‘Why I am not a Feminist:’ a Peek into the psyche of a Common Indian Man
- IWB Post
- October 20, 2014
This Blog is written from the 1 person of Mr. N, who lives next door. He can be your colleague, your friend – you can find him walking in the streets. Nothing is very special about him, only that he is in majority. And his opinion is counted. But… we believe that one day, this Mr. N will become a Driver of the Change.
I feel very uneasy, when I hear the word ‘feminist’. After all, it is different to speak up for women’s rights and denounce chauvinism just for the sake of being politically correct, but it is something else in its entirety to really give a woman her due in the society. I never miss a chance to speak about the need for gender equality at the work place as a part of my efforts of being a 21st century man but when I see a female colleague of mine getting promoted before me, it is I who subtly fuels the gossip that it is her looks and not her competency is the reason behind her promotion.
There are a lot of shortcomings of being termed as a feminist. It would subject me to the scrutiny of the people around me and make it extremely difficult to maintain the shroud of hypocrisy as I do now. My chivalry seems to be unperturbed when I see an elderly woman stumbling towards me in a crowded public bus and the thought of offering her my seat never crosses my mind. I try to drown the voice of my conscience by looking out of the window and staring lustily at the homeless young mother breastfeeding her child in the pavement. It is not that I don’t ever feel any guilt, but surely it is not my fault that we live in a world like this where this is how things are. Even if I try to reform myself, would it make any difference or will the rest of my fellow countrymen change their attitude towards women? So it’s absolutely futile for me to wake up from my slumber and take up the initiative to make a difference.
Nowadays we often get to hear about objectification of women and how it is alarmingly taking over a large section of the society. I am always the first one to protest against it when I am in the company of those feminists who champion women’s rights because otherwise people will see my true self and know how sexist I am. But don’t worry! Afterwards I definitely do my bit to contribute towards the issue of objectification of women by forwarding morphed pictures and sexually explicit material in Whatsapp and Facebook to my group of likeminded friends. Pornography must be banned! That is my staunch belief… well in the morning. In the night however I am a proponent of freedom of speech and expression which for some reason covers nothing but only the websites streaming live porn videos.
Tradition and culture are inherent parts of Indian society, and women have been worshiped as goddesses from the beginning of time. However it never disturbs me to restrict a little goddess from getting the same love and affection that is showered on her brother. The education of girls often takes the backseat, and she is solely raised with the objective of being married off to another family. The irony is that all this happens in the same country where prayers are offered to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom and most importantly a woman. It is me who doesn’t find anything wrong in the male gaze but strongly condemn western clothes and Chinese Food which are the actual underlying reasons behind increasing cases of sexual violence.
It is difficult to maintain this façade if I am termed as a feminist. Speaking of women empowerment and at the same time doing my part to worsen the situation for the girl child in this country is so much better than the job of being a full time feminist. After all we all have to stick together to keep the women from getting it all! Isn’t it?
By Deep Mukherjee,