By Aastha Anupriya
I woke up on a much-awaited but rather lazy Saturday morning to the music of ‘Arey mujhe kya bechega rupaiya?’ filling my 12×10 room from outside the lone window. In a completely unrelated context, I had heard about a certain ‘Revolution’ (http://www.onebillionrising.org/about/campaign/) happening somewhere near Rajiv Chowk.
Little did I know that the former event was to be very much a part of the latter. Not just the aforementioned singers from my college, but also a huge number of music, dance and theatre groups along with noted scholars like Dr Kamla Bhasin participated actively in the event. The event: the One Billion Rising Revolution 2016 in Central Park, New Delhi.
The Event And The Intention
For the past three years, one community has been giving a new meaning to International Women’s Day, in a way that makes you stand and take notice. Take notice of what one billion women from all over the world look like. On another note, It was extremely heartening to see a great number of men being deeply involved in the cause.
The best forms of expression a human can indulge in – dance, drama or discourse, are generously put to practice when millions of participants from over 200 countries across the globe ‘rise for revolution’ on or around February 14 which, sadly or not, is otherwise bathed in pink.
Everyday Feminism, Everyman’s Involvement
In another context, I study in an all-girls’ college which boasts of a strong air of feminism, which is where I have had the opportunity of interacting with a good number of independent women who proudly live by feminism – in practice and in principle. I have also met a large number of women – note, all between 18 and 22 years of age and mostly living on their own – downright refusing to be associated with it, but only in principle, which brings me to the issue of how it is very, very important to propagate feminism the right way.
It is important to wake up, and to awaken.
And that is precisely what One Billion Rising is about. While this is mainly against the many forms of violence against women, it does send out a very strong message – that of global solidarity and collective action, that that violence can be defeated.
One shudders just to think of one in every three women, which is a total of one billion, being beaten or raped during her lifetime. But there is so much more we can do than wishing to be in the other two!
Add to this one billion, the female population which is afflicted upon with violence without having to carry physical bruises. Every woman who is ostracised for, of all things, MENSTRUATING (it is not a hush word), every woman who is branded a ‘diversity goal for a recruiter’ by her peers, is why the educated need to rethink their feminism.
I am not here to argue in favour of feminism because it in its essence is sufficient argument. If one has to ask questions, the right questions should be asked. Why the stigma around PMS? Why the pay gap? Why the constant condescension at a woman in everything that is not a “woman’s domain” (something as basic as driving)?
I won’t go into the misconceptions or the whole concept of feminazism, but if you trust me and if you do believe in equality among genders (not to be confused with sameness), be a feminist.
It is good.