Why Are We So Afraid To Be Feminists?
‘Feminist’. Such a loaded word. A word with so much legacy. As a woman, you’d want to be part of something that’s a movement, an ideology. But while word was being passed around about this, and millions of ordinary, regular women were signing up with fervour, Bollywood decided to hole themselves in a corner, and put their fingers in their ears. You know, lest they end up inadvertently identifying as a feminist or being seen as one.
Okay, we don’t want to credit Bollywood with too much passion for a cause because, well, there isn’t any good reason to, but surely being a feminist can’t be a bad thing. To really break it down, it would mean that actresses get to saunter into set at the same time as a male star, to get paid the same amount (gasp!) and may be get to have a say on certain things in the script (Blasphemy!) Not so bad when you put it like that, you think. So why are Bollywood actresses running to the hills when someone asks if they are feminists? What exactly scares them so much that they warble into the mike, and sidestep the topic? There are YouTube closed captions that make more sense than them.
And to do it when you are promoting a movie that has an all-girl ensemble? Weird. Kareena Kapoor was out and about talking about Veere Di Wedding, the movie where women abuse, sleep with many men, and are okay with it. Like ordinary girls. And the actress was asked about feminism. She said, ‘I believe in equality. I wouldn’t say I am a feminist, I would say I am a woman, and above all, I am a human being. I am also as proud to be known as Saif Ali Khan’s wife, as I am to be Kareena Kapoor. So that is just the way I am.’
First of all, that’s just a lot of words. But, dear people, please note that in the first sentence she says she believes in equality, but she’s not a feminist. Yes, all those women who burned their bras for this very cause would like a refund please. Also, fabulous move there by mentioning husband in the same breath. We almost understood her for a moment.
But Kareena’s not the only one with such an eloquent take on feminism. Lisa Haydon, of being a human in possession of a good body fame, also said something that we hoped was a part of a stand up comedy act, but it wasn’t. When asked about feminism, in an interview with TOI, Lisa said, “Feminism is just an overused term and people make too much noise about it for no reason. Women have been given these bodies to produce children, and the spirit and tenderness to take care of people around us. It’s fine to be an outspoken and working woman. I don’t want to be a man. One day I look forward to making dinner for my husband and children. I don’t want to be a career feminist.’ *worries about all the things she has been doing with her body that didn’t involve having children*
Parineeti Chopra impressed us the most of all though. Because, the timing was spectacular. The actress was the brand ambassador for Haryana’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padao’ campaign in 2015. She used this platform well to further the cause by saying that she believed in equality, but she’s not a feminist. *patiently pulls out dictionary, points to definition of feminist*
There’s also Kangana Ranaut who put her entire leg in her mouth when she said this. She was talking about the movie Pink at the India Today Mind Rocks Youth Summit 2016. ‘They are leading the spirit of feminism. They chose to do a film called Pink. We are a male-dominated society, it is all the more important for us to empower our feminist men more than empowering our women because they are going to lead feminism.’ Kangana, we had one thing. One thing for which we held the reins firmly in our hands. And you would like to hand it over to the men? Why must you do such a thing?
We aren’t entirely sure why these women don’t want to be feminists. Is it because they don’t like words that start with an ‘f’? Or they don’t like how it sounds? Wait, is it because it might actually look like they’ve a spine, and who needs that? The mind continues to be baffled.