The Adventure Of The Fierce Feminist

God rested on Sunday, but his creation man never could. Not after God created Eve, anyway. So, that sunny Sunday, I was trudging behind my own Eve in the Eden of modern times- the mall- holding her progressively heavy shopping bag while she progressively lightened my bank balance. Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulder. My wild-west-days’ reflexes activated, I dropped the shopping bag and whirled around in a flash. The huge, swarthy figure staring grimly down at me looked vaguely familiar. The next moment he landed a punch into my solar plexus. As I gasped for breath, the giant held me in a bear hug and proceeded to squeeze the remaining oxygen out of my lungs.

As I gasped for breath like a cyanotic fish lugged out of water, I realized that he was my long-lost childhood friend Matthew. Eventually, he decided to let me live and I introduced him to my wife. The upshot of it was that I got invited to his house for lunch.

With family in tow, I reached his suburban villa the next Sunday. The moment I met Mathew’s wife, I knew something was amiss. I couldn’t place my finger on what it was, though. She was reasonably pretty, polite and a good conversationalist. She was a journalist, certainly – but there was something else about her, something sinister, a certain steel in her eyes, which suggested something far worse.

Their son was a cute and cherubic looking 7 year old – an angel compared to my boisterous daughter. Too decent and well-behaved for a boy I thought.

After lunch, my daughter demanded to see his collection of toys. The little boy complied readily. I was stunned to see that besides the usual balls and bats and plastic hockey stick and badminton racquets, he had a large collection of dolls.

“DOLLS?? Why the hell does a boy have dolls??” I thought.

“Where are your guns, little cowboy?” I asked him playfully. “Come, lets massacre a few wicked Injuns!”

His mother spoke in a voice, steady, because it was frozen with a forced calm:

“Robin doesn’t play with guns. Guns are a symbol of violence. We shouldn’t teach our sons to be violent”

“Oh come on,” I said. “Playing with plastic guns isn’t going to make a boy violent. What’s a boy supposed to play with? Dolls?”

And suddenly, her frozen calm melted. The steely glint in her eyes blazed into a fire. Her voice was louder, sterner, bordering on a menacing hysteria.

“Yes! Boys must play with dolls. Just as girls do. To teach them to be gentle and homely. To teach them to respect girls. To drive out the stupid images of gun-toting machismo that centuries of conditioning has drilled into the brains of men. Why should we condition girls to play with dolls and boys to play with guns and bats? The concept of gender-equality has to be inculcated into every child, boy or girl!”

Stunned by this declamation, I looked to Mathew for support. But he had his face determinedly fixed on the news emanating from the TV. He had the bearing of a man who has surrendered long ago.

If she were just a journalist, I would’ve fought the battle. But she was a journalist AND a feminist – a deadly combination, against which no mere man can ever hope to triumph. So I shut my trap and gave up.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m by no stretch of imagination, a misogynist. I support complete and unequivocal male-female equality. I know the pitiful condition of a large number of females in our country. As a doctor, I’m acutely aware of the plummeting female:male ratio and its sociological ramifications. But I do not believe that male-female equality means that males should somehow deny their masculine instincts, emasculate themselves, and start behaving like females. And I have no sympathy whatsoever with the view-points of a large no. of the so called feminists.

For one, I don’t understand why these women are so angry all the time. You see any TV debate on a women’s problem, and the entire debate will be hijacked by a couple of harridans who yell rather than argue, and whose strident tones would put even the head banshee to shame. Neither appeals to reason, nor entreaties to their feminine kindness will serve to appease them. These ravaging Amazons will not rest, till they have massacred the entire panel, or at least shattered their eardrums with their self-righteous shrieks.

It is impossible to understand this sort of anger, especially from women coming from privileged backgrounds, who probably never spend a moment without a perfumed moisturizing tissue within reach.  Look at Aung San Suu Kyi. The lady lead a long, courageous and debilitating struggle against a tyrannical regimen, and at the end of it, still maintained her dignity and her poise. Very unlike these self-appointed representatives of the voices of oppressed women, who have never done a single day’s work in their lives, other than writing vituperative columns in newspaper, or frothing at the mouth on TV debates.

You simply cannot have a reasonable, nuanced argument with these usurpers of feminism. If you try to put across your point of view, they immediately brand you a misogynist. If you persist, they’ll charge you with the crime of being a male. And that being a male, makes you incapable of understanding women’s problems. I may be a man – no let me rephrase that. I’m certainly a man, but I’m firstly a human being, and I have the intellectual and emotional faculties to understand the problems that 50% of humanity is suffering from. I understand the burdens that a patriarchal society imposes on a woman, how it imposes a rigid code of moral and sexual behaviour on her. How this society tramples on the dreams and aspirations of millions of women. I understand, and I want to help. Not only want to, but I have a right to help. But for that, dear feminists, you have to listen to me.

And the panacea, I believe, is not the poorly framed laws that a few strident women have forced successive governments to enact. They have harassed an equal number of innocent citizens (including, I stress to say, female citizens) as the number of the guilty they have punished. And a large number of the women who need the protection of the law are still far from obtaining its succour.

The answer, I believe, is in understanding and propagating the concept that males and females are indeed completely equal. Equal, but different. That males are males, and females are females. Femininity is not something that is imposed by a patriarchal society on females – it is rather, something that defines a female; something that a female is innately comfortable with, and which is her own biological and psychological choice. A female, for me, is a goddess. Whether she is a sister, or a mother, or a daughter, or a wife, or a lover, she is a goddess. I’m not putting women on a pedestal here, exploiting her by imposing my own goddess standards on her. A woman is a goddess in the exact sense that a man is a God. Just as it is said in the Bible (though I am an agnostic) – that God created man in his own image. So man is a God and woman is a Goddess, and we’re both meant to share and enjoy our dominion of the world, but in our own different ways.

To return to my story, my wife of course invited Mathew and his wife for a return lunch to our home. And after all the small talk and gossip, and the lunch, I presented little Robin with his first toy gun. The boy was as delighted as Robinson Crusoe was on sighting the ship that  rescued him from his island. Before his mother could stop him, the boy had bolted away with his treasure. I ignored her steely glare, brought out my own toy gun, and together me and Robin massacred at least a couple of hundred Injuns between us. Of course, all social discourse between the two families came to an end after that – but I was happy in the knowledge that I had helped a boy liberate himself from the clutches of a feminist.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blogpost are my personal views, based on my experience and observations

I have always been a great believer. I've flitted from one belief to another, from religion to atheism and from one philosophy to another, until I finally settled on J. Krishnamurti whose philosophy is that there is no philosophy. So now I firmly believe that there is nothing to believe. Now such a belief would, I believe, have been considered dangerous to society if the authorities had believed me to be of any consequence. No man of consequence they believe would waste his time on the pursuit of blogging!

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Posted in humour, Satire
22 comments on “The Adventure Of The Fierce Feminist
  1. ravi agarwal says:

    Truth of our times encapsulated in a wonderfully satirical write up. You are a star @doctoratlarge🙂

  2. Suraj says:

    ^_^ Tishkoowwww Tishkoowww !!

  3. Bombay Girl says:

    Here read and open your mind a little, maybe? (this post is not mine btw but it is an excellent post on how your gender doesn’t need to determine your life choices)
    http://vitalsighs.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/gender-neutrality-begins-at-home/

  4. Sriram says:

    You nailed it mate.. Women need to be liberated from feminists before they are liberated from men.

  5. Siddharth says:

    Boss.,….Well written as always
    and feel sorry for your friend😉

  6. […] What: The Adventure of the Fierce Feminist Spicy: In a patriarchal society where the men and women play their gender specific roles, […]

  7. as a woman, I completely agree with your views. I hate feminists too! Playing with dolls doesn’t make a boy a better man, teaching him the right values will.

    • Liza says:

      Ah you can’t teach anyone values. Values are acquired. The mother should have let the boy decide what toys he wants. She seems to be a misguided feminist. Btw feminists are fighting for equality, not female supremacy. Whats there to hate about?

  8. mahabore says:

    I loved this post of yours, especially the portion about how you brought out the fact that the ‘feminists’ adopt the attitude ‘you’re with us or you’re against us’. They simply refuse to acknowledge the middle ground at all.

    Good read…and yes, I also feel happy for Robin for his first gun🙂

  9. Liza says:

    “Why should we condition girls to play with dolls and boys to play with guns and bats?” I ask why should we ‘condition’ anyone? If a girl wants to play with cars, does that make her less of a girl? Why can’t we let them develop their own preferences? If you ask me, dolls are dumb. They just sit there, be pretty and nothing else. So, when we tell our little girls that they should play with dolls or kitchen sets, we’re just stunting their personality growth and enforcing those age old gender roles.
    And no, women are not godesses, neither are men gods. Since, you’re quoting the Bible, you must know that there are no Godesses their; only a God who made man in his image and woman to serve that man. Now, do we accept what the bible says and go back to ‘serving’ men? We are people. Men and women both. Genders should matter only when procreating and nowhere else.
    And finally, if you think women from the privileged classes don’t face sexism, I’d say you need to observe better.

    • I totally agree that any form of conditioning towards specific gender roles is not desirable. But I do believe that if left to themselves, most little girls do choose dolls, and most little boys do choose guns and cars. I believe there’s a biological basis for gender choices of femininity and masculinity respectively, which has nothing to do with social conditioning

  10. simple girl says:

    the write up has some points but view about feminism or feminist is baseless..It seems you simply havent understood what feminism is. I dont think the woman you mentioned is a feminist.. feminism is not about women dominating men.. its totally different.. what the women did with her son was not correct.. she would have allowed him to choose.. and another of your view which is totally wrong is assuming women in priviliedged class have things smooth and easy without any gender bias or anything.. I assure you the reality is far from different.. At every stage in social strata gender bias is present in one form or the other…

    • Hmm. My post was meant to satirize the militant feminists, who have unfortunately become the face of feminism, maybe because the true feminists haven’t condemned their excesses enough. And you cannot but agree that the benefits of female liberation have been largely cornered by the upper class ladies

  11. ITwaligirl says:

    Too good to read…It felt like somebody jotted down things that I wanted to say…though you said it way more beautifully…About the part where you wanted to know why the women who haven’t suffered that bad are angry…maybe I can explain it a bit…I belong to a well to do educated family…There are just two kids in the family: me and my sister. Guess I don’t need to say about my parents views about girl child. I mean they always had a choice to reproduce dozens of girls just to have a boy at the end. But, I still face that thing when I see people asking my mom…”bas beti, beta nahi hai”… I feel like saying it right away “ek bar bata diya ki do beti hai toh apko aisa kyu lagta hai ki meri mom bhul gayi hogi ki unke total kitne bachche hain…” but, I don’t…I mean I can’t. Else, I will be that battameez ladki. Though, I often see my male cousins arguing with relatives and so. But, they are anyways gonna run the family later. So, that is a part of their growing up. Facing such question often…I have seen my mom saying things at time like “patthar par ka phul jo ek beta hua hai, uske liye bhi uski dadi koi gold nahi di”…Patthar par ka phul is like something very difficult and rare almost equivalent to impossible…like growing flower on stone is considered. And, this term was used for a relative’s son who was born after two daughters. What leaves me in pain is the fact that what makes that baby boy so important and those two girls worthless. I can go on with lot of pain…more intense and deeper…But, I never say that it is only women whose status needs to improve…same applies for every human or every human category (society’s point of view) who is in discomfort because of other human beings. Same stands true with the poor or anybody who is treated inferior to anybody else. In fact, I believe that the poor face a worse situation than women do in our country. Coz, a human can think of liberty and dignity only once he/she gets a stomach full of food…at least the basic food… But, I am a human at the end of the day…Somehow, I often end up being preoccupied and hence more inclined towards the women thing. We all have the habit of prioritizing ourselves…and so do I. Habits are not correct or incorrect. But, the consequences are. And, that makes a habit good or bad. I know I need to more rational. And, trust I am trying too. Life is any ways a journey… often a misunderstood one. We think we will reach destination and it takes us to end…our search needs to end before life does…

  12. ITwaligirl says:

    And I agree to the fact that feminists are another form of harassment. Supporting women’s liberty doesn’t mean torturing men and bounding their choices. Men and women need to support each others’ liberty. Being angry with the society is right. But, being angry with men is not. I have read, heard and known about men who are equally thoughtful about a women’s liberty. I have known father’s who brought up their daughters all alone because the mother abandoned them for they were girls. I have heard of men who fought for her raped girlfriend. Love who was lying almost lifeless in a hospital bed. When a women is burnt for dowry, more than anybody else, it is the mother in law (a women necessarily) who participates. It is often the mother who teaches a girl to bear with the sexual harrasment just to keep up with the fake pride and dignity in the society. Mother knows, but often fails to explain that knowingly or unknowingly, it is equivalent to murdering her dignity. It is difficult to explain why it often takes more than a lifetime for a girl to fight back. She is misguided that if she is raped, she will have no respect in the society. And, worst is the thought that being raped and hiding it is better than being raped and letting the world know. And, after all ours is a country where we see porn stars on our favorite TV shows. Porn stars do it for money and it makes them a star. And a victim caught in a crime is something forbidden. Pathetic society. A women being respected for just being women is something I oppose. But, she has every right to be herself. Why she needs to keep obeying her dad, then husband and then sons. Compromising and adjusting are different. the former is out of compulsion and latter out of love. The issue is little complicated.

    • my dear ITwaligirl, you are not having a well-rounded perspective if you think that feminists are men torturers. feminism has quite a bit of stereotypes which are by no means inclusive. just with every human category there are variances. each individual chooses their standpoints, and from personal experience, every feminist I know (such as catholic priests, hyderabadi male activists, yoni ki baat poets, sexual violence awareness raisers and social anthropologists) are all support feminism and men. feminism is not a war on men. feminism is a history and a subject which many people feel they can comment on without every studying it. whereas one can not properly talk about calculus or the succession of empirical rule in India without having studied it prior, feminism is a complex concept with many literary works to elaborate the avenues of it. a main concept in feminism is the construction of gender. this was my main issue with this blog post: it assumed that genders are natural and okay. boys will be boys and girls will be girls and everything will be equal. this has inherent issues, just like during apartheid claiming black is black and white is white but they are equal. distinct gender roles also inhibit anyone different and push people to the margins of society. a boy who wants to play with dolls for example, should not be a problem, if he enjoyed the guns that does not mean he should not enjoy the dolls as well. compulsive heterosexuality and hegemonic masculinity are very prevalent in the roots causes of sexual violence and today’s rape culture. i would suppose that this is the reasoning the mother had for her son. I also feel that the authors response to his strong beliefs about feminists (giving the son a gun without his mothers permission) was an ignorant and disrespectful move. a more appropriate approach would have been to have a calm discussion with the mother about why she upholds her beliefs, and how you view your own. “feminists” are people. and people will always get defensive when their beliefs are attacked. just as the author would probably react similarly if this woman had tried to tell him what his daughter should and shouldn’t play with. with all these respects, gender roles and violence should be researched, but my main point would be that the generalization of feminists and the negative connotations of bashing feminism make the author and commentators appear uneducated and close minded. there are many many great, influential, open-minded, brilliant and progressive feminists, each with his or her own values. this is something to think about; generalizing groups of people will never expand your views and it will never be accurate.

      • I can understand what you are trying to say. What do you mean by equality of men and women? Giving both of them the equal liberty to choose, may be. It doesn’t mean that women should start behaving like men or vice versa. Men can’t give birth to babies. It is the women who can. We don’t compare two things which are completely different. Let both of them blossom in their own ways. Gender construction ! Rape is a crime. Like murder is. So, women should get rid of being women? The problem with rapes isn’t simply restricted to their occurences. It begins with the consequences that follow. A rape victim should be and must be treated exactly the way a person would be treated who has been a victim of theft or roberry. Though the accused in both cases deserve to be treated in very different ways. Unfortunately, feminists are more concerned about making men play with dolls. If you think gun can spoil a boy, I assure dolls too can do it. He can get used to playing with dolls and then women. Black will be black and white will be white. That is how it is. We just need to realize the black is equally beautiful and lovable as white instead of trying to turn black into white. That increases the difference. That adds to the superiority of white by making the black desire about being white.

      • Well, you summarized exactly what I wanted to say. Let women enjoy their femininity, rather than telling them to be more like men. Let men enjoy their masculinity – because masculinity doesn’t mean being cruel or disrespectful to women. Rather, it means just the opposite

  13. Lets just focus on the story here:

    ‘Their son was a cute and cherubic looking 7 year old – an angel compared to my boisterous daughter. Too decent and well-behaved for a boy I thought.’

    You are saying that like it is a bad thing, like something unnatural, that could only happen if someone’s mother is an “angry feminist.” I personally do not know this woman or how she chooses to channel her feminism, but she and her husband must be pretty good parents to have a decent, well-behaved, angelic son. There is nothing wrong there. You should really not be interfering with how other people decide to bring up their kids especially if their kid is decent, well-behaved and angelic. I don’t know if you have heard of this but those are all good qualities.

    ‘I was stunned to see that besides the usual balls and bats and plastic hockey stick and badminton racquets, he had a large collection of dolls. “DOLLS?? Why the hell does a boy have dolls??” I thought.’

    Seems to me that the child has a balanced collection of what is considered conventionally “boy’s toys” and “girl’s toys”. Did you ever care to ask or find out if the boy liked and enjoyed playing with his dolls? Is it compulsory that every boy must only have stereotypical “boys’ toys” irrespective of what they personally like? My older sister loved playing with guns when we were kids. Would you have then thought, “GUNS?? Why the hell does a girl have guns??” Also, I would like to know what kind of toys you would prescribe for intersex or agendered kids.

    “Come, lets massacre a few wicked Injuns! … together me and Robin massacred at least a couple of hundred Injuns between us.”

    Do you know that ‘Injun’ is a racial slur (like the N-word)? Are you aware of the history of actual massacre of Native Americans by the English who settled in America? Do you also joke about enslaving African people with small kids?

    You could not logically argue with a feminist journalist so you resorted gifting a child with a toy that his parents clearly don’t approve of. Well done.

    • Dear Suryatapa, thank you for your detailed analysis of my humble post. Just a few brief replies:
      1) Children are not really meant to be angelic. They’re meant to be boisterous brats, who explore the world around them in their own way and that is how they learn creativity. A well-behaved, angelic child is often someone who’s natural urges have been suppressed by well-meaning parents
      2)Most boys do NOT play with dolls, at least not on a consistent basis. And in this case, he had those dolls because his mother wanted him to have those, not because he wanted to play with them. And certainly, if a girl wants, she can play with guns, provided the parents haven’t forced her to do so as some gender-equality experiment
      3)Do you really think the use of ‘injuns’ in this case was racially motivated? If so all of Louis L’amour’s books are racially offensive
      4)Your arguments are a classic case of how feminists take things out of the context in which they were said/written and then lambast you for being anti-women

  14. juhi says:

    I liked your post but i do differ at a few places but all in all a well thought piece of work!
    Do sometimes drop in bh my blog as welll
    Cheers

  15. Chethana says:

    Agree completely with your viewpoints. Appreciate five points expressed by you:

    * Plummeting male-female ratio
    * Males denying their masculine instincts (is disgusting)
    * Burdens of patriarchal society on women
    * Males and females are Equal but Different
    * A female (for me) is a Goddess – loved this line!

    It’s rather unfortunate that you’ve had unpleasant experiences with feminists. It is highly inappropriate and disgusting to force a male child to play with dolls.I, for one, am a proud woman, who has always fantasized about playing with guns as a child, never dolls…and still do love guns…Preferences are subjective, not always gender specific or dependent.

    I can see where your strong anti-feminist feelings have stemmed from and I empathize completely. I would have felt the same.

    However, most ‘feminists’ only flare up when faced with inequality at home/work place, which may be the reason for excessive ways of expression by some of them. Not to mention personal experiences they may have faced in stressful misogynist environments.

    And yes, (like you have agreed), feminism has always been and will always be ONLY about equality. Nothing more. Nothing less. What’s to hate about it, doc?

    Hope you are able to tone down your strong anti-feminist stance…they aren’t all as bad as u seem to believe.

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