These are fundamental questions that we must find answers to if we are to genuinely take the feminist cause anywhere, because if we neglect these questions as we have so far successfully done, we may continue to have the feminist movement as a dissipated, non-organized movement that rises and falls but does not sustain. Is there an alternative?
Can the feminist question be taken up with far more enthusiasm and sincere concern so that it can be a continuous struggle and not something that began at one point in history and ended in another. As a woman living in the contemporary world where on one hand women’s rights and issues relating to their well being have found greater voice and on the other violations against her have also increased, one is but forced to find oneself confused.
What does the future hold for women like me, are we in a space that recognizes us as equal human beings, that acknowledges that we have the right to fulfil our dreams or are we in a perpetually dangerous situation where our dreams can be crushed under patriarchal boots.
This situation becomes even more complicated when we move into the Indian reality, where on one hand women in the form of religious goddesses embodying strength and victory of good over evil are worshipped in every home and on the other hand ordinary women are raped, molested, beaten and seen with bad eyes- are women those goddesses of high moral value or are women products of patriarchal abuse? What is the reality of women, ordinary women?
This ironical representation of women poses a serious question on the value systems embedded in our social structure, where there is a lot of fake imposition of values, ethics and morals but very little is brought into practice. And perhaps, it is because of this reason that women at the top of the ladder who have had access to education and awareness have no connect with women who are still deprived of the new dawn of education- they both might be women but their discourses are very separate.
One knows her rights, all women related legislations and what to do when there is a violation of these, she chooses her career, her partner and her own dreams but on the other hand is the women who is a helpless victim of torture, of patriarchal violence and even if she is not physically beaten up or verbally abused she still finds herself entrapped into the illogical wishes of a patriarchal order that allows only men the right to dream!
The task is to make the conversation between theses two women-from two fundamentally opposed spectrums able to talk to each other, to sing a song together and to easily shed tears in front of each other……so that a women like Sunita Williams who has touched the moon and come close to Swati, a little girl of sixteen who does rag picking in the neighbourhood, the challenge is to develop a language of communication that allows both Arundhati Roy and a peasant women to talk about their lives like sisters.
Feminism first of all shall have the logic and dream of binding women together, women who are diverse and far apart- if women can come together as a group, only then patriarchy can be fought. If women are divided among themselves they can never defeat patriarchy, their unity will be their strength.
And for those of us women who understand this, its time to spread that message of oneness, because after all we are women, we stand for a revolution that is soft yet powerful, that is fought but fought not against the enemy but with the enemy- we are women, we can.