving her alone, saying that's how a woman's life is these days- unfair. I looked at the comments in disbelief to notice that many women supported her and provided her with consolation, as if her actions were justified.

Another incident that created controversy a few months back was the video called 'My Choice' which featured Deepika Padukone. In the video, the noted Indian actress spoke up about how women have the right to act according to their whims and fancies. It received a mixed response. Most women agreed to the video, saying women have the right to do whatever they want and no one should judge them. A few women and most men thought the video was extreme, and that if women are given right to do anything, then so should men. They especially pointed out the statement used by Padukone, 'Its my choice, to have sex before marriage, to have sex OUTSIDE marriage, or not have sex at all'.

The moment I saw the video, I wondered which side I stood. And when I started reading articles about feminism and women empowerment, I knew it.

I consider myself a feminist. But I'm not the kind of feminist Deepika Padukone or in fact any other woman is. I am the kind of  feminist who accepts the reality and doesn't expect it to change immediately. Terrorists will remain terrorists and rapists will remain rapists, unless their upbringing is amended. While the bad still exists, I also believe that there are millions of men who are more loyal and honest than their female counterparts. That being said, I believe that change happens gradually. Today we don't hear a single case of polio in India, and this progress has happened through years of dedication and practice. Similarly, if we want to make this world a better place for women, we should not blame men and instead work on changing the situation. This change is definitely not going to come by enjoying extra rights. While we are fighting to become equal to men, how many of us realize the fact that having separate reservation in buses or in jobs is just not needed? I think men will respect us more if we learn to live like them, rough and strong, rather than crying for everything we have lost because we are women.

When I got placed, I heard people say 'Ah, she is a girl and these days only girls get jobs. Women empowerment, you see!' and I was heartbroken. I wanted to yell at them and tell them that it was my ability that gave me the job and not me being a woman.
As painful and insulting it was for me, it hit me hard when I realized there was a little truth behind it. In the name of women empowerment, women have been enjoying some advantage over men. I don't want it. But I know, there are still millions of women who rejoice it. There are women who get cheated by their lovers and husbands and there are those women who cheat on their loved ones and not regret it. There are women who are genuinely troubled with their husbands' assaults but then there are those who take advantage of section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. It has been reported that many of the 'rape cases' and 'dowry harassment' cases are false.


                         

 

Being a feminist is not about gaining sympathy for being a woman, but to break the stereotypes and be the individual that one doesn't expect from a woman. Being a feminist is to become successful without taking advantage of men and law. Being a feminist is to not expect favors from men. Being a feminist is to handle all problems ( including kids, family and work) without crying about it. Being feminist is to not ask for empowerment, rather to empower oneself. Being feminist is definitely not fighting against men, but rather fighting for women!

Men, do not have a notion that women who call themselves feminists are all about blaming you.
Women, do not misuse a word to suit your needs.