I used to call myself a feminist

I used call myself a feminist,until it got me labelled me a nympho – man hating – sexually deviant creep.

It is like this. You have a favorite coffee shop, it is classy, no nonsense coffee served with some peace and quiet. You are surrounded by people minding their own business and drinking their coffee. News papers give your coffee place rave reviews and suddenly everything goes to hell. First of all the menu changes to exotic flavors that could be offensive words from across the world creep into the menu. Next come fancy bagels and desserts in a variety of choices, slowly someone plays the radio, then there are all these kids twittering and face booking via WiFi and flashes of camera bulbs. It smells like a deli and you cant  get some f*****g coffee.

That’s what happened. To be called a feminist once meant that you supported the cause of equality and the right to make life choices. Now people (who obviously don’t have a dictionary or common sense) are content to believe that feminists are women who hate men. Feminists are considered fool-hardy women who push social limits just to show they are equal. My fellow feminists have been called ‘man-haters’, ‘bra-burners’, ‘morally deviant’ and a lot worse. God forbid if you call yourself a feminist and you happen to have a penis. You were ragged, name called, ‘messed up’ for the heck of it and automatically categorised as someone with a vested interest.

Just because I say NO when a person forces himself on me, because I resist rape and speak against it, because I’m not afraid to look people in the eye , to believe that I have the right to my body, because I choose to fight violence not based on sex but on the act, because I want my daughter and wife to be safe and respected…  Just because I choose to believe in something you don’t have the balls to see…

You declare ‘men and women can never be just friends’ – how sad your life must be. You think women get raped because they are asking for it – do people get mugged because they ask for it? Use your head. ‘Women are victims of violence because they dress provocatively’  – Have you heard of Nirbhaya, Mathura, Aruna and Soumya ?

Like many feminists across the world, I too have grown tired of the baggage that comes with the label. Jen in her post: Feminism Isn’t Working and I Give Up says:

I have arguments with otherwise entirely reasonable people who wonder aloud whether women really take enough responsibility for avoiding rape, that maybe they’re just not careful about what they wear and where they go, because women’s sexuality just isn’t the same as men’s, and we don’t understand how hard it is for them to control their penises.As if every woman in America doesn’t have a list of things in her head that she does to avoid getting raped. As if the staggering 35% of college aged guys who have admitted they would rape someone if they thought they could get away with it are beyond educating. As if we are completely wasting our time hoping for any better.

Cait declares:

Let’s get one thing straight, my hate/dislike/indifference/love/affection has nothing to do with your gender, orientation, political choices, hockey team, preference of finger to pick your nose.

Amit states:

A majority of women [sic] do not know what real freedom is. The irony of mankind is that we have used the very act of creating life to abuse women and then blame them for it. It is similar to cutting a tree that sustains life and then blaming it for being in the middle of the road.

We have to bend this devious road or there won’t be any trees left.

My friends and I are tired of trying to make people understand that the coffee shop has been taken over by morons for whom the syllabel FE is always followed by Male. One lady even had the audacity to tell me “Come on, you haven’t considered sleeping with your friend even once? and rape? How can it be done if the woman doesn’t allow it?”

I wish dear friend you would understand, because Feminism doesn’t mean I’ll walk around naked and ask men not to touch me. Feminism is not Miley Cyrus sending horrified parents running to their children’s rooms to burn the care bear toys. Feminism does not aim to castrate all men or donate chastity locks for women. Feminism is not ‘I have the right to wear, you DON’T have the right to touch‘ screaming from a t-shirt that’s about to rip any minute.

Feminists don’t hang around teaching women that all men are bad and must be sent to jail. Feminists don’t wear all pink outfits and go handing out perfumed notices about hating rapists and jailing senators.

Feminism is a beacon of hope, a father sitting his son down to talk about respecting women; Feminism is when men and women treat each other with respect and humaneness. It is a herald for a world without violence, a plea for the right to live without violence, a life style, an appreciation for God’s gift of life, an eternal prayer that people regardless of gender get to live with dignity, equality and safety.

Well, this blog has given me an opportunity to rest my tired back. But the strength to carry baggage title et all will come.

My mother, husband, father – in – law, my sister, my nephew (a little boy with a feminist man’s heart), fellow bloggers, friends, activists in organisations like MARD and Bell Bajao  –  all continue to show me that being a Feminist does not mean carrying a torch, but the willingness to pass it on.

I’m a feminist – if you have a problem with that, I know a place where you can stick it.

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21 comments

  1. Please spread this to as many girls in India as possible. You know I am fed up of girls calling themselves feminists and justifying it by hating/abusing/mistreating all guys around them. Being a feminist does not mean hate men.
    Great to read your point of view. Cheers.

  2. I dont agree. How can a feminist be a man? Feminist means a female simply wanting to put man to shame. Feministic persons are female. Man saying ‘I am feminist’ be girl or wanting to make friendship with girls or being a gay. Man don’t have control if woman are dressing like filmi and going to drinking party in the night times. Woman must be protect herself.

    1. I disagree. I’m a man and I believe in equal rights for women and have been fighting for the same on my blog for years. In fact, being a feminist is just a subset of being a humanist. I also fight for animal rights and gay rights. Gender has nothing to do with it.

      Woman must be protect herself.

      What the hell do citizens pay taxes for if we all have to protect ourselves??

      1. You are disagree is good but woman and man is equal ok. Then means you will be wearing saree and going to parlor? no na… You fighting for animals? you are vegetarian. It is not natural to be a gay, you are very wrong about that. Being robber is not natural. You will fight for robber right also? Gay is very much problem to the society and culture. You must be pay taxes for good road good ejucation good agri culture good army. Woman persons also we be paying police but less police and more rapism. so woman must be protect by herself or by family.

        1. If I wear a saree and go to a parlor, then that is my business, not yours. A robber hurts other people. Homosexuals do not. You clearly haven’t thought your logic through properly.

      1. Amitji you are wise man. You understand everything i am aam aadmi, no good English even. But tell me this ki you will want youre wife to be disco girl? you will take youre mother wearing filmi dress in the road in the night timings? youre sister will make eye at boys you are liking? no na… that is what this lady is wanting Indian girls to be doing. read the words she is using. only man must be using because sudh ladki will be not using. she is no marriage because husband of this lady will not be accepting. you will not marriage sudh indian ladki then why you say other woman can be wear what you want. God made man woman not same… you are saying one thing for others one thing for youre family first you must be say truth. you grow up firts. Iam speaking only the real things which is true in Bharath

        1. If his sister or wife wants to be a “disco girl”, that is her choice. He can support her or be against it but can’t force her to do what she doesn’t want. Your wife, sister, and daughter do not belong to you.

        2. Panday ji,
          You already think that I poke my nose everywhere? You already know what I think of my family and how I dictate things to my wife, sister and mother. You must have supernatural powers.
          Where should we begin with people like you? How do we begin to tell you that the current state of India is because of people like you? The mere thought exhausts me.

    2. 1. Indian women have been writing for millenniums ( you have to know Indian History for that). There is no difference in language, language for men and language for women are the same. That is why we have Hindi and no Hinda. Get my point?
      2. Your reaction to the word Feminist, shows how insecure you are with your masculinity. You might want to fix that.
      3. Rape occurs because of sick minds, unchecked sadistic tendencies towards women and children, insecurity of one’s masculinity . It does not depend on clothes, discos, time of day etc
      You know what, I would like to kill all the roaches in the planet. But as long as there is filth, there are roaches.
      Anyways, Pandey, I’m Jose, I’m a feminist and I’m proud of my wife.

      1. I do not support most of the arguments oby Mr. Pandey but I must admit, all the male feminists I met are gays. There is nothing wrong being a gay and in many countries they can even marry but in India we just want to wait. I am not saying all male feminists are gays but somehow most are gays and that is a good thing. I agree one more points, many young boys pretend to be feminists are just waiting for a chance to meet a girl using that label.

        1. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. We only have to look into Indian History to see that most of our prominent religious, political, historic and famous men were feminists. Lord Shiva, Gandhi, Nehru, Dr.Ambedkar, Anna, Bachans, Akhtars, Tagore, Kalki, Thiruvalluvar, SRK… I can show you business men, husbands, hawkers and pavement dwellers. People in the world have already realised that being human does not have to depend on sexual orientation Ashok. That is not the object of this discussion. You are entitled to your opinion, no doubt. Unfortunately, it is ill informed and an insult to the greatest minds and humanitarians of our time.

          1. No no, dear sister I never wanted to insult anyone. I just shared a fact. In fact I agree with your point but just disclosed a fact. Many men who declare feminists in public are just fox in sheep’s clothing and if we look in to their private life we will see many instances they insult women. I was just trying to warn about that and I want my sisters never get in traps of men who publicly say he is a strong feminist and in mind a male chauvinist. A true feminist man never shout in public platforms he is a feminist but in his heart he care his sisters. Most of the men who publicly (I mean online world)shout for women rights are actually lairs. I hope you understand my intention and please never misunderstand me.

    3. The existence of people with Pandey’s mindset warranted the evolution of Feminism.
      Pandey – I see that you haven’t grasped the definition of feminism and are relating it to gender. That wouldn’t make you a male chauvinist though, because to be a chauvinist you have to be comfortable with your manhood which you obviously are not.
      You accuse me personally of being a ‘sudh Indian Ladki’. I’m here to tell you that there is no such thing. There is ‘ladki’ – that’s it.
      I feel sorry for you Pandey, really truly sorry. It must be difficult for you – to see the protests in Delhi, in the judgement given by fast track courts, in reading articles such as mine- It must be terrifying to realise that the world will no longer tolerate the likes of you.
      Your rants seem to me like a dying flame flickering in all directions, furious and aimless before it becomes just a blackened wick and smoke.
      I will not attempt to educate you – time’s up.

    4. You ignorant [sic] Check your facts. Just because you have a [sic]penis, that does not mean you’re alone allowed to dress “filmi” or go drinking at parties.
      A feminist man is someone who is the exact opposite of you; who supports equality for woman and her rights.

  3. Thank you for writing this. My response was sho intense (and lengthy) I moved it to my own blog, so as not to overstate here. I love your passion and will be linking to this post in my article.

    1. My friend Sathish, says that we are all feminists at some level if we want social inclusion and justice. Thank you for reading even though you do not prefer lengthy posts…

      1. i read the posts if i got some meaning in the FIRST 3 lines, then its not matter that post is lengthy, the courage and Support is the main thing which a writer needs the most if we our self dont promote it then how we can expect that any other will listen to us or read our words even if they are small , so keep writing you are too good in it Dear, may Allah bless you more and more…

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