“I expect our generation to always come forth with an unabashed feminist tag that doesn’t need to be emphasized separately.”
J – Thank you for your participation in this interview, I would like to start this interview by asking you what does the term feminism mean in your opinion.
Feminism means one thing and one thing only – fight for equality on the grounds of the repercussions faces by every individual as a result of the sex roles assigned to us by the society. If a person claims to be an anti-feminist, they’re basically saying that they don’t support equality. I expect our generation to always come forth with an unabashed feminist tag that doesn’t need to be emphasized separately.
J – Why do you think people are afraid when they hear a feminist in front of anyone’s name? Why do you think that people think it’s a bad word?
Over the years, men or should I say the patriarchal society which includes both men and women who internalize misogyny, have brainwashed people into resenting the whole feminist movement by pitting women against each other. It has forced privileged individuals to turn a blind eye towards the obvious struggles of other people because they simply refuse to look at something from the other person’s point of view. Also, the whole concept of equality is very humane in nature but it has been politicized by patriarchy so that they can regulate the feminist voices. Women get bullied and gaslit for calling themselves feminists all the time so naturally, a negative connotation has been attached to feminism. It’s very unfair because great women of the past have fought and have been ridiculed for years to reach where us women are right now. We still have a long way to go and we have no business making fun of the one movement that got us here.
J – ‘All men are trash’ is a phrase that has been blown out of proportion in the public’s view, what is the reason behind this, in your opinion?
Well, the public doesn’t take kindly to any opinion that shows a mirror to the greater male population so it’s only natural that the phrase has been blown out of proportion. Does that mean we stop saying it though? Absolutely not. Maybe all men are not trash but all men are complacent in this rigid rape culture that has no boundaries on racial, cultural, ethnic or national grounds. This shows how every issue of unequal rights and lopsided power dynamics has been created, established and fueled by patriarchy. So, “not all men” might have done something outright trashy but they have contributed in turning a blind eye to or covering up for another man that did something trashy. Hence, all men are trash.
J – If you had the power to do something extremely good for women, what steps would you take in order to ensure the prevention of crimes against them?
Considering how men are violating women from ICU rooms through supermarkets to their own homes, there’s only one way to keep women safe – make all men disappear. On a serious note, there should be mandatory lessons on sex education and Feminism in school by authorities who should encourage kids to ask questions without inhibitions. In the Indian context, we need to make our home environment better because usually most of the misogyny is internalized because of the “morals and principles” that elders enforce on us. Critical thinking needs to be encouraged in schools where questioning shouldn’t be equated to doubting someone’s authority. Most importantly, men need to shoulder the responsibility for the actions of their sex. Stop saying “not all men” to get rid of the responsibility. Stop putting the onus of sexual violence on women by using better phrases. Let’s stop saying that “women get raped” and say that “men rape women”. Let’s stop talking about how more women need to learn self-defence and address why they need to do that.
J – How annoying is it when you get any unsolicited pictures in your dms or when you see someone’s tweet where this has happened?
It’s extremely upsetting because it has happened to me and so many of my friends and acquaintances. So weird how men think it’s perfectly normal to send someone a DM like that out of the blue. I just don’t understand why men do that because let’s be honest, IT’S UGLY. If you think about it, it’s again the power dynamics that comes into play here. The fact that they can do something like that and get away with it is just ridiculous. Harassment is what it is.
J – And how annoying is it when you are walking in public and men start creepily staring at you? Do you get conscious when this happens and does that affect your confidence?
This is yet another thing that women deal with, all their lives. It’s actually way scarier than it seems because you never know when that man will turn up right outside your hostel or stalk you or kidnap you or assault you. It’s like an endless buffet of gut-wrenching possibilities. Bollywood has brainwashed our masses into believing that staring and eve-teasing is flattering for the girls. As if men weren’t molesting, assaulting and masturbating on the road to enough women already.
J – Do you still feel that not enough has been done or is being done to prevent the atrocities committed on Women?
There’s a long long way to go for us. They say women have equal rights already and they don’t need “more rights” because how will a patriarchal society focused on natural procreation ever be okay with equal rights for women, the actions of whom they have controlled and regulated since the beginning of time? The power dynamics is a seesaw that was established in a way that men are constantly flying up and above with women either blaming themselves for being the heavier side that keeps them down or trying to figure out the mechanics which have been botched since forever. We need feminism to push the other side up and fix the mechanical issues of the seesaw so that an equilibrium can be reached. That we need feminism, isn’t even debatable.
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