“Fury was ignited in me by lifetime of men helping themselves to women’s bodies without consent” – Tracee Ellis Ross
The significance of this phrase on Indian society is heavy handed.
A few days back me and my friends got into a debate, rather a fight. We were discussing something irrelevant, when one of my guy friend said,” Ofcourse if my wife doesn’t listen to me, I’ll whop her with my belt”. One my girl-friend and I took immediate offence to that statement and we started discussing this.
We firstly started with stating that women’s body even after marriage is not your property. You are or will be no one to touch her if she doesn’t agree with you. She doesn’t have to listen to you or agree with you or follow your orders. She will be your wife and not your slave. Secondly even if you are joking about hitting another person for boosting your ego, the final point is that you innately believe that one gender is superior to the other gender.
They responded with, that our parents have raised us, feed us and looked after us, all this long and now some random stranger comes into my house and isn’t listening to her or listening to me, we will not tolerate that. We will make her listen to everyone and do her job. They said they will make their wives do “THEIR JOBS”; as if they were talking about some slave.
We tried explaining them that doing ‘the job’ is not the problem; it’s you forcing her to do it. Women always need to have a choice to do whatever she wants. If she doesn’t want to wash your mother’s dirty clothes, she doesn’t have to. It always needs to be a woman’s choice to do whatever she wants. As Tracee said, till today men have been helping themselves to women’s bodies without consent or later without any repercussions.
Readers might say that I shouldn’t be friends with people with fundamentally different ideologies. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? Is this their thinking or have they been enforced this idea by the patriarchy around them? And if it is the patriarchy around them, isn’t it my responsibility as the friend to enlighten them.
I am atleast trying to make this country better for women. Women are doing their part, now men have to do theirs.
AND YES, I AM A PROUD FEMINIST.