So, what’s common? What is it that weaves feminism together? There are many answers, but the one I like best is that it is a concern for women and a desire to see them recognised as complete human beings.

Perhaps because of feminism’s roots in the movement for women’s rights, the last part of that statement is important to me. Recognition. Recognition in the law, but not only there. Recognition in the minds of all people – men or women – that women are fully autonomous human beings. That they are entitled to all the things that men are entitled to. A presence in public spaces and fora, for instance.

And I’ll take that further in the next post – which, I promise, will not take as long to come up as this one.


5 Responses

  1. When there are so many physiological differences between man and woman,is it meaningful to even ask for equality? Division of labor has been morphed into the so-called oppression of women (as in the case of the cast system),and i dont think it exists in today’s world..maybe it does in villages that are 50 yrs behind with respect to the cities. I guess this situation is similar to the introduction of quota for backward classes,discrimination can never achieve equality.Is that what you wish to achieve by laws that discriminate women? this is not an inflammatory post or something derrogatory towards your feminist rationale..just hoping that this discussion benefits both ends

  2. Hi Erimentha! Just visited your blogs after more than a week’s gap. Frankly, I was a bit scared about being bashed and kept away. One knows that one needs to be scared when one knows one’s being moderated … particularly as an invitee.

    Anyway, I am glad Ram hit the nail right where it needed to be hit, in his comment above. Males are different from females. Period. When we talk of a marriage between a male and a female, we talk of a compatibility in the complementary sense, not in the sense that they must think alike. Of course, if the male and the female in a marriage are exactly the same, except for their bodies, it boils down to marrying just for sex, a concept which is a feminist’s proclaimed eyesore.

    I don’t have the good habit of reading up all the details about newly introduced laws all by myself. That I even know about the latest law in India about domestic violence is itself a testament to the fact that people know about it and are unhappy and scared enough to discuss it with me (of all people). When it says as much in plain words which aren’t the least bit obfuscated, there is no need to go deep into reading about it. Only those who want to justify such bias will be interested in all the shades associated with it. I am simply aware of what the law can land me in, and can think of a zillion situations where my nice intentions can land me in jail. Worst of all, these are situations I can’t even avoid because they are an essential part of where I want to be, from being part of nature.

    Those who are real culprits in domestic violence anyway will have a reason to resent those responsible for eventually locking them up. However, with a biased law, feminists are now resented by one and all, including some fair-minded girls! Actually girls might not strongly resent your ideas; perhaps, they just think them as stupid and not aligned with reality.

    You want to be recognized just like I want to be, but getting bad press by proclaiming descrimination against an entire section of population, the majority of which you haven’t seen, heard or smelt, isn’t the kind of recognition you may want. You may also have heard through others about the nature of men, but in a feminists’ forum, like in all forums, you only get an exaggerated picture! For example, it’s the stangest thing I heard that strangers are poking their penises at you or masturbating in your presence! I know some men can have all kinds of lustful intentions and may try rubbing their arms against your body in a crowded place, but putting exaggerations like that in writing already distorted reality!

    The problem you have when you resent being told is that you think you are being told only because you are a woman. Men get told many things too, but not necessarily the same things you are told, simply because they aren’t women!

    The problem is in the ‘inferiority complex’. Maybe, that’s not the correct description, so let me try elaborating. If you felt bad about a certain kind of treatment from a male person, do you immediately think that such treatment was BECAUSE you are a female person? If the answer is ‘yes’, you have that inferiority complex. For a woman in your position, there is no need for such inferiority complex, which is why I described it as ‘borrowed’. You are not fighting for what you don’t have, but what you THINK other women don’t have.

    In some posts, you attempted to glorify your womanhood, talking about aspects which are so common that they needn’t even be talked about. Such projections are also signs of inferiority. There also seems to be a mistaken belief that stating things out in public is a projection of freedom (actually emancipation). What do you have friends for? To state things out to, isn’t it?!

    If you did not like the way you were being treated by a person, just tell that person that you did not like it. It is as simple as that. The moment you tag yourself with being a feminist (a radical one at that!) you are allowing yourself to become a subject of resentment.

    Persons like me are aware at the back of our minds that we are interacting with women, when we are actually interacting with women, because we aren’t generally physiologically blind people. Like you said, women want to be treated exactly like women, and not like men! The treatment should however be ‘equal’ though not ‘same’????!!!

    I don’t know if being a man prohibits me from understanding that ‘equal but not same’ treatment; the fact is that I don’t understand how to treat like that! All I do is treat you differently from any other person, because you are different from every other person. In any case, I don’t complain about not completely understanding how you think. You are a woman and I am not! But more importantly, you and I are not the same person!! I don’t have a problem when you don’t think like me, except when you insist ‘2+2=3’! I don’t demand for equality where there isn’t and shouldn’t be, unless the reason for marriage is sex alone!

    Why do you want to give names to what you are like? Get your recognition for what you are as an individual. The -ism you associate yourself with invokes fear in many good men, who all love their wives. By presenting a bad picture of men in general, and through the consequences of its influence on other women in their actions against innocent men, you are just inviting more resentment than you are due for this life.

    You can try explaining all the existing shades of feminism at your blogs, but they all came about because of the actions of certain individuals. Don’t associate those individuals with a common feature and rob them off their individualities. Recognize the fact that greatness is rare and comes in complete packages; you can’t take portions of greatness and distribute it among normal people. It will then be like a loaded gun in the hands of a wild monkey.

    If you like what a great woman did, spend your life understanding what it took to be so great; yes, it takes an entire life to understand and appreciate the complete package that’s behind greatness, unless you are great yourself. Greatness is an individual feature and not of the masses.

  3. Ram, thank you for your comment. I hope to answer your question in this series of posts I’ve started – I hope you’ll have the patience to read on, because I don’t think the answer is simple enough to be compressed into a comment.

  4. Mr. You Know,

    Just a few points:
    1) As you yourself admitted, you don’t have the habit of reading newly introduced laws yourself. It would be worthwhile to do some reading up to understand why a law has been framed in the first place and to observe its impact. Laws don’t get formulated out of the air and without any prior debates.
    2) I’ve been subjected to numerous physical manifestations of men’s lustful intentions and have indicated my displeasure as well. So what am I supposed to expect? An apology? And if this treatment is not because of my womanhood, then what is it? I don’t understood what you mean by an ‘inferiority complex’. If I feel violated because of certain actions by men, your saying that I ‘need not’ feel like that will not change the discomfort that I undergo.
    3) You seem to have a block against statistics and ‘details’, and are constantly harping on the harmful effects of pro-women laws. You may “think of a zillion situations where your nice intentions can land you in jail”, but has that really happened is the question.
    4) There are many men I know who understand femin-‘ism’ for what it seeks to explain without any fear of it. That is because they are open minded enough to make attempts to know what it is about.

  5. NK,

    It is indeed sad that you have been subjected to what you have mentioned in your comment and I would not empathize or support the ones responsible.But wouldn’t it be a crime to generalise? I strive to keep an open mind with respect to such topics and analysis dispassionately the pros and cons. But dont you think that such laws would make me think otherwise? What about the large section of men who mean know harm to women? Aren’t you playing around with their psyche by such laws? Just as you feel that the harm done to a single woman should cause a movement among all womenfokl in general,dont we have the right to think so too? Victimizing a whole race for the misdeeds committed by a perverted few seems to be unfair,dont you think? If a woman wronged me, can i come to the conclusion that all women are evil? I do agree that stringent punishment should be meted out to the few who wrong women, hang them if you please.But a general law affecting the remaining innocent/ignorant men seems more on the unfair side. As the cliche goes, “1000 criminals can be let go scot free,but one innocent man should not be wronged”. Is the same judicial system coming up with this law too? Ironical, I would say.

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