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An Open Letter to Chetan Bhagat

Just stop Mr. Bhagat stop telling women what to do and what not do, you and many other men, well-intentioned men get on my nerves when you tell women what to do and what not to do. The time you spend writing to women about how they should take on their mother-in-laws, how working women are better off than stay at home moms and your latest gem telling women about the five things they “should change,” you should probably focus on telling men especially the so-called “educated” men about how to treat women….

chetan-bhagat
Chetan Bhagat

My issue with you is that you never check your male privilege….Your latest argument which reads Five Things Women Need to Change About Themselves is so rooted in male privilege that I cannot take it anymore. For those who have not read Bhagat’s blog yet, here it is http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes…ut-themselves/

So here is my open letter to you…

First of all have you ever even thought that by writing on behalf of women, you are actually taking away a lot of their agency.

You begin your write up by patronizing women and give us a list of things that men ought to do to improve women’s situation and then you go screw yourself up by saying that sadly men cannot do any of the above because they are ignorant, stupid and egoistic. You say that the pampered Indian male ego has a long way to go – My answer to you is that it is never late to begin and its time you started trying. And maybe take my advice and stop the usual “Men are like this only,” excuse – Give me a break, seriously!

Rather than telling women what to do and what not to do, why don’t you focus on what your gender, which has benefited from women’s oppression for ages, should do. Yes, I said it – though I know a lot of Indian women may not agree but the feminist in me is not afraid of calling out Indian men and their privilege.

You say that women need to do self-reflection, believe me I have been a woman for almost 31-years, and there has never been an instance when I have not done a self-reflection. Indian culture and our patriarchal society does not give women too many options, all our actions are measured, calculated and taken only after a lot of self-reflection – which sadly ends in only feeling more helpless in the current situation. For instance, even the basic act of choosing what to wear involves a lot of self-reflection – is it safe, would I be teased if I wear this….so you see contrary to what you think we women indulge in a lot of self-reflection sadly we don’t get too many opportunities to give voice to our reflections…

Yes women judge each other, we do because we struggle with our own internalized sexism and from the time we are born we are taught both consciously and unconsciously to compete with each other. We compete with other women, in the marriage market in the beauty department so we develop with a lot of sexist tendencies and are harsher on other woman however, we don’t need to hear that from a man…Yes most women would look at a woman in a short skirt and say slut, but why do we do that? I think you are smart enough to find the answer….

Yes we fake, to please your ego – to keep peace at home, because divorce is not an easy option for us! So if you and others of your ilk begin to check your ego we will stop faking it too!

You say that women need to be more ambitious and that is how we should earn your respect….how about you stop staring at our chest when we give a presentation or when we get promoted you don’t say that “She must have slept with the boss….” Will men respect us only if we have a career and our ambitious….Don’t men respect moms who put away their careers to raise them, then why don’t they respect their wives who want to do the same to raise a family with them!

So Mr. Bhagat on women’s day do us women a favor, stop telling us what to do….We have been told that since the day we are born….How about you check your male privilege and look at what you can do….Really let us women decide what we should do, what we need to do and what we can do….

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One Response

  1. Rajesh Pandey

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