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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.
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
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