Ladies, let me be very clear about this – liberalism has failed because it has not managed to exit university campuses. The same is with feminism today.
It is of liberal spaces, for liberal space and by liberal spaces (read: university).
I am not even exaggerating when I say that the feminism you witness in universities only partly helps you in understanding society. And if you have observed, people who champion the causes of women in university spaces, mostly are those who have left home and can AFFORD to make statements that they do.
Feminism and its discontents are many, and here is something about university feminists that I would want you to notice.
The real world means negotiation
It is not always necessary that you have to topple every structure. You can make your way for asserting yourself in any manner whatsoever. As long as you move a step towards liberating yourself, there is hope; there is feminism.
If you can let your curfew timings shift from 8 PM to 9 PM after rigorous negotiations, you are not a failed feminist. You are as much as any.
Feminism, especially under the constant pressure to maintain the status quo, might force you to tackle everything radically (or so the university feminists speak out to me). Listen up, there is no shame in negotiating. There is absolutely nothing that you should be criticized for when you negotiate. The real world does not work like university protests.
We do have our pinjras at home, which we cannot break. Mainly because we have to go back home, be answerable. People like me do not have that luxury of staying absent.
I just cannot slap my parents with a declaration that I will come home by 11PM, and they are being patriarchal if they question why. I will have to talk to them about it, and arrive at a conclusion.
Do not let these university feminists make you believe that you have not “tried enough”.
University is a very protected space
Many feminists do talk about how they feel threatened in the university. I agree. the university is not always the safest. But still it is a cloistered space, and that makes it safe, compared to other places in the city.
In university, you actually have the police deployed at places, you have people who might defend you or empathize with your cause/what you have to say.
In the world outside a university space, a woman is absolutely alone. Absolutely. I am not even exaggerating.
Women who live in the university campus and talk about feminism might not be the best people who could understand what young women face once when you are exposed to the world. And if once these university space feminists do experience the hostility of the world outside, you see these humongous status updates going viral.
Out there, I don’t know who is carrying a knife or a gun or even acid. And there is no police. And there is no one who will speak for you.
What these women from the university talk about is highly privileged, very myopic, very inexperienced.
Develop your own feminism based on your experiences.
I do not mean to diss feminism but let’s not try to fit everyone into a monolith. Let us try to understand why there are women who might not support the idea behind Pinjra Tod. Let us try to understand each other. I think it is this understanding that is missing. People who hold the mic decide for us what we need. Women are varied with various interests, I agree.
But it is stupid that all this haayo rabba about liberalism is only restricted to university. And trust me, as a person who regularly shuttles, meets people from various backgrounds almost everyday, this liberalism, this feminism is not getting women anywhere.
Stop complaining. Start doing something that is really necessary. Life is not Simone de Beauvoir, forgossake.
Waiting for university feminism apologia.