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If A Woman Makes A Mistake, It Cannot Be A Reason To Shame Her Forever!

Do you recognise that a woman might have made a mistake due to an error of judgement, or do you slut shame her? The answer will tell you if you're a feminist or not. 

Do you recognise that a woman might have made a mistake due to an error of judgement, or do you slut shame her? The answer will tell you if you’re a feminist or not. 

I must have been in my late teens, when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke out. It didn’t seem that complicated. Monica Lewinsky was ‘that woman’. The slutty one. The bitch. At the very least a ‘homewrecker’ who broke up a ‘happy household’ with her scandalous behavior.

That was that, end of story.

Everyone around me had pretty much the same opinion. Back then (in India, at least) things such as ‘women’s virtue’ was still big. Don’t know, maybe it still is.

The point is, nobody spared a sympathetic thought to the young woman in her early twenties who made a colossal mistake. Let’s face it, she was wholeheartedly shamed. And everyone loved it!

Especially women.

It is only now that people are talking about her in somewhat understanding terms. It is only after about 20 years, a TED talk, a funny Twitter handle, and other media appearances – that  this ‘woke’ society is moving closer to forgive or at least listen.

We’re more accepting, though shaming still happens

While I am glad that people are getting closer to forgiving ‘bitches’, it is a slow process. Shaming, still happens. Especially by women, towards other women.

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It is in the form of mothers-in-law collectively bitching about their daughters-in-law who want to be the boss of their sons but can’t even cook a decent dal. It is in the form of office coworkers casually gossiping against that other woman, who doesn’t quite fit the mold because of the way she dresses. It is in the form of high school girls dissing their classmate just because she is just plain different.

Women supporting women is the core of feminism. And we fail miserably at that.

Which brings me to Japanese anime.

Feminism should be about accepting other women for exactly what they are

Now I am by no means an expert (having only watched a few movies and serials at my young niece’s bequest). But recently I happened to watch a movie called ‘Kiki’s delivery service’. It is a nice movie. My 7 year old loved it – it is about a broom riding young witch after all!

But what struck me most is how casually feminist the movie is – and I don’t think it is even trying to be.

When young Kiki ventures out of her home to strike out on her own, a bakery owner (an expecting single mother herself) takes her in. In Kiki’s coming of age journey, she meets several other women of all ages – an artist living alone in the middle of the woods, and old lady ignored by her own family, among others – before Kiki herself finds her wings and saves her ‘prince’ (in an odd twist for cartoon movies, because isn’t it always the other way around?)

This is how ideal feminism looks like, to me. As a way of life.

Image source: YouTube

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