Check out these 8 Government Loan Schemes That You Can Benefit From As A Woman In Business.
Why India not only needs feminism, but it is the only way to live.
Why India not only needs feminism, but it is the only way to live life. And we need it now.
‘You are such a Rani of Jhansi sometimes. You know you can’t fight everything, don’t you?’
I used to get that remark from my husband quite often. (I may add a disclaimer here that he is all for women empowerment and gender equality, and never hesitates to assist in activities that are labeled women-only. I wouldn’t have married him otherwise)
Over the years he stopped saying that to me and we just got along with our lives, house, baby and yearly trips to India to meet our families for a couple of weeks. Although I generally write about parenting, I recently wrote a piece around marriage jokes and how they get on my nerves. The post was tagged under ‘feminist’ by Women’s Web.
Feminist? Really, am I one? I wondered to myself. I then dusted some old shelves of my past and found a rather thick book of feminism lying at some corner of my inner self. I picked that book out and started reading it, straightening the dog-eared pages. It was almost like a high school yearbook, which like a time machine transported me to a different era. The stark difference here was that this yearbook hardly had any happy memories.
In one chapter was an incidence of not being allowed to stay out after dark for a college party, tagged under ‘Things only men are allowed to do’. On another there was a very angrily written account of a man masturbating outside a school trying to stop and make conversation with two young girls. This, along with a number of other similar incidents of groping, lewd remarks and vulgar stares was highlighted with red markers and filed under ‘Patriarchy and the resulting commoditization of women’.
A few pages further, there was a bookmark opening up to ‘Sexism and misogyny’ which talked about how women were falsely accused of using coquettish ways to climb up the corporate ladder, pushing their poor, hard working male counterparts behind. The next chapter was full of pictures of me in colourful, ‘decent’ clothes that carried hallmarks of approval by the society at large. I quickly flipped through those to save myself embarrassment.
Further down there was a section on ‘Customs forced on women getting married’. I took the longest to go through this one, stopping now and then to wipe my father’s tears while giving me away and clearing the knots in my throat. I may have torn off all pages of ‘Expectations from a married woman’ – the last chapter in the book, in utter frustration.
Rage engulfed me as I flipped through all the pages. Unanswered questions cobwebbed my head. Helplessness paralyzed me. It was those very incidents that had made me don my feminist cap and fight like a Rani of Jhansi, even if to be defeated again and again. For the last 6 years, living in 3 different countries outside India, I almost forgot what feminism meant. I haven’t had to fight for women rights here. I don’t have to ask to be treated as a human. I don’t have to live with a permanent chip in my shoulder.
But when I return, as I want to and long to, the book will come in handy. Sadly, in my country, feminism is not just a movement for women, it is the only way to live.
Image via Shutterstock
Shivangi is the author of the hilarious yet compelling book 'I made a booboo', published by Rupa and available worldwide. She also co-authored a travel anthology on Netherlands, titled 'Dutched up' that featured among read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
Please enter your email address