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Am I a Feminist?

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by gauridinesh, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. gauridinesh

    gauridinesh Platinum IL'ite

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    This post is because of a major argument I had with my husband yesterday.

    I am a "working" mom. I met my H at my workplace, fell in love and since caste/religion/family and even horoscopes matched, we had no trouble in getting married.
    I have always been an outspoken person. I am loud ( a little too loud sometimes). Even when I was doing my engineering, a lot of the guys in my class did not like me for my outspoken nature. I would usually be the first to speak out against any bullying or too much of harassing a girl in the name of "making fun". Got me into the bad books of a lot of guys. When we went for a college tour, the guys decided to have liquor in the bus. I told them that it was not acceptable. They told me that the girls can sit in the front and all the boys would come to the back seats. I again protested saying it is illegal and should not be done. A lot of girls were also of the opinion that the guys should not get drunk on the bus, but none of them voiced their opinion like me. So in effect, it was only me who was telling the guys to stop drinking. That was the first time someone called me a "feminist".

    Come "bachelor' life - where I had a job and earning my own money gave me a lot of independence.I had some good friends and we would usually have a lot of fun going for movies and eating out etc. never have we crossed the limits of decency. .We went on a trip to pondicherry from chennai via bus. We went early morning and came back in the night. Next day , some guy at office told me "girls should not go out like this too much. It shows rotten character". I was pissed. I argued and i told him, we went in public transport ,we never felt unsafe and we were back inside our home by 10 PM. The bus stop is right next to our apartment and we were 6 girls going together . What has character to do with it? That was when I was given the tag of feminist again.

    My husband knew me before marriage too. I was this outspoken and this loud and he fell in love with me inspite of that.
    After marriage, I have adjusted a lot - but I have always been vocal about how the girl's parents are equally important as the boy's parent. Just because I got married, i cannot leave my old parents alone and completely forget about them. I have been vocal that my husband's house will never be my home, it will always be my in-law's house . I have always been vocal that if I want to do something for my parents, I wont take my H's permission just like he doesnt when he does something for his parents. I revolted against having a joint account and I manage my own finances.
    Financial independance meant, I could buy gifts for my parents , I could buy things for myself and since I drive, I have never been the 'domicile' 'mujhe mere pati se poochna hai' kind of person. I dont think there is anything wrong in being domicile or depending on your husband.Just that I am not that person.

    We moved to the US and are in the same office and here too, whenever there is a really sexist marriage joke being cracked - for ex " after wedding a man bcomes mute " kind of jokes, I tell them that the reverse is also applicable and that women too get chained down.Its not like women get liberated after marriage. When my husband and colleagues planned a las vegas trip together only with the guys, i told them that if they really needed to be bachelors all the time, none of them should have married. If they want to stay late out for drinks parties on fridays and play cricket and volleyball whole weekend and not take any responsibility of their kids or families, they should just have remained that- bachelors. Why drag us into it too?

    So what did we argue about ysterday? This. That I am a feminist because i dont nod my head to everything that my husband says.

    We went for a trip with all the office colelagues and family and during dinner, we all sat at the table and talked about sports , politics, religions etc.I am opinionated. i talk politics and sports when men are around. So what pissed my husband off? That I dared to open my mouth to disagree when someone told that "roger federer has lost his touch". How can women talk about sports and politics? How can women have ANY kind of general knowledge. His question "Did you see any of the other wives open their mouths? Why cant you be like them? Why cant you just sit there and smile and nod your head to everything that is said?". Does that make me a feminist? Does that make my husband ashamed of me? Is it wrong to be opinionated if you are a woman? Am I a feminist?
     
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  2. Akanksha1982

    Akanksha1982 IL Hall of Fame

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    The dictionary meaning of feminist is

    Feminist: A person who supports feminism
    Feminism: Advocacy of women's right on the grounds of social, political and economic equality to men.

    Ask you husband what is wrong with equal rights of women? Ask him if he is opposing that wouldn't that make him MCP?

    I don't think you did anything wrong. But at the same time, pick your battles. Don't make every thing an issue, for example, jokes are jokes and should be left at that. No point in spending energy on things that don't matter much. Otherwise, you will be bucketed and will lose your opinion when it matters the most.
     
    sindmani, afcpreethi, jssd and 12 others like this.
  3. gauridinesh

    gauridinesh Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks Akanksha. Its weird, but I actually did ask him the question of him being an MCP. His reply is that this is the way "society" works.

    No, I dont argue with everyone (Well when I re-read the post, I guess it does come across like that ). I only react when the jokes are EXTREMELY distasteful and not said in the right context at all. I usually dont argue and mostly just ignore and walk away - but somehow a couple of arguments that I had - has not gone well with the men.
     
  4. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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    As akanksha said pick your battles.one need not argue for each and everything.everyone always thinks they are only right and it leads to nowhere.sometimes diplomacy is fine.nothing wrong being diplomatic.

    Secondly,one needs to be smart and assertive.sometimes, people make the mistake of being rude,sarcastic and loud and highly opinionated thinking being that way they will be respected and will not be suppressed.inwardly it is a sign of insecurity and fear that they will be taken for grAnted if they are quiet.One can tell their views diplomatically and assertive without being rude too.those are the smart people who gets respected and also can avoid uneccessary problems.

    sorry to digress.

    Anyways,I read an article talking about feminism.It is actually a beautiful word.
    "A true feminist is one who has a live and let live attitude.someone who is absolutely non judgemental about others or their life.Someone who can voice their opinions against social evils and take action about it.Someone so sure about themselves and has accepted themselves for who they are.Someone who is able to adjust,accept and adapt"

    It is very tough to find a true feminist:)
     
  5. CrayoNess

    CrayoNess Platinum IL'ite

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    Strange that the term feminist is used to label someone in a negative way. The incident with the boozing (in the bus) had nothing even to do with feminism.

    You may consider to choose your battles but as you have described I do not see that you have acted wrongly.

    I consider myself as a feminist and also my daughters are - and I am proud of it.
     
  6. Ranchu

    Ranchu Local Champion Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I could relate to you when you mentioned the jokes part. I hate those "wife-husband" jokes as well. And have voiced it on many occasions. Its just the way world works !
    Women have better things to do than come up with such stupid memes and jokes.

    May be its not about you voicing your opinion on sports or politics but the tone / use-of-words also matters during a casual group conversation. you can voice your opinion in a polite manner like " sorry not being offensive, but I disagree with you. I feel Roger has a bit of game techniques that are unique for him , etc"..


    Try toning it down a bit.
     
  7. gauridinesh

    gauridinesh Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks Anika. I think I have never been rude or sarcastic-at least thats what I think.
    I know the original post is really condensed and maybe its my style of writing that made people feel that i was a "fighter" :) - but I am not an unsocial person and dont fight with everyone.I do pick my battles.Its only when the jokes are extremely out of place and intolerably sarcastic that I react. In the 2 years here, i may have argued like two or three times. People do invite me for get togethers and lunches and I still am friends with the guys,and i THINK that they still like me. :) Its just that tag of 'feminist' (in a negative way) by guys who could not take it from a woman, that irked me. If the same thing had been said by a guy, it would have been perfectly fine.
     
    sindmani and anika987 like this.
  8. gauridinesh

    gauridinesh Platinum IL'ite

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    Exactly! All I was telling them was, what if police stops us for a routine check? What if you someone goes out of control and makes a scene? Why take the risk.Especially in the middle of the night. I was not arguing with them at all.Some of the guys were with me too, but I was the only girl in the group that was talking and I was the one who first told that "i think you should not be doing it" (in a very polite manner).Then it just snowballed.
     
    sindmani likes this.
  9. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    Were those his exact words? Or you are paraphrasing?

    Google the meaning of 'opinionated'. It is, generally speaking, an annoying trait to come across in fellow human beings, irrespective of gender.

    Having an opinion, expressing it, having a strong opinion, expressing a strong opinion, are all different from being 'opinionated.'

    Anybody who gets very emotional about an issue in a group tends to put people off.

    Even allowing for the fact that you are pissed off with DH for his reaction at the company outing and it is a vent post, your post comes across as remembering too much of past events, in way too much detail.

    It seems to be bothering you, so giving a frank feedback.

    A wife who is often vocal about girl's parents being worthy of equal care etc can become annoying to deal with. The wife should simply go about doing that care of parents and treating them same as in-laws.

    "Own finances" .... Hmmm... that is good. Are there any joint finances too?
     
    sindmani and gauridinesh like this.
  10. paramlav

    paramlav Silver IL'ite

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    dear we should feel proud, when someone says we're feminist for voicing&protecting ourselves. it's not something bad. voicing against social evils, women having knowledge on politics & sports isn't a crime. is there any section passed that only men should speak about politics and some other. I don't find anything wrong in what you acted for the situation u mentioned above.
    But to have love and happiness in your relationship, you have to ignore all these, I feel your dh was not able to digest all these.
     
    2 people like this.

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