“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.”― Rebecca West

I have always been told by several people that I complain too much! That I am too sensitive as a person. This has always made me weary of raising any issue in public at all, lest I hear someone say “Oh Darling, let it go! That’s life, loosen up”. Well, I just might loosen up. But should I ?

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Should I let go when I see a majority of my male colleagues getting a better pay than us, their female counterparts for doing the exact same job? Do I not protest when our ideas are shot down while the same idea pitched by a male counterpart is applauded?  Should I ignore if I see most of my fellow Indians, not questioning the man who does not have his wedding ring on, but considering it a huge deviation when a women refuses to put on her vermilion?

Is it okay that I decide to keep my maiden name after marriage and not have to explain it to anybody, just like men do? Will everybody leave me alone if I decide to not keep a full day fast for the longevity of my husband’s life when all other women in the house are taking part in it? (How are they even freaking related!). Please tell me they won’t judge me?

Well arguably they will, most will! In our extremely hypocritical society, the bars for women are set higher, much higher than it is for men. You have to be twice as good as men,to be of any worth. Not everywhere, not always, but for most times this holds true.

What infuriates me further is apparently, it’s not even okay to call it out ! At least not without a bunch of people labeling you an uptight feminist! Well I will again not generalize and say this happens all the time, everywhere. But please don’t generalize me and what I stand for too.

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Please don’t call me a feminist, I am not! Do not label me an equalist and no, I am also not a humanist. I am just a woman who understands her rights and voices them when she feels necessary.Just like a man does! Do we start calling a man, a “Manist”, every time he defends his rights? No! He is still just a man!

They call you a feminist! You’re a joke! It’s an abuse! They’re mocking you by calling you a feminist or a feminazi! Oh a new jazz word to amp the insult.

I don’t understand why it makes you so angry? why does it hurt your ego? how does it make you uncomfortable to accept that even in this day and age women do face duality? Is it so offensive when she talks about being discriminated? What is your problem with an opinionated woman?

Do you immediately have to cite examples of how women have abused laws that are their to protect them, for their advantage? Do you know how negligible that number is compared to women who have actually been violated? Do you really have to say “Oh, all that a women does, is complain!”.Can you not for once understand why?

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I am sad today, and what triggered the post is what took place today! This is 2016 we are talking about, a much progressive era? We were all at the lunch table when we started discussing a new movie that came out. I was trying to fill them up on what I thought, but one of my male friends kept cutting me.

This was nothing new! This had happened at least a two hundred times before in this entire year with me. I try not to mind. I rarely say a word. I anyways think I talk too much and forgive people for having shorter attention spans.

But what I protested about today was how one of my male friends repeated exactly what I said, only in different words, while cutting me up midway! Done it, many times. I kept mum. I valued friendship. I was avoiding the awkward.

But not today! Today I roared like a lion. For the 10 times that he had alone done it to me before this year, I finally told him calmly, but strongly “Excuse me, I said the same thing before. Thanks for explaining it further. But could you next time not cut me when I am talking?”

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And then I told you in the beginning of the post, how people tell me that I complain too much, how women in general complain too much, how I am a feminist and they can’t stand one. How we are given every right but we still want more, even if we don’t deserve it!

It’s okay, we’re still friends, we debated it out and I don’t judge, You’re entitled to your own opinion. I am just glad I put it out there! I made it a little bit difficult for him to shoot me or any other person down while they’re talking. Or conveniently passing on one of their opinions/arguments/thoughts as his, while they’re right by his side.

So It was awkward for everyone at the table? But it was worth it! I could hear the silent support of some of the women and men present. We’ve kept quiet for too long and it has done us no good. We’ve avoided confronting misogyny, discrimination, prejudices. We can post opinions on the social forum but feel intimidated to take it up with people closer to us. Why?

Next time, tell your uncle it’s not okay to spend more on your son’s education and deliberately less on your daughter. Tell your aunt, it’s not okay to judge a women for not adorning items that brand her as married, because her son’s not wearing any. It’s okay to to ask your neighbor to not obsess with color when choosing a bride for his son. Call him out if he rejects his daughter’s love because he is not rich enough for him! It’s okay if you refuse to laugh at a sexist joke your friend made. Voice.

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It is the need of the hour to have those uncomfortable, awkward discussions at the dinner table or at a social gathering.

It’s okay if they disagree. I still respect them for having their own ideologies. I will still respect them for feeling us women are agitated for nothing! You can have your say.

But could you please for once, let us have ours? Could you please not disrespect women, not brand them, men or any other gender with any sexual preference, for having a different opinion than yours? Could you please politely agree to disagree. Could you please stop calling her a feminist if you mean it as a slur! Or him an anti feminist! Could you please not label her, him, them ,anyone! Please!

A Quick update: I am a Feminist, will always be!

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