Disclaimer: This post DOES NOT speak for every lady out there. I’d be thrilled if you find it relatable (High five!), but to each, their own.
Weeks back, it was International Women’s Day. So, like every other celebrated days, there were plenty of posts about women in general. Some of the posts about successful women and their stories were definitely inspiring. One word that kept popping was ‘Feminism’.
You see, as much I used to think I was pro-feminism, I was also a hypocrite. Often, I thought that I was on the opposite lane of feminism. Or, was I even confused about what feminism really was? So, here’s a confession piece of a girl, who’s torn between believing in feminism, but also is partially confused about the idea.
So, let me begin what I think is feminism. Feminism, as I believe, is believing in the rights of women, without any discrimination. Feminism seems to be associated with women who are strong, independent, invulnerable, ready to take on the world. I have the highest respect for women like Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and many more who’re extraordinaires. But, what about us, the ‘ordinary’ girls/women?
When there’s a heavy chore to do, or there’s this shady crowded place I’d want to go, I look for my father. When I dress up, I’d secretly expect compliments. When it’s that time of the month, and I feel all grumpy and emotional, I’d expect The Mister to tell me the nicest things and ‘let it go’ if I tried hard to pick a fight. When my cousin brother visits us, I always washed his plates after he has eaten (and I know that I wouldn’t if he was a girl, instead). Weirdly, if he was around whenever I got back from campus, he carried my bag up to my room (note the fact that I carried it down 3 floors in hostel, fine by myself). When I interned in Moo Town, I was the only girl in Production Department. The operators and technicians basically pampered me through internship, even helped me if I was transferring items using a pallet truck. I loved receiving real gifts from The Mister and cheating him with handwritten/drawn notes and cartoon.
I was enjoying the privileges of oestrogen. Does that mean I’m less feminist?
God forbid if a man has catcalled a woman, or insulted her. He’s dragged to the road and judged upon. But we did ask for equality, didn’t we? We thought that a girl being able to utter F*ck and swear in public is an accomplishment. Why can’t we deal if a man used another swear word against a woman? Boys do that all the time, don’t they?
But no, they can’t do that, you say. Because you are a girl. They should respect you.
Feminism is not about being able to walk with your multi-coloured bra strap seen through your tank top. I don’t understand this particular idea of modern day feminism. Does it really matter? If I preferred to not show some skin/cleaves, am I any less feminist because I’m not loving my body enough? Am I supposed to be less vulnerable or emotional in a relationship? What about abortion, it’s women’s right, right? Does running without a sanitary pad/tampon during menstruation prove a point about the period stigma? These are all the questions that I have asked myself. Honestly, I still do not know if I have the right answers for the above questions. But I have a message, both for the ladies and the gentlemen who’re reading this :
Feminism IS NOT a Boys versus Girls fight. Feminism IS NOT about being independent of men. Feminism IS NOT about bra straps. Feminism is you believing that any woman deserves the kind of life she wants, anyhow she wants to live it. Feminism is you respecting another woman, regardless of her life choices. Feminism is you giving yourself and another woman the benefit of doubts whenever the situations arises.
Do not deny the ladies in your life the simple pleasures of using you (that’s a little bit one-sided, I know. heeeee…) Okay, seriously, do not tell them to stop doing something just because they’re girls. Don’t make us choose between what we want and what is ‘conventional’. Also, would you please read One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat? If you’re one of those lazy types (see, I’m allowed to stereotype here), I’d make life easier for you, by quoting one of my favourite lines from the book:
“Women want to fly and we also want a beautiful nest” and she asks them earnestly, “Do male birds tell female birds to choose?” – Chetan Bhagat
Okaaay, so this got a lot longer that I initially had in mind. So, that’s pretty much it. Do comment on what are your thoughts about this, I’d love to hear (read them, actually). 😀