As much as I try, I cannot live in a void. Sure, I can keep to myself, read when none of my LadyFriends are around, ignore the douche dude in class when he’s mumbling, “You think so because you’re a woman“. Hell, I can go as far as to wish reality didn’t exist. Sometimes that works; especially if alcohol is a part of the equation. Most other times, I do realise that I don’t live in a void.
Due to my almost regular residence in the RealWorld, I do have to meet, co-exist and sometimes even share breathing space with Not-Feminist people. It doesn’t always go down too pleasantly. Especially if your argument against bell hooks is that “her nose looks weird” or if you think watching Oprah makes you feminist. Chances are, you’ll be yelling your lungs out at me; calling me a man-hating, bra-burning feminist while I am explaining to you just why your brain will melt away one day if not used immediately. I warned you things get ugly around me.
I am often left wondering why do many young women shy away from the label of Feminism? It’s not like being a woman, acting or thinking like one is a disease. If it is, I’m sure it’s not as contagious as rabies is. Of course dear old douche-y dude-y Axe has another take on that. But this is not what I am ranting about today.
What gets to me is how most women will go to no lengths to deny this title. They’ll yell, screech, thinly veil their insults, call you names. Some even wear Playboy merchandise to piss you off. Often it works too well and soon enough you’re doing some of your own screeching. Sometimes it gets to such a point that you really want to even hit them for being so daft (Ladies : Don’t ever hit anyone. Message brought to you by humanity). Sometimes you want to just sit them down, whack them on the head with ‘The Dialectic of Sex‘ till they get you. Or maybe sometimes you just wish they’d go away; to a galaxy far, far away and never come back. Too bad as the bell rings, you collect your books and see that girl acting like a fool just to comply to the wishes of her Dude.
By this point, you’ve gotten over yourself and your narcissistic need to stop looking at anything beyond your own nose. Have you ever wondered, just maybe, she does try and gets nowhere?
Now Beyoncé in this video is probably the ideal of femininity — where femininity equals to hero-worship and the obligation to give his boner a squeeze every minute. She picks it up to such a level that it becomes absurd, at the same time it remains extremely real. She does your laundry, waters your plants, cooks, washes your car and windows while looking like she just walked out of a lingerie catalog, ready to jump your bones when you say so. Despite all her efforts, you still don’t love her, she cries. How many times you’ve seen the same scene unfold in front of you? Sans the hot pants of course.
She’s the girl sitting three rows behind you in class, her only aim is to get a boyfriend and keep him happy. Or the woman you see crying in the train, talking to her spouse, wailing, begging him to take her back. Perhaps it’s a person you know really well, you’ve seen her trying to please her man over and over again; landing back on the floor every single time. Maybe it’s your best-friend who is still sticking around in an abusive relationship hoping to ‘change’ him. At one point or the other, we’ve seen and met these women. Maybe, not-so-long ago we were like them too.
The question that we all come back to is — why don’t you love me? Especially when I make it so easy for you to love me, croons Beyoncé. You can blame the patriarchal culture, misogynist ad campaigns and opinions, that guy down the street who stares at you like you are an object, blame his parents for not teaching him any better, blame your parents for encouraging gender differences, blame your ex WHO BY THE WAY STILL HAS ALL YOUR BOOKS, blame your teachers for not nipping sexism in the bud, blame the State for trying to control our bodies, this culture that re-enforces women’s worth isn’t too much. Finally, you can blame yourself for letting all this affect you on a personal level. You still end up crying with mascara eyes while you’re sitting around your house in lingerie while waiting for him to call.
What is the solution? Give up mascara? Or the guy? Or not expect so much? Or surmising that “She had it coming. She was too needy“? Think it’s justified because she’s not a feminist, she’s obviously a doormat and there’s nothing you can do about that?
Here’s one suggestion : Maybe, we can acknowledge that she tries. This alone makes her human and ‘worthy’ of our time. The next step is to STOP judging. This is the only way we will get anywhere far, far away from now.
(This post is published in the fbomb too)