Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Something's the matter with us

I'm back to my ranting ways.

As always the internet has thrown up something, a small thing, an adjective that set off a whole range of reactions. And I'm pissed off. Actually, no, I'm just plain confused.

Why are women so quick to jump to conclusions about other women? And why the FUCK are women so eager to hate on other women?

A friend recently blogged about it, and every word she wrote resonated with sentiments I've had about this since I can remember.

In my previous post, I'd talked about being the kid who got teased. Do you want to know who teased me the most? Other girls. You want to know why? Because my curves busted out early and they thought it was fucking hilarious. To them, boobs and an ass were funny. Until said boobs and ass busted out on their bodies and suddenly the teasing went from "OMG BOOBS!" to "OMG BIG BOOBS, I HAVE THE PERFECT BOOBS, YOU HAVE BIG BOOBS, YOU BIG-BOOBED WEIRDO". There was a photograph that was taken at a class excursion. In it, my uniform dupatta (Chennai schools make their high schoolers wear ridiculous uniforms, let's not get into that, okay?) that was folded and worn in a v-shape had flown up and the kurta was clinging to my body in the wind. I had my arms interlinked with my so-called friends/classmates and it was a nice photo of a bunch of smiling teenage girls walking with their arms linked together. When the photos were printed and brought to class, this particular photograph elicited a LOT of laughs. Why? That clingy kurta? It made my boobs look, well, prominent and everyone was highly amused by the highlight. I thank god for my stoic face and my innate ability to put it on at will.

Anyway, that story serves as a minor highlight of the point I'm trying to make today.

Today I want to talk about why the heck we cannot respect each others choices.

For instance, the raging debate amongst the websites I frequent are two-fold - child v. childless, working v. stay-at-home. On this blog itself, I have ably contributed to the single v. married debate.

What it all boils down to is choice. That being said, I will not allow you to assume that the Vogue video with the black and white montage and beautiful aesthetic people resonated with me. It didn't.

If a woman chooses to remain single then why are married/in-a-relationship women so eager to either be jealous of her or wax eloquent about her relationship status? The reverse of single women shitting on one-half-of-a-couple women also makes no sense. Each of these women are in these respective lives of their owm accord. So why is it so damn important to make a big deal about why being single is awesome, or being in a couple is awesome? Sometimes, neither of those choices works out to said persons benefit. Sometimes those choices work out perfect for everyone involved. The "not everyone has the freedom to make some decisions" logic doesn't apply here, because the women I am addressing are women who are educated and independent and who are far more in control of this magic formula we call "free will". My heart goes out to those women who are the victims of patriarchy, but I cannot speak for them, because that's a reality I have never had to experience. I am aware of it, and I can feel for those women, but their world is so different from mine that I cannot even imagine offering to speak for them without taking the time to understand them better. I guess that makes me a shitty person, I truly hope it doesn't.

The next group are the mothers and the childless-by-choice - seriously what the fuck is this hate dynamic? Me and millions of others decided to subject our bodies to a certain physical, biological process, that doesn't make us idiots. You decided not to, that doesn't make you an idiot. Every woman from one set who makes a woman from the other set feel terrible about her choice is an asshole and doesn't deserve to bloody live on this planet and participate in anything except the singular activity of jumping off a cliff and dying! Why won't you leave each other the heck alone? And this is not strangers dissing each other - I'm talking about friends, relatives, parents who are clamping down your brain with their ridiculous opinions. Your uterus, your choice. It isn't like you're calling me when I have my period and offering to share my cramps, right? Then why is any other uterine activity, or lack thereof, of any significance to you? This particular series of conversations and debates are exhausting.

Speaking of exhausting. There's the working mothers v. stay-at-home-mothers (SAHMs). Okay, you had a baby, you decided to parent a certain way. And then suddenly, you acquired a moral high horse and sat on it and proceeded to be a bitch to the people who aren't parenting your way? Seriously? What gives you the right? Your career is important because you want your kids to have everything and more. Excelent! Does that, however, give you the right to trivialise a woman who stays at home to be a full-time parent? NO, IT DOESN'T. And you, who've decided to be a full-time parent, WHO GAVE YOU THE RIGHT TO CALL WORKING MOTHERS HATEFUL CREATURES? Let me hazard a wild guess, EXACTLY NO ONE. If these two groups can't/won't get along, I don't think there's much we can do, except sit back and roll our eyes and groan at the stupidity of it all.

Literally every example I've cited here are all women v. women. And do you know what all of this has in common? Every group I've identified is bickering with the other. Over what are these groups bickering? Each others choices. Yes, choices. Do you know what this bickering does? Contribute to stereotypes. What kind of stereotypes? The kinds that offer up sterling forwarded content like "If women ruled the world, we'd just be a group of countries that don't talk to each other."

Do you know the battles we have to fight? I mean, we're sharing our habitats with men. Those hairy, gross, weird creatures who have serious eyelash game WITHOUT MASCARA (I loathe this about men). Men are at the major players in every sector of everything that affects us and the lives we live, and rather than stand together and do something to change that, here we are bickering. Can you imagine what would happen if everyone just got along and decided that the sisterhood is far more important than anything else, and solidarity is what is going to get us to where we want to go?

We're talking about being able to live in a world where sleeveless kurtas won't be subject to scrutiny and slut-shaming will be a relic of the ridiculous past, but no, shaming each other is trendier than red lipstick. It's a sad day when something's trendier than red lipstick (okay, pink if that's your colour).

Let's get out of this rut and get along. The fights we have to fight not just for ourselves but for many many others are bigger than bickering over choices. Remember, once upon a time we were all uniformly choiceless. And today, we're hating on each other for being free to make a choice. If this continues, what next? I'm fairly certain that it won't be empowerment.


  1. Excellent read! I'm with you a 100 percent here. Nothing is going to be worth it if we are so hard on our fellow girls. All these senseless debates are seriously exhausting. And yes, my color is red.

    Aditi's Monologue

    1. I know, right? Like I said in your post... No one's asking that everyone just ups and becomes all BFF-y with each other, but for god's sake summon up the decency to look at the bigger picture.

  2. Oh. you forgot one more thing.

    BFing vs. formula.

    I had a baby a year back and decided to BF and still am (though I bottle feed). It takes a lot of effort, but heck that was my choice. Just that it takes a lot of effort surely for a CHOICE WE make doesn't give us the right to diss the other group, right?

    Sigh! We should all stop this effing nonsense.

  3. ^ If I got into everything, this post would never end. Stuck to a few broad topics...