Sunday, August 12, 2007
A line in one of my favourite woman’s magazine saddened me. Woman’s mags, as u know, are mostly run by women editors, caters to the modern woman and contains explicit feminist content. I loved them, though not always agreed with them.
This particular write up that caught my attention was on women giving birth out of wedlock. Now conceiving illegitimate children are looked down with disgrace in most parts of the world. So I would have been glad had the magazine voiced against singling out the female parent and crucifying her when the male parent goes scot-free. But the magazine’s concerns are that though the child can claim maintenance from the father, the mother has no such provision. Excuse me, why would the mother claim such a provision? ( I know there are similar provisions pertaining to marriage laws, but when you are not bound by marriage, you can claim none).
You can only say one of the two – either that women are on par with men and should be meted out with equal treatment OR that women are indeed the weaker sex and hence need special treatment. You really can’t have the best of both worlds. Though the father is also responsible for the upbringing of the child, why would he provide for the mother who is an adult herself and ‘equal’ to the father? Doesn’t such a demand clearly state that women are weaker? Now do I sound anti-women ? Well.. I can be a feminist of the fiercest kind. I think all women should be. But double standards of pseudo –feminists don’t work with me
Pseudo -feminists are best seen during beauty pageants, when they are at the forefront shouting slogans, protesting against the exploitation of women. Hello feminists! Who is exploiting women here? Have you ever heard of beauty queens who had to bare it all at gun point? When a bunch of women strip to their inner garments to parade on stage for instant recognition, fame, money and glamour, it really isn’t exploitation, it’s celebration time for them! . Probably a celebration you cant be part of. But you won’t let it go so easily, would you? You attach yourself to it in every possible way so that u get a small share of the fame and media space. Now, why do you protest only against the the Ms World’s and Miss India’s and not Mr. World’s and Mr India’s? Ah! Sorry. I forgot that you don’t care about men’s rights or the exploitation of men. But what u do at the end of the day is let men do what they want to do, and protest when women do the same thing, just because they are women. Isn’t this the biggest discrimination against women?
Sometimes I wonder whether I have a distorted feministic view. I see buses with seats reserved exclusively for women (at least in that part of the country where I live). And though I’m glad that I have to fight it out with fewer people for the reserved seats, something inside me detests it.. (But I don’t listen to my inner voice always; I can do it at more convenient occasions. Gee!). Come on! Its not that women don’t have the strength to endure a half an hour’s journey. Why are efforts always being made to convey that we are weaker and hence should be pitied upon ?
Similarly, whenever Iam at the receiving end of a sometimes-genuine-but mostly- pretentious chivalrous act , I am more embarrassed than impressed. (well.. I’m generally touched, yet resist it) I can open doors, carry bags , pull chairs, travel alone and spend money too! Don’t give me special attention. Because I’m neither special nor weak. I just believe I’m equal, though in a rather different way. So doesn’t this make me a feminist - as I said before - of the fiercest and maybe the wierdest kind?. But we cant really have it that easy, fellow beings. Don’t we always say we are tough too? So prove it!