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What Jada Pinkett Smith did or was doing, would have had more impact than what Will did, but Chris Rock and his insensitive joke, which would have died its natural death, was made immortal.
If it were not for the ‘one tight slap’, no one would have cared for the lame joke by Chris Rock.
To be very frank, I didn’t know about him till Oscar night. Why should I? I enjoy our own desi comedians and make sure to laugh with the jokes or roasting they do. After all, that is what they are paid for, and called for entertainment.
What shocked me more after watching the clip online was that even Will Smith laughed at the joke Chris Rock cracked at his wife. Maybe, after watching his wife rolling her eyes, the ‘protective husband’ or the ‘male’ within him woke up, walked, climbed, and raised his hand for the slap. Then while accepting his award, he realized that the joke was actually on him.
Chris Rock and his insensitive joke, which would have died its natural death, was made immortal. What Jada Pinkett Smith did or was doing would have had more impact than what her husband did, isn’t it?
Her silence spoke a million words. Come on; the lady had the strength to walk bald headed on the red carpet of the Oscars so gracefully! The lady whose ‘red carpet look’ was perfectly accessorized with silver earrings, emerald stone fitted gold ring, green satin heeled sandals, and didn’t feel the need for a wig; doesn’t need a man to stand for her.
The ’Will Smith’ incident made me revisit our own ancient Indian text “Manusmriti.” I haven’t read the original Law of Manu but have known it in my grandma’s story when she mentioned how the woman is dependent on men in her life. First father and brother and then husband and son for protection or survival. My grandmother was a strong, independent and educated woman, and her words were laden with sarcasm while narrating those words to me. She never missed mentioning to me that make yourself strong enough so that you don’t need a man to stand for you. That’s different that I never needed a man to stand for me.
I grew up protecting my obese brother from being teased and earned the title of “hunterwali” in school, and yet it was me tying ‘rakhi’ to him. My adolescence was lost in being a mother to my father, who lost his son in an accident.
My married life was a struggle to get recognized as a human being in my marital home for more than twenty years. I was trying to adjust and accept the outdated so-called traditions, very outdated, bearing the burden of the veil in the name of respect, giving control of ‘my life’ to strangers who were supposedly my family. Yet the man never stood to protect my dignity and freedom, definitely not like Will Smith, not even for fear of his silence affecting our relationship.
Then I realized that silence does not always speak a million words. Sometimes you have to shout at the top of your lung to be heard. You have to speak to make an impact. Like, picking up a stick to be called hunterwali or being the strength of the man who became the victim of destiny or shedding the skin of being a “sanskari bahu“ to be human. A human with flesh and blood who knows how to stand up, what to wear, when and how to speak and be a member of the family even while being an outsider.
Trust me! It gives satisfaction, and I believe every woman has that inner strength. She doesn’t have to cultivate it. I am sure women’s power threatened the various sages whose random thoughts became the Manusmriti. What was the need to consider her the “guardian of dharma, custodian and transmitter of patriarchal values” and yet assign men to protect her? Imagine the Law of Manu even didn’t give women the right to patriarchal property?
Maybe assigning the men as a protector was an attempt to remind the men, even the men of the women’s lives, to keep their men-thing under control, and she will be protected.
So, all the women out there, you are strong enough to take a stand for yourself, and the sooner you do, the happier you will be. And for the men, stop standing for us. That’s the biggest favour you will do for us.
Image source: YouTube
Full time homemaker and part time writer, I write when emotions overflow and I want the world to read my thought. Writing the thought is important because we have forgotten the art of reading the read more...
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
It’s All In Your Head, M famed author Manjiri Indurkar’s debut poetry collection, Origami Aai, is independent and yet an extension of her memoir in which she speaks with utmost grace about all forms of abuses that she has survived. In this book of intriguing and evocative poems, the poet weaves words to form images of the everyday life of her middle-class family, love found and lost, trauma, and healing.
The collection is divided into four segments, beginning with the family, slowly moving towards the world, and finally colliding them together.
We aren’t in mourning, but we are creatures of habit.
So we talk of each one who died of drowning,
and I listen to her stories with the patience
of a chronicler.
– Funereal Stories
When someone accuses you of "too much feminism", what they are really saying is, "I am uncomfortable with you challenging the status quo and disrupting my privilege".
Time and again, there is one phrase that keeps coming up in the social media discourse on feminism. Any guesses?
Ah, no prizes for guessing the infamous “itni bhi feminist” or “too much feminism” phrase, a classic eye-roller for me, and I am sure for many more of my tribe, in the realm of gender equality discussions.
Pray tell me, how can an ideology, a movement be too ‘much’? It’s not salt or the seasoning of your soup where you can go, “Oops, too much salt, only one spoon was required”. Either you stand for what feminism stands for, or you don’t.
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