Becoming a feminist amid misogyny — 1
The series will cover a small journey which turned me into a feminist. I was anything but. A little about me.
I grew up in a small city of Pakistan. The place was so filled up with misogyny that almost every woman you met would be a misogynist. Here people would routinely say words like “Aurat he aurat ki dushman hoti hai” — “A woman is a woman’s enemy”.
Here a mother has to spend a lifetime of savings to buy her girl furniture which she would take to her husband’s home otherwise she will not be accepted in the other family. Here they sell daughters. This is not the first world, we are talking of the third world. Here women have survival issues.
Naturally I grew up to be a misogynist. I didn’t know anything but misogyny, there was no other choice. My mother still tells me that at the end of the day you’d be happy with someone who knows how to cook good.
This deep rooted misogynistic upbringing and with my love for the thoughts of people like Sean Penn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Chris Brown, Bill Cosby, Clint Eastwood and Roman Polanski. Those politician boys too. I religiously followed hundreds of such people for six years, with 20 years of early upbringing in a society where they really don’t like giving options and this huge global misogynist forces ready to unleash their skill on my blank canvas, I became a true misogynist.
Then I talked to someone. I really like to talk, ask the people around me, they will tell you. I really really like to talk. I am a big fan of Pink Floyd and Stephen Hawking. So in a song of Pink Floyd, Stephen Hawking says keep talking so I keep talking.
While talking she explained this song for one instance.
Bring me to life by Evanescence.
I am going to explain her explanation of the song. Please follow.
“How can you see into my eyes like open doors?
Leading you down into my
core where I’ve become so numb
Without a soul my spirit’s sleeping somewhere cold
Until you find it there and lead it back home
“Amy was with someone, he could really see through her. He understands her, he pushed his fingers down into her body into her existence, he touched her spirit with his bare fingers and held it with his warm palm He pulled it back to life.
Wake me up)
Wake me up inside
(I can’t wake up)
Wake me up inside
Call my name and save me from the dark
(Wake me up)
Bid my blood to run
(I can’t wake up)
Before I come undone
Save me from the nothing I’ve become
In fact, our hero could do so because he was dead inside too. He wanted someone to talk to. They both wanted each other to save them. They both are calling to unleash each other. They break all the chains and they both rule the world together
Now that I know what I’m without
You can’t just leave me
Breathe into me and make me real
Bring me to life
After bringing Amy back to life, Josh must not leave her. He just can’t. She wants him to hold her hand and take her with him and she will add on to it too. All she wants is that they go up together as a team. I have no idea if they did go like that or not. I am a philosopher not a stalker.”
Listen to the rest of the song with this context and you will see a different picture.
Now I am a rocker. A true one. We have some queens, yes we do but generally women aren’t rockers. They are Taylor Swift. Yes I judge people on music. But here we have Evanescence. This band created the genera of Gothic metal or Gothic rock or both probably. Yes this music attracts a lot of zombie teenagers but at the core of it, the music is still good enough to be deemed not only as rock, not only as metal but a new form of these two. This woman created music we men are proud of. Here is what she says about feminism.
“There are a lot of people in the industry right now that try to come off as, in a way, feminine, and that they’re standing up for their rights as women by giving men exactly what they want. And that just doesn’t make any sense to me. Like, ‘I’m a woman, so I can do whatever I want and take off all my clothes, which just happens to conveniently sell the most records. So, I don’t think that’s feminism at all. Feminism is being able to be yourself and not try to please everyone and not try to be what everybody wants you to (be). And not try to gear everything you are toward turning guys on so they buy your album. Not that sexuality is wrong, it’s great. It’s human. We’re supposed to be that way. But there’s a lot more to the human brain and the human body than just sex.“
Here I see nothing wrong. If this is feminism there is nothing wrong with feminism. All that she is saying is, give me an equal chance and I will add beauty to your cruel hard world. I will bring love and empathy. This world is a beautiful place let’s both add our beauty to it and let’s make the world a better place. She doesn’t want to kill you all. You want to do that. You would judge someone just because they are physically weak. You in your stone age thoughts think that because someone is physically weaker, you have power over them. Women are as brainy as men. Period. You however do not agree to that fundamental law and make up science to prove otherwise. Here we the proud misogynists cross the line. We break the bro code, we forget the guidelines of chivalry. We make someone love us just to break her heart.
At this point misogyny seems nothing but something repulsive. And you go as far away from it as possible. You find shelter in feminism.
This was just the story of a one particular song of a particular talk. There were hundreds of these talks and these talks made me a feminist. I was never an easy soldier to fall boys.