I ain’t a bra burner by a long shot..I am not even borderline feminist. I am even ok with gender roles in my life. But where I bristle is when an apparently gender-equality-lauding-effort is patronising to the extreme. Two cases come to mind:
- An article that announces a documentary about three women scientists who were in the Mars mission program of India talks about the number of children these scientists had – one of them had a daughter in the 12th when Mangalyaan was being planned, and another has a seven-year old. Would these statistics be mentioned if these scientists had been men? Also, “Minal Rohit calls Seetha Somasundaram a “very strict lady”, while discussing the nature of her work and how demanding a boss Seetha could be!”. Would this be said of a male boss ever? Yes, I know it was said by another woman. I don’t even know what to say.
- Dangal: This is a movie that has recently been oohed-and-aahed about by my friends; it is apparently a true story of a guy from a backward state of the country, training his daughters to become boxers, something he couldn’t achieve in his life. While people talk about the empowerment of girls in this movie, my first thought was this – were the girls given a choice? Was the man realising dreams for himself through his daughters? If so, what became of the daughters’ dreams? Did they have any?
I can hear you say “women are getting raped, murdered, acid-attacked, harassed in your country and you are nitpicking about trivialities like this?”.
I can’t even talk about the women getting raped, murdered, acid-attacked, and harassed in my country without my entire system shutting down in abject panic and humiliation. Trivialities, I can kick a fuss about – after all, being a word-warrier is so easy, isn’t it?