By Manu Singh
In a Times of India blog titled ‘Why Tanmay Bhat got feminism wrong’ the author tries to deal with Tanmay’s recent post where he defends the word and the importance of the label. The author, Priyali Prakash, by her own admission does not understand feminism.
Yes. reader, you read that right.
Are you wondering now that why a person who by their own admission does not understand feminism is writing on a national daily’s blog about Tanmay’s understanding of the same.
I am sorry, reader. I have no polite answer for this.
Priayali writes, “ I have a very simple reason of not calling myself a feminist – feminism, as a theory and as a movement, has evolved over centuries and I believe I haven’t read of its documentation well enough to call myself a feminist. That’s it.” One wonders then why is she so vehemently arguing about something she has not engaged with or from the looks of it has no intention of doing so in the future either.
Let’s hear what Tanmay had to say
Tanmay is vigorously trying to prove that feminism is not a bad word. He claims that you are a feminist if you believe in equal rights for both men and women. To this, Priyali argues, “Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t misquoting a fight for ‘equality for all’ as ‘feminism’ negate the very basic grounds of equality?”
My dear Priyali, it is a fight for equality between genders. This is my attempt to correct you because I do believe you have some major misconceptions that need to be cleared out. Feminism, as a theory and movement is a fight against systematic oppression that believes in the supremacy of one gender.
In doing so, it casts out categories and roles that a particular gender must perform in order to align themselves to what is considered the norm. You say it is not a fight for all. But it is, it is a fight for all to be what they want to be irrespective of their gender. It is a fight for all in terms of equal opportunities and equal space.
You write that a society must treat all of its subjects equally. Well, then we should get right on it. Let us go and oppress men instead of working towards equal opportunities for women.
NO, WE MUST NOT.
You call yourself ‘conveniently sexist’. I call you blatantly ignorant. You fail to realise that metro coaches are not perks. They are a statement that says, If you can’t treat us well, we’ll treat each other well. It is claiming a space as their own, denying to stop commuting out of “sheer fear of being groped, molested or worse, raped.”
You conclude your article by pointing out that you are not a feminist. Perhaps you aren’t, according to your understanding of it. Instead of shutting down Tanmay’s arguments or ‘rant’, perhaps it would be wise to read up and engage with what feminism really is all about.
Your article is a simple reaction laced with ignorance that made me cringe when I read it. You owe your position as a modern working woman to countless feminists who paved way for women outside of domestic roles. Before denying or accepting labels, you must understand their political importance and the role they play in shaping lives of women.
Tanmay does not categorise issues as ‘superficial’ or ‘real’, Priyali. That’s another area where you go wrong. He is, in fact, against any such categorisation as is pretty evident from the video above. He is ranting, as are you, against certain issues being labelled ‘superficial’. He is asking you, as a non-feminist but a believer of equality, to see the fault in your argument.
The problem is not Tanmay’s post, it is your ignorance and popular opinion about feminism. Don’t drag the word feminism through muddy waters without having an understanding of it.
Graphic Credits: CollegeHumor
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