A letter to the trollers of Neha Dhupia and Feminism

Hey beautiful people

I don’t usually write about topics other than those related to mental health, but today I became extremely raged when I saw how online trollers and haters are lashing out, defaming and making sexist, racist and hate memes on Neha Dhupia lately. All for what?

I did my research, I went and watched the Roadies episode in which she’d shouted and screamed at a man who said he’d slapped his ex girlfriend.

So, first things first, let’s talk about this one. The guy in the audition had claimed that his then girlfriend was dating 5 men at once and that’s why he’d slapped her, more so he proudly even added that he’d have harmed her even more brutally if only his conscience hadn’t stopped him.

What Neha did after this was, tell him that it was her choice, how many men she dated and whom she dated and whatever the hell she did with her life was afterall her choice and nothing a woman does, gives any right to any man to abuse or slap her.

Which is perfect, beautiful, but the problem you ask?

The problem here is that, the hype this episode and the trolling Neha received after this episode was solely revolving around why or how his ex girlfriend dated 5 men at once and not at all around the real, societal, social crime against women that Domestic Violence is and the fact that no man in the world is entitled to slap any woman, no matter what she does or doesn’t do. Smoking isn’t good for you but it’s your choice, you smoke for your own reasons. Same goes with cheating. It’s very much subjective and unless we know the story of other side, we have no right to judge least of all slap people around for it.

Also, trolls online of all meninists are in the lines of, ‘If a woman has the choice, so does a man right?’

Are you even serious with that?

It’s a patriarchial, male chauvinistic, male dominating world. Men have been cheating, raping women outside of their marriages and what not, so much so that in towns and villages, women who aren’t educated to this day, think it’s okay for them to do this. It’s already happening and has been happening ever since anyone can remember.

Now, most of the memes I saw were also revolving around how Dhupia once posted a picture encouraging everyone to go vegan and later after a few years, herself posted another picture of a plate full of meat.

This for example.

Haters, online don’t clearly understand the meaning of personal choice and decisions and space. They don’t understand you choosing to go vegan or eat meat or posting about it online is completely her choice and she isn’t and mustn’t be answerable to anyone in the world for it. For that matter I myself went vegan for about 8 months last year, felt so good, wrote a blog about it that converted some other people to veganism but I later found it very difficult to keep going without meat and hence came back to eating non-veg food. But that doesn’t mean it decides my character or conviction or anything else, does it?

There are some others who call her a hypocrite for not speaking up when a woman had said that she’d slapped 4 men.

Abuse either on men or on women is wrong and unacceptable and I so wish Dhupia and other judges on the dias had told this to the girl but they didn’t and eventhough I am not justifying their action but here is an alternate perspective to make it a little easier for you to understand.

A woman slapping a man is wrong too but tell me how many women gang rape men, murder them afterwards and burn their bodies, 39 every hour in every day of every month in India?

Just a conversation I had with a fellow human being

Tell me how many men are subjected to domestic violence, killed and restricted inside their houses by women inside India?

Tell me how many men menstruate and labor and cook and clean and go to work and yet come back home to get beaten up by their drunk wives. Tell me how many men are married forcibly to older women and made to go live, cook, care and die at her house for the rest of her lives. Tell me how many men are asked to pull their pants down and touched inappropriately and molested by women at work places…

So that’s why people both things are not the same and although an eye for an eye isn’t the answer and mustn’t be, you see why the man slapping the woman was a whole different case, a case entitlement of a woman by a man, so much so that he thinks he can rape, beat or rule over her as he likes, that she is his property!

That being answered, I would now like to shift your attention to those people who think she is a fake feminist and also that Feminism is a concept of hate created by women who are rich and manly in nature. Let’s talk about what feminism really is, shall we?

Equality is a part of what feminism is but understand that feminism’s not just about equality. Even after equal opportunities were given to the American slaves. They still suffered greatly for ages after that, why? Because of internalisation of the false treatment. The same goes with women, most of us have internalised societal roles assigned to us and abuse and oppression so much so that, many of us don’t even question them.

I can go on but the point is feminism, is largely about freeing women of the shackles of patriarchy and by that I mean smashing the gender roles set by men for them. Expecting them to do unpaid work such as cooking, cleaning, washing, looking after kids, etc. while also naming them as gold diggers when they ask for money for their basic expenses is downright oppresion to say the least.

Ann Oakley has famously spoken about the myth of motherhood and how dual parenting should be the norm. Adrienne Rich about heterosexuality being another socially acceptable form of sexuality to promote patriarchy. There is a lot to read and learn and know, these people who accuse women of being pseudo feminists, please read about the earlier waves of feminism, their origin and history, know what it really is about and don’t just carry around the understanding you gain from half baked posts on social media and expect the world to understand and agree with you.

Women Activists have fought for decades to even get basic rights such as suffrage, property, hygiene, right to speech in public domain etc. Your mind will be blown when you see how 99% cases of women rapes in India aren’t even encouraged enough to be reported and yet that 1% constitutes around 39 rape cases every hour, 90% of which go unresolved.

88 out of 100 women in India don’t even have the basic facility such as sanitary napkins, they use soil and leaves and dirty clothes which in turn causes uterine infections and cervical cancers.

The same blood through which a baby is nourished and all men and women are born with, was termed dirty by early brahminical patriarchy. Women still are hushed up, asked to hide their pads and not talk about periods in front of male members in their family, let alone talking about menstrual hygeine and reproductive rights.

Let alone how a woman has to work twice as hard to get half as paid as their male partners. Women go through post partum depression, pain, bodily hormonal changes all while nursing a baby and in 90% of the cases domestic violence, being the maid at home and magically also going to work. We have exhausted our women.

I always thought my favourite Psychiatrist friends were sensible atleast when it comes to mental health if not women and today to my surprise I saw even them bullying her online, we all know how everyone’s trauma is painful and must be taken care by mental health professionals and yet unfortunately, many doctors were also part of this online bullying and shaming too.

All the men of the world, women have been oppressed, bullied, restricted, raped and killed and are still being subjected to all this till date in India. 80% of the women who drop out of schools do so because of lack of women safety and menstrual hygiene required during their periods.

Did you know, the Menstrual Pain women go through every month during their periods is worse than a heart attack? There are endless number of facts and figures that can shatter you at this very moment.

I can go on, I really have tears in my eyes right now. How you guys can’t see how much a woman does and sacrifices to still only be able to live a mediocre life. And you think feminism is just about equality and some men think it’s too much and is not necessary?

I am crying right now not because you guys don’t understand this but because women are beautiful. They give everything away not by force but with love and look people, look at the rape, molestation, abuse, violence, unequal pay, dowry, child abuse, female infanticide, abortion rights etc

You won’t be able to even take the amount of pain they endure all their lives that too silently, some fighting for what?

Basic human rights, water, safety, home, education, hygeine, equality, dignity and right to live the way they want to!

And we are terribly failing even at that. It’s cute how you think only bringing equality can erase the pain and give them a just life!

Contemplate, my dear people.

To everyone who is reading this, what you listen and see isn’t in your control, but you choosing to educate yourself about things is. I have been at the receiving side of sexual abuse, trauma, bullying, body shaming and a lot more things. I am sure many men have too and my heart goes out to each one of you.

BUT, while men go through pain and trauma and sufferings and normal ebbs and flows of human life cycle too;

Women on the other hand are born with inequality which is later amplified by social inequality that our patriarchy introduces.

Read about Amartya Sen, the noble laureate’s 100 million women missing article. Read about the history of Feminism, the oppresion.

I am not a doctor you guys. But I have suffered from multiple disorders, read hundreds of technical and biographical books around mental health and am today an advocate for it, helping others.

Same applies with my being a feminist, I am a woman and I have felt how it feels like to be the weaker gender both biologically and socially. I have seen social biases, I have seen my friends drop out of school, I have seen my sisters being abused inside their marriages which is another something that is expected to stay inside our homes only.

Men of the world while it makes my heart swell to see male feminist activists from not just the contemporary world of today but of the world gone by. John Stuart Mill is a beautiful example. But to all the men who think women misuse equality (whatever that means) and that feminism isn’t necessary, know that you were born with a very special privilege, the privilege of being born a man, so you, even if you try won’t ever understand the pains women go through. Like I won’t ever understand completely the pains a gay man or a lesbian woman or an African American Woman go through.

Feminism is a mass movement for women rights and liberation. Simple acts of rebellion which do not literally mean anything and seem really unnecessary to you are exactly that, acts of rebellion against thousands of years old patriarchy that wanted to keep them as sub ordinates, rape them as they like, make them do endless hours of unpaid work, go through pain and be quiet about it.

So, women who get their body parts tattooed or pierced, or ride a bike instead of a scooty, wear short hair or don’t sound ladylike, remember they are all standing up against patriarchy, against oppresion, against genocide, against sexism, against a system that wants to destroy their identity. From Arundhati Roy to Savitribai Phule, from Swara Bhaskar to Amrita Pritam, from Neha Dhupia to me. All of us are trying to break the shell that was meant to keep us cocooned forever inside, unaware of an independent, beautiful life that existed outside the shell.

A world where whether you are a woman or a man or any non-binary gender, you are a human being first and are treated like one. Where you make your choices and decisions, where you define your identity and live the way you want to. And that’s the world my people, that we feminists dream about.

And all of us are doing it in whichever way possible for us. Some by choosing to educate, others by leading their lives the way they do, some by shattering every ladylike social construct and others by their own unique ways.

Remember feminism isn’t about suppressing men and encouraging women, it’s about liberating every individual, irrespective of which gender they identify with.

So, mind your own business and let us become whoever we want to become!

Further reading to understand Feminism: Introducing Feminism by Cathia and Judy

Footnote

I hope this blog helped clear some air. If there is more to discuss and there will be, feel free to ping me on insta or comment down here.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10222786505117130&id=1410533568

Watch this small video to understand the depths of women’s status in society right now and what we stand against when we talk about equality, also watch the short film called Tyson to understand why women in power still are unable to do much for other women.

If you liked the work, you can support it by buying me a coffee through the yellow button down below.

Thank you and see you soon with another blog perhaps about the pain LGBTQ community go through this time. 🙂

Strength and love 💜

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