The comments on my previous post had me baffled as people were telling me I didn’t know what feminism was all about. Well, let me clarify that!
This post is a response, to the comments on an earlier post I had written. It was about the installation of a washing machine in my home. A single woman, working 9 to 5, Monday to Saturday, I am yet to get it installed in my home, after buying the product a month ago. The service people will not work after 5 p.m. and on Sundays. My predicament continues as I write this.
But what really puzzled me were the comments to my post. I found men and women discussing the issue as having nothing to do with feminism. These people decided that it was merely a technical issue of finding the right time.
They felt I had no clue as to what feminism was all about. That I was merely making a mountain out of the mole hill. And that’s when I realised how incompetent we were when it came to understanding women’s issues and the basic tenets of feminism.
Let me clarify.
My post was about tokenistic feminism. The manner in which the corporate industry pays lip service to women’s issues, the complex and multifarious ways in which they exploit occasions like women’s day. Just to create a market for their products by attracting the attention of the consumer in interesting ways.
The post was about feminism being used as a tool to sell their products while they refused to genuinely address the real issues that women face. In fact, the washing machine company has not even thought of an alternative mechanism for women like me.
A policy decision by companies, for single working women like me, could be taken, if the companies wanted to do anything proactive for their female consumers. Companies often perceive feminism as an effective marketing tool, to portray themselves as socially responsible empathetic entities. Meanwhile the real issues which involve their products or their service are ignored since it is all about visibility and the market.
The post, if it was read in totality, might have made sense to the reader. I do not know if the readers in large numbers read only the first part of the post. If, after reading the whole post, the reader still felt that the same, I can only say that they understand feminism as what the media tells them and nothing more.
Feminism is also about the daily lives of women, the small, apparently simple things a woman encounter every day and take it to be part of life. And yet, it is something inherently unjust and can be changed if one becomes aware of it and decides to speak up against it.
My voice is the voice of a woman who believes that as a woman I am entitled to my rights and privileges. And after having purchased a product I can and should ask for the services which I have already paid for.
For a male in my position might have to go through the same situation, but his position of privilege in society compensates in many ways. Hence, my post is about the companies that claim to be empathetic to women. But refuse to make suitable changes in their policies to help women who face innumerable challenges in their journey towards self-realisation.
Picture credits: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
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