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The recent ‘female blackout’ on social media was supposed to be ‘a movement to show what the world might be like without women’. Makes sense?
A post was doing the rounds on Social Media (SM) a couple of days back. It called for a ‘female blackout’. It was supposed to be ‘a movement to show what the world might be like without women’.
This entailed changing your SM profile photo to ‘a black square’. Apparently, this would make ‘men wonder where the women are’. It called itself ‘a project against women abuse’.
Ho hum! After that context setting, here begins my rant. ‘Female blackout’ you say? The women’s rights movement began in 1848. For the last 170 years, women across the world have been trying to get themselves to be seen and heard. Women before us have fought hard to move closer to something like an equal world. And, in one fell swoop, this ‘female blackout’ movement intends to undo what has been achieved. By participating in this movement (which, I have a nagging feeling, must have been designed by a man), you have done a disservice to the decades of struggle. No, my dear girls, making ourselves disappear is not going to solve our problems. Instead, it gives misogynists more to gloat about – that they managed to put us in our place – not to be seen or heard.
You say you will show what the world can be without women. I am sorry but when did SM become an accurate representation of the real world? Just by changing a profile photo, you claim to disappear from the world. If you really want to, leave your homes, offices and mobile phones behind for a day and go incommunicado. That is true disappearance. But, then too, apart from your family, a few friends, and maybe your boss, no one else will miss you. I am sorry to burst your bubble.
If you had said, “Let’s change our profile photo to a black square to show our support for abuse victims”, I may still have understood. Symbolic like the black armband; sure, I get that. But this whole logic of making ‘men wonder where the women are’ escapes me. So, did you, on the blackout day, not show your face to any man, or not even speak to even one of them? I can bet you happily interacted with the men who matter to you. So, then, who are these men who you wanted to wonder at your disappearance? Do I sound confused? You bet, for I am!
I wish ridding the world of abuse (of any kind) was this simple. Speaking about gender-based abuse specifically, what you needed to do, instead of this pointless blackout, was to make the men and women in your lives more aware of what abuse can be. It need not be physical/sexual always. Mental, spiritual, emotional, financial – you name it. You needed to step up at your workplace and call out those sexist remarks. You needed to stop your elders from making patriarchal comments. You needed to help your household help file a police complaint against her wife-bashing husband. You needed to tell the young ones around you that there is nothing called ‘like a girl’.
My heart goes out to all the victims of abuse but it also makes me more determined to not accept tokenisms of feminism or protests. I would, rather, create, in my own small way, a world where women do not have to hold onto their horses.
Image via Unsplash
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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.
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Instead of seeking vengeance after horrific crimes, the public should push for faster and better judicial resolutions. That is the best tribute we can pay to the victims.
Trigger Warning: This deals with rape, violence against women and police brutality, and may be triggering for survivors.
On the news yesterday we came to know that 10 police officers who had killed 4 young men arrested for the rape and murder of Hyderabad doctor in an “encounter” have been found “guilty of concocting their story, and were to be charged with murder.” The report of the commission doing this enquiry also says “The panel also found that police have deliberately attempted to suppress the fact that at least three of the deceased were minors – two of them 15 years old.”
December 29, 2019 was a Friday no different from any other. I was running late so had no time to read the newspaper. On the way to work, I logged onto to Twitter to catch up with the news. The first thing I saw was the breaking story on the horrific gang rape and murder of the 26 year old doctor on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
To think that money can buy you anything is as wrong as singling a woman out after her divorce because the world feels she got overcompensated.
A lot of people are attracted to money and that’s not a bad thing. Which is also why everyone talks about money and the rich. The rich always make the headlines.
The rich, also, get upset when their personal lives are talked about, and rightly so. They have all the right to privacy.
Time moves on. However, people do not.