You cannot hum or dance to a peppy Bollywood number by international villager Yo Yo Honey Singh, if you are a feminist in the present-day India. Because if you do, you are not just for once enjoying the foot-tapping music but are promoting women as objects, derogating the fairer sex and ruining everything that all the great feminist leaders have stood for and propagated over the years.
Feminism has always been about promoting equality among the sexes. Since when did it become negating one at the expense of the other? Ensuring security for women and girls is important and so is helping them become independent, but not every touch is dirty or every push in a moving bus intentional.
Men took to streets just like women did and were equally agitated when a 23-year-old paramedic student was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus on the roads of the national capital on the night of December 16, 2012.
They were as hurt and disgusted as we were. The movement would not have been what it became had it been a battle of one sex against the other. We could see the President approve the anti-rape bill only because we braved the lathis together, as one angry populace.
Sure, there are men who jeer, leer and grope. They are the bad boys, as we know them. But there also are respectable women with lots of jewellery and large livestock, who pull their daughters out of school before they finish their senior secondary. There are ‘good women who do not let their daughters-in-law be, and some who discuss their sons’ sexual relationships with pride, but would shudder at the thought of their girl talking to a boy. There always is a grandmother teaching a 7-year-old girl to smile coyly and learn to cook when her elder brother is busy roughing it up, learning the ways of the world.
It’s a baby girl! So, her room has to be pink, just like her frocks, frills, toys, shoes, toothpaste, diapers and all else. Who decides? The father?
Such women do more harm than men, for they plant the seeds of hypocrisy early in young minds, seeds that blossom into a carnivorous creeper over the years.
Feminism is not gender exclusive as it is usually believed. Anyone who lets a human be just like everybody else is a feminist.
Winning every silly argument in the name of women liberation is no new feminist wave. It is a blend of shallowness and hypocrisy employed by lesser minds, both male and female, which is characteristic of our times.
With the layers of interpretations, the many theories and the several roles making a bitter soup, being a feminist has never been more difficult.