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I get these moments, when I am glad that I did not commit myself to feminism, because it kills me with conflict. Morality and its relationship with feminism is well known. It’s usually based on morality that the strongest shackles are tied on to women. Social pressure on what is moral and what is not, only makes it more difficult.
So, a friend and me were discussing a celebrity. Yes, I gossip 😉 And the question of her sleeping around came up for discussion and it wandered into talk about a society where women “sleep around”. In public, I always maintain that one should not name the woman, because, one, it is not for public discussion and one does not know the facts. However, in this case, the discussion turned to women my friend knew personally.
A divorced woman, who had kids and who did “sleep around” – one, because she had her physical needs to be met and two, because she was happy to be well taken care of. We are not talking about selling sex here – although that too is a question. I am not raising the question of prostitution here. It is different. Here, the woman decides to sleep with someone and maybe decides to give and take company. It is possible that she likes to keep company with two men at the same time. She gets taken care of well enough.
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I wondered why? Why would she rather do this, instead of working and maybe find someone to love exclusively?
This friend had to say that she was used to a certain lifestyle and her skills did not get her a job that could keep her lifestyle. Moreover, in her marriage, she was out of work for a long period. Add to that, her tales of woe of being a single divorced woman in the big bad city. Hmm… frankly, the first thing that came to my mind was – but that’s taking the easy way out. No one was born with skills. You develop it along the way, and that could mean, taking the hard route of a low paying job to help build your skills. And yet, that was not the way it was.
Unlike me, my friend did not have a problem with her choices. She was comfortable with her life. Me, at the other end was trying hard to justify her choices, as dis-empowerment, of still being dependent on someone else for a life that she wanted to live.
But inside, I was a little torn. Why was I finding it hard to consider that it could well have been an empowered choice? At the same time, why was I getting irritated at her sad story of wicked men? Why was I being judgmental? If she had chosen to do the same while having a job of her own, I would not have been so concerned. I think it’s because I think she got it too easy. But who the hell am I to determine that women need to get it the hard way?
Everytime, I get such doubts, I push my commitment to feminism to rest. I still am not done with my own prejudices, you see!
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I relate to this post! I’m trying to make that effort though – everytime I make a sweeping statement, try to step back and be less judgemental. In this story – I wd hv the same conflict as you Preeti
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