The ‘Desi’ Feminism…!!

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If you are born and brought up in an Indian household, you must have witnessed the mixed vibes of the ‘Desi Feminism’ by now! I would more generally call it “Pseudo-feminism”.

Doesn’t ring a bell? Let me refresh your mind, with some of these “common” incidences of “Patriarchy in the name of women empowerment or feminism”

A mother talking to her friends at a party “We have modern thinking, we believe daughter’s education is of utmost importance, we won’t get her married until she graduates”.

Few minutes later, Same Mother talking in a raised voice to her daughter, “Stop reading that book! The food is ready, go and serve dinner to your brother, make sure he is fed well.

At a marriage meeting, Groom’s family to bride’s father “We have no objections to her working after marriage. We only wanted a working woman for our son! We believe an independent woman is an asset to the family. We will treat her like our daughter”.

Same family after few months of marriage, “She is too strong headed and vocal!  How she can take a decision without consulting us? An outsider will always remain an outsider! We should have never married our son to her

In another family, Parent threw a huge party to celebrate birthday of their twin children, a girl and a boy.  Two cakes were ordered, pink and blue! A relative “Your children are lucky to have you as parents!”  Parents were overjoyed to hear this!

They called the twins and said, “Here are your presents my children”.

The boy said in a thrilled voice, “Wow! Dad I knew you would get me the latest laptop for my birthday!”

The girl said in a disappointed voice, “Again a doll! I wanted a laptop! I have been asking for it since 2 years, brother got new one”.

Father, “What will you do with a laptop, there are bad content on internet these days, he is a boy, he can handle, you are a girl and should stay away from such things. Girls should be playing with dolls; I got you the most expensive doll from abroad”

There are endless ways that Indians satisfy the image of being pro-feminism but in reality they are still trapped in the ironies of patriarchy.

Once a rape case is highlighted, people end up on roads in protest and candle marches. Ironically, these are the same people who turn blind eyes and ears when a girl is being eve-teased.  These include women!

Feminism is not something to make hype about and become famous! Feminism isn’t about women who pose with sanitary pad or burn bras, or who slap men! 

Feminism is equality of mind, status and freedom to anyone including men. It’s about raising voices against inequality standard prevailing in the society. Raising voices against the patriarchal standards that make it okay for men to violate women but even more for women to see this and turn blind eyes. Because it is mostly their son, brother or father who is the violator!

Feminism is not about women tearing each other down to rise up but to lift each other up.

Feminism is having an unbiased, non-judgmental attitude towards everyone.

Obviously people do gossip, human nature; but problem is when those gossip session can clog your judgement about a fellow women! Feminism also mean having a strong and bold mindset.

Feminism embarks trust and respect in women, for women and by women!

Stop being the victims and propagators of pseudo-feminism!

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STOP BEING A VICTIM AND OWN IT! — Candles Online

Post-International Women’s day 2018, this thought still resonates:

“Make voicelessness lose its wicked grasp, get yourself heard!”

“She is level-headed and opinionated!” “She is a feminist!” I have to say, when it is needed, I have spoken out loud and talked about my opinion though it has created repercussions both at personal and professional level. I have been stereotyped as someone who is ‘outspoken and rude’! It happened when I took up […]

via STOP BEING A VICTIM AND OWN IT! — Candles Online

Boys will be Boys and Girls will be Girls…

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Boys will be Boys and Girls will be Girls

The term ‘gender bias’ is most often used in relation to discrimination against women, but men can be discriminated against as well!

Gender bias is harmful to both men and women because ‘stereotypes’ are not always true and having a false view of either gender is not fair.

Gender stereotypes are prescriptive and it’s not just how women and men are, it’s how women and men are supposed to be.

Since childhood both girls and boys are raised in a society where they battle their inner desires. From selection of toys to kind of movies they should watch to how they should act, ‘virtual rule books’ are instilled in their innocent minds.

Women love romantic comedies. Men will laugh out loud at a crude joke. Women appreciate a subtle pun; men a brutal one-liner. ‘Chick flicks’ are for girls. ‘Guy movies’ are for, well, guys!

Members of either sex who do not follow gender stereotypes are often punished or mocked at. It has always been perceived as:

Strong Men and Thoughtful women

It’s time to break the stereotypes of both genders prevailing in societies since ages and it’s best to start it young and when the minds are innocent.

Stop telling kids from young age that boy can’t play with dolls; gender has nothing to do with what toys one should play with, similarly girls should be encouraged to play with racing cars if she wants. Stop posing unrealistic expectations on boys. Boys are not only told that boys are not supposed to cry but crying is equated with femininity and derided –boys sometimes end up forming harmful impressions about women as a result, instead normalize the idea of boys expressing emotions. Men are even mocked for choosing field of study that are less technical like arts, choking their creativity in the process and on the other hand girls are still refrained in many societies from taking science stream as they are not meant for girls. When education did became a subject of gender disparity? Isn’t that should be one’s freedom to choose and learn without being stereotyped?

Boys will be boys and Girls will be girls but that should only mean that they are true to themselves

On this International Women Day, let’s pledge for change  #PressforProgress

 

Rape: A Societal Block

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If you don’t feel her terror, you are not human!

“Student abducted, raped in moving car in Gurgaon, one held; Mumbai: Eighty-year-old arrested for ‘raping’ eight-year-old girl; Delhi High Court says 14-year-old gave consent, convict’s rape term reduced; Four-year-old girl raped by school van driver: Police”

Rape rears its ugly façade almost every day in daily newspapers through these headlines. News is filled with all kind of cases from brutal rape and murder by strangers to gang-rape by acquaintances to even rape by own relatives and spouse and it’s not limited to girls in their ‘ripe ages’ with ‘full blossom’ but the mentality has degraded to an extent that even a minor girl of 4 years, an infant girl or an old lady in her eighties are not spared.

Can anyone justify what do such ‘monsters’ see in a 4-year-old innocent girl and let alone an infant?

No! I am not justifying that raping a 20 year girl is acceptable but I am trying to question those who mercilessly blame that women show their body to get raped! She automatically becomes a target of ‘Victim-blaming’, where she is not just a victim of dreadful crime but a sadist society as well!

Sexual violence is often normalized and excused under allegations.

 “She should not have worn such clothes, after all boys will be boys!” “Oh! She was drunk, this was bound to happen, she had no moral values!”, “A husband has a right on a Women’s body that is not rape!”, ”Why was she working so late, a woman should be home before sunset!”

The irony is many times women themselves are seen justifying above statements! This does not make me angry but I pity such women and I have empathy for them. By labeling or accusing the victim, women can see the victim as different from themselves. These women reassure themselves by thinking, “Because I am not like her, because I do not do that, this would never happen to me.” Really? Wish that was true but it’s not, It can happen to anyone!

We need to stop objectification of women’s body and glamorization of sexual violence! It’s not a women’s fault, not her fate, not something a women need to be ashamed of, she did nothing to provoke rape and she is definitely not ‘sinned’.

I have come across varied views on rape as a societal block, but mostly they fall in to two main categories.

One who thinks rape is women’s fault!

To all the ‘wise men and women’ out there who sit at the ‘comfort of their home’ and lecture on how a girl could have avoided rape, how she invited it, have you ever thought how despicable you’re thinking is?

All are not born with luxury in their lap! There are women who are the sole bread-winner of their family, there are women who are ambitious, and there are women who are free-thinkers, who believe in living their life.

But yes! With all due respect to your sordid mentality, No one just no one asks to be raped! In the process of justifying your morbid thinking you are not just ‘Slut-shaming’ the victim but shielding the rapist as well!

There are no words to describe the horror of images of a women being dehumanized, barely considered a human corpse with alien looking fingers moving all over the flesh. When the hunger is met for and after hours of torture, disgrace, enormous pain and helplessness, she is thrown away, lifeless, like a piece of trash; in a gutter; on the road; railway tracks or even brutally murdered.

On the other hand, we have quite a good number of ‘men and women with moral values’ who supports grave punishment for rapist, they don’t blame women and are against slut-shaming, I am sure most of you reading this fall under this category.

Yes, we are filled with anger, we criticize, we organize candle marches, we cry, we have guilt’s that we live in a society where women still don’t have any rights to live freely. Yes, we are ‘good human beings!’

May I ask, have you ever stopped a boy from eve teasing a girl in your own society, while you were crossing the lanes during office hours? ‘I would have, if only I was not getting late for office.’

May I ask, have you ever talked to your male child when you saw him watching a scene in a movie about a girl being hit by her boyfriend? ‘I would have but he is only a child, he wouldn’t understand.’

May I ask, how many times in your own office, home or society have you ever stood against injustice to women, no matter how minor it is? ‘I would have, but that is not under my control’

May I ask to all women, how many times have you stood for the rights of your own daughters, sisters, and relatives in front of the men in the house? ‘I would have, but men are the decision-maker, aren’t they?

You cannot bring about a National change,   if you are not ready to fight for it in your own homes, own societies, own cities. Stop playing a victim in your own homes, stop being a spectator, stop accepting things that you think is wrong.

It’s high time we learn to take a stand!