Relevant: Today I wore my “This is what a Feminist looks like” tshirt while walking on the streets of Bangalore = twice the usual number of stares. Last weekend while getting my learner’s permit to drive, I was practically the only girl (and the only one in jeans) at the RTA and I felt the unabashed staring and a definite feeling of being unwelcome. And being objectified is a much worse feeling than you’d expect.
“But how is this possible in the world’s largest democracy?”
It’s ‘creeping’ anti-feminism, where we had a female Prime Minister as early as 1980 (Indira Gandhi), we have a female nominal head of state, President Pratibha Patil, and we have a female spearheading the ruling party, Sonia Gandhi.
But at the same time, this is a society which /systematically/ and cross-generationally puts down women. The same way fair skin, for example, is ingrained in the minds of so many, there is the notion that a woman must act a certain (subservient) way, there is the false dichotomy of a ‘good/bad’ woman which is found even in last week’s new Bollywood movie (two Indian female protagonists. Veronica is the “bad Indian woman” and Meera is the “good indian woman”. It’s like the filmmakers didn’t even /try/ to avoid stereotyping)
“…traditions still cast women as helpless victims rather than free-thinking individuals in control of their own destiny. “When a girl is young, she is guided by her father; when she is older, she is guided by her husband; when she is very old, she is guided by her son…the cult of the “good girl, who is taught to walk slowly ‘like an elephant’ and not laugh too loud”. It’s pervasive, affecting women of all caste, religion, sect, and socioeconomic standing.
“Men abuse women in every society, but few males do it with as much impunity, violence and regularity as the Indian male.” Though I hate to generalize, it’s a fact that a woman’s rights, dignity, and honour are worthless in many instances in this country - except when that woman’s honour reflects on a man’s honour, and then you have cases like the Rajasthani man who “beheaded his 20-year-old daughter with a sword, parading her bleeding head around as a warning to other young women who might fall in love with a lower-caste boy.” “A preference for sons and fear of having to pay a dowry has resulted in 12 million girls being aborted over the past three decades.”
Sorry for the ranting and the tl;dr nature - just read the article. (Finally found a good article on the Guwahati incident and it’s published by a Brit)
Speaking of the good old conquering imperialists, the comments section of the Guardian is entertaining. (For the record, I do love the Guardian, read it all the time)
This one guy (incorrectly, I’d say) states that women’s lack of rights is because of British imperialism (rather untrue)
But then this other guy takes the cake with “You’ve had independence since 1947, you can’t keep using the British as an excuse for appalling behaviour.”
I just can’t
clearly the concept of post-colonialism is alien to them
Never mind the fact that British imperialism is responsible for like 8327837 land and religious conflicts in India and elsewhere
ANYWAY. Do read this article. That is all.