I have grown up amidst fascinating tales of Indian mythology. One thing however always intrigued me and that was the role of the female characters in every aspect that caused such drastic change of events. Every event described at Kurukshetra spiraled down to one dynamic character – Draupadi. While the entire war of Kurukshetra which made Mahabharata an undying epic, happened because of the dishonour that was meted out to her, all people can talk about is the bravery of Arjuna and the intelligence of Krishna. Noone wants to discuss the agony of a woman who if I may say was molested in front of her “drunk in ego” husbands who found it convenient to stick to their promise and honour themselves. It’s astonishing that she doesn’t get her bit of credit for tolerating dishonour and living with it. While I don’t intend to take away from the heroic acts displayed by the male character, it puts me off to think that the female characters are still dissected and their sanctity, questioned. So much, for bearing the brunt of having five husbands and tolerating demons. However, the one thing that every female character displayed throughout, was feminism.
Considering the contemporary situations, I sometimes wonder why feminism is now used as a curse word. Feminism, which caused revolutionary changes in the society, is abused everyday – left, right and centre. The weightage of the word is reducing everyday because people find it easier to give in and go with the flow rather than defying the norms by which I do not mean putting up pictures of bloody sanitary pads on our social media accounts. It shouldn’t be reduced to that. We are much more than our vagina and that’s the whole point.
On one hand, rape culture is weighing down upon feminism while on the other hand, bigotry is strangling it. Rape culture – some people deny the very existence of it and you know, there can never be a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist at all. While we are encouraging rape culture in every way, bigotry by the way, has become yet another phenomenon. People aren’t ready to listen.Bollywood, one of the many religions in India, is what stands for me as the epitome of bigotry. Since a huge percentage of the population gets influenced by films, the industry should be held responsible for nurturing ideas that shouldn’t be nurtured. Hilarious part of it all still is selective outrage over issues. Using communal vines to deal with an already communal issue reads as “an eye for an eye” and some people have quite evidently, turned blind already. They shove every bit of the bigotry under the banner of feminism, thus making it so meagre that the very concept of feminism stands as obscure as obscurity can prevail.
It astonishes me to think that people these days find it convenient to label a person cool or uncool based on whether he or she is a feminist or not. “Feminism is for fools”, they say, without realizing that several years back, a feminist had to fight for her opinion to matter, for her opinion to be heard because of whom, we feel so entitled. People find it easier to crack a joke on feminism than acting on it because it isn’t “cool” anymore, you see. People have gone to the extent of coining a new word – feminazi, for shaming feminists. While calling a feminist, a feminazi, is fine for them, calling a rapist, a rapist, will turn their whole world topsy turvy. While “I don’t care” is supposedly the attitude that cool people these days throw at others, it is absolutely hilarious that people cannot stop caring. They cannot stop caring about the aftermath of them declaring themselves feminists. They cannot stop caring about the backlash they’d receive on our social media sites. A stranger’s opinion about you should not be more important to you than the agony of a woman. We witness an absurd breeze of “anti-feminism” ,which by the way is selling well these days and people are giving in to it. We are struggling to find a thin line between “feminist” and “feminazi” or so we are made to believe. We are struggling to hold on to our beliefs.
Considering the more empowered section of homo sapiens – men – who didn’t have to fight for their right to speak or dress as they wished to, it is unfair on us feminists to be immediately declared “anti men” with the blink of an eye. With increasing crime rates which include murder, female foeticide, honour killing and sexual abuse, feminism is definitely the need of the hour and we shouldn’t have to struggle so much to accept it. You can abuse a feminist for declaring men as trashy but can you not see where it’s coming from? With all that’s happening in the country, can you really blame her for holding each of you responsible for women related crimes? Why can a man not shoulder the responsibility rather than questioning whether a feminist brings in his or her father and brother in the trash zone? You shouldn’t have to hide behind such an argument to escape explanations. If you are powerful in some way, use it, for making things better. In no way, would I advocate a disbalance here because let’s be very honest, the entire system is already disbalanced with people trying to grasp whatever small tit bits they can, to prevent change.
Our country being considered as one of the worst places regarding security of women only hints towards the fact that feminism is a prerequisite for each and every person from every point of view.
But all this is exactly why we need to go that extra mile and hold our heads high because it is here to stay. It is feminism.