A hashtag. Every movie you see, every food you eat, every festival, every emotion, every relationship, every person is a hashtag. Everything is condensed into two words and prefixed with a “#” symbol, a symbol which had little or no meaning before social media took over our lives. Before you outrage, another thing that has taken over our lives in the post social media world, I have no issues with the “hashtag-isation” of our lives, but some things cant be turned into a hashtag, because it sometimes loses its essence, its beauty, its meaning.
One such hashtag that recently surfaced, on social media was “#Aintnocindrella”. It was meant to be an appeal to not be judged for our choices and our gender. But after reading some of the responses to this campaign by prominent personalities, I believe it ended up doing quite the opposite. The people who ran this campaign ended up turning it into a charade, much like the torch-bearers of feminism, who instead of celebrating everything that women can do and have been doing over the centuries, have reduced it to a mundane we-can-do-what-men-do argument.
An Emmy nominated journalist wrote, “I am so tired of Beti, Behen, Ma – Labels. I dont want to be your sister, mother, wife or daughter for my rights”, followed by #Aintnocindrella. So being called Ma is somehow a bad thing? The powers that be, have bestowed upon us women, this ability to create and nourish life. This ability to create another human and nourish him with our own blood. Isn’t that the most empowering thing. The ability to create life, second only to god himself. Yet it was made to look as if it is a unnecessary label that weighs women down. Another padma-awardee feminist equated being a mother to satisfying male lust and producing their children, THEIR CHILDREN! The statement was meant to deride a user, who had questioned the mighty varisht patrakaar, but ended up exposing the inherent bias in the woman’s comment. Do children belong only to their fathers? Isn’t that an acknowledgment of the patriarchal structure that these feminists wish to change.
You want to celebrate women. Celebrate the Maa who gives birth because labor is the most excruciating pain in the world. Celebrate the beti who wrestled her way to the biggest sporting event of the world to fulfill her father’s dreams. Celebrate the behen who fought tooth and nail to protect her brother captured by enemies. These titles of maa, behen, beti didn’t bog these women down, they empowered them to fight greater battles. But these women dont feature in these social media campaigns. Reasons, are well, best known by the people who know-it-all, commoners like me can only speculate.
These fancy hashtags dont matter to these women though, but since we do have to come with one, lets come up with one for the ones who come up with these. How about #Aliceinwonderland