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Monday, 20 April 2015

Woe to be a feminist in this day and age!!!! The age of complete chaos….the time when it is unfortunate to even possess the wrong set of genitals in India….Whatever are we carping on about sisters??…. The subcontinent today is no place to even be a woman, this a place where the male of the species are so evolved, that they think nothing about throwing acid on ‘the hot chick who didn’t spread her legs for them, at the first crook of their finger’…..

Forget the so called annoying ‘vintage obsessed hipsters’ in the West my friend, the subcontinent has men soooo into the vintage and are such huge medieval age obsessed nuts; that they think nothing about abducting innocent girls belonging to the backward caste under the notion that it is still cool to exercise, the ‘droit du seigneur’, that reprehensible medieval notion that men in positions of power used to rape innocents and leave them without any personal liberty whatsoever.

So then my dear reader, I ask you; is it easy to be a feminist in the subcontinent, when it is difficult being a female? A few days ago a woman, whom I hold in high regard lamented at the stagnation of the women’s movement in India. Stagnation??? I couldn't help but disagree with her, I pointed out that post the December 16 Delhi Gang-Rape incident, we came together and fought for better laws…I stated that we have made our stance about zero tolerance to violence against women known more than ever before..So how was the women’s movement in India stagnating?

She countered by asking me a simple question that shattered all my smug self assurances about being a modern and emancipated feminist in India…. “Do you still carry that pepper spray and are still extra careful in crowds?”

I was floored. I realised that I really have been living in a fool’s paradise for the past couple of years. There are extremely disturbing reports of rapes, acid attacks, dowry deaths and other terrible instances of violence against women in the news every few days. Perhaps, the frequency of reported incidents have increased, but to what end? Are we able to prevent any of it? We express anger, outrage, regret and in some cases even fear, yet soon after, we cocoon ourselves in a sense of complacency and even go as far ahead as blaming ourselves, society, the government and alarmingly even the victim....but never the perpetrator...As if finding fault, will suddenly cause all these terrible incidents to stop.

I can’t seem to help but ponder on my own sense of shame, post the thin bubble that I was living in burst. Why shame? Why that particular sentiment? Yes, it is indeed shame that I feel, that, coupled with rage. Have I really been so disconnected with reality? So secure in my feminist beliefs that have arisen from my privileged and excellent education that I completely forgot what being a feminist really means.

I think, I am amongst those who got lost and have found my way back. I realise that I have a long way to go, before I am justified in claiming to be a feminist and a women’s rights activist. I found the very foundations of my outlook and beliefs burnt to ashes; only to find that there is still life, like the phoenix, my beliefs and faith have risen, renewed. There is hope still, as there are women like my friend who are perceptive enough to see the stagnation behind fancy speeches, and jolt even a smug, insular feminist such as yours truly out of complacency. So yes, woe to be that kind of a feminist indeed! I end this article with a fresh resolve to try and bring about an actually useful change before calling myself an activist again.    

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