India Today is organizing the national women summit in Delhi in September this year. The promotional material says that our country practices positive discrimination or discrimination against men to ensure gender equality. Now whether that is positive or negative gender discrimination is a matter of debate.
I am thankful to them for agreeing that there exists discrimination in favour of women. So far feminists were projecting that women are discriminated against by the patriarchal society. But this is the first forum that agreed to the fact of positive discrimination. Their claim, however, is efforts to empower currently subjugated women will lead to the ideal world.
I couldn’t laugh more than when I saw that women are currently subjugated.
A question is raised by the organizers to tell them what women really wanted – a special status or an equal status. Whether men even knew what women wanted?
I am a man and did not dare to even try to think what women wanted, rather I have taken the same summit as the yardstick to understand what they really wanted. So I studied the previous two years summit details to understand what they wanted.
I found the following –
In 2014 summit, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal in her inaugural address mentioned that she got married to her husband on condition that he will not enter politics but she was in politics by design. Did that sound little chauvinistic? The female way? And that didn’t tell me that women wanted equality and not speciality.
Dipika Pallikal the squash player said in the summit that she hated all Indian male cricketers barring Dinesh Karthik because they always stole all limelight. I was just wondering if she knew how Sania Mirza stole the limelight to be a new brand ambassador for the Telangana state depriving more eligible Saina Nehwal. What some women don’t understand is “it happens”. Well her imagination that women by default needed more attention, told me that women might not want equality.
Gul Panag’s discussion in the summit was about gender roles. The women panelists upheld the need of women to be given combat duties but projected that as bias against women. Whereas in reality, it was a patriarchal way of saving women. She also stated that she enjoyed chivalry but she was not less feminist. That again proved that what women wanted was special treatment and wanted to term that as equality.
Same goes for Huma Qureshi show where she wanted women to celebrate their body type. She spoke about body shaming of women but also told that she wanted a man with an eight pack. Not direct body shaming of men but in a very subtle way. I was wondering why she didn’t want a fat, short height man if she didn’t like body shaming and wanted equality. That didn’t give me any comfort that body shaming never existed for men. That was another indication why I felt women wanted specialty and not equality.
Then, I referred to their 2013 session. In inaugural session parliamentarian, Jayanti Natarajan said “there should be complete intolerance for sexist behavior towards women at home. A woman should take recourse to the law if she feels her dignity has been compromised”. Yes, only a woman could take legal recourse in such cases. Any sexist behavior against a man goes unnoticed, ridiculed, and this was another reason I felt that women wanted special treatment and not equality.
But I still moved on doing my research and saw the session with writer Meena Kandasamy and activist Kavitha Krishnan who discussed structural oppression and rape culture in India. It sounded to me as if Indian parents ever taught their sons how to rape, schools ever gave “rape” vacations, teachers ever showed how to rape others and men out there were only eager to rape women on the streets. This summit was held immediately after the Delhi rape incident so I was not surprised that they did it for publicity. But our crime statistics still showed that 75% of rape cases were false and fabricated. These women have again shown that they wanted special treatment and not equal treatment. The panellists never demanded any punishment for false complainants. A typical feminist double standard in the name of equality.
The most surprising part of 2013 summit was Shashi Tharoor’s lecture on ills of dowry menace. Yes, when one was given a clean-chit from a crime like a dowry death of his own wife in a hurried fake investigation, one could easily give those gyans. If we ask a common man whose wife died in unnatural circumstances and was sent to jail for committing no crime we would understand this feminist hypocrisy. That didn’t tell me that women wanted equality.
So I learned from the women summit that not only women wanted special treatment but some men like Tharoor too was ready to give them special treatment. Only the common Indian men understand the difference.
So I understood what those feminist women really wanted –