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Interchanging the word 'feminist' with 'feminazi' is quite a common trend today. Isn't it time we bade farewell to assuming that feminism is a privilege?
Interchanging the word ‘feminist’ with ‘feminazi’ is quite a common trend today. Isn’t it time we bade farewell to assuming that feminism is a privilege?
Working in the space of women and rights, the biggest challenge I have faced is having to justify my “neutrality” for the sexes. Some of the most common questions I am asked as a trainer for prevention of sexual harassment (POSH) are –
“What about the male victims?” or “what do you think of the misuse of the women specific laws?”
As a trainer and awareness expert for prevention of sexual harassment at workplace, I am often looked at as a crusader for women rights. That is great because I am exactly that and much more.
But the problem comes when the context of every spoken word is weighed, scraped and juxtaposed in light of the false cases of rape, sexual harassment and other sexual crimes against women which entailed male victimisation.
It is here that I often end up justifying that I am all for the due process of law, against media trials and a thorough supporter for gender neutral laws of sexual crimes (which includes not only men but also transgenders and others). Shamefully, I begin my march of speaking up for all that I stand for, in order to justify my feminist ideology, having to heavily justify why women need specific legislations, as if it’s something to be apologetic for.
We live in a time where feminism and feminazi are used as interchangeable terms. The use of terms that convert the movement for women empowerment into extreme militancy in order to reject the movement altogether.
This is indeed a sombre example of diverting the attention from the real problems that exist in the society. And highlighting protests by women rights supporters as mob lynchings. It is that or sensationalising and wrongly adducing the news of repealing “Adultery” as a move which allows women to have sexual relations outside of marriage.
Women are speaking up, sure, but the voice is often ignored or quipped as being one of a “bra-burning feminist“. The debate has shifted from the violence against women by men, to the harassment faced by men at the hands of conniving, vengeful and vindictive women.
This antithetical thought process continues to be justified in light of “bra-burning feminists” that are ‘supposed’ to have, in their limited purview, overtaken our land of values and traditions.
Apropos, women are making a hue and cry for something as “little as being disallowed for entering a temple”. In this tug of war, the essence of the problem remains unabated and this seems to the undercurrent in our country – to quip everything and anything that involves “rights” as mere hue and cry.
Conveniently enough, people often forget to read the news of women being raped every minute of the day. I do not even blame them because, we have developed a defence mechanism to harrowing news and articles that describe acts of sexual violence against women. This is mostly because we have become attuned to them.
What is new, “eye-catching” and “real news” is how a man was harassed by his wife, beaten by his wife’s family, wrongfully convicted of a rape charge or suffered under a frivolous Domestic Violence case. And so, we ask the questions that stimulate our grey cells.
There seems to be a thorough disregard for the something as simple as this – Rights are NOT privileges. Rights are the means to an end. They entail sustenance. Women standing up for their rights is not a privilege. It is a necessity, the dire need for any society’s development.
Indeed, there is lacunae in the laws which leads to many people using them to their own advantage but isn’t that true for all laws? Aren’t loopholes found by ones looking for them in order to achieve their means? Then what is so special about women specific legislations?
Another question to ask is, would a man working in the space of women rights activism and empowerment be asked the same questions? Would he be questioned or ridiculed for supporting women’s rights? Would every word he speaks in favour of women be highlighted and challenged in light of “men’s rights”? I think not.
The truth, as I am growing older (and maybe wiser), has begun to seep in. What we say as women is often worth two cents and what the men say is worth 10 (if not more) in our society (and that starts yet another debate of the glaring patriarchy!).
Picture credits: Pixabay
Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) Consultant I Legal Journalist I Curious Cat read more...
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Why is the Social Media trend of young mothers of boys captioning their parenting video “Dear future Daughter-in-Law, you are welcome” deeply problematic and disturbing to me as a young mother of a girl?
I have recently come across a trend on social media started by young mothers of boys who share videos where they teach their sons to be sensitive and understanding and also make them actively participate in household chores.
However, the problematic part of this trend is that such reels or videos are almost always captioned, “To my future daughter-in-law, you are welcome.” I know your intentions are positive, but I would like to point out how you are failing the very purpose you wanted to accomplish by captioning the videos like this.
I know you are hurt—perhaps by a domestic household that lacks empathy, by a partner who either is emotionally unavailable, is a man-child adding to your burden of parenting instead of sharing it, or who is simply backed by overprotective and abusive in-laws who do not understand the tiring journey of a working woman left without any rest as doing the household chores timely is her responsibility only.
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