My friend Vivek wrote an article recently and this post is a reaction to his article. The link to his article is http://vivekvaidya.com/five-learnings-about-feminism/
Thanks Vivek Vaidya, for a very succinct analysis of urbane feminism. I agree with all that you say, especially the part about Feminism being a personal thing.
However, I think, we also need to recognize the stereotypes that prevail in the society today and in fact rule the lives of most women. While for the privileged upper class/educated women, choice is what you take for granted, for a very large chunk of female population in our country, choice, responsibility and duty etc etc are defined and demanded based on these very stereotypes...nothing to do with ONLY men or women... it is the collective thinking that needs to undergo a change. Unfortunately, Deepika's video was unable to convey this and hence the flak. How many evolved writers, movie-makers, and other creative people have actually taken a step towards enlightening the populace?
We condemn rapes and propagate the need for learning self-defense, create apps for women to alert their loved ones in times of danger and so on… girls are told not to take chances/risks…to stay safe…all of this is required…yet, WHY should it be required? Why should someone else TEACH me, that it is MY CHOICE…when men take all of it for granted? Does it really have to do with the kind of Feminism you refer to? I think not. It refers to the fact that what is taken for granted, by 50% of the society, the remaining 50% cannot even aspire to it. The video tries to remind the world, that all of this, IS, in fact, MY CHOICE and I, as a women have every right to use it…un-burdened by societal restrictions, judgments…it is not, I believe, a call of Feminism…but in fact a reminder, that society as a whole, needs to change the way it thinks and perceives the actions of a free woman.
Every individual, not just women, draws a boundary for his/her behavior, based on his/her upbringing/social context/education and many such factors. However, for a large percentage of the female population these choices are not made by the boundaries she sets for herself, but by the boundaries that others set for her and force her to live within the confines of that boundary willingly or unwillingly, thus taking the power of choice away from her. THIS is what we should be concerning ourselves with.
Even if one feels Deepika’s video was ‘lame’ and irrelevant, it did generate a controversy and bring about a discussion…on many different platforms. The very fact that I have spent a precious 30 minutes of my Sunday writing this response to a blog article by a friend, indicates that there are many of us who feel rather strongly about it and wish to continue this debate.
I look forward to some responses to this reaction of mine…