Meet Ramesh. As a child he grew up in a patriarchal society.
He was told he could do what he wanted. He had choice and freedom. These
privileges made him powerful. And he was never told that with great power comes
great responsibility. So Ramesh would go around singing 'Mere baal bhi sexist,
meri chaal bhi sexist, meri shirt bhi sexist, mere pant bhi sexist...’ His mom
and sister would have to run around to fulfil all his wishes. Now a pretty girl
comes into his life. She is so pretty that Ramesh forgets his purpose in life -
to get his way - and follows her around. Having successfully broken his
saadhana, Menaka tells him, 'Abort the sexism. Only then will I, the empowered
one, go out for milk shake with you. Lust-filled Ramesh decided to kill his
sexist avatar, took a 'chill pyala' and they lived happily ever after.
If after hearing this story your question is...why is the
guy aborting anything...it is ‘women's dept.’…sorry Ramesh you are sexist!
My question is 'Aisa real life mein kyun nahin hota?'
Can the Menaka’s of the world break the Sexism saadhanas of
the Ramesh’s of the world? For what is a saadhana….a means to an end… and so is
the as-long-as-I-get-my-way-let-things-go-along-the-way-it-is attitude.
Sexism is all around us. It could be everyday sexism at home
- ‘No I don’t want to make the bed and fold the bed sheets. You’re better at
it’ or at work when you are asked to ‘take care of the guests’ only by virtue
of being a woman irrespective of your seniority in the organization. Unfortunately Aashima did do as asked by her
boss but most would. And the fact is they shouldn’t! Such inherent sexism
should be nipped in the bud. It has been my experience that men usually don’t
the patience to listen to what a woman has to say. Of course overlooking a
woman for a promotion in spite of her performance and the pay gap are larger
issues with larger consequences. All these issues arise from individuals who
subscribe to misogyny and believe in patriarchy.
While sexism is pervasive, not all men are sexists. For
sure. I won’t stereotype men because I know how it feels to hear stories
stereotyping us that begin with ‘Women are…’ To all the Feminist men out
there... a big ‘Jaadu ki Jhappi’.
The rest of you need to wake up and smell the coffee. Yes! On weekends, coffee will be the ‘cuppa of choice’
because that’s what the wife likes. Because 5 days of the week she has tea like
the rest of the family….lest someone is offended. Ok so nobody told her that no
one will be offended by her rebellious beverage choice…but nobody told her she
could do what she wanted either! So she just sipped along till she became a
Feminist. Must be the coffee cravings but she finally decided that ‘It’s My
Life. It’s my Java’. But what about Mr. ‘Chai lover’? Does he become a Feminist
by having to gulp down frothy yet kadwa coffee 2 days a week? Is that what a
Feminist wife wants- make the husband also suffer for 2 days because he needs
to understand what the wife goes through for 5 days? Or would he become a
Feminist by encouraging his wife to do what she feels like no matter which day
of the week…no matter whatever her choice is?
Feminism and Evolution
I have been wondering about this for a while now. I have
come to believe that without men accepting that gender disparity exists and
doing their bit to change rigid gender norms… the world is heading towards
definite doom. Haven’t you heard of ‘For every action there is an equal and
opposite reaction?’ So in order to ensure that the balance in the world is
maintained, we need men to become Feminists. As women evolve and find their
true place in society, so will the men need to become ‘woke’. We need the men
with the power of privilege that is bestowed upon them by the patriarchal
society we live in, to believe and support the cause of equality in the sexes
and join the Feminist movement.
The more I begin to understand Feminism, the more I wonder
how we got here in the right place. If only Eve had stood her ground and not
become subservient to Adam! If only she had been more like ‘Eep’ the rebellious
teenage daughter of an over-protective father ‘Grug’ and strong-willed yet
pleasant mother ‘Ugga’ in the animated movie ‘The Croods’. Set in a fictional
pre-historic era, Eep the female protagonist in the movie has a mind of her own
and is brave. It is her curiosity essentially that saved her family from
apocalypse leading them to the safe land of ‘Tomorrow.’ Along the way, unable
to tackle situations with brawn as he had been accustomed to, Grug learnt to
use his brain for coming up with innovative solutions. His inspiration was
‘Guy’ the uber cool and smart fella that Eep had befriended. After saving his
family in the end, Grug apologises for his past and promises to be more
open-minded. With Eep as a role model for women and Grug and Guy as a role
models for men, we would not have been here today…we would have been in the
heaven that was ‘Tomorrow’.
But what would make men want to give up their privileges to
become Feminists? Can only large-hearted empathetic men be Feminists in the
first place? Do you have to believe in fairness and non-discrimination in
general to accept that gender inequality has no place in today’s world? Do you
have to have seen your mother be ill-treated to learn to pledge to never behave
disrespectfully with women? Or do you have to see your father and uncle and
other relatives treat the women in their lives as equal partners? Or would you
just do it out of love?
What if your wife starts singing…”Ek garam coffee ka pyaala
ho. Koi usko pilane waala ho. Chaahe gora ya kaala ho. Feminist jaisa dilwala
ho.”? That should be cue for you to make your own cup of tea (learn here) and
while you are at it…make a cup of coffee (learn here) for your wife as well.
I urge sexist men to reach out to their open-minded self and abort
the growing sexism in and around them because evolution demands it. Become a
#FeministHero and get ready to jump across the chasm of inequality. Let’s take
a leap of faith…together. The heaven of the egalitarian ‘Tomorrow’ await us.
Labels: #BlogChatterA2Z Challenge, #FeministHero, A-Z of Feminism, A2Z Challenge 2018, Sexism