Friday, November 13, 2015

Attempting dialogue

on Women's rights almost always leads to whataboutery. "What about women who file false dowry harassment cases, false rape cases", etc. etc. etc.
While I sympathise with the family and the persons involved in such false cases, the harassment when someone is wrongly legally victimized, in my opinion, should not be gender sensitive. 

There aren't enough women in politics. Not enough girls in schools. Still not enough girls remain in wombs. Those who survive are malnourished. Not many women in the boards of huge corporates. The average woman still makes 60% less for the same job, qualification, experience than a man. (I can send the data if you like. I got the data during the mentorship program). Women owning lands, property are still a minuscule minority.  The numbers are scary even in 2015. Rape cases, I am inclined to believe has thankfully found more reportage though the crime itself is nothing to be proud of. I wonder if there is a sudden surge in incidents or if there have always been as many cases but the women and their families come out to lodge complaints only now. However, the number of rape cases in countries like the US far outnumber India's. 

I often receive this advice about not to tweet about 'serious' issues being someone involved in the film industry. It will affect my 'image' they'd say. I was told, I should be tweeting about make-up (which sadly horde and not use), cute puppies (I do tweet about) and other 'fluff'. More fluff, less serious. More girl, less feminist, I am advised. 

Though it is difficult for me to be this 'fluffy' person on social media or otherwise, I got a tweet the other day advising I must put an end to this "over feminism". I fail to understand what "over feminism" is.

So many of us don't read much, don't listen enough to others PoV, have a frail idea about history (which also involves reading conflicting accounts, coz as someone remarked, history is what some historians agree upon) and a lack of curiosity / inquisitiveness on various things. Weren't we all curious as children? When did latent curiosity die to lame acceptance of what is shoved down our ears and packed into our grey cells?

Today, the average man reacts negatively to a woman who tweets her opinion on an issue that is assumed to be in the man's domain. He reacts negatively to a woman's tweet on getting unwanted attention with "Oh, she is doing this for more attention". However this is not just a man's problem. I have seen women react similarly. "She is asking for it" is used way too often. 

Why is feminism a bad word? Why do so many react negatively to it? Men like Jyotirao Phule and Mahakavi Bharathiyar were examples of early feminists but sadly, not many men chose to follow their footsteps. If they had, perhaps India today would have been an example on the equal society many believe is utopian. Someday perhaps. Someday.


Anusha said...

I work in the corporate world and in my company, I am the only female person among 6 other people who is heading projects. Fortunately for me though, in my company I am treated an equal and there is no gender bias when it comes to handling out assignments or taking up challenges. More often than not, some of our own female counterparts put this constraint on themselves that they cannot stretch and complete work when it requires or they cannot travel for assignments or they cannot work with men. I have seen this in my day to day life as a professional. It is not just the men of this society but even women themselves who making them feel inadequate, below par or incapable. There are always instances in my line of work where I had to deal with men more learned than an average person, yet when it comes to shaking hands professionally, they always are queasy. Not sure if this is because they don't think me fit enough for a handshake or our so called culture comes into play.

Maternity leave is one of the biggest players in corporate. When a woman takes off to nurture her child, she is somehow deemed unfit to join back the race for career. But then again, some of our women also make it difficult for the rest of us. When a woman earns equally as a man (at least in my domain) for the same experience or job profile, they somehow have a numerous excuses when it comes to completing the work and they play the gender card almost always. Not everyone is like this, but there are a lot who belong to this category, which goes to generalizing the entire community. I am saying this after being in this industry for over 10 years now.

As always there is 2 sides to a coin. I guess as humans, we all need to start respecting each other first and ourselves for what we have the potential for. Only then can anything else be possible in our truly egotistic society

Vishnu said...

I don't think as I was the person to comment here but after going through the words and a comment by someone ..
We are adjusting our self in this contemporary world especially in India following some rituals and having some boundaries .
If an agitation raised over a issue that relates a female the entire nation would wake from slumber as if they are really caring for them but I ponder in my 22years of life never noticed it for men.of course there are many gender differences in ideology,decision making,prioritising,...,,,.

After stating this there should be conclusion it seems maturity of understanding things that should come from ,not from cramming exams or the studies but the perception of things what we are seeing should be implemented ...

Hope for a mature western life ,already teached by an author CHALAM.

Ravi said...

Feminism has become a bad word in many instances because of the rationale behind it. Instead of striving towards standing up for the cause of women (where they have unjustly been suppressed by their virtue of being a woman), most times, feminism resorts to men-bashing and blaming men for every unfair treatment a woman is meted out with. And when in most cases, the perpetrators of such injustice are women themselves, there is justification or mere silence ( At homes too, the viscious characters are mostly the mother-in-law, sister-in-law, co-sister, daughter-in-law and the number who fall in any of these category greatly outnumbers the male couterparts. So who is failing who?).

And always career/career growth is considered as a yardstick for women's emancipation - why? Many home makers choose to remain so because they see themselves playing a greater role at home than in any company and I agree this job of a mutli-tasker at home is seldom acknowledged or appreciated - not just by men but by other women and even by the women who play the role themselves.

I read a nice meme somewhere - more or less in these lines: "A woman is not equal to a man. She was not meant to do all that a man does. She was created to do all that a man CANNOT do".