I know, I know. This is a light blog, it either rambles or rants. But then once in a while I am allowed to contemplate a bit too, right?
Anyways, it’s stale news that I am addicted to blog hopping. In fact, its like my morning tea, really looked forward to, very necessary to get me started, and if missed, the day doesn’t seem the same. And of course there is a pretty decent chunk of women bloggers in this list. And at some point of time, each one of them has come up with a feminist post.
I read them, think a bit about the situations they mention, form opinions on whether they are exaggerated or appropriate, and then, well, move ahead. And once, I happened to mention them to The Dude. If I remember right, I said something in the lines of ‘Man, you need to check out those feminist blogs! They are so angst ridden. I wonder why I don’t have such strong opinions on the matter; I am not a feminist at all.’
To which he very calmly responded saying; ‘That’s not true, it’s just that you haven’t faced a situation where you were asked to be a particular way because you’re a girl’. He also added ‘There is a feminist in you wanting to get out!’ Of course, he said this in a humorous way, but it definitely got me thinking if I had any views at all on the matter.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait too long too find out. Thanks to this friend I have at work. Now this guy is well educated, well read and has pretty strong views on almost everything under the sun. Which is usually why we have elaborate arguments on the messenger. But the one topic wherein we end up arguing the most is about ‘how women are different from men’. Now just to clarify, this guy never ever says women are lesser mortals, or deserve anything lesser than men. It is a completely different ball game with him.
Try this for a sample.
‘Women should not work, because they are surrounded by male colleagues, who at the end of the day, can have nothing but lecherous intentions towards their female counter parts’
Seriously, I mean seriously? That is probably the most obnoxious generalization I have come across for any particular ‘category’. And for heaven’s sake, it is ‘all men’ we are talking about here. And which by the way include the said friend too.
‘The girl I marry doesn’t need friends of her own. My mother, my relatives are always there, she can talk to them if she wants. Why does she need friends?’
I think this was one thing which had us argue for more than hour. Sad, we were wasting productive time, but I couldn’t help it. The girl doesn’t need friends, and this guy gets to decide that. What if she already has friends? Ah, she will apparently understand that he would rather want her to spend time with his family, and would gradually realise that this in fact, makes her happier. He has said this.
Oh there are many more gems like these. ‘Why do women have to wear skirts, or sleeveless tops, it’s so embarrassing!’ And ‘Women should know what a good time for them to go out is, what makes them think they walk on the middle of the road at 12 in the night?’ Oh, and this was just after the New Year’s Eve molestation issue that had happened in Mumbai. Of course, that meant another non-productive day at work for me, but could I help it?
Obviously, I happen to be and do every single thing which women in his opinion are not supposed to, atleast the sensible, good ones. And he never hesitates to say that, while emphasizing that it’s nothing personal. That very thing should probably put me off, and make me give up. What surprised me however was the level of irritation and anger statements like these generated in me, though what he thought affected me in no way. For some reason, I kept empathising with this imaginary girl, in hypothetical situations which she would have to face in her life, because she was destined to be with a person like him. And for this reason, I continue trying to convince him. I make blunt statements about how I pity the girl he ends up with, how ancient he sounds, how extremely generic and generalized and baseless his views are, and how what he thinks is being ‘protective’ is ‘oppressive’ in the true sense. I even try being all positive and ask all kinds of ‘what if’ scenarios to do with the girl he marries, hoping that someday he would give it all a thought, and accept what I say, or atleast part of it. I seriously doubt it though. But hey, atleast I gave it a try huh?
Bottom line being, The Dude’s right; I do some views on this, and pretty strong ones at that, only I never had to bring them out, thanks to the freedom I enjoyed all my life. No, I dont derive any fun from all these arguments I keep having, but they definitely did help me. One, they brought out a set of rigid views I never knew I possessed. And two, they make me even more grateful for the life I have.