Recently I came across a post on Instagram on Mothers Day. Also, some of my friends had this as their WhatsApp status on Mothers Day.
Nowadays, memes circulating on social media are important for two reasons:
The post talks about the present generation of innocent mothers. Before looking into the issue in the meme, let’s understand the term innocent.
The word takes a different meaning in different senses. For example, a person is referred to as innocent in a legal sense if they are free of guilt. But in everyday usage, the term has a different meaning. We usually refer to one as innocent if they lack knowledge or awareness about something.
But nowadays, many people prefer to be called innocent because of the misconception that this makes them genuine in the eyes of others. So the post tries to impose its own ideology/conception of being innocent on others.
We need not feel proud of being innocent. We have been called so because we might have lacked sense/awareness about something.
Coming back to the post, the creator here uses the word innocent in the same misconception. In a broader sense, the post wants the present generation mothers restricted from using technology to remain innocent forever.
(Any further reference of the word innocent/innocence in the article does not mean it in the legal sense, but in the sense it was used in the post).
It is important to understand that using technology by itself doesn’t make one lose their own genuineness. Technology today is an inevitable necessity, and it also democratised society by giving scope for everyone to utilise it as they wish. Every mother had the choice of using technology as her wish. No one has the right to impose one’s ideology of being innocent on someone else.
A survey conducted in 2020 by Plan International, an NGO, found that 58% of young females on social media faced harassments or abuse. The presumption of the character of a woman using social media platforms by the people forms the basis for these harassments. A post of this kind that wants women to be innocent by not using technology further reinforces the culture of character assassination of those women who use social media platforms.
As per the India Internet Report 2019, the female internet user population in the country is half of the male Internet users, and this bias is more evident in rural India. So this clearly says that women in Indian society even today cannot use the internet by their own choice. Instead, they have to accept the social construct.
The post says that innocent mothers can live happily with limited sources. Everyone in society has to live with limited resources. So in this sense, mothers too need to live with limited resources.
But understanding what makes the resources limited to them is important. Nature and ethics behind redistribution of resources are the principal factors that can justify the limitation of resources. But in this case, the resources are limited based on gender and the social construction of womanhood, which is unscientific.
The post uses the words “She doesn’t have……”. But the reality is that she has been restricted from using it and biased ideologies have been imposed on her.
The post says that if a mother doesn’t know her birthday, she is innocent. If I was aware of my birthday, it means that I found it in my relevant documents (atleast the birth certificate) or heard it from my parents, etc. So if my mother doesn’t know her birthday, it means that she has been denied her existence and education in society. So there is nothing to feel proud about. Rather, society should feel ashamed for doing this to her.
Then finally, it’s not true that your mother doesn’t expect birthday surprises. The truth is that she doesn’t have the scope to expect surprises and was often left with little time in her life for celebrations.
Also, she doesn’t ask for surprises, not because she is “innocent”, but she knows that birthday celebrations will make any difference to her life.
So my point here is simple: “We don’t need innocent Mothers because innocence was a house built with biased bricks.”