Diary of a Feminist: Working Through the Inner Conflict

Did the traditional family of the past have a happy, blissful time? This question has intrigued me often. I hear from the el­ders, and read in books too, that once upon a time ‘They all lived under one roof. There was love and care and sacrifice. The hu­man values were intact’, etc. etc.

 

I don’t refute the elders’ claim. In fact I find it very soo­thing to believe that once the world was a better place to live in. It makes me happy to know that people were once happy!

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Diary of a Feminist: The Women of Rural Pakistan

Being an urban woman — dweller of a concrete jungle — you get an idea of your rural counterparts — the women who inhabit vast lands and terraced mountains — only through crude statistics that tells you of their illiteracy, of their deaths during child-births, of their unpaid labour, of their harsh life.

It’s seldom that you have a glimpse of them, not spun out of the figures of statistical bulletins but of real en­counters, no matter how brief, how abrupt.

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Dairy of a Feminist: Friendship Between Men and Women

Why can’t we have men friends the way we have women friends? A volatile question indeed, that of­ten puzzles a friend of mine. She thinks women can have friendship with men.

What she means by friend­ship is a relationship based on mutual understanding and care and sharing of interests and ideas — minus motive, sans desire. Just like a rela­tionship that exists between two female friends.

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Diary of a Feminist: The Surprising Casualties of Catastrophe

When a marriage falls apart, who suffers? Either of the spouses, logically. The woman, most prob­ably. But there are times when logic fails in our peculiar social scenario.

When I saw Aapa lately, I was dumb struck. She looked like a ghost of her former self. From a plump, hefty woman she had been reduced to a skeleton. Dark circles had made her eyes sunk deep in her shriveled face. Her skin had broken into a rash and her body itched from eczema — a long suppressed ailment that re-surfaced with a ferocity.

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Diary of a Feminist: The Ties That Bind

There is something get­ting on my nerves day by day: it’s hypocrisy in our society and our life. Above all, in familial relation­ships. It makes me sick and I dread the day when it would rob me completely of my trust and pride and good feelings I have for the ‘family’.

The ‘family’ of the East has been so glorified and its accounts so studded with adjectives like ‘love’, ‘warmth’, ‘cohesiveness’, ‘stability’, etc., that it’s almost a sacrilege to point out any flaws, glar­ing or subtle. You can only talk about ‘the good’ and dare not contemplate ‘the bad and the ugly’.

And the last thing you can question is the parent-child rela­tionship.

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Diary of a Feminist: Idle Husbands

Of all the misfortunes that befall women in our society I think the hardest is an idle husband. A husband who doesn’t work, doesn’t earn, doesn’t do home chores, and neither does he go away and leave the woman (and kids) alone. A woman stuck with such a husband is in a quandary.

An idle husband (nikthatto shauher) is not an uncommon phenomenon in our society. Women suffer in silence ac­cepting their condition as fate. They know the treat­ment of this diseased situa­tion is divorce. But they don’t want a divorce because of the stigma attached.

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Diary of a Feminist: Men’s Distrust of Men

“In women,” Bertrand Russell said, “zest has been greatly diminished by a mistaken concept of respectability”.

Zest is an in-born human capacity to enjoy life, to be interested in the world and the varied and the beauti­ful things it has to offer. In our society, I think, this basic human instinct is, to a large extent, killed in wo­men not only by a mista­ken concept of respectabil­ity but also by a distrust of men inculcated in women by men themselves.

Take for instance travelling. Not till very late, a wo­man’s going out of her house for pleasure was considered a horrible, ignoble act. Times have definitely changed. The women who have the op­portunity and desire to travel in-land or abroad, do travel. Still, by and large, conven­tional thinking persists — that it’s dangerous for girls to travel unless they are duly chaperoned. Girls who do travel may have to face raised eyebrows and sarcastic remarks.

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