For the anger that will create a better tomorrow
Opponents of gender equality often label women with strong opinions as ‘aggressive’ and ‘crazy’. Feminists often find themselves pushed on the back foot by the tone-police that is quick to label us ‘feminazis’ for simply demanding an equal voice. The analogy is absurd and outdated. As John Marcotte pointed out,
“Don’t allow men who hate women to define feminism as women who hate men.”
Here’s what people keep forgetting: Feminism is a social justice movement; social justice movements spark out of prevailing inequalities; social justice movements exist to correct imbalances. They do not exist to comfort bruised egos; they do not exist for your viewing pleasure. Anger is the most natural and healthy response that should colour these movements.
Proponents of gender equality need to redefine that anger and own it. Take pride in the ‘flag’ that our families and friends claim we carry. Revel in the fact that our struggle makes power holders nervous and grapple for names to call us. Remember that the terms ‘feminism’, ‘patriarchy’, ‘sexism’, ‘gender equality’ and ‘affirmative action’ are explained and studied in the social sciences, and not “femi-nazism.”
Be proud and unapologetic.
For every time they whine about the six seats and three coaches reserved for women in buses and trains, remind them that it does not stop women from getting groped, the moment they step onto the platform. For every time they cry ‘inequality’ when women get a few free drinks, remind them of every woman’s drink that got spiked by a sexual predator, and every rape survivor blamed for ‘drinking too much’.
A patriarchal world is a messed up world and our anger is absolutely called for. We will welcome solidarity and we will accept zero nonsense.
All attempts at subverting our struggle will be met with graphene resistance. Slowly but surely, power structures will corrode and hegemony, destroyed.
For every Dalit or tribal girl abused in silence, there will be a Bhanwari Devi that will shake the very foundations of your patriarchal and Brahmanical institutions. For every menstruating girl prohibited from entering the temple, there will be a free-bleeding marathon runner – her pants covered in red. For every women’s hostel that will trade-off our freedom for our “security”, there will be a woman strolling by the sea at midnight, reading Why Loiter?.
For every ‘Yo-Yo’ policing a girl’s ‘dope-shope’, ‘short dress’ and ’47 weight’, there will be a spoken word poet tearing his bullshit to shreds. Your double-standards of sexual purity will be swallowed whole by every ‘slut’ who ‘scored’ with dozens of men. And every time you sexualise two women in love, there will be a lesbian couple laughing at the thought of your genitals.
The struggle will be ugly, and the struggle will be pretty.
But it will always be magnificent – all without your permission.
Do not expect us to feed ourselves with the crumbs of complacency from your table. Every sorry attempt to derail with ‘#NotAllMen’ will be shot down by every man who stands up for feminism.
When you spill your patriarchal ideas of ‘decency’, ‘beauty’, ‘purity’ and ‘dignity’, your gender will cease to be relevant. You will be a mere element of a patriarchal system, to be corrected through education, or to perish – survival of the fittest.
You will either stand up against injustice, or you will be a part of it. We will be respected as individuals and we will accept no compromise.
For every patriarchal son that dared to brutalise Jyoti Singh, there will be an army of women and men ready to fight and die for thousands like her.
We will be open to dialogue with facts and reason. Misogyny and sexism will not qualify as logic.
We will scoff at your retorts of ‘ugly’ and ‘fat’. How sexy you find us, means nothing, I hope you know that.
We will not be obligated to respond with a smile. Our lives and bodily autonomy are more valuable than your hurt feelings.
In the age of information, ignorance will be assumed a choice. And as India’s Daughter, Angry Indian Goddesses and Queen taught us – this revolution WILL be televised.
Featured Image Credit: Robbie Porter