Wednesday, October 11, 2006

five things i owe to feminism

1. The belief that 'perfect' and 'good' are two different things, and that letting the first get in the way of the second is disastrous. The immediate thought that occurred to me when I began this post was, 'wow, how tough, I wonder if I can counter-meme something easier, like "five things that feminism hasn't changed for or about me",' because I'm crazy. I'm not a perfect feminist. I'm dealing with it. This is good. It allows one to value what one has and set realistic goals for what needs to be done. It is not the "hedonistic, hypocritical" activity that the laff-a-minute 'Save Indian Family' lot think it is.

2. My relationship with my mother. My mother and feminism are compelling guiding forces in my life, and, as fate will have this, are both strikingly similar and annoyingly contradictory at various times. And in spite of being on opposing sides of a number of debates, including ones about marriage, infants and skin bleaches ('they just take off the grit!'), with her, I've learnt to value not where she's coming from, but her, and her choices. They say that the patriarchy's greatest crime is to have made daughters hate their mothers. I am very glad to have escaped this. My mum's really great.

3. Disrespect. Politicising pig-headedness is just going to end up putting the patriarchy in trouble, innit? Oh, the pleasures of formal enjoyment of art and gratuitous and casual flirtation, for T S Eliot qua T S Eliot! You have been wrested from my bosom. Here is a veil of mourning, that I am not going to wear for you.

4. Resource management. Feminism has taught me that you can kill two men with a single bullet by shooting it into the air and cutting it with a swiss knife in such a way that the two separate bits are deflected mid-air with a special flick of the wrist to embed themselves in the villains' chests.

5. Respect for the gaps in every story.

... wait, the bullet trick was actually Rajnikanth. D'oh! Sorry. (What? He saves women from rape an' stuff, yo. He cares.)

As a bonus favour of feminism, how about: the right to eat the same food at the same time at the same table as my male relatives? Or: the actual right to receive property from my mother and pass it along to future female children? Political franchise, advanced education, freedom to see men as more than oppressors or liberators and all that bad binary shit?

The right to relationships that exist beyond the bounds of blood, money and sex?

To be capable of taking all this for granted?

I was tagged by Aishwarya. In my turn I call upon Isheeta, Kate/Bob, Szerelem, Uma and Vivek. Anyone else interested, please consider this a personal shoutout, even if you're incapable of taking things seriously, or a dude, or both.


Maybe I should do a 'five things feminism has taken no part of for me' thing next.


  1. Altariel6:51 pm

    *hearts you*

  2. They say that the patriarchy's greatest crime is to have made daughters hate their mothers.
    Nod. I have a temptestuous relationship with mine, but I think it is not too complacent on my part to say that I love her with a patriarchy-shattering love.

    And - do the other one you made up! Sounds interesting.

  3. haha...i tagged you as well =P
    Oh and my mum's really great too and I think feminism has a lot to do with that.

    Btw, this is a difficult meme. I cant think of what exactly to write!!

  4. anonymouse12:59 pm

    I am not sure if disrespect is the correct term here. Irreverence would be a better term, particularly for slaughtering the holy cows of the patriarchical society.

    Irreverence is good. Disrespect is bad.

    One is often mistaken for the other though.

  5. @ a: thank you. I heart you right back. And I'd love to hear from you on this. :)

    @ omelette: You've set the stars in my night sky. A love that shatters the patriarchy! There is the life to live!

    @ szerelem: I know, I found it immensely hard too, because it's so difficult to articulate and separate the effects of feminism from life as one knows it. But I'd be genuinely interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.

    @ devdas: That opposition doesn't quite work for me. I really did mean 'disrespect'. I'm afraid irreverence is too light-hearted to encompass the contempt in my tiny head and the anger in my fluttering heart.

  6. Yep, thats exactly why I have been finding it difficult. Will try an gather my thoughts and write it down soon enough.
    Oh and Pamuk won the Nobel...terribly thrilled!