To many people who know me personally, I am a feminist. I am not afraid of the label. I wear it proudly because if there is one thing I am sure about myself, it is this– there is nothing I deem wrong about fighting for gender equality. In a still horrifically patriarchal world, there are more women than men but there is always less room for us– encompassing glass ceilings, burqas and bikinis, MRT cars and Indian buses, etc, etc. I believe in equality; I believe in freedom; I believe in respect.
I almost got into a fight last Friday. It turns out that even in probably the most liberal school in the country, I can still find misogynists and bigots in abundance. It was an English class, and my professor previously told us to write about a moral code we felt strongly about, so I wrote about rape culture. (I’ll post it if my prof returns it.) So on Friday, she picked two papers to share to the class– one being my feminist piece, and the other the total opposite of mine. We had a discussion about it right after.
I get it. In a fairly conservative country, my more radical beliefs are considered to be extreme. Fine. But the fact that more than THREE PEOPLE (women and men) said very sexist and harmful things was beyond any of my expectations about my own university. I embrace the diversity in the people but I never realized that there was actually room for sexism in such a forward university. I was more than shocked– I was disgusted even, not only by their opinions but also by their frankness and certainty, as if saying that “women should know their place” was something completely ordinary to say out loud. By the middle of it, I wanted to strangle people.
I’d rather not share any other comment made then because that would just make my blood boil again. I really just wanted to write about what I felt after arguing with so many misogynists– that the fight is still so alive, so vicious. At this point, I don’t think I can befriend any misogynist. Hearing all that patriarchal bullshit and first generation excuses (fucking larger hypothalamus my ass) made me want to shoot myself in the head, while fueling my motivation to fight stronger.
This is a pledge to fight against bigotry and misogyny for the rest of my consciousness. Fuck the patriarchy.