So Divyangna Trivedi came out with another of her anti-feminist video again. I don’t want to put this out as a hate/bullying reply to her opinions, because I am deeply disheartened by how she, in 10 short minutes, very easily denied all that is actually and practically faced by the women in our country or abroad. She is probably right when she says that she is really privileged to voice her opinions, especially without having a holistic understanding of our society and women’s position in it.
Well Divyangna pointed out how ‘today’s feminism‘ is misandry and pseudo. However, through my response, I do not wish to prove the diligence of my feminism. I’d rather request her to re-frame her theory into saying how people nowadays have started to misuse the concept of Feminism. And that Feminism still remains the beautiful reality that it is, even though there are groups who have turned ugly in the garb of being Feminists. Stating how there are un-proved allegations against men and the misandry that prevails in some parts, she shouldn’t have wiped off the efforts that people are actually putting in for the awareness and equal rights for the minority communities.
Further she says that, in the present scenario we have received all the rights we deserve as women. I’d like to mention that I come from a fairly middle-class family, from an urban surrounding, and I was kept on house-arrest for 4 years when my family learned that I was romantically involved with someone. On the contrary, my Dad asked me what he should get for my bhabhi, because my brother’s girlfriend was visiting home. The inequality in treatment towards their girl and their boy child was defined right there.
A colleague of mine was upset the other day because his 3-year-old daughter was missing. On being asked what happened and why did nobody notice her moving out of home, he replied, “My wife saw Gudiya going out and shouted for help but nobody listened. She (his wife) is not supposed to step out of the doorsteps, so she could only cry out for help.”
In rural India, Divyangna says that girls can now easily dream of higher education just like Tina Dabi did – the 2016 UPSC topper, who left us delighted and proud. I fail to understand why did Divyangna not think of all the early dropouts in rural India, who are forced to leave the school for reasons such as lack of nearby institutions, withdrawal of married adolescents, expectations of helping the mother at home to feed other members (other reasons not being denied), being a few common grounds. Many girls of rural India do go to primary and secondary schools, but they lack the higher education because they are either married off or are made to sit back and help their mother at home.
She, in her anti-feminist video, mentions how rural women’s necessity is confined to roti, kapda and makaan; completely acting indifferent about their poverty. Women in the rural as well as urban areas face domestic violence, abuse and molestation almost everyday. Being raped and molested by their family members is also internalised by them. It is often that they are not even aware what they are facing is injustice and that they should be speaking against these practices. Feminism accounts for spreading this awareness. It accounts for letting the rural women as well as urban women know that there is a lot more than they receive. There’s more to life, and not just the physical and mental abuse that is deeply ingrained in the origins of the values they’re being taught by their families, who in turn are as unaware and uninformed as they are.
Divyangna also says, “If you’ll respect everyone, you’ll get respect,” to which I would want to ask her, who did the rape victims not respect? Or the little girl on the road who was touched by a passerby? Or the woman in the metro who heard comments about her by men and couldn’t do anything about it? Or my sister who will grow up to learn that she has to stay quiet when a family member abuses her?
Divyangna Trivedi is not the only one who assumes her privilege, studying in London and commenting on how all of us have equal rights in here. But unequal rights fairly prevail in high class urban households as well. However, I wholeheartedly agree with her promoting equality for all genders, because that is what our Feminism is. All of ours. Not new, not traditional. Just Feminism.
Featured Image Source: Brig Newspaper