What was Feminism again?

Finally, after a little over a month I drew the curtains on my latest obsession – ‘Person of Interest’ (Dear Parents – It’s a TV show). I had gotten used to planning my day around the number of episodes I could aim to watch (In case any of my supervisors/employers are reading this – I swear I did not plan my leaves around this). I cancelled on my friends to catch one extra episode and I felt emotionally responsible for the scriptwriter’s decisions. Yes, I can get carried away sometimes. Well, you can thus imagine the withdrawal symptoms that took over me post the credits of the last episode.

Hence, it was time to call an old friend and meet over some good-old fried food!

My ramblings here and now however, have nothing to with the A-mazing show. Rather, it is about a small incident that caught my attention in the span of 2 hours that I spent outside my house. I was standing in the queue of a fast food joint, waiting patiently for the people in front of me to order (only to change their mind) their ‘sunyay!’ night dinner when there was an unexpected outburst in the adjacent queue – which by the way, seemed to move MUCH faster. A woman was unhappy with some behaviour of some staff (I was too hungry to get to the root cause). She, as understandable for a grieving customer demanded to speak with the manager. By then there were three clear groups of people in the restricted ring of action – 1: The grieving customer and her 3 very angry friends; 2: The defensive employees of the joint who had the reigns to my dinner; 3: Us, the hungry customers (ready to set aside hunger for few minutes of a free fight scene). As the manager took aside the agitated young lady (let us call her aunt-acid for convenience), the queues started moving again and a general sense of mind-your-own business started setting in. But that’s when something aunt-acid said to the manager as he tried to fight her back, caught my ear. “This is not how you speak to a woman!”, yelled aunt-acid. I can understand the use of the statement – “This is not how you speak to a customer!”, but why use a gender card? Why start a fight and yell at a man when he is not allowed to return the favour?

At moments like this I comprehend why feminism is misconstrued. I can see how the fight for women’s rights is considered a purposeless movement. It is our responsibility as women to stand up for each other, but it is also for us to ensure that the sentiments behind the fight are not misused. The struggle is for equal rights, equal opportunities and for a common platform. We don’t need favours offered to us on a silver tray. We just want to sit at the same table with men as deserving. I don’t call myself a feminist for the simple reason that it has come to become a fuzzy word, often with no boundaries. I recognize the need to uplift women. Uplift them to showcase their abilities. I recognize the need to educate women. Educate them to flourish of their own accord. I recognize the need to encourage women.  Encourage them to be independent. What I do not recognize is the need to be treated like a queen, or be pampered like a child. I can say this for myself and I know for the greater majority, that we as women do not need an easier life. What we need is the strength and support to endure a difficult one.

Here’s to hoping that the cause is not lost!

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