With the recent furor caused by the misogynist remarks made by MP Vinay Katiyar, what ensued did not include any decent apologizing, but merely political mud-slinging. In the light of the same incident, I wish to point out the mentality behind a considerable chunk of people who hold women in such contempt.
From a personal experience, I vividly remember a senior person sitting at a dining table alongside his wife, raising a finger and saying: “In our Indian culture and sanskriti, men are always considered higher than women. And 90% of women have also accepted this fact.” My response to it was to point out that if his facts were considered true (just to humor him), I definitely belonged to the remaining 10% of women. However, allow me to stress on the fact that the senior person’s wife stayed silent and nodded her head in agreement.
The point that I intend to raise is that quite a few women demean the essence of being a woman by feigning ignorance and turning their backs on those being bullied by men. I remember reading a few Facebook posts by the senior person’s wife; she ridiculed the current generation of women stating: “Unlike what today’s girls believe, beauty is not the only thing that keeps a marriage going. This is the reason for the increase in divorces these days.”
Coming to the topic of women walking out on marriages or not marrying at all, yes, I agree that today more women choose to stay single beyond the so-called ‘formidable 30’s. This, however, isn’t because women are becoming ‘characterless’. I would say, it is because women are becoming bolder and building character enough to make educated decisions for themselves.
A friend had stated to me once that women of today take decisions to separate since they have lesser tolerance. Is that a negative thing really? Why should anyone (not women alone) be forced into tolerance for what they don’t wish to live with? Women of the older times were more tolerant, yes. And I respect that. However, we all know that domestic violence existed then too as much as it does today. But women who suffered in later generations have the option, the education, and hence the voice too.
In spite of the improvements, the well-publicized Pratyusha Banerjee and Priya Vedi suicide cases that happened in 2016 led me to wonder why women abstain from sharing their anxieties with their peers. Here’s a plea to all women: let’s try and avoid such cases. We can help each other by talking about our issues; and most important … be there to LISTEN!
I’d also like to encourage women not to take any kind of abuse lying down. Hit back, scratch, bite, and fight for your basic human rights. It’s all about survival after all. Remembering certain horrific incidents from my own past, I’d definitely say that the senior person’s wife, in a way, was right indeed. Beauty isn’t enough. What’s needed is the strength to hit back and get back to life with vengeance.
PS: Not a feminist. Just an egalitarian.