I recently read a post on Great Bong’s blog about the unsuitability of Pratibha Patil for the post of President of India. The post was well written as usual, witty and informative and making it’s point with crystal clarity.
I have only one problem with this post. Evidently, Great Bong thinks that Mrinal Pande is insulting his intelligence when she writes that the main reason why men don’t want Pratibha Patil as Prez is that she’s a Woman and will give other women ideas. Possibly. But on the other hand, the article isn’t solely addressed to GB and other well read and well-informed men like him. It is also addressed to a lot of men who object to Pratibhatai precisely for the reason that Pande outlined – she’s a Woman and is a portent of the feminine invasion of Parliament. Now that just won’t do, will it?
One comment on the post caught my attention. A certain Shan wrote ‘People like Mrinal Pande (and there are plenty of those in leftist/feminist academia) see EVERYTHING through the lens of gender politics.’ That one statement should be credited with starting off this rant.
People like Mrinal Pande and Co. might see everything through the lens of gender politics, but there’s a very real reason for that – women are still largely victims, not because they relish their submissive positions, because they don’t know how not to be submissive. I agree there’s no reason for everything to be seen from a feminist point of view, but what is really unbearable is the stance that most urban men have taken – that they’re victims of militant feminism. Note my use of the word ‘urban’ – go to rural areas and you’ll know that ‘girl-power’ is as distant from reality as pigs with wings.
We can’t just let an issue die down simply because we had a woman as PM and because there are a handful of Indra Nooyis and Barkha Dutts. Your mother might be an emancipated, working woman who more than contributes her share of pennies to the household and your sister might be a smart-talking, legal eagle in the making. But spare a thought for the hundreds of girls on our streets, the ones with babies nearly half their size and with more on the way. They didn’t choose to live this way. They live this way because it’s the only way they can.
Of course, having a woman as Prez doesn’t really alleviate the matter. But that’s not what my post is about. In case you haven’t got it so far, this post is about how Indian men complain about being victimized by bra-burning feminists. It’s time to stop, guys…it’s not helping your cause.
I suppose what men can do is inform themselves about what life is like for the average Indian woman before opening their mouths so wide that they swallow not just their feet, but also a lot of their own credibility. After all, real men don’t whine, do they?