Our society is constantly changing and evolving at every moment of every day. New ideas shape up, debates happen, discussion take place, and perspective and actions change according to situations.
With feminism on a roll, the call for equality has ignited many changes in society. There are new laws that are implemented, policies addressing equal rights, pushing for equal education for the girl child, better pay for women, reservations, all these are actions that have taken place because of a dialogue that insisted on equality between men and women. Because of this call for equality, women who were less privileged, who had lagged behind for so many years in every aspect, are climbing the stairs of success rapidly. (Though we acknowledge, much needs to be done.)
But there are more questions, when we look at the issue socio-culturally: How is society reacting to this? How are men growing around this revolution? Are women actually evolving more than men today?
I believe women in India have evolved in a far more way than the men, the obvious reason being the kind of situations they have to deal with every day. By evolve, I mean surviving the best of the situation. As Darwin famously put it, “survival of the fittest”. When women have been bogged down with unreasonable societal norms for so many years, fighting them becomes even more challenging, but women have all around the world (not just in India) been battling patriarchy for years and have been victorious in many schemes of things. Are the men being left behind?
Siddharth Varadarajan, the founding editor of The Wire says, “If you were to pluck out a modern Indian woman, she will be far ahead of any other man. Men are still standing where they were.” He says the gap is our society is wide in terms of equality, but that things have changed gradually. We have of course changed laws, but just changing laws does not cut it; the laws will also make a difference when the society as a whole has accepted that change. He made this remark at a panel discussion at the screening of Bachelor Girls, which addresses discrimination in housing for single women in Mumbai.
Actor Kalki Koechlin, also a panelist at the screening says, “Women’s education has progressed in the past few years, but somewhere men aren’t being educated to deal with this progression.”
Women have evolved because they do not want to stay subordinates anymore, but men are still in the same position probably thinking that this is where they belong. I believe this can also be a hurdle for feminism to grow, because men will just not accept the new reign of equality.
We need to educate our sons today along with our daughters, not the other way around. The feminism movement has — or if it hasn’t it should — reach that point where men are taught how to deal with equality. It is not a man’s world anymore and boys needs to respect this new era of things. Only then can real change take place completely.
Feature Image Courtesy: stylewhack.com