BY ISHITA ROY
Today, we live in a culture of labels. With the constant social conditioning, we end up judging people. And we label them. We label them based on our perception of their behavior.
Women in particular are targeted by this label culture.
A woman is expected to behave in a certain manner. Defined by society. And when she tries to do away with it. She is labeled.
Society is more concerned about women calling out on sexism than sexism that is still in practice. Women rarely have the space to talk about gender discrimination. Forget other things like their opinion on women empowerment. If she talks about equal rights she is labeled as Feminazi.
The term Feminazi is as offensive as a racial or casteist slur. It is a derogatory slang, used to silence women who believe in Feminism and raise their voice for equality. When people are out of logic and are losing an argument. Instead of acknowledging their mistake, they let their ego speak for them. And when a fragile ego speaks, it speaks to shun the one who is right with slurs as a perfect scapegoat.
Dichotomy of ‘Slut’ and ‘Behen Ji’
Women are judged. No matter what they do. What they wear. A woman’s body is always under surveillance. She is assigned with a character certificate simply by the evaluation of log kya kahenge?
If a woman chooses to wear a short dress. A deep neck top. If she is not a virgin, had many relationships. Has a circle with mostly men as her friends. Then according to the board of log kya kahenge, she is a slut.
But if she does cover herself. Does not go out or talk to guys. Is a virgin. Then she becomes a Behen Ji – a slur commonly used for women who do not fit the societal standards of “attractive.” Therefore, they are referred to as a Behen (sister), as men will not find their sisters attractive.
At least once in our lives, we did use this slur. But it is time to unlearn. The victims often succumb to societal conditioning. Thus, end up using slurs against their own community.
This society believes that a woman belongs in the kitchen. Expects her to always keep her head down. Obey men and sacrifice for the family. And never expect anything in return. However, as more women are joining the workforce, this has started to change.
But there is no solution to fragile egos who cannot take orders from women.
When a woman is in a responsible role, as a boss. A mentor. Or in any superior position and knows what she wants. She is then called a Bitch. A woman’s confidence or assertiveness thus gets her the label of Bitch.
This is the most overused of them all. Now we all know how society considers periods as taboo. But it does not stop it from using periods as an excuse to shame women. Women are often called moody and judged that they are on their periods, causing hormonal imbalance.
No. It is not always the time of the month. We also go through rough days, feel upset, or angry. Because we also have real emotions that deserve to be acknowledged. So, stop dismissing women’s emotions by using the period excuse.
I do not know who did it. But someone sure put family’s honor in women’s vagina. Which is why a woman’s character is judged by her virginity. And God forbids if she turns out a non-virgin, then she is just a damaged item.
It is high time that we stop labelling women and let them live their lives the way they want to. If a woman wants equal rights, divorce rights, right to education, property, dignity and every other socio-political and legal right that a man enjoys then she is not “hard to deal with.” Neither is she a feminazi. She is just a human being, who deserves to be treated like one.
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