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Being a feminist means wanting equality for all genders. But here some common statements that make you both sexist and a horrible person!
How does one define feminism? Why is it called man-hating by many? And why is it so difficult to understand that being a feminist simply refers to ‘equality of genders’?
Let us sum up some of the behaviour by men and women that alienates feminism from sexism:
‘My mother handled her job and had time to cook three meals. Why can’t my wife do the same?’
Glorifying over-working is a common phenomenon, especially in India. While we appreciate our mothers and all their work, we often fail to understand that they are only humans and need help. The glorification hides the fact that there are women who struggle to balance everything and are blamed for it. Let’s face it: It is very difficult.
‘She’s 30 and unmarried! Thank goodness, I got married at the right age!’
To anyone saying this, please look at Gul Panag, Anita Hassanandani and Kareena Kapoor. These women are breaking stereotypes of marriage and motherhood. Moreover, the top three oldest first time mothers are also Indian.
At the same time, there really shouldn’t be a ‘right age’ but the ‘right choice’ in things. Health, mental preparation and medical guidance are pretty much all you need to make decisions about anything, especially to lead a healthy life. Marriage and having children are personal choices that need to be respected and not critiqued.
‘She got so fat after her pregnancy!’
Seriously, people, you need to stop! Men and women have often commented and body-shamed celebrities for gaining weight post-pregnancy. And the same is done to the women in their lives too. What they fail to see, however, is that every mother and every single body is unique. We need to stop imposing these set societal standards on every single person!
‘Three daughters! How are they ever going to get married?’
Well, in my opinion, God only gives daughters to the most fortunate and loving people. If you want examples, here they are – actor Lara Dutta has two sisters. Similarly, dancer Mukti Mohan has three other sisters. If you look around yourself carefully, you might just find a lot of parents living with their daughters rather than their sons.
Also, it is high time we stopped the practice of giving and accepting dowry. While we are talking about weddings, let’s also try inviting fewer people to the ceremonies, especially the ones who make statements like these!
‘He killed himself. Men are supposed to be mentally strong. Must’ve been a love affair!’ or ‘She killed herself. Girls are weak. Must be a love affair!’
People, stop teaching men to mask their emotions because ‘men don’t cry.’ Teach them to as in touch with their emotions as women are taught. And treat all the genders equally from the beginning.
Secondly, a lot of people I know have contemplated suicide at least once in her life. However, they wouldn’t do it because they will think of all the consequences first. And if they do take their own life, it is because they are going through something troublesome. They have thought of everything and every possible scenario and feel like they have nowhere to go.
Parents do take note: If a person chooses their love life over their family, it is due to poor helplessness on their part. This, ideally, shouldn’t happen and I believe families need to understand what their children are going through. Personally, I have witnessed four suicides that happened due to drugs, depression or family issues. These are the things we really need to address.
‘I am almost the same height as her’ (says someone who is three inches shorter). Or ‘I am taller than her’ (says someone who is one cm taller).
Dear parents and relatives, stop making height such a big issue. As for the other ‘well-wishers’ who say these things to others: Stop now! Change with the world and don’t blame your upbringing for everything. You have had time after that to think of the right thing.
If you think this is all that women hear, there’s more too! This statement holds the crown of our societal standards.
‘She’s darker than me/her partner.’
Dude, the only ‘dark’ thing that should interest you is the popular series titled ‘Dark’ on Netflix! Go watch it and keep your regressive mindset with you! It’s high time we got rid of this mentality, there really is no excuse to have such a mentality, either. Look at Sai Pallavi and read what she had to say about our standards of fairness and beauty.
‘I got a job at 22. Why are you still studying? When will you start your life?’
Ever heard KFC’s owner’s story? If not, go check it out!
‘Pet nikal gaya hai. Kam khaao’ (You seem to have some belly fat. Stop eating so much!)
If you feel like someone has gained some weight, the only way to tell them (if you desperately have to) is in private. Show them some concern and tell them what you feel without imposing it. For all you know, they might have some health issue causing it and might not want to talk about it publicly. Moreover, everyone’s weight to hip ratio is different and you don’t have the right to comment on that! Mocking them for it is simply bad.
‘I support love marriages, but I am going to marry the person my parents choose for me because I have been hurt/love my parents too much.’
Well, I don’t know about any of you, but I have heard this a lot. In a lot of these cases, immediately after a breakup, people go for an arranged marriage. Recently a cousin of mine had a breakup and after that, all she could talk about was how arranged marriages were the best and how she’s going for that.
Let me make something clear, just because you had a bad experience, doesn’t mean everyone else’s love life is also ruined. If you support love marriages, do it. Parental love doesn’t have anything to do with it! People often simply associate their ‘honour’ with arranged marriages, that’s it.
‘Everyone fights in their relationship. See how much they fight! At least my boyfriend isn’t like that.’
If you have to make statements like ‘at least my boyfriend isn’t like someone,’ means you are settling for him. Please don’t keep your standards for basic human treatment so low. Stand up for yourself and love yourself enough to know what you deserve!
A person has a fight with their boyfriend. Complains about him being a pig to a friend. After the fight is resolved, tells the boyfriend, ‘my friend thinks you’re a pig.’
This is something a lot of us may have seen in our teenage. And it was just as wrong then, as it is now. Downgrading or insulting your friend in front of your boyfriend or vice versa simply makes you a horrible person, nothing else.
‘Women break families. It happened to my relative/family friend. Even the Mahabharata and Ramayana wars were caused due to women!’
First of all, don’t your relatives/family friends have a responsibility towards their own family? Do you also think you don’t have any responsibilities toward your family? If so, let’s just stay away from each other.
Earlier, women weren’t as aware of the domestic violence laws as they are today. A lot of them still face torture and harassment for dowry, despite new laws. People who were considered ‘sidha’ (simple) had to become ‘tedha’ (cunning) because a woman made them lose their minds! Please look at the wives of these relatives and family friends who suffered at the hands of their in-laws forcing them to move out!
Also, please do read the epics. And understand that the lust and revenge for land and want to be in power and revenge against a woman for rejection at her Swayamwar were the primary causes of the wars in the epics. Men can and will often pin the blame solely on the woman.
Here’s how they often do it.
Wife: ‘Why didn’t you give me your shirt to clean?’
Husband: ‘You never reminded me.’
Or if a wife asks her husband why hasn’t he had water, he says because she didn’t remind him. And if the couple is unable to have children, the blame is placed solely on the woman’s shoulders and she is called names like ‘barren,’ etc.
But let’s end this on a positive note: Be a feminist and let’s support equality. Let’s try and change ourselves, only then will we be able to change the world!
Picture credits: FilterCopy’s video on single people on YouTube
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