The New Face of Indian Feminism

The new face of Indian feminism, and whole lot of crabs:

Ah, the prude me! If only I had the guts to substitute the word face with something with more, umm, oomph factor, I guess I’d have made the cut (into the real liberal league, or the RLL for short). I should start kicking myself, and learn to be more liberal (or more real liberal). Bear with me. Bear with me, as you’ve been bearing with me all these days/months/years, the way you bear with any other megalomaniac dimwit (if you’re a first timer, go to paragraph no 31 directly). This time, I’ve an excuse. I’m writing after a long time (unless you count book review as writing). Yes, at times, the anti-constipation medicines might be a little too effective for comfort. So, for the third time, bear with me. I’ll come to the point, later, rather than sooner. Oh hell with it. I’ll come to it anyway. What’s sooner or later between friends?

Yes, I’ve come down from the pedestal already, as some of my regular readers (actually one, unless I count myself), would say (IW, you’re still reading, aren’t you?). I mean, why oh why, am I chewing on a subject that deserves its own share of ignoring? The reason, as I already told you, is this: something is better than nothing. I mean, I’m thirty one plus (not twenty-something, unless 11 counts as something), not getting any younger, definitely not getting any smarter, more definitely not getting any creative (I contemplated if I should add more before creative, but then backed off). My writing career is in the middle of nowhere, since the day I started. Mind you, it hasn’t moved left or right, up or down. It’s right in the middle of nowhere, all along. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that is where it’s gonna stay. So what was I doing on the pedestal anyways? Smart question. But then, I’ve come down, haven’t I? OK, OK! I promised I’ll get to the point.

Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we, for a change? Let me share all that I learned in the last two hours (I hope my manager, who has the feed of this blog in his reader, and even reads it sometimes, isn’t reading this. He thinks I’m writing a design paper. There! I’ve confessed! Ummm. Sorry, I shouldn’t be jumping the gun). So first thing I learned is: there is a blogger called eM. Damn this new Firefox feature of online spell check. It says eM is a misspelling. I mean, do these guy have any sense of humor? Just because you spell something in reverse doesn’t make it a misspelling! Doesn’t make you ulta either. There! Another red line under ulta. Okay, honest now, I’ll keep it straight. Not that straight, dear. I mean, of course I’m straight. But as an aspiring member of the RLL, I don’t want anyone to think that I meant straight as a value-judgment. The last thing I need is being called homophobic!

So anyways, I was telling you about eM. She has a blog. What did you say? Everyone has a blog these days. Thanks for educating me. But eM has an ubercool blog: The Compulsive Confessor. It deals with: “partying, smoking and binge drinking, along with candid musings about sexual techniques and escapades” according to Telegraph (UK) feature. Oye, where are you going? I haven’t even finished! Good thing I didn’t give you the url right away. So anyways, Telegraph (UK) did a story on her. And what’s more, the story divulged that Penguin India has commissioned her to write a semi-autobiographical book. So far so good. What has it got to do with feminism, you ask? Well you tell me. I wish I knew! Who’s saying anything about feminism?

Oh you mean the title. Sorry. Fooled ya! Ha. Just kidding. I’ll get to that. (No wonder no one takes me seriously).

On Sepia Mutiny — the greatest thing to have happened to Indian Blogdom since Margaret Thatcher (what? what has she got to do with Indian blogdom? I’ve no clue. It’s the first name that came to my mind. It seemed as good as any) — Amardeep did his take on the article, and then Indian feminism was born. Err. Okay, not really. Again, blame it on those anti-blogstipation medication thanks to Amway. I’d have sued Amway, but then my brother will be implicated too. (What I’ve no brother? How did you know? Is there no privacy on net, dammit?)

So we had two of the most famous Indian Women Bloggers (or so I’ve heard) taking up the fight against the patriarchy that was pulling crabs down, and pants up.

What’s wrong with compulsive confessing, Sakshi asked. Well, absolutely nothing, I agree. I mean, just because it’s compulsive doesn’t mean there is something wrong!

Wonder why our society’s philosophy on empowerment starts at providing women with decent education and then abruptly ends when she starts expressing her individuality.

Indeed! With you all the way.

Similarly, many think eM writes solely to attract attention and gain that temporary hype (and therefore she ended up getting a book deal) because it’s difficult for them to comprehend the fact that an Indian woman can also think, write, discuss and not be apprehensive about her intimate thoughts on a public platform

Absolutely. Indian Women rock! Err. I didn’t mean… you know what I didn’t mean.

On the other hand if her writings were preaching the sati-savitri qualities in desi-women, the joys of motherhood, the precious value of an intact hymen – she would be applauded for her thoughts, no matter how farce they maybe in actuality.

There you lost me, Sakshi. Intact hymen? Are there bloggers writing about intact hymen? Where are they? Why are they hiding? I mean, if they’re being applauded, as you contend, surely I should have heard about them. But then, I’m a little hard on hearing, so sorry for asking again. Where are they? I so love blogs about intact hymen.

The only question I have is, where in the blog did Sepia Mutiny/Amardeep actually said she should not express her individuality, or take off her blog/not write a book/do whatever? But asking that question might bar me from RLL. So for the record, I never asked it.

Melody highlighted the Indian Crab mentality with a nice old story. Of course she was being a little judgmental of the crabs but then I’m not a PETA activist, so I guess crabs will have to deal with the damage to their self-esteem on their own. (Comment to the crabs:) Sorry guys. I like you, but on my dish. Lightly spiced, and cooked well. Your self-esteem is, frankly, not my problem. (End of comment to the crabs). Besides, she didn’t really give the crabs a benefit of doubt. Maybe they are pulling the other crab down, because they:

1. Think he might be killed if he goes out, in the unknown world.
2. Like him so much that they don’t want him to go away.
3. They are actually trying to push him up, but are just plain incompetent.
4. It’s not a he crab, but a she crab. And the he crabs surely don’t want to let a her go.

(Note: I’ve implied that the pulling crabs are all male. After all, women crabs cannot be that insensitive!)

But I get the point. Postmodernism is not on offer for the crabs (although crabs are on offer for the postmodernists! What a win-win). Especially not for the Indian crabs. There I almost sound like a PETA activist now (except for that insensitive comment about the dish. But then I really like crabs, when dished out that way). I’ve heard PETA members have a preferential queue in RLL. But then we aren’t reading for any ulterior motives, and just taking the things on face (errr! there again, I lost my second chance. the prude me) value.

According to Melody, its a “very very sad” thing to “diss”(miss?) another blogger, a fellow Indian blogger at that, a fellow Indian Female blogger at at that that (this last I presumed), especially by a group of “desi bloggers”. Doesn’t she get it? There are Indian bloggers, and there are Desi bloggers. Surely, you can’t expect one group to root for the other! But then, I’m with you Melody. We must not ever dismiss anything Indian. Even Shobha De. There, I’m against Sakshi, even. She says Shobha De is a hypocrite! How could she. I mean, Shobha De is an Indian Writer for god’s sake. And an Indian women writer at that. And an Indian women writer who wrote about women taking down their pants (or so I’ve heard), and men too, for it takes two to tango, and in those days when you said two, you said one M and one F, how homophobic!) long before there were bloggers writing about women taking down their pants.

I get it. I get it. Why Shobha De is not kitsch, is that she only wrote about other people taking off their pants. Never about she taking off her pants. But it’s a big mistakes. She never wore pants! So come on now. Let’s forgive Shobha De for her alleged hypocrisy. We must root for Indian feminism, in all shapes and forms. Err… I didn’t mean it that way. You know what I didn’t mean, don’t you?

Feminism re-mystified?

Maureen Dowd’s article in NYT What’s a Modern Girl to Do? came to me through Aditya’s blog. Meanwhile it’s moved off to NYT archives which are not free, so this is the link from LJ for those who want to read it. Not too sure, the exercise is worth it, but then curiosity is such a bitch.

For instance, what made me curious is:

Maybe we should have known that the story of women’s progress would be more of a zigzag than a superhighway, that the triumph of feminism would last a nanosecond while the backlash lasted 40 years.

First, when did feminism really find its triumph? More about that later, though.

After all, sometime in the 1960’s flirting went out of fashion, as did ironing boards, makeup and the idea that men needed to be “trapped” or “landed.” The way to approach men, we reasoned, was forthrightly and without games, artifice or frills. Unfortunately, history has shown this to be a misguided notion.

Which men? Is this reverse objectifying — men as objects worth hooking up with?

And what is a misguided notion? That men, at least some men, are worth not trapping or not landing, whatever that means? That for some women, the men that have to be trapped by playing games just aren’t worth a long-term relationship? That there can be more to relationships than the surface stuff?

I knew things were changing because a succession of my single girlfriends had called, sounding sheepish, to ask if they could borrow my out-of-print copy of “How to Catch and Hold a Man.”

I guess bollywood knows this very well too. For Shahrukh Khan’s character in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai needs a pallu-drop or something equivalent to fall for the Kajol’s character — even in his mid-thirties. The tomboyish Kajol is not women enough. But surely there are men out there who don’t let their libido decide who they choose to have long-term relationships with? No?

Decades after the feminist movement promised equality with men, it was becoming increasingly apparent that many women would have to brush up on the venerable tricks of the trade: an absurdly charming little laugh, a pert toss of the head, an air of saucy triumph, dewy eyes and a full knowledge of music, drawing, elegant note writing and geography. It would once more be considered captivating to lie on a chaise longue, pass a lacy handkerchief across the eyelids and complain of a case of springtime giddiness.

Promised equality? You’re only as equal as you feel. No one can promise any equality. The very sign that some women have to pick up the “tricks of the trade” tells that they don’t feel equal. A conditioning that’s around for thousands of years cannot be wished away easily. I haven’t read a lot of feminist literature but “promising equality” seems pretty foolish thing to do. Equality is an ideal that one fights for, never knowing if one reaches there, especially in the eyes of the rest. But any movement strives to reach there. That’s not same as promising it. It’s not a magic wand that would overnight turn all the emaciated women in the world into emancipated individuals.

Helen Fisher, a Rutgers anthropologist, concurs with Julie: “What our grandmothers told us about playing hard to get is true. The whole point of the game is to impress and capture. It’s not about honesty. Many men and women, when they’re playing the courtship game, deceive so they can win. Novelty, excitement and danger drive up dopamine in the brain. And both sexes brag.”

Call me an idealist (and you would not be the first), but this is beyond me. If it’s not about honesty, then what will this relationship stand on? More and more this article made me realize why I think of feminism in a very positive light — at least it’s an ideology that’s based on the the assumptions that women and men can be human beings qua human being — thinking, feeling individuals. It at least appeals to the best in women, and men and not the worst.

Women might dye their hair, apply makeup and spend hours finding a hip-slimming dress, she said, while men may drive a nice car or wear a fancy suit that makes them seem richer than they are. In this retro world, a woman must play hard to get but stay soft as a kitten. And avoid sarcasm.
Altogether.

Men have soft egos, women have soft skin? This is journalism? Even in India, which never really had a organized feminist movement to speak of, these stereotypes stand discredited.

In the first flush of feminism, women offered to pay half the check with “woman money” as a way to show that these crass calculations – that a woman’s worth in society was determined by her looks, that she was an ornament up for sale to the highest bidder – no longer applied.

Are we anything more than social animals at all? How about wanting to split a check because in the new world order where both men and women earn, it’s unnatural for only one to pick it up always?

Now dating etiquette has reverted. Young women no longer care about using the check to assert their equality. They care about using it to assess their sexuality. Going Dutch is an archaic feminist relic. Young women talk about it with disbelief and disdain. “It’s a scuzzy 70’s thing, like platform shoes on men,” one told me.

Asserting equality? How about being a responsible adult? If young women talk about it with disbelief and disdain, then they are as much part of this skewed system as the men who insist on picking up the check for it hurts their egos when the females pick them up.

“Feminists in the 70’s went overboard,” Anne Schroeder, a 26-year-old magazine editor in Washington, agrees. “Paying is like opening a car door. It’s nice. I appreciate it. But he doesn’t have to.”

Unless he wants another date.

OR

“If you offer, and they accept, then it’s over.”

In other words, chivalry is a birthright of women?

But it doesn’t matter if the woman is making as much money as the man, or more, she expects him to pay, both to prove her desirability and as a way of signaling romance – something that’s more confusing in a dating culture rife with casual hookups and group activities. (Once beyond the initial testing phase and settled in a relationship, of course, she can pony up more.)

To prove her desirability? That’s of course what it’s all about at the end of the day. Only females that don’t assert themselves in any way that could potentially offend fragile egos are desirable.

“There are plenty of ways for me to find out if he’s going to see me as an equal without disturbing the dating ritual,” one young woman says. “Disturbing the dating ritual leads to chaos. Everybody knows that.”

At this point I went rotfl. And then they laugh about arranged marriages? Aren’t they just dating rituals ;-). Seriously, the east and the west is much closer than one could have ever thought.

When I asked a young man at my gym how he and his lawyer girlfriend were going to divide the costs on a California vacation, he looked askance. “She never offers,” he replied. “And I like paying for her.” It is, as one guy said, “one of the few remaining ways we can demonstrate our manhood.”

Yeah I guess when size doesn’t matter, the purse does? And since when did lawyers started offering any money anyways :D. Fun apart, at this rate, men are as much at the receiving end of the system as the women are.

At a party for the Broadway opening of “Sweet Smell of Success,” a top New York producer gave me a lecture on the price of female success that was anything but sweet. He confessed that he had wanted to ask me out on a date when he was between marriages but nixed the idea because my job as a Times columnist made me too intimidating. Men, he explained, prefer women who seem malleable and awed. He predicted that I would never find a mate because if there’s one thing men fear, it’s a woman who uses her critical faculties. Will she be critical of absolutely everything, even his manhood?

The world, I realize is governed by one thing alone — manhood. This selective, anecdotal reporting coming from NYT isn’t a surprise at all, but still it’s pretty painful. The worst thing is, you cannot fight anecdotal evidence.

He had hit on a primal fear of single successful women: that the aroma of male power is an aphrodisiac for women, but the perfume of female power is a turnoff for men. It took women a few decades to realize that everything they were doing to advance themselves in the boardroom could be sabotaging their chances in the bedroom, that evolution was lagging behind equality. (Bold emphasis mine)

The words — to realize — as if it’s uncontested, proven fact, are worth noting. Evolution or culture? Evolution moves very slowly, for it’s based on genetical information, but cultures can move much faster for they can tap the extra-genetic information, concepts, precepts, philosophies, attitudes… But even cultural biases don’t change on their own. When those who are hurt by them imbibe them instead of fighting them, they win. When an emancipated women, a columnist for NYT, one of the most powerful entity in today’s world, starts talking matter-of-factly about attitudes that need to be fought, things are bleak.

So was the feminist movement some sort of cruel hoax? Do women get less desirable as they get more successful?

I just hope this article was a cruel hoax!

“Women get in relationships because they want somebody to talk to. Men want women to shut up.”

I don’t know why I’m even bothering to refute something as idiotic as this.

Women moving up still strive to marry up. Men moving up still tend to marry down. The two sexes’ going in opposite directions has led to an epidemic of professional women missing out on husbands and kids.

In the absence of suitable partners, is it better to live alone or compromise and pick up an insecure partner and cut-down oneself to the fit his level of insecurity? I don’t see why the above is necessarily bad or epidemic? (I assume that epidemic is necessarily negative, for I’ve never heard of epidemic of happiness or epidemic of health)

A 2005 report by researchers at four British universities indicated that a high I.Q. hampers a woman’s chance to marry, while it is a plus for men. The prospect for marriage increased by 35 percent for guys for each 16-point increase in I.Q.; for women, there is a 40 percent drop for each 16-point rise.

Maybe because IQ is itself a very skewed indicator of human potential? Also, even though I come from Indian culture, where marriage is everything, I still don’t see why it is everything.

Men, apparently, learn early to protect their eggshell egos from high-achieving women. The girls said they hid the fact that they went to Harvard from guys they met because it was the kiss of death. “The H-bomb,” they dubbed it. “As soon as you say Harvard Business School . . . that’s the end of the conversation,” Ani Vartanian said. “As soon as the guys say, ‘Oh, I go to Harvard Business School,’ all the girls start falling into them.”

I guess Ms. Dowd would not stop disparaging the male community. I mean how fragile egos are we supposed to have? Is there any limit? Even John Grey sounds serious when compared to this.

The article drags on an on and on. But I have to stop somewhere. Those who have patience, please read till the end and tell me what is the point that the article is trying to make. I’d be glad. And if an intelligent girl ends up understanding it when I didn’t, I swear I’d not feel offended.

Scattered Thoughts on International Women’s Day

Once you get used to your own cynicism, like I am, you tend to dismiss offhand things without really looking at their value. It’s not for no reason that Oscar Wilde said Cynic is a person who knows price of everything and the value of nothing!. In the present times when everything from Sania Mirza (with all due respect to her temperament and talent) to Indian Idols (Ditto) is hyped, it’s hard not to be cynical. In times when there is one or the other day always working overtime for the Hallmarks and the Archies, it’s hard not to be cynical about the xyz day. And yet, the extreme cynic that I am, I think if world needs a day, it’s a Women’s Day. No, it’s not a conversion of a cynic ;-).

In a TV-Debate on a Marathi channel centered on the International Women’s Day, the only Male panelist who was fighting the lost cause of the patriarchal system, was arguing for Stree-Shakti (Women’s Empowerment) as opposed to Stree-Mukti (Women’s Liberation). His point was that women’s liberation is unnecessary and indeed a wrong approach. He hinted at Vinoba Bhave’s ideas of Women’s Shakti, and yet, when asked how would someone who is not free realize the power, he was speechless.
I said fighting for patriarchal system is a lost cause, not because patriarchy is dead. Anything but the opposite (however my secondary point is lurking right here, to be addressed later). What’s changed in the urban intellectual context, is that the patriarchy has gone underground. It knows there is no point to debate — after all they hold the card yet. In public discourse, fighting for patriarchy is as prudent as fighting for Holocaust denial in America! But that doesn’t mean that you need to change your houses — after all what has intellectual stands have got to do with day to day living?

Ah, back to the question, why do I think the world needs Women’s day? Quite simply because tokenism has its own value! The same TV-channels that make you wanna puke for the matter of fact portrayal of the great Indian patriarchy, even if for the sake of tokenism open up the debates on the man-woman equation. And those same couch potatoes who swallow the former get to hear the voices from the other side — a much vilified, much sidelined, and much mis-represented class of women — to the extent that it has become an oxymoron: the independent women.

Why I say patriarchy still holds all the cards, is that it leaves independent men to be pretty much alone. So it’s okay if a man doesn’t want to meet his inlaws for it bores him, being asocial, being whimsical, being arrogant. The patriarchy isn’t really threatened by that species — it’s immune to it. But the same deviations in a women, and the hell lets loose, even in urban educated families who pride upon their modernity — of clothes, of drinks and all the likes. It’s always the independent minded woman who is blamed for breaking the house — as if her husband is just a stooge. He even earns the sympathy of the system for the way the woman has cast a spell on him. It’s always the independent thinking woman who is held responsible for the failures of her kid. It always the independent thinking woman who is held responsible for the rising divorces. The patriarchy goes on, never stopping for a moment to introspect.

And now, we have gone to the next stage — already there is too much freedom, and all talk about feminism is irrelevant, a game invented by some lunatics who are misandros, if there is such a word! For our society has changed, is what I hear. Girls these days get the equal (and even more equal) treatment in the house. There are stories of husbands who cook and clean and share the burden told with oozing admiration for those men. They are the darlings of the patriarchy, for they prove their point — of how fair the world is to women already! And yet, one routinely hears stories of weddings paid for by the bride, of working women getting up at 5 AM to prepare lunch/breakfast for the hubby, who doesn’t believe making a cup of tea is really his cup of tea, of girls being paid less because they anyway don’t need that money — their husbands being paid well. There are countless stories in the same urban educated class, in our vicinities, we don’t even have to go to the slums.

Yes we need the stories of the helping husbands too, but what about the stories of their wives who are taking the equal share? Are they suddenly out of fashion because they aren’t empathisable material anymore? For it’s these woman who are the silent crusaders of the band of feminism that’s living what they preach — they have fought with the patriarchy, taken the bad-mouthing like a man (to use an extremely un-appropriate phrase), asserted their rights, and above all shown a tenacity that would make anyone proud! Well almost anyone, for no one seems to be proud of them. If it takes a tokenism, an International Women’s Day, for me to say it, so be it, but I’m proud of you girls. I am married to one such girl, and to whom I want to dedicate this blog! Saya, I’m proud of you!

And here is my one request to the womenfolk out there. The patriarchy is not about male domination — it’s about keeping the system rolling. For the MIL and SILs are as much a part of the patriarchy as are the FIL and BIL, albeit more so. So please take the International Women’s Day seriously and if you care about Women’s liberation or empowerment, start with your home. Make sure you are not part of the patriarchy. If all of you do that, the patriarchy will collapse like a piece of cards. Yes, some of us would help you out in that, but then how many of you can you really expect to help you? And the system wins because people given in a tad too easily. Don’t!

Scattered Thoughts on International Women’s Day

Once you get used to your own cynicism, like I am, you tend to dismiss offhand things without really looking at their value. It’s not for no reason that Oscar Wilde said Cynic is a person who knows price of everything and the value of nothing!. In the present times when everything from Sania Mirza (with all due respect to her temperament and talent) to Indian Idols (Ditto) is hyped, it’s hard not to be cynical. In times when there is one or the other day always working overtime for the Hallmarks and the Archies, it’s hard not to be cynical about the xyz day. And yet, the extreme cynic that I am, I think if world needs a day, it’s a Women’s Day. No, it’s not a conversion of a cynic ;-).

In a TV-Debate on a Marathi channel centered on the International Women’s Day, the only Male panelist who was fighting the lost cause of the patriarchal system, was arguing for Stree-Shakti (Women’s Empowerment) as opposed to Stree-Mukti (Women’s Liberation). His point was that women’s liberation is unnecessary and indeed a wrong approach. He hinted at Vinoba Bhave’s ideas of Women’s Shakti, and yet, when asked how would someone who is not free realize the power, he was speechless.
I said fighting for patriarchal system is a lost cause, not because patriarchy is dead. Anything but the opposite (however my secondary point is lurking right here, to be addressed later). What’s changed in the urban intellectual context, is that the patriarchy has gone underground. It knows there is no point to debate — after all they hold the card yet. In public discourse, fighting for patriarchy is as prudent as fighting for Holocaust denial in America! But that doesn’t mean that you need to change your houses — after all what has intellectual stands have got to do with day to day living?

Ah, back to the question, why do I think the world needs Women’s day? Quite simply because tokenism has its own value! The same TV-channels that make you wanna puke for the matter of fact portrayal of the great Indian patriarchy, even if for the sake of tokenism open up the debates on the man-woman equation. And those same couch potatoes who swallow the former get to hear the voices from the other side — a much vilified, much sidelined, and much mis-represented class of women — to the extent that it has become an oxymoron: the independent women.

Why I say patriarchy still holds all the cards, is that it leaves independent men to be pretty much alone. So it’s okay if a man doesn’t want to meet his inlaws for it bores him, being asocial, being whimsical, being arrogant. The patriarchy isn’t really threatened by that species — it’s immune to it. But the same deviations in a women, and the hell lets loose, even in urban educated families who pride upon their modernity — of clothes, of drinks and all the likes. It’s always the independent minded woman who is blamed for breaking the house — as if her husband is just a stooge. He even earns the sympathy of the system for the way the woman has cast a spell on him. It’s always the independent thinking woman who is held responsible for the failures of her kid. It always the independent thinking woman who is held responsible for the rising divorces. The patriarchy goes on, never stopping for a moment to introspect.

And now, we have gone to the next stage — already there is too much freedom, and all talk about feminism is irrelevant, a game invented by some lunatics who are misandros, if there is such a word! For our society has changed, is what I hear. Girls these days get the equal (and even more equal) treatment in the house. There are stories of husbands who cook and clean and share the burden told with oozing admiration for those men. They are the darlings of the patriarchy, for they prove their point — of how fair the world is to women already! And yet, one routinely hears stories of weddings paid for by the bride, of working women getting up at 5 AM to prepare lunch/breakfast for the hubby, who doesn’t believe making a cup of tea is really his cup of tea, of girls being paid less because they anyway don’t need that money — their husbands being paid well. There are countless stories in the same urban educated class, in our vicinities, we don’t even have to go to the slums.

Yes we need the stories of the helping husbands too, but what about the stories of their wives who are taking the equal share? Are they suddenly out of fashion because they aren’t empathisable material anymore? For it’s these woman who are the silent crusaders of the band of feminism that’s living what they preach — they have fought with the patriarchy, taken the bad-mouthing like a man (to use an extremely un-appropriate phrase), asserted their rights, and above all shown a tenacity that would make anyone proud! Well almost anyone, for no one seems to be proud of them. If it takes a tokenism, an International Women’s Day, for me to say it, so be it, but I’m proud of you girls. I am married to one such girl, and to whom I want to dedicate this blog! Saya, I’m proud of you!

And here is my one request to the womenfolk out there. The patriarchy is not about male domination — it’s about keeping the system rolling. For the MIL and SILs are as much a part of the patriarchy as are the FIL and BIL, albeit more so. So please take the International Women’s Day seriously and if you care about Women’s liberation or empowerment, start with your home. Make sure you are not part of the patriarchy. If all of you do that, the patriarchy will collapse like a piece of cards. Yes, some of us would help you out in that, but then how many of you can you really expect to help you? And the system wins because people given in a tad too easily. Don’t!