Auntyji says, ‘Arre wah beta will that day ever dawn, where men have to remain ‘under women’s thumbs’. Waise why not try it? Women have done for centuries!
F for feminism
Beta ji, what is feminism really? These days, it’s become the new F word! Feminism is just taking a stab at making things more equal – between men and women, originally. It’s a philosophy which wants to make things more similar – give women the same and equal opportunities, liberties and respect that men have been entitled to.
We all are human – so sab kuch ought to be the same, no? For everyone – men, women and everyone else too. Bas feminism has the same funda – keep it equal.
Burn it up
But the big deal is that feminism has been given a very bad name. People think that women who call themselves feminists are on some ‘ghar todo andolan’ and ‘men haters’. Many people also have an assumption that all of these women are going to break up homes and hit their husbands and boyfriends (women do have other kinds of relationships too, you know) and argue and fight and burn up bras.
Beta, aaj kal good bras are so hard to find and very expensive! Why not burn up a kitchen poncha instead? No one ever said this about feminists! Yeh offer nahin aaya?
Sometimes I also hear many women saying things like, ‘I support women’s issues, but I am not a feminist’. I say beta ji, if you are a woman, and you are moved, angered, upset, repulsed by any wrongdoing in the society – under the tag of jaat, gender, race, religion to name a few, you are a feminist! If you are a person challenging existing norms, hard and fast rules which are more alienating than embracing – then I say you are a feminist and you too believe in feminism – you don’t have to name it so and that’s fine!
Half ‘n half
On the other hand, I have met some wonderful men, who boldly say, ‘Bhai, I am a feminist’! or, ‘I support feminism’. It’s very easy for us to give women the darjaa of a ‘devi’ and keep fasts and offer so much respect along with fried snacks, but we can’t do the same for the women in our homes, offices, neighbourhood, building, ityadi? There is no shame in saying you support feminism.
No easy catch
Beta, the way we see feminism today has not just come out of a textbook. It is years and years of women’s struggles and of women bearing the burden of being ‘inferior’. Being hit and abused, even today, given no chances, married off to strangers, forced to have sex – all in the name of sanskriti and culture? What is so sanskari in showing a person down, in abusing and using power? Where is our culture and sanskar then?
So drop that maa di and behn di – so not cool and very anti-feminist! Instead, zor se bolo – jai feminism di; arey mein nahi suneya - jai women’s movement di, phir se bolo – I dig feminism, don’t you too?
*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.