We are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. Fight club. Never has a movie given us what we needed to learn. Fight club leeched a little bit out of our bones. And that wasn’t calcium. The inherent need to change things, whether it be in our lives or cities or countries or even the world. When the movie got over, it was all but a broken dream. Not one person around us, counting our individual selves, ever tried to change things. You could still be going to the same 9-5 job, eating the same chemically enhanced French fries, staying in the same relationship that brings you pain but just because you’re too used to the comfort and warmth provided by another human being, you refuse to let go, you could still be a scared little piece of poo. Because as Tyler Durden said, you aren’t your job, the money in your bank and more things but I forget. What do I mean, you may ask? Just a little.
As an Indian, I’ve forgotten all of what I was born as. What it means to read the Vedas, to use the Bhagwad Gita for the things that seem insurmountable in life, to actually appreciate the land I have taken birth in. I and a lot of my counterparts have grown up and passed out of college with one goal in our minds, to go settle in another country. Then I think of what’s the point. The single point agendas of our existences is to amass money. Loads of it so our children can be well off. Money money and more money. We can sell our families off in the process but oh well, money is in the bank. Sit for a moment and think of what’s going on in the planet. The planet is dying (but growing more lively every day too). We have poisoned our land, spilled the blood of so many living beings (including a LOOOOOOOT of humans), poisoned the air and water that we ourselves need; all for the sake of materialistic exploitations. The diamond you crave for from your husband or to-be-husband is not growing on trees. It’s dug out of deep mines by African slaves (I use the word slaves because they are kept in filthy places, no minimum wages, no wages actually, to see their families die off for the monetary concerns of the top jewellery companies. Watch Blood Diamond as reference). The men and women have no idea what’s outside of those mines that they’re rummaging. That was a baseless rant because I’m very annoyed at the state of the world. As a person at the age that I’m in, my means are limited to writing, tweeting and maybe join a couple of rallies/walks here and there. I don’t, yet, hold significant power to change. I’m sure I do already, but somehow I haven’t tapped into this potential of mine.
Today, we are celebrating International Women’s Day. I mean I was wished like it was my birthday. So all around the world, mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, all women are being wished Women’s Day. For what joy? Where is the Men’s Day? We talk about equality, don’t we? Isn’t this unequal, putting aside a day for single gender existence celebration? Let’s get one thing absolutely straight. We are a victimised gender by our own kind. We talk about equality but I hear of so many women misusing “feminism” to have a #FreeTheNipple movement. I thoroughly agree with the fact that in the present world, there have been massive atrocities on our kind. Our kind has been raped, our children snatched away, we have been domestically abused, put down. But we have faced these atrocities while the men have also faced atrocities. Women AND men have died during wars and battles. Women AND men get raped. Women AND men have their children snatched away from them. Women AND men get abused. Equality doesn’t stand for standing up for one gender and neglecting the problems faced by the other. There are lawyers (women; if you don’t believe me, look up the TED Talk by Deepika Bhardwaj) who stand for men’s rights in times of crisis to their kind by women. Feminism is not the lack of men, feminism is the growth of our kind with men by our side. Because, let’s face it (I’m kidding here, please don’t kill me), how would we conceive without men? I stand for LGBT rights but what’s biological is the truth. Both the genders need each other.
I also agree with the fact that there are some societies which believe in women being of a lower existence. Our work is cut out to bring the children of these same societies on believing that women who play with them, marry them and birth them are not lower. Let’s just talk about India. We have gruesome rapes, honor killings, death of so many women. The gender uprising of women in this age is something which grew suddenly. This sudden transition was not a welcome change to the men who have lived in societies where the woman’s honor is of the highest value. Don’t go on the paradigm about how honorable is raping and killing your own daughter. I don’t advocate this and certainly take measures to protect my own dignity. When you see how India was placed historically, we have had queens, princesses so strong that they were consulted on national issues and on affairs of the empire. They have been celebrated as mothers and wives. They have had couplets and stories written about the strength they have for facing the world. Why does our society have goddesses and no other society or as you may want to put it, religion, have no women weilding the highest powers?
Why did we need a gender uprising? It’s very simple to see, if you do your research right. The abject lack of respect for women came from the multiple colonizations that we have had, in India. The Britishers had not given the women of their society a voting right, a voice and all they were seen as were mothers to their heirarchy or objects. Islamism doesn’t believe in giving a woman rights either. This is not a contest to disprove religions, but think about it logically. Indian women have not needed to wear burqas or long gowns. We don’t have to hide our bodies from anything but that also doesn’t mean we have the leverage to wear clothes that show most of our skin. Dignity and self respect remains within the confines of the clothes on our bodies. Trust me, I have learnt it the hard way. We were not seen as seductresses but as beautiful women with our sexuality celebrated. Why is a saree a beautiful attire? Because it maintains the feminity of a person. It never is bold, nor showing any skin. It covers up at all the right places. Men in India have revered their women. They have respected us to give us swords to take to battle. They have trusted us to guard cities. They have trusted us to help them in life.
Men are not the enemies. Please don’t get a wrong idea of feminism. It is not the growth of womankind while stamping out the men. I see so many woman doing wrong things to men. This involves manipulation, emotional blackmails and mental harassment. I pity the men who’s ladies cite “I can do whatever the fuck I want” and go ahead and get drunk, sleep with other men while being in a committed relationship. That is not how relationships should work. If we have been given the liberty of certain laws at our disposal (dowry laws) let’s not misuse them. Let’s help the men in trouble because we are strong and can stand united. If women are not going to be the strength of other women, men will never be. A woman doesn’t have the right to call another woman a slut or characterless. A man doesn’t either. But if a man witnesses women being disrespectful towards a woman, they take the liberty to abuse women. And let’s just say, from there on, we have a slippery slope.
It is beyond time that we as free, conscious and beautiful women take charge and actually rewire the meaning of equality. Men won’t help us, politicians won’t help, massive organizations with money to spend on gender equality won’t help us, unless you and I as individuals take up the simple matter of respecting our own kind. Women don’t need to rally around naked (or almost) for a SlutWalk to be successful (Amber Rose, I’m talking to you). And if a SlutWalk needs to happen, all women who participate in it are, by inference, sluts??!? What is the point? Can’t we have protests without going naked for it? We are giving others reasons to call us names. There is a responsibility that needs to come. The choice to make the right decision. You can’t be walking around naked in a SlutWalk and demanding respect. I don’t agree with it. And ladies, respect is always earned. You will not earn respect from sleeping with multiple partners, belittling your own partner with just a simple reason that you have been oppressed for long and now it’s time to shine. That’s not how respect works and certainly not self-respect.
I see so many women now going to work, including me. Now, I’m not married yet but I do have a responsibility towards my home (parents) and my partner. Going to work shouldn’t mean a man has to take care of home and children. A man’s responsibility lies in providing for his woman and children, in protecting the family. We all have faced it, men aren’t built for it, they pretty much suck at it. Occasionally, your man might whip up the most amazing candlelit dinner for you but he won’t be able to do it everyday with keeping his sanity intact. That’s where we come in. A woman doesn’t become a lesser part of a relationship if she decides to work and take care of her home. And certainly, she gains so much of my respect if she stays home and takes care of everyone. Providing food and comfort to the family each day, everyday takes immense courage. Just making food thrice a day for a week put me out of all my energy, I don’t know how my mother does it. My man doesn’t become a wimp in the relationship if he agrees to take care of the house and I don’t get any leverage on him. My man won’t be downtrodden if he likes giving me a foot massage after the end of a day at work and I’m not his slave if I return the favor. If my partner is supportive of the things I do, it doesn’t befall on me to act irresponsibly just because “he has given me the freedom”. If I work, it would be my responsibility to come back home to him each night, no clauses there. It would always be my responsibility to give him a shoulder for support and strength because a man always looks up to his woman.
Look at us Indian women. We do so much ourselves, it’s hard to even think anyone in this world does so much. We have a billion roles to play, and this is not the time to nit pick about International Women’s Day on the 8th of March. We need to rise for our kind, we need to shine for our children and for the men who support us. It would be a pointless world without men lifting us into the roles we have always been picked to play. We as women have 365 days to celebrate Women’s Day, it’s only a matter of time we recognise this fact. Feminism shouldn’t be hated by men because it has only entailed our kind either going nude or reverse hating men. I am not saying even in the slightest bit that women have not worked towards the betterment of women. Everyone has. But I urge all of you to be responsible. We need men to rise for us as our equals, not above or beneath. Don’t victimise yourself; don’t ask for a seat in the metro but go on ahead to talk shit about men not doing anything and being useless pigs. Beyond all jobs and daily lives that we live, our primary purpose is to love. And love we shall.