It’s been long that politics over gender is being played against men, not only in India but around the globe. But surprisingly, this is a fact that not many in normal day-to-day life are aware of.
When I joined the Save Indian Family Movement and came across the term ‘gender politics’, I thought it’s not possible and maybe due to anger against the system and laws, such things are creeping out. But, slowly and gradually this naked and undeniably disturbing reality of feminists’ ‘gender politics’ was in front of me too. Not that this happened with me only, it happens with everyone who tries to understand the actual scenario.
‘Gender politics’ exists, this was clear to me now, and this instigated me to understand as to what changes, damaging or constructive, for men or women have this gender politics brought about.
To discuss this, we can broadly segregate it's effect over the roles of men and women as 'traditional' and 'modern'.
Since ancient times...
Traditionally, men have always accepted (there wasn’t an option) the role of being a protector and provider for the wife, children and the whole of the family which comprised parents and siblings too.
Husband and wife used to be happy as companions, as helping partners with each other for life. Hence, men working hard outside and women working equally hard at home were considered an ideal, balanced and happy family.
The more wife helped her husband to be successful by supporting him on returning from work, taking care of the household and the children, helping ease his stress; the more he focused on work and earning. More the earning, better the protector and provider role of the husband, and benefit for the whole of the family.
By and large, these were the family values and systems that carried even after the Indian independence, irrespective of religion and social status, till the 1950s, when Hindu Code Bills were passed. More precisely, The Hindu Marriage Act that was passed in 1955. Even though a left-aligned women's movement that talked of parity for ‘oppressed Indian women’ at large was in place even before the independence; in my opinion, the codification of Hindu Marriage Act under the divisive ideological process initiated by Britishers was an achieved milestone for the feminists in India then.
The reason why I consider the Hindu Marriage Act as an important milestone for feminism in India is that with this came the term 'Divorce' in Hindu marriages, which is not a contract marriage system and was considered pious since ages. Whether it's as pious today too, is a matter of debate for me.
Hindu Marriage Act was brought as an option for everyone to exit from a bad marriage. But with the uncontrolled women empowerment over the years, this option of divorce has elevated to the extent that women today compare marriage itself with the option of being single again, with men who still consider marriage to be for life, having no say in her choosing this option.
Oppressed Indian women
Before proceeding further it is also pertinent to note that, most of the times when feminists talked of ‘oppressed Indian women’, they referred to Sati pratha and claimed that traditionally wives in Hindus were forced to sit atop her deceased husband’s funeral pyre (Chita)! This Sati pratha narrative of ‘forcing’ a woman to die on her husband’s Chita is nothing more than false propaganda.
Neither am trying to say that Sati never existed nor am justifying someone committing Sati. But the reality is that nowhere in any Hindu scripture, there is any mention of Sati. The fraud related to the misinterpretation of Rigveda 10.18.7-8 that describes a funeral, was exposed by none other than Maxmuller. In this mantra widow women as was advised to go ahead (Agre) in her life rather than go in funeral pyre (Agne means fire) after her husband’s death.
Talking in terms of historic and comparative recent date, there are certain points to ponder on feminist’s hollow narratives around Sati.
When Ram returned after 14 years of exile, all his three mothers we alive, none was forced to commit Sati.
Even in the saga, Sulochana, wife of Meghnad (Indrajeet) and daughter-in-law of Ravan committed Sati by her choice, she wasn't forced.
Kunti was alive even during the times of Mahabharat, she wasn't forced to commit Sati.
Whereas Madri, the second wife of Pandu, committed Sati even against the views of sages discouraging her from the act. She performed Sati through Surya kundlini yoga (not by sitting atop Pandu’s pyre) in repentance, as she believed herself to be responsible for Pandu's death.
Comparatively recently, none of Chandragupta Maurya's widowed mother Moora or Bindusara's widowed step-mother Helena, the daughter of Greek general Seleucus Nicator, or Ashoka's widowed mother Subhadrangi committed Sati.
Be it Rani Ahilyabai Holkar, wife of Khanderao Holkar or Rani Lakshmibai, wife of Gangadhar Rao Newalkar, and numerous others of those times rightly chose not to commit Sati.
Rani Karnavati, the wife of Rana Sanga; Rani Padmavati, the wife of Ratan Sen and those who accompanied them, committed Jauhar/Sati because of Islamic invaders, and not because they were forced for some cultural or religious fulfilment.
All the instances of Sati before any foreign invasions on the country were willful and the later ones fall in the category of Rani Karnavati and Rani Padmavati only. Feminists intentionally refer to killing crimes or suicides too as Sati with pratha as a suffix, just to strengthen their hollow propaganda.
Banking on such hollow propagandas and encouraged with the enactment of acts like Hindu Marriage Act, there started a series of enactment of several other laws which further encouraged and shifted the focus of feminists in India much beyond ‘promoting women equality’. Feminists initially included the demand for having the right to decide the course of their personal lives and the right of self-determination, which later reached today's left-oriented toxic radical feminism, which only means male-bashing, complete hostility, opposition, personal attacks and contempt for men.
With changing times
For modern times, am taking the post-independence period beginning after the virulent feminism started poisoning and taking over women aggressively.
Continuing with the cultural and family values our society has been practising for centuries, one thing is abundantly clear that we are born feminists. We pray numerous female Gods, we pray Shakti, at least twice a year we feed and bow in front of girls in the form of Kanya, as symbols of female Gods we pray around the year. On almost every pious occasion, we feed girls. But this traditional and cultural feminism was never divisive or damaging. If our traditional society happily accepted the restricted entry of men in a few temples, it also accepted the restricted entry of women in a few other temples at the same time. Our traditional feminism was such that on the occasions of praying Santoshi Mata, only boys are fed even today. On the festival of Sakat, only boys fulfil the rituals even today.
But since we are discussing gender roles in terms of traditional and modern, our traditionally feminist society maintained it's feminism without even realising when it got taken over by leftist's modern feminism ideology. The divisive and damaging feminism, that operates only through fear-mongering and encashes even the slightest of humanitarian sympathy.
Feminism in India initially spoke of equality between men and women through political and legal reforms. Our gynocentric society, especially men in power hailed this. As a result, numerous gender-biased legislations and policies came into being. Unfortunately, this continues even after being well aware of the fact that all the gender-biased legislations and policies are only damaging the social fabric and ruining the institution of marriage.
With the Constitution of India coming into being back in 1950, along with it came an Article 15(3) for the empowerment of the women. Article 15(3) of the Indian Constitution allowed exceptions to the extent that these exceptions themselves become the rule.
After the Hindu Marriage Act, our society hailed even the enactment, promotion and unchecked widespread usage of existing and new gender-biased laws referring immoral trafficking, dowry prohibition and dowry death, Sati prevention, domestic violence, sexual harassment at workplace or elsewhere, triple talaq,maintenance, child custody, rape and other sexual harassment or offences related provisions and laws.
With the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments in 1993, women got33.33 % reservation in seats at different levels of elections in Panchayat, Block and Municipality.
With Women's Reservation Bill, women got 33% reservation of seats in India's Parliament and state legislative bodies, in 2010.
The government supported major International Conventions biased in favour of women, including the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1993 and the Beijing Declaration as well as the Platform for Action (1995).
The government also formed a department of Women and Child Development in 1985, and laterMinistry of Women and Child Development in 2006.
Running contrary to the jurisprudential cardinal canon of interpretation that asks provisos of The Constitution of India to be read as a whole to ascertain its true import, under the garb of feminism, lawmakers read and presented the provisions in a manner to enable the State to discriminate in favour of women, against men; not to favour men against women, or not to even allow men justice against women.
The deep roots
For our gynocentric society, surges of feminism are just like a bad habit that was and still is growing, lacking any assessment or control. And this scenario led to the current social structure where even the government seems to be convinced with feminists and therefore have selected the class of women that it has to protect and empower. Today, National Commission for Women (NCW), the constitutional body for women empowerment and safety in the country, works only for women who are in relation with a man as a wife, girl-friend, live-in-partner, prostitute, even a concubine, but they are not concerned about women who are in relation with a man as a mother, sister, bhabhi, bua, tai or chichi.
This, therefore, brings us to four broad distinctions among women:
Those who are strong supporters or part of the feminist movement.
Those, who feminists and NCW consider worth protecting and supporting viz. the beneficiaries of feminism.
Those who may not be the direct beneficiary of feminism, but are pro-feminism.
Those very few who prefers the traditional roles of women, a homemaker. These are very few as this section comprises of mostly the women who are older than many senior citizens.
For now, we will discuss feminism and women’s role from the perspective of the women who are direct beneficiaries of feminism. Also pertinent to mention here is that pro-feminism woman can any time switch to be a direct beneficiary of feminism.
Out of all the direct beneficiaries of feminism, a woman in relation as a wife is the one where gender-equality is fought for and thrust upon by the government too, the most. So, we will mainly discuss the modern role of women from that perspective.
Feminism and traditional values are opposed to each other, so there is no possibility of worthless feminists understanding the gravity of our traditional values.
In absolute contrast to our traditional values that never required any written law and operated solely on God-given intelligence, feminism operates through fear-mongering and that’s the reason why it always motivates women to be a rebellion, prepare and fight for the imaginary and hypothetical uncertainties concerning the men in life. And to achieve this goal, it opts for the ways that are not only difficult for most people to detect but also it leaves people convinced that only they are truthful and interested in genuine equality for women.
Feminists very well know that selectivity is the genesis of fear-mongering. So they simply always told a partial story; including only the female victim, omitting males and other important information, and thereby pressing a narrative as if women always are victims and men are the predators.
Encouraged by the ‘equality’ demanding feminism, lawmakers created a legal ecosystem where men are forced to carry on his traditional role of being the protector and provider for wife and children, but call women’s traditional role an ‘abuse’ to them. New dynamics created thus led the society to a situation where women use the term ‘abuse’ for everything that isn’t actually 'abuse', this further led to the deterioration of the institution of marriage.
To dissolve and poison the family system and the society at large, feminism has convincingly equated the ‘equality of a house woman’ to that of ‘equality of a working women’, thereby making women fight for equality in the workplace also, unhesitatingly putting family life and children at stake!
Majority of modern highly qualified women in the workspace are not because of some financial issue, but just due to the lack of understanding of our value systems and destructive influence of feminism. And with this understanding of ‘equality in workspace' creeping in from the childhood itself, women are getting more and more ill-prepared to be wives, mothers, and home women! As a result, pious marriage, that traditionally used to be a long journey of adjustments, compromises and sacrifices, have been reduced to nothing more than litigations to be contested in courts where men are compelled to repeatedly adjust, compromise and sacrifice, as only women are the proprietors of all the rights.
Does this mean women should stay away from a workspace? No! Women should stay at home if they want, or work if they want, but this shouldn't be based on any biased social norms. A working woman shouldn't be presented to non-working ones as something to aspire to, believing it to be the ultimate achievement of equality.
'Sex' has always been a personal choice, simultaneously it also has been subjected to the litmus test of sanctity not only for oneself but for the society too. But feminism has elevated sex far above from where it stood traditionally. It has convinced women that sex is the ultimate expression of equality and empowerment. With this narrative, feminism is establishing new norms for intimate relations between a man or a woman.
Irrespective of the fact whether the intimate relationship between a man and woman is in the form of a married couple, friends in intimate relations, live-in-partners or for that matter paid intimacy with some prostitute, in every consensual sexual relation, woman is always empowered to withdraw her consent, even with retrospective effect, and cry 'rape'.
The ultimate goal of today's radical feminism is to 'achieve equality' by completely uprooting, redefining and reconstructing the whole of the social setup, keeping men away from it.
With all this happening under gender politics, where do today’s men stand?
From among the born feminist society members, arose some honest men, who had the capability to read between the lines of hollow feminist narratives and had the zeal to take it head-on for the benefit of the Menkind.
Acting carefully, well understanding that the opponent feminism has all might and power, these honest men started a very pious 'Save Indian Family Movement' around 15 years back.
The end isn't near
Extremists, be it of anything, has their capabilities, rhetorics and narratives. Radical feminism (extreme leftist), that has attained this level in our country is no exception. So, a lot of its narratives which couldn't be covered in this post shall be covered in future posts.
Men's struggle with this hollow feminism as 'Save Indian Family Movement' hasn't been any lesser, this very respectfully deserves a detailed dedicated post. We shall have it too, very soon.