Ramblings of a pseudo-feminist – Syed Aziz Farhan JSIA

1123-Womens-Rights-Group-Still-Hate-Chris-Brown-1Yes, the word sounded so good. I would call myself a feminist henceforth. Maybe the chicks would dig it. Chicks- yeah that’s what it is- funny way to call women. Oh! But am I not a feminist now so no more of that. But women don’t mind being called chicks or do they? How do you think they’d scream at us, “You are men, you would never understand how it is being a woman” Now being one who claims to understand or empathizes with women, I must at least try. It is common for men to bleat about not understanding women, but is this because they have simply never tried, or because society has trained them to never look at life through the eyes of a woman?

So like I said let’s keep myself in their shoes and see the world.

What do or should they see around? And at that moment a realization struck. Everything around seemed weird:  the ads on newspapers and on television. How I wonder that a car, a bike, a soda, a slipper in that matter of fact helps a guy in finding a mate, a woman. Every advertisement features a woman with a thing, which she is not even remotely related to. Advertising a random sofa? Put a girl on it. A bed sheet? Ditto. Are they commodities? Then why the random linkage?  Is it because this twisted society wants to tell us that women are objects, not subjects?  Why are the rap songs that degrade and insult and call women by an animal’s name without a second thought so popular? “I did it for the hood, cars, jewelry and women” all in the same breath. No thought given. Even the pop songs are starting to join the same league.

Coming closer to home. When an attack on a woman happens, we all raise our voices and ask for it to stop. Who is to blame? Do we in our lives and actions respect women? Are we really bothered how everything is being sexualized? Why do your alcohol ads always feature masculinity or getting a woman? What have we done in our part in respecting women? How is that such incidents in the newspaper are reported nearly every day and we don’t give a blink unless and until it’s near our homes. Where are we heading?

Most guys would say ‘yeah look at her legs (or back or whatever)’. Brothers! She is a human, a living person. Not a piece of mutton to look at in pieces. Respect. It’s easy for us guys to stare at any girl. It’s harder to keep your eyes down and show some modesty. Don’t ogle as if it’s a new bike or a car. Getting attention is way different from being stared at. She a person not a thing, they have emotions. What are we becoming? We were born in a particular manner- the head, the heart, the digestive organs and the genitalia. Our lives must also be directed in such a manner. Utmost importance to gaining knowledge, thinking and using the brains, then loving your people and other good emotions, eating and enjoying your food and then lust. But what has happened now? Look around, everyone is only bothered about getting some action, dressing up, working out -everything for the opposite sex: as if the most important thing is to mate, then gluttony, emotions then may or may not play a major part in this society; do we have the heart for the poor, the indignant, the ones in need and finally brains-thinking and original thought- those are long forgotten. Reconfigure your lives.

No! We must realize it needs to stop. But in this complex society one wouldn’t and couldn’t expect a sudden sea of change. But thoughtful drops could fill an ocean. The assaults against women wouldn’t stop by better policing but by change in attitude. A willful and conscious effort to understand and behave could be for the better.

But where do I really stand. I came to this thought through an experimental stumble. The intentions that led me here were themselves misguided. I tell other men to imagine her as “somebody’s wife, somebody’s mother, somebody’s daughter, or somebody’s sister,” it never occurring to me that maybe, just maybe, a woman is also just a “somebody”.

Under such a fake façade, am I, in a patriarchal society, worthy of being a feminist? Not anymore.

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About cwlsc

The Centre for Women, Law and Social Change has been established to advance inter-disciplinary approaches to feminism in teaching, research and policy advocacy. Along with academic commitment to high-quality research in the field of gender and the Centre aims to actively contribute to wider legal thinking on issues related to social justice. The Centre aims to support the initiatives of all the Centres of the JGU and actively collaborate with international, national and grassroots organisations. It encourages various student initiatives in the field of gender and social justice, and seeks to encourage critical thinking on how gender operates in a dynamic with other structures of power in both historical and contemporary contexts. The Centre members teach courses on Feminist Jurisprudence; Gender Law and Governance and Family Law.
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