Wednesday, March 30, 2011

All this talk about feminism !!!

There are a lot of posts on various blogs about feminism. Let me add my views to it.

I believe in equality, but am not a feminist, and would never like to be called one either !
The problem with feminism is the labeling of those who do not support feminists as anti-feminists.

In a lot of cases, men and women are definitely not equal. How many times have we asked a male friend to drop us back home as it is too late in the night ? How many times have we refused to work late at office only because we didn't want to get back home alone in a cab ? And how many times have we accepted small considerations shown to us (for e.g. a cashier asking women to form a separate queue) only because it suited us ?

What about the demands for 33% reservation for women in AP, and when finally given, 20% of those seats go empty. All this really makes me feel the label "feminism" is misleading and is not a worthy cause. Demand equality where it is due. If you demand equality at a work place, make sure to stay up late just like the men. Do not give the excuse of family or being a woman to be allowed to go back early.

And I feel it is pretty stupid to demand equality where physical labour might be involved. Granted that a lot of women are capable of more stamina than men, but the statistics proving the contrary are larger.

And religion .. Am not well versed in other religions, but Hinduism started with worshiping the supreme feminine power. Even today, the supreme power in Hinduism is a female entity. Though man may perform atrocities on women, Hinduism still places importance on the female power.

Just wanted to say I am not and would not want to be called a feminist. And if a feminist demands equality, she should behave exactly like a male (which in my opinion is impossible as basically men and women are different).

And, at the end of the day, I just want to say : "Free-ya Vidu"


aurpera said...
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bharathee said...

Um, you need to do in-depth analysis of society, culture, history and philosophy to write this post.

But I'd like to point out one thing. Even though the early belief systems, that is pagan religions, worshipped the Goddess, after the evolution of Christianity, Islam and other mainstream religions which were all technically invented by people to implement patriarchy and heirarchy in soceity, paganism became obscure. But pagans do exist even now. Hinduism is still not really a religion, it's a way of life (I'm sure you've heard this before). Even though initially it may have started with other pagan religions (i consider hinduism to be a pagan religion), as it evolved, it has become just like other mainstream religions, but not so rigid with hardcore rules. The term "Hinduism" itself was invented by people to bring it into mainstream. Technically, it's name should be early Indian mythology or just Hindu mythology.

Even though, Hinduism today includes Goddess worship, it's minimal compared to Vaishnavism and Shaivism. Shaktism is practiced by a minority. Plus, over the years, a number of stupid traditions have been invented by people in order to keep women subordinate to men. Eg. : Karva Chauth. I can write a book on all these customs. Hence, Hinduism has evolved too much from its original existence. It's a mainstream religion and it's institutionalized politics. Remember how the caste system came into being? Yep. Hinduism facilitated it.

All that said, I have my own Hindu beliefs as I am brought up like a Hindu. I would personally like to explore it's origin.

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

Bharathee ...

What I've written here is what is obvious to a lot of people. It is easy to blindly demand equality, but I feel it can not really work that way. If you need equality, you should put in just as much effort. But, that is in an ideal world. In relaity, we women cannot put in the same effort as men in a lot of cases, for a lot of reason, so blind equality is not justified.

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

reg : Shaktism, a lot of Shaivites also do Goddess worship, an example being my grandfather. He was a Shaivite .. but he was a worshiper (the term doesnt do justice to his profession or rites) of Goddess Indrakshi.

Srijith Unni said...

Interesting points, Deepa. For instance I have seen many a time, while travelling in buses, that women are free to sit anywhere, but if a man sits in a seat designated for ladies, he is hounded out, but all the same, the mindset that has grown in the Indian psyche that women should be confined to their homes, is what should be fought against. All Feminists are not right, but they have a lot of right things to fight for.

As far as Hinduism is concerned, I disagree with Bharathee, in the sense that Hindu beliefs are not necessarily pagan. Hindu way of life itself is strongly bound to the philosophies and the sciences elaborated upon in the Vedas. Hindus are ultimately Nature Worshippers and people who believe in the circle of life. The core essence of the Bhagwad Gita is also linked to the same, but all this would make another post in itself.

Nice to read, after a long time,

Have Fun, Take Care and God BLess!

With Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

well said ......

bharathee said...

@srijith: I called Hinduism a pagan religion because there are many deities like in Greek, Roman, Norse, Celtic and Egyptian mythologies. You can also find similarities in mythological stories.

H@Ri (Royal Desperado) said...

Great Write Up!!!!!
Because you are a woman, you must make unusual efforts to succeed. If you fail, no one will say, "You doesn't have what it takes." They will say, "Women don't have what it takes.

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

2 Srijith :
hello boss !
exactly .... there are many instances when i've asked guys to move aside in a city bus. Likewise, i also sit it the men's seat if it is free ... so, it is actually taking advantage of the fact that i am a female right ? So, if i were a feminist (if feminism is defined as equality), then, i should not ask men to move , right ? we demand seats for women coz in many cases women are not equal to men when it comes to having to get rough to get seats etc.
If paganism is defined purely on 'multiple gods', then Hinduism is a pagan form, but what is wrong with a religion being pagan, right ? It is more in touch with nature .. which is the best form of worship (I feel)

How have you been ?

2 Anony :
thank you :)

2 Hari :
Spot on !!
But you know what .... i feel really that after a certain age, it is really diff for women to concentrate on hard core engg topics (i know only abt the engg field) ... even for those with no commitments ... simply because the aggressiveness that is required is often not there in women (this is based on what i see around me).

Anonymous said...

Dear Deepa,
In this world, to be expressive, duality is a must. But when there is no need to be expressed in this creation, both the SHIVA AND SHAKTI are merged back in to ONE.

WHen looking from the material angle, then only, Male and Female dualism comes in to picture. When the bodily(material) aspects of the nature are kept aside, then, there is no male or female question at all, but its one and the same.
If we are stuck at this bodily level, then, we will not be able to move and make any progress at all in the ultimate goal in life, which is to realize that self is not the mere body or mind or will power, but that self is an ever existing SOUL.

I remember an incident where Sri Mirabai sends an envoy to a male sadhu to invite him for a pooja followed by lunch. But that sadhu denies the invitation and says that HE DOES NOT GO TO WOMAN.

Do you know what Sri Mira bai says, SHE SAYS SHE COULD NOT FIND ANY MALE IN ALL HER LIFE EXCEPT GOD, which means in the grand scheme of things, ONLY THE ALL PERVADING, OMNIPOTENT AND OMNIPRESENT GOD OR UNIVERSAL COUNCIOUSNESS ALONE IS THE CREATING,SUSTAINING & DESTROYING POWER that everyone has to surrender. And that there is no point in fighting over silly issues like feminism, anti-feminism, male domination etc. i donot say that woman have not been suppressed in India over the last 1 or 2 tousand years, but that was with a reason due to the foreign invaders. Otherwise, what could have been the reason to keep the woman from coming out of kitchen , while the same woman are being prayed and worshipped as the Ultimate Aadi Parashakti images.

While at the physical level, the male and female aspects exist seperately, at the mind, will power level, the same male and female aspects lie with in every individual. Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says that, Adi Para Shakti , the doer of everything in this creation, including creating, sustaining and destroying, is nothing but the ALL PERVADING GOD. Just as in a family, Mother does all the creation (including giving birth, sustaining the child with her holy milk, and if needed, control the same kid if the kid turns harmful to other kids) and the father is the source of inspiration for the mother. For the kids, they donot see a difference between the mother or father, as they treat both as one entity. Same thing applies to the GOD and Adi Para Shakti.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bharathee,


Infact, the idea of saying that there are 3 million GODs in Hinduism is to say that GOD is all pervading and the GOD is Infinite, which translates to Infinite GOD's. How is this? I am GOD, You are GOD, and everyindividual is GOD, except that we donot know , NO, WE FORGOT THIS Realization that we are nothing but the ALL PERVADING GOD.

The number 3 million sysbolizes nothing but the Infinite. This si the concept of Vedas, Bhagavadgeetha etc, the source of Sanatana Dharma or current Hinduism(as referred to by the foreigners)

Rakesh said...

:) Loved this post..Im serious :)

S said...

Couldn't agree more! In this world, where being politically correct takes precedence over brutal honesty; you've had the guts to call a spade a spade!


Sorcerer said...

Absolutely right.
Its all about making a dent in the world..your way!
There is no gender..there is no difference in that.
All people need to do is believe and make their follows be it for a man or a woman.

Gwad!! I am talking sense.. I am talking sense.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hey Deepa

Nice post, I feel the whole idea of gender equality is over simplified by so called feminist , if both gender were same and equal we wont need two different genders do we ? Men are no doubt physically more powerful but when it comes to communication women are a super species :-) . I have seen my mom and my female friends talk their way out of very very messy situation. I wish so called feminist took a more pragmatic approach like you. Women are not inferior nor are they equal , they are just different and should be respected for the same

up↑take said...

Paganism is gaining in the west. It is the idea that divinity permeates all living beings, as opposed to a bearded white man sitting in the sky and punishing people for their wrongs. The movie Avatar was like an endorsement of pagans. Count me as one of them.

up↑take said...

Loved this post. Some sanity still prevails among Indian female bloggers. Great!

My two cents on one of the comments here: Paganism, questions the practice of confining Divinity to a name, a form and some historical character or characters. It is similar to the Hindu belief that divinity exists in all life and all living beings.

Indian Home Maker said...

Dear Deepa, I have discussed your post here.
"If a woman wants equality, she should behave exactly like a male."

Indian Home Maker said...

There is no contact address here?

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

nopes ... no mail ids here ...

Uptake :
hey ! I'm awed by most pagan religions ... I find the concept of life and divinity in the primordial natural forces very appealing !

Just Words :
Hey !
Exactly .. men and women are not the same .. they differ both physically, mentally & emotionally. their needs vary .. so why blindly demand equality ... aargh .. i have loads to say, but hard pressed for time !

Sorcy :
I always knew you had a sensible head :D :D

S :
Hey ... all this emphasis on feminism was too much ... I have loads of independence too , but there is a point where we need to draw the line.

Rakesh :
hey Bratu ... where the hell have you been ?

Anony :
hey .. i like reading your comments,but please leave behind a name ... Did you comment on the AOL post too ?

Anonymous said...

sooo true! women are getting low salary and doing cleaning and garbage stuff in our office.
and they dont want to work midnight like men.
there is nothing equal between men and women XD

Inferno said...

IHM discussed this post without even a link to it. I hope it is just an oversight.