Chronicle of an ‘antifeminist’

Sucheta Dasgupta

Kathmandu:

Abolish ‘Femina’ (wink, smile):

Ban women columns. Women’s mags. Women’s studies. Women organisations. Women’s wings in bigger organisations. Mahila Samity. Ladies clubs. Ladies parks. Ladies seats and ladies compartments. Ladies queues for tickets at the cinema, railway stations and even in front of elevators. The Ladies First theorem. Women’s Day. Women’s rights. Women’s liberation. Feminism be outlawed. Women form half the world population and half of the species of mankind. Yet women are a marginal kind (I studied in an engineering college in the mid-90s where the college union had only one female member — the Ladies Hostel representative or the LH representative as she was known — her designation defined her status that is needless to explain. Well.).

Sometimes I get romantic. I want to believe in things quick and dirty. Like a social revolution. At other times, I get angry. Taken unawares, I lose control. And get scared for the moment. That is when I regress into feminism.

But feminism is no positive feeling. No ism is for that matter (isms always stress one aspect of the whole up to that point of time neglected, while partly ignoring the complementary other, though including it implicitly by logic. Hence some of the accompanying and defining sentiments of the movement like say those of resentment or self justification or even insecurity, once appropriate in a definite historical context, lose their significance through time and become very often excuses for insufficiency (insufficiency of ability or strength or effort or sincerity of purpose) as truths started out with become forgotten. Besides why should we need a nomenclature for basic attitudes to life? But anyways).

Points against feminism:

• It is “too theoretical”. It makes an unhealthy issue of natural, individual rights.

• It is crazy and self-destructive. And escapist. It never stands up for itself. It believes in complaining and passing the buck. If in the West, it is the “men”folk, in India, it is the “(patriarchal) society” that is responsible for the Miseries of Womankind.

• As its name suggests, feminism proposes to forget about men. It professes to change the world for half of its population by only superficially involving the other half. Feminists ignore men. What are normal human rights, they term feminism.

But maybe that is the only in reaction to: the (mis)conception of “manhood”, “manliness”, “manpower”, “manhour”, “manual” and the “Purush/Prakriti” paradigm of describing the Universe — Purush stands for the Ego or The Human Spirit or The System (as in Thermodynamics) while Prakriti is The Other or The Nature or The Surroundings, together, they make up The Universe — it is never Nari and Father Nature, though that wouldn’t have been quite right, either; or The Individual and the Rest of the World. Caligula is male.

So the poor womenfolk go and storm “male bastions” of knowledge and power (though Eve remains the eternal bitch who chose to eat the fruit of wisdom — women are messed with on either side they choose to take and so are men, by the same logic and process, and that is precisely the point) and crib over whether it’s a man’s world or a woman’s. In a global culture where cowards are termed “effeminate” and brave girls with dreams become “tomboys”, feminism is an appropriate answer and a suitable name for the movement of self awareness and consequent protest that took place over the last centuries for mankind.

The Conclusion:

In any case, feminism is a sexist word. Its very rebellion against patriarchy (patriarchism, really) accepts it as a basic premise. Even the best of them feminists are even minimally trapped into sexist (mis)concepts. That is why they waste their time taking other people’s sexism so seriously even if they go on to eventually prove it absurd (untenable).

The reason feminism is laughed at is its low self esteem.

Also:

Feminism and Lesbianism go hand in hand. You need a man to rescue you from either. You need a man to rescue you from both.