You’re educated well-educated. You like love your job. You think know you are no less than any man out there. And so you let the feminist talk be. It’s a thing of the past, isn’t it? In a world where men and women are equal, why do we need feminists - you ask? To answer your question, I will give you 7 reasons why you, I and every other modern Indian woman needs to be a feminist, and take on the F-word with pride. For it’s our only hope. Really.
1. You work the same as your male colleague, but he gets paid more
According to a report by Monster India, there exists a gender pay gap of 27% in India. This is because male employees are preferred for promotion over their female counterparts, assuming that women will eventually give up their careers for motherly and familial ‘duties’. And then, of course, there is sexism and prejudice against women and their ability to contribute to work. Um, don’t feel like such equals now, do we?
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2. You are asked to reduce weight, eat less and hide those curves
And if you thought body-shaming was an overweight girl’s curse, think again about your skinny friends, who are also constantly advised ways to put on some weight, because it’s all about the bass?
We are all constantly harangued with what to eat, what to skip, what to flaunt, what to hide - while men can go about their business, as usual, with their beer bellies getting bigger by the day.
3. You feel stressed - all the time, just like other 87% Indian women
According to a study done by Neilsen done in 2011, we are probably the most stressed women, in the world. Most of us are amongst the first generation of women in our families to step out to work, and so we aren’t just trying to prove ourselves at work, but are also trying hard to live up to the expectations of the society in our roles as a daughter, mother or wife. The result is that an overwhelming 82% of us feel like we have no time to relax - while the boys can come home after work to a clean house and dinner on the table.
4. You are afraid of speaking up against a molester, lest your ‘reputation’ be maligned and you be blamed for provoking him
Aren’t we all too aware of the rampant victim-blaming in our society? All too aware how women are blamed for being raped, for staying out too late, for wearing provocative clothes, for eating Chinese, for simply being women. The last we checked, equality did not mean one gender forcing himself upon the other and blaming her for their actions.
5. You are fortunate, but there are a million other women, who aren’t
Life favoured you with a set of parents who had the means to give you the education you need to make your mark in the world. But there are so many women out there who aren’t any less than you or their men, but have to accept to be treated as second citizens, only because they were never given the same opportunities. If not for yourself then for them, feminism is your way to go!
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6. You don’t even exercise full control over your body, but your husband does
The debate over marital rape seems to be an endless one when it’s a basic violation of right. Sex after marriage may be legal and legitimate in the eyes of the law, but how can forced sex be termed anything, but rape? Being a husband cannot absolve a man of rape. And yet, it does. How safe are we, when we aren’t even safe in our own beds?
7. You want a better world, for yourself, for your partner and for the sons and daughters you are going to raise together
Because, unlike what you may have believed until now, feminism isn’t about women’s right, and neither is it about pointing flaws in the male sex - but is about equality between the two sexes of the human race. And keeping women from contributing to the world does not only deprive women but deprives men of an able companion and partner who can share their load and work towards making our world, a better one.
How about adding a bit of quirky feminism to your clothes with this #GirlBoss pin? (Rs 325)