Disclaimer: This post depicts the socio-realities of some women & men in an indo-asian society, using a dash of sarcasm and the pronoun "I" is an amalgamation of many voices. Not intended to hurt any feelings, but tried to portray a mirror of the society, using a different style of writing, to send the message across.
I feel so privileged to be able to walk on silk sandy beaches, wind in my hair, wet feet in the deep blue sea, with dreamy weather, the sun sending bright rays to my fairy tale life, while I sip my tea, sunbathing, and watching the beautiful sunset. Yes, the Paradise Island, but am I free? Privilege and oppression in the same sentence seems far-fetched, is that what you are wondering? Also, is oppression a word too strong to use?
You might be right. After all, Paradise Island is my home. I have the beach life that everyone on Instagram dreams of and how can I be oppressed? I should not make a big issue out of it, after all, I can go to school, get a degree, what more can I ask for? What more can a girl ask for? I should be happy that I am not killed at birth, I am not married off when I reach 16, and society let me study. I should be grateful you know, for allowing me to live, and it is disgraceful to believe that I have more rights.
All those things about menstrual hygiene, periods, and condemning rape jokes are futile. Real women do not focus on these “small petty things". This is not feminism.
It’s okay if I get catcalled on my way back because “boys will be boys", and I should perhaps review my choices to adjust to them. Maybe my dress is too short, my cleavage too deep, maybe I should not be travelling alone after 6 pm. It's my fault, if I am sexually harassed on the streets, I should have been more careful. Good girls do not step out alone, they do not wear shorts in hot weather, and should not call out wolf-whistling on streets because it might lead to acid attacks, revenge porn, and it is absolutely my fault if it happens to me, after all, you cannot interfere with boys freedom of speech, right? And yes, rape culture and consent all these are just “feminists’ things. They do not really exist. Gender-based violence, marital rape, workplace harassment, gang rapes will obviously happen if women act too liberal. These are bound to happen. Added to that, #NotallMen
Why make such an issue about education? I must be thankful that I am allowed, to go to school in the first place. What if there are separate subjects for girls and boys? It's okay, it's just one subject anyway, and girls and boys are different you know, girls are better at cooking & cleaning. They are born with a special label which says "good at cooking - housewives material”. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that women's place is at home in the kitchen, they can work, they are not oppressed, we let them carry on with their jobs after the wedding. They can contribute financially to the household and take care of parenting, cooking and cleaning as well. A real woman knows how to balance everything (we all see how we glorify women as being superwomen for juggling between work and house). She wakes up early, clean, cooks, takes care of kids, goes to work, comes back, cooks, cleans, take care of kids. Her husband can give her a helping hand when he is free from watching football, or politics, and cannot do much because he never stepped in a kitchen when he was a kid, and do not know how to cook, while women are master chefs, the moment they start walking, because they inherited, super cooking skills. They did not learn it, like men have to do. Hard work, you know. And not to mention they run the risk of being mocked for doing housework, because men should be tough, should not cry, should not show emotions, and should have certain gender roles too.
Good girls do not rebel. They conform themselves to gender stereotypes and might have minor issues adjusting but everything falls into place eventually and happily ever after. After all, they have been trained how to serve their husband, and in-laws since a young age, and their presence is only validated in a male presence- she is the sister, the wife, the mother, the girlfriend, and not the human being. Her identity is not based on her education and qualities but on her husband’s name because getting a rich prince is the goal of every girls’ anyway! And they are also avid supporting of this circle of wrong by shaming other women for living life on their own terms, for wearing clothes they are not comfortable wearing, for choosing career over having kids, for being "too forward" and being "feminists" and think that being submissive is a badge of honor. They mock men for not abiding by toxic gender roles, and bully them to “man up” and raise their daughters and sons to be sexist people.
I may seem arrogant, the world was supposedly created in such a way that women & men are different, it has always been that way; women homemakers, men breadwinners, so why disrupt this 'natural cycle?' I have been given far more than I deserved. Education, the gift to live, when I was destined to be in the kitchen. My life is a sheer privilege isn’t it?