Every now and then, I have guys question my ideology regarding feminism and they strive to prove that I’m a femi-nazi more than I can strive for real equality. And these are the half-wits that have it engraved in their heads that only women are feminists. Well, let me state it as bluntly as I can, If you’re not a feminist, you’re a shallow moron.
I bet majority of the women out there believe they are feminists. However, most of these women either have it all wrong or are hypocrites of their own nature. This in part, has led to men thinking it is all just a fad. What they don’t know is that some of us, including me, have been in circumstances that have helped us intrinsically cultivate the concept of feminism.
I currently live in an under-developed part of the nation but I know a lot of people here who agree with me, in this front but when it comes to exercising these ideas, they hesitate because “I’m a girl. I can’t be doing this.” I don’t understand how people can want reforms when they are stuck to “what will the society say?”. I am writing this with the frustration in my head, a result of my inability to explain to them, how they are contradicting what they’re trying to achieve.
Sometimes, even I may require to take a step back from practicing feminism and the only reason I may have to do it is because of the tenuous safety women have in this country. Therefore, I am not really asking much from these girls who are in need of equal rights. I want them to try and do as much as they can, in every little way possible, to be a feminist.
Marriage is a very auspicious event in every person’s life and as we all know, we Indians are quite accustomed to arranged marriages but after encountering the system of matrimonial arrangements in states like UP, Bihar, I have come to realize that these places are in a dire need to be fixed, as soon as possible. ( I apologize for generalizing but this is what I have seen in most cases around here.) So, the groom’s family is treated like the King of the world and they have the audacity to openly ask for dowry and the bride’s family has to face the embarrassment of negotiating which usually is fruitless. Despite this, they get to comment on the would-be bride and get her to become someone she really isn’t. Some comments include, “she is too thin/fat.” or “She isn’t fair enough.” for which the parents will promise them that by the time of the wedding, she would have acquired things, as per their wish. I wondered why the bride’s family is ready to stoop to such a level and then I was told that the groom’s market value is higher when he is from IIT/IIM or has a government job. Turns out, most parents have this criteria while screening for grooms. I still haven’t gotten to the worst part. After all these arrangements are taken care of, that is when the guy gets to look at the girl and if he likes how she looks, then he goes ahead and meets her. The meeting also takes place in the presence of other family members. Nevertheless, the two get to talk and in about one or two meetings, the guy decides if he wants to go through the marriage or not. If, by chance, the boy declines, then every word that was spoken by the girl during the meeting, is contemplated, overthought and somehow by the end, the girl is blamed for not being good enough for him. In the case where the guy is happy and accepts the proposal, they get married. Thus, in both cases, the girl has no say. Her opinion is not even asked for. This happened with a friend of mine and when I asked her why she did not tell her parents what she thought about the boy, she simply replied, the boy is from IIM, I can’t give them a reason that can counter that. When I explained to her, her folly, she told her parents that she did not like the guy because they didn’t seem to be compatible, to which ( I am not kidding ) her parents said “Who cares about what you think. Once you’re married, you’ll learn to be compatible.” . You should be saying that for love, damn it! Anyway, as you may have guessed, she has already come to accept that she is going to be a wife of someone who she thinks she can’t even make conversation with. GOD BLESS INDIA!
With more and more of such situations occurring around me, the more it kills me that I am unable to do anything about the state of women in India. I am not asking for Women in mine fields but I am asking for the little things, like letting me face the world and do things, day-to-day, with the same privileges of that of a man.