Whenever I go through my Facebook feed, about half of the feeds are about feminism. I would have added the word ‘women empowerment’ but that makes no sense, even though feminism originated to empower women.
I myself have written numerous posts about social issues related to women because the present plight of many women in our country is too bad. If you pick up the newspaper or read online, you will find ample of dowry cases, female feticide, cruel in-laws, rapes, marital rapes, domestic violence, infidelity, murders etcetera. Sometimes it feels like you’re living in the world full of inhumane people. Most of such cases do not find limelight and are either suppressed by police with monetary offers or by political threatening. The ones that trend over the social media enrage people to move out of their homes in protest. But where are we today? Have we seen any change? Has the number of rapes every year dropped down? Are there less domestic violence issues now?
You know the answer, and thus I’ll skip to the more important things.
Misogyny and Sexual discriminations might be some complex concepts, but the fact is that we are brewing our children with them right from the age they can’t understand anything and the process keeps going on and on till they become patriarchal, misogynist, extremists or whatever words you can fit into the notion. ‘Pink is for girls and blue is for boys’. Are you telling this to your kids? Have you brought the clothes for your daughter and son that can easily be distinguished for the sexuality of the concerned child? When the child asks why, the answer is “because pink is girlish; it refers to the delicate nature of girls.”
Are you doing some extra favor for your son just because he is the male child? What will you answer your four daughters if they ask you why you needed another child (if the fifth one is a male)? Do you keep poking your daughters that you have to earn enough money for their marriage? Do you ask your daughter to do the households while your son is having a gala time on his PlayStation? Have you told your girl child that girls who stay outside of homes after 7 have a low self-esteem? Will you restrict your girl child from going to lounges and discotheques while you allow your male child for the same? Do you indulge in domestic violence in front of your kids? Are the sexually derogatory remarks common in front of your kids?
If yes, then you of all are equally responsible for the present fate of girls and you have no right to post about feminism and women empowerment with your hypocrite words.
I wonder what has happened to the present generation. I was reading a post where this girl explained that an exposed bra should not gather unnecessary attention. Well, maybe it wouldn’t have if it was treated in a similar manner in your home. If that piece of clothing is regarded as a sacred thing in your home, your brother or son will grow up to treat it like a sacred one. And if he notices it in public, it’s a natural attention-grabber. Don’t get me wrong. I do not support ridiculous remarks on women’s clothing. It’s a personal choice to wear anything you like. But consider a party where all people are dressed in blazers and I check in with my shorts and tee. I ask the girls. What do you do when you find a girl a foot higher than the average woman’s height. Do you give her a glance or not? It’s the same thing. I find so many girls glancing at me the day I wear a pink shirt. In the same way, you can definitely invite glances due to your clothing and I find it perfectly normal. However, it becomes abnormal and disrespecting if that glimpse changes into a stare or in some cases the exchange of lewd comments. I think you’re fighting against that, girls. Please don’t generalize people in your posts or comments.
The same thing goes to the taboo around menstruation or sanitary pads. A few months ago, I saw an image of a woman bleeding the menstrual blood. Is this the right way to deal with the awareness or will the right way be to conduct, sexual education workshops in schools making both the guys and girls sit together? We need to make our children aware of it in their puberty. You need to explain to your male child how normal it is for women and that it is a natural process, which signifies the health of women. If you hide it yourself, don’t expect to magically change into a new creature when he grows up.
An interesting thing is how our media is evolving. A few months back, I clicked on the URL of a song and it had the lyrics ‘Kundi mat khadkao raja, seedha andar aao raja’. Of course, how can we forget the seemingly greatest rap star of India – Honey Singh. “Blue eyes, hypnotize teri kardi a mennu, I swear! Chhoti dress mein bomb lagdi mennu. Glossy lips, uff yeah tricks, Baby lagdi e killer. Oh yeah oh yeah, Katal kare tera bomb figure”, “O khad taan ja, tu nede aa, Bai idda naa tu gede kha, Oh kahton enni desperate, saanu dasde ke ae rate, Shoe teri da, dress teri da, ghadi jo paayi, guess teri da, Chaaro paase vekh lai kudiye, charcha hotness teri da.” And so many more outrageously misogynist lyrics. Guess what? Your children have been singing these songs without knowing the actual meaning, which they will understand when they grow up, but it will be too late by then.
Children are raw. You can mold them like you want. What I need to say through these thousand some words are that it is useless to shout out loud in social media portals. It’s time to be the change that you want to see in the world. Your eighty-year-old granddad or grandma might not understand why dowry is evil, but your five-year kids can learn to be against it. The elderly people might think that it’s a girl’s fault if she is raped. They might think it’s because of the short clothes they wear, due to the drinking habits or staying out late. But before pointing fingers at others, you need to start the change from your own family. Do your parents also believe so? If yes, you need to channelize their thoughts. These thoughts need to be explained to your younger ones and siblings.
While I was watching the movie NH10, I realized that the root of the problem is in our roots, in our childhood. Look up at the history; none of the changes has materialized all of a sudden. It always takes the time to bring a change.
This is our responsibility. This is what we can do on our end to bring a change. Rant about only what is feasible and rant in front of the people who matter. Changing your Facebook profile pics and marching for justice on a day that is convenient for you won’t change a thing. Posting awkward pictures and quotes won’t change a thing as well. Start from yourself, change things in you and around you – your family, your friends and then your social circle. If all of us can do it, the world will change and it will only take one generation gap to fix the things. Take special care that you do not infuriate the already wide barrier between the two genders. Remember that there are always good-hearted and sensible guys out there. While generalizing men, you are actually offending them as well. Those guys are with you shoulder to shoulder to create women empowerment and gender equality and to eliminate the social evils as well.