ORIGINAL COPY OF MY EMAIL TO IHM (INDIAN HOMEMAKER) POSTED ON IHM WEBSITE (AFTER BEING EDITED BY IHM) WITH HER ANSWERS ON 15TH OF JULY, 2013:
I’m not a blogger or a social activist and neither intend to be one but after reading a number of posts in your blog (to which I accidentally came across), I have mixed emotions and opinion for your posts. In most of them I agree with both you and your feminist commentators, but in some of them my mind and heart simply refuses to accept your opinion, so much so that I couldn’t stop myself from writing to you. I am not a feminist or a follower of patriarchy. I’m a person who likes reacting to a situation or an individual by applying his knowledge, experiences, logic, reasons, and rationality. At the age of 28, leading an average self centred life of a common man I don’t know if I have the right set of knowledge to comment on your posts but I definitely want to put to test my point of view about social pressures, women oppression, relationships, love, marriage, sex, gender biased problems, etc in front of your sensitive feminist society in the shape of a story next time. It’s a compilation of my thoughts, life experiences and of course my diary. But before I do so, just to make sure that I set foot on the right note, I wanted ask a few questions which strikes my mind after reading your blogs. I would feel extremely privileged and thankful if you put these in your blog as I want to see people’s reaction and comments. Finally I would just like to thank you for inspiring me to be more socially aware and to feel free to write/say what you think. Also I thank you for adding to my knowledge thru your blogs and help me grow as a human being. I love and appreciate your writings.
I shall write my questions into parts so that it’s easy to get a clear view of the commentators and their comments. So the questions are as follows (my questions don’t mean to harm or hurt the sentiments of any individual or group.):
1. Is feminism a practical approach at its purest form towards relationships, gender issues and life?
2. According to feminism, is it justified/correct by any standards, if a woman claims to be in an otherwise unproblematic healthy love relationship(say married/in an affair/live in or any other kind if I’m forgetting any) with one man and while in relationship with him knowingly & willingly involves into frequent/occasional casual sex or an affair or spends too much time with another man/men in order to quench her physical/emotional thirst, because her man may be a little low in his sexual drive/ maybe she met the man of her dreams- the handsome hunk after getting into the relationship with her man and now she secretively wants to enjoy her fantasy in her own little way/maybe she wants a promotion in her office and being less talented or not wanting to go thru the hard way she has decided to do her boss some favours/maybe she doesn’t get much time to spend with her man as he is always on official tours and speaks less or comes back to home late night in a tired state/ and the excuses or reasons can be innumerable (NOTE: all these are examples from personal experience. I’m not generalising or relating to any particular incident). How will a feminist judge the act of this woman? Is it justified as she has the right to enjoy her freedom by the constitution of India? Is it justified as long as the husband/lover doesn’t come to know about her sex escapades because a crime for which no case is filed is not a crime at all? Is it justified if the husband/lover comes to know about it somehow but has no evidence or proof because a crime without a proof/evidence/witness cannot be judged? What if the husband/lover comes to know about it when it’s too late to react say after 20 yrs when both of their old ages are knocking at their doors? What should the man do in such situation? Should he be cool about someone else sleeping with his wife or lover or should he react adversely? Should he not feel angry and sad and cheated? Just so that I’m not misunderstood here I want to say that I’m not generalising on anything and just referring only to this particular case. My message from this case is something very different. Please listen to what I have to say. In patriarchy there are a lot of things which I myself hate. Women are really looked down upon and have to face a hell lot of problems in their lives to live happily and peacefully. I accept whole heartedly that part of yours. But there is a huge underlying question behind empowering women thru feminism and giving them their rightful equality which may be they deserve (I don’t want to jump to conclusions ahead hand). Can anyone guarantee that absolute empowerment of women thru feminism will be healthy and efficient enough to improve the social balance and not give rise to any new social problems or be a potential threat in future? Because like patriarchy the idea of feminism also has many flaws. Moreover do you really believe that men and women in India are prepared enough to go thru such major psychological and attitude change in near future? Do you think that women in India are well aware with the responsibility that comes with the effect of feminism in its absolute form, if and when it comes to effect? Don’t you think that even if feminism has to come in our society it needs redefining in an elaborate way?
3. According to feminists, is marriage an overrated or outdated or obsolete institution? What are the advantages and disadvantages of marriage for an average Indian? I know about the guys but what does a feminist girl bring to the table when getting married?
4. Like patriarchy isn’t materialistic/selfish love being promoted/introduced in fashion in the mist of feminism and women liberalisation?
Awaiting your response,