Let’s Talk About Women Empowerment

6 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Women Empowerment”

  1. Fantastic post, Ratika.

    When I visited Tamil Nadu, I had tea with a very successful Jain lady who had this to say:

    “Women are intrinsically inferior to men.”

    I was floored.

    Here we were, sitting on velvet cushions, in the midst of her vast tea estate in the Nilgiris, overlooking Coonoor. She had built a retreat center there, where hundreds of health tourists come from every corner of the globe to heal and renew. That, on top of the tea estate….and her husband is clearly her subordinate in every way! I brought these issues up to her. Her explanation?

    “We are inferior, because we can be raped.”

    Because we can be raped….because we have these anatomical doors that can be forced.

    Sitting there with her, it occurred to me how absurd this all is. Here I am, in the presence of this rich and intelligent lady, who is telling me that her intelligence, her business acumen, her diligence and hard work all add up to nothing, because she has female genitalia?

    So then, what does rape mean to the rapers? In order to be prepared for them, as it seems in our day we must be, we have to examine the psychology. What about rape makes it so important to, especially, certain Indian men?

    For this we must return to my Jain friend. Her aura of quiet confidence, her command of subordinates, her very success–these things might move a small-minded jealous man to try to topple her from her throne. There’s that.

    But then, there are the babies and grandmothers….what could they possibly get out of simply torturing helpless pediatric and geriatric victims?

    There my nascent theory falls apart, and I can’t get it put back together again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve always believed that nothing will bring a more impactful change in most of today’s issues (racism, sexism, Islamophobia, etc.) than changing people’s mentality. These issues began in people’s minds, and that’s where they will end. Thanks for sharing your experience

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, Ratika. That was a powerful and engaging essay. I never really thought about this perspective before, that female heroes can actually disempower women in the process. As you know, we live in a patriarchal world and yeah sure, woman can do it all, if they are willing to pay the price, but success has always been measured in gendered terms. Stereotypically male ones at that. It’s going to take more women like you to say “no, you do not get to define what the terms of my empowerment are.” Feminism is a working project far from over. Intersectional feminism is the way forward, but it will take more stories from real women like you to be as inclusive as it must be. Thanks so much for sharing your insight!

    Liked by 1 person

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