“The Antyodaya and Swadhar schemes should have ensured a decent living for the widows. But, as a survey done by the District Legal Services Authority following an initiative by NALSA ( National Legal Services Authority) found, even the little earmarked for these widows is received only once in six months. Often, the funds get siphoned off, leaving these women to sing bhajans for Rs.4 a day and beg for a meal. In death, these women are denied a decent cremation. Their dead bodies are picked up by sweepers in gunny bags, and dumped into the river, after being crudely broken into pieces.
To make remarks about why they are there, and not in Bengal, Bihar or Odisha, where they belong to, is adding insult to injury. For someone who lives in the lap of luxury, unmindful of the humiliating living conditions of these poor widows who live in shabby places devoid of water and toilets, remarks like hers smack of plain mockery”.
Read more on Vrindavan widowhood here.
This is an extreme example of the reality faced by some widows in India.
For every single person- whether man, woman or child holding one of those ‘I don’t need feminism’ posters. Maybe you do need it, maybe you don’t. If you don’t need it, great for you but there are others out there who legitimately do need it. Be proud of whatever you have or are in life, but remember that disclaiming an ideology that promotes gender equality and equity can be harmful to those who still have a long climb ahead of them to equality. It’s one of the those things that really makes me angry. Many have been hurt, imprisoned, tortured, ostracised and even killed in the process of paving a way for both men and women to share greater equality. It is a battle some believe have been won (at least in the Western world), I won’t delve into the extremely divided politics of Western feminism here but know that it is a war many brave souls are still fighting in many parts of the world. It is a reality for them, it may not be your reality but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Although I don’t agree with everything she says, Lorde sums up my feelings pretty well:
“I think women who say, ‘No, I’m not a feminist – I love men,’ I think that is just…You don’t know what it means. You think it means that, ‘I don’t shave under my arms, I burn my bras. Fuck men!’ How could you be so uneducated, and so unwilling to learn about something which is so important to you?”
So I would say f**k you to the ‘I don’t need feminism’ people because its easier, but I won’t. Instead of going into Hulk mode this time I would just like you to consider that even if you don’t think you need feminism, remember that you may not need it today because those who came before you fought for your rights against dangerous odds. And remember that while you may not think you need it, your fellow earthling on the other side of the world might be in dire need of it.