Monday, October 16, 2006

Feminism & I

When Roswitha tagged me for this meme, I thought it would be easy to articulate just how important feminism is for me. It wasn’t of course. Feminism had already done a lot to change the world much before I was born and a large part of the way I live my life and a lot of things I take for granted I owe to feminism, even if I haven’t had to fight for these.
I think this is an incredibly difficult tag, but I am trying anyway.
So, here goes. The five things I owe feminism.

Freedom: To do what I want. Live the way I want to. Not to succumb to stereotypes and do what people expect me to do, but to know that I can do anything I want to, and do it darned well too. To challenge myself, increase my knowledge. To be open to ideas and experiences. To Travel. To learn.

Mom & I: I have a great relationship with my mother. I once told her that it had to do with the fact that I wasn’t living with her during the worst of my teenage years. Well, that is true to a point. A lot of it also has to do with a fact that she is simply fantastic. She is pragmatic, liberal, widely read and I can bring up any topic under the sun only to find out that she already has an opinion on the issue. One that I usually agree with.

Liberalism: I am unashamedly, unabashedly liberal. I don’t think it’s possible to be anything else if you are feminist.

Reproductive Rights and Sexual Freedom: Well, for one I greatly dislike small children and I can say that openly without people thinking its some affront to my femininity. I think it’s important that women can say "Maybe I really don’t want to have a child", without being judged. And that I can say that I would happily turn homosexual if I met someone who looks like Penelope Cruz in Volver. Or Angelina Jolie, Rachel Weiz or Paz Vega. Not to mention, can you imagine life without my absolute number one guilty pleasure Sex and the City? How drab.

Political Rights: I can vote. And had I lived even a few decades ago, I might not have had that right. It is important of course because my vote, any woman’s vote, is just as important as any mans. I still believe that women should be more involved in politics (I am not yet. But I am often accused of having an opinion on everything. That’s a compliment.), but the fact that they are at all is great.

I don’t really want to tag anyone else. But all you feminist women and men should give it a shot. Let me know if you do.


chandni said...

brilliant. Just brilliant post!

Long live the freedom!

Tabula Rasa said...

"In response to Mr. Ashykbayev's comments, I'd like to state I have no connection with Mr. Cohen and fully support my Government's decision to sue this Jew. Since the 2003 Tuleyakiv reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world. Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats, and age of consent has been raised to eight years old. Please, captain of industry; I invite you to come to Kazakhstan where we have incredible natural resources, hardworking labour, and some of the cleanest prostitutes in whole of central Asia. Goodbye!"

In case you have no idea what this is about, go here and here.

don't miss it!

roswitha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
roswitha said...

Delete mistake! :(

I think it’s important that women can say "Maybe I really don’t want to have a child", without being judged.

WORD. This one is incredibly important, particularly around places where fecundity and the production of sons is one of the major indicators of a woman's status in society. I will never understand why we are compelled to yearn for babiez, regardless of whether we love them or not. Some of us just want to give them back at the end of the day, yo.

Szerelem said...

Chandni: Thanks :)
You should do the tag! I would love to read your view on it.

TR: Borat? What about him?

Ros: Ya, I agree completely. There is still a lot of pressure do be all maternal and cuddly and say that all babies are cute (not). But atleast things are changing.

MockTurtle said...

I'm usually mildly uncomfortable around feminists, since I'm not sure if they would tolerate a sense of humor while discussing the topic.
But anyway, did you see the Priyadarshini Mattoo vedict? That should give you some hope, right?
Finally, regarding TR's comment on Borat - that quotation was from a mock reply he sent to the President of Kazakhstan who was demanding his head on a stick for putting down the Kazakhs.

Tabula Rasa said...

hey, it was real. and it was *exactly* about what you said regarding humor. have we been hanging out too much?

Anonymous said...

This all depends on your perspective. There are plenty of examples in western societies where women get artificially inseminated because they WANT a child. When is a matter of choice, and it may well be never, but I dont agree with anyone who says that that is the prevailing sentiment. You are 21, wait a decade and then we'll see if you feel the same.

Szerelem said...

MT: hmmm….well I would like think that I do have a sense of humour. I think women have had to fight for so much that being flippant about certain issues isnt always possible.
And what did you say to TR regarding a sense of humour?

TR: I know Borat said that... but what’s the connection to the post? Is there any?? *Confused*

Anonymous: I never said that most women don’t want to have children. My point was that some just don’t want to, and the feminism has made it acceptable to say that. I am also not saying that maybe 10 – 15 years later I might not change my mind, but it is important that I have the choice to decide. I mean, come on, for centuries it was considered a woman’s duty to produce offspring and it has taken a lot for women to be able say that they might not want to have children.

Tabula Rasa said...

here's what mt had said: I'm not sure if they would tolerate a sense of humor while discussing the topic.

and here's how you replied: being flippant about certain issues isnt always possible.

and i, before either of you said anything, was giving an example of said flippancy. (never mind -- this too shall pass. :-)

MockTurtle said...

Don't get me wrong, I know you have a sense of humor. I guess I just never know what is expected of me when there are feminists around. For that matter I don't know what is expected of me when there is anyone with a strong conviction on anything around. Being that I have no strong convictions (although I sometimes pretend to so I can get a rise out of folks).
And TR was just responding to my earlier comment about a sense of humor.

@TR: Inappropriate humor can be contagious.

Panacea said...

ooh, nice tag!

You are right. Feminism does have it's assets, I'd definitely turn happily homosexual for Penelopé Cruz, Rachel Weiz or Angelina Jolie myself :D

Szerelem said...

TR: Aah I see!! I thought as much but didnt want to jump to any conclusions. Ummm, and I can also be a bit dense sometime =P

MT: I know what you mean. I generally dont joke about certain things because I never know how it will go down or unless I know people wont have some crazy reaction to it. People can be super sensitive about certain stuff.....what to do?

Pan: =D
Oh and thanks to you (not) I am now obsessed with Cakkidi. Its sooo good!

Tabula Rasa said...

is dense? like a chair, with shoes? la la-la la-laaa?

(ok ok this too shall pass.)

Panacea said...

It is such a great song, right? If you like the song, you should watch the video. I think it might be on you tube. It's such a cool video!

Szerelem said...

TR: *stunned* good grief...this should pass soon.

Pan: Yes I have seen the video!! It is really catchy...By the way have you heard Isyankar by Mustafa Sandal?? I am sooo obsessed with that track!! It is gorgeous.

Also, happy diwali everyone!!

Panacea said...

Yeah, I have it. It's a great track. He's rather good! Do you have Araba by him? I love that song.

I'm pretending not to be weirded out about the fact that I know someone else apart from myself who is not Turkish and into Turkish pop :)

The Poodle's Friend said...

OMG, guys, Mustafa Sandal? Seriously, there's better Turkish music around. Araba has such inane lyrics. Araba means car. As in, automobile. And the whole song is about how Mustafa's rival has a great car but not a great heart and so Mustafa will get the girl in the end because he's soulful even though he's not rich. szerelem, you should try Duman. They're a Turkish rock group. Especially their song 'Yak'. It's really good. Oh, and try 'Cambaz' by Mor ve Otesi. OK, OK, I'll stop. But seriously, Mustafa Sandal?
Oooh, one last interesting piece of trivia/claim to fame. OK, you know the girl in the Isyankar video who dances for a whole bit? Well, she went to the same school as my very good-looking cousin and she asked him out and he rejected her. He felt very stupid about it once he saw the video.
Isn't cakkidi amazing? You should listen to Bas Harfi Ben, by the same guy. Completely different kind of song.
OK, i'll stop writing essays in your comments section.

the wannabe indian punkster said...

Reproductive rights and sexual freedom.

I second that, wholeheartedly.

Szerelem said...

Pan: I like Araba...but Isyankar...I love it =D
Especially the version featuring Gentleman. Ummm...and I have an unhealthy obsession for all things Turkish...sigh, I really need to visit that country.

TPF: OK. Those lyrics are very lame. I hope Isyankar doesnt have some similar lameass lyrics!
Oh and I really like Bas Harfi Ben, but havent heard the others you mentioned (I love Aman Aman by Duman though) so shall try and get hold of them =D
One reason I like whatever little I have heard of Sandal (this is true, I think for most of the Turkish tracks I really like) is that the music is very ethnic and the instruments are really great so its not just pure pop/rock/grunge.
Oh and I dont mind the essays at all =)

Punkster: Its really important. The sad thing is that women are still having to fight for it and there are set backs at every stage. Look at the abortion debate in the States these days...its just drives me hopping mad.

Tabula Rasa said...

*stunned* good grief...this should pass soon.

so go on, change the topic :-D i mean, do *something*! push this whole turkopop business into the spotlight if you will -- there's enough here for a post of its own.

fwiw, i crashed a couple of nights at a turkish friend's place earlier this month. we even had dinner at a restaurant called pasha. but we did *not* talk about orhan pamuk, or cakkidi, or ilhan mansiz, or sucuk. she was more interested in "catching up".

Szerelem said... commented just as I pressed pubish on my Diwali post.
But I shall post on Turkopop next =P
And how can you not discuss Pamuk, especially with a Turk??

Tabula Rasa said...

you're going to murder me for this, but i didn't like him.

i know the way you rave about him, so this summer i was at my parents' place for a few days and saw a couple of his books lying around. so i picked them up. first the one and then the other. tried them both out over a period of over a week. my mother raved about them. my childhood friend said "it gets really gripping after about page 200".

i'm a fast reader but i didn't reach page 200 on either one. feel free to comment :-)

小小彬 said...