My mom was in a pretty serious accident. My dad who was traveling, flew back instantly from a
business trip and we were sitting together in the ICU when I happened to ask him why he let mom take the two wheeler instead of our car. His answer was simple but profound. He said it was his responsibility to help my mom come to a decision and it his responsibility to support her after a decision was made but it is never fair to decide for her.
That one statement, suddenly answered all my questions about how things were different in my family compared to most other families I knew. This statement had a great impact on crafting the lens through which I saw feminism and forms the basis/bias for what I write below.
Without caring to be euphemistic about this. As Indians, We simply seem to have grown into an entire population of men and women collectively numb towards gender inequality and discriminating not just consciously but even subconsciously. Almost every single person reading this lives in a household where unmistakable signs of gender inequality still exist, sometimes subtle sometimes serious, but more important is the dangerous fact that it still lingers around with no lasting solution in sight.
Even in our so called progressive households today, men are simply taught to ‘treat women well, to respect them and take care of them’ rather than being taught to look at them equal fellow humans who may have differences when compared men but do not happen to be any different from men. This is how we seem to have succeeded in creating a nation of men either consciously deciding to treat women unfairly or subconsciously doing the same, with the second group blissfully unaware of how similar it is to the first.
Talking about this may seem trivial and in the case of men even unnecessary as they are not facing the pointy end of the stick. However, The problems with this stretches beyond just equality simply for the sake of making things fair. In fact research unquestionably points to such gender inequality as the cause for some of our biggest socioeconomic problems
- Rape/Gender Violence
- Skewed gender ratio
- Economic Growth
- Education: Education of women and socio-economic development, etc.
I was fortunate to grow up in a household where Gender roles were fluid, arguments were decided based on who was right and not who was male. But with what is at stake here, creating such households seems way too important to be left to chance and changing that begins with each of us making a firm commitment to create households without a single shred of gender inequality. It may not sound glamorous or easy but it is simply seems what is needed.
“En veetil pengaluku ella urimaigaliyum kuduthulen enabathu verum thodakam. Andha urimai enuadayadhu alla koduka endru arivadhe nilaikkum matram”
( To say that you have given all freedom to the women in your family, is just the beginning. The realisation that such freedom is not yours to grant, is the change that we need forever.)
Feminism is not taking care of the women in our lives. Feminism is not matriarchy or misandry . When I see somebody supporting Feminism, I see them standing up for equality, freedom of choice, I see them standing up to solve some the biggest socioeconomic problems we face. I see them being brave, fair, gender neutral and more importantly I see them being human.
Author Credits- Sriram Sridhar
Software engineer, Entrepreneur, Rational argument lover. Jack of many trades who happens to be intent on adding more trades to the mix that gaining mastery over a few. Love: sports, movies, tech, food, good wine, anything with wheels and engines, humor, sarcasm, intelligence. Hate: staying idle, tinder profiles with no bio’s, soap operas, losing without trying, dinner sans company.