Patriarchy and misogyny are so internalized in our society, that each one of us is infected by it in some way or the other. Even in our day to day lives, in our day to day interactions we say or do things that are offensive to women. The fact that you do not even realize it doesn’t make you less guilty. It is time we educate ourselves and start acting like a responsible member of the society.
The ‘Friend Zone’ Fiasco
Image Credit: Movie – Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Our generation’s new favorite word- ‘Friend Zone’ seems fun and correct to use. But, at the very core of it, the word has layers of disrespect for women. The way men everywhere use this term is extremely sexist. The general story or build up around the word ‘Friend Zone’ is that a guy who deserves to get sex in return of being nice to a woman isn’t going to get it. This promotes many problematic ideas that lead to many more problematic feelings and actions. Women are made to feel as if they are being cruel and unfair by keeping a friendship non-sexual. This kind of attitude provides fuel to ideas like a woman can never be just a friend. Women DO NOT owe men sex for simply being decent human beings. If a woman is not interested in you, she is just not interested in you. It is NOT unfair. It is NOT a punishment. You are NOT in any ZONE.
You’re The Nurturer
Image Credit: Movie – Break Ke Baad
The common misconception or myth is that women are supposed to be the *nurturers*. This idea is problematic in many ways because it imposes unnecessary responsibilities on the shoulders of every woman. The responsibilities that they did not even sign up for! So, telling a woman that she is a nurturer is extremely offensive. Let her decide who and what she is. As per science, men and women are equally capable when it comes to nurturing and compassion. It is unfair for both the genders to assume that only women can play the role of a nurturer.
“I’m Just A Housewife.”
When a woman says “I am just a housewife”, it is downright offensive. Because, by saying so she not only demeans herself but also every other housewife in this world! There are housewives who are very proud of their position and pursuit in life. Calling it ‘just’ is extremely unfair. You are never “just” anything. You are, in fact, everything.
“You’re Not Like The Other Girls”
Image Credit: Movie – Pyaar Ka Punchnama
Yes of course this sounds very flattering. But let’s decode what this actually means. It’s a more polite way of saying that “women in general are lame and evil but hey, you are not”. The truth is, that no woman likes to put another woman down. So, when you say something like “You’re not like the other girls”, it’s just plain offensive and derogatory. The better way of saying this can be, “you’re not like anyone I have met before”. Yeah?
It is not that difficult to try and educate yourself. Do not hide behind a narrative that this is what you have been taught by the society. Because there’s always a scope of improvement and if you are not willing to change, it is YOUR fault!