Feminism ki kahaani - 2
(a follow-up of Lesson 1)
Lesson 2: Mommy does not know best
And neither does Dad, nor Grandma nor Grandpa nor uncle nor Aunty and not fifth cousins twenty times removed. They may know more, owing to their grey hairs and general experience. But they do not essentially know what is best for you. Because only you know hat is best for you. And it is high time you stopped trying to let everyone else, specially the “elders” do your thinking for you.
Having said that I now pause for you to commence your brickbats and counter arguments, before carrying on. The most common refrain against my stance is that one “owes” to ones family of origin. Owes, birth, general upbringing etc. etc. Well, I wonder is love and blind obedience the price to pay? Doesn’t the family of origin owe the perpetuation of their genes( and trust me that is an onerous responsibility indeed, for without the perpetuation of the genes, the mammals and later the primates would never have proliferated their little fragile species) to the progeny? Of course the answer is an affirmative, so then, by the same logic of owing, shouldn’t they be deferring to whims and fancies…
But argument aside, this is not about general knowing the “better” alternative in terms of the stove is too hot so it will burn you, rather the all-knowingness that seems to pervade anyone who is chronologically older when it comes to tradition( my pet bête noir), choices, behavior, dealings with the opposite sex, careers, lifestyles etc . etc… And before you start deciding to go on hunger strikes for every time the food at home is not what you like, let me tell you I am not suggesting rebellion. I am merely suggesting you use that all important organ- Your brain. Think through carefully. Think through the suggestions, think through the alternatives, think, think, think. And then make a choice, which is based on cold-hard reasoning rather than just emotion.
Unfortunately, if you have to be reminded to think for yourself, you probably have been pretty well conditioned by the self-same “elders”. And you know what, it is not even their fault. Unfortunately they behave that way because they were conditioned to think it was the best way to behave, to conform to rules or regulations or whatever set up for societal structures very alien to our own. And even though things changed outside, internally they remained the same. Simply because they refused to address the cognitive dissonance because of the differences.
And you know, it is also very difficult to think for oneself. Because thinking carries with it the burden of taking responsibility for the actions that accompany the thinking. The thinking I advocate is not the armchair variety, rather the take action kind. And too often those actions result in consequences that may seem painful in the short run, but nevertheless pay off after a while. It is a simple matter of perseverance. Remember the story of Robert the Bruce and the Spider?
Mommy specially has all too often gone through a very excruciating conformation process. At every stage of her life it has been drummed into her that she is not as equal a human as she would have liked to be. Of course there are mommies that have broken the chain, but they are not as many as one would like. And of course she very heroically tries to get the best for you- as do Daddy and the rest. But the greater their brainwashing, the more difficult it is for anyone else to even try to understand you.
Now that I have further distressed you by letting you see how very hopeless things are, let me remind you, you do not have to rebel for everything. You just have to take a stand. And simple as it may sound, it is among the most difficult things to do. And not only because you loose moral support. But because the results are far from certain. Of course following a much-trodden course will also lead to uncertain sureties of success, but it is not quite as risky as a very unknown, an alone risk kind of a way.
So, I hear you asking( provided you have read so far and not given up ) what does this have to do with feminism. Well, just about everything. Remember feminism was about equality of all human beings. Thinking, using your faculties to the fullest is merely about utilizing the potential to becoming more equal. Yes, yes some people think better, some do better, but that is very little a matter of gender( even though men have larger brains on an average- but that has little to do with general brain capability. Think, question, and come to your own conclusions. Even make your own mistakes( “experience at any price is cheaper” As Jerome K Jerome quipped in Three Men in a Boat). Remember the perpetration of stereotype- by not thinking- is very largely responsible for the mess society is in today.
So till next time repeat to yourself “Only I can decide what is best for myself.”
(to be continued ... well, of course ;p )