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As a cis het woman I was pleasantly surprised to relate to lives of women of diverse sexualities and gender identities as I read their experiences; so mustn't I fight for all women?
As a cis het woman I was pleasantly surprised to relate to lives of women of diverse sexualities and gender identities as I read their experiences; so mustn’t I fight for all women?
The Rainbow flag aka the Pride flag is representative of the various diverse sections and sexualities under the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.
The original flag, designed by Gilbert Baker had eight stripes. Today’s version has six colours, but there are many other variations and versions that are popular.
When I first read Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars, I was surprised by how relatable the story of a lesbian was to a cishet person like me. That was the first time I began to realize that their struggles against oppression weren’t alien to even women like me.
Then I read Vivek Tejuja’s So Now You Know: Growing Up Gay in India and found it another relatable read. All the experiences that he talks about like wanting to find that special someone or parents not being empathetic enough, or extended family not taking you seriously because you don’t have the same interests as them is something that’s not specific to only one gender or sexuality.
There has always been a gnawing thought in my mind: As someone who truly believes in equality for all, I’ve not really done enough for using my voice for the LGBTQIA community. And this thought always bothered me.
After reading Can We All Be Feminists?, the urge to be more vocal about intersectional feminism became stronger.
If I wasn’t using my privilege, voice, and position to fight for ALL women, what kind of feminist even was I?
And while I don’t have the lived experience to be able to write on intersectionality (also because I am still myself learning about it), I realized I can use my art to spread awareness about it instead.
A lot of times, I’ve heard people say that movements like Pride Parades or Black Lives Matter are divisive to the mainstream feminist movement. That it distracts from the main fight, and proves to dilute the voices.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. After reading books like Can We All Be Feminists? I am convinced that the burden of being inclusive shouldn’t fall on the marginalised. It should be the responsibility of the majority, privileged, to make space for them, empower them, and use our voices to make theirs stronger (without hogging that time and space for ourselves).
In the newer variations of the Rainbow flag, black is representative of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. And I’m glad that there are enough solid black lines in this mandala to stand for that too.
For me, the white spaces in this mandala are a representation of the cohesiveness and inclusivity that we as a society should strive for.
It stands for a dream that one day all communities will exist peacefully and in harmony with each other.
It stands as a rejection of the idea that all these movements undermine mainstream feminism.
It is an endorsement of the sentiment that is the underlying theme of the book Can We All Be Feminists, that if we’re not fighting for the equality of ALL women, what kind of feminists even are we?
It is a hope that someday we won’t need a single month in a year dedicated to celebrate diverse sexualities and gender equality but will do it all year round, each day, every day.
Happy Pride Month, everyone.
Image source: Divya Agrawal on Unsplash
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Piyusha Vir is a writer, artist, a CELTA-certified English Language trainer, and a Creative Writing Coach.
She was awarded the Top 5 position in the Orange Flower Awards 2018 for the category of Writing read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, indivisual posts do not necessarily represent the platofrom's views and opinions at all times.
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Before expecting the daughter in law to love, respect and accept the new family, it is only fair that the family demonstrates all of these first.
If you are a married Indian woman, one of the first words you hear from your in laws is that you are now a daughter of the house. How true is that statement though? Are daughters in law really treated as daughters or is this only lip service?
A friend recently confided how hurt she felt when she wanted to visit her in-laws along with her husband but was told not to, because the in-laws wanted time alone with their son. Naturally, she was taken aback since she had always been fed this trope – that she was the daughter, not the daughter in law. Why then this sudden keeping at arm’s distance? Would a son in law ever be told not to accompany his wife on her visit to her parents because they wanted quality time with their daughter? That is unimaginable in a patriarchal society.
It is ok to want time alone with the married offspring but how does that meld into the Indian family system, where independent choices are less important than the whole family coming together?
Beauty is a very clever, very evil capitalist tool. It traps those who have it into hanging on to it for dear life and those who don't into mutilating, torturing themselves to achieve the unachievable.
I recently wrote a piece about MP Shashi Tharoor’s tweet in which he had shared a pic with six women parliamentarians tagging them and saying “Who says the Lok Sabha isn’t an attractive place to work?”
There was a rash of comments on the post shared on Instagram, which ranged from “chill, it’s just a compliment” and “stop overthinking compliments”, to (worried) men lamenting about “these feminazi”.
Here’s my answer to all those comments.
Here are some of the best LGBTQIA+ posts that have been published on Women's Web in the past 10 years. #ADecadeOfWomensWeb #PrideMonth
Here are some of the best LGBTQIA+ posts that have been published on Women’s Web in the past 10 years. #ADecadeOfWomensWeb #PrideMonth
It’s Pride Month, and it is but fitting that we begin the showcasing of the best posts in various categories as part of our 10 year anniversary celebrations, #ADecadeOfWomensWeb, with those that speak of LGBTQIA+ lives, experiences, and issues.
As I’ve said a lot of times, the way to support women is through a sisterhood that hears them, and amplify their voices. Nowhere is this more true than in the case of the LGBTQIA+ community, where people are often deemed invisible, and even actively persecuted.
From being a male Bharatnatyam dancer to starting India's first DragCon in Hyderabad, this man did not have an easy life. This is his story of drag and dance!
From being a male Bharatnatyam dancer to starting India’s first DragCon in Hyderabad, this man did not have an easy life. This is his story of drag and dance!
At the age of five, my father pulled me out of school early, one day and rushed me to an auditorium. Somehow, we got the front row seats and I kept wondering what movie it was. To my surprise, I saw a dynamic figure perform Bharatnatyam.
She was none other than Guru Smt. Chitra Visweswaran and that was my first exposure to dance. I wanted to see myself as a dancer. A few weeks later, I ended up taking Bharatnatyam classes. Being the only guy in the so-called ‘dance class for girls’ and the only male dancer in my town, got me a lot of cat calls. From being bullied in school to my parents getting free advice to stop my dance training, we have seen it all. It was all a part of it, and both my father and I were stubborn about my dance.