The discussion around feminism starts and ends with society. But what is it about society that makes a very simple concept like equality so difficult to imbibe? I believe the image of a successful society has a lot to do with it. The objective itself is flawed. Societies thrive on a false sense of stability and absolutely detest chaos.
Everybody is so scared of being wrong about things. A family that never fights is the dream but, what is so bad about conflicts? If I disagree with my father I should be allowed to say so without upsetting anyone or being judged for it.
Sheryl Sandberg wrote in her book, Lean In, “The cost of stability is often diminished opportunities for growth.” Well, she wrote it in a totally different context relating to her job opportunities, but I think it’s valid when it comes to our society too.
Now, feminism is something that stands for liberty for all individuals, be it men or women, and encourages people to think above the existing rules of the society to take up any role that they want to, purely based on their capabilities and interests. A woman choosing what she wants to wear may not be very good for the so-called equations of the society that creates this sense of ‘stability’.
It stands for an individual’s right to choose which, I agree, brings about chaos. In fact, not only chaos, but it also brings to the forefront the hidden ugliness of humankind which society tries so hard to hide by making rules.
And, unfortunately, most of these rules are made for women, whilst most of this recognised ugliness resides in men. I believe this is what we call patriarchy.
I think its high time we realise that stability is highly overrated. It’s this very basic fabric of the society that’s pulling everybody down, women just a little bit more. We talk about the lack of originality and innovation in Indian students or professionals.
But, the problem is that if we are not teaching our kids to stand up to their parents or relatives, how can we expect them to stand up to the world?