Thursday, March 5, 2009
I was thinking the other day if I’m a feminist only to realize that like most ideologies, feminism too has different brands to it.
I went to a girls’ school and I don’t remember one instance when we discussed feminism- be it among friends or with teachers. I guess all my school taught me was I had the right to enjoy what I liked and to do what I enjoyed doing.
Now that I’m in a college which is believed to be a breeding ground for feminists, I have come to be aware of the various perspectives one attaches to the ideology. People have different views- some say it’s about being treated equally with men, while some claim to be even better. There are some who believe men to be the bane of a woman’s existence while some think it’s about not wearing a bra.
The past few days in my college have been a tumultuous experience. We did things that no one thought could happen in L.S.R...girls sloganeering, carrying banners and sitting down-refusing to budge. There seemed to be a certain spell that held them all, that made them get over their own problems and made them shout out in unison. It wasn’t about the “geek”, the “intellectual types” or the “babe” anymore…it became a ground where a few hundred girls found out what’s common between each one of them, something that couldn’t be given a name. I realized that there’s a certain power Estrogen has that allows one to defy. It has this innate way of letting us know that no matter who we are, we don’t need to take shit, and we don’t need to silently listen… and it’s okay to shout. Coming together sometimes helps you conserve the voice that you would’ve lost had you shouted alone.
Ofcourse we need to shout. All of us- Men, Women, Children. Everyone needs to shout when people decide to go deaf on them. Feminism for me lies in that decision I make to shout, irrespective of who else is shouting or who else has shouted before me, and it lies in the widening of the space that allows me to shout. It is important for voices to be heard- be that of men or women. There has to be neutral ears that do not engender the voices they listen to;there has to be a complete absence of biases.
That is my brand of feminism.