>The apologetic feminist…

>…Is what I’m not going to be.

Yes, I have a problem with the way the patriarchal system works. If that makes me a feminist, I’m proud to be one.

I also have a problem with the way patriarchs talk. If that makes me a rebel in the family, I’m not ashamed to be one.

I spend eight hours at work everyday. I have an opinion that’s as sane if not more than what others have to offer, I think, I have a brain that can work beyond the aesthetics of a pretty home or the nuances of kitchen politics. And despite that I’m not a man’s equal (?) I do not do any of that to equal anyone, but I expect equal treatment because I’m an equal person. And it hurts to be treated “only as a woman”.

I do not understand why I must not be part of discussions on home finances, why my name must not be put on the nameplate outside the house along with the names of all the men. I do not understand why you must not look me in the eye when you speak to me. I do not understand the way your brain sees me…

Is it because I’m a woman?

A woman who stands by her husband, but should never be seen standing as tall as him.
A woman who acts tough but must learn to treat herself as a pretty mantel piece displayed when it suits the place.
A woman who can make decisions but must never be credited for them.

Why must I be made to feel ashamed for living my life the way you do? If my independence unsettles your patriarchal seat, should I be apologetic for it?


54 responses »

  1. >My feelings exactly! Why must I take responsibilities for the insecurity of men? Why must the onus of shouldering burdens be on me while I get no credit for doing so? And why the hell should I consider myself inferior to any man even for a millisecond because I was not born one. I am an unapologetic feminist too. Anti-feminists be damned.

  2. >@How do we know: Thank you.@DewdropDream: First, I fight against notions of what I is expected of me and what is not. And when I prove those notions wrong I fight the misery of feeling out of place. Not fair!@IHM: Thank you.

  3. >No way woman… There is no need to be apologetic about being a feminist. Infact people who even have the slightest of inclinatio to make you feel bad about asking or stading for your rights, should feel guilty. They should go and get a life. We are 21st century women who know how to live life without a ‘MAN’ – if they exist in real sense.

  4. >@M4: To be honest, I wrote that in a very morose mood :/@Soulmate: I don’t even want to live my life without men – men are fun! But I could do without men who can’t look at me as a person and insist on seeing me through gender stereotyped glasses (whatever that may be).

  5. >How true! Absolutely fabulous post.. And so so true…You have written so beautifully about the things which I ponder so many times, but just can’t pen down!

  6. >great..guess when u wrote this u were absolutly irked by some so called ‘man’….well dnt be apologetic sweety..its our right to stand n voice what we feel…so more power to u n to all the women!

  7. >@Bones: Great! That makes the two of us…@Smitha: I’m glad I’ve voiced your thoughts as well.@state of mind: That’s right. I feel insulted that I am looked at condescendingly because I’m a woman.

  8. >@Monika, Ansh: I hope you’re feeling better now…@Rohini: I know. I wish someone could tell them!@SSQuo: Thank you. But do you agree?@chandni: I’m glad there are men like that and I’m thankful The Guy is one of them. Unfortunately, people who sit in judgement on us belong to a different generation.

  9. >women continue to suffer.. no matter how much society has advanced. I had been thinking about this fact since yesterday.. i read an article on japanese royalty.. princess Masako.. who is very educated, modern and budding diplomat.. before she married the crown prince.. 16 yrs ago.. and what has that done to her.. broken her, deep in depression.. ONLY BECAUSE SHE COULD NOT PROVIDE THE ANCNIET MONARCHY.. THE HEIR…Her only child princess Aiko can’t inherit the throne.. anyways.. without going too long into it..how sad it is.. even in today’s day and age.. a woman so educated and openminded and Masako.. suffering like women in ancient times…:(

  10. >women continue to suffer.. no matter how much society has advanced. I had been thinking about this fact since yesterday.. i read an article on japanese royalty.. princess Masako.. who is very educated, modern and budding diplomat.. before she married the crown prince.. 16 yrs ago.. and what has that done to her.. broken her, deep in depression.. ONLY BECAUSE SHE COULD NOT PROVIDE THE ANCNIET MONARCHY.. THE HEIR…Her only child princess Aiko can’t inherit the throne.. anyways.. without going too long into it..how sad it is.. even in today’s day and age.. a woman so educated and openminded and Masako.. suffering like women in ancient times…:(

  11. >I love you post!!! I’m a strong beleiver in Woman Power!!! Nothing can stop us for sure!! We demand equality in every thought, speech… or anything else!!Lovely!! Hope you are ok… otherwise!!

  12. >Each word you say is true.I am not apologetic. But I am not a rebel either.You have to pick your battles.Fight for financial decisions and information.The name plate thing- forgive it as social conditioning, something that will be make too many people uncomfortable. But don’t give up. Make sure your children, specially your son will agree with you. And that’s what we need to change the society. That’s how I fight. It will take a generation but we will get there.

  13. >DGreat post. I hate to be in the sidelines when things like politics finance etc. are discussed in the in laws home. as if by virtue of being a woman I am a dimwit who cannot speak on these topics. So no apologies here.But would like to clarify when we speak of advancement….we begin with an assumption that all was ‘backward’ before. During the vedic times things were different ..we in fact have regressed. Dont refer to the countless attempting to shame us about our culture books which say the opposite. They are not true.Vashishta the Royal guru/advisor said that Sita was capable of ruling Ayodhyaya in Ram’s absence. He wanted her to rule when Ram left for vanvaas. Going with him was her choice.So RULE woman!

  14. >@Indyeah: Thanks! I guess we were posting our comments at the same time and therefore I could not reply to you in my last comment.@unsung: 🙂 When things pile up, you’ve got to find a vent! That’s about it.@hmmlife: Yesterday somebody told me that times have changed and women are “being given” a lot of freedom, as if that’s a favour being done to them! I was livid.@Patricia: I’m still very angry about a few things.@tearsndreams: Isn’t it sad that a generation of women are already there but they have to wait some more to get the men there as well?@Chrysalis: To be honest, I really don’t care for what was happening a few or a 100 years back! I’m selfish enough to be interested in the state of things for me now.@Silvara: And never feel guilt for it either.

  15. >cant agree more! i don call this feminism.. its given a name so by MCPs so it can be seen as a degradable thought…but no its jus human! and so it cud only be called humanismm here to tell u that m bak in blogosphere, wud love to have u read my latest post and leave ur valued comments! :)PS: the post mite look contradictin with urs but its atcually not…

  16. >so true D!and what annoys me is that they have the gall to laugh at men who truly belive in this equality and hence making them feel out of place too…grrrr! hugs to you!cheers!abha

  17. >Y be apologetic….I guess the system will change only when we women bring up our sons differently. I have tried to raise my son and daughter as human beings, and not as a boy or girl….Guess slowly but steadily we shall break the gender barrier….and maybe then men shall also be heard having conversations about how to combine marriage and a career. A very honest post.

  18. >@page175: Thank you!@formerly sansmerci: Hey, good to have you back! And I’ll definitely be reading your post as soon as I’m back on my laptop – am out of town just now :)@Abha: Oh ya, what do they call them – joru ka ghulam, right?@Monika, Ansh: Going to see it…@Swati: I guess most women feel the same way some time or the other. Or maybe not (?)@Chirag: Oh no, not at all a thing of the past. This is a patriarchal society so how can patriarchs be a thing of the past?@Poonam J: You’re right. And I think our generation have a huge responsibilty – bringing up their children in the most gender neutral manner.#

  19. >loved your post,this is so true the exactly is my feeling too, i want to say something is that in my home i am more man’ish then my man but still i cant say anything, i can do whatever he cannot or he wants, but still i am on the lower level, why? b,coz i am the women, its so hard to proof ourselves, but still if you proof yourself, they will give a dame to you. Its so sad to belive at this time when we can do things much better way then them.

  20. >hi……..just found your blog from alltop and read this post of yours!!first of all i completely agree with you about being a woman as an equal in any situation. be it at home ,workplace or a bus stop…:)but you know i have myself tried to act upon ,i.e. treating my classmates, friends (who are girls)as such in many encounters and have been told that i am being harsh/rude/bully on them as i have requested them to share the same amount of responsibility or do work as much as i’m doing and when i am willing to give them full credit also for it!!in fact it seems they don’t agree with your opinion of an equal man -woman working relationship at all.all they want is a guy doing their stuff and them just sit being PYT’s…..maybe its a particular company i am mingling in but thats what i have got from my limited experiences……how much of a feminist are you or how many of the women out there actually understand the meaning behind it do not know, for me it means a woman being equal to a man in every respect, whether be it social or economical and to stand up for her rights when she feels that she deserves them…….

  21. >Der’s absolutely no need 2 b apologetc,m a woman but m a human being 2,equal member f d speciez,if feminist is somethg which makez dem insecure,let dem be,just dnt gv a damn! Nice pozt,a big applaud 4m ma side!!

  22. >@Anon 1@Anon 2@Anon 3Are you actually three different people or one? In any case, here’s what I have to say to all three comments:@Anon 1: It is frustrating indeed to be undermined because of your gender.@Anon 2: Can’t say about the women you’ve encountered, but I don’t want to be like a man at all. I just want to be treated as an equal person. Also, I still do believe in chivalry. I don’t think that’s against equal rights in any way.@Anon 3: Thank you!@Sirop: That’s an explanation but not a justification.

  23. >ohhhh….hard hitting points there and I agree TOTALLY. I pick few battles and I try to fight them out as fair and square as possible, I ignore a few battles and I push my weight around a few. btw, the Tag is done…Phew!

  24. >wo! awesome!really good!thankfully i am surrounded by men (father/brothers/guy-friends) who treat me as an equal, seeking my opinion on things etc etc. However, i am sure i will come face to face with such harsh realities when i enter the ‘big, bad and ugly world’….

  25. >@A: That’s a wise girl!@Saima: That’s how they bring up girls these days. That’s not always how they get treated after marriage though.

  26. >nope, u dont have to be apolegetic at all.. if u take up equal responsibilities, u shud be given euql freedom and respect. And I think every woman should be a feminist. I just don’t like the pseudo feminists who just talk bout equal freedom n respect, but shy away from taking equal responsibilities. For example, they think a man shud also contribute to the kitchen. Well said. But when it comes to fixing a sink, changing a bulb, contributing equal amount of money to the house hold, queuing up to pay bills, carrying their own luggage, travelling alone and most importantly, dealing with the outside world, MOST feminists (not ALL) are clueless!!!

  27. >i read this a while ago. appreciated the powerful writing … but didn’t comment cuz i didn’t know what to say. still don’t. now im wondering whether i’ve become insensitive :|. that won’t be cool. i just can’t relate to this anymore cuz i don’t go through any of this anymore. it’s hard to explain … but yes, not very long ago, i was very much there and would be writing an essay in ur comment section nodding my head along your post.whatever the case may be, ur writing was as powerful as always!

  28. >It is sad, not a justification or an explanation. It is what it is. We all try in our own tiny minute way to deal with it… but change doesn’t come by stating the obvious. Apologising for one’s views is what we’ve been relegated to. THAT is sad.I reiterate. We deal, we ignore, we lose it and vent. But we cannot and will not do something to cause unrest to our existence. We are conditioned to like our upper middle class decently educated lives. We don’t want to spoil that. Why mince words then? It is sad.

  29. >Hmmm..I have a different take on this!!Its all about power struggle! In a couple, one will always emerge higher than the other! You never have to make that choice. I think it is the understanding between the two on how the dynamics work out! I know women run families and the ones where men run the show! It is at this stage, where in u shud try (I am not sure if u already have) and find someone with whom ur dynamics will work out just the way u want it! :)BTW first time at ur blog.. like u style of writing 🙂

  30. >@roop: I think it’s a lot easier if you don’t feel like reacting to such stuff. Makes life simpler!@Sirop: Ahem!@Mystic: I take that a sign of agreement.@worldthrumyeyes: Whoever said this was about my spouse? It isn’t, not at all.

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