Amidst a sea of woman-bashing howls and cries against the supposed oppression of men, our anti-feminist MRA pals have successfully found a woman ally. While the feminist movement struggles to find support from those who are less affected by the patriarchy, it appears that an upcoming rapper has managed single-handedly to dismiss the feminist cause entirely, and lent her support to the truly downtrodden: men. In a seriously disappointing but unsurprising turn of events in a show called MTV Hustle, yet another conversation about feminism has digressed from its original cause to the purpose of sympathising with men. At this point, feminists had almost learnt to simply sigh and direct their energy to more purposeful conversations, until a literal embodiment of Reasons The World Needs Feminism presented herself to the public eye in the form of Nikita R Sharma.
Nikita Sharma, better known as Star Nick, participated in MTV Hustle, a show wherein various talented individuals compete to determine the best rapper amongst them. Now, rap has for long been used as an instrument with which socially and economically depressed individuals could voice their resentment under the disguise of entertainment. Nick Star, too, has used this medium to make some expert political commentary on the epidemic that is feminism. She essentially takes rap, crumples it into a ball, and yells “suck it!”, following which she proceeds to sing a song that is basically ignorance with a backdrop of some (admittedly) sick beats.
rap has for long been used as an instrument with which socially and economically depressed individuals could voice their resentment under the disguise of entertainment.
Demanding social change and for women to just stop with their ‘rona-dhona’ (whining), Nick Star, like many others, lists examples of men being at a disadvantage simply to render the feminist cause useless. The young rapper is convinced that women just get a free pass for everything because they have public support on their side. However, the roaring cheers from the crowd and the standing ovation from the judges for her anti-feminist performance paint a different picture. In fact, a general consensus is achieved that women are cry babies who do not offer to pay for dates, and that is sufficient reason for everyone present to reduce feminism to nothing more than a gimmick, a desperate call for attention.
Coincidentally, just after the host yells “pseudo-feminism!” for no real reason, our popstar continues to give examples of the same, except she categorises these examples under actual feminism. She states how the law against dowry or the law that is meant to protect women from sexual assault are misused by women, bestowing great injustice upon men—just another classic case wherein very real men’s problems are used to dismiss feminism in the wrong time, in the wrong place, and with the wrong assumption that feminism supports it…Just to be safe, however, perhaps we should just scrape all laws, eliminate all possibilities of false allegations, and live in a state of perpetual anarchy?
Star Nick is absolutely livid that women can advance upwards in their jobs simply by acting promiscuous and not making any real effort to perform well in their workplace. She is empathic with men, because they cannot to the same. What a boon it is to be overly sexualised, and women sure capitalise on this! It is rather unfortunate that men are not viewed as objects and are actually appreciated for their merit. How tragic that they are trusted to be confident and capable, and not told that they only got that job “because you are a man”! One must show some compassion to the oppressed…
The artist is also vehemently opposed to the double standards men and women have to face. Why are women allowed to stay at home and do nothing, while the men in their families go out and work? She is certain that feminists simply want to hide behind a veil of excuses without actually taking any action or intending to go out there do something. She conveniently forgets that the public sphere treats men and women with different degrees of warmth and hostility, offering differential accessibility to both.
The lyrics make clear the underlying assumption that all women are born into the same privilege and have sole agency over the manner in which their life unfolds. If only she would pay attention to the complex and overpowering influence of the social context one lives in, she would understand that some have less control over their circumstances than others
As she cites examples of women who did get out there and achieve incredible success, one is bound to notice that almost all of those examples are of women who had a considerable amount of social and financial capital owing to their already privileged status. But she is not concerned with the nuances that form at the crossroads where several aspects of one’s religious, financial, caste, and social identities meet. Like many others, she, too, has fallen prey to the capitalist notion that hard work is the sole determinant of one’s success.
In her concluding verse, she requests feminists to just stop complaining about everything already! And at this point it is evident that her view of feminism is slightly uni-dimensional and fully exclusionary. The lyrics make clear the underlying assumption that all women are born into the same privilege and have sole agency over the manner in which their life unfolds. If only she would pay attention to the complex and overpowering influence of the social context one lives in, she would understand that some have less control over their circumstances than others, that patriarchal norms are too deeply ingrained to always be recognised on the surface, and that there is a constant process of learning and unlearning one has to undergo to be able to appreciate feminism for what it does.
Perhaps, then, she would be able to recognise that the voice she has today is a result of years and years of resistance, and that upon finally getting a platform to speak in, using it to ridicule feminism is a huge disservice to those women who fought for us to have an opportunity to speak up today.
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