Strong Role Models, #MeToo Helping Women Stand Up For Themselves
We all know that there are multiple facets to a woman. But how many of these multiple facets are natural? Or are all of them an outcome of our patriarchal society? Do women have the freedom to choose? What stops them from following the dictats of their hearts?
Change in the gender narrative
The scenario has definitely changed in the recent years, believes Shaili Chopra, Founder of SheThePeople.Tv. Speaking at a panel at Times LitFest-Delhi, she said that the most fascinating thing for her is that now women are standing up and speaking up for themselves. She also highlighted the fact that feminism has different meanings for everyone according to the circumstances they have been brought up in or live in. “Feminism, as an idea, is ever evolving. It is important to add context and reality to it,” she asserted.
Chopra also explained how women need to get rid of the superwoman syndrome. “It is not important for you to be liked by everyone. You can’t please everyone and that’s perfectly fine.”
On silencing women
Deepa Narayan, who has recently written a book, Chup: Breaking The Silence on India’s Women, said that women are forced to stay silent and not question what has been dictated to them. Many of them, she observed, are also afraid of men’s aggression because our cultural conditioning hasn’t changed much.
“It is not important for you to be liked by everyone. You can’t please everyone and that’s perfectly fine.” – Shaili Chopra
Changing the ideology around “settling down of women”
Author Anuja Chauhan emphasized on how the dialogue around women and their future needs to change. She feels that the society must stop equating settling down with marriage and instead focus on making her financially independent because that’s when she will settle down in the real sense.
She also talked about the fact that Indian women have left their mark in diverse fields due to which Indians have some strong female role models to look up to and that’s something which makes our country unique.
#MeTooIndia and Indian men
The #MeToo movement has given voice to thousands of women to speak up. As author Meghna Pant said, “It was the first time when women were being heard and not being judged for speaking up. For the first time, men were afraid. They were examining their own behaviour.
Patriarchy is unfair to both men and women. Feminism liberates both men and women. Feminism is men and women fighting against a system – Meghna Pant
All four panelists came to a consensus that mothers have a pertinent role to play in creating a gender-equal society. They believed that the right upbringing, along with inculcating gender sensitivity, is a crucial step in building an equal society.