Why feminism is not a privilege

Appurva Bhoker

There’s so many ways to get around the idea of feminism. If you only so much as believe that men and women should be treated as equals, for the simple reason that it would be wrong not to do so, you’re a feminist. The problem is not in what you feel or what I say, the problem lies in acceptance. Not a man’s acceptance, just acceptance in general. The idea of a strong woman is so much more clouded than the idea of a strong man. A strong man takes care of his family, protects them and nurtures them till need be. When a woman does these things she’s suddenly too much. Everyone loves the idea of a strong woman but only to the extent where it doesn’t become a botheration to the man. Or his ego. Or both.

Ironically, A strong woman doesn’t file for divorce when she’s in an abusive relationship, she stays and “survives it” because that is the “right thing to do”. When a strong woman is paid less than her male colleagues she doesn’t “throw tantrums” because she’ll not only be asked “Did you miss your period? You’re cranky” but also if paid more will be labeled “office slut”. A strong woman never fails to achieve the unrealistic standards set by society for the clothes that are to go on her body- very simple since the cleavage decides the character of a woman – it goes from top to bottom- prude to whore. And most importantly a strong woman knows her “place”. Now that is tricky as much as it is ridiculous. She never abuses for one because that’s a ground rule. But also, her “place” will be made clear to her, in every social setting, every day, each time, time and again.

There is no such thing as a stupid question. I think there are plenty. “Who needs feminsim?” “Why do I care?” “It’s not like it’s happening to you, is it?” “What difference does it make to my health?”
Plenty.

The underlying theme of generations and generations of pure struggle around the globe for something so absolutely basic is a cause of concern to me. The fact that now household pets have better law protecting them than the women in our country do, is a tad bit worrisome. The simple explaination that feminism does not translate to privilege, it is equality and yet so many still stand against it, is my worst nightmare. My inner voice knows all of this and my conscience sticks with me through times of being treated like I’m any less than a man, is my power.

The author is  a journalism student.

 

 

  • K SHESHU BABU

    As long as women are ‘ Strong’ but never question male hegemony or the political establishment, they are applauded. But, if they start protesting against the status quo, the same people who applaud their ‘ stength’ , see the ‘ weak’ link in them…!

  • edsa0601

    Beautifully written, Appurva.
    What Indian women need is an outspoken woman in high office to back them, not the traditional housewife types like Smriti Irani or Sushma Swaraj from the Vedic period? Where are they to be found? Why can’t someone like Gulmehar be raised to a leadership role?