There comes a time when we must give in to peer pressure. But the situation becomes a tad convoluted when you realize that through punk history, punks are the peer pressurers (I don’t prefer to use the word bully, for aesthetic reasons. Ahem). But I am known for having an altruistic side *cough*, and well, I digress.
Moving on, I’ve never really acted all OMGIHATEMEMESARGH! in the past. I still don’t abhor memes, but I must admit to feeling a teensy weensy bit overwhelmed at the sheer number of tags I’ve been avoiding, six at last count I think (eep!). But fear not O’ allegiant yet slightly elusive reader, I have finally resolved to work on my meme backlog and I can’t think of a better way to begin than to do a tag on feminism. And I must thank this relentless crusader, the person who single handedly forced me out of my TAG-A-BLOCK, Aishwarya of Kaleidoglide.
So the premise of the tag states that I must list five things which feminism has done for me. To be very frank, I actually found it quite daunting to bring down the large list I had conceived in my mind to a miniscule five, but oh well as people say, ‘don’t not follow the tag or you’re chopped liver’. Errrr…right, I made that up.
Alright, on to the meme.
1. When I was six, I set my eyes on the most bizarre object I had ever seen. It was a 30”x 27” poster print, and to my impressionable six year old brain it looked like two tigers being eaten by a horrible looking fish like thing and a naked woman with a gun sticking out of her. It scared me silly, but I couldn’t help but feel like I so badly wanted to draw like that. Day after day, I snuck that poster print out of my mother’s room and stared at it longingly. All my kiddie scribbles during that time was of tiger like creatures and sad looking fish, such was the influence of Dali, and yes that picture was Dali’s Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. Fast forward to seven years later, and a morose conversation with my father. When I gleefully told him that I wanted to be a surrealist, my father looked at me like I had gone off the deep end. He told me that if I didn’t take up a career in science, he would never ever speak to me again. And after that I never picked up a pencil to sketch, heck I even stopped doodling for a couple of years. But I don’t regret that conversation, nor do I regret my decision to enter the murky field of pure sciences. Last year, my sister was allowed to choose whatever subjects she wanted in 11th grade and that makes me proud of my parents. They may have been hard on me, but the fact that they trusted her enough to make her own rational decisions without mollycoddling her or smothering her with over protectiveness is proof enough of their changing attitudes. And it makes me glad as hell to think about it, even now.
2. I HAVE an education. As simple and as clichéd as that may sound, being esteemed fit and capable enough to obtain an education is a big deal, considering the fact that for women of generations past, it was a luxury. In other words, I went to school, I go to university, I pick what I want to study and I am damned pleased that my options aren’t limited to home science or school for nannies or nuns.
3. My right to work. I can actually go to university and pick the subjects I want and pursue a job in the same field of study. My parents have never ever pushed me into getting a degree to make my future ‘matrimonial profile’ look appealing or to supplicate the arranged marriage meat market. Now before anyone self righteously jumps down my throat, I must point out that I don’t think arranged marriages are incapable of ending in matrimonial bliss or whatever. It’s just that, most of the arranged marriages that took place in my family (spanning generations) didn’t exactly work. It’s just a tad bit personal. But gosh, I’m digressing again. Quite simply, I’m glad that my job prospects aren’t limited to glorified whore, housemaid or a married baby making machine.
4. I have the choice to be single and to NOT be a mother. Now before you gleefully brand me a baby hating spinster witch, I'd like to stress on the word CHOICE. I have A CHOICE. I can get married or not. I can choose to have babies or not. I can choose to have an abortion or not. It’s as simple as that. A few generations ago, that was unheard of. A few generations ago, I would have been given in holy matrimony at the age of seven to a man who was twenty years my senior. A few generations ago I would have been expected to turn into a baby spouting contraption as soon as I hit puberty and that would be at the ripe old age of twelve. So yeah, hackneyed or not, I thank my lucky stars that I wasn’t married off at the age of ten or impregnated at the age of thirteen or burnt at the pyre (as a sati) of my middle aged husband at the age of sixteen.
I think that speaks for itself.
and finally I tag,
Post Script: Woah! The 25th carnival of feminists is up and running at Philobiblon and my post on witch hunting is featured in it under the 'horror file' (quite apropos, dont you think?) So hop on over to Philobiblon and be sure to check it out!