Being a feminist has bought a whole lot of realization in me, if not anything else. The realization about things that are big and small, things I was wrong about and things I was right about, things I need to change in me and things I need to keep in me, and above all, things I need to change in the society.
I realized that I was lucky my parents didn’t kill me when I was born(in a country where the Sex ratio is still 927 female for every 1000 male, because women are considered a “burden to the family”) I realized that even if I do the same job, I would be paid less than what a man gets. I realized that I’m labeled impure because I have my periods. I realized that some stereotypes may actually become, or may I say, will be made universal truths some day. Stereotypes like women can’t drive, women are angry because they have their periods, short hair means you are automatically attracted to other women and much more.
I realized that women don’t have a choice. No choice to have multiple guy friends, because that would make you a slut. No choice to go out after dark because who knows, your beauty may tempt someone to rape you. No choice to wear short clothes, because your short dress means you are “asking for it”. And in the end, you have no choice to say “NO”.
I realized that like a woman is forced to be feminine, a man is forced to be manly. A man can’t cry, because “Mard ko kabhi dard nahi hota”.A man has to be the bread earner and earn for his mom, his dad, his wife, his kids and also pay for his sister’s marriage. Isn’t this too much?
I realized that people still believe in stuff like” Men may be lacking Virtue, be Sexual perverts, immoral and devoid of any good qualities, and yet women must not cease to worship or serve their husbands”. Or stuff like “It’s the duty of all husband’s to exert total control over their wives. Even physically weak husbands must strive to control their wives”.A guy named Manu wrote a book full of such misogynistic ideas, and people still follow it. Must have been a bestseller I guess.
I also realized that there’s a taboo attached to the term “feminist”. Being a feminist has become a huge deal, with scores of celebrities shying away from being termed a feminist. There is a kind of uncoolness attached to feminism. Why doesn’t Shahrukh Khan want to sound pro-feminist? Why does Priyanka Chopra have to say that her show Quantico is not feminist? I really can’t find any logical explanation for this.
Has all this realization made the world a better place for me? No. It has actually made me aware of how bad it is, cause now I know what the reality is. And I need to do my part. I need to work to make it a better place. Everyone needs to work to make it a better place. The day I realized this, that’s when I became a feminist.