We may have evolved, but our ideas of gender have not evolved. As an adolescent, I’ve had the toughest time identifying myself as a feminist, solely because the word did not sound gender-neutral enough to me. I used to argue that we should all instead be ‘equalists'! But one look at the things happening in the world around us was good enough to understand why the word sounds just the way it must. I know it is not a good thing to spew rage first thing in the morning, but that is just what I’m about to do. I am angry. You too should be.
When the city of Bangalore celebrated the new year’s eve by assaulting and groping our women, lawmakers and politicians came out to defend the assailants, saying that the women brought it on themselves by "copying the Westerners”. Apparently our women are deviating from the Indian culture and hence deserve no better.
If a woman wears short skirts, lip gloss, and high heels, it is for herself. It is in no way an invitation for depraved men to come and grope her. Sadly, we - men and women alike - are products of a society that has taught us that a man is more important than a woman. So it’s easy for our elected representatives to say “But these things happen all the time. It’s no big deal!” and to make lewd remarks like “Women are like sugar and men are ants”. And when these ignorant, idiotic ‘leaders’ say so, they are also nurturing a whole new generation of chauvinists, bullies, and rapists. Of course I am angry. Why shouldn’t I be? But I am also hopeful. A feminist world is a fairer one where everyone, irrespective of gender, gets equal opportunities, respect, and treatment. But knowing something intellectually isn’t the same as feeling it emotionally. I am a feminist, married to a feminist, and I live in a feminist household. I know I am not the only one. It’s time for us to spread our influence and start healing the world one person at a time