My personal truth

Every so often, I get into discussions with friends on matters like stereotyping, gender inequities, feminism and the like. More often than not, I end up feeling like I live in a very antiquated world far removed from the ones that my friends inhabit. Perhaps I do. So, when throwing anecdotes and examples to prove my case, it falls short.

My world view is shaped by the messages that were hammered into my brain at an impressionable age. I try to keep those feelings of worthlessness and powerlessness at bay. It seeps out at times like these when my arguments seem weak and full of insecurities. It brings back memories of sitting at the edge of the seat of the auto in the wee hours of the morning memorizing the street lanes and the landmarks that pass by just in case something happened. It reminds me of holding my folder as a shield when braving the crowds that swill around me as I try to board a bus. It reminds me of times when my ears were primed to hear footfalls behind me even as my eyes resolutely looked ahead and I marched on conquering the distance between wherever I was an my destination.

So, yes my world is lopsided. It is full of unvoiced messages and pointed innuendo of what could have been instead of what is. So when someone in the family drawls “ponnaa?” I read it as angst and disapproval at the child not being a boy not a disinterested observers comment. So, yes. My world is made of gender inequities and implied stereotyping. It is because of what I grew up with and what I was exposed to. My truth may not be yours but that does not make it any less valid. No?

Just saying.

2 comments

  1. Oh absolutely agree with you. Yes – your truth is not less valid than anybody else’s. But where I, if I may, differ is neither your truth nor my truth forms the general truth. I might not have faced the gender inequalities that you did (or vice versa) but that doesn’t mean gender inequalities are not present or present in every sphere. It is not black or white, there are shades of grey here (can’t believe I am saying this, you know, what I mean!). Yes, there are genuine cases of gender inequality and I don’t want to trivialize the issue. But not everything is a case of gender inequality.

    My gripe is whenever a woman/girl is over-looked for a job (anywhere – at school, workplace, you name it!), we are ready to term it as gender inequality whereas when a man is over-looked gender never enters the picture and just that the woman was more qualified than him. Why can’t it be the other way too and why are we (as women) not ready to accept that and move on? But no, we won’t and love to play victim-hood and that is exactly where I differ.

    So yes, you faced lot of gender inequalities growing up which has left an indelible mark but now (given the place and position you are in) can’t you try to come out of it and look at the world with a neutral glass instead of the tainted one that you are wearing? Do you think it is not possible or is it just difficult? Would love to hear your thoughts on that.

    • Akay: Not sure if you used “tainted” intentionally or not but that is what it is. My world view is a sum of my experiences. Yes. I believe I have risen past the prejudice and conditioning but the way it influences my life is to be extra careful when I say or do something. I try hard to be everything I was not ‘permitted’ to be. So, what to other people seem as a normal course of life to me seems like victory. I am not sure if you will ever get what I am trying to say.

      In any case, I think this discussion is better offline than online.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s