This is from a conversation I had with my Baba, very recently:
“You’re getting to travel and go all solo in life only because I have allowed you to. You will face a tough time with your future husband. He will not tolerate you vagabonding around.” While I know this unreasonable monologue has an air of concern slyly hidden in it, I also know that it is representing a very common mindset that women are victims of. I, and many like me, have been strong survivors too though, maybe because our blood reeks of rebellion. But excuse me, since when have we been ‘ALLOWED’ to venture into things that render some happiness?
I wouldn’t have penned all of this down despite there being a pressing need to do this. Because lets face it, no one wants to read a piece on women except Today, when social media is going gaga over our existence and prominence in different fields of work. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I mean, as long as the sharers of empowering content genuinely believe and practice feminism, I’m good. This word is pretty problematic though. Feminism. I don’t hate men, I don’t hate makeup, I don’t ridicule housewives, or support abortion. Men and women trotting on the same road is what I believe in. And this, or any other feminist post is not designed to empower women. They are empowered enough. It’s to let them KNOW that they are.
Now that I have stated my version of feminism (and hated everyone who has told me that I am ‘Allowed’ to do something) let me tell you why we need it:
- Because probably after my marriage, I will no longer remain a ‘Gupta’.
- Because walking in a deep-neck in the wee hours makes me an easy target.
- Because the terms ‘Bitch’ and ‘Pussy’ have become synonyms for weakness.
- Because Female Genital Mutilation is still practiced in 29 countries.
- Because there is still a 23% pay gap in many working organizations between men and women.
- Because I’m not allowed to enter a holy place when I bleed. (Note-I’m a baaghi)
- Because my Instagram DM is filled with messages of 18-year-old girls wanting to take that solo trip, but not being ‘Allowed’ to.
- Because my relative tells me to join the ‘Teaching Line’ due to my current work hours in the field of media.
- Because a colleague tells me that Strawberry flavoured cigarettes are designed for women, and that its too girly for a man to consume it.
- Because my grandmother thinks I need a broadminded man to ‘ACCEPT’ me.
- Because being sexually active without being married is a sin.
- Because society will ostracize me if I bear a child before tying the knot.
- Because If I am married, I’m supposed to keep my husband satisfied. And because NO doesn’t really mean NO in India.
- Because we still need words to convince you that we need Feminism.