I grew up in a desi liberal Punjabi family. Raised by a single mother and enrolled in a liberal arts university, placed me at the heart of the pseudo-liberal ideas. I have hung between the lines for good twenty-something years until I gave up and ran onto a pursuit of finding who I am and what do I believe in.
And this pursuit of truth and logic has been a bitch.
No, I can’t pick one side. Because my heart beats some strong ass stoic beatings, and my brain knows that a lot of the shit I am ready to take is primarily a product of toxic masculinity and patriarchy. It is hard to pick a fine tooth comb and pick apart the nuances that lie within my every day, and ensure that all is better.
I can not call myself a feminist because I am ashamed. I believe in it, I know it is all so excellently put, so outrageously true and so damned needed, but the brain has been fed by aunties and uncles, teachers who very rarely body or mind positive, boyfriends who pin women against women and friends who compete for attention.
The media never did me any favors, it just prescribed ways for me to self-monitor, censor, edit and self-police in order to appeal to the male wants. Because men give approvals in the shape of fathers, they provide safety in the shape of brothers, they ensure nobody else touches you unwantedly in the shape of boyfriends, they ensure we are on the top of our beauty game in the shape of stylists, designers, lifestyle editors and critics who are predominantly male or at least hired by men.
I can not call myself a feminist until I fully undo this all, at least in my life, in my universe, while making the choices concerning me.
I can not call myself a feminist until I stop feeding male dominance until I stop the recurring curve of an endless repetition of domestic violence, snubbed life choices, inexistent freedoms, invasion of privacy, invasion of bodily sanctity and emotional space.
And so I do not call myself a feminist because, for me, the weight of the word is too big a cause for me to contribute anything to, not until I free myself from the shackles of the societal dogmas and debitage.