Are Women to be Blamed for Being Hapless Victims of Feminism?

Women lose their feminine side in their struggle to be at par with their male counterparts, says Chandana Agarwal.

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One of the most fundamental flaws of feminism has been its view or the lack of it on women’s sexuality. (Photo: iStock)

‘A woman is not born she is made’ – Simone de Beauviour

In my case it seems to be the complete opposite.

I was born a female and would have grown up to be a woman if it wasn’t for the woman (oops I hope I am not being derogatory)….is ‘person’ the correct way of addressing an individual who happens to be born a female I have quoted above?

Before I go further, I must point out that I have gone to great pains to ensure that my writing style is Ecriture feminine compliant. For the uninitiated….. Écriture féminine places experience before language, and privileges non-linear, cyclical writing that evades “the discourse that regulates the phallocentric system.”

With regard to phallocentric writing, Tong (another distinguished person who is a feminist, but I am not sure whether she believes it is ok to be called a woman, or she believes that being referred to as woman is being marked) believes, “like male sexuality, masculine writing, is also ultimately boring in its singularity and pointedness”

So I shall try and be circular much like ‘should’ be and full of multiplicity and quote from experience (though I personally am not the kind of person who likes to share experiences to make a point) just to avoid being like the ‘big boring, pointed and singular dick’.

I must confess however, that I have never found anything even remotely boring about it in the few instances that I have had the good fortune of being in its proximity. In fact, it has been a source of pleasure and joy and no, Mr Freud, I have never been envious of it nor have I felt the lack of it as far back as I can remember, consciously or subconsciously.

The
earliest stages of feminism which fought for equality, was fighting its battles
in spite of the woman’s sexuality. (Photo: iStock)
The earliest stages of feminism which fought for equality, was fighting its battles in spite of the woman’s sexuality. (Photo: iStock)

Fraught with a Dilemma

So, here goes……

I had been grappling for many years with my identity and its projection in the larger world. I am fiercely independent and saw myself as a champion for women’s rights till it dawned on me that women did not need any rescuing…. But let me not get to the point so early… so let’s go back to the beginning……..

As a little girl (or a female of small years)… I remember making the effort not to cry while I watched sad Hindi movies. I developed an aversion to all things women, ‘wimpy women’ did – needlework, craft, crochet, tatting, painting and dancing.

I cut my hair short and when I went to an MBA institute, I took great pride in being one amongst the boys, I was a buddy, and if and when I discovered that the boy was interested in me I would castigate myself for letting my womanhood show, for letting the cause down.

Hail feminism!!!!

I could go on recounting experiences where I chose to give up on my feminity and my sexuality to be counted as an equal until ….. bless the thirties, it dawned on me that I did not want to be an equal, more importantly I realised, I love being a woman… the entire package.

Which brings us to the question of ‘feminism’. What is it about?

Flaw of Feminism

Without getting into the many phases of feminism (radical, liberal, socialist, legal) and their issues and objectives, and I am over-simplifying a movement that has seen many stages of evolution, was about fighting for equality with men.

My view is that the most fundamental flaw of feminism has been its view, or the lack of it, on women’s sexuality. The earliest stages of feminism which fought for equality, was fighting its battles in spite of the woman’s sexuality. Sexuality was a hindrance that could be dispensed with.

There was a great urgency to do away with the differences. Not only did we not revel in our body we were not in touch with it at all. We treated the menses as a monthly curse, wanted to do away with our wombs and flaunted our moustaches. And nearly 60 years hence, we still are not comfortable with our bodies.

Victim of Feminism

I feel sad and defeated that after so many years, the biggest victim of feminism has been ‘femininity’, it has led to ‘feminine energy’ becoming extinct. Women managers are required in organisations so there is a representation of a feminine view, not so a woman can mouth a male POV, same for women politicians and other fields. What would be a more fruitful discussion would be what we can do to bring back this energy in the world today, to begin with in females and then beyond.

We need to define our identities as a fusion of our sex and gender and not fight one and resist the other.

I for one, over the years have found mine. I have discovered that I revel in being a female, I love my body and see no reason to be a better man in a female body. I have started painting, singing and dancing again and I don’t force myself to watch a match anymore when I would enjoy watching a re-run of ‘Friends’ a lot more.

(The writer is a Kathak dancer in addition to being a seasoned advertising professional. She runs a Kathak school, Marigold and can be reached at @0dc21330495d4b2. This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

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