Thursday, June 06, 2013



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.

This post was spurred by a recent online incomplete discussion that happened recently after a talk show on radio. It is very difficult to get an unbiased or non- judgmental media person these days, most have a bias and do not hesitate to hide it. A recent discussion on Chennai Live 104.8 FM was on two issues the first was the attempt to bar mannequins in Mumbai from wearing lingerie in store windows and the second the sending back of women without dupattas by the photo crew for Aaadhar somewhere in the country. Based on these two events callers were asked for their views, there were varied opinions from men and women who called in but I noticed that the women callers were critical of men and blamed men for their lot and since the show is helmed by a hostess it found favour.

I called and clarified to the hostess that the entire lingerie episode was raked up by a lady councillor for reasons best known to her and since it was deemed to be anti-rape it has become a raging issue. I am not very sure about Aadhar but I do know one thing about dupatttas and that is often the dupattas rule is enforced by women. I had done an old post on this long ago and I believe it is still valid. Salwars with dupattas are enforced in school, run through college and old habits die hard. The point that is not to be missed here is that many women’s institutions and run by women.

The conversation spilled over to the FB page of the hostess and there was a rant on a comment by a male caller who said something to the effect about a home mother. This invited caustic comments from other women. I do not know the intentions of that caller but I find some merit in the statement that children brought up by a home parent can fare better than children brought up by surrogates like grandparents and care takers. In nuclear families with both working parents children are often left to fend for themselves and that is an economic curse.

The women comments took offense at men and made a statement about careers and why should women sacrifice their careers for men etc. Please note that working women are not just from the knowledge economy but the maid who cleans homes, the nurse, the teacher, the vegetable vendor, the fisher woman, the banker, the government servant are all working women and all of them face the same challenges. A woman may leave the shelter of the home for several reasons but it is not necessary that it is because of men.

And everyone man or woman has only twenty four hours to handle their daily tasks and child care is essential and needs time. Please note that I am not insisting that it is only women who need to care for children, stay at home dads are catching up and will soon become a fad. Women earn more than men in some families I know and the men are willing to play second fiddle spending more time with children. A dad I know works partly from home so that he can look after his daughter. All I wish to say is that feminism is not anti-men, men are part of the problem but by targetting men for all ills feminists can miss the point.

I was fortunate to have a stay at home mum, so I had a mum who brought lunch for me daily in preparatory school, helped me with homework, studies, came for PTA meets, took care of me when I was sick very often by herself as my father was posted elsewhere. I learnt values at home and then in school and that was because mum was there. I think it would have been the same if dad was the person at home and mum was working for dad is still a good cook and does a great job with looking after his grand kids. The point is a home parent is always better than a no parent and it does not matter if it is the father or mother. Sadly my daughter is not so fortunate as now both her parents are working.

I support feminism where equality is a given for both men and women and I know that men & women are complementary and cannot exist independently but I am opposed to those who believe that feminism is simply anti-male.

P.S. The women in the picture are also feminists though I cannot understand their way of expression.

Image courtesy Google Images





1 comment:

Iniyaal said...

True.. I totally agree with you. Now a days feminism has come to mean criticizing men for women's problems.
I strongly believe that women's progress lies with women themselves. Every person's character and attitude is influences by the men and women close to him. So mothers, sisters, teachers, wife etc play a very important role in shaping the men of tomorrow. It is very important for women to try solving their problems by themselves before criticing men. A positive approach to feminism is very much needed :)