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People claim to be feminists, but take the smallest excuse to deny women their basic rights for the 'good' of family or society. It is time this stops.
People claim to be feminists, but take the smallest excuse to deny women their basic rights for the ‘good’ of family or society. It is time this stops.
Often in the fight for equality and rights for women the virtues of women are highlighted. Their endurance and emotional strength is emphasized. But what I don’t understand is this. Do women need to be strong or successful or productive to deserve basic rights and equality?
Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of equality? Don’t regular men enjoy the same basic rights as strong ones? Is strength or virtue a prerequisite for men to enjoy basic rights? So why do we women feel the need to prove that we deserve equality? Are we saying that only strong worthy women deserve equality?
We don’t have to prove anything. Just like people are born innocent, they are born equal. If someone wants to take away a right from us they have to justify it. We do not have to justify our rights, just like we don’t have to prove innocence in a court of law. Guilt needs to be proven and depriving someone of their rights needs to be justified. Not the other way around.
We do not need to be defensive, when we expect equal rights for women. We need to own it. We are citizens of this country and human beings and we don’t need to explain ourselves or beg for our rights. We just need to exercise them. Then those who try to stop us can do the explaining. After all exercising our rights is the obvious thing to do, and should require no explanation.
So the next time we upset anyone by exercising our rights, instead of being apologetic or angry, lets just stare at them blankly and wait for them to do some explaining for a change, and blink perplexedly and laugh when they say things that make no sense.
No amount of explaining is ever going to satisfy someone who entertains a different set of axioms. That is the problem with logical arguments. They only work when people share the same basic set of beliefs on which the logical arguments are constructed.
People who claim to accept equality for women, and yet find reasons to argue against specific cases of it, for stability of the family or society or a greater good, do not fundamentally believe in women’s equality, but feel the need to pretend to do so, to be politically correct in the current atmosphere. They will use the slightest excuse or inconvenience to create exceptions or find rationalizations. They are uncomfortable saying outright that they don’t believe women deserve the same rights, respect and opportunities as men, in so many words, and hide behind specific instances where they suggest women’s rights must be sacrificed for the greater good.
If indeed, allowing women all their rights creates some problems to the old social structure, then the structure must be modified instead of limiting women’s rights. Otherwise we are not a society truly committed to equal rights for women. Some of our laws are archaic, set in the ancient Victorian age. They need to be amended, or the fact that the Indian constitution grants women equality is simply not enough. It is only politically correct and quite insufficient, if women can’t get justice in our courts.
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Published here earlier.
Image source: shutterstock
Kanika G, a physicist by training and a mother of 2 girls, started writing to entertain her older daughter with stories, thus opening the flood gates on a suppressed passion. Today she has written over read more...
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Before expecting the daughter in law to love, respect and accept the new family, it is only fair that the family demonstrates all of these first.
If you are a married Indian woman, one of the first words you hear from your in laws is that you are now a daughter of the house. How true is that statement though? Are daughters in law really treated as daughters or is this only lip service?
A friend recently confided how hurt she felt when she wanted to visit her in-laws along with her husband but was told not to, because the in-laws wanted time alone with their son. Naturally, she was taken aback since she had always been fed this trope – that she was the daughter, not the daughter in law. Why then this sudden keeping at arm’s distance? Would a son in law ever be told not to accompany his wife on her visit to her parents because they wanted quality time with their daughter? That is unimaginable in a patriarchal society.
It is ok to want time alone with the married offspring but how does that meld into the Indian family system, where independent choices are less important than the whole family coming together?
Beauty is a very clever, very evil capitalist tool. It traps those who have it into hanging on to it for dear life and those who don't into mutilating, torturing themselves to achieve the unachievable.
I recently wrote a piece about MP Shashi Tharoor’s tweet in which he had shared a pic with six women parliamentarians tagging them and saying “Who says the Lok Sabha isn’t an attractive place to work?”
There was a rash of comments on the post shared on Instagram, which ranged from “chill, it’s just a compliment” and “stop overthinking compliments”, to (worried) men lamenting about “these feminazi”.
Here’s my answer to all those comments.
It’s just not enough to teach a girl that she is equal when compared to her friend who is a boy. The boy needs to be taught too that he is not superior to the girls in his class or at home.
I was at the office water cooler one day, just filling my bottle, when I overheard some men talk about how women rush from office at 5 pm. So what if they come early, the men said. These women always have to leave early; if they can’t spend time at work then why can’t they just be stay-at-home moms or homemakers, they said.
Now, I like minding my business most of the time but right then I wanted to say something. But I stopped; I saw there was just one woman in their midst, and the look on her face told me to let her do the talking.
What do we really mean when we celebrate Women's Day? This post explores why women should have a day dedicated to them - or not.
What do we really mean when we celebrate Women’s Day? This post explores why women should have a day dedicated to them – or not.
Occasions call for joyous celebrations. Some occasions are reasons to remember a cause, an incident, a person, or a memory in honor of an act. Some occasions are merely political or imposed. But one occasion has forever confused me. Not Valentine’s day. Not Mother’s/Father’s day. Not the weird subset of unheard-of-musical-instruments celebration day.
What confuses me is Women’s day.