I want to write about random things. Having a lot in mind.
One, feminism. My editor says I am a feminist. The mere word woman seems to bring my spirits up. I didn’t realize I was so proud to be one. Any issue concerning a woman comes and I stand and fight for her justice – well at least in words. But recently there came occasions that made me wonder. On woman’s day a friend called me to volunteer for a rally. I went happily until I heard that they are a group called Feminists Kerala Network. Which meant that I too will be identified as a feminist. Somehow I found myself not wanting that. The word feminist is one of the most misunderstood or confusing words in any language. Nobody knows exactly what it means but most people seem to hate it. They twitch, they wince, they frown, they scorn. I was in 2 minds. Was my problem that I did not know if I was a feminist or that I was unhappy about the typical image people would associate a feminist with. If it is the latter, then shame on me. Since when do I go by what impressions people make of me?
But somehow, at least by way of self-defence, my argument is that feminism is not something to proclaim or demonstrate. I somehow am not in favour of demonstrations. Yes I have faith in women’s powers and talents. And yes I cant stand any kind of injustice or even a small bit of differential treatment that she has to go through because she is a woman. I hate the line ‘you do it cause you are a woman’. But what I do about it is where I differ from the ways chosen by my rally friends. I don’t go out and make a speech about it. I just don’t take what I cant stand. I act, I react. I don’t bother to convince or persuade or insist or prove.
Leaving feminism incomplete since I will probably never reach anywhere. I probably am a feminist. But I don’t know when will come the day when I accept it and not flinch on being identified as one, when I would realize that there is nothing to be ashamed of being what you are.
Second thing. Lies. I already did a post on this long back. But I am increasingly feeling the pressure of keeping to truth and tolerating lies. If my obsession for truth is a disease, then I am getting sicker everyday. Not only that I refuse to lie for anyone’s sake, I cant stand it when people around me lie so easily. I don’t react but each time it happens, it puts this huge distance between those people and me. I can never be close with them. I can never talk to them personally. If you cant own your acts, then you do not have any kind of character. If you did wrong, accept it and then face the consequences. What do you get by some temporary lies – save your neck for a while – by? By tricking others. Making them believe a lie is true. And you are happy. You have escaped. I hate the pretence. I hate the cheap thrill of getting away with a lie. End of the day, a lie is a lie and the one that lied, a liar.
My dad and I used to argue over the importance of truth. He would tell an example: if a girl is chased by some rowdies and you see where she went and hid, would you tell the rowdies the truth? What will you tell them if they ask you did you see the girl. Well if its rowdies I am going to be beaten up whatever I say. So I could tell the truth: “yeah I saw but there is no way you are getting it out of me” – bam bam bam. Or I could tell: “no I didn’t see her” – bam bam bam – worse they may decide here is another girl to steal from and attack me.
Dad’s example is not the kind I argue about. Where my blood boils is when people make mistakes and cover it up with lies to save their little skin, and when people have absolutely no hesitation about telling a hundred little lies just to have things their way.
My friend Deepak would laugh sometimes.
“I want a leave” say I. “Tell you have some stomach trouble”, says he. “Oh I forgot you cant lie”, says he again.
Another abrupt stop. Cause its again another topic I could write pages about. Going to my third topic hence – artificiality. This is more or less related to lies in fact. It is just as bad. Artificiality is not always pretence. People do it not even thinking about it sometimes cause they are so used to it. They show “extra” concern, “extra” care. Some poor devils mistake it for real. One shiny day they realize all those extras meant nothing more than the boss’s sweet grin and polished talk before he tells you your salary is not here yet. The extras are to get something done. Or else just to please. Whatever it is for, it is just not real. And my problem is I have become mature enough to know all its symptoms. And I just cant stand one artificial word, or gesture or even a smile. Do it only if you mean it. Otherwise please don’t bother!